Hf antenna types

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Hf antenna types

Recently a student in our Technician License Class realized that it may take quite a few antennas to cover all of the available ham bands.

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This is a very valid question. Radio amateurs have so many bands available to them, it does present a challenge to figure out the antenna situation. The focus of this article is broader than that, with the addition of HF operation. The General Class license provides greatly expanded privileges on HF. These antennas are vertically polarized, covering basic 2m and 70 cm simplex and repeater operating.

Some folks may argue for just putting up a single-band antenna for 2m only, which is the most popular VHF band. You could put up single-band antennas for every band, but that gets complicated and typically results lots of antennas and lots of cable runs back to the ham shack.

Focusing on the new ham, it makes sense to go for a multiband antenna and keep the number of individual coaxial cable runs to just a couple.

My biases are towards the higher bands 20m and up because I like to work other countries around the world during daylight hours.

If you are more interested in North American contacts, especially in the evening hours, you might want to cover the 40m and 80m bands. For a new ham, this may be difficult to figure out, until you get some experience and discover your preferred ham bands. Some reasonably inexpensive commercial options with such band allowances are readily available as horizontal wire fan dipoles or trap dipoles.

Fan Dipole also known as a parallel dipole — This is a half-wave dipole with additional elements added to cover additional bands. While there is some interaction between the different dipole elements, they are normally fed by a common coaxial cable, avoiding the need for multiple cable runs.

A fan dipole configures multiple dipoles trimmed to different bands using a single feedline. Not to scale. The dipole length is determined by the lowest frequency band and the traps are used to electrically shorten the dipole for higher bands. A trap antenna has resonant circuits inserted in the radiating element that electrically shorten the antenna for use at higher frequencies. A well designed matching transformer at the end feed point facilitates this antenna configuration.

Multiband versions of this antenna exist and are a convenient way to enable several bands at once. It is 65 feet long, uses three short stub extensions along the length, and has an end-of-wire feed point transformer with coaxial connector.

Multiband vertical — Quite a few different vertical antenna designs support multiple bands. When considering a vertical antenna, pay attention to whether the design requires ground radials to be installed. Nothing wrong with them, but radials can be critical to achieving efficient antenna performance. If you have restrictive covenants, you might consider a vertical antenna that is also a flag pole really! Take a look at the story and video about a flagpole antenna installation in the related links at the end of this article.

Antenna Tuners — When trying to cover lots of bands with just a few antennas, an antenna tuner will be really handy. The 6-meter band is a lot of fun and is accessible to Technicians. Most of the time, this band is good for local communication but it often opens up for over-the-horizon skip by sporadic-e propagationespecially during the summer months. Some of the multiband HF antennas mentioned above also cover 6 meters, or you can put up a separate 6m dipole to get started. The more serious 6m operators use a Yagi antenna to produce gain and a big signal.

In most station configurations, a separate 6-meter antenna will dictate another dedicated coaxial cable run. So, How Many? The main thing is to get something usable up in the air and make some contacts. Over time, you will probably add or change your antennas to get just what you want. That is part of the fun of amateur radio.

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Diamond XA Antenna.QRZ Forums. I"m trying to determine the best overall HF wire antenna I can make to cover the bands. I have a backyard that is about feet long and 60 ft wide. My driveway goes around the back of the house so it would be hard to run wire along the ground.

The shack is on the first floor on one side halfway to the front of the house. I would like to make my own but would like some help as far as length of wires, what wire to use, what feed like to use and if I need a balun. I have a G5RV but my understanding is that the center needs to drop down vertically in the center and run to the shack which would be a problem since I have a driveway between the backyard and the house. Any help is appreciated. I never made my own wire antennas, so types of wire to use and construction would be very helpful.

N2LSAMar 25, It should be at least 40' high. Good Luck, Glenn. K4ZOTMar 26, For me the best all-round m inc Warc bands wire antenna is a full wave 80m loop, fed with ' of ohm line to a tuner.

