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Amateur Radio Antennas For discussion of all amateur band designed antennas and related accoutrements. This includes base, handheld, mobile and repeater usage. For commercial antennas on the amateur bands please use Commercial Radio Antennas below.

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Old 10-17-2011, 7:06 PM
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Default Vertical Antenna

I am looking to buy a HF vertical antenna for my apartment. I am not wanting to spend more that $300. I would like the hear your suggestions.. I look forward to your responses...

Thanks
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Old 10-17-2011, 7:37 PM
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You need more of a description..are you putting it on your porch?, railing, or indoors, what bands, power are you running, do you use a tuner...
DOCTOR/795
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Old 10-17-2011, 8:01 PM
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Well I will be mounting outdoors on a iron stand I built, it will be ground mounted but will be elevated using galv. pipe that moutns into my stand. I will be using it with my Yaesu FT-900AT, running 100 watts, and on most of the HF bands as the antenna allows. Mostly looking at doing phone communications.
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Old 10-18-2011, 8:01 AM
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NICE SETUP...JETSTREAM JTV 680 will fit the bill, 6-80 meters no radials required and the write up review is so far positive........you can ourchase at randl on the web..
DOCTOR/795
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Old 10-18-2011, 8:15 AM
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Any limitations on height or 'ugliness'? There are several "one size fit's all" antennas on the market, some are probably 'better' than others. I wouldn't count on much performance except on bands where the thing is close to at least a 1/4 wave length (with/without loading). That also means that some 'grounding' or counterpoise will be necessary. You can also count on using a tuner. I guess that just depends on $$$ and what you consider 'adequate'. Sorry 'bout that.
- 'Doc
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Old 10-18-2011, 9:34 AM
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The Jetstream JTV680 is like the Comet CHA-250B and other wide band no tune antennas with no counterpoise. They are big dummy loads and you'll wonder why nobody answers your CQ calls.

Under the right conditions a large mobile screwdriver HF antenna can work very well if you have a reasonable counterpoise like lots of metal railing and maybe a few additional tuned wires and you have a balcony that sticks out from the building and you can further angle the antenna slightly away from the building.

When I say large screwdriver I don't mean the little POS Yaesu ATS, I mean one with a 2" diameter or larger coil and something that's fairly long like 10-12ft when extended to 80m.

A local guy runs a large Hi-Q brand and puts out an amazing signal even on 80M, although I know many people who have had problems with the owner of the company and say he's a real A$$. Personally I would not give him a dime after hearing he wanted to sue a fellow ham for posting truthful problems about Hy-Q products on Eham.

There are may other mfrs of screwdriver antennas and my favorite brand is Tarheel, got one on my truck and it works fantastic and is of very high quality.
prcguy




Quote:
Originally Posted by doctor795 View Post
NICE SETUP...JETSTREAM JTV 680 will fit the bill, 6-80 meters no radials required and the write up review is so far positive........you can ourchase at randl on the web..
DOCTOR/795
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:02 AM
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No I really don't have a height restriction. My apartment complex has been good to me, I have a jetstream 2 meter/40 cm vertical up right now. They also let me string up a W8AMZ 160m 1/2 sloper wire antenna across the top of the apartment complex. Should I stick with just the wire or should I try a vertical?
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Old 10-18-2011, 1:43 PM
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This is my current setup, this is my W8AMZ 160m 1/2 sloper, I know it says sloper as you can see it is not sloped in my install. Do you think if it was sloped it would do a better job? Would this antenna be better than a vertical?
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Old 10-18-2011, 2:56 PM
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Will that 'sloper' wok well? No, it won't, but it's not mounted as specified. Even if it is mounted as specified, the builder tells you not to expect much performance. Would a vertical mounted as specified work better? It depends, and I wouldn't bet either way.
- 'Doc
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Old 10-18-2011, 3:45 PM
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I also live in a gerbil cage and use a Chameleon V1 about 20 ft. up.
Have made qso's from around the globe using a Ten Tec Scout 555 @ 50 watts.
If you decide to go hf mobile I highly recommend the Outbacker antenna series, especially the Perth.
Sweet.
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Old 10-23-2011, 8:57 PM
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How about end fed dipoles like these:

LNR Precision End-Fed Half-Wave Wire Antennas Product Reviews

you just let them hang down from your window/balcony.

