Good vertical antenna.

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JeramyJ

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Well folks, I am trying to find a decent vertical antenna that might fit in my attic. I have searched and read some older threads but found only one real decent one short enough to fit in my attic. The Chameleon : CHA V2L

They have two that look promising. I would like an antenna that is useable, with a tuner, on as many frequencies as possible. I like to listen in on 11 Meters once in a while and 10 Meters of course but when I can I would like to be able to use that same antenna for other bands as well. I realize there are concessions to be made with a vertical but the idea of falling through my ceiling to my doom is enough to keep me out of much of the attic!

I have right at about 12 feet of vertical space that tops out at about 36 feet high. Usint 100 feet of LMR 400 as feedline. Any other ideas?

I Have tried the QSO King, end fed dipole from Ebay with a 36 foot wire and find it barely useable for some reason, even hung outside. Apparently I was advised by the maker that I need a much longer wire. I will add that but I also would like to have a vertical for use.
 

JeramyJ

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Well, I suppose it depends on what one needs. Some I have read about like the Imax 2000 need none but I assume if I use a mobile antenna type I will need some sort of ground plane. Either wires or a metal dish of some sort I have hear used. Would prefer one without a need for ground plane.
 

WA0CBW

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I have not seen or used that antenna but from the description and picture it looks very much like a vertical dipole. The single radial probably acts more like the other half of the dipole. This is a 10/11 meter antenna but with a GOOD tuner might stretch a little farther. Its performance will degrade noticeable the farther you get from 10/11 meters. You could easily make one for less than what it costs.
 

JeramyJ

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I have not seen or used that antenna but from the description and picture it looks very much like a vertical dipole. The single radial probably acts more like the other half of the dipole. This is a 10/11 meter antenna but with a GOOD tuner might stretch a little farther. Its performance will degrade noticeable the farther you get from 10/11 meters. You could easily make one for less than what it costs.
Excellent point. I will take a second look in the attic and see where I might hang a dipole from. Maybe in an L shape. I am trying to go vertical because having it laid out horizontally has not worked well on the little end fed one I have. I have plenty of wire though and it should be fairly easy to string something up. PLans abound on the net. Was looking for something I can mount permanently but it appears I am limited in height.
 

JeramyJ

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Check out Zero-Five GP antennas. I have the 10-40 GP and it works great. No extra radials needed. Mine sits on a 10ft piece of electrical conduit and sunk into the ground about 2-3ft.

GROUND PLANE VERTICALS | ZEROFIVE-ANTENNAS


Nice. Thanks for posting. That thing is over 20 feet tall though! No way that will fit in the attic. I have about 12 feet of vertical space. Maybe 13. About 17 at an angle. I can run horizontal wires all over but would rather not crawl around up there because the drop from there is 25 feet!
 

JeramyJ

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I think I found one! Hy gain AV-12AVQ! WOohoo! Might just fit the bill for an easy to put up vertical. Will take a look in the space above tonight first.
 

SCPD

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No way that will fit in the attic.
Doh! Sorry didn't read the OP carefully. Hmm... I would say you're kind of screwed there. :D

j/k

But seriously, the thing is... if you can't hear them you can't work them... so your Rx performance will be bad and the Tx performance won't be any better.

I suppose you could go with a screwdriver antenna mounted in the attic. Get one of the Hi-Q versions with massive coils... to get the best Q for your buck.
 

JeramyJ

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Doh! Sorry didn't read the OP carefully. Hmm... I would say you're kind of screwed there. :D

j/k

But seriously, the thing is... if you can't hear them you can't work them... so your Rx performance will be bad and the Tx performance won't be any better.

