RadioReference on Facebook   RadioReference on Twitter   RadioReference Blog
 

Go Back   The RadioReference.com Forums > Amateur Radio > Amateur Radio Antennas


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.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-22-2017, 12:36 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 7
Default New to it all....Help with 160m skywire

Been lurking for a while and finally jumped in. A soon to be, hopefully after a lot of studying, new license holder. Got my new to me 25 year old rig yesterday and plan on taking my tests before Christmas. So much I want to chew on, but I値l keep this one to the spirt of the chat line.

I purchased an EFHW-8010 from Danny to get me started. I feel good about it getting me going. What I知 really interested in is building a Skyloop. I致e got 6 acres, mostly woods, but I think I have enough cleared for my septic drain field that I should be able to get a full 160m wavelength in a squarish configuration. I壇 like to go with the 40 degree delta configuration, but my canopy won稚 allow for it. I am sure I will try anyway after getting a successful square working.

I like classic things and after quite a bit of research,I was able to put together an ICOM 751a, a 2KL 500w amp, and a AT500 tuner. My plan is to try to get the antenna resonant on 160m. This is where it get fuzzy. While I will trim to get it resonant at 160m, I still think I should plan on a run of 300 ohm ladder line to a to a remote tuner which will then feed my shack, bypassing the AT500 straight to the 2KL, after running through the requisite ground block.

How does this sound? I知 learning more every day, reading as much as I can find. I though it was time to reach out to see what I知 missing and some of the potential pit fall or flat out misses in my design and from the experience of other.

Any and all help is welcomed....actually I知 begging for it. The local club meet on the 18th next month and I知 going to do my best to be there. There is also another house here about 2 miles down the ridge that has a beam up 150 feet in the air and I might just go knock on their door and hope I get some help..... Thanks in advance for reading and especially so for any replies.

Happy Holidays to all!

Carl
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-22-2017, 7:38 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,117
Default

I think the EFWH-8010 is a good choice and should work most bands like 40, 20, 15 and 10m without a tuner and it will only need a little tweaking on 80 and WARC bands.

On the 160m loop, they can work well on upper harmonic bands (with lots of lobes!) but you would need to get it way up in the air to be useful on 160m. Putting it say 30ft in the air horizontal would be like using a 9ft square loop horizontal about 2ft off the ground for CB, so imagine how that would work. If it were 60 to 120ft high and horizontal it would be a good NVIS or cloud burner on 160 and also perform well for DX on upper bands. If you can get it at least partially vertical it will then start becoming a DX antenna for 160.

I've used a trap loaded 80/160m dipole about 200ft long and up about 30ft with very poor success on 160 and when I switched to a simple 32ft vertical with auto tuner over a ground plane at the same location I finally started making some contacts.

The successful stations I'm hearing on 160m are usually using some type vertical or inverted L over a massive ground plane. If you go with something like this prepare to use a lot of wire for the ground plane or better yet use some wide strips of chicken wire or hardware cloth. Here is a great article on comparing ground radials to a ground screen: http://www.sherweng.com/documents/GroundScreen-sm.pdf

Good luck on your licensing and whatever antennas you finally choose.
prcguy



Quote:
Originally Posted by ch62 View Post
Been lurking for a while and finally jumped in. A soon to be, hopefully after a lot of studying, new license holder. Got my new to me 25 year old rig yesterday and plan on taking my tests before Christmas. So much I want to chew on, but I’ll keep this one to the spirt of the chat line.

I purchased an EFHW-8010 from Danny to get me started. I feel good about it getting me going. What I’m really interested in is building a Skyloop. I’ve got 6 acres, mostly woods, but I think I have enough cleared for my septic drain field that I should be able to get a full 160m wavelength in a squarish configuration. I’d like to go with the 40 degree delta configuration, but my canopy won’t allow for it. I am sure I will try anyway after getting a successful square working.

