Ten-Tec is my first love in radio equipment, that's why I'm on this
I guess it's time for Ten-Tec to release a new product because we haven't
seen much complaining here for quite some time now (hi).
Until then, I am enjoying these antenna discussions.
THE VERTICAL DIPOLE AND 80m SURPRISE: DX better than on the full size
I put up the vertical dipole for the first time ever in 1993 when I moved
into my previous QTH, which didn't have much ground space.
I took it down once I got the beam and openwire fed horizontal dipole up.
Here at the new QTH I use the vertical dipole everyday, though each side is
now 1m longer than it was at the previous QTH.
I have had horizontal dipoles (dublets) fed with openwire at my last 3
Each was a different size, based on the space I had available.
All were about the same height: 13m (40 ft.).
They were: 2x 20m (now, used 6 years), 2x 10m previously (used 7 years), and
2x 13m (used 5 years)
The first interesting question might be, how did these 3 compare?
Hey, this is about as subjective as it gets, because they were used during
different times, different sunspot cycles and at different locations.
My highly subjective gut feeling, for 40m and above, all performed about
For 80m, the 2x13m performed about the same as the 2x20m and the 2x10m was
noticeably weaker. This is based on my ability to work multis in contests
with the first or second call, as well as the day to day reports I got in my
Now the surprise. I have always tried to orient these horizontal antennas
such that I could have the major lobe facing stateside, and as a result,
working Asiatic Russia has always been a real challenge. In contests, I
could hear those guys 599 for hours but simply couldn't work them.
Eventually I would snag one but the time wasted wasn't helping my contest
At the last QTH, 2x10m, I pulled the openwire feedline out of the Annecke
and stuck just one side of it into an MFJ Differential-T. My only ground
was the cold water pipe. I had no radials or counterpoise. This was a panic
effort in the middle of a CQWW to try and work UK9/0. Hey, I worked it in a
relatively short time. This tells me the radiation pattern of the
"Inverted-L" which I had converted my horizontal dipole into was more
favorable for the east in that configuration than in the classical dipole
configuration. Remember, I had already taken down my vertical dipole and
didn't have it.
Here at the new QTH, I have the vertical dipole. I found I can call for
hours using the horizontal dipole and still don't manage to work UK9/0 -
even with maximum legal power. However, switching to the vertical dipole, I
can work them even with 100w with just a few calls.
So two years ago, I worked a CQWW single band 80m from home and spent most
of the time just switching between antennas. For transatlantic work it was
a wash. One time the signal was louder on the horizontal (full size up
13m), the next time it was louder on the vertical. For working the European
multipliers, the horizontal was almost always a couple of S-units louder.
Asiatic Russia only worked on the Vertical Dipole.
The following year (last year) I stayed home again for CQWW but didn't put
in a serious effort. Still, I made another valuable experience. On 40m,
the vertical dipole was almost always 1 S-Unit better than the 2x20m
horizontal on long-haul, but the big surprise was that for EU multipliers,
the vertical dipole was also stronger - almost always, except for the
countries which are very close to Bavaria.
The Bottom Line: It's sure nice to have two antennas instead of just one.
The vertical dipole is a significant enhancement to my station even on the
low bands, where I, for many years, only had a horizontal dipole. This was
a pleasant surprise because I had initially put the vertical up for the high
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