W7ASY likes this. I've had good results with an all band doublet using ohm feedline and an MFJ E tuner. Access to m would be a problem but you should be able to work everything above 3. K0HWYMar 27, The best results seem to come from non-resonant antennas like loops and doublets. They do need to be up high to work well, an issue I have to contend with.

AF6LJMar 27, I think she said THET dont have to be high to work well I thgik as we grow older, we find that to be the case. The fattie I just rolled and am now lighting will prove that. Lee NI7I. NI7IMar 27, As you can see from the variety of replies, this is sort of like asking: How high is UP? You have a decent sized lot, so you have lots of possible choices. One antenna is rarely enough anyway.

Fan dipoles are sometimes overlooked, their economy comes in multiple resonant antennas on a single coax feed, and depending on your needs they can be configured in a couple of useful ways.Learn something new every day More Info An antenna, or aerial, is a device to send or receive signals. There are many antenna types and many ways of categorizing them. The two major antenna types that we first learn about and many people learn to distinguish as children are the antennae that are a body part for some animals on the one hand, as distinguished from all the antenna types that are made by people on the other hand.

Many people are familiar with insect antennae, but crustaceans—including the lobster—and myriapods have them, too. For animals, antennae function as a sensory organ. Antennas made by people are often metal and have many different designs. The second major categorical division of antenna types is between those that transmit signals, known as a transmitting antennas, and those that receive signals, called receiving antennas.

Best Vertical HF Antennas for DXing in 2020

It is also possible to have antennas that are made to both transmit and receive. Usually, transmitting antennas handle a good deal more electrical energy than receiving antennas. Antenna types can also be used to differentiate antennas for radio, television, and radar systems. Because antennas can be built for transmission of different frequencies, another way to categorize antenna types is by their frequency. The range of antennas can be categorized as short, medium, or long.

For customers buying a television antenna, the decision is dependent on how close they are to the transmitting towers that they wish to pick up a signal from. If the range is well matched to the distance, it will help avoid the antenna picking up unwanted signals. Location is another way of looking at antenna type. Antennas can be made for indoor installation, outdoor installation, or attic installation.

Indoor antennas are easy to install, but usually do not have the elevation to provide the best signal, particularly for customers who are far from the transmission.

HF Vertical Antennas and Packages

It used to be that outdoor antennas were primarily made for rooftops, but more are being designed to mount on the side of a house, or on a pole or deck. The attic can be a useful installation point for those who do not want their antenna inside or outside for aesthetic or other reasons.

Another set of antenna types is differentiated by style. Style can speak to the antennas appearance in terms of design. It can also address whether the antenna is directional and gather signals from a central location or whether it is multidirectional, seeking signals from towers transmitting from different locations.

I never realized there were so many different kinds of antennas. I thought I'd just go out and pick up a small one to place on top of my TV. Now, I guess I have some thinking to do, to figure out which kind will work the best for me. I definitely don't want to waste my money! The first one is that a lot of attics just don't have sufficient room for an antenna.

The second is that you will probably need a high gain antenna in order to get a decent signal, and these antennas need to be pointing in the direction of the station you want to pick up. So, either you watch only stations in that direction, or you need a rotating antenna.There is always a good discussion to be had on what types of antenna perform the best under given circumstances.

For some the choice may be a large directive antenna on a high tower, but for most radio amateurs space and many other restrictions mean that compromises have to be made. When there are restrictions the challenge is to adopt the best form of antenna for the particular location.

This can often lead to some experimentation which is normally very interesting and leads to a much better understanding of the operation of antenna systems and two way radio communication in general. There are many options for amateur radio antennas that can be taken, some simple, some that can be made, some that are bought.

Some of the very many options for antennas are given below. The end fed wire, often called a long wire antenna is one of the simplest to build and install. Simply it consists of a length of wire that is connected to the receiver or transmitter. Often this type of antenna is called a long wire antenna, although a true long wire antenna is many wavelengths long, rather than a random length, often only less than a wavelength.

