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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 05-30-2017, 8:33 AM
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Default Dipole antennas ?

Hello guys, looking for a replacement for my G5RV....

After I moved it up higher in a tree, had a couple storms come through here and destroyed it, so looking for some ideas what to replace it with, and to maybe do a better job...I like the 20, 40, and 75m bands the most...
Have a ground plane for 10-17m bands.....looking to build something else.....what do you all recommend going too ?...
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:08 AM
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A multiband dipole made with a wire for each band and spacers would be easy to build. Remember to put the longest band on top and trim the dipoles form the bottom (shortest) to the top. The higher up the better.

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Old 05-30-2017, 12:20 PM
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Don't forget to investigate the Windom / Off-Center Dipole. They offer gain over a dipole, are a single wire, and are coax fed keeping installation very simple. Operation, installation, and more details on Windom antennas here - Windom Antenna Home Page, and Handbook
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Old 05-30-2017, 5:27 PM
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I have one of the Buxcomm OCF antennas. Very well built. But you have to install it per their instructions or it won't work very well.
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Old 05-30-2017, 6:37 PM
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Your inquiry, no doubt, KD8NIV, will elicit all sorts of suggestions-- so in that spirit I offer my favorite- the Vertical.
.
If you have the room for a ground plane matrix, and fairly good earth conditions (I will spare the Brewster Angles and such theory, etc etc)- the vertical antenna, especially for 7, 3.7 and 1.8 Mhz- will, I can promise, ---surprise you with how well it works.
.
I am talking about a vertical radiator, 20-40 feet high with an auto-tuner at its base. Auto tuners don't come cheap- but a good one will last you for years, and countless other antennas. These styled antennas are my first choice, both as an amateur and professionally.
.
.....Nice thing about them- they present a low profile- ie; the wind and trees are less likely to take them down. If your interest strays to 160, a vertical is essential for its polarization-- an absolute 'must' for true ground wave.
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there -------------another voice, heard ....
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........................CF
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Old 05-31-2017, 6:53 AM
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The antenna you choose will depend on what kind of propagation you want or need. A vertical over an adequate ground plane as CF describes will generally outperform a low dipole on DX, especially in the 40 through 20m and maybe 17m band. However you will give up regional comms in the 100 to 500mi or more range on 40, 60 and 80m due to the vertical having an upward null and poor propagation in the NVIS mode.

A dipole at heights that most hams can manage like horizontal between maybe 20 and 35ft off the ground will give you lots more signal in the 100-500mi range on 40/60/80m and will also work good DX on most bands above 80m. 160 is a bit tricky and for small or low antennas a vertical over a good ground plane will always work better.

I ran a G5RV at about 30ft high for many years and then discovered the ZS6BKW, which is a modern computer designed version that has a good match on most bands from 40 through 6m without a tuner and 80m with a tuner. This is a big plus if you have a long feed line as it will avoid high coax loss when its operated into a lousy match like the G5RV has on most bands. I ran the ZS6BKW for years and was very happy with it.

I've also used just about every other kind of wire antenna from various end feds to fan dipoles OCFDs, double bazooka, etc and finally settled on an 80m offset center fed dipole from MyAntennas. Its hard to tell the difference between it and the ZS6BKW on most bands but 80m seems better with most bands having a better match and there is no ladder line to deal with. It just works great and the type of balun MyAntennas uses for their OCFDs is said to be the best design.

I still run a ZS6BKW at a remote controlled site along with a 43ft vertical over lots of ground radials and can compare various antennas from the west coast to the east coast near Boston. The remote 43ft vertical does outperform the ZS6BKW on 40 through 20m coast to coast but the ZS6BKW works better on all other bands coast to coast except for 160, where the vertical does surprisingly well with 100w. The 43ft vertical is too long for bands above about 17m and if it were shortened to half its length it would probably outperform the ZS6BKW on the higher bands.