I like classic things and after quite a bit of research,I was able to put together an ICOM 751a, a 2KL 500w amp, and a AT500 tuner. My plan is to try to get the antenna resonant on 160m. This is where it get fuzzy. While I will trim to get it resonant at 160m, I still think I should plan on a run of 300 ohm ladder line to a to a remote tuner which will then feed my shack, bypassing the AT500 straight to the 2KL, after running through the requisite ground block.

How does this sound? I’m learning more every day, reading as much as I can find. I though it was time to reach out to see what I’m missing and some of the potential pit fall or flat out misses in my design and from the experience of other.

Any and all help is welcomed....actually I’m begging for it. The local club meet on the 18th next month and I’m going to do my best to be there. There is also another house here about 2 miles down the ridge that has a beam up 150 feet in the air and I might just go knock on their door and hope I get some help..... Thanks in advance for reading and especially so for any replies.

Happy Holidays to all!

Carl
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-03-2017, 10:02 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 7
Default

I worked on my sky loop yesterday. I was able to get a full 80m loop in a delta configuration after about 4 hours. The weather was perfect for it. This is the precursor to my full 160m loop. I worked hard to get it 60 feet high. To clear the limbs I could not reach to trim, I ended up having to drop one side 25 feet. This was a disappointment on one hand, but when I turned on the radio last night I was delighted. Carlo, i5jva was booming his massive antenna array and sounded like he was next door on 7.176. I switched to my end fed and could barley make him out over the atmospheric static, so I知 claiming a win.

I learned a lot hanging the wire. First, a simple cheap 5 dollar wrist rocket slingshot with 2oz egg weight sinkers attached to 80lb monofilament line worked great for running the 3/16 Dacron line I used as my guys. I think if I wanted to go much past 80feet high a more advanced multiple tube slightshot as seen on amazon would be the ticket. My accuracy was spot on, but I was just about at max distance shooting a bit of 60feet in the air.

I致e got a large opening cut into the wood at the top of the mountain for our septic drain field, thus I have get supports from large trees up to 100 feet tall. The challenge is the limbs that extend out in the ope toward the sunlight that are too high the reach to cut. A ladder and a trimming tool worked ok up to about 30 feet, but to accomplish my goal of a full 160m loop 60 feet up is going to be a challenge. I知 thinking through how to achieve this as I continue to study for my exams. I知 solid on the technician test and getting to the point I only need to focus on three sections on the general and I should be good to go.

I need to have my antenna ready whe I get my ticket, probably in a week. The clock is ticking......
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12-03-2017, 1:56 PM
Coyote-Frostbyte's Avatar
Member
  Shack Photos
Shack photos
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Colorado, New Mexico
Posts: 565
Default

Hi Ch62....
.
I think its great that you are going after 160.... it is a neat band but with a lot of challenges. I am particularly attracted to its unique propagation characteristics which are so often under estimated by radio hams. I like the term "The Enigma Band"- since its one frequency you have to carefully adhere to many scientific principles to make it work-- an 'enigma' to many who venture on 160 and get quickly discouraged.
.
That said, I'll not launch into a lecture. 160 was the only band (until recently) that exhibits true ground wave propagation. That is Ground Wave, in the thru sense- not the stuff most ham think of when they carelessly use that term. As such, to make it effective it almost (almost) always needs to be vertically polarized. To anyone questioning this, I ask simply- when was the last time you saw a commercial AM broadcast station with a dipole antenna?.
.
Ch62- I won't discourage your use of a large loop hortizonal antenna. But I'd also suggest, especially since you've the space for experimenting- to also consider a vertical. Even a short vertical of 30 feet, with a good ground system (something you can't escape on 160 regardless of your design) will really surprise you with its performance.
.
________________________________
.
Ok, I said I won't lecture. So here is one of my examples in anecdotal form.
.
.
This weekend was an ARRL 160 metre contest. These contest are great ways to find out first hand what 160 is all about... but if you are like me, and don't think highly of Morse Code, its a bit of a drag.
.
It was my friend Barb who informed me of this contest (I'm not a contest'er and these dates don't stick with me at all)- as she came up to my mountains for the weekend.
.
"Want to give it a try?" she ask'd
.
I have a vertical dedicated to 160 out on a hillside- its about 40 feet tall- guy'd irrigation pipe- with a big electric company pole insulator at its base. It is matched at that base with a large #12 insulated copper wire coil wound on a 6' dia. piece of PVC pipe- fed with an ancient piece of RG11.... there are ground wires of varying lengths, about an inch underground, extending haphazardly all about its base (its all rocks and miserable to dig into.)
.
I have a kilowatt amplifier, and usually operate 160 (when I do) on voice. But Barb connect'd up her laptop to my Icom and we were quickly on computer generated/decyph'rd CW.
This weekend the weather was too nice to devote it to hamming- the snow still isn't too deep on the trails to keep us from hiking.... which left us exhausted; so only about an hour the first evening went into that contest.
.
But in that hour we had made forty some "tnx U, 59N...etc..... 73" CW contacts- many as far away as the the east coast and others up into the Canadian far north.
.
800 watts, 40 foot base load'd vertical.........
.
Good Luck to you CH62.... let us know how your ventures on 160 go....
.
.
...................CF
.
.