Two things:
- they are resonant
- getting a 5/5 average score from >200 reviewers on eham is a feat
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Old 10-24-2011, 8:10 AM
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btlacer,
The horizontal versus vertical thing is a sort of 50/50 thingy. Half the time, one will 'work' better than the other. It really boils down to 'Momma Nature's propagation and how 'she' happens to be feeling at the time. Another aspect is that vertical antennas tend to be 'noisier' than horizontal antennas, more susceptible to man made noise (don't ask me why, talk to 'Momma Nature'!). That 'noisiness' is relative, so can certainly not amount to much. At other times, it's terrible. I would have to say that if what you're using is working, leave it alone. Or, try a different antenna and see which is 'better'. Just don't throw away the old antenna!
- 'Doc
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btlacer View Post
I am looking to buy a HF vertical antenna for my apartment. I am not wanting to spend more that $300. I would like the hear your suggestions.. I look forward to your responses...

Thanks
If you want to stay under $300 you can try the following:


Chameleon V1
CHAMELEON V1

CHAMELEON V4 VEHICULAR ANTENNA (Mobile = 2M to 20M) (End Fed = 6M to 80M)
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

CHAMELEON V22L DIPOLE ANTENNA - 2M to 80M - LIMITED EDITION
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

CHAMELEON HF MULTIBAND ZEPP ANTENNA - 10M to 80M
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

CHAMELEON V2L MULTIBAND ANTENNA - 70CM to 80M
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

At the moment I'm using a lot the CHAMELEON V4 VEHICULAR ANTENNA (Mobile = 2M to 20M) (End Fed = 6M to 80M). I simply installed one end of the 25' wire in the tree right next to my balcony (as high as possible) and I've grounded the V4 to my aluminum patio door or metallic hand rail. I've worked the entire USA, most part of Canada, Japan and Australia with between 5W to 100W.

You can also use the V4 on your vehicle if desired with the provided 56" whip to and you'll cover 2M to 20M.

Cheers,

Carl
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Old 10-24-2011, 2:43 PM
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Should read "If you want to stay under $300 and a few S units below most any other antenna of similar size try one of the following:"

Sorry but the Chameleon V1, V2, V etc is an extreme compromise antenna and will be about an S unit or more below a $20 Hamstick on 80m and not much better on 40m.

I would ask anyone who says they work well to substite another similar size antenna and then let everyone know what they think. BTW performance comments from the mfr or representatives of the mfr will be discounted as sales rubbish.
prcguy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chameleon500 View Post
If you want to stay under $300 you can try the following:


Chameleon V1
CHAMELEON V1

CHAMELEON V4 VEHICULAR ANTENNA (Mobile = 2M to 20M) (End Fed = 6M to 80M)
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

CHAMELEON V22L DIPOLE ANTENNA - 2M to 80M - LIMITED EDITION
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

CHAMELEON HF MULTIBAND ZEPP ANTENNA - 10M to 80M
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

CHAMELEON V2L MULTIBAND ANTENNA - 70CM to 80M
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

At the moment I'm using a lot the CHAMELEON V4 VEHICULAR ANTENNA (Mobile = 2M to 20M) (End Fed = 6M to 80M). I simply installed one end of the 25' wire in the tree right next to my balcony (as high as possible) and I've grounded the V4 to my aluminum patio door or metallic hand rail. I've worked the entire USA, most part of Canada, Japan and Australia with between 5W to 100W.

You can also use the V4 on your vehicle if desired with the provided 56" whip to and you'll cover 2M to 20M.

Cheers,

Carl

Last edited by prcguy; 10-24-2011 at 2:47 PM..
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Old 10-24-2011, 3:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
I would ask anyone who says they work well to substite another similar size antenna and then let everyone know what they think. BTW performance comments from the mfr or representatives of the mfr will be discounted as sales rubbish.
prcguy

Those are public reviews:

CHAMELEON V1 HF Multiband Antenna
CHAMELEON V1 HF Multiband Antenna Product Reviews

Letter from the Emergency Coordinator - Kings County - Amateur Radio Emergency service

http://chameleonantenna.com/files/th...ounty-ares.png
http://chameleonantenna.com/files/kc...nas_page_1.png
http://chameleonantenna.com/files/kc...nas_page_2.png

