Date   

Re: 80/160m Antenna

W7RIV
 

I know what you mean about being less efficient. I guess the question is less efficient or nothing at all. That is where I'm at right now. I'll certainly dig into it more. I was curious what everyone here was using, sounds mostly like larger wire antennas rigged in their yards?

There are 3 hams in Utah that have outrageous (and awesome) low band antennas. That are arranged in 4 corners, with many, many miles of radials, tuners, etc. They have excellent results. =) They all sit on around 5 acres or more as well.

I love the hobby, and struggle with the antennas!

Bryon, W7RIV


Re: 80/160m Antenna

Mike Besemer <mwbesemer@...>
 

As Jerry said… verticals ARE noisy. 

 

I noticed someone mentioned an Inverted L.  I love my Inverted L, but I’ll say that when I had my 160 meter loop, I would find myself transmitting on the Inverted L and receiving on the loop.  Neither antenna heard better than the other, but the loop was MUCH quieter.  Inverted L’s have a vertical component which contributes to the noise. 

 

If I could only have one antenna , I’d probably go with the loop.  It’d be a tough choice, but the sounds of silence are really nice when trying to pull out the weak ones.

 

I’d love to do a Beverage; might have to think about that!

 

73,

 

Mike

WM4B

 

From: 070@... [mailto:070@...]
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 5:46 PM
To: 070@...
Subject: Re: [070] 80/160m Antenna

 

 

Byron:

 

There are some laws of physics/antennas you just can't ignore.  An antenna  that is a 1/2 wave length or longer will be more efficient than anything shorter.  Sure you can use loading coil and such to make antenna appear electrically longer, but you still have an inefficient antenna... everything in electronics seems to be a trade off; you have to sacrifice one thing to get another.  Just like in engineering you can build something better, but it may not be as good as what you had in the first place, but I don't know much about thatld.  Did some tower work years ago and the crew tended to "over-engineer" things to err on safety side. 

 

Anyhow, years ago a friend and I loaded up a 300 ft. AM broadcast tower on 160 in winter for some contest. Results were awful ... lots of noise and not many signals. Verticals tend to be noisy. Guess that's why some DXers on 160  use beverage antennas for receiving. Used to have a serious  160m station a few miles away which had 9 phased 110 ft verticals with a little tuning shack in middle.  It belonged to K9DX and was operated remotely from his house 30 miles away;  had a couple tours and it was awesome.  All the hardware and antennas were expensive as well as the 80 acres of land it sat on. It gone now  (sigh).

 

That was the ultimate DXers station and far out of most hams budget.

 

On the "poor hams" budget,  some do quite well with limited antennas on 160m. Would suggest that you search for "160 meter antennas "  on the web  and find something that will work for you.  A word of caution, ignore some of the claims made as every QTH is somewhat different with soil characteristics (soil conductivity, etc.) , height above average  terrain, sources of interference, and so forth. Seems like some of the better 160m DXers live in areas where it's marshy near lakes, rivers  and oceans... guess you could always flood your yard ?

 

Good luck !

 

 

Jerry  n9avy

 

 

 


From: "Bryon nnegrom@... [070]" <070@...>
To: "070@..." <070@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 3:29 PM
Subject: RE: [070] 80/160m Antenna

 

 

I'll see if I can get a mark up of my plot from Google Maps or something, but let me see if I can explain it a little. 

 

I have lots of land around me. Though it isn't mine. I sit on about .65 acres of usable space. I have no major trees (anything taller than the gutter in the front yard). My antenna sits on the back corner of my house. It is a crank up tower about 40' (aluminum) with a K4KIO Hexbeam on it. Works really well...I think, this is my first setup. But, I can do a lot on 20 and 40 (even though it isn't necessarily intended for 40m). I have a tuner in my K3. 

 

Out back of my house there is a large tree. I could probably get something up in there and connected to the tower. When the tower is lowered it sits about 14' (not including the antenna). 

 

I have hesitated doing anything with this, because I do not want that in my line of sight out the back yard, at least not when it is going to be down and drooping.

 

I know to be efficient longer really is better. But, I just haven't found a great antenna that seems appealing and easy to put up without a lot of headache and trying to make things work when I have no idea what I'm doing with antennas. I'm a mechanical engineer with focus on medical devices, and antennas are still black magic to me!