I suppose you could go with a screwdriver antenna mounted in the attic. Get one of the Hi-Q versions with massive coils... to get the best Q for your buck.
Thats an idea. The Hi-Q Piranha -4 looks promising! With a whip it should be under 12 feet. Hmmm. Fairly expensive but looks to cover a broad range with the use of two separate whips at different heights. Thanks for that.
 

prcguy

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If you had bad luck with the QSO King antenna you will be really disappointed with a Chameleon V2 or any other no ground plane vertical like the Comet CHA250B, etc. Most of these are a 6:1 or 9;1 balun with a vertical element or in the Chameleon V2 a short helical wound fiberglass whip. An end fed wire antenna with 9:1 balun can work ok but it needs something close to 1/2 wavelength of wire on the lowest band you want to operate, otherwise it can be quite a compromise. The QSO King with only 36ft of wire would not do well on 40/80m, it needs a lot more wire.

With the limited vertical space and the desire for a vertical antenna, I would recommend a good mobile screwdriver and line as much of you attic floor with chicken wire for a ground plane. You can also shorten the top whip on a screwdriver with a capacity hat and if the hat is 6 or 8ft diameter and above the coil a foot or two it can work like a 20ft whip above the coil.

Several friends of mine had bad experiences with Hi-Q antennas and one friend was threatened with a lawsuit by the owner of Hi-Q from posting his experience on Eham. I would rather not give a guy like that any of my money and I've found Tarheel antennas to be very good and Scorpion also gets very high ratings.

Anyway, I've done a lot of experiments with my Tarheel 100HP on a large pickup replacing the top whip with a short mast and large capacity hats and it can put out a very respectable signal on the difficult lower bands like 80 and 40m. Sometimes its one of the loudest signals on a coast to coast 40m net I usually check into and there are a lot of base stations competing for the best signal.

Make sure your roof is totally transparent to RF, otherwise you will spend a lot of time and money for an attic antenna that may never perform. Good luck with whatever you end up with.
prcguy
 
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SCPD

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Yes there are several reputable vendors of screwdriver antennas...

Hi-Q
Tarheel Antennas
Scorpion Antennas
...even Comet sells one now.

Like PRCGuy suggests, Hi-Q seems to have a love/hate relationship with people. I was planning to pick up a screwdriver (Little Tarheel II) for my mobile setup but never got around to it.
 

mm

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If you really want to do it right then limit your bands from everything hf to 3 or 4 hf bands and check some PAR end fed antennas and a 3 or 4 position antenna switch and mount the PARS in a radial fashion going out from the center of your attic and your all set on 4 or 5 bands depending on the antenna switch and how many inputs it has.

The Par end feds will better than any of the other antennas that you were thinking of.

I just checked and PAR is now LNR PRECISION and they make a 3 band 10/15/2- dual band end fed, remember you can install a PAR at an angle between vertical and horizontal and it should work fine.
 
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prcguy

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I agree the PAR end fed antennas are much better than the Ebay snake oil sellers but the tri band version is only rated at 25w. A 40m mono band is 66ft long and the OP wants a vertical that will fit in 12ft of vertical space.

I have several PAR models but found you can make them for just a few $$ as some European sites have dissected them and posted instructions on how to make higher power multiband versions. I use a home made 100w rated 40-20-10m version bicycle portable 5 days a week and am about to head out to find a new tree in a nice park somewhere to toss my wire out as I write this.
prcguy


If you really want to do it right then limit your bands from everything hf to 3 or 4 hf bands and check some PAR end fed antennas and a 3 or 4 position antenna switch and mount the PARS in a radial fashion going out from the center of your attic and your all set on 4 or 5 bands depending on the antenna switch and how many inputs it has.

The Par end feds will better than any of the other antennas that you were thinking of.

I just checked and PAR is now LNR PRECISION and they make a 3 band 10/15/2- dual band end fed, remember you can install a PAR at an angle between vertical and horizontal and it should work fine.
 

SGO

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I agree the PAR end fed antennas are much better than the Ebay snake oil sellers but the tri band version is only rated at 25w..
prcguy
Ebay is a selling platform. I've seen good and bad stuff over there. I've purchased a lot of things on Ebay and I never got disappointed because before buying I was doing my researches.

