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dipole vs vertical antenna

sjm83651

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Dec 12, 2020
Messages
15
Hi, everybody,
I finally got around to setting up my base station this week. I decided to try out an 11 meter dipole with a 1:1 balun. Has anyone had any luck with a dipole vs a vertical antenna? From what I understand, antenna polarization doesn't seem to matter much once your signal hits the ionosphere. Thanks for the advice!
 

KB4MSZ

Billy
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Mar 12, 2018
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Tampa, Florida
Well, yes and no. In the broadside directions of the dipole, in the case of skip communications, this can possibly work out well. For local communications there is quite a penalty for being cross-polarized from the majority of stations that will be vertical. In addition, hearing (and transmitting to) stations off the ends of the dipole will be greatly reduced in either case. Height above ground (as well as proximity to surrounding objects) will also come into play as to what actual radiation pattern the antenna will have. It all depends on what your target communication type (and direction) is.
 

sjm83651

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Dec 12, 2020
Messages
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Thanks for the reply. I will be doing SSB DX work for the most part. I'm going to give it a try and see how it works. If I get poor signal reports, I will put up a vertical.
 

TailGator911

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Years ago I installed an 11-meter dipole just out of curiosity and did not like the reception on my base station CB (a Texas radio CB). I opted for the Antron-99 vertical and have used that ever since. I don't believe I have ever heard someone say they were satisfied with a dipole antenna on 11-meters. For about $100 I think you will find that the Antron-99 is the only CB antenna you will ever use for a home base station. I use it with my Galaxy DX-2547 with great results, and my vertical is just at roof level. I installed it on the other side of my house to avoid any interference on other radios when I transmit our weekly Neighborhood Watch Net. My SWR has been perfect from day one and I get check results in the 100% range. Very satisfied with this particular combination. Dipole just didn't cut it.
 

sjm83651

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Dec 12, 2020
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That's what I see on other message boards regarding dipoles. I have a Sirio vertical that I will put up if things don't work so well with the dipole.
 

WB9YBM

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From what I understand, antenna polarization doesn't seem to matter much once your signal hits the ionosphere.
True, but before this happens--when you're talking to someone before the ionosphere enters the equation (like a local) there's a certain amount of cross-polarization loss (I'm not going to get into exact numbers since there are a lot of conflicting opinions out there with everyone thinking theirs is the only "correct" answer and I'd rather not start another debate).

Mobiles typically have vertically polarized antennas, so at least for standard communications I'd recommend that approach.
 

sjm83651

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Dec 12, 2020
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I tried making some contacts on the dipole this afternoon. I talked to two stations who said my audio was scrambled. I'll take everyone's advice and put up the vertical. It was worth a try! Thanks again for the feedback!
 

prcguy

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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
A horizontal dipole should work anywhere from fine to great for skip. The key is to have it at a half wavelength or multiple above ground like 18ft, 36ft, etc. That will keep the takeoff angle low where the same dipole 8ft off the ground will put more signal straight up to the clouds than towards the horizon or a favorable low skip angle. There should be little difference between a vertical half wave antenna like an A99 or A/S Starduster and a horizontal half wave dipole when talking skip.
 

slowmover

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What of inverted dipole?
A horizontal dipole should work anywhere from fine to great for skip. The key is to have it at a half wavelength or multiple above ground like 18ft, 36ft, etc. That will keep the takeoff angle low where the same dipole 8ft off the ground will put more signal straight up to the clouds than towards the horizon or a favorable low skip angle. There should be little difference between a vertical half wave antenna like an A99 or A/S Starduster and a horizontal half wave dipole when talking skip.
Why not an inverted dipole? I’m new to reading on base antennas, and have the impression that this is an acceptable start where getting a horizontal up high is a problem.

.
 

prcguy

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The pattern on an inverted V is a little different and more omni directional but they work ok. Its best to have the ends up high and the feedpoint low but most are opposite due to mounting restrictions.

What of inverted dipole?


Why not an inverted dipole? I’m new to reading on base antennas, and have the impression that this is an acceptable start where getting a horizontal up high is a problem.

.
 

FPR1981

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Feb 1, 2021
Messages
547
I have used dipoles successfully many times over the last 25 years. I had one polarized vertically and a shot up to the top of a 100-year-old oak tree. It talked as good as any Big Stick, A99 or Starduster. Height is might, and you can polarize them however you want. A dipole can be a great antenna
 

nd5y

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Dec 19, 2002
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Wichita Falls, TX
Maybe I'm missing something here, but dipoles are usually horizontal--a straight line
A dipole can be in any orientation. Not just horizontal and not necessarily a straight line.
If your main intention is working mobiles with vertically polarized antennas then a dipole should be as straight and vertical as possible.
 