When listening to 40/80m stuff around the east coast the ZS6BKW hears lots of stations that don't exist on the vertical. The bottom line is a good horizontal multi band dipole will give you more options and cover more territory than just a vertical. Its best to have both if you have the space.

At home I now supplement my 80m OCFD with a Hexbeam from NA4RR and just love it. Any horizontal wire you put up for HF will be directional and different on the various bands and once its up you can't point it. Even though the Hexbeam is not a high gain antenna it consistently gives me about 2 S units better signal on 20 through 10m DX compared to the wire antenna simply because I can point it and make the best use of its gain compared to fixed dipoles.

My best suggestion is get a ZS6BKW or 80m OCFD if you can only have one antenna and get one of everything if you have the space!
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:42 AM
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Thanks Prcguy. that G5RV I ran seem to have done really well for me when it was hung at 30' off the ground, ( in which I liked the 20m band better than the others ), probably should have left it there, but I didn't, tried to get it to perform better and be able to work stations over in Europe, but after I moved it, I didn't have the room to extend the one leg out far enough to do any good with it, but the other leg was out flat, but the storms came in and destroyed it before I could make the changes needed...

But I have read alot of good things about the ZS6BKW dipole, may just get some wire and build one of these, the ladder that was on the G5RV line looks to be ok and the coax is all still good, its the wire that is junked out..
If I go with one of these, it will hang on the mountain side like the G5RV was the first time, about 30-35' high and be flat across, even tho the other dipole was like this, didn't get into Europe very often....

Have also been looking at a end fed dipole, 10-80m bands from My Antennas, and if I go this route, it will be hung on the mountain side as well, but in a different direction...don't no if this would make a differences or not, the mountain side is where I have room for a dipole, in the yard, small lot here, and power lines in the yard as well, puts a damper on just about all antennas for me........I'm down in a hole here between the mountains, and it is a struggle to talk to anyone in the NE and East directions..
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:06 AM
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Ok say I build one of these ZS6BKW dipoles, what size wire should I use, prefer going with insulated, we have a lot of ice, and hard winds here too.....

The spot this will end up been hanging in after it's all said and done will be on a mountain side in a opening, most likely hanging about 30 degrees off the North and same for the South directions...
Height wise, between the tree's should be able to get 30-40' on the sides...probably get it higher than this, just a guessing...

Insulators, I have a few one these laying around, but after seeing how the one I had in the center was sheared into, makes me wonder wither to use these I have or not...

Ladder line, the G5RV has the solid copper wire on it, guessing a 14ga maybe, it still looks good, guessing its about 32' long, haven't checked it yet ...

Coax, I still have the 120' of LMR 400UF coax.....didn't use a balun before, just the connector where the LL and coax meets...

The wire on my G5RV, was going to try and use it, but after taking it down and looking at it closer, it is brittle, needs replaced anyways....

My questions.......
What ga insulated wire should I use to build this dipole ?...( need it to be strong )...
Ladder line, solid or stranded, and what ga ?...
Should I use a Balun ?...
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:28 AM
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You must use a balun with the ZS6BKW. And note that the ladder line needs to be longer than it was on your G5RV.... and must be a least a foot off the ground on the balun end. Hope that's not a problem. If it is, look again at the Windom / OCF dipole.
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Old 06-02-2017, 6:48 PM
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14ga copper wire is typical but a hurricane that went through MA ripped one of my ZS6BKWs to shreds. I made a replacement using Davis RF 13ga copper clad steel antenna wire and its held up fine for years.

Insulated vs non insulated wire will change the length slightly and I generally make the antenna about 93ft overall with non insulated wire with a slightly longer ladder line section, then trim the ladder line so the antenna resonates in the lower part of the 40m band.

As mentioned you will need a good 1:1 choke balun at the ladder line/coax junction.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KD8NIV View Post
Ok say I build one of these ZS6BKW dipoles, what size wire should I use, prefer going with insulated, we have a lot of ice, and hard winds here too.....

