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[TowerTalk] Re: Stray RF yes and no

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Re: Stray RF yes and no
From: (bill wall)
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 17:52:44 -0400
Hi All TT's;
I agree with Ken on this one. The K7GCO hand RF burn test hurts. He is
                                               Bill  KC4UZ
----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2001 5:45 PM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Re: Stray RF yes and no

>                                            "STRAY RF--YES & NO!"
>  This was sent to 23 others before to TT for their comments.  No one had a
> single problem with it as they had found the same things I have.  I wanted
> thank the others who confirmed my contentions that a lot of beam
> from guys etc was actually and mostly from other stacked beams if too
> RF Spill Over from bad matching systems like some badly adjusted Gamma
> Matches or coax direct feed to balanced feedpoints without a balun.
> frequently gets misdiagnosed!  Sometimes you get some surprises.  There is
> simple way to fix or balance the affect of a gamma, however.  Shift the DE
> center and adjust the tip lengths and use the "K7GCO Stray RF Hand
> works contrary to those who haven't tried it.  Some changed to balanced
> ohm coax and a T Match, FD as I suggested (I may get something very useful
> started here), better baluns or baluns like a 50, 100 or 160 ohm Bazooka
> balanced feed points and--the SWR change with rotation problems for
> went away!  Isolation to SWR changes is great but may not be enough.  If
> have an accurate E plane pattern of your beam from the manufacturer or
> you can at least check out the E Plane by rotating the antenna.  However
> Spill Over can still affect the H plane pattern and often not see it on
the E
> plane.  After measuring vertical patterns for years I can assure you It
> be very evasive.
> In one interference case reported to me an insulator at the tower for the
> guys solved the problem--or at least part of it.  Lowering the top guys
> solved the problem in 5 other cases.  NOTE! I see absolutely no reason for
> guy wires or Inverted Vees at the top of a tower anyhow.  If you can't
> the guys 10-15' below the top of the tower--your tower is too damn weak.
> don't know how this ever got started?  A big 40M beam on top may be an
> exception.  A staggering question is, "why haven't others suggested this
> thing repeatedly"--it's so "incredibly obvious."  So many bad practices
> this get started and too many follow like sheep over a troubled cliff that
> even the TT Reflector has trouble handling.  Those trying to redirect the
> traffic with "new practices" away from the cliff edge often get ridiculed
> oblivion also.  Progress is often made "One Death At A Time."
> Stray RF can certainly do it's damage to F/B ratios if just right.
> it can be controlled and even ignored at times as the reports continue to
> come in who followed my instructions.  Actually nulls more than 30-40 dB
> "no legitimate reason for existence anyhow."  They are usually in a real
> narrow slot, very difficult to use anyhow and are inserted into patterns
> mother nature just so that the "RF Straw Bailers" (those who grab at stray
> straws excessively) have something to crow about and look smart.  They are
> kind of like the "ACLU of RF Human Rights".  Their claim they "Defend Your
> Rights" (nulls) like no one else but there are 3 other (nulls) the ACLU
> absolutely refuses to defend like the right to own guns and 2 others the
> Liberals don't like.  Hey that's a pretty good example if I say so myself.
> I shall give a "classic example" of an "extreme case" that few thought
> be possible and apparently haven't realized it's full significance as yet.
> Lucky I didn't listen to them before I started my project on a 5 and then
a 6
> band quad.  Antenna Mart has been making all band multi element quads for
> some time with great patterns.  The "Stray RF Interfering Elements" in
> question here are even:
>            1. In the same plane
>            2. Resonant on each side of the operating frequency
>            3. Of the same polarization and
>            4. Very close to if not optimum spacing (optimum spacing
>                 may not be used by the main elements).
>                 NOTE!  These elements are capable of reflecting
>                 "Major RF"--not "Stray RF."
> It's a "5 band quad (20-10M) using tapered spacing (I've added 6M with a
> twist--why not)."  However it uses "individual DE feed" with a remote coax
> switch on the tower like Antenna Mart does--the DE's are NOT all tied
> together which totally destroys the potential pattern "beyond repair" (in
> Eznec and on the air) with all this "Stray and Major RF" used in the wrong
> technical and financial way in business.  Some manufacturers actually sell
> this "Junk Stray RF Beam" to unsuspecting hams without a whimper even when
> told about it.  I seldom had to rotate the beam on CQ's even though a DX
> station would call me on the side or back.  Why hasn't any of the "Stray
> ACLU Experts" on TT got concerned over a real "Major Case of Stray
> RF--Industrial Strength??
