QRP Station > Antennas

Help Discerning Which Antenna(s) To Install

(1/2) > >>

Some experiences have lasting impact.

When I was new to ham radio I listened to an operator out of Panama who was operating QRP (in milliwatts) using an eleven element 20 metre beam.  His signal strength registered 20+ dBs!  That was a great lesson for me; the antenna was more important than the power.

Thirty-one years later I now live on a farm and have collected enough towers and treated poles to install some fine wire antennas.

I hope to get a rhombic up and pointed 30 degrees east of north so that I can work Europe QRP regularly.

I have scrounged an 88' free standing commercial tower, several 30' tv towers, four 40' pressure treated posts, and several 30' older telephone poles.

My question for you is: As QRP ops what wire antennas would you install?  I'd really like to hear what you have to say...



I envy you the space you have! I'm limited in space and would never be permitted a taller mast than the 30' one I have installed.
As far as antennas go, I think a quad is just about perfect for QRP as it is much quieter than a yagi and thus better for detecting weak signals. For the lower bands a steerable Vee beam works pretty well, I used one on an IOTA contest expedition. At home I've used a pair of 1/4 wave verticals with phase shift to give directional gain on 80m - worked pretty well though being verticals it was a noisy antenna.
With the number of tall poles/towers you have you could think about delta loops, either single or multi element, with the loops suspended from a catenary running between your poles.

GM Dave!

Thank you for your recommendations.  I am just now starting to work through the possibilities and will look up each of your suggestions.

I was hoping to get away from any rotational antennas.  I'd sooner put up several sloping V's from the 88' tower with a way to switch between them physically at the tower base, but I will nevertheless keep a quad in mind.  It is an exceptionally windy location at which we live.

If you have any future thoughts be sure to register those as well!

You might want to consider remote switching rather than having to go outside to change bands/direction.
I use a Top Ten Devices relay box out in the garden and can switch between up to six antennas that feed into the shack via a single hardline feeder. The Top Ten relay box wasn't cheap but you could easily make your own from co-ax relays. I use some Cat5 cable, doubled up to run between the switch box in the shack out to the relay box in the garden.
One advantage of my system is that any antennas that are not in use are earthed and when there is no power at all to the box all antennas are earthed and my radios are completely and safely  isolated from any antenna.

Thanks Dave...

...I'd rather not add remote switching...I am an outdoor person so don't mind doing the legwork, even at -30 ;)

...and there's just something about keeping my setup as simple as possible that I find as attractive as low power transmission itself...I've been a ham 30 years and I'll go to my grave still fascinated that I can talk to the world on the same power as a low wattage lightbulb!  More gadgets, more electronics, and more power only have gotten me into more trouble! ;)

I will have to ask at some point about simple antennas as I access remote backcountry here, usually marshy or rocky and in some places with no trees...but that's for another thread




[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version