The spot this will end up been hanging in after it's all said and done will be on a mountain side in a opening, most likely hanging about 30 degrees off the North and same for the South directions...
Height wise, between the tree's should be able to get 30-40' on the sides...probably get it higher than this, just a guessing...

Insulators, I have a few one these laying around, but after seeing how the one I had in the center was sheared into, makes me wonder wither to use these I have or not...

Ladder line, the G5RV has the solid copper wire on it, guessing a 14ga maybe, it still looks good, guessing its about 32' long, haven't checked it yet ...

Coax, I still have the 120' of LMR 400UF coax.....didn't use a balun before, just the connector where the LL and coax meets...

The wire on my G5RV, was going to try and use it, but after taking it down and looking at it closer, it is brittle, needs replaced anyways....

My questions.......
What ga insulated wire should I use to build this dipole ?...( need it to be strong )...
Ladder line, solid or stranded, and what ga ?...
Should I use a Balun ?...
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Old 06-03-2017, 4:10 PM
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It really sucks not having the room here, problem I had with the G5RV in the yard was getting it hung high enough to keep the ladder line off the ground....and I'm sure I'd have the same problem with a ZS6BKW dipole too.....all I have to hang the ladder line on to keep it off the ground is my back porch, I had the LL from the G5RV hanging on it 1st time...

Bad as I hate to, looks like I'll have to go with something else and loose the 75/80m band, all due to the room I have to work with and to stay away from the power lines...

Have roughly 90' max, if I hang it flat in a straight line, thats all I can go without going under the power lines, and for the height, I can get right at 32ft, and it will drop some as it crosses the yard, probably drop to about 20-25' on the other end, which would be on the side of a telephone pole......this is all I have to play with for room...
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Old 06-04-2017, 10:03 AM
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The ladder line on a ZS6BKW is a little over 40ft long but on any of these type antennas you can bring the ladder line off the antenna sideways to the radio area. Most of the run on my remote radio and another ZS6 I had at work ran horizontal in the air most of the way to my radios.
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Originally Posted by KD8NIV View Post
It really sucks not having the room here, problem I had with the G5RV in the yard was getting it hung high enough to keep the ladder line off the ground....and I'm sure I'd have the same problem with a ZS6BKW dipole too.....all I have to hang the ladder line on to keep it off the ground is my back porch, I had the LL from the G5RV hanging on it 1st time...

Bad as I hate to, looks like I'll have to go with something else and loose the 75/80m band, all due to the room I have to work with and to stay away from the power lines...

Have roughly 90' max, if I hang it flat in a straight line, thats all I can go without going under the power lines, and for the height, I can get right at 32ft, and it will drop some as it crosses the yard, probably drop to about 20-25' on the other end, which would be on the side of a telephone pole......this is all I have to play with for room...
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Old 06-04-2017, 4:24 PM
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Sounds good......the ladder line from my old G5RV looks to be a 18ga solid copper wire, and still in good shape, the wire on the dipole looks pretty good from what I can tell.....

Will it cause any issues if I just use the ladderline I have and add some to it?....
Or should I just replace it with one piece all together...

Just going to build a ZS6BKW dipole, at least it will give me some room, I'll figure something out with the ladder line...

Awhile back, the power company came in here and moved all there lines on a taller power pole on the hill side above the shack, and ask me if I wanted them to removed the pole behind this taller one, I told them no I could use it if they wanted to leave it, so thats what they did....this pole is behind there pole, but out to the right side a little, just enough for me to tie the rope off for the dipole to hang on it...this pole, is on the edge of the hill just up out of the yard here, and using it and the mast pipe I have out on the other end, may get roughly 35' height...

So, if I went with insulated wire, will that affect the rx or tx on this dipole ?...
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Old 06-04-2017, 5:43 PM
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The antenna will slightly shorter using insulated wire, maybe 1% or a little more. I've made several about 93ft long with insulated wire that tune up just fine.
prcguy

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Originally Posted by KD8NIV View Post
Sounds good......the ladder line from my old G5RV looks to be a 18ga solid copper wire, and still in good shape, the wire on the dipole looks pretty good from what I can tell.....

