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Author Topic: Want gain? Try the foldingantenna  (Read 839 times)

Offline nx1p

  • Able Seaman
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  • Posts: 4
  • Country: us
Want gain? Try the foldingantenna
« on: July 04, 2014, 15:06:21 UTC »
No stable of portable/QRP antenna's is complete without at least one with GAIN!   Running QRP can be very frustrating without a good antenna (as you buddipole owners probably know).  So to really get heard, you need to compensate with an antenna the produces gain.  Unfortunately this usually means some massive amount of aluminum on a sky hook.  In recent years the guys and gals in EU have been successful with hex beams.  These are usually configured as 'reverse umbrellas' and have wire drivers and reflectors as elements.  If you are planning on putting it up once and forgetting it, then the commercial hex beam with its heavy duty (and heavy weight) spreaders is the way to go.  Building a hex beam is no small task as there are two wires for each band (12 wires if you are doing 6 bands) plus all the support cords (to keep the umbrella shape).  It is not unusual to take up to 4 hours to assemble or disassemble a hex beam AFTER you have already got the wire lengths and mechanical components layed out.  If you are into portable operation then there is an alternative.  The foldingantenna (http://www.foldingantennas.com/gb.html).  This antenna has the same dimensions as an umbrella hex beam but the spreaders are hinged and lay out straight, like a spiderweb.  This antenna can be deployed in under 30 minutes and packed in the same amount of time.  WARNING NOT FOR THE IMPATIENT.  Care must be taken when packing and unpacking because of the 12 sets of wires and support cord.  If done without paying close attention to how the wires are bundling you can end up with a 'rats nets' that will take hours to untangle and re-string.  That said, this antenna really performs.  You get 3 to 4 db gain over a dipole with a very sharp rear null (think Moxon).  I used this during 7QP runing 5 watts and spent most that Saturday morning running an EU pileup on 15 meters.
Getting GAIN is not easy, but the Foldingantenna will get you there on 6 bands faster then any other GAIN antenna!