ZS6BKW Antenna Review: 1000 QSOs later...

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K0LWC, Dec 20, 2020.

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  1. K0LWC

    K0LWC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The ZS6BKW is becoming a popular alternative to the G5RV as a compromise multiband dipole. I put it in the air one month ago and have been putting it to the test. Here is how I set it up and my thoughts on its performance.


    AC3D, VE2CYV, KF4ZKU and 10 others like this.
  2. W4HWD

    W4HWD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've got over 10,000 QSOs on my G5RV in the last 18 months...does that mean I should post a review too?
    ZP6SKY, N8ZI, N9AMI and 2 others like this.
  3. NN2X

    NN2X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Matt (K0LWC)...Super video, great for new Hams as well...You give an excellent explanation between the ZS6BKW and the G5RV.

    See you on the bands..

    NN2X Tom
    M1WML likes this.
  4. K9UR

    K9UR Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great to get on the air and many hams have done the same for decades with a basic doublet. In fact, most novice hams since the 1920's have started this same way.

    I've used a ZS6BKW as a simple "second" antenna at my shack for a while. It does work and gives some multiple band benefit as your presentation shows.

    However, I think log analysis is only partially correct in terms of lobes and patttern. With the ZS6BKW, the pattern very much depends what band you are analyzing. Can't tell from the video as to the band or bands being used or if it was general contact info across all bands = If the latter, you wont be able to tell lobes too well since you have identified via the log mapping program simply the ham radio population density from your location and mixed apples and oranges. You're better off performing some RBN (reverse beacon network) or WSPR type analysis to determine the antenna pattern versus a population-dependent plot. For all you know, for example, your signal is huge into central kansas, but there are just a few hams on the air...so your log and plots wont reflect that reality.

    A simple dipole on 17M will outperform the ZS6BKW in most cases at the same height, since, on 17M, the antenna is becoming quite long and will have a funny patttern (a clover leaf type pattern or more) so you'll have many some deep nulls and peaks. the zs6bkw almosts works as an EDZ with some gain on 20M ... but it's about 12 feet too short to really be considered an EDZ so the 20M pattern and gain is not as pure as the G5RV.

    Good antenna, cheap to make ($40 or less usually) and certainly works when installed at a reasonable height (minimum 40 ft to keep the feedline from touching earth)

    Keep at it...
    KB9YOJ, W5CJA, HB9EPC and 5 others like this.
  5. KB7KUH

    KB7KUH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have one at 45' and putting another one at 60'. They seem to work pretty good. The tuner can get most all the bands to 1.5 to 2.0 for the most part.

    KB1SIC, W7GST and M1WML like this.
  6. KK4JW

    KK4JW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love my ZS6. I was hesitant at first to cut up my G5RV, but man, once I did - I noticed an immediate improvement on 20/40. I even done the doorknob capacitor mod to bring 75 within range of my tuner. I've WAS mixed TWICE confirmed with it, and am closing in on 5 band WAS as well. Most contacts made with 60-70W.

    On 20M in the evenings, JA stations are like fish in a barrel on FT8 with 40W.

    Is it a miracle antenna? No. But for a simple multi bander it's not bad.
    N6NII and M1WML like this.
  7. W6UXB

    W6UXB Ham Member QRZ Page

    It has been a no brainer for me the maximum distance spread I could get was 95 feet from a tree 60 feet high to a pole 20 feet high, a big sloper next to a massive redwood but still gets out and tunes fine with the LDG 600 remote tuner via a DX Engineering 1:1 balun plus I did put a 250 pf of door knob capacitors in series out of the balun to tune 80, works great, Geoff
    W7GST and M1WML like this.
  8. W7UUU

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

    If you wish.

    KM2K, W0AQ, W9OOO and 6 others like this.
  9. W4HWD

    W4HWD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nah...while the camera adds 20 pounds, the cheesecake adds more...:eek:
    WZ7U, AK5B, M1WML and 2 others like this.
  10. N8QQE

    N8QQE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    When I really got into the hobby in 2013 (upgraded to General) I wanted to get on the air in the HF spectrum. Bought the radio, Amp and needed an Antenna. I have limited space on my property and wasnt exactly sure what to do. A Ham friend and i built and rigged up a ZS6BKW antenna and I found success in working the world.

    Used 14 gauge wire and bought a few insulators, center conductor, some rope and spent probably 50 to 60 dollars. Not only a workable antenna, but very affordable also.

    In my opinion, its a great antenna... but what ever works for any Ham in any situation is a great antenna.

    Enjoyed the video... thanks.
    KF4ZKU, W5TRX, KB9YOJ and 6 others like this.

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