 

What are your thoughts based on these comments?


Bryon, W7RIV

 


Re: 80/160m Antenna

Jerry N9AVY
 

Byron:
 
There are some laws of physics/antennas you just can't ignore.  An antenna  that is a 1/2 wave length or longer will be more efficient than anything shorter.  Sure you can use loading coil and such to make antenna appear electrically longer, but you still have an inefficient antenna... everything in electronics seems to be a trade off; you have to sacrifice one thing to get another.  Just like in engineering you can build something better, but it may not be as good as what you had in the first place, but I don't know much about thatld.  Did some tower work years ago and the crew tended to "over-engineer" things to err on safety side. 
 
Anyhow, years ago a friend and I loaded up a 300 ft. AM broadcast tower on 160 in winter for some contest. Results were awful ... lots of noise and not many signals. Verticals tend to be noisy. Guess that's why some DXers on 160  use beverage antennas for receiving. Used to have a serious  160m station a few miles away which had 9 phased 110 ft verticals with a little tuning shack in middle.  It belonged to K9DX and was operated remotely from his house 30 miles away;  had a couple tours and it was awesome.  All the hardware and antennas were expensive as well as the 80 acres of land it sat on. It gone now  (sigh).
 
That was the ultimate DXers station and far out of most hams budget.
 
On the "poor hams" budget,  some do quite well with limited antennas on 160m. Would suggest that you search for "160 meter antennas "  on the web  and find something that will work for you.  A word of caution, ignore some of the claims made as every QTH is somewhat different with soil characteristics (soil conductivity, etc.) , height above average  terrain, sources of interference, and so forth. Seems like some of the better 160m DXers live in areas where it's marshy near lakes, rivers  and oceans... guess you could always flood your yard ?
 
Good luck !
 
 
Jerry  n9avy
 
 



From: "Bryon nnegrom@... [070]" <070@...>
To: "070@..." <070@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 3:29 PM
Subject: RE: [070] 80/160m Antenna

 
I'll see if I can get a mark up of my plot from Google Maps or something, but let me see if I can explain it a little. 

I have lots of land around me. Though it isn't mine. I sit on about .65 acres of usable space. I have no major trees (anything taller than the gutter in the front yard). My antenna sits on the back corner of my house. It is a crank up tower about 40' (aluminum) with a K4KIO Hexbeam on it. Works really well...I think, this is my first setup. But, I can do a lot on 20 and 40 (even though it isn't necessarily intended for 40m). I have a tuner in my K3. 

Out back of my house there is a large tree. I could probably get something up in there and connected to the tower. When the tower is lowered it sits about 14' (not including the antenna). 

I have hesitated doing anything with this, because I do not want that in my line of sight out the back yard, at least not when it is going to be down and drooping.

I know to be efficient longer really is better. But, I just haven't found a great antenna that seems appealing and easy to put up without a lot of headache and trying to make things work when I have no idea what I'm doing with antennas. I'm a mechanical engineer with focus on medical devices, and antennas are still black magic to me!

What are your thoughts based on these comments?

Bryon, W7RIV



Re: WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

Rick - N7WE
 

Roger Bryon-

Sorry for telling you what you already knew!  Once set, the K3 setup just stays rock solid.  The only control I fool with is the power knob when going from QRP to about 35w.  I also have to play with the power when I go to the WSJT-X modes (don't need 35w!) but I don't have to fiddle with the sound card or computer settings.  

You probably read about my Rub Goldberg 160m antenna adventures in earlier posts just before the Great Pumpkin Sprint.  It is such an outstanding antenna (only slightly better than a plastic coat hanger stuffed in the back of the rig) I won't repeat it here.  But I will be most interested to see all the suggestions you get and to hear what you do.  Hope I can go to school on your approach!  73,

Rick - N7WE
070 - #1602


CERTS

boat.anchor@...
 

Overstuffed envelope arrived today.

Thank you Maatthew and all the other volunteers.

Barry

VB7150



Re: 80/160m Antenna

W7RIV
 

I'll see if I can get a mark up of my plot from Google Maps or something, but let me see if I can explain it a little. 

