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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 05-07-2017, 11:29 PM
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Default Need a little help picking a good antenna!

I just got my first HF rig (Yaesu FT-450D), I need some advice on a antenna. I know the G5RV is a great wire but I am raising a tower, so any kind of vertical for that coverage? I have a Tram 1411 and a Antron 99 that I am going to use with my KG-UV950 for 2m, 6m, 10m and 70cm. don't really know if those will work for anything or not. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:00 AM
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What bands do you want to cover? Are you interested in only DX or do you need more regional coverage over several hundred mi?
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I just got my first HF rig (Yaesu FT-450D), I need some advice on a antenna. I know the G5RV is a great wire but I am raising a tower, so any kind of vertical for that coverage? I have a Tram 1411 and a Antron 99 that I am going to use with my KG-UV950 for 2m, 6m, 10m and 70cm. don't really know if those will work for anything or not. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:23 AM
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I guess the most popular, 6m, 10m, 20m and 40m bands, don't really know, this is my first time doing HF.
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Old 05-08-2017, 12:34 PM
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Most HF verticals are very disappointing compared to horizontal wire types unless you have lots of room for ground wires or a ground screen. Size is everything on HF and if its really big like a 43ft vertical with lots of ground wires and fed with an auto tuner at the base you will get reasonable performance for its size on 160 through about 17m. A smaller 18ft or less vertical will completely suck on 80m, 40m will be marginal and the upper bands will probably be ok.

Some multiband verticals like the Comet CHA250B are dreadful. Some multiband no ground types like the Cushcraft R7 series work ok but with any vertical you give up the roughly 100 to 500mi range that you get with modest wire types like 1/2 wave dipoles, G5RV, ZS6BKW, offset center feds, etc, but you need some horizontal space for those.

A good commercially made multiband vertical will cost a few $$ new but you still give up that 100 to 500mi range that a simple dipole or fairly inexpensive G5RV will give you on 40 and 80m. You also have to consider what kind of match each antenna provides to see if you will need an antenna tuner to make it work.

You can make many different kinds of multiband wire antennas for not much $$ that can give you a lifetime of enjoyment and that's probably a good place to start. Your Antron 99 can supplement a horizontal wire for better 10m performance.

Antennas are a fascinating subject with lots of sales hype (lies) and differing opinions. It would be great if there were an old guy ham near you with several types of antennas to demonstrate so you can get some hands on ideas of what is best for you.
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I guess the most popular, 6m, 10m, 20m and 40m bands, don't really know, this is my first time doing HF.
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Old 05-08-2017, 4:45 PM
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Thank You very much for your information. I have plenty of room for a dipole. That will be the route I go. I already have a MFJ 941E tuner and the FT-450D has a auto tuner in it. So I should be good there. I have a good supply of 9913 for coax.
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Old 05-08-2017, 6:24 PM
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For 80 through 10m and even 6m I would suggest a ZS6BKW, which is a modern computer designed version of a G5RV. Its about 93ft long and has a reasonable match on 40, 20, 17, 12, 10 and 6m and with a tuner it provides good performance on 80m.

You can make one with about 40ft of 450 ohm ladder line and 100ft of wire, plus it needs a good 1:1 choke balun at the junction of the ladder line and your coax. You can make a very good choke balun with a $10 ferrite toroid core and wrap 10 turns of coax around it.

I ran a G5RV for many years then upgraded to a ZS6BKW and was very happy with it. I recently changed to a MyAntennas 133ft long offset center fed dipole, which seems to work a little better on 80m and about the same as the ZS6BKW on the other bands plus its got a near perfect match on 40, 20 and a few other bands without a tuner. I think the type of transformer MyAntennas uses for their OCFD is the best, having good rejection of commom mode currents on your coax and it worked great right out of the box.

You can make an OCFD with just some wire, a 4:1 balun and common mode choke. You can make an excellent 4:1 balun that will handle about 150w for less than $5 and use the same choke mentioned above for about $10.

Either of the antennas mentioned placed 15 to 35ft in the air horizontal make a great regional antenna on 40 and 80m saturating everything within 0 to 500mi, plus they work fine for DX, although height becomes more critical there and 33ft would be a very good height for 20m and 10m DX without giving up the local or NVIS properties. Both would also provide a reasonable match for the tuner in your FT-460, where a G5RV can be out of range for some radios to tune.

There are a lot more antennas to consider but I have had very good results from the ZS6BKW and 80m OCFD. I did recently get a 20 through 6m Hexbeam from NA4RR to supplement my 80m OCFD and am very pleased with that. One problem with a wire antenna is you can't steer it to make the best use of its gain lobes on the higher bands. The Hexbeam allows me to target whatever I want on the upper bands and in some cases gives me upwards of 2 S units better signal on those bands over the horizontal wire in a very small package that is big city friendly.
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Originally Posted by Bubba1661 View Post
Thank You very much for your information. I have plenty of room for a dipole. That will be the route I go. I already have a MFJ 941E tuner and the FT-450D has a auto tuner in it. So I should be good there. I have a good supply of 9913 for coax.
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Old 05-09-2017, 5:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba1661 View Post
Thank You very much for your information. I have plenty of room for a dipole. That will be the route I go. I already have a MFJ 941E tuner and the FT-450D has a auto tuner in it. So I should be good there. I have a good supply of 9913 for coax.
Remember to only use one tuner or the other. Do not try to use both, at the same time.

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Old 05-09-2017, 8:11 AM
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Default first antenna

The NA4RR hex beam is a good choice. The mystery ant. by the wireman and others a good choice. It has 6 db gain on 20 meters and is 10 -80 meters.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:10 AM
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Thanks for the added advice!
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