Which first?: 1 KW amp or tribander?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by WD4SEU, Jan 11, 2015.

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  1. WD4SEU

    WD4SEU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Got back on air last Feb. after 25 year away.
    Got a vertical and TS590S and have working 150 countries on CW
    Im curious which would give me more sig strength, primarily for DXing?
    tribander(would get a Texas Tower telescoping 30-40') or amp?

    Thanks in advance
  2. KH6AQ

    KH6AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    An EZNEC simulation for a take-off-angle of 5 degrees over average ground shows a tribander up 35' to have 10 dB gain over a ground mounted vertical having radiation efficiency of 80%. The tribander gain is 5 dBD. You can get the same transmitted signal going from 100 watts to 1000 watts with the vertical.
  3. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Gain on an good antenna works both way, transmit and receive. Gain with a amplifier is one way.
    Antennas and coax comes first, amplifiers come last.

    Erect a beam

    Barry, KU3X
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'd go for the beam, personally.

    However I'd go for a 5-bander and not a tri-bander (12m and 17m are included in many beam designs) and try to get it up a bit higher. 30' or 40' works quite well for 10/12m, and not too badly for 15m, but it's a bit low for 17m and 20m and you'll get more benefit from the same beam up 15-20' higher if you can make that happen.

    If you like DX, operating on the band closest to the muf midway between you and the DX usually produces the strongest signals, and I find "many" times 17m is the sweet spot. If you skip this band due to having a tribander, you could be missing a lot.
  5. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hands down the tribander wins. No contest. How much stuff have you missed on the higher bands because you just couldn't hear it? If you can't hear it you can't work it. Something with 12 and 17 meters is a BIG plus. If you are a DXer, you will never regret putting up a beam antenna.
  6. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I put up a TA-33MW just on a lowly 8' roof tower on my house - puts the beam at 47' AGL.... I
    can now hear things I never heard before - I can "chat with" folks in India, Brazil, Trinadad-Tabago,
    Antarctica, etc. - not just "work them" - all with only 100 watts or less.

    another vote for the beam first

  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think in your case you found, as many do, that having any kind of beam increases Rx S/N so much that it's like having a new receiver that magically doesn't receive any noise. A vertical with an amp cannot provide that benefit.

    I often switch back and forth between my 20m vertical (full 1/4-WL with elevated radials) and my 5-band beam while monitoring the W1AW code practice or bulletins on 14.047.5 (which go on for a couple of hours, so I can note all kinds of propagation changes during this period). Vertical 599 but obvious background noise on the signal. Beam 599 and absolutely no background noise on the signal.

    Of course, they're so strong I can copy them either way. But the difference in the noise that rides along with the signal is incredibly obvious even to very untrained ears (like my wife).

    If I monitor the Beacon Project beacons I see the same thing. The 4U1ITU beacon (or any other, really) is copied at the first two power levels, but rarely the third one (QRP) with the vertical, yet easily copied at all three power levels including the QRP level with the beam.

    Probably not so much the "gain" of the beam as the ability to reject noise from all directions exept the one I'm aimed towards.
  8. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    The better antenna is the way to go. A local relative newbie likes to use his amplifiers all the time, with vertical antennas. He appears to transmit farther away than he can hear (causing QRM to QSOs in progress).

    Yesterday, while connected to my 80/160m antenna, I heard a JA station on 10m calling 'CQ North America'. When I switched to the yagi at 72' and rotated it in the DX station's direction, he was quite loud. The newbie called him but the DX did not reply. I called the DX (using 100W), and the DX replied.

    vy 73,
    Bryan WA7PRC
  9. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hands down, the Tribander. Now if you eventually get an amp with the Tribander, you will rock:D For most of my 25 yr ham career, I had low hanging dipoles. I went to a hex beam at 35 ft and it was like someone cut a switch on. I added an amp and now I am the center of european cw pile ups. Pretty cool.

    If you have not purchased the antenna, please look at the hex beam. I can go from 6 to 20 meters with very low swr and it is a great performer. NA4RR makes a very affordable hex beam.
  10. VK4TI

    VK4TI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Go the beam , it gives and rx far better for one initial cost
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