Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The W3EDP antenna revisited. Post #229

I'm always looking for interesting antennas to build for my expanding antenna "farm" at my new house lot in the Puna District of Hawaii Island.  Unlike my present location, the new lot has an acre of space to design, build, and locate new antennas.  So, when I take a break from clearing the land of brush and scrub trees, I have time to explore antennas for my modest station.

A few days ago, I ran across an interesting article by William McFadden (WD8RIF) on his "Field Deployable Field Antennas" website.  McFadden wrote about an old classic half-wave length antenna called the W3EDP, a variation of the "Zepp" antennas that were popular in the 1930s.  The original W3EDP article can be found in the March 1936 edition of "QST".  If you're a member of the ARRL, you can access the archives and read about this fascinating antenna.

According to McFadden, the W3EDP antenna is a "Zepp" consisting of a radiator 85 feet/25.91 meters and a "counterpoise" wire of 17 feet/5.18 meters.  The radiator and "counterpoise" wire are attached to 17 feet/5.18 meters of 450-ohm ladder line, which serves as the antenna feed line.  The radiator can be supported by a single mast or tree or in an inverted "L" configuration.  The short "counterpoise" wire should be supported above ground for best results.

McFadden says the modified W3EDP design is easily deployable and can serve as an emergency multi-band antenna.

With all of this in mind, I decided to build one of these classic antennas just for the fun of it.

MATERIALS:

One hundred nineteen (119) feet/36.28 meters of #14 AWG housewire.  Eighty-five feet/25.91 meters would be used as the main antenna element.  Seventeen feet/5.18 meters would be used for the "counterpoise" wire.  And 17 feet/5.18 meters would be used as an additional "counterpoise" wire for the Drake MN-4 transmatch. This was my main alteration to the antenna.

One W9INN 4:1 balun.

Seventeen (17) feet/5.18 meters of 450-ohm ladder line.  This would be my feed line.

A 3-ft/0.91 meters of RG-8X coaxial cable with UHF connectors.  This cable would join the Drake MN-4 transmatch to the W9INN 4:1 balun.  The balun would be connected to the 450-ohm feed line.

One transmatch.  I had a spare Drake MN-4 in the shack.

Short coaxial cable patch cords to connect the Drake MN-4 to the Swan 100-MX transceiver, a low pass filter, and a dummy load.

Two five-foot/1.52 meters wooden stakes to support the "counterpoise" wire running from one side of the ladder line.

One 5-ft/1.52 meters wooden stake to support a fiberglass mast.

Four ceramic insulators.  One insulator would be attached to the tip of a fiberglass mast; the second would be used to tie off the main radiator to a nearby tree; the third insulator would be used to tie off the short "counterpoise" wire to a wooden stake; the fourth would be used to tie off the "counterpoise" wire to the Drake MN-4 transmatch.

One 33-ft/10.06 meters telescoping fiberglass mast.

A slingshot and fishing weight to launch part of the antenna into an inverted "L" configuration.  A 50-ft/15.24 meters piece of rayon rope was used to haul up the "L" and secure the installation to a tree stump.

Basic tools, soldering iron, nylon tie wraps, vinyl electrical tape.

ASSEMBLY:

The antenna was made in the garage next to the radio room.

I measured off the predetermined lengths of each wire, including the 450-ohm feed line.

The main radiator and shorter "counterpoise" wires were soldered to the feed line.  All connections were wrapped with several layers of vinyl electrical tape.

I slipped the feed line through a "homebrewed" patch panel in the shack window.  The feed line was attached to the W9INN 4:1 balun, which, in turn, was connected to the Drake MN-4 transmatch with a 3-ft/0.91 meter length of RG-8X coaxial cable with UHF connectors.

A 17-ft/5.18 meters piece of #14 AWG housewire was attached to the ground lug of the Drake MN-4 transmatch.  This wire was run along the baseboards of the enclosed radio room and tied off with a ceramic insulator.  The end of the wire was wrapped with several layers of vinyl electrical tape.  Hopefully, this step would reduce the chances of someone getting shocked with the high voltage at the end of the wire.  I also hoped the extra wire connected to the ground lug of the transmatch would improve the performance of the short "counterpoise" attached to the feed line.

With the interior connections made, I proceeded to finish the external connections of the antenna.

I attached 33-ft/10.06 meters of #14 AWG housewire to the vertical fiberglass mast which was placed temporarily outside the shack window. The antenna wire was then soldered to one side of the ladder line.  That connection was wrapped with several layers of vinyl plastic tape.  The antenna wire was secured to the mast  with nylon ties.  At the tip of the mast, the wire ran through an opening in a ceramic insulator. The mast was then hoisted onto its supporting wooden stake. The remaining part of the antenna (52-feet/15.85 meters) was run to a nearby tree and secured at the 25-ft/7.62 level with a slingshot and fishing weight.  The rope attached to the fishing weight pulled up the "L" part of the antenna.  The rope was tied off on an adjacent tree stump.

The short "counterpoise" wire was soldered to the 450-ohm feedline  That connection was wrapped with several layers of vinyl plastic tape.  The "counterpoise" wire was then attached to two 5-ft/1.52 meters wooden stakes with nylon ties.  The wire was kept off the ground.

RESULTS:

As predicted by McFadden, the antenna showed a low swr (1.5 to 1) on the 80 meter and 10 meter bands without the counterpoise.  The counterpoise was needed to get a low swr on 15 meters, 20 meters, and 40 meters.  The Drake MN-4 seemed to handle the swr without problems.

In the end, I decided to leave the "counterpoise" wires attached, both inside on the Drake MN-4 and outside with the elevated wires running to the wooden stakes.

I've been able to get low swrs on 80 through 10 meters running about 25 watts cw/ssb from the old Swan 100 MX.

As an experimental antenna, the W3EDP has proven simple to build, highly portable, and easy to set up.  This would make a nice antenna for a mini-dxpedition or emergency use.

I've had decent reports on 40, 20, and 15 meters, with contacts ranging from 559 to 599 on cw and 54 to 57 on ssb.  Nothing spectacular, to be sure...but the antenna works.  Ten meters has been marginal due to propagation problems.  Eighty meters has yet to be tested.  So far, so good.

REFERENCES:

homefrognet.net/~mcfadden/wd8rif/fieldantennas.htm.
http://www.ok1rr.com/index.php/antennas/19-the-w3edp-antenna.
http://www.eham.nt/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=80021.0.
http://www.kb6nu.com/the-w3edp-antenna/.
http://www.nc4fb.org/wordpress/w3edp-multi-band-antenna/.
"QST".  March, 1936.  ARRL, Newington, CT, 06111.

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Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

BK29jx15--along the beautiful Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island.



Friday, September 20, 2013

Two Amateur Radio Icons remembered. Post #228

This week, the Amateur Radio Community lost two of its most illustrious pioneers.

On Friday, 13 September 2013, Wayne S. Green II, W2NSD ("never say die") passed away at age 91 at his New Hampshire home.  Green was editor of "CQ Magzine" for 5 years, founded "73 Magazine", which ran until 2003, and published some of the early computer magazines, including "Byte".

Green was an occasional guest on Art Bell's (W6OBB) "Coast to Coast AM" overnight talk show.  Green expounded on many topics, including amateur radio, AIDS, cancer, and cold fusion.  Although he was a constant critic of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), he maintained his membership in the organization, urging the national organization for amateur radio to explore new technologies and include more construction projects in its publications.

Wayne was frequently witty, sarcastic, and funny.  Wayne, who was often called a gadfly and an irritant,was one of the early pioneers of VHF/UHF repeaters and an advocate of using computers for amateur radio applications.  While many of Green's views on health, education, and government were controversial, his views always had a grain of truth and forced you to think through your own assumptions.

On Sunday, 15 September 2013, John "Jack" Althouse, K6NY, died at age 90.  Althouse was the president of Palomar Enginners and the author of the popular Kurt Sterba " Aerials " columns from 1999 to 2012 for "World Radio".  The articles demolished antenna myths with humor, logic, and often sarcasm.  Althouse was active until earlier this year.

Both of these amateur radio operators will be missed.  Rest in Peace.

REFERENCES:

The ARRL Letter, 19 September 2013, Newington, CT, 06111.

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Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM)

BK29jx15--along the beautiful Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A 10-Meter Half Square Antenna. Post #227

Over the past few weeks, I've been able to erect several antennas on my wife's property in the Puna District of Hawaii Island.  We are remodeling a small home on an acre of land, so there is plenty of space to plant the "antenna farm."

All of my antennas are wire antennas, since I'm at the age where building and climbing towers is out of the question.  I did enough tower climbing when I worked at a commercial broadcast station.  So, my antennas were made of locally procured pvc pipe, #14 AWG housewire, spare coaxial cable and 450-ohm ladder line, homebrew insulators, and few Budwig center coax connectors from Fair Radio Sales.

Fortunately, there are several tall trees on our property that can serve as antenna supports.

To date, my antenna farm consists of an 80-10 meter flat top horizontal dipole (a doublet with two equal segments of 67 feet/20.42 meters).  The dipole is stretched between two Norfolk Pine trees, 50 feet/15.24 meters above ground.  The antenna is fed by 450-ohm ladder line which is connected to a W9INN 4:1 balun and then onto a Drake MN-4 transmatch.  The antenna does an excellent job with some directivity.

The second antenna is an inverted vee with equal legs of 67 feet/20.42 meters.  The apex of the vee rests on a tree branch 50 feet/15.24 meters above ground.  Like the doublet, 450-ohm ladder line is used to give coverage from 80 to 10 meters.  The inverted vee is a good general multiband antenna.

The third antenna on my "farm" is a 40 meter delta loop suspended from a 33-foot /10.06 meters MFJ telescoping fiberglass mast.  Each segment of the loop measures 47 feet/14.32 meters.  The loop is feed in the lower left corner with 450-ohm ladder line.  This antenna covers 40 through 10 meters very well.  I use the loop for local statewide nets.

My fourth antenna is a 15 meter half square using two vertical elements joined at the top by a 1/2 wavelength horizontal phasing line.  The antenna is bidirectional and gives about 3.8 dBi over my old 15-meter vertical. The half square is fed at the top left portion of the left mast with 50 feet/15.24 meters of RG-8X coaxial cable connected to a Budwig HQ-1 center coaxial connector.

My fifth antenna is a 5/8 wavelength vertical cut for 28.4 MHz in the 10-meter band.  The antenna is a piece of #14 AWG housewire measuring 20.59 feet/6.28 meters secured to a 33-foot/10.06 meters MFJ telescoping fiberglass mast.  The ground system consists of 6 elevated radials measuring 20.59 feet/6.28 meters each.  450-ohm ladder lines serves as the feed line.  The ladder line is used in conjunction with a W9INN 4:1 balun and a Drake MN-4 transmatch.  Although 10-meters has been marginal for the past few days, local coverage on Hawaii Island has been excellent.

The final addition to my "antenna farm" was built yesterday--a 10-meter half square antenna.

Since I was impressed by the performance of my 15-meter half square antenna, I decided to build a similar antenna for 10-meters.

BACKGROUND:

The half square antenna is a two element vertical array fed in phase by a top mounted half wavelength horizontal phasing line.  The vertical elements are insulated from ground.  The antenna can be fed at the top of the left mast where the current is maximum.  This location makes a good match for 50-ohm coaxial cable.  The pattern is bidirectional to the plane of the antenna.  The half square antenna has theoretical gain of more than 3 dBi compared to a vertical antenna for the same band.

MATERIALS:

Two supporting structures for the vertical elements.  I had two extra MFJ masts which I pressed into service.

Wire.  I used a spool of #14 AWG housewire for the horizontal phase line and the vertical elements.  Using the general formula 249/f (MHz) for the vertical sections and 502/f (MHz) for the horizontal phasing line, I came up with 8.76 ft/2.57 meters for each vertical element and 17.67 feet/5.38 meters for the horizontal element.

One Budwig HQ-1 center coaxial connector.

Fifty feet/15.24 meters of RG-8X coaxial cable with UHF connectors.

One Drake MN-4 transmatch to handle the small amount of SWR present on the antenna.

Two 5-foot/1.52 meter wood stakes to support the fiberglass masts.

Basic tools, transceiver (Swan 100-MX), low pass filter, dummy load, microphone, and key (J-38).

ASSEMBLY:

The antenna was assembled on the ground.

The vertical elements were secured to the masts with nylon ties.  A ceramic insulator was attached to the bottom of each vertical element.

The Budwig HQ-1 center coax connector was attached to the antenna, with the - terminal going to the left hand vertical antenna element and the + terminal being connected to the horizontal phasing line.  The remaining wire was run down the right hand mast and secured with nylon ties.  A ceramic insulator was attached to the bottom of the right mast.   Each wire was soldered to its appropriate place on the center coax connector and covered with several layers of vinyl electrical tape.  The RG-8X feed line was then atached to the center coax connector.

Each mast was hoisted onto its appropriate wooden support stake.  The masts were adjusted to give the antenna symetry.

The coaxial feed line was run from the top of the left mast to the shack window panel.  The feed line was connected to the Drake MN-4 transmatch.  Shorter coaxial patch cords connected the transceiver (Swan 100- MX) to the transmatch, low pass filter, and the dummy load.

INITIAL RESULTS:

Thanks to the Drake MN-4 transmatch, the SWR was kept below 1.5 to 1 across the 10-meter band.  Running approximately 25 watts from the old Swan 100-MX, I was able to get a few cw and ssb contacts. Although band conditions were not favorable, I was able to establish contacts with both Hawaii Island and mainland U.S. stations.  The antenna should perform well once the band opens up.

This was an enjoyable project.  Best of all, I didn't need an extensive ground system and my building costs were low.  Try a half square antenna...you might be surprised just how good it works.

REFERENCES:

http://www.antennasby n6lf.com/2005/04/halfsquareante.html.
http://va7st.ca/array40.htm.
http://antenna-magic.com/antenna/ant_magi.htm.
http://www.hamuniverse.com/wb3aywcurtainantenna.
"The N4GG Array".  (ars.nc4fb.org/antenna-articles/n4ggl.pdf.)

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Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

BK29jx15--along the beautiful Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

In Praise of Wire Antennas. Post #226

Every now and then it's good to stand back and analyze what you've done to your antenna farm.  Is your antenna arrangement fitting your goals? How easy is it to build and maintain the structures that connect you to the world?  Is there a way to make your antenna more efficient without spending a lot of money?  I came to such a crossroads this weekend as I surveyed the rural Puna District home my wife and I are remodeling for our permanent home.

After years of living in rental apartments and homes with restrictive covenants, I will at last have an acre of land to build some full sized hf antennas.  I will admit that I've learned a lot about stealth antennas and low power operation during my 36 years as an amateur radio operator.  But now, I have some real space to build antennas with real gain.

My main problem was deciding whether to buy a tower, a set of mono band beams, and sophisticated antenna rotating equipment or to stick with my faithful wire antennas which have produced excellent results despite space restrictions.

While I pondered this issue and the expense involved, I ran across an interesting article on wire antennas by Lou Gionvannetti (KB2DHG) in the 07 September 2013 issue of eham.net.  Lou, who apparently had to give up towers because of health and financial problems, decided to make his own wire antennas.  Armed with a homebrewed off-center dipole (G5RV), Lou managed to reinvigorate his interest in amateur radio, contact many new friends, and save a lot of money in the process.  His article reaffirmed my belief in the pure joy of designing, building, and using home made antennas.  If my financial situation were a bit better, I wouldn't mind erecting a decent tower with several mono band yagis.  There are no restrictions on my new property and there is certainly sufficient space to "plant" an aluminum forest.  But, I stopped climbing towers when I left the broadcast business two years ago.  And I have no desire to strap on a climbing harness and a hard hat again.  So, my avenue was quite clear--build your own wire antennas and learn a lot in the process.

I decided early on that only local materials found in nearby hardware or home improvement centers would be used for masts, antenna wire, coaxial cable, insulators, and ground rods.  The only thing I would have to order would be 450-ohm ladder line, some Budwig coaxial center connectors, and torroids, if needed.  My junk box contained various adapters, clips, tape, ceramic insulators, soldering equipment, and tools.

So, with a renewed faith in my ability to erect the antenna facility of my choice at a reasonable price, I began the building of the antenna "farm."

Before I started the long-term project, I consulted the various antenna books on the shelf of my radio shack to get an idea of what I was up against.  "The ARRL Antenna Book" is a good general source of antenna information and it became my unofficial guide for this antenna effort.

As of today, 07 September 2013, my antenna farm looks like this:

One 80 through 10 meter "doublet" (horizontal half-wave dipole), with a resonant frequency of 3.750 MHz. This antenna, fed with 450-ohm ladder line and connected to a W9INN 4:1 balun and a Drake MN-4 transmatch would serve as a multi-band, general purpose antenna.  RG-8X coaxial cable would run from the the balun to the transmatch and then on to the Swan 100 MX transceiver.  The antenna is stretched between two Norfolk Pine trees, approximately 50 feet (15.24 meters) above ground level.    This antenna has performed very well with the old Swan 100 MX running 50 watts or less.

One 20 meter half square antenna (see previous post on this topic) with a resonant frequency of 14.200 MHz.  The broadside pattern of this two mast antenna joined by a half wavelength horizontal phasing line is helping me get into the mainland U.S. and the South Pacific without difficulty.  According to what I've read, this antenna is capable of producing a gain of 3.8 dBi.  All I know is that it works well for me.  My feedline is RG-8X coaxial cable attached to the top of the left hand mast--the point of maximum current.

One full wavelength 40 meter vertical loop supported by two telescoping fiberglass masts.  I get 40 through 10 meter coverage when I feed the loop with 450-ohm ladder line.  I use the loop for mostly local nets, although coverage is sometimes surprising on 20 and 15 meters.

One 5/8 wavelength vertical with six elevated radials for 10 meters, with a resonant frequency of 28.4 MHz.  Although this antenna should show a gain of approximately 3 dBi, the band has been inconsistent and noisy.  Local Hawaii Island contacts have been useable, most likely due to ground wave.  I'll keep this antenna in the air in case the band opens up.

One inverted vee antenna supported by a single telescoping fiberglass mast.  The vee is cut for a resonant frequency of 7.088 MHz (the frequency of the Hawaii Afternoon Net).  The antenna is fed with 450-ohm ladder line and can be used on all amateur radio frequencies from 40 through 10 meters.

One 40 meter delta loop fed with 450-ohm ladder line in the lower left hand corner of the loop.  The loop is cut for a resonant frequency of 7.088 MHz and can be used from 40 to 10 meters.  Like the full wavelength vertical loop mentioned above, the delta loop is quiet and provides excellent state wide coverage.  As with all of my wire antennas, I rarely run more than 50 watts from the old Swan 100 MX...most of the time, I tend to run 10 to 20 watts output.

For a power supply, I use solar cells to charge a large deep cycle marine battery.  I can use the electrical mains if I have to.

Here are a few things I've learned from building my own antennas:

It's fun.  If the antenna fails to perform as expected, recycle the wire, redesign the antenna, and build a new "skyhook."

Most of my materials can be bought locally.  Some types of coaxial cable and ladder line must be bought from outlets on the U.S. mainland.  Sometimes, I can get left over RG-6 cable with F connectors from the local cable company.  With F to UHF adapters from Radio Shack, I can use this 73-ohm cable in the shack.  I've used RG-6 with no problems on my dipoles and inverted vees.  The Drake MN-4 seems to handle the small mismatch very well.  So, if you don't have a supply of RG-8X, RG-8, or RG-58, consider using RG-6.

Antenna wire can be anything from #14 AWG housewire and #18 AWG speaker wire to bell wire and "zip" cord.  You can buy wire at home improvement centers and hardware stores.

PVC pipe can be used for masts.  You can also order fiberglass masts from MFJ and DX Engineering.

You can make your own 4:1 and 1:1 baluns or you can order them from HRO, AES, or any online distributor of amateur radio equipment.

You can get a large amount of satisfaction from building something that gets you on the air.  Antennas are one of the few areas where you can experiment at a modest cost.  Most antenna builders I know are also assembling kits and accessories for their amateur radio stations.  I must admit to a bit of slackness in this area.  I've built a field strength meter and a few commercial kits, but nothing as complex as a transceiver.

Meanwhile, I'm learning a lot by actually translating antenna theory into practice.

If you have the resources, go for the tower and the stacked mono band yagis.  Your signal will surely be noticed.  On the other hand, if you're on a fixed retirement income such as I, homebrewing your own antenna may be the way to go.  There are plenty of reference materials in books and on the internet to help you build that one of a kind antenna farm.  Good luck...enjoy the experience.

REFERENCES:

http://www.arrl.org/files/Technology/tis/info/pdf/0683033.
http://www.hamuniverse.com/randomwireantennalengths.html.
http://www.dxzone.com/dx28476/ham-radio-wire-antenna-tips.html.
http://www.eham.net/articles/30550.

You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed.

Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

BK29jx15--along the beautiful Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island.



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

An Enhanced 40 meter full wavelength loop. Post #225

When I was first licensed as a novice in 1977, I tried all kinds of antennas.  In the space of a year, I must have built and used 10 or more antennas, including verticals, loops, inverted vees, slopers, and half wavelength horizontal dipoles.  I've always been fascinated with full wavelength loops, but, because of limited space, I rarely built loops except for 15 and 10 meters.  I relied heavily on the standard 1/4 wavelength verticals with ground radials and the inverted vee.

Now that my xyl and I are remodeling our future home in the Puna District, I had a chance to build a full wavelength 40 meter loop without worrying about nosey neighbors or lack of space.  Our lot is one acre, giving me plenty of space to experiment with a variety of antennas.

Over the past few weeks, I've  built and used a half wavelength horizontal dipole and a half square antenna for 20 meters with outstanding results.  Now it was time to rethink the loop I built 36 years ago as a novice operator.

