Which first?: 1 KW amp or tribander?

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

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  1. KH6AQ

    KH6AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    But if you also want to increase your signal on bands other than 20, 15, and 10 meters the amp is the answer.
  2. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can't have either here but if I could, would go with the antenna absolutely.

    I did a stint as special event station and every once in a while someone said "so-and-so" is calling you, but I could not hear them. But they could hear me with my little dipole.

    More RX is better then more TX. Can't work 'em if you can't hear 'em!
  3. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Remember, increasing the TX signal does ZERO for the receive. My yagi has 2 elements on 40m as well as 20, 15, 10m:
    (click for larger image)

    When I decided I finally was going to erect a tower, one of my criteria was rotatable directivity on 40m. I found the yagi (a Force12 C-4XL) and then found the tower (72' tall US Tower TX-472) to match. See http://www.tinyurl.com/wa7prc-tower for more photos + info.

    There are other popular antennas that are electrically steerable on the low bands. With any of these antennas, you can still add an amplifier if needed/wanted. My amplifier has been down for modification and repair. I may get around to finishing it if/when the antennas don't help enough (on transmit only).

    vy 73,
    Bryan WA7PRC
  4. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you can put up a better antenna system, that's the thing to do. Others have mentioned several good reasons, here are some more:

    1) In most cases, putting up a tower and beam isn't going to get cheaper or easier in the future.

    2) The tower which supports the tribander can be shunt-fed for 160 and or 80/75. It can also support slopers, inverted Vs, etc.

    3) A directional antenna improves your ability to hear the DX - but not just because of gain. Being able to null out QRM helps too.

    4) You can always add an amp in the future, with not much fuss and bother - if you plan the antenna system for it.

    The ONLY reason I can think of to NOT go the beam-and-tower route is if your property makes it impractical.
  5. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've said that many times. A simple 2-element yagi/quad/etc will have some forward gain but, will have MANY MORE dB front-back, and even more dB front-side. When there is heavy QRM/QRN, I will sometimes null on the interference instead of peaking on the signal of interest. In that regard, even a rotatable dipole is better than something that is nondirectional or nonrotatable.

    For best performance, generally, the higher the better (preferably λ/2 or higher). For VHF-up, the more in the clear, the better. Large hard surfaces (such as buildings) tend to refract signals, and large soft surfaces (such as trees) tend to absorb signals.

    vy 73,
    Bryan WA7PRC
  6. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree that most cases, go with the tri-bander. Or as Steve pointed out, a 5-bander.

    The question nobody has asked is what bands do you like to use? If you're into 40M nets, and 80M ragchewing, a 20M+ Yagi won't do much for you. If you are on 20M and above, you'll be blown away by what a proper antenna with some gain and F/B will do for you!

    I used to frequently check into some 40M nets, and an amp was a necessity. Many of the stations I would talk to were in CA and had high noise levels - they couldn't hear me with my 100W, while I could hear their 100W just fine. An amp evened out the equation.

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  7. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just like tools, when it comes to ham antennas, you can never have too many "weapons". On 40 thru 10m, I have rotatable directivity AND other antennas:
    • 40/15m: 40m λ/2 dipole @ 65' AGL, aimed SE. Cut for 7.05 MHz, it covers all of 40m and 15m.
    • Homebrew 20m: λ/2 vertical on roof w/ four sloping radials.
    • 10m Cushraft AR10 λ/2 vertical at 83' AGL approximately λ/4 above 40/20/15/10m yagi.
    Only on 80 and 160 do I have only one antenna. In fact, for both bands, it is the same antenna (driven differently). On 80, it's a cage inverted vee (apex at 70' AGL) that covers ALL of 80m w/o a tuner. On 160, it's a vertical w/ top hat (Tee) antenna, driven against ground.

    With an amplifier, I have almost ALL situations covered.

    vy 73,
    Bryan WA7PRC
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ha! Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

  9. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, like I always say....an antenna you pay for once, a linear amplifier you pay for every time you flip the switch. :)
  10. KL7SG

    KL7SG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well here is my story:
    I moved to Texas about five years ago and had to give up my tower & beam.
    I was using a dipole for about the last 4 years.
    I also used an SB220 occasionally to bust through the QRM/QRN.
    This configuration worked OK.

    I couple of months ago, I finally got my act together and put a TH7DX up on a short tower (35 feet).
    It was like someone turned on the "DX Switch".

    My vote goes for the tri-bander!
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