I used to have the same attic problem as you several years ago. Attic vertical antennas are not the very best specially for HF. Even if a lot of people are using it the V2L might not be the best choice for your specially if you've no room to install a good ground plane.

If you're limited and can't install descent radials/counterpoises system then you might want to try to build a Zepp antenna and install it directly on your roof in a circular pattern ONLY if you do not have any metal structure in it. Zepp antennas are very forgiving and have an integrated counterpoises system or matching section at the base of the radiating wire. If you can build one then you can purchase a good one from those guys for about $100:

CHA ZEPP
Chameleon Antenna CHA ZEPP | Chameleon Zepp Antenna Designed For Apartments
 

prcguy

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Yes Ebay is just a sales outlet but it attracts a lot of antenna peddlers that make super fantastic claims about their products that seem to defy physics. I just don't trust them. Nor do I trust owners of antenna companies that always have a link to an advertisement for their product, like we don't see right through that....
prcguy

Ebay is a selling platform. I've seen good and bad stuff over there. I've purchased a lot of things on Ebay and I never got disappointed because before buying I was doing my researches.

I used to have the same attic problem as you several years ago. Attic vertical antennas are not the very best specially for HF. Even if a lot of people are using it the V2L might not be the best choice for your specially if you've no room to install a good ground plane.

If you're limited and can't install descent radials/counterpoises system then you might want to try to build a Zepp antenna and install it directly on your roof in a circular pattern ONLY if you do not have any metal structure in it. Zepp antennas are very forgiving and have an integrated counterpoises system or matching section at the base of the radiating wire. If you can build one then you can purchase a good one from those guys for about $100:

CHA ZEPP
Chameleon Antenna CHA ZEPP | Chameleon Zepp Antenna Designed For Apartments
 

JeramyJ

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Well, the Zep and PAR antennas mentioned above seem promising as well! Maybe I should just add decking up there so I can run all over adding antennas on a whim! That would be some serious work though. The one area that sits at 30 feet or so is 40 feet by 24 feet and 12 to 13 feet of height. Nothing up there. Some wiring in the ceiling below for lights but that's it. If I deck that space I can run stuff all over.
 

LtDoc

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From what I can gather, you have a space of about 40 x 24 x 12 feet to work in. For a vertical antenna that 12 feet of height is the biggy. Seems like a screw driver antenna (short one using a top-hat) could fit in that space, and then you get to add as many radials as you can in that 40 x 24 foot area. I think that would cover a lot of bands. No idea if the cost would be 'attractive' or not. And naturally, being that close to your house wiring you can count on there being RFI issues. The cost? More than you'd ever want, but if it's worth it is up to you...
- 'Doc
 

JeramyJ

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So many options! After much reading and research it appears I have come up with a plan. A multifaceted plan of sorts wherein I have both short and long term goals. :) Short because my yearning for instant gratification must be quelled. And long because I figure that is part of the fun.

Short term: Going to start with a vertical (Hy-Gain 12AVQ) that will fit up there for ease of installation. Then upgrade to a screwdriver if necessary based on recommendations above. Those are about 4x the price of the high gain. I don't mind spending that but if the cheaper one works then so be it. If not, then not such a big deal. I am also adding a Diamond X200A up there for 2m/70cm work. Thus far, all I have listened to is my HT so that should be a great improvement!

Long term: I want to deck the space which will allow for any number of useable antennas strung about all sorts of ways. I also believe I can devise a way of hiding an antenna outside possibly under my eaves or on the roof. Although, the roof thing completely freaks me out. Maybe I can pay someone to string that thing up! I will first try adding a longer wire to my existing QAO King as it should work much better with 120 feet of wire rather than the 36 it currently has. Can't hear a thing on that. Not even on 11 meters which I can easily pick up with other antennas. Odd...

Thanks for the insight. Many options to chose from once I lay the ground work. Pun intended. :)
 
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