KEWB-N1EXA

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Acushnet Heights District New Bedford, MA
The pattern on an inverted V is a little different and more omni directional but they work ok. Its best to have the ends up high and the feedpoint low but most are opposite due to mounting restrictions.
This is an example of an inverted V dipole that I use for 10 and 11 meters - They work just fine for Local traffic and DX.
I can talk SSB 10-15 miles to another base with no issues and do DX Also.

I made mine out of Electrical PVC pipe so It flexes in the high wind or when it gets iced up.
I also have a Tram1411 with CB band .... Its pretty Useless for putting out a good signal.

Pete N1EXA Former KQX9282
 

Attachments

WB9YBM

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A dipole can be in any orientation. Not just horizontal and not necessarily a straight line.
Not meaning to nit-pick but when it's not in a straight line, wouldn't it be a "V" or "L" or whatever shape it looks like when it's up?
 

FPR1981

Active Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
547
Years ago I installed an 11-meter dipole just out of curiosity and did not like the reception on my base station CB (a Texas radio CB). I opted for the Antron-99 vertical and have used that ever since. I don't believe I have ever heard someone say they were satisfied with a dipole antenna on 11-meters. For about $100 I think you will find that the Antron-99 is the only CB antenna you will ever use for a home base station. I use it with my Galaxy DX-2547 with great results, and my vertical is just at roof level. I installed it on the other side of my house to avoid any interference on other radios when I transmit our weekly Neighborhood Watch Net. My SWR has been perfect from day one and I get check results in the 100% range. Very satisfied with this particular combination. Dipole just didn't cut it.
I've owned two A99s, and both worked great when they worked. For the money, and ease of use, they do what they're intended to do. Much of Sirio's aluminum stuff blows them away. My GPE 27 5/8-wave outperforms my A99's from the past, but an A99 is, again, easy to use and easy to tune.

They're not 8db, or even 8dbi like the manufacturer claims, but they're decent. At least Solarcon hasn't messed with them like they have the IMAX.

But getting back to dipoles, I've had nothing but good luck with them. I don't know how someone could mess one up. I had a vertical dipole that was 50-feet-up in an oak tree and it hung with any A99 on the air at the time. Most people use them indoors as a compromise, which will not hang with an outdoor vertical in any circumstance. Yeah, tuned right, it'll beat a magnet mount mobile on the roof any day, but you're already at a handicap with that application.

I have a vertical dipole that I made out of household extension cord, 15 feet off the ground, and I make contact with stations in other surrounding counties. Dipoles suck trying to mount vertically if you don't have a tree, but with the right mounting location, they will talk.
 
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Michigan
Long ago I had a friend that had a tree limb take out some of his (original) 4 element shooting star beam. So I took the vertical driven elements with the gamma match, made some modifications to it and hung it off the side of my mast pipe (20' on top of a 40' tower) and once tuned it became the best antenna I ever owned.
I did a lot of testing that summer with every available (which was most of them) vertical antenna made at the time (80's~90's) and what do you know??? Everybody who helped me test formed an opinion and I ended up making about 30 more...
Oh and a note for those that "think" running any length of coax doesn't matter... Yeah well my testing with different lengths of Belden 9913 proved that a "tuned" length of coax made all the difference in the sport!... So much so that most thought I was running an amplifier but alas I did not own one and was only running a "slightly modified" SuperStar 360FM with a Sure studio mike and a foot switch. Oh and I used a MFJ-259B.

"Buzz"
 

prcguy

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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
We don't "think" we know, we know without a doubt that your coax is a radiating part of the antenna and that needs to be fixed. In your case it was using a half wave dipole with gamma match and no choke balun and you simply "proved" that you need a choke balun. The dipole is a balanced antenna and the coax is not so the coax becomes a radiating part of the antenna "system" unless its decoupled from the antenna.

You never want the coax to be a radiating part of the antenna and if you put an effective ferrite choke balun at the feedpoint and not a useless length of coax coiled up, you will isolate the coax from the dipole and the coax length will not matter because its not an antenna radiator any longer.

"We" actually know more than you "think" we know but we just don't tell you until something like this comes up. And if you had asked earlier "we" could have saved you a bunch of hassle "tuning" your coax and pointed you in the right direction saving you a bunch of silly work.

Oh and a note for those that "think" running any length of coax doesn't matter... Yeah well my testing with different lengths of Belden 9913 proved that a "tuned" length of coax made all the difference in the sport!... So much so that most thought I was running an amplifier but alas I did not own one and was only running a "slightly modified" SuperStar 360FM with a Sure studio mike and a foot switch. Oh and I used a MFJ-259B.

"Buzz"
 
Last edited:

toolman60

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
244
Location
King and Queen Virginia
PRCGUY,

Great advise on the balun. My new elmer just went thru all of this with me to help me build to resonant dipole (wire antenna's) and we also trying to do a rotatable dipole for 6m from a Moonraker IV elements I have stockpiled.
 
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