CHAMELEON V4
CHAMELEON V4 MULTIBAND HF/VHF ULTRA - STEALTH VEHICULAR ANTENNA Product Reviews

CHAMELEON HF MULTIBAND ZEPP ANTENNA - 10M to 80M.
CHAMELEON HF MULTIBAND ZEPP ANTENNA - 10M to 80M Product Reviews

CHAMELEON V2L HF/VHF/UHF Multiband Antenna
CHAMELEON V2L HF/VHF/UHF Multiband Antenna™ Product Reviews
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Old 10-24-2011, 4:54 PM
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Meaningless reviews, something I would expect from a seller in defensive mode. The first review states you donated the antenna and I found one vague reference to working the same as an end fed 40-80m wire.

What exact ally was that 40/80m ended? PAR is a well known company and their end fed antennas are known to work well (most are a 1/2 wave end fed) but PAR does not make a dual 40/80m version. Or was that something cobbled together by someone without a clue and anything would have worked better? I'm not meaning to call anyone clueless, just want to know what their reference point was.

Where are the real comparisons to antennas we can relate to? I can boast about the 5X9 contacts I made on 10m using nothing more than a 6" spring because I forgot the whip was not attached. Or the 40m contacts with 25ft of speaker wire laying on the ground when conditions were really hot.

Those seriously compromised antennas made contacts and I could gather reports and easily market a 6" long spring as a fantastic antenna and someone would probably buy it but my concience would prevent that.

Here's an idea. If someone loaned me a Chameleon, preferable the larger V1, I would be happy to range test it against several well known mobile antennas plus the Buddipole and moat any other antenna out there. I have a large inventory to test with and can usually borrow most anything I don't have.

Now comes the fun part. Using theLakebiew or Iron Horse "hamstick" style mobile antennas as a baseline reference and a 3/8-24 mount in the rear corner of my truck, if a Chameleon V1 works equal to or better than the Hamsticks on 80 through 10m as measured with an active E field probe at an agreed distance feeding a Spectrum Analyzer I will purchase one, give a glowing review to everyone I know and you can use the test data for sales purposes.

Even though I'm very skeptical I can and will provide unbiased test data on the outcome.
prcguy







Quote:
Originally Posted by Chameleon500 View Post
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Old 10-24-2011, 6:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post

Where are the real comparisons to antennas we can relate to?

Field strength of two transmissions made with the V1 and a Yaesu ATAS 100 screwdriver antenna. Both were alternately ground mounted in the same spot and fed against 16 buried radials. The V1 used the supplied 9:1 Unun and a LDG Z11 pro tuner.

Vertical scale is in dBm, horizontal scale in MHz.

http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/q...1vsATAS100.jpg

The tests were executed by Martin - G8JNJ
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Old 10-24-2011, 7:43 PM
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All things considered, it looks like the V1 came out second best, or comparable when compared to a 'less than great' mobile antenna.
- 'Doc
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Old 10-24-2011, 8:18 PM
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The Yaesu ATAS is an extreme compromise HF antenna and somewhere near the bottom of the pile. On 40m a cheap Hamstick is a good S unit or more better and there is no band where the ATAS outdoes a Hamstick.

I know some ATAS users will chime in and say they make contacts but so does my 6" spring without a whip attached. I've been parked near users on 40m and made easy to copy contacts where the ATAS 100 was not copyable at all. This was an eye opener and very disappointing for the ATAS owner.

Have you ever looked inside an ATAS with its tiny little fiberglass rod wrapped with tiny magnet wire and no space between turns? Where short loaded verticals and screwdriver antennas have a very low feed point impedance in the 10-15 ohm range (as they should) on the lower bands, the ATAS is so lossy its close to 50 ohms on 40m even with a good counterpoise. That relates to a lot of resistive loss and extra poor performance on top of its other compromises.

So a shortened HF vertical will have a feed point impedance much lower than 50 ohms on the lower bands like 80, 40, 60m, etc but the Chameleon uses a 9:1 balun at the feed point configured as a step up right? If so wouldn't that be a hinderence to the needed high current flow at the feed point on a short loaded Chameleon?

It would be interesting to do on air comparisons with the famous Maxcom antenna matcher which was one step above a dummy load with a wire attached. It also has a transformer inside and load resistors which explains its perfect match from DC to a few hundred MHz. I keep a couple of Maxcoms around as conversation peices and they do radiate and make contacts, just not very well.