Last edited by Coyote-Frostbyte; 12-03-2017 at 2:01 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-03-2017, 3:35 PM
popnokick's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 1,684
Default

I must have some sort of physics-defying miracle antenna for 160M. I run 100W with SSB and PSK31 on 160m, and only 30W with FT8 (which I use most of the time lately). Per my Logbook of the World entries since 1 Oct this year I have 28 160M QSOs confirmed from all over the U.S. and Canada. Most of them from the Midwest (I'm in NE PA). My "impossible" antenna? A 283 foot long Off-Center Fed Dipole running horizontally in a mostly straight line about 45 feet up in the trees from the front to the rear of my property. I'm imagining Lauri cringing now... two strikes against me with her: OCFD and horizontal antenna on 160 Meters. And prcguy is probably questioning my claims after his "very poor success" with a horizontal trap dipole on 160M. Folks, I don't know what else I can say... it works. Admittedly, the 160M QSOs are nighttime or pre-dawn.... but that's the nature of 160M, with propagation similar to the AM broadcast band. I'm willing to send my LoTW exported log if someone questions the veracity of my claim.
Why and how did I end up using an OCFD for 160 Meters? Well, the one I first put up was only 137 feet long and worked so well for 80M-6M I thought, "What the heck... I have the space to do the full 283 foot long 160-6 Meter Off-Center Fed Dipole.... so I took the short one down, replaced it with the longer one... and have been quite happy with all of it.
I guess the challenge now is to see if I can work Europe with it. I really haven't focused on that but I am getting FT8 stations from Europe in the pre-dawn hours. Just haven't been getting up early enough to see them on a regular basis. Maybe I need to QRO? Really not interested in running more than 100W though. So maybe I'm stuck working only North America on 160 with my current setup.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 12-03-2017, 8:25 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Santa Monica, Ca.
Posts: 268
Default 160 Sky Loop

A full wave loop on 160meters is two wavelengths on 80 meters and four wavelengths on forty. A lot of gain on forty.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12-03-2017, 11:19 PM
Coyote-Frostbyte's Avatar
Member
  Shack Photos
Shack photos
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Colorado, New Mexico
Posts: 565
Default

Quoting Popno--
"...I'm imagining Lauri cringing now......"
.
.
...Naw- you are just bearing out what I meant when I said that vertical polarization is - Almost- always a factor in any DX on 160.... for there are plenty of examples to the contrary.... that's what makes ham radio so interesting.
.
A horizontal wire, only several degrees above the ground is going to be pretty much a Near Vertical Radiator ("NVIS")- and for day time use with the excessive D-Layer absorption, it would be lucky to hear its signal 25 miles away; its ground wave component will be essentially zero.

