Want advice on End Fed Antenna

n4yek

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I have never used an end fed antenna before, always used a Windom. I am seriously thinking about an end fed as it gives me more options on location.
Being I have never used one, I am looking for opinions, advice, pros, cons or any other pertinent information relating to this type of antenna.
I have seen grounding isn't required but would it be better if I do and are we talking about radials or just a ground rod?
Thanks for your input.
 

prcguy

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Look into a resonant end fed half wave or EFHW, which will operate on its fundamental design frequency and most harmonics. For example, a 40m version at about 64ft long also operates fine on 20, 15 and 10m. A 133ft long 80m version will do 80m through 10m plus WARC bands depending on mfr. They can be a very good choice, especially if you require the feedline to exit the end of the antenna instead of hanging out in the middle of the yard somewhere.

The EFHW is a resonant antenna and not much different than a tuned center fed dipole as far as efficiency goes. They work much better than the 9:1 balun types feeding various random but "magic" lengths of wire. There are lots of examples of people using a 9:1 type not making contacts and when a resonant EFHW was installed in the same place they started to make contacts.

Grounding per NEC is always recommended but an EFHW does not require any ground and adding ground or counterpoise wires will probably not improve anything. Its best to use a good common mode choke balun in the feedline near the antenna, maybe 5 to 20ft down the coax from the matching transformer. Otherwise you just hang them up and start operating and without a tuner on most bands.

You can build a transformer for an EFHW fairly cheap and anywhere from tiny ones that will handle up to 100w to large ones that will handle full legal limit and more. For complete ready to go version, in my experience, MyAntennas makes the best quality versions I've seen and LNR Precision (PAR) is also good. There are lots of other companies making them with prices all over the map. I've made probably a few dozen and I also have a couple from MyAntennas I use as a standard to compare with.

BTW, the owner of MyAntennas used to be an engineer for Cushcraft and his name is also Danny.
 

lbashaw

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I have been using an MFJ-1982MP, END FED, 1/2 WAVE WIRE ANTENNA (no personal interest in MFJ) for about 4 years now without any issues (other than I would like it a bit higher).
It's at about 35 feet above ground and it works really well. ALthough they say it does not require a tuner, I use one anyway just to tweak it out. Mine is about 125 feet, but I believe shorter ones are available. I do find it more directional at 90 degrees / 180 degrees from the wire, but that's something that can be advantageous. I was using a G5RV before, and although it worked well, I believe the long wire is more effective and efficient. There are several vendors that market them, but they can be easily "home-brewed".

My antenna is grounded, which even though not required, I sincerely recommend it.
 

WA5JR

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I put up a MY Antenna EFHW 7510-2K, both ends about 20 ft in the air and it works great. I was surprised that it actually did what it was advertised to do. VSWR < 2:1, 75 thru 10 in the phone bands. I think I shortened it about a foot cause I only use it for the phone bands.
I did not use a ground or counter poise at the feed point, but of course the feed is grounded where it enters the shack.

It's nice when something actually works as advertised!
 

prcguy

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Your antenna stock covers 40 through 10 really well but 80m resonates around 3.6MHz and the match is getting into the 3:1 or 4:1 range on 75m phone. Instead of shortening your antenna, which will detune all other bands, cut it 67ft from the far end and install a 150pf capacitor in the middle. I've been using doorknob transmitting caps rated around 10kV but MyAntennas has been using very high voltage rated disc caps.

This mod will only move the 80m resonant point up to about 3.9MHz covering the 3.8 to 4.0MHz phone band perfectly without detuning any other band. This mod came right from Danny at MyAntennas.

Here is how I attached the cap in the middle of my antenna, although this was on a different kind of antenna.

end fed cap.JPG

I put up a MY Antenna EFHW 7510-2K, both ends about 20 ft in the air and it works great. I was surprised that it actually did what it was advertised to do. VSWR < 2:1, 75 thru 10 in the phone bands. I think I shortened it about a foot cause I only use it for the phone bands.
I did not use a ground or counter poise at the feed point, but of course the feed is grounded where it enters the shack.

It's nice when something actually works as advertised!
 
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WA5JR

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The 7510-2K comes with the capacitor already installed from the factory, thus it is designed to work on 75 meters out of the box.
 

KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
I have never used an end fed antenna before, always used a Windom. I am seriously thinking about an end fed as it gives me more options on location.
Being I have never used one, I am looking for opinions, advice, pros, cons or any other pertinent information relating to this type of antenna.
I have seen grounding isn't required but would it be better if I do and are we talking about radials or just a ground rod?
Thanks for your input.
Been using an end-fed Alpha Antenna J-Pole Sr 6-160 meters as my one and only antenna at my current QTH for almost 3 years now. I have worked the world with it barefoot on all phone bands with no issues. Not grounded, except for a piece of sold copper wire that I have wrapped around the bottom of the SO-239 connector then wrapped around the steel eye bolt that is used to hang it from the balun. It was recommended by Alpha at the time. Works great anyhow.