I have lots of land around me. Though it isn't mine. I sit on about .65 acres of usable space. I have no major trees (anything taller than the gutter in the front yard). My antenna sits on the back corner of my house. It is a crank up tower about 40' (aluminum) with a K4KIO Hexbeam on it. Works really well...I think, this is my first setup. But, I can do a lot on 20 and 40 (even though it isn't necessarily intended for 40m). I have a tuner in my K3. 

Out back of my house there is a large tree. I could probably get something up in there and connected to the tower. When the tower is lowered it sits about 14' (not including the antenna). 

I have hesitated doing anything with this, because I do not want that in my line of sight out the back yard, at least not when it is going to be down and drooping.

I know to be efficient longer really is better. But, I just haven't found a great antenna that seems appealing and easy to put up without a lot of headache and trying to make things work when I have no idea what I'm doing with antennas. I'm a mechanical engineer with focus on medical devices, and antennas are still black magic to me!

What are your thoughts based on these comments?

Bryon, W7RIV


Re: WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

W7RIV
 

I've read that from Don and everything I have ever done with my settings I always get just that, 4 bars solid, 5th bar flickering. Nothing more, nothing less. Seems like I should be able to get some variable actions when messing with things. Not know what to mess with, I haven't and I've just left it. This thread was a good time to bring it up and to check with the experts!

Bryon, W7RIV


Re: 80/160m Antenna

Brian (N2MLP)
 

Invert L is easy

 

 

========================

         de N2MLP Brian

       Monroe County PA

 

 

========================

 

 

From: 070@... [mailto:070@...]
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 12:47 PM
To: 070@...
Subject: [070] 80/160m Antenna

 

 

I'm looking for a simple, and reasonable antenna for 80/160m.

 

What are your thoughts? I know some of you have some pretty elaborate setups. I'm looking for something easy. 

 

Thanks,

Bryon, W7RIV


Re: WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

Radio <radio@...>
 

Byron,

Distortion anywhere in the signal chain can cause a wide signal.   That means the distortion can occur when strong, clean signal is received by a less then good receiver.

…and a strong signal can be caused by a good antenna and good propagation — not just high power.  Nobody ever said turn down your antenna. ;-)

Another country heard from,
73 de Eric, KG6MZS


On Oct 25, 2017, at 8:18 AM, Bryon nnegrom@... [070] <070@...> wrote:

I'm a little curious on what makes a PSK signal wide.


Re: 80/160m Antenna

 

If you can a inverted l is easy to put up as long as you have the room for the radials and a tree about 60 to 70 foot high

Keith n9vel

Sent from my iPad

On Oct 25, 2017, at 1:03 PM, Jerry n9avy@... [070] <070@...> wrote:

 

Have an Alpha-Delta  DX-A  for 160/80/40  which is a dual sloper and mounted to a 40 ft tower.  You need a tower because the tower is part of the antenna.. the only way you could get around the tower is by using a 35-40 metal mast or using possible a down wire from a tree of same height.
 
Generally, on 160m the longer the better.  Short wires/verticals and generally poor performers.  Verticals are usually noisy on 160m and some use beverage antennas for receiver only, but they need a bit of space for 160.
 
There is lots of info on the net if you do a search.
 
 
Jerry  n9avy
 
 



From: "Bryon nnegrom@... [070]" <070@...>
To: "070@..." <070@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 11:55 AM
Subject: [070] 80/160m Antenna

 
I'm looking for a simple, and reasonable antenna for 80/160m.

What are your thoughts? I know some of you have some pretty elaborate setups. I'm looking for something easy. 

Thanks,
Bryon, W7RIV



Re: 80/160m Antenna

Jerry N9AVY
 

Have an Alpha-Delta  DX-A  for 160/80/40  which is a dual sloper and mounted to a 40 ft tower.  You need a tower because the tower is part of the antenna.. the only way you could get around the tower is by using a 35-40 metal mast or using possible a down wire from a tree of same height.
 
Generally, on 160m the longer the better.  Short wires/verticals and generally poor performers.  Verticals are usually noisy on 160m and some use beverage antennas for receiver only, but they need a bit of space for 160.
 