However, during the winter, when darkness prevails, the skywave return possibly will drop that signal clear to the other side of the world. My attachment to the vertical is simply its a better antenna system- you can really benefit from the groundwave here-- plus, I think, they are easier to assemble and tune.
.
This weekend our best DX was from Colorado was Hawaii.... though the east coast was far stronger and easier.... but CW is always a powerful factor, irregardless. I must add, too, that on 160 I consider anything less than 500 watts QRP...
.
.
The best 160 DX from these mountains has been New Zealand-- That's on sideband-- 1200 Watts PEP... though I have operated 160 from out in the Central Pacific and done even better (a rare callsign really helps.)
.
So right now, the darkest part of the Northern Hemisphere's year- when the atmospherics and absorptions are at their lowest- and sun spots don't matter; Tis' 160 Season.
.
.

I think (??) there is another 160 contest later in the winter (a CQ sponsor'd contest in January??)... Barb mention'd it in passing-- she might try and get us involved in that one... but this time it has to be 'phone- I've had my fill of code for another next year......

.
.
.
.
.....................................CF
.
.
.

Last edited by Coyote-Frostbyte; 12-03-2017 at 11:28 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 12-04-2017, 8:09 AM
popnokick's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 1,684
Default

CF - Thanks for the comment. The ideal solution for me (which I haven't put in place yet at my station) is at least two antennas: one horizontal, the other vertical. Your point (and also made by many other hams) regarding the advantage verticals often have for DX is certainly true. I proved it to myself recently on a camping trip to a state park where all I used was a 35 foot Eagle One telescoping vertical attached to the roof ladder on my camper. I was stunned at how effective that was for DX (only so-so for under 500 miles). So the ideal solution would involve having an A-B antenna switch and the ability to quickly change from horizontal to vertical. We do this at a couple of our club's eight Field Day stations every year. Sometimes you throw the switch and same-same on both antennas. Other times wow... big difference. Last year we also "flew" an end-fed halfwave 80 meter vertical using a helium blimp. I didn't get a chance to try it on 160 because weather in the nighttime hours kept the blimp grounded.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 12-04-2017, 1:34 PM
Coyote-Frostbyte's Avatar
Member
  Shack Photos
Shack photos
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Colorado, New Mexico
Posts: 565
Default

The ability to switch antennas both for receiving and transmitting certainly can provide some surprises.
.

.
Years ago I visited a ham who was a very very serious DX'er. His station had the requisite stacked 20 metre beams at 100++ feet, but he had them spaced along the tower from about 50 feet upward. Using phasing networks and relays, not only could he use one, or all of them in phase, but he could select separate antennas at different heights individually. The arrival angle of radiation would often favor a particular elevation- and it was not always the tallest, or the largest number of beams in phase that was optimum.
.
Needless to say, this fellow could 'work' anything he heard.
.
.
That arrival/take off angle of radiation is the secret key to DX'ing... that, plus a good dose of luck.
.
______________________________________________

______________________________________________
.
.
The mention of a balloon supported antenna brought a smile. This is another anecdote- which I fear may take this off topic... but I promise, I won't elaborate on it again. I Promise !
.
(It a slow morning here..... )
.
This occurred when I was a graduate student working on a project at (to remain nameless)-- a west coast university's applied physics lab.
.
We were flying Radiosondes at a large desert test range at the invitation of the Air Force. What the 'Sondes were doing isn't important... what is important is that you take take a grad student, give her an unlimit'd supply of huge weather balloons, some big tanks of helium-- mix together and you get .... well.....
.
Every morning before the 'Sonde's launches I would file a thing call a "NTA" or Notice to Airmen with the FAA. This informed them of the times, sizes, location of launches, heights to be attain'd, -contact 'phone numbers -etc. for our huge balloons and their attendant train of equipment which trail'd from them (and Yes!..of course they had parachutes.. !) The actual size of that equipment train was always vague, since it could vary a lot--but it was simply stated as 'quite long.'
.
Part of those 'sondes needed to be protected from thermal effects, or something.... so we would wrap them in heavy aluminum foil..... we had a Lots of heavy duty alumimum foil in big, long rolls....... (does everyone see what's about to happen here?... )
.
Between regular 'sonde flights, one inquisitive, slightly bored young lady link'd balloons, helium and aluminium foil together. So--
.
.
A large balloon was filled, the end of a roll of aluminium foil attach'd--- as it stream'd slowly upward catching the morning sun-- simply put; It was a sight to see!
.
Almost from the moment it crested the low foot hills, our 'phone rang. It was the Traffic Control guys at the air base, miles and miles away.
.
"We know you are flying balloons out there, but just how BIG are they?? !"
"You are lighting up our radars all over the Range !"
.
."Ummmmm... nothing unusual" ... I lied... " must be the foil I wrapped that last one in"
.
A long pause........
.
"Well, okay....... its just we have'nt seen any of your radiosondes that look'd like THAT ! before" they said ...
..... "you guys stay cool out there in that desert"...... 'Click'
.
He probably should have add'd to stay out of the sun least "it effect your common senses...."
.
I later learned I had alter'd the Base's air traffic for about an hour- but nothing further ever came of my little stunt.
.................. I never, ever, repeated it, however.