The more correct terminology is an end fed wire. Erecting this type of ham radio antenna is quite straightforward. A typical antenna installation is shown in the diagram, but it can be almost any suitable configuration.

Feed Lines

An antenna tuning unit will be required - one which can interface to an end fed wire. This is placed between the transmitter or receiver and the antenna wire. If one is not used, then the impedance of the antenna will not match that of the receiver or transmitter input and this will result in lower efficiency.

Also the transmitter may have trouble matching to this, and this may result in lower power output, or even damage to the transmitter output. It is also necessary to have a good earth connection. This should not just be the mains earth that the rig or power supply uses - this would not provide a good RF earth connection and it can result in interference to other electrical and electronic items.

It is often thought that an end fed wire should be a quarter wavelength long on the major band of use. This presents a low impedance to the radio and enables it to be matched very easily. However the current maximum which gives rise to the radiation occurs around this area and this means that there is lots of pick-up and radiation near the radio.

This is not good as it results in local pick-up of noise etc and this can mask the wanted signals. Also for transmitters, lots of radiation occurs near the radio and this can cause interference to many other problems with electrical and electronic items. Even if the antenna is not a quarter wavelength long, some pick up and radiation will occur near the radio and this is not good.

If the antenna is not an odd multiple of quarter wavelengths long, then it can be difficult to match. Although the end fed wire can seem like a good option for amateur radio communication applications, it does have some drawbacks and may not provide the optimum overall performance. One popular antenna that is being used increasingly is known as the end fed half wave antenna, or EFHW antenna.

This type of wire antenna is a half wavelength long at its lowest frequency.

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Being a ham radio antenna, the many of the higher frequency bands are harmonically related, and therefore it will perform as a multiple number of half wavelengths on these bands.

Values of are widely used for these end fed half wave antennas, but some designs may even use ratios of up to - this equates to a turns ratio of around or The RF transformer used is referred to as an unun as it matches from an unbalanced line to an unbalanced antenna - the more familiar balun goes from balanced to unbalanced.

Being a high impedance antenna an earth connection is not needed. Typically a counterpoise is used. If a counterpoise is not present then the antenna will use the coax outer.Getting started on DXing? Love to find and communicate with new people from distant locations? We researched and reviewed some of the best vertical HF antennas that will satisfy your hunger for DXing. Things can get pretty much technical when you are looking to buy anything related to radio.

We tried to keep things simple so that even new radio enthusiasts can understand. Most of these antennas are portable and can be carried to new places. So, you get a bit of flexibility with them. The antenna is fully collapsible. It can be stretched from just 12 inches to 12ft. And the tripod can also be collapsed to 24 inches size.

hf antenna types

However, to access the lower ends of the HF bands from 3. Tuning is very easy in this antenna, thanks to the aircraft-grade aluminum tubular slide and military-grade slip connections. Apart from the antenna whip and tripod, you also get a radial set, ground mount, SWR ruler and a portable carrying bag.

The portability and the ability to communicate on HF and VHF bands is what makes the antenna worth buying. For HF, it operates on 3. On the higher end, it covers 7 to 30 MHZ. But for 2m, you will have to use an external adapter like the MC2 Superplexer. The antenna collapses from 7ft to 12 inches. And with an overall weight of 5 pounds, you can carry this kit anywhere you go.

We really loved the SuperMount clamp which you can use to attach the antenna to virtually anything from fences to plastic pipes. The best performance of this antenna can be found on 20M and above.

The performance is similar to the large vertical HFs that are more expensive. If you want better performance than the MP1 we reviewed earlier, you should definitely get this one.

