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Thread: Age Old Antenna Question

  1. #1

    Default Age Old Antenna Question

    I know this is an age old subject, but I’m hoping I’ve been specific enough below to enable some feedback?

    I’d like to try experimenting with a multiband vertical antenna, but I’m really struggling to know where to start. Like many, I’m on a pretty tight, fixed income budget, so certainly can’t afford to throw money away. I could just about find the £££ to get something like the Hi-Gain AV-680 that doesn’t require radials, but I know that expensive doesn’t always equate to ‘better’. Maybe I should I go for a cheaper item, and do the extra work of burying radials etc? I ‘THINK’ there’s JUST enough room for radials, providing I ‘bend’ a few;-).

    There seems to be nearly as many different views on antenna types, as there are people with them;-) So I know this is not JUST a technical thing, but also somewhat subjective. I’ve seen videos and posts by very happy owners of expensive and complicated antennas like the AV-680 etc. However, I’ve also seen those that say things like “worst mistake I ever made

    My minimum requirements are for 20, 40 & 80 meters, but the more the merrier;-)

    The antenna will be sited at the end of the garden, least 100ft from the shack, so I don't want an antenna that requires adjusting for each band, like some I've seen.

    Are the ‘fancy’ antennas primarily aimed at those without space for radials? And, if so, does that necessarily mean that a more standard antenna, with full radials will out perform them?

    Any / all suggestions and recommendations gratefully received.

  2. #2


    Nearly 100 views but not a single response!
    I can only guess I didn't word it correctly?
    Seriously guys, I'd really appreciate any comments regarding the above.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Meneou, Cyprus


    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    requirements are for 20, 40 & 80 meters
    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    I don't want an antenna that requires adjusting for each band
    There's no such thing, for a vertical at least, even a pre-tuned multiband vertical will have to be re-tuned for your location - many things affect resonance.

    Build yourself a magnetic loop antenna and tune it up remotely

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by 5B4AJB View Post
    There's no such thing, for a vertical at least, even a pre-tuned multiband vertical will have to be re-tuned for your location - many things affect resonance.

    Build yourself a magnetic loop antenna and tune it up remotely
    Thanks for reply. I've not explained myself correctly.... By "I don't want an antenna that requires adjusting for each band" I mean on EACH use, or on each occasion of changing bands.
    And obviously, I don't mean retuning the radio. I know that'll need doing. I've seen a number of antennas where clips need moving on base coils in order to change bands. Thats what I dont want;-)
    Last edited by Dougal; Wed 1st Mar 2017 at 13:18.

  5. #5


    What about this kind of thing...

    Seems exceptionally inexpensive compared to many. Anyone know anything about them?

  6. #6


    It's a sensible price for what it is - 4m tall and ground mounted. However, the spec is sadly lacking in detail, so exactly what it's actually doing is a bit of a guess - a single vertical with tuned top sections? It does strike me that it needs to be pretty good with 100ft of feeder cable - even at HF, that's a fair way - loss wise.

  7. #7
    K7KBN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Bremerton WA USA


    It mentions several "coils"; I wonder if it's something like the old Hustler mobile antenna, where there's a coil for each band. If you change bands, you pull off the road and make the change. No fiddling with clip leads, but not too convenient.

    There's really not enough information on that link to wrap what's left of my mind around.
    Pat K7KBN
    Semper ubi sub ubi.

  8. #8


    Sadly, many, many items for sale on numerous online HAM stores, have way too little information. At least on UK sites anyway. It makes it very difficult to make 'informed decisions' with purchases. Word of mouth and recommendations certainly seems to be the way to go.

  9. #9
    M0WAO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Solihull, UK & Costa Esuri, Spain


    why not making a 9:1 balun connect a 10 meter wire as radiator and on the other terminal a counterpoise? you will need a tuner and no it isn't ideal but simple to make the antenna is.
    73 de Biton - m0wao - echolink 633710
    Elecraft K2

  10. #10


    Take a look at the Eagle One antenna at It requires a tuner and ones like the Icom AH-4 or SGC-237 work best with it. I have used mine with the AH-4 tuner for 10 thru 80 meter operation and worked a lot of DX with it.

  11. #11


    I can tell you how the Sandpiper antenna in the link works as I used to have one.

    The vertical section is a 1/4 wave at 10 meters. There is an 80m or 160m loading coil and whip mounted on top of that. The horizontals are loading coils and whips for the other bands chosen.

    For efficient working you need a good system of radials. I added a high value resistor from the whip section to ground to bleed static. Setup was relatively easy using an antenna analyser but would probably be a bit of a drag with just a vswr meter and rig. It's a cheap and cheerful multiband vertical design which does work.

    Despite the various claims just about any vertical needs a good system of radials for efficiency.

    So long as the VSWR is good at the antenna then IMO 100m of coax while certainly far from ideal won't present insurmountable losses at HF (check the coax specs). If, on the other hand, the match at the antenna is poor and you use an antenna tuner at the rig end the high VSWR present on the cable will increase losses and may even result in a failure if high power is used.

  12. #12


    I hope this isn't too late to help. I have a Hustler 5btv vertical on my metal pole barn roof and a 4btv that I take with me when I camp. Both work fine on 10-80m. A tuner is not needed. From what I have found the 4btv does not need radials when mounted within 2 feet of the ground. The 5btv uses the metal building as a radial and works a lot better. But I wouldn't notice the difference without going from one to the other while testing. Oh, both need a 1:1 balun to reduce the static. The air choke suggested in the installation manual did not help much at all. When in a park I sometimes put a flag on the 4btv to raise it in stealth mode.

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