>            Paul Harvey said:
>         "We live in a Junk Society.  We have Junk Cars, Junk Houses, Junk
> Books, Junk Toys, Junk Movies, Junk TV's, Junk TV Programs, Junk
> Junk Food and one city even had Junk People--they had more Suicides than
> Homicides."  We even have Junk Sex--it's less Emotional Satisfying and
> Antennas, Junk RF, Junk Radios, Junk Other Ham Equipment--on and on.  They
> even sell you Warranty Insurance to help pay for the eventual repair!!  I
> have returned the last 14 items I have purchased including 3 ham rigs with
> major and expensive problems, cameras, an intermittent telephone, lenses,
> guns with dangerous design flaws, an $800 Cell phone 6 years ago, a
> Fax/Telephone combo on and on--junk junk junk.  Some Junk Designs hang on
> years like the Gamma match.  It's taken me a while to wake up but the only
> way to eliminate this junk problem and wasted money is--don't buy
> I'll keep the 3-6M Raibeams as they are built and work great--better than
> had expected.  A tight wad friend of mine who never buys anything brings
> to my attention all the time like for over 45 years.  I had to admit to
> he's been right all this time.  He's got over a "million trouble free
> in stocks and bonds I don't" and smiles a lot also.
> Tom Peters used to give talks on "Making Life Time Customers" and I have
> and other books on it.  It's become almost a "Forgotten Concept."  There
is a
> concept frequently used now by many businesses where, if you get a
> you're told "you will eat it."  That's a very tough and sickening thing
for a
> retiree, a kid or anyone to hear with their hard earned money invested.
> couldn't get away with that years ago and still can't from some buyers.
> told "they often still come back" so they feel justified in doing it and
> "lemon product" is a headache for them also.  I can show many proven
> statistics that is "still bad very business."  It still makes "Stray RF
> Customers" in the Ham World.  Walmart like no other Merchant has made
> millions and millions forcing (ruthlessly some claim) suppliers to supply
> good products at a low price.  Mass sales at low profit margins has made
> "Biggest Fortunes" like for Walmart.  Perhaps the Ham Dealers should do
> same.  I think pressure should be put on the Junk Manufacturers of items
> resale or direct sale.  Don't buy them!  Don't throw your money away.
> KC6T had a great article in QST where he tuned up a 5 band quad and used
> series fixed and selected capacitors for the final reflector length.  His
> buddy did the same with a series inductor with taps.  I guess the
> was--it was easier to make a change in the reflector bottom wire during
> initial tune up from the roof than it was to change the entire wire
> Regardless both got it tuned up and it still worked great after the move
> near the roof (house wiring, eve troughs and all that) to the top of the
> tower-for both.  How could that be??  It happens when you learn that there
> are fewer design restrictions than you have been led to believe by the
> RF Prophets."  In this design the reflector was slightly larger for the
> series Xc and slightly smaller with the series XL than normal when
> tuned.  This design actually used the same physical spacing on all bands
> good patterns although I will compare it to tapered spacing.
> About 40 years ago Sant G2PU found that the usual open wire shorted stub
> for convenience to tune reflectors, "canted the free space H Plain Pattern
> off center line" (either up or down I don't remember).  Reflection Factor
> plotting with the free space pattern when tipped up or down will reduce
> potential reflection 6 dB gain main lobe like over what I call "Liquid
> --Salt Water.  Your antenna creates the "text book nulls" in the beams
> vertical pattern only over perfect ground and salt water is as close to it
> you can get.  Normal ground loss fills in the nulls bit more and for
> polarization, the even higher ground reflection losses fill in the nulls
> reduce the gain even more.  The higher the frequency the worse it is for
> polarization's for the "Highly Abused and Misunderstood Null--It Gets No
> Respect."  However, Nulls or Dips in the pattern will put up a pretty good
> fight to survive in the E-Plane I've found and have some great
> of beam patterns for verification.  The reason all those great nulls are
> shown in text books is conditions are ideal on paper.  There is no RF
> Over on paper--it's non conductive.  Would you believe that if technical
> books were printed on aluminum foil, lift off of vertical patterns and
> fill-in of nulls would be shown?