.
.
.
..........................CF
.

Last edited by Coyote-Frostbyte; 12-04-2017 at 2:53 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2017, 5:31 AM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Santa Monica, Ca.
Posts: 268
Default 80 meter delta loop

A 80 meter delta loop puts out a booming signal on 20 meters.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2017, 1:39 PM
Coyote-Frostbyte's Avatar
Member
  Shack Photos
Shack photos
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Colorado, New Mexico
Posts: 565
Default

Thursday I made a trip to one of our sisters labs. Before leaving I couldn’t resist going thru their ‘bone yard’- the place where old projects too good to be trash’d, but still worthless, go to spend eternity. I’m always finding some gem in these collections- usually something from the “What the Heck is This?!” school- a Leaveright (as in Leave ‘er right there.)
But in the past I have also come away with things like spools of silver-plated coax cable…. Always a neat treasure hunt.
.
Anyway, I found these two sections of fiberglass poles, about 2 in diameter- 12 feet long- that thread into each other.
.
An antenna!.. Tread them together; -- there is a loading coil in the centre of professionally wound and varnished #26 (?) enamel’d wire. It looks like a maritime antenna.
.
.
“What was this used for?” I asked
.
“Good question” was my host’s response “Want it?”
.
Thinking about my recent 160 experience, I said; “Sure”
.
.
.

While I filled out the property transfer forms, they lash’d it to roof of my Blazer-- I’ve now borrow’d it for a few weeks.
.
.
Yesterday at home, out on my mesa, I set it up on my porch deck…. A coax feed to the base, the ground; a copper braid’d strap to a water faucet a few feet below. I connected my Icom 728 thru a SWR meter ……and said to myself--
.
“Now, let’s see where this resonates”
.
Optimistically, I selected my favorite spot on 160, and on low power, set my SWR meter to Forward/Tune. Then I switched to Reverse- Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The meter didn’t budge at all.. My first thoughts were that something is wrong, and check’d all the connections. Still nothing on ‘Reflect.’
.
Then it dawn’d on me- maybe QSY a bit-- and sure enuff, the SWR crept upwards…. I had found the Perfect 160 antenna !- at least SWR wise.
.
I left it all until later- like after dinner and stuff - and that evening, long after dark, I tuned across 160. Right near the antenna’s resonate ‘sweet point’ were some Californians in a round table. I broke in on them with my 100 watts-
.
“You’re a good 55 to 6 here Lauri” were their signal reports.
.
“Super !!"
.
___________________________________________
.
.
I am writing all this because it shows what a vertical antenna on 160 can do. Less than 25 feet in height, a centre loading coil, and a really mediocre ground. The antenna was probably not designed for 1.8-2Mhz (it looks like other sections can be thread’d on to it) - but still, eight hundred to a thousand miles ------- the Spirits were definitely with me yesterday evening, for that thing work’d perfectly.
.
.
.
.
…………………….CF
.

.

Last edited by Coyote-Frostbyte; 12-09-2017 at 1:44 PM..
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All information here is Copyright 2012 by RadioReference.com LLC and Lindsay C. Blanton III.Ad Management by RedTyger
Copyright 2015 by RadioReference.com LLC Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions