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Antenna Madness

cockpitbob

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The fundamental electrical design of most antennas is the same. There's usually no "secret sauce" so it comes down to the quality of the materials and construction. Unless you have a junk bin with connectors brackets and etc, a home made pipe version won't be much cheaper, especially if you count $0.50/mile for the 3 trips to Home Depot required for any plumbing job.

If you want to look up and be able to say "I built that", then make it. If you just want an antenna to get you on the air, that Arrow is a great choice.
 

ToddDubya

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The fundamental electrical design of most antennas is the same. There's usually no "secret sauce" so it comes down to the quality of the materials and construction. Unless you have a junk bin with connectors brackets and etc, a home made pipe version won't be much cheaper, especially if you count $0.50/mile for the 3 trips to Home Depot required for any plumbing job.

If you want to look up and be able to say "I built that", then make it. If you just want an antenna to get you on the air, that Arrow is a great choice.

This is the response I was looking for. [smile]
 
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Anybody use the Arrow 2m/70cm antenna?

I've seen some reviews of it that claim it's the bee's knees. But in a comparison to the DIY copper pipe j-pole I guess it performs the same. And I figure by the time I buy all of the copper fittings and assorted mounting hardware the copper pipe version won't be all that much cheaper. HRO has it for $39.

I have one that I use to hit SO-50. I like it but I only use it for working satellites with my baofeng.
 

Realtor MA

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Anybody use the Arrow 2m/70cm antenna?

I've seen some reviews of it that claim it's the bee's knees. But in a comparison to the DIY copper pipe j-pole I guess it performs the same. And I figure by the time I buy all of the copper fittings and assorted mounting hardware the copper pipe version won't be all that much cheaper. HRO has it for $39.

I have one of those arrow J poles. I don't like it. Seems kind of deaf to me. If you want to try it out let me know. I replaced it with a ringo and its much better. The dual band beam I have on the tower is way better than either of them but then you need a rotator.
 

cockpitbob

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I have one of those arrow J poles. I don't like it. Seems kind of deaf to me. If you want to try it out let me know. I replaced it with a ringo and its much better. The dual band beam I have on the tower is way better than either of them but then you need a rotator.
I keep hearing the Ringo Ranger is an outstanding antenna. But it's more $ and only 1 band.
 

MaverickNH

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I have been using my rain gutter and it has been working great on HF bands.

Trying that now, and have some questions.

Some background: Yaesu 897D multiband with Diamond 2m/70cm on mast at roof peak. Now looking to add HF.

1. Aluminum downspouts & gutter on West facing side of my house appear electrically continuous. I checked between a few segments that were riveted and resistance is zero. Rubber boot to ground drain shows infinite resistance.
2. I ran a self-tapping screw into the downspout with some inside/outside star washer for good metal-to-metal contact, and ran a 8ft 12g solid wire to my window pass-thru bolt, and then another 3ft 12g wire from bolt to MFJ-898D Tuner. Electrical continuity tested OK.
3. I ran a 12g wire from the tuner ground bolt (which is grounded by an 8ft copper-clad rod driven outside the window and connected with 1/2in tinned copper braid) to another pass-thru bolt. On the outside of that bolt, I have four 22g insulated wires bundled together for counterpoise, cut to 1/4 wavelength for 10m, 17m, 20m ad 40m, with taped ends. These run down 4 feet to where the vinyl siding meets the concrete foundation, then I tucked them between the siding and foundation so the bundle runs parallel to the gutter about 3ft off the earth.
4. Just listening on the bands, I hear a lot of noise, with an occasional voice I can almost make out on 20m or 40m, and some CW here and there too.

Questions:
1. Do I need to run a counterpoise to directly to ground too?
2. Is a unun or balun needed?
3. I'm thinking to add a Yaesu FC-40 remote autotuner outside by the downspout to keep the wire and RFI outside. Thoughts?

Thanks! (...and I though reloading was black-magic...)
 

cockpitbob

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Trying that now, and have some questions.

Some background: Yaesu 897D multiband with Diamond 2m/70cm on mast at roof peak. Now looking to add HF.

1. Aluminum downspouts & gutter on West facing side of my house appear electrically continuous. I checked between a few segments that were riveted and resistance is zero. Rubber boot to ground drain shows infinite resistance.
2. I ran a self-tapping screw into the downspout with some inside/outside star washer for good metal-to-metal contact, and ran a 8ft 12g solid wire to my window pass-thru bolt, and then another 3ft 12g wire from bolt to MFJ-898D Tuner. Electrical continuity tested OK.
3. I ran a 12g wire from the tuner ground bolt (which is grounded by an 8ft copper-clad rod driven outside the window and connected with 1/2in tinned copper braid) to another pass-thru bolt. On the outside of that bolt, I have four 22g insulated wires bundled together for counterpoise, cut to 1/4 wavelength for 10m, 17m, 20m ad 40m, with taped ends. These run down 4 feet to where the vinyl siding meets the concrete foundation, then I tucked them between the siding and foundation so the bundle runs parallel to the gutter about 3ft off the earth.
4. Just listening on the bands, I hear a lot of noise, with an occasional voice I can almost make out on 20m or 40m, and some CW here and there too.

Questions:
1. Do I need to run a counterpoise to directly to ground too?
2. Is a unun or balun needed?
3. I'm thinking to add a Yaesu FC-40 remote autotuner outside by the downspout to keep the wire and RFI outside. Thoughts?

Thanks! (...and I though reloading was black-magic...)

1. Do I need to run a counterpoise to directly to ground too? It's one or the other. You either connect the coax shield to counterpoise wires, or ground it as best you can(house's water pipe is ideal if close by). A bunch of buried radials are probably even better.

2. Is a unun or balun needed?If you are getting RF in the shack then a balun is needed to keep RF off the coax shield. If the antenna's impedance is really high on the bands you want to operate on, and your tuner can't tune those bands then an unun would get the impedance down into the tuner's range. An antenna analyzer is really helpful here, but in general, if your tuner can tune what you want, then you are fine.

3. I'm thinking to add a Yaesu FC-40 remote autotuner outside by the downspout to keep the wire and RFI outside. Thoughts?If your feed line is long (>50') then you might consider this because the SWR between the antenna and tuner will eat up a lot of your Tx and Rx power. If the connection between the tuner and gutter is short then don't worry about a remote tuner.

Your setup isn't much different from mine. I have a random length antenna. Instead of gutter it's a piece of wire strung up into the trees. Instead of counterpoises I drove 2 ground rods into the dirt 10' apart and connected the coax shield to them. Frankly I would probably be better off burying a bunch of radials. Where the coax splits to the wire and ground I have a bead balun to keep RF out of the shack. My manual tuner (MFJ-949) is in the shack and can tune the wire to any band I need so I don't bother with an unun. I only have 20' of coax between the tuner and the connection to the antenna/ground so my feed line losses are low.
 
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How well would a couple of brackets like these do holding up a full size TV (yagi?) antenna? Mine's in the attic right now, and getting it outside and up another 8 feet might work wonders.
 
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