There is lots of info on the net if you do a search.
 
 
Jerry  n9avy
 
 



From: "Bryon nnegrom@... [070]" <070@...>
To: "070@..." <070@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 11:55 AM
Subject: [070] 80/160m Antenna

 
I'm looking for a simple, and reasonable antenna for 80/160m.

What are your thoughts? I know some of you have some pretty elaborate setups. I'm looking for something easy. 

Thanks,
Bryon, W7RIV



Re: 80/160m Antenna

mwbesemer@...
 


Re: WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

Jerry N9AVY
 

Rick !
 
Well said . Just another waste of bandwidth ...
 
"An IMD report from another station receiving you is worthless.  There are simply too many variables for it to have any utility. "


Jerry n9avy


From: "n7we1980@... [070]" <070@...>
To: 070@...
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 11:34 AM
Subject: Re: [070] WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

 
Well Bryon, you are running a K3 and that is an entirely different bred of cat!  There are lots of instructions on the internet about using ALC to avoid wide signals, but when it comes to the Elecraft rigs, it is almost all WRONG.  That is because Elecraft products are essentially SDR rigs and use a different approach to power control and ALC.  The correct setting for the K3 and the K3s is "4 bars solid, 5th bar just flickering."

Don - W3FRP  (and a guru of most things Elecraft) has a very good explanation of how to set up the K3 for digital modes at http://www.w3fpr.com/download_files/Digital%20modes.pdf It's printable too!

The K3 has a very clean RF output, and properly set up they can run a full 100w out with no splatter - Not that there would ever be any reason to!  But I have pushed it up to 70w out on 160m with my IMD at -29.  

I use a KK7UQ IMD Meter in the shack.  An IMD report from another station receiving you is worthless.  There are simply too many variables for it to have any utility.  The only useful measure of IMD is at your shack!

Rick - N7WE
070 - #1602



80/160m Antenna

W7RIV
 

I'm looking for a simple, and reasonable antenna for 80/160m.

What are your thoughts? I know some of you have some pretty elaborate setups. I'm looking for something easy. 

Thanks,
Bryon, W7RIV


Re: WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

mwbesemer@...
 


Re: WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

Rick - N7WE
 

Well Bryon, you are running a K3 and that is an entirely different bred of cat!  There are lots of instructions on the internet about using ALC to avoid wide signals, but when it comes to the Elecraft rigs, it is almost all WRONG.  That is because Elecraft products are essentially SDR rigs and use a different approach to power control and ALC.  The correct setting for the K3 and the K3s is "4 bars solid, 5th bar just flickering."

Don - W3FRP  (and a guru of most things Elecraft) has a very good explanation of how to set up the K3 for digital modes at http://www.w3fpr.com/download_files/Digital%20modes.pdf It's printable too!

The K3 has a very clean RF output, and properly set up they can run a full 100w out with no splatter - Not that there would ever be any reason to!  But I have pushed it up to 70w out on 160m with my IMD at -29.  

I use a KK7UQ IMD Meter in the shack.  An IMD report from another station receiving you is worthless.  There are simply too many variables for it to have any utility.  The only useful measure of IMD is at your shack!

Rick - N7WE
070 - #1602


Fw: [NIDXA] The impact of FT8

Jerry N9AVY
 



  Some interesting comments on FT8 and DXCC  ...    might be of interest to some.
 
Jerry  n9avy
The Topband reflector has a new thread on FT8 and the impact, especially on 160M DXing, on activity on other modes and DXCC.  If you’re interested, go to http://lists.contesting.com/_topband/2017-10/threads.html to see the email chains.
 
 
 



Re: WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

Jerry N9AVY
 




From: "mwbesemer@... [070]" <070@...>
To: 070@...
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 10:41 AM
Subject: Re: [070] WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

" We're all done it ."       Not me and if I did I want a lawyer  !
 
Seriously, it's always a good idea to keep an eye on ALC meter.  Have noticed that if I'm operating on the low end of 20m and set power level to40 watts everything is fine, but if I go up to the higher band the ALC meter will start indicating ALC action and the power will climb up to about 80 watts .  Think this might either be SWR related or a fault in radio.  In reverse, going from high to low end of band I will have virtually a qrp signal (about 1-5 watts).
 
