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ZeroFive 43 ft. vertical experience?

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by AC2MM, Jan 1, 2018.

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  1. AC2MM

    AC2MM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Does anyone have a ZeroFive 43 ft. 160M - 10M vertical antenna that may have been called Force 12 years ago that would share your experience on this?
    I found various pieces of sketchy info that is not always impressive.
    I asked Tom, the designer, about propagation charts for this antenna based on use of the 43 ft radials and received no response.

    There is a fellow ham nearby me that has this, previously known as Force 12 supposedly, he bought in 2009, but he doesn't seem that impressed with it although he has made a lot of contacts over the years. He's still trying to get it to work on 160M. I may be wrong, but it appears that what you get is a 43 ft. length of tubing, some type of transformer, and a mount, that's it. One user claimed it was the wrong type of Balun, and had to buy a 4:1 Current Balun to replace the one supplied.
    I've dug up pieces of information through EHam and other sources, but would appreciate someones insight on whether this is a good purchase of not.

  2. K5RT

    K5RT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Robert, Zero-Five was not Force-12 as far as I am aware. Both owners first names are Tom, perhaps that is where the confusion is coming from. The Force-12 brand is now owned by JK antennas out of Connecticut. N6BT (the original owner of Force-12) has his "Bravo-5" short vertical antenna, perhaps this is the confusion?
    Never the less, If your friend has questions, Zero-Five has a reputation for excellent customer service. He should be calling or emailing them for help.
    There are pages of reviews on this very antenna on this web site. Your friend might reach out to a few of the more recent reviewers for their feedback.
    Personally, I'm skeptical of the claims made about this antenna. It reminds me of those ads for Gotham antennas in QST 45 years ago.
    My "off the cuff" opinion is a 43 foot vertical will work OK on 40,30 and 20 meters. It's too long for the higher bands, so it becomes a "cloud warmer". It's short for 80, but properly matched and with a good radial field it will work, but will be narrow banded. It will require the addition of a number of "top loading" wires and matching to get it to work on 160, but it won't be very efficient. It's less than 1/10 of a wavelength long on 160.

    WA8FOZ, AK5B, WB5YUZ and 1 other person like this.
  3. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    These are very robust antennas. The performance no so much so... Any 43 ft radiator will do. It's non resonant and requires a tuner. Why in the heck will do any better than any other random length antenna. If you can only have a vertical and just not able or resourceful to put something together, they are expensive but ok. About any horizontal wire configuration you can get up will beat it.

    Don't judge an antenna by making a bunch of contacts. You can load up a window screen and make contacts.

    Silence on a question from the owner would be enough for me.....
    AK5B likes this.
  4. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a zero five 24' flagpole antenna. Tom always answers his questions. I suggest going through the website

    Force 12 in my opinion is dead. They never have gotten back to me
  5. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    2X Paul's comments in #2.

    If you install it with a good radial field and put a good remote tuner at the base, and provide some means for bypassing the 4:1 or whatever transformer on bands where the tuner does not need it, it could be a quite good antenna for 40, 30, and 20m DX. On 80m, some people have had success with adding wire, often via a trap, to make an inverted "L" or "T" out of the vertical for 80 and sometimes even 160m. Note that this would involve resonant operation on those two bands, instead of the non-resonant mode the antenna is usually operated in; properly done, the remote tuner might best be bypassed on some frequencies in those bands whereon resonant operation takes place. As Paul pointed out, the bandwidth would be quite narrow, especially on 160m; but a remote tuner should add bandwidth. This is why it's good to be able to independently select or bypass the transformer and tuner.