> G2PU discovered the canting of the free space pattern when he fed his 20M
> quad vertically polarized with the single reflector stub now on the side.
> His pattern on vertically polarized sources "was not head on" and easy to
> on the S-Meter.  So he said "enough of this design compromise total
> and took out the stub and lengthened the reflector until he got the same
> pattern--head on.  Then he rotated the feedpoint 90 degree back for
> horizontal polarization with no tipping of the free space pattern.  You
> have equal length stubs on each side for balanced but why have stubs at
> They just flop around in the wind.  After tune up they have served their
> useful purpose.  Add their length to the reflector.
> How much difference a single stub actually makes on typical contacts would
> hard to tell for sure with other than 2 Quads side by side, one with and
> without the reflector stub.  Eznec will tell the difference also at least
> the RF Starting Blocks.  I'm sure it made at least an S-Unit or 2
> psychological difference to listen to him tell about it although he always
> had a great signal on AM with a 2 element quad on 20M.  I haven't heard
> lately although he's still in QRZ.  Too many design and performance
> compromises are often used for convenience or to save money.  Too few
> for "Maximum RF Clout" like Raibeam, Antenna Mart and M2.
> Now even with no tuning stubs, no metal guys and individual feed of quad
> DE's, it would still appear listening to all the "TT Stray RF ACLU
> it would be totally impossible to get a 3, 5 or 6 band quad tuned up on
> BANDS and have good patterns with good nulls.  It would seem there are
> too many stray RF generators and are too close in the wrong place.  Are
> sitting down--NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!  Don't you "Guys"
> ever get tired of being wrong?  All 5 bands (even 6) using .125 WL spacing
> tuned up with great patterns and nulls with tapered and fixed spacings.
> There were a couple "Unexpected Bonus."  The gains increased slightly and
> even the F/B in some nulls over what was possible from a monobander.  It
> never got worse.  I reported this on TT and all the poo poers came out of
> computers with their ho ho ho's.  Then Cebik bless his soul, verified what
> had found as he had found it also.  The Poo Pooers were "strangely
> It was then he told me of KC6T who found good patterns on each of the 5
> bands.  He uses the same physical spacing in his design.  This is what is
> actually found when someone actually spends some time "tuning up beams"
> instead of their "TT Shooting Gallery Opinions."
> The H planes of yagi's and quads are always larger than the E plane in
> pattern I've ever seen.  I have never ever seen it the same beam width
> in a Bi Square "totally unexpected bonus"quad.  They get real close in 7
> 8 element yagi's.  Another was this.  The 6M 2 element quad inside the 5
> other bands with symmetric loops--had the "Same Beamwidths."  Absolutely
> Incredible!  This is "Pattern Black Magic."  There was just too damn much
> Stray RF.  We just have to pass a "TT Anti-Beneficial Stray RF Law."  So
> it!  It's not "Technically RF Correct."  It's totally out of control in a
> beneficial manner.  We can't have that!  Someone may have a signal edge.
> "RF Socialism" everyone has to be the same.
> How could near resonant elements of a 5 or 6 band quad on each side of 3
or 4
> operating frequencies be so immune to the beams pattern?  It's violating
> many "TT Opinion, Appliance & Band Aid Operator Laws."  Embarrassing isn't
> it?  Elevated Egos will never be the same.
> When all the 5 band quad DE's are tied together, high levels of RF are
> clearly seen on other off band-elements in Eznec and it does indeed affect
> the patterns.  It's so bad the 10M free space pattern even tilts down at
> about 35 degrees--very grim!  That's "Major Directed RF" doing this, not
> Stray RF."
> There are many other examples I've seen that just aren't doing hardly
> anything but then there are those that do like a towers affect on a
> vertically polarized beam.  I know all the major ones and have battled
> for years.  They are clearly seen in a pattern recorder.  I just found a
> one just spinning the beam that has been unrecognized even with Eznec now
> will report on it.  Under "perfect conditions" I felt I had a vertically
> polarized H plane pattern upset with stacked beams with certain spacings.
> got on the separating boom of the wrong polarization.  I found the reason,
> simple solution and solved the problem.
> With individual DE feed of 5 or 6 band quads, some RF levels are actually
> shown on off-elements in Eznec and recorded in the Current Charts.  Yet
> patterns result which absolutely defy TT common misguided opinions.
