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Re: [TowerTalk] Beverage Antenna Problem-Long-Final Results

To: "Tower and HF antenna construction topics." <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Beverage Antenna Problem-Long-Final Results
From: "Chuck" <>
Reply-to: "Tower and HF antenna construction topics." <>
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 12:46:22 -0600
List-post: <">>
As a follow up to my emails about the troubles with 2 of my Beverage 
antennas:  I found that one of them had an old connection between the 
beverage box and the antenna that had been covered with liquid tape and had 
deteriorated under the tape.  Making a good connection to the antenna solved 
that one.

The second was not so easy.  Resistance measurements were normal and I 
traded out the transformer with a used one to no avail. (I decided not to 
take a working transformer out of a working Beverage so close to the 
contest.) I dragged the box and coax into the shack.  I put a 75 ohm 
resister across the coax and had good SWR transmitting 1 watt into the feed 
line.  OK, the coax is good.  Then I put a 470 ohm resister across the 
output of the Beverage transformer (after reinserting it) and the SWR was 
bad.  I then decided the core had become degraded somehow and it (and the 
other one I tried) were bad.  I don't know how or why, but they were.  Dave, 
K1TTT warned me about this so I put out an emergency message to find a new 
transformer or a core to wind one to no avail.  It was the day before the CQ 
160 contest, so I did not have any time to spare.  I looked through my huge 
amount of stuff collected in my 53 years (and I am not even that old!) of 
ham radio and found an Amidon 150 core.  I discovered it was close to the 
right permeability and ran to the "Shack" to get some #20 and #22 hookup 
wire. I was astounded that the young lady who greeted me actually knew what 
it was and how to find it, so I was off in a hurry. I had some glass cloth 
tape and I wound my first "UNUN" according to Jerry Sevick's formula and now 
have a 100 watt transformer with low SWR in my NW Beverage! I felt great 
that my first try at winding an UNUN worked and also that all 4 of my 
(albeit short) Beverages was working. (Now I am thinking about putting the 
2000 watt rhombic terminating load I collected from who-knows-where on the 
end of a Beverage and transmitting into it... Hummmm)

Anyway, I got everything working before the contest, but I have some noise 
source that kept the meter over S-9 all the time on the vertical transmit 
antenna.  Since I am on a small piece of property, it was transferred to the 
beverages.  The northeast beverage was the least affected luckily, so I 
heard about 25 strong Europeans.  I was surprised the Europeans were so easy 
to copy and the stateside guys were, many times, much weaker.  I never was 
able to copy any station on the vertical all weekend. The SE Beverage was 
the noisest by far.  I think I transferred the noise from the power line 
close to the end of the SE Beverage to the vertical where the Beverage 
passes close to the end of one of the elevated radials.  Then the vertical 
reradiated the noise.

It kind of reminded me of the first year I made a huge ground plane for 160 
by converting the 160 inverted V to radials and flying a plastic helium 
balloon shaped like a wing to hold up the vertical portion of the antenna. 
I attached the balloon about 3 feet above the top of the vertical and the 
static charging was huge and made a terrible noise on receive.  What an 
alligator I was!  The next year, I put about 20 feet of nylon line 
separation between the antenna and the balloon and it worked ok.  (But not 
as good as one would think.)

The weekend before during ARRL CW, I worked 29 Europeans on the vertical.  I 
noticed the noise then, but it went away before the contest.

By the way, I found that power tool battery chargers left plugged in with no 
battery inserted can be a significant source of noise that sounds like an 
electric fence charger.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and the contacts on 160.  I think I will 
go single band 10 meters next weekend.  Hi

Chuck W5PR
----- Original Message ----- 
To: "'Tower and HF antenna construction topics.'" <>
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2010 6:16 AM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Beverage Antenna Problem

> It can definitely be the transformer.  Just had one go bad here either 
> from
> lightning or moisture that corroded the connection, can't tell for sure.
> Compare resistance readings to the working one or trade them and see if 
> the
> problem moves.
> David Robbins K1TTT
> e-mail:
> web:
> AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Chuck []
>> Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2010 03:02
>> To:; Tower and HF antenna construction topics.
>> Subject: [TowerTalk] Beverage Antenna Problem
>> I have been trying to repair my 4 beverage antennas.  Wires and
>> terminations are good.  2 of the beverages work well, 2 are "dead"  I 
>> have
>> checked the coax and connectors are ok.  Other than broken wires, what 
>> can
>> go wrong with the transformer?  What the heck am I missing?  Short to the
>> core?  I will try moving a transformer from a working Beverage to a dead
>> one to see if that is the problem.  Both "dead" ones have RG-59 coax with
>> foil and shield to them.  The working ones have other types of coax. All
>> have transformers from ON4UN that used to work great.  3 are 600' one is
>> 800'  the 800' and one 600' are not working.
>> I guess I should try the substitution of another transformer first...
>> Thanks
>> Chuck W5PR
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