    In any event, as Paul points out, this antenna is pretty small for 160m unless one goes the inverted "L" route; and even then, the amount of radiation from the vertical section will be relatively small. However, lots of people work DX on 160m with inverted "Ls" that low when they can't put anything better up. They do of course need better band conditions than than the guys whose inverted "Ls" have a vertical section of 60ft or higher to work DX, however.
  6. AC2MM

    AC2MM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, my thanks to you guys for your replies. (K5RT, you are correct, that's why I was confused)

    I did indeed receive two replies from Tom at ZeroFive, and spent the last two hours researching both his and most importantly, the vast array of folks using a 43 ft mast for multi-band operation using various brands of tuners or Couplers.
    I need to have a vertical at my new QTH for DX, and I'm not sure I want to stay with my 80M Sky Loop multi-band, although it does work. (I need to work on this some more in the Spring)

    160M is not necessary, it's just that I found so many tests involving a 43' mast on 160M (due to the mfg claims), I couldn't ignore the possibility. (I also have 40' of 6061-T6 alum. tubing sitting beside my fence that I haven't used yet)

    My research was actually more a test of different brands of remote tuners (SGC, CG, MFJ, etc..) using the 43 ft alum tube mast to reach the "advertised" 160M capability from the various mfg's. They mostly all used a 1:4 Current Unun. Their performance on their advertised 160M was dismal, at best, but Phil Salas, AD5X, was very successful (during his testing) by making modifications to add Inductance for working 160M on the 43 ft vertical, although it does have to be manually switched in/out of the circuit. I attached his article FWIW.
    I may just get the SteppIR BigIR and the 80M coil, and a whole lot of radials. Time for more research...

    Thanks again,

    Attached Files:

  7. K5RT

    K5RT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Robert, let me give you a couple of suggestions to consider. Not being familiar with your QTH, they might not work at all. But, if you have the space and supports (trees) these might work for you. An inverted L for 160 is an excellent choice. You can make a trap and it will work for 80 meters as well. Fed against a decent radial system, you'll be in good shape on those two bands. Full size (1/4 wave) verticals work well on 40 and 30 meters and can easily be constructed of tubing. Ground planes are another good option on 40 and 30 if you have trees that are tall enough. Above 30 meters, you want to use horizontal antennas as opposed to verticals. Hearing on 160/80 is your challenge. The Inverted L on 160 is a good all around antenna. On 80, your loop may work better for domestic or Caribbean contacts.

    Good luck and Vy 73
    KD6RF likes this.
  8. KD6RF

    KD6RF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There sure is all sorts of "stuff" to be found on the internet - some of it might even be true !!! :confused:

    A bottom line - this type of antenna is very good (not merely mediocre or poor or ho-hum) , when used properly with decent radials, a decent 9:1 or 4:1 UNUN, and a tuner at the base, or a proper coax run. For low-angle of radiation DX work, it is significantly better than any low-strung wires.

    It's going to give good performance on the bands 80 M - 20M or 17 M, where it has nice efficient low angle radiation. (Strictly speaking, a loading coil is the correct device for 80 M rather than an Unun.) It will be a bit down to horizontal antennas on those upper bands, where many folks have them up at around 1/2 wavelength or more.

    On the bands 15 M and higher, radiation is shooting up at mostly nu-useful angles, so a 43 footer is not a great choice for those bands.

    It's going to be tough to get good efficiency on 160 M - many radials, and a good loading coil would be needed...

    Don't let "reviews" influence you much in regard to performance - reviews are fine for mechanical longevity or quality issues, but are pretty meaningless in regard to PERFORMANCE since most folks don't have the means to measure, or compare. There's an awful lot of "awful antennas" on the review sites that get 4 or 5 stars, but are in fact closer to dummy-load than antenna :eek::eek::eek:

    GL!!! and c u on the bands - dB
    WB5YUZ, K7TRF and AK5B like this.
  9. W0AAT

    W0AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a DX Engineering 43' vertical, MFJ-927 at the base. 40-17m it works well, 80m so-so(sometimes refuses to tune), forget 160m without a base loading coil or a capacity hat(better of the two choices)
  10. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm running abt 31 ft of aluminum tubing and MFJ auto-tuna at base, loads 10 to 80 and 80 CW is working surprisingly well...
    Just roll your own! use DXE tubing, a 4:1 un-un from an auto tuna at base, many radials diff lengths on sod, 8 ft gnd rod at base.
    No, it does not radiate as well as my 126' open wire fed Hertz.
    AK5B and KQ0J like this.

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