Let me state for the record that I've had my ticket since 1964 and I've had a lot of antennas that did and -did not- work. For me, antennas are foremost, a religion, and don't try to confuse me with the facts! All "facts" come after religion and are only used to work that religion to best advantage.
1. Antennas must "see" the sky to work well, and to work best, they should have an unobstructed view of the horizon if expected to work "low angles." For NVIS, any old obstructed height will do, although ground losses will be lower if they are higher.
Antennas in use at K6GC
1. A Hy-Gain 5BDQ Trap Dipole. This covers 80-40-20-15-10 and is 15 feet high at one end and 72 feet high at the other end. The center is 45' high. I'm on a hill, the end at the house is on the 2nd story gable, and the other end in a tall tree. The hill slopes downward at such an angle as to render the dipole horizontal. It is tuned in the CW portion of all bands and is very close to 1:1. On 80, the only band where SWR is a concern, the ratio is about 5:1 at 4MHz, and while this this might seem high, I have been assured from several sources that the power loss in my Times LMR240 cable is very low. An unfortunate situation with this dipole is that it is useful primarily for NVIS and it runs North-South, but facing East, it goes only a few feet before dumping into a stand of redwood trees. I believe this attenuation is responsible for it's poor performance in that direction. I am unable to reliably work stations on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States - one of my primary objectives. 2. A Butternut HF2V with a 160 attachment (For Sale!) down on the septic pad 30 feet below the house. I put it there because the soil is sandy and flat, the radial system was easy to lay. It has 24 radials and friends assure me it should be quite efficient, but it violates rule #1 of my religion above. It has consistently compared at least 10dB down from the dipole, sometimes more, sometimes less, in most directions. It is down in a hole. I always think of it as digging a 60' bore in the earth and putting your dipole in it. This antenna was a 'dynamite' producer back at my home in Santa Rosa, when it was on the roof with an unobstructed view of low angles to the horizon! If you have a suitable location, it could work for you. Contact me! 3. Big plans! My house has a balcony Balcony#1 Balcony#2 Balcony#3 BTW, may I invite you to visit my house at My House back when it was new in 2004. That's me sitting on the couch, when I still had most of my hair. Anyway,... On the edge of the balcony that is next to the driveway, on the railing (2X6") I plan to put a 40' aluminum pole made of swagged 4' sections. One of those military masts. I've obtained a set of guy rings that go over the male swag and clamp down under the female swag above it. The plan is to have three sets of guys, every 12 feet. At the top, a set of guys and a pulley; on the pulley an endless loop with a very long "tail." The tail will be at the top and will be suspended across the yard so that it is near to horizontal. Along the tail will be suspended insulators at spaced intervals, and through these insulators wires will be strung for various bands. Viewed from the balcony, they will come to a point and will spread out as a fan, and after going through the insulators, they will fan out even farther apart. I can't show you a picture because it isn't built yet. If the wires were 1/4 wave, the peak radiation would be right at the balcony rail and would blast into the side of the house. Wasting my precious RF! So my plan is to make the wires 3/8 wave long. This will lift the 1/4 wave section 16' above the railing on 40 meters, and that will put it above the roof, even above the peak of the roof. I have two air variable caps already, a 100pF for 40 meters and a 250pF for 80 meters. The caps go in series with the wires. 50' for 40 and 100' for 80. On 40 this means the wire will go up 40' and out horizontally for 10'. On 80 it will go up 40' and out 60'. 40 will be a 3/8 wave vertical and 80 will be an 3/8 wave inverted "L". Eventually as the antenna fleshes out, there will be wires for 160 30 and 20 meters. I haven't planned beyond that. Now then, on the balcony there will be a counter poise, with three resonant radials. One will go along one side of the house, then at 90 degrees another along the other side of the house. A third will bisect going across the yard. One radial for each band, so a lot of wires when it is done. The antenna will be an elevated ground plane and should have a high degree of efficiency. It will have its radiating element high and in the clear, and it will be well away from the row of trees to the East. I'm hopeful I will be able to work the Eastern Seaboard with ease and it will generate low angles and a ground wave. I'll keep you posted on this page as the project continues. I've worked out where the guy ropes will go, then I need to order the materials, and after that hire the roofer to put it up. (To be Continued) I've played with the margins on this page. If it isn't right on your browser, I'd appreciate an email letting me know what is wrong with your view. The right margin is set at 121 characters, it may be too wide for you. E-Mail