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Posted: 6/15/2014 6:02:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/15/2014 6:09:41 PM EDT by NathanL]
Ok to recap I go for my tech and general in 2 weeks and possibly my extra since I am off of work to study that 2 weeks. I'm looking to get into HF to start. So far my gear setup looks like I'll probably go new with something along the lines of an IC-718 and a IT-100 auto tuner and a 25amp power supply to get my feet wet.

Which brings us to antennas. I have lots of trees I could easily go up to about 60' with a loom lift to install, and that would include the ability to trim any limbs that didn't have the foresight to grow in the right place. So looking at something like a dipole to start. Thought I could get out and knock that out while I'm waiting on my test etc....I also need the exercise to get my strentgh up due to a recovery/recuperation deal.

So tell a newbie if I go with a dipole where do I want to start, 40m or something else? Or do I want to go with someting like a 5GRV which seems to get mixed reviews but I would have no problem getting the antenna to the height recommended which seems to have been some users issues.

Sorry for all the quetions lately but at least I am headed in a direction now, just as long as I don't get run over along the way :)

Also one of any wire antenna would have to terminate near where the cable TV comes in. The Cable TV comes in at about 15' above ground and ties into the same tower I already have and into the house. I would likely have to tie into the tower on one end of the diole at about 40'-50', so 30' above the cable TV on the same tower. Would it help to have the dipole terminate further away from the tower and connect it via nylon rope etc...to get that end further away from the cable TV? I'm not sure how I missed that earlier. I really can't move the cable TV because the tower is really the anchor and it comes across the propery off of their pole for a good 250' and all that cable is supported on my end with the tower. If it really becomes an issue during transmit I could only transmit at certain hours I guess since I don't own a TV but another person in the house does but they go to bed early.

A convenient tree is approximately 106' away from the tower, so that gives you an idea how much I could slide the diploe depending on how long it winds up being down toward the tree and away from the tower.
Link Posted: 6/15/2014 6:54:16 PM EDT
Ladder-line fed dipole cut for the lowest band you can fit into your lot. If you have difficulty getting the ladder line into the shack without getting too close to metal, you could use the RT-100 outdoor tuner and RC-100 bias tee and use coax for the final run into the house. This will work all bands above the cut frequency. You will have to use a 4:1 balun (some say 1:1) to connect the RT-100 to the ladder line.

Also look into off-center coax fed, fan, and trap dipoles.

Keep in mind that a 40 Meter dipole will also provide a fairly good match on 15 Meters.
Link Posted: 6/15/2014 7:20:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/15/2014 7:34:26 PM EDT by NathanL]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Frank_B:
Ladder-line fed dipole cut for the lowest band you can fit into your lot. If you have difficulty getting the ladder line into the shack without getting too close to metal, you could use the RT-100 outdoor tuner and RC-100 bias tee and use coax for the final run into the house. This will work all bands above the cut frequency. You will have to use a 4:1 balun (some say 1:1) to connect the RT-100 to the ladder line.

Also look into off-center coax fed, fan, and trap dipoles.

Keep in mind that a 40 Meter dipole will also provide a fairly good match on 15 Meters.
View Quote

Yeah space isn't really an issue. I could put a portion of the very large array (VLA) antenna deal here on the property, space is the one thing I have lots of.

I really wouldn't have an issue with metal and the ladder line I don't think, but that's something I would have to look into rather than a regular feed line. The tower is approximately 50' down the side of the house and I could always do a dipole between 2 trees and just go out the opposite direction from the tower and the cable tv feed. I could probably go out any direction fromt the house including over the house at least 400' before I ran into problems and that would mainly be the power feed coming to the house on end side, so room really isn't the issue.

Just trying to get a start since I have 2 weeks off. If I can get coordinated and the stuff ordered I could get the antenna up because after that it's all asses and elbows at work for a while.
Link Posted: 6/16/2014 4:49:33 AM EDT
For wire antennas the "A" answer is going to be a fan dipole. These are tricky to tune and not very fun to look at if you've got any WAF issues (wife acceptance factor), but you can't beat a resonant antenna for performance and you should not require a tuner for it either.

