Been reading some of the Quad vs. Yagi posts on the reflector, and even
though there have been volumes of opinions, facts, misstatements, etc. in
the past, I thought my .02 might be worthwhile.
During the early 70s, I had the pleasure of building and using a large quad
on 10, 15, and 20 meters with 5 el. on 10, 4 on 15, and 3 on 20 at the then
acceptable height of 48'. This antenna was a hybrid of a KIRK Quad, (at
the time local to Hartford) and some home-brew ideas that ended up
producing a rather nice product. This quad design did appear in subsequent
handbooks in following years. With the help of some of my friends who were
with the league at the time, we spent one day tuning the antenna and the
results were most gratifying!
This quad managed to place in the top ten box several times as a single op
and one time outscored all the local Murphy multi singles with only one
operator in the ARRL DX test. This all happened on a 1 acre lot just
outside of Hartford. To say that the quad outperformed other tribanders is
an understatement, and the contest records will reflect just that. There
was little comparison between my quad and between other stations using
tribanders, even when the tribander was at a much higher height. In
retrospect, that antenna was one of the best I have ever driven.
However, when the quad was compared to monband yagis, it was much closer
and sometimes I simply was not as loud as a 4 or 5 el. yagi at 100'. The
summation would be that the quad was MUCH BETTER than any tribander, but
was at least competitive with monobanders even at much higher heights.
There are reasons why the quad performs as well as it does lower to the
ground than a yagi as quad is really a stacked antenna to begin with.
As far as the mechanics of the quad is concerned -- they can be made to
last. e.g. Just before my departure from California 3 years ago, I
received a note from John, the owner of my former property in Connecticut
and he advised me that the quad I had built in 1971 had finally came down.
It was dropped because the poperty was sold and the tower had rusted out
underneath it. Don't know if the life of a quad from 1971 until 1993 is
some kind of record, but it certainly says that if you do build them right,
they will stay around.
Finally, looking back at the process and tempered with age, and experience,
I would only consider putting up another quad if I were putting it up on a
unguyed telescoping tower (to facilitate construction and service) , if I
were height limited, and if I had unlimited financial resources to build
the quad just like the one in Connecticut. Today, with the availability of
well designed monoband yagis and multiband, not trapped antennas, sadly the
quad would be a good choice for few people.
It was great when it was up, but to recreate that antenna and to service it
today would not be a realistic exercise, given what is now available.
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