> I also excited the higher and lower frequency DE than Fo and great
> still were maintained--some even better.  I was surprised myself but I dig
> into areas that few would think productive all the time.  It blew up the
> theory of resonant DE's were needed other than for a resistive feedpoint.
> had thought of feeding the quad with open wire line and this off band DE
> would be reactive one way or the other depending which one was used.  I
> the Match Box could handle this from the Z's I saw and similar examples.
> That's an interesting concept of feeding the off band DE and getting a
> pattern.  More on this later.
> It's my plan to add a "new performance wrinkle" to an all band 2 element
> by adding variable Xc's in each reflector all ganged together to a selsyn
> the mast so I can tune for max F/B or Gain anywhere in any band on all
>  I'll determine the free space pattern cant if any of the H Plain in Eznec
> and tilt the boom accordingly to compensate.  There are little tricks away
> and around some problems and in some cases certain levels of "The Dreaded
> Stray RF Isn't All That Bad" even right in the bedroom under the sheets so
> speak.  If you learn how RF really flows when and where, what different
> levels do, you can learn how to talk to RF figuratively speaking--it will
> behave.
> I'll feed this quad with 100 ohm balanced coax into a match box in the
> which will assure max RF into the coax input and anywhere in the band with
> whatever the configuration is used.  That could be considered a very
> feature--in particular in a contest and no beam has it yet.  Although guy
> wires are out of the main plane, often non resonant, of the wrong
> polarization, spacing and sometimes in a pattern null, I'll run some guy
> stray RF tests in the pattern and SWR curve when I rotate it just to ease
> and other's curiosity in case they ask--or demand.  I leave no RF Stones
> RF Burns unturned.  A lot of all this was determined, observed and made
> of by many even long before Eznec so little of this is really new info.
> While I'm on a roll here I really like 1/2 wave verticals whenever
> in particular on 40M and on up for many reasons.  I've had a couple of
> articles on these 1/2 waves in CQ some 35 years ago.  All these radial
> problems go away although a screen around the base when close to the
> has been known to help--even at WWVH.  If the base is high enough the
> screen could probably be done away with.  I'll try it with and without.  I
> use 1/2 waves with an another unusual but simple design now on top of
> monobanders for "listening antennas" as my F/B patterns are so good on
> beams (even with stray RF guys) I'd miss a lot of stations off the back
> side without the 1/2 wave vertical to switch to.  I can run them together
> with different phasings.  It often does great just by itself.  I've used
> wave verticals over the beams DE also as the radials.  Why this hasn't
> on I'll never know.
> I have a 6M 1/2 wave on the roof now for monitoring.  The 6M Raibeam 5
> element "Butt Kicker" I have 30' higher has such a good F/B/Side (even
> 2-6M beams below it), I needed the 1/2 wave vertical  for monitoring.
> an opening occurs on 6M you don't want to miss it from any direction and
> can be weak.  NOTE! If certain of my or the 5 element Raibeams unusual
> F/B/Side ratio's wasn't as good as it is, I wouldn't need the 1/2 wave
> monitoring vertical.  Apparently many have never had a beam with
> F/B/Side!!  What have you been doing all these years in advancing the
> of the art?  Show me some examples.  I have some that I haven't even
> mentioned yet.
> There is a "reverse concept" I have observed.  I've told of the 10M 3
> I have tuned for "absolute max gain of 10.2 dBi."  No manufacturer has
> tuned a beam that way.  It has 8 dB F/B, narrow bandwidth and 6 ohms in
> center of the DE.  The director is actually longer than the DE.  I feed it
> a sneaky way at a 50 ohm feedpoint with "Absolutely No RF Spill Over."
> coax shield and center of the DE attached to the boom is "RF Stone Cold."
> Would you believe that a "RF Frost" appears there after a long
> Another phenomena occurs with 8 dB F/B I didn't expect.  After a
> running legal power the back lobe clears the frequency so well it leaves a
> "Signal Black Hole" for the same length of time before it fills in.
> "Infinite F/B."  In 3 years using the beam I don't remember having to
> anything.  Contesters find this useful and have been known to have another
> final on a beam pointing the other way leaving the impression or stating
> have poor F/B.  Now you know.  With a beam where max F/B and/or Gain can
> selected, one could also transmit with max gain and listen with max F/B.
> That's a great idea.
> This beam has another great advantage.  With poor F/B you don't have to
> about Stray RF filling in the nulls--it might create one--heaven forbid.
> could really silence the "Stray RF ALCU Birds" forever!
