ZL special vs Yagi - 2 metre beam

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by 2E0RPS, May 7, 2009.

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  1. 2E0RPS

    2E0RPS Ham Member QRZ Page


    I've been considering in purchasing a ZL special (7 elements) for the 2 metre band. I was impressed by the small size and gain but as i've not been able to find a professional review on the web i'm still in doubt. The second obvious option would be a classic 2 metre Yagi design with similar gain however i'm sure that the size would be slightly bigger.

    I'm planning to use this antenna for both permanent and portable operation so size also matters and i would like to hear from anyone using the ZL special, i'm also interested to know how wide would be in terms of directivity, in few words does it need small turning adjustment to hit a specific repeater or locationj in simplex?

    any comments much welcome

    73 de Rod / 2E0RPS
  2. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have not heard any reviews of a ZL special for VHF. For HF the usual configuration is 2-elements with a very few 3-element designs. Is the antenna a true ZL special in that all elements are driven or is it a hybrid design with 2 or 3 elements that are driven and then parasitic elements for the remainder.

    Glen, K9STH
  3. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I can't speak directly about that particular antenna. However, a ZL antenna is a phased array, and is theoretically capable of infinite front-to-back ratio...with enough patience. If it's part of a hybrid, then you can still maintain the high F/B ratio and get some additional gain in the process.

  4. 2E0RPS

    2E0RPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    many thanks for support,

    as far i know Glen all elements are driven elements
  5. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    There is no reason that the antenna should not work fine IF all the elements are phased correctly. However, designing the antenna in the first place probably took some work.

    Glen, K9STH
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The "ZL special" does not have more gain than a Yagi, it has somewhat less gain.

    However it does have some advantages, if you do it exactly right.

    99% of all weak-signal (DX chaser) antennas on 2 meters are not those; they'e yagis, quads or quagis -- and the reason is, those all provide higher forward gain than the ZL special possibly could, for any given boom length.
  7. 2E0RPS

    2E0RPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would like to say many thanks for your replies, this is giving me a clearer picture of the ZL - 2 metre antenna.

    I'm not planning to build one yet. here in UK the ZL can be easily purchased for little money and i think it would be easier for me to start in building a simple 2 metre Yagi.

    According to the antenna dealer the ZL is quite popular however for some reasons no one has made a practical review based on everyday use as base antenna or portable.

    Also to me is still unclear the way you feed the ZL antenna. Does the feeder coax needed to be soldered on the antenna or the usual way PL 259 into SO 239?
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