This antenna would be considerably larger than my previous loops and inverted vees.  I had plenty of horizontal space and two sturdy fiberglass masts to support the loop.

With the loop, I wouldn't need a ground radial system.  If I used 450 ohm ladder line, a 4:1 balun, and a transmatch, I would avoid using coaxial cable as a feed line.  Coax would be used from the balun to the transmatch, but otherwise would not be connected directly to the loop.  I didn't fear making the quarter wave matching section, but I didn't have any 75 ohm coaxial cable in the shack to help the match 50 ohm coaxial cable to the loop's estimated impedance of 105 ohms.

Another benefit of using 450 ohm ladder line was the ability to use the loop on all frequencies between 40 and 10 meters.

I designed the loop for a resonant frequency of 7.088 KHz, the frequency of the Hawaii Afternoon.  Using the general formula 1005/f (MHz)=L (feet), I calculated a wire length of 141.78 feet/43.22 meters for the full wavelength loop.  I rounded off the measurement to 142 feet /43.29 meters.  I chose #14 AWG housewire for the loop.

MATERIALS:

One hundred forty-two feet/43.29 meters of #14 AWG housewire.

Two 33-foot/10.06 meters MFJ telescoping fiberglass masts.

Two 5-foot/1.52 meters wooden posts.  The posts would support the fiberglass masts.

Five, 5-foot/1.52 meters wooden posts to support the 450 ohm feed line from the loop to the balun mounted on the garage wall.  The posts would keep the ladder line off the ground.

One W9INN 4:1 balun.

Fifty feet/15.24 meters of 450 ohm ladder line.

Twenty-five feet/7.62 meters of RG-8X coaxial cable with UHF connectors.  The coax would run from the balun to the Drake MN-4 transmatch.

Station equipment, including a dummy load, low pass filter, and a transceiver...in this case an old Swan 100 MX.

Basic tools, including soldering gun, vinyl electrical tape, nylon ties, ceramic insulator, and clear fingernail polish to cover the soldered joints.

ASSEMBLY:

I built the 40 meter loop on the ground.

The vertical sections of the loop were cut to 30 feet/9.14 meters.  The vertical sections were run from the top of each mast to a point 3 feet/0.91 meters above ground.  The horizontal segments of the loop measured 42 feet/12.80 meters.  The loop was attached and secured to each mast by several nylon ties.  In its final form, the loop measured 30 feet/9.14 meters high and 42 feet/12.80 horizontally for a total length of 142 feet/43.29 meters.

The 450 ohm ladder line was connected in the middle of the bottom horizontal element.

Each mast was hoisted onto its wooden support stake.  The loop was adjusted so it had a uniform shape.

The 450 ohm ladder line was attached to a 5-foot/1.52 meter wooden stake which was driven 2-feet/0.60 meters into the ground.  Three feet/0.91 meters of the stake was exposed above ground.  Four other wooden stakes were similarly placed in the ground supported the ladder line until it reached the garage wall.  The ladder line was attached to the W9INN 4:1 balun.  Twenty-five feet/7.62 meters of RG-8X coaxial cable with UHF connectors ran to the Drake MN-4 transmatch in the shack.  Short patch cords connected the Swan 100 MX transceiver to the transmatch, dummy load, and low-pass filter.

PRELIMINARY RESULTS:

I was generally pleased by my old novice loop, now extended to its full size.  With the help of the Drake MN-4, I was able to keep SWR below 1.3 to 1 on 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters.  Running approximately 25 watts from the old Swan 100 MX I received good reports on 40, 20, and 15 meters.  Ten meters was marginal because of solar conditions, but the transmitter worked into the 10 meter band without SWR problems.  My best bands were 40 meters and 20 meters with reception reports varying between 569-599 for cw and 55-59 for ssb.

The loop is very quiet and shows a slight gain over my horizontal flat top dipole at 35 feet/10.67 meters.  The loop works very well for local contacts.  I suspect I'm getting some high angle radiation from the loop because of its proximity to ground.  That's alright with me, since I built the loop for statewide contacts.  When propagation is good, I get decent contacts throughout the Pacific Rim and the mainland U.S.

For DX work, I rely on my 20 meter half sqaure.  That antenna far outdoes what I can get on the vertical and the inverted vee.

RESOURCES:

n1su.com/loop.html.

mysite.verizon.net/ka1fsb/loopcalc.html.

home.comcast.net/~n8itf/floop.htm.

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Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM)

BK29jx15--along the beautiful Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island.