I have found this discussion most interesting. Due to the geography of
my house and lot, I am largely confined to vertical antennas on HF. I
do have a tower for 6 and 2 meters, which work very well from this QTH.
I am near the top of a river valley, but am about 20 feet below the
level of the street at the top. Initially, I put up a Hustler vertical
on a 35 foot telescoping mast on the peak of the roof. My first attempt
did not work well, as I had the base of the antenna connected directly
to the mast. I had tuned radials running down the upper 4 guy wires,
but the coax feedline ran down the metal mast, and this wound up with a
very badly unbalanced vertical dipole. I then pulled it down, and put a
piece of slotted plastic pipe around the top of the mast to insulate it,
and this worked much better. The first contact was with Yugoslavia on
15 meter CW with 5 watts. What was interesting about this setup was
that I could frequently hear the same DX station with a bit of an echo.
Apparently there were several different propagation paths evident
I eventually replaced the guy wires with dacron rope, and the system
worked very well on all bands except for 80 meters where I did not have
tuned radials. I made a lot of contacts with it with the Argonaut II.
But, I was concerned about lightning, as it was the highest piece of
metal in the area, so when the antenna base filled full of water, and
upon freezing unhooked the antenna from the coax feedline, I took it
down and replaced it with a Gap. The Gap was only about 8 feet above
the roof peak, and was basically a dummy load on 40 meters, but worked
somewhat on the other bands. I took that one, down.
I later acquired a Hy-Gain DX-88 vertical, and put it out in the back
yard. Initially I put in 24 18 foot radials, and later after adding one
of the DX Engineering radial plates increased that to 60 18 and 22 foot
radials. It is almost totally blocked to the west and northwest by the
house and the hill. There is considerable clutter in the vicinity from
other houses, chain link fences, and the like. It is hardly the ideal
environment for a vertical antenna. Still, I have been able to work
well into Europe and places in Western Asia on 80 meter CW with 100
watts, and into Europe and South America on 40 meters and above even
with the 5 watts from the Argonaut II. It works surprisingly well for
the conditions it faces both in the near and far fields.
I have some property up in north central Wisconsin that is much better
suited to antennas than is this place. I am hoping this summer to bring
up the Argonaut II and a vertical antenna, and see how well it works up
there with no real obstructions, and with minimal local noise.
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