If you just want to put up one really big wire I'd suggest going a different route on your tuner. Instead of the LDG tuner, get an Icom AH4. The AH4 is far more optimized for that sort of thing. If you can put the center of the dipole at the tower and put the AH4 at the top of the tower right at the center of the dipole then you will avoid the loss associated with a coaxial feed to a balun and also avoid the tricky use of ladder line. And the AH4 control/power wire will plug right into the back of the IC718 allowing the rig to control the tuner.

The AH4 is kind of pricey. An alternative to the AH4 is the SG239. The 239 is not weatherproof, but it is a simple matter to put it inside of a weatherproof electrical box. The power for the 239 can come from the tuner port on the back of the 718, but you will not have the automation of the AH4/718 combination, i.e. you will have to key the 718 manually and let the 239 tune by itself. Not a big deal, that's how I run (Flex 3000 with SG239), but it bears mentioning.

Here's a pic of my SG-239 in a box. Also shown in there is an MFJ bias tee, which I used to run power instead of a control cable. I will be replacing it with a control cable, though, because I have a home-brew SGC "Smartlock" controller that I want to use. Oh, and if you do go the big wire/tuner route, a few ferrites on your coax to act as an RF choke to prevent any currents coming back down the shield are very advisable.

Link Posted: 6/16/2014 4:57:56 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NathanL:
space is the one thing I have lots of.
View Quote


I'd treat yourself - go for something that gives you coverage all the way to 160m from the get-go. If you could host the VLA, you probably have the 258 feet. A fan-dipole all the way to 160m would be a challenge, but might be worth it. You could also just buy something like an OCFD/Carolina Windom and call it a day.
Link Posted: 6/16/2014 9:31:50 AM EDT
If you go with the ladder line feed, this is the insulator to use:



It's made by Ladder-Loc.
Link Posted: 6/16/2014 10:03:11 AM EDT
I have a Radiowavz G5RV Max-E for sale cheap if interested. I don't have trees tall enough for it, but you do. It will tune almost any band with a tuner.

Personally I would go with a vertical. The closeout S9's are only $125.
Link Posted: 6/16/2014 10:03:32 AM EDT
Was going to climb the tower today and take down the TV antenna and rotator but it's raining and chance of lightning. Pretty much killed that off and any energy I had to do anything else today lol.
Link Posted: 6/16/2014 1:29:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/16/2014 2:03:59 PM EDT by NathanL]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hsracer201:
I have a Radiowavz G5RV Max-E for sale cheap if interested. I don't have trees tall enough for it, but you do. It will tune almost any band with a tuner.

Personally I would go with a vertical. The closeout S9's are only $125.
View Quote

Interesting idea, but I would be concerned with the ground radials. I commercial harvest pine straw here at the house and I use a machine that looks a lot like a street sweer to pick it up. I'm not sure the ground radials would survive that and there would be no grass to grow over it.

Although I was research it just now and several people said they buried their raials 2" deep which would be easy to trench only as wide as the wire because I have a tool for that and I have approximately 5000' of 12ga solid copper insulated wire I could use and I have the tools and equipment to stretch it as tight as a guitar string to make it fit my trench and staple it down, but I also have probably enough 14ga stranded to make 32+ radials if I could get the other to lay down but I've done it before. Could stretch it and trench it at the same time and staple it then put up the pipe for the antenna and radial plate so that the wire doesn't dance around while messing with the vertical. Been there done that in a non antenna situation and got it down to a pretty good science. It's amazing how straight you can get 12ga colid copper wirse when one end is attached to a couple hundred pound beam and the other attached to a front loader to tension it, then staple it down and cut it.
Link Posted: 6/16/2014 6:59:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/16/2014 7:36:28 PM EDT by NathanL]
Antenna on ORDER. S9V43 with the radial plate (that's how lazy I am, I work in a steel fabriation company and it's my job to draw and program the plates we run in our CNC burner). I'm sure next will be a dipole or two. I'll have to do a little more planing.

First ham purchased made. No turning back now.
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