Author Topic: HF Bands  (Read 2442 times)

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Freedom Forged

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HF Bands
« on: June 15, 2016, 10:13:56 AM »
I built an end-fed Zep antenna.  The length will allow me to work 6-160 with the tuner.   It's a sloper of sorts.  One end is 24ft and the other end is at 40ft.  It works ok but I want to try something else.  My problem is I seem to want all bands.  Maybe I'm being too piggish. Maybe I should settle for a few band an don't worry about the rest.

What HF bands do you typically frequent/operate on? 

« Last Edit: June 15, 2016, 10:59:41 AM by Freedom Forged »


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Re: HF Bands
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2016, 02:01:37 PM »
Typically 20m & 40m for me. When I finally get another HF antenna here, possibly a few others.


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Re: HF Bands
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2016, 02:20:26 PM »
Same here.  20 during the day and 40 at night
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Re: HF Bands
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2016, 06:18:00 PM »
I am a 40/20 guy too.

As for your antenna, I don't know if you are being piggish, but I will whip out one of my favorite terms: It's a "Swiss Army knife" antenna, meaning, it does all things sort of well but no one thing exceptionally well. 

My advice is, if you really are regularly going to work all those bands and can only deploy one modestly sized antenna (due to space or money issues), then keep what you have an accept the limitations.

However, like most hams you probably drift towards the same one or two bands all the time. Is there any point to giving up good performance on those one or two bands just so you can have so-so capability on bands you don't use anyway? You end up with a mediocre antenna that is not especially good anywhere.

The alternative is to make an antenna that kicks ass on those one or two bands. In the end you have to decide your own priorities. If you are a newer ham, it would be helpful to try all the bands and decide what appeals to you before you jump on a specialty antenna.


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Re: HF Bands
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2016, 07:05:13 PM »
when I first found ham radio, this is what I found
10M was empty
20M was for contacts only, very little talking about anything
40M had people that had actual conversations
80M had people that talked lots, I mean they talk for 5 to 10 min. and then turn it over to the next in the group, would take them 30 min. to an hour to get back to the first person, and they did this daily for at least 20 or so years before I found them, and there are many groups of them all over the band
never could get a 160M antenna up to find out what was there, but I do know that historically this band was used like the 2M band is used now

now I have a 40M only antenna (NVIS)
would like more bands, or even a regular 40M antenna,
guess I have to work harder to get them set up


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Re: HF Bands
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2016, 08:11:06 PM »
80-40-20 here on a fan dipole, everything else on an end fed sloper. I've spent lotsa money on antennas and still come back to tuned pieces of wire to get the job done. You can always build one for the band you like best, and have another for everything else. Antenna switches are pretty cheap.
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Re: HF Bands
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2016, 08:26:40 AM »
If you want all bands its really not all that hard if you got the room.  A 40 meter extended double zepp fed with 450 ohm ladder line will work 10 thru 160 meters just fine.  Its nothing more than a doublet that is 178 (89 feet per side) feet long fed in the center like a regular dipole but fed with balanced feedline.  Get the center up at least 35' or more if possible and the ends at least 10 feet high or more.  Bring the feedline to the shack and connect it to a 1:1 choke balun and use a short run of coax into the shack to the tuner.  I have used this arrangement for 10 years and worked the world with it 10 thru 160 meters and even done a lot of that with 2 watts or less !  If you don't have enough room to put up 178 feet, then make it any length you can fit in the space avaialable but 135' center fed is a good second choice but it doesn't do as well on 160 but does work fine on all the others !