> Antenna design is very interesting if you learn how to massage the RF and
> it to work for you.  Few know the joy of a "fast rotator and a great beam
> pattern.  When you call them--they stay called."  And I now have 3 ways to
> cure and extend the narrow band width of this or any beam even more.
> I had a 5 element 6M yagi on a 16' boom 10' below this 10M beam and when
> installed it didn't change the SWR a bit of either one.  The vertical
> patterns of each and the very tight max gain coupling between the 10M
> elements apparently really isolated it from the 6M beam.  Both worked
> I worked KE6IHA on 6M using a Cush Craft Ringo vertical that is really an
> "Extended Double Zepp" of 3 dB gain design like their 2M Ringo.  Running
> he has worked a lot of DX on 6M using it much to my surprise.  That's one
> the few reports I've had of this although I know very well what 1/2 waves
> will do on all bands--except 6M.  This caught my immediate attention.
> only heard JA's for DX 2 years ago on 6M once although they were coming
> Seattle last week and I missed them.  My 1/2 wave will be mounted on top
> the 5 element Raibeam shortly.  I want to see how well it will work up
> at any distance on 6M.  I will then make my version of the 6M Ringo.  The
> Ringo is actually a very poor design.  The ring at the base is really the
> inductor of a tank circuit to match a Hi-Z at the end of the antenna and
> tapped at the 50 ohm point.  But it has the highest RF Spill Over down the
> mast of any vertical in Ham radio.  The higher you mount it the worse it
> works as more of the lift-off of the vertical pattern occurs.  The mast or
> tower is heavily excited like a long wire and dominates.  When the 2M AEA
> Isopole came out with the double radial skirt to kill RF Spill Over once
> for all, Ringo added radials below the Ring Tank Circuit.  Unfortunately
> didn't understand exactly what they were doing and trying to copy it,
> radials 1/8 WL lower and not 1/4 WL lower at the maximum high voltage and
> Hi-Z area where they are the most effective as "RF Spill Over Killers."
> were close but "No Cigars."  When I told them "they missed by 1/8 wave,"
> their eyes rolled.  I don't think they understood what I said as they
> change it.
> A local Marine Antenna Manufacturer has a similar "pattern lift off
> with a the 156 MHz vertical and don't know why.  These pattern lift off
> problems created by "Major Stray RF" are still virtually "Best Kept
>  The previous owners had stolen an antenna design from me and it had RF
> Over they didn't know how to stop and had then had the guts to ask me how!
> will offer a solution to the new owners for a respectable fee.  I applied
> fix to one of their type antennas that can't be seen on the outside, will
> demonstrate and then we will negotiate.  I hope I get out of there alive
> with some folding stuff.
> The Ringo, the 2 Marine verticals and several others including some Ham
> verticals on the market are really nothing more than:
>            "50 ohm matching devices for the coax to the mast."
>         "So it can be seen that 1:1 SWR is not the full picture in
>              evaluating an antenna with or without Stray RF but
>                                        it's a good place to start."
>  It's like kissing on the hand--you have got to start some where!
> The frequently neglected, hard to measure and evasive vertical pattern is
> very important.  The key to performance is seen mostly in the free space
> vertical pattern--is it at 0 degrees or on the horizon?  Learn how to
> evaluate and control it once mounted on a tower.  Dominate signals can be
> result.  You may be accused of running big power.  I know the feeling.
> Record the weak DX station and play it back or point out "you hear the
> ones better than they do or not at all."  Sometimes they will call you
> across town (and across the country) to see if you are talking to
> They "Absolutely Fry in Their Frustrations" hearing on the phone what they
> don't hear.  Bill Wall has had that happen using his quads.  That's a big
> clue you have got an unusual beam.  Unfortunately few will ask how it is
> done?  They will ask about the receiver and seldom about the antenna?
> Another clue of Stray RF and beams too close to each other is RF in the
> Shack.  If Compression is used on SSB Stray RF there can easily get into
> audio in some rigs.  This usually happens when no balun is used.
>     Summation: All Stray RF isn't all that bad as some have claimed.  If
> was the 6 band 2 element quad wouldn't be possible.  Proper design does
> reduce it as much as possible.
> I've covered most of bases in this post to suppress most of the nit
> I did add something a sharp nit picker could jump on.  Let's see if any of
> them catch it?  I put something in for everybody.  K7GCO
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