Amateur Radio Antenna
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1. The Compromises
2. The Hard Choices
3. The Drawings
4. The Results
The ARRL Antenna Handbook (16th ed. June 1991) was of great in helping me understand what the variables were.
Nevertheless, the love of experimenting with antennas played a critical part in the successful outcome of this homemade antenna project.
Every antenna is a set of compromises. This one is no exception.
I had to take into account...
Granted, I could have considered a top "loaded" vertical, with a top coil (inductance) to make up for short physical height.
But, I do not like verticals, "loaded" or not! They may be good enough for transmitting energy (+/-) but they are poor receiving antennas, being so short relative to the wavelength of interest.
Furthermore, quarter wave verticals just "bleed" too much precious RF energy in the ground system for my taste.
So I had to choose some form of "roughly balanced" horizontally deployed antenna.
After playing with all kinds of weird configurations, I finally settled on a dipole for its inherently balanced and higher efficiency in capturing and radiating energy.
But, I had to fit (squeeze) the 160M dipole inside the boundaries of my lot!
So, I bent the rules ... and the antenna, somewhat! ;-)
The result is a "hybrid" dipole or "ungrounded" vertical amateur radio antenna, depending on your point of view!
One side of the dipole goes up from near ground level to about 14 meters (45 feet), then out (25 meters) toward the front of my lot. This portion becomes an inverted "L" ungrounded quarter wave vertical, 39 meters in length, made up of #14 stranded (7x22) copper-clad antenna wire.
If you have trouble getting your antenna tuner to deal with the reactances of this antenna, you can try cutting back on the length of the counterpoise, about ten (10) centimeters at a time.
As you can see, this amateur radio antenna system for 160 meters is "unorthodox", to say the least. It is the best set of compromises I have been able to come up with, after many experiments.
Oh! By the way. It works like a charm, for both local and DX!
73 de VE2DPE