I’m a bit of an experimenter, mainly with aerials and since purchasing an MFJ-259 analyzer, I’ve tried a few bits of wet-string here at PZT Towers as well as construct a number of dipoles/verticals. Before spending your hard-earned £££/$$$ on the latest radio, it’s wise to look at your aerial situation and try out new ideas. Regardless of the size of your “plot” – 80/40m aerials can be smaller than you think!
My current HF aerials are an 80m full-size Doublet fed with around 12m of 300-ohm feeder plus a 20m Horizontal Loop (also fed with balanced line) that is mostly used as a reference aerial for a 2nd receiver.
1/4wave HF Vertical – Telescopic aluminium sections, supplied by Aerial Parts of Colchester
This is simply a number of aluminium sections that telescope into each other and are held in place with hose-clips. It is sold “off-the-shelf” as a 30m-10m 1/4wave although John is happy to produce a longer version that’ll work on 40m – This brings the length to 10.7m/35ft extended and around 1.85m when closed. Typically, I can use this on 30m without worrying about guying it – But for 40m it will need at least 3 supports.
The antenna and base-plate cost £71 for the 40m custom version, or £57 for the standard 30m-10m (7.9m) offering. The bottom of the mounting plate has 4 holes drilled for attaching your radials via a solder-tag. You’d obviously need to cut these and adjust the aerial height for each band and mark the sections to indicate the positions of each band. When it’s up for 40m, it also works on 15m as an odd-harmonic.
This is probably overkill for a simple 40m vertical – so a 10m fishing-pole would be more suitable, wouldn’t need guying and can be mounted with a simple metal “angle-iron” support (I got my 1m ones from B&Q). Just add radials!
CobWeb – G3TXQ version
A nice and compact aerial for 20/17/15/12/10m – Yes, a 5-band resonant HF antenna. It’s a reasonable performer and just 270cm/8ft square – You can see details of the construction here.
6m 3ele LFA Yagi – A home-brew project designed to get me some 6m DX. I really like 6m (when it’s open!) – In the early days, I started with an HB9CV before progressing to a 5ele Tonna.
Diamond V-2000 for 6m, 2m and 70cm – In use since 2003, and still working!
SQBM100 2m/70cm – Moonraker’s version of the Diamond X50. This resides in the loft and is connected to my FT-60 handheld for indoor monitoring.