AA8IA Amateur Radio

Indecision causes antenna install delay


I haven’t reached a decision regarding purchasing a Cushcraft R-8 or a HyGain AV-640. To make matters worse, I am rethinking the possibilities of a ground-mounted installation such as a Hustler 6BTV or a 33 foot vertical.

When it comes to verticals, there are too many options. I still have unanswered questions as well. Primarily, i need to know the consensus on R-8 or AV-640 performance at 10 feet off the ground vs a ground-mounted Hustler 6BTV with a slim radial system to start and a radial system that is unlikely to ever contain more than 32 radials or have any radials longer than about 30 feet.

In the meantime the pressure is growing for me to get something up and operational. Field Day is only two months away now. I’ve been thinking about a dipole.

Nowhere on my lot can I proper install a dipole that will work for 160 or 80 efficiently. At this point I’m questioning whether it would even be feasible to try to install a dipole long enough to cover 40m. This would need to be ~ 66 feet long. The only way I could really do this is to have the feedpoint in the center of the house roof and have something to secure the sloped ends near the edges of the house. The house roof is ~70 feet across. I prefer not to put anything on the roof. An alternative would be to have some sort of mast up in the rear of the house to use as the center support, but then I’d have to figure out how to secure the ends. I would not want the ends to be anywhere near the ground (at least 8 feet off) and would end up having to put some sort of support in the ground on either side to accomplish this.

So, I’ve been thinking about a wire for 20 through 10 meters. This would be 33 feet in length. The orientation is not what i would want. I estimate that if I put up a wire for 20m using a tree as one of the supports, the orientation would be E-W, which means it would favor signals to the North and South. That leaves out a good path to Europe. Although, I wouldn’t mind nabbing some South America.

I really don’t believe I’ll have have something up that is efficient on 80m. At some point I may decide on putting a vertical up. If I do, it’ll only be a mediocre performer on 80 and the bandwidth of the antenna on that band will be very minimal.

I’ll ramble some more later.

Written by Mike

April 26th, 2010 at 8:41 pm

2 Responses to 'Indecision causes antenna install delay'

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  1. Mike,

    I don’t know about your real estate there in Toronto but if you have a couple of trees or even one tall tree, you can set up an 80m inverted L or sloping wire vertical which can have you working plenty of real DX on the band.

    If you can make at least 33 feet of 65 or 66 feet of wire vertical, trim it to resonance in your favorite portion of 80 and work it against ground (perhaps even your existing radials for the 6BTV), you’re home.


    Dave K8MN

    Dave Heil K8MN

    30 Aug 12 at 9:27 PM

  2. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for commenting. Haven’t run across you on the air recently.

    Well, I never managed to get a 6BTV – so I don’t currently have a radial field. But this Sunday [if Isaac doesn’t rain on my parade too early in the day], we’re planning on running two vertical wires up a 40′ tree, one for a 33′ 80m vert and one for a 66′ foot L. I’m guessing the tree is approx 40′, so that’ll be around 40v/26h for the 80m L. We’ll get radials down before end of fall.

    The location is suboptimum though since it is right at the rear corner of my lot. I’ll be able to put 30-40′ radials around about 200 degrees. For the other 160 degrees I can only put down radials about 10′ long. The worst part is the good radial coverage is opposite EU. Not sure how much effect that will have on performance to EU.

    We’ll be cementing a pipe in the ground at the center rear of the yard, for a future vertical mount. But there is no tree there, and so I’d have to actually stick up a vertical. So I’m going to go the “cheap” way for starters and use the tree.

    Hopefully my parade won’t be rained on this weekend and we can get the ball rolling.



    30 Aug 12 at 9:36 PM

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