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Local WX


Wire Antennas that Work

Looking for some practical Multi-Band HF Backyard antennas?

The following PDF files maybe of interest to you then, these are some of the better performing Multi-Band HF antennas they been around for years.

The Top 5 Backyard Wire Antennas (in no order) by L. B. Cebik, W4RNL

The Top five list contains a few antennas that if you have the room for them perform very well.

 However if like me you’re faced with a small lot or perhaps in need of a stealth multi-band antenna or just want to get on 80 or 160 meters with something that works! Then I would suggest giving the Inverted L a try, I have been using one here for a couple years now and while the overall length of mine has changed over time, the base feed or bottom feed Inverted L has proven to work as a multi-band HF antenna, and even better one that will fit in small lots/yards and works!

If I only could have one antenna for a multi-band HF 160-10 or 80-10 antenna in a small lot the L would be my first choice.

Straightening Out the Inverted-L: by L. B. Cebik, W4RNL - contains a lot of very useful information regarding the Inverted L, antenna patterns, gain figures, vertical vs horizonal lenght ratios and there role on its performance recommended lenghts and impednace ranges for given bands.

I  base feed mine with a Balun Designs 1:1 RF choke a model 1116dt- I ended up with a total length of 85 feet, 40 vertical and 45 horizontal running up along a tree trunk and over limbs and braches to another tree, although cut for 80-10 the Palstar AT1KP tunes it on 160 (performance is way down but for local rag chews during the winter it works better than shorting a dipole and feeding it against ground) if you have room for a 160 meter version you should enjoy 160 meters, if however 80 and 40 meters are of more interests for you, then I would suggest staying with the 85-90 feet total wire lengths as outlined in his article, doing so you'll save yourself a lot of time and headache. (see update below)

I wish I had stumbled upon this before I kept changing lengths and height versus horizontal section ratios. For a general purpose multi-banded small yard wire antenna the Inverted L is a good choice.

Update August 16 2014 - The past few weeks I have been playing around with a 40 meter OCFD at around 33 feet. The OCFD has a very low SWR on 40 meters. It operates well locally on 40 and does a decent job of DX on 20 and 10 meters both of which also have nice SWR curves with no tuner required. This makes band hoping between them fast only resulting in a quick tune of the amplifier if its in use.

Since I now have a resonate antenna for 40 20 and 10 meters I shortened up the lenght of the inverted L until i found a resonate spot in the lower portion of 80/75 meters that would allow me to bypass the tuner when operating within that window of the band. Time will tell how this effects local Tx/Rx on 80/75 meters however DX should improve some. Using the AT1KP tuner it is still easily tuned for other bands of operation when required. 40 Meters is a bit touchy do to the lenght of the antenna now being a 1/2 wave on 40 meters and i'll need to get a feeling of how performance has changed on that band and others.

SWR Plots of the 80 Meter inverted L and the 40 Meter OFCD dipole in PDF formats below

80 Meter Inv L

40 Meter OCFD

20 Meters OCFD

10 Meters OCFD

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