Will it cause any issues if I just use the ladderline I have and add some to it?....
Or should I just replace it with one piece all together...

Just going to build a ZS6BKW dipole, at least it will give me some room, I'll figure something out with the ladder line...

Awhile back, the power company came in here and moved all there lines on a taller power pole on the hill side above the shack, and ask me if I wanted them to removed the pole behind this taller one, I told them no I could use it if they wanted to leave it, so thats what they did....this pole is behind there pole, but out to the right side a little, just enough for me to tie the rope off for the dipole to hang on it...this pole, is on the edge of the hill just up out of the yard here, and using it and the mast pipe I have out on the other end, may get roughly 35' height...

So, if I went with insulated wire, will that affect the rx or tx on this dipole ?...
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Old 06-07-2017, 8:41 AM
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I still haven't decided for sure what to put up here in the yard yet, I no I had problems keeping the ladderline off the ground before here in the yard...

Have also been looking at a OCF dipole, which is insulated, hoping to improve what I end up getting, problem I have is I won't put anything on the mountain side until fall gets here, too many snakes crawling up there now...
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Old 06-14-2017, 8:31 AM
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I hooked up my homebrew 40m dipole yesterday, it's up about 32ft on one end and sags a little as it crosses the yard, to a pole on the other end, and boy what a differences it is from the G5RV and where I had it on the mountain side, don't have much to listen too, all those big signals I used to get on the people on 40m I used to talk to is all gone down to like a 22 signal report, from a 59+ report...

Kinda makes me wonder if I out some other dipole up here if it will be the same way....
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Old 06-14-2017, 4:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KD8NIV View Post
I hooked up my homebrew 40m dipole yesterday, it's up about 32ft on one end and sags a little as it crosses the yard, to a pole on the other end, and boy what a differences it is from the G5RV and where I had it on the mountain side, don't have much to listen too, all those big signals I used to get on the people on 40m I used to talk to is all gone down to like a 22 signal report, from a 59+ report...

Kinda makes me wonder if I out some other dipole up here if it will be the same way....
I live in a pretty crowded neighborhood and I don't have much in the way of real estate to set up an HF antenna. Although my next project will be a mag loop, I've been using an OCF dipole at about 28' center and 10' on the ends. While far from ideal, I been able to make some decent contacts with it. It's cut for 40M max and tunes fine on my FT450D without a tuner. It might be work a try.
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Old 06-27-2017, 6:21 PM
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After doing some research on this EFHW 8010 end fed antenna, I went with one of them....

Put it up this morning, the transformer is about 6' off the ground, and runs up to my mast pipe where it's 32' high, I used a glass insulator here, and it is connected to the rope on the bracket, and I used a couple zip ties and put the wire inside this and allowed the ties to be little loose so the wire would be able to move, and the wire antenna runs out front to a tree at the edge of my yard and have the rope over a tree limb, and tied the rope to a plastic bucket with holes in the bottom for water to drain out, and put a couple rocks in it, so as the wind blows the wire can move as needed...this end is about 20' off the ground....

I did use my auto tuner on the antenna 1st, mainly due to the transformer been in the yard and close to all the metal, in which it did good, the metal didn't have any affect on it as it seemed anyways....then I took the auto tuner out of line, and now just using the tuner inside my 450D radio, and it does tune like Danny says it does, check this out all over the bands, and swr runs a 1.1 or less....1st contact I made on it was to BC, Canada on 20m this morning....will try it out and see how it does...

But do plan on moving the transformer soon, and getting it up out of the yard to a tree...going to leave it like this for awhile and see how it does for now....
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Old 06-27-2017, 9:26 PM
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I will look for you on the bands around the 4th of
July .
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Old 06-27-2017, 9:57 PM
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In addition to a Hustler 6-BTV vertical, I also use a 124' Maple Leaf Studios "QSO-King" end-fed antenna that's up about 25' and plays quite well.

Mike....KK2DOG
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