Now, I believe they only sell a 10-160 version and recommend a ground stake between your equipment and the coax.
 

prcguy

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Side by side there is a big difference in performance between the MyAntennas EFHW and the Alpha J-Pole Sr. I probably don't need to mention which one wins.

Been using an end-fed Alpha Antenna J-Pole Sr 6-160 meters as my one and only antenna at my current QTH for almost 3 years now. I have worked the world with it barefoot on all phone bands with no issues. Not grounded, except for a piece of sold copper wire that I have wrapped around the bottom of the SO-239 connector then wrapped around the steel eye bolt that is used to hang it from the balun. It was recommended by Alpha at the time. Works great anyhow.

Now, I believe they only sell a 10-160 version and recommend a ground stake between your equipment and the coax.
 

KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
Side by side there is a big difference in performance between the MyAntennas EFHW and the Alpha J-Pole Sr. I probably don't need to mention which one wins.
I have no experience with the MyAntennas EFHW, so therefore I can only speak as to what the Alpha has done for me, which is put several DX entities in my log. However, if the MyAntennas EFHW is the GOAT, I am not opposed to getting one and getting even more DX in my log.

Does MyAntennas make a 6-160 EF?
 

ka3jjz

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Just to add a bit - if you are a tinkerer and like building antennas, check this Facebook page out for EFHW...



Mike
 

prcguy

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MyAntennas makes 160 through 40m versions that are very efficient but they are over 250 ft long. A 160 through 6m version is not practical due the mass of lobes and nulls you would get on higher bands and in my experience it would need to be higher in the air than most people could get it to be of any use on 160m. 1/8 wavelength high on 160m is about 65ft and that would place it in the serious NVIS only category on 160.

I've done some experimenting with full size and trap loaded 80/160m dipoles at about 30ft off the ground and they were horrible on 160 but ok on 80m for NVIS. I couldn't make any contacts on 160 but a 32ft vertical with autotuner at the base at the same location made a surprising amount of contacts. It made the low dipole look like a dummy load on 160.

Take a compromise antenna, no names mentioned but using a 5:1 balun and 60ft of wire would be a miserable antenna on 160m. Even though a MyAntennas EFHW 160m version would literally suck 30ft off the ground on 160m, its probably 20dB better than a 60ft wire antenna with 5:1 balun. The EFHW antennas in general work about the same as a full size center fed dipole on their lowest design frequency. On harmonic bands they work essentially the same as the same described dipole fed with ladder line and worked on the harmonic bands.

The 5:1 balun types with 60ft of wire like your Alpha and a few Chameleon types can work ok on a few bands like 40m where they are fairly efficient. I have two Chameleon versions and have done side by side tests with a 40m EFHW and the Chameleon was only about 1dB down from the EFHW on 40m which surprised me and on 20m it was about 4dB down and on 10m I forget but it was down more than 4dB. This is comparing a resonant 64ft antenna to a non resonant 60ft antenna, which is a fair test. Comparing the 60ft non resonant antenna on bands lower than 40m to an EFHW designed for the lower bands would not be fair and the differences will be off the charts.


Does MyAntennas make a 6-160 EF?
 
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KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
@prcguy , everything you said makes sense. Problem is, I live on a postage stamp lot and if it all possible I want the ability to talk on all bands. Granted the Alpha will more than likely give me zero DX on 160 or 80 for that mater, with that said, I have been able to get some decent stateside contacts on 160 and 80 and some pretty fair DX on the other bands.
 

prcguy

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Have you considered a vertical with auto tuner at the base? A 43ft works 80 through about 17m really well and does surprisingly good on 160, much better than a low wire antenna. No, I take that back, the vertical blows away a low wire antenna on 160, even a full size dipole. You would have to get the dipole up quite high like 60ft or more for it to start competing with the vertical on 160 DX. Even a 32-35ft vertical over a good ground plane can work very well except for the maybe 75mi to a couple hundred mile range were the vertical runs out of steam on ground wave and a low wire will fill in via NVIS.

You don't need super long radials, I have a 43ft with about 30 wires 33ft long each and it works really well. Its better to have a lot of shorter wire radials over a few long ones. I have a ZS6BKW at the same remote site with the 43ft vertical and can switch between them to see the difference and on 40 through 20m the vertical easily beats the dipole up about 25ft. The two key points of a vertical like this working well is the ground plane and an auto tuner at the base. Can you get away with any sort of ground mounted vertical? You could then supplement that with a 64ft long 40 through 10m EFHW or OCFD for the higher bands where the vertical is too long and that would give you excellent NVIS coverage on 40m

@prcguy , everything you said makes sense. Problem is, I live on a postage stamp lot and if it all possible I want the ability to talk on all bands. Granted the Alpha will more than likely give me zero DX on 160 or 80 for that mater, with that said, I have been able to get some decent stateside contacts on 160 and 80 and some pretty fair DX on the other bands.
 

KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
Have you considered a vertical with auto tuner at the base? A 43ft works 80 through about 17m really well and does surprisingly good on 160, much better than a low wire antenna. No, I take that back, the vertical blows away a low wire antenna on 160, even a full size dipole. You would have to get the dipole up quite high like 60ft or more for it to start competing with the vertical on 160 DX. Even a 32-35ft vertical over a good ground plane can work very well except for the maybe 75mi to a couple hundred mile range were the vertical runs out of steam on ground wave and a low wire will fill in via NVIS.

You don't need super long radials, I have a 43ft with about 30 wires 33ft long each and it works really well. Its better to have a lot of shorter wire radials over a few long ones. I have a ZS6BKW at the same remote site with the 43ft vertical and can switch between them to see the difference and on 40 through 20m the vertical easily beats the dipole up about 25ft. The two key points of a vertical like this working well is the ground plane and an auto tuner at the base. Can you get away with any sort of ground mounted vertical? You could then supplement that with a 64ft long 40 through 10m EFHW or OCFD for the higher bands where the vertical is too long and that would give you excellent NVIS coverage on 40m

Oh yeah, I have been contemplating a vertical for awhile. Just not ready to pull the trigger on any particular one yet. I have other priorities in my shack I am working on for now. And it isn't like I can not get out with what I got. I get plenty of DX with what I have now, of course with a better antenna always comes more DX, etc...but I am content with what I catch now. I have logged some entities that I would have never imagined I would get with my current set-up, but so is prop, luck....but also a well built and attention to detail station. Believe me, I am getting the most out of my set-up, I leave no detail to spare, when it comes to coax, connectors, quality station equipment, etc...Every watt I put out does not come by cutting corners or doing things the easy way.

You mention the ZS6BKW, I loved that antenna! Had one back at my old QTH where I had almost 2 acres and tall trees....I worked the world with it! Had it up in a tree in an inverted V. Don't have tress or the space for it where I am at now though....hence the Alpha. Still have it, maybe one day it will resonate again for me.

For what it is worth, (most of the time) I enjoy the challenge of working at a modest station...always a good feeling when you beat out the 1.5K, tower and beam guys by busting that pileup and getting your call acknowledged over them. ;)
 
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wcsd45

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I am using Ultimax 100 EF antenna. Only 24ft long. It's mounted NVIS and works fine for contacts consistent with NVIS, i.e. regional with a tuner mounted in shack, feed-line length about 75 feet. I too am wrestling with vertical decision. In my case, it's gotta be a flagpole for a larger installation. For a smaller vertical installation, I have a deck-mounted Wolf River Coil Silver Bullet WRCSB) with 4 x 32 ft ground staked radials. Works Fine Business, so much so it's fair thought that the flagpole is feeling overkill given that project's price point. Pix on my QRZ page, KC9QBY.

Good Luck and 73,

Chuck
 

wwhitby

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I have friends who swear by the MyAntennas end feds.

I built my own EFHW to use with our HF go kit. Although it works fine, if there are no nearby trees, it is more time consuming to set up because you have to put up two masts, guy them, etc., etc. It also takes a lot of space, which can also be difficult to find.

OP, since you have a small lot, I would really look into a vertical antenna instead of an end fed.

Later this month, i'm going to be placing an order with Wolf River Coils for one of their Silver Bullet coils and the 17 foot collapsible whip. That will form the basis for a new vertical antenna for our go kits.
 

n4yek

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Thank you so much for all of your replies, it is very informative and now I am pretty sure I am going to go this route.
Again thanks to all of you.
 

nevesjerry

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I have an EFHW Antenna for 80 meters at about 25 feet height and it is grounded to an 8 foot rod, very noisy and it is oriented perpendicular to some power lines. Should I run it parallel to the power lines? Noise level is a constant S7.
Might a coaxial cable choke reduce the noise? What type of ferrite should I use and how many turns!
Any help appreciated.
Jerry
 

prcguy

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If the noise is coming from the power lines then running the antenna parallel to them will probably increase the noise. A common mode choke can reduce noise in some cases if the noise has been induced onto the coax shield at the radio end and is traveling up to the antenna. See if you can borrow a choke and test before buying one. Try removing the ground rod connection, sometimes a ground is common with equipment that makes a lot of noise and it can allow that noise into the antenna system. If the ground rod is in addition to your house main ground rod its required to be bonded to the house main ground and if not it can actually cause more damage in a lightning strike than no ground rod attachment.

I have an EFHW Antenna for 80 meters at about 25 feet height and it is grounded to an 8 foot rod, very noisy and it is oriented perpendicular to some power lines. Should I run it parallel to the power lines? Noise level is a constant S7.
Might a coaxial cable choke reduce the noise? What type of ferrite should I use and how many turns!
Any help appreciated.
Jerry
 
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