So how bout that loaner antenna for testing? I'll pay return shipping and who knows, if it works as good as a Hamstick you will sell a bunch, I promise.
prcguy.







Quote:
Originally Posted by Chameleon500 View Post
Field strength of two transmissions made with the V1 and a Yaesu ATAS 100 screwdriver antenna. Both were alternately ground mounted in the same spot and fed against 16 buried radials. The V1 used the supplied 9:1 Unun and a LDG Z11 pro tuner.

Vertical scale is in dBm, horizontal scale in MHz.

http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/q...1vsATAS100.jpg

The tests were executed by Martin - G8JNJ

Last edited by prcguy; 10-24-2011 at 8:21 PM..
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Old 10-24-2011, 8:23 PM
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Usually before buying an antenna a regular customer will not only look at the radiation factor but at a bunch of other factors beside the radiation performance such as budget, longevity, versatility, size, easy to use, etc... If only maximum radiation was the issue everyone would get a 5 elements beam elevated at 75' above ground!

It's the same thing when people are looking to purchase a car. If maximum performance was the only factor every single one in the forum would drive a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport: 267 mph, 0-60 in 2.4 secs! But it's not the case. A lot of several other factors have to be considered.

So people can bash and crap on a products as much as they want but a regular user or customer will usually want to see a review such as the following before buying an antenna:

By KF5HBU

Portable Base Antenna Shoot-Out
6 months ago I set out to determine what the best HF Portable Base antenna could offer:

I setup the following antennas:
1) Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical
2) Chameleon V3 Antenna 2-160M QRP-250W
3) TransWorld Antennas TW2010 Traveler HF Portable Vertical Antenna

I used a rating scale of 1 through 10, with 1 being Poor and 10 being Excellent. I have also made notes as to why each was rated in the following categories.

The categories that I rated the antennas in are:
A) Longevity: How the antenna lasts before breaking beyond any reasonable repair
B) QRP Performance: As anything can transmit a signal at 100 watts, I decided QRP would be a good thing to use in the tests
C) Ease of Use: How easy is it to setup, take down, tune (if it needed tuning at all)
D) Versatility: How many bands does is work on and portability (size/weight when broken down)

For those who like to read the last page of a book, the winner of the 6 month long antenna shoot-out is the Chameleon V3 Antenna 2-160M QRP-250W.

For those who want to know more, read on!

1) Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical
A) Longevity: 2 - Within a week the whip on the buddipole had broken.
B) QRP Performance: 6 - QRP performance was average as might be expected from a shortened antenna.
C) Ease of Use: 7 - Changing the clip on the coild of the antenna each time I changed bands is the major drawback when using the Buddipole. The SWR was also effected by anything that got within 10 feet of the antenna. Was just as easy to setup as any of the other antennas.
D) Versatility: 6.5 - Breaks down into a small package. Covered the bands it was designed to cover, but not nearly as many as the winner of the shootout.

2) Chameleon V3 Antenna 2-160M QRP-250W
A) Longevity: 10 - Heavy duty stainless steel whip, 2 high impact base sections, brass used throughout, it's still up outside after 6 months.
B) QRP Performance: 8.5 - A much longer antenna than one initially is lead to beleive. Although just 13 foot tall, the V3 also utilizes foud 25 foot wires as part of the radiating elements. Results in the best portable QRP experience imaginable.
C) Ease of Use: 7 - The antenna is built in such a way that it forces you to put it together in only one way, the right way.
D) Versatility: 10 - Breaks down into a small package. Covers all of the bands that nearly every operator could ever use.

3) TransWorld Antennas TW2010 Traveler HF Portable Vertical Antenna
A) Longevity: 7 - It was two months before I had the first unrepairable issue, the black knob that is used to tighten one of the moving parts broke. After six months of use the "Permanent Mounting Assembly" is pretty loose.
B) QRP Performance: 8 - Good QRP performance.
C) Ease of Use: 7 - The antenna is easy to setup and forces you into pretty much one setup routine.
D) Versatility: 5 - Gets high marks for breaking down into a small package, but just operating on just 10 & 20 meters doesn't fit the modern day rig.

Source: Chameleon V3 Antenna 2-160M QRP-250W Product Reviews

People and trolls have to stop that bashing non-sense that seem to plagues every single Ham Radio Forums knows by the public.
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