However, it might be a bit on the expensive side. So, the price should be a factor here. The ability to perform exceptionally above 20M range is what makes this vertical HF antenna so effective. If you are searching for the best HF vertical antenna with no radials, then the Comet vertical antenna is worth installing. This is not a portable HF antenna. Because the fitting will become loose on each installation.The HFBC reference data, maintained by the Bureau, are designed to assist broadcasters and administrations in the preparation of their HF broadcasting requirements and to provide a common code system.

The use of common code system should facilitate coordination between administrations, broadcasters and other users of HF spectrum. The agreed set of test points is used by the HF software to calculate strength values at each test point inside the required service area.

It is important to update your Reference tables regularly! Requirements are to be submitted by administrations or organizations who are authorized by the administrations concerned to do so, such as broadcasters and frequency managers Article Authorizations should be submitted to:. Sun spot number Committed to connecting the world.

Search for:. Reference data. Rollup Image. Page Content Reference tables Page Content 2. Transmitting antennas for HF broadcasting Page Content 3. A list including antenna codes and antenna definitions Reference table antenna. Transmitting Antennas For HF Broadcasting - Document describing the most common antenna types and their parameters: Curtain antennas, Tropical antennas, Lo-periodic antennas, Rhombic antennas, Quadrant antennas, Cross-dipole antennas and Vertical Monopoles.

Page Content 5. Update Reference Tables. Page Content 6. Page Content 7. Page Content 8. Ionospheric Propagation. Contact us Privacy notice Accessibility Report misconduct.Forgot Password? The feed line also called the transmission line is the RF power conduit between your radio and your antenna. All the energy you generate travels to the antenna through the feed line.

By the same token, all the signals picked up by your antenna must reach your radio through the same feed line. To complicate matters, all feed lines are not created equal. The amount of loss at any frequency will vary considerably from one type of feed line to another. The most common type of feed line is coaxial cableor simply coax.

There is also insulating material between the center conductor and the shield. This material can be hard plastic, foam plastic or even air.

hf antenna types

A popular type of feed line for HF use is ladder line. In fact, at HF frequencies it is the most common feed line for random-length dipoles and other antenna designs.

hf antenna types

Ladder line consists of nothing more than two wires in parallel separated by insulating material. Just remember that the higher the decibel number, the greater the loss. Feed lines also have a characteristic impedance value measured in ohms. Coaxial cable commonly used for Amateur Radio has an impedance of 50 ohms while ladder line impedances can vary from to ohms.

Amateur Radio transceivers are designed to work with an impedance of 50 ohms, so you must use 50 ohm coax, or find a way to convert the to ohm impedance of ladder line to 50 ohms. If you are using an antenna that is designed to deliver a ohm impedance, it is best to use a coaxial feed line to provide a ohm antenna system impedance for your transceiver.

The other approach is to use a device called an antenna tuner to transform the impedance of the antenna system to 50 ohms for your radio without physically adjusting the antenna at all. An antenna tuner is a kind of adjustable impedance transformer. Some tuners operate manually; you twist the knobs until the SWR meter shows a SWR, or something reasonably close to it.

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Other tuners are automatic and do all the adjustments for you. Taking the antenna tuner approach is not a good idea when you are using coaxial cable under high greater than SWR conditions. The tuner may provide the 50 ohm match to your radio, but the mismatch and high SWR still exists between the antenna tuner and the antenna!

This translates to high losses in the coaxial cable. At HF frequencies, the loss in ladder line is so low, you can still see good results even when the SWR is horrendous. So which type of feed line should you use at your station? Fortunately, the answer is simple: You want the feed line that has the lowest loss at the highest frequency you want to operate.

As you probably guessed, low-loss feed lines are more expensive. A little planning and common sense goes a long way when it comes to selecting feed line. As long as the SWR is low, the loss will be acceptable.

How does a J-pole antenna work? AD#36

However, if you have an antenna that is feet from your radio and you are operating at, say, MHz, RG would be an extraordinarily bad choice! For base stations in particular, always buy the lowest-loss coax you can afford. For instance, feet of LMR is overkill quality for a station that only operates on the meter band.

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