Am always ignoring IMD & S/N reports because if we're making contact there should really be no need .  Read somewhere that IMD levels can really only be read when a signal is idling. Most of stations who give out those reports never see my signal at idle.  Tend to ignore  IMD & S/N reports as they don't do anything for me.
 
Taking a screen shot of a stations signal can be a lot of help, provided that the station know how to interpret that data. IMHO, most will look at picture of their overdriven signal and think "Wow, I have a big signal without that there linyear !". 
 
Jerry  N9AVY  #454
 
Bryan,

Overdriving the input (via too much output from the sound card) will cause the signal to widen.  The ALC meter is not (IMHO) a DIRECT indicator of overdrive (or not) but NOT having ALC indication is a pretty good indication that you're ok. 

We all know that stuff will happen sometimes; windows changes soundcard setting all by itself, a knob gets bumped, etc.  We've all done it.  Personally, I try to look at the ALC meter the first time I transmit every day, and when I change bands.  I HOPE that if my signal is bad, someone will tell me.  I'm not going to get offended unless the other guy is being a jerk about it.

I can tell you that I can drive my FT891 to about 60 watts without ALC indication, but I always run 20 watts or less.  With that radio, you can control the HF output power independently, so it's theoretically possible for me to crank that adjustment all the way down (not sure how low it goes.. maybe 10 watts) but overdrive the input and splatter all over the place.

A lot of guys will give you a signal report based on IMD or S/N, but if queried they don't know what those numbers mean.  I pre! fer just to look at the trace on the waterfall and see what it looks like. If you can watch a signal during idle (no data being passed) you should see a nice set of railroad tracks.

If you really want to know about your signal, ask the guy on the other end to describe it to you - or better yet - take a screen cap and email it too you.  Of course, that's best done when your signal is strong on the other guys waterfall. 

Jerry posted a very good hint about how to tell if the signal is really bad or if it's your receiver; I'd almost forgotten about that.

73,

Mike
WM4B

 


On Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Bryon nnegrom@... [070] wrote:

   I'm a little curious on what makes a PSK signal wide. Just too much power? Or are there other things? I cannot say that I've never offended...I've never had anyone tell me or message me anything of the sorts. But, I want to make sure I'm playing nice as well. I have a K3 and there is a lot of talk about watching the ALC meter. I've done some tests and no matter how much power I try, 5 watts-75 watts that meter doesn't change. I like to be in the 40watt range, even though I know it really doesn't need it. If I see one I want, I'll try and put it up more to see if it makes a difference. I have a signalink and I think the settings call for 50% volume, other than that, I haven't really made any changes to the setup.

Thanks,
Bryon, W7RIV



Re: WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

Jerry N9AVY
 

Brian:
 
As long as you see no ALC action you should be okay.
 
What makes a PSK31 signal wide can be too much audio from sound card, having processor on, pr just plain old using too darn much power ...  no reason anyone using PSK31 should be using a Kw or even 500 watts !  PSK31  is a low power/weak signal mode. 
 
Although occasionally propagation will have a part  which is why I mentioned earlier about AGC and attenuation (learned that one from an OO in CA a few years back and it saved me from sending out lots of OO Notices).
 
I'm sure others in this group may shed more light on the subject.
 
Jerry n9avy



From: "Bryon nnegrom@... [070]" <070@...>
To: "070@..." <070@...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 10:18 AM
Subject: Re: [070] WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

 
I'm a little curious on what makes a PSK signal wide. Just too much power? Or are there other things? I cannot say that I've never offended...I've never had anyone tell me or message me anything of the sorts. But, I want to make sure I'm playing nice as well. I have a K3 and there is a lot of talk about watching the ALC meter. I've done some tests and no matter how much power I try, 5 watts-75 watts that meter doesn't change. I like to be in the 40watt range, even though I know it really doesn't need it. If I see one I want, I'll try and put it up more to see if it makes a difference. I have a signalink and I think the settings call for 50% volume, other than that, I haven't really made any changes to the setup.

Thanks,
Bryon, W7RIV



Re: WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

mwbesemer@...
 

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