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Topband: Newbie Antenna Question (long)

Subject: Topband: Newbie Antenna Question (long)
From: Jim Bennett <>
Date: Mon, 05 Sep 2011 20:03:13 -0700
List-post: <">>
Hi folks - I'm new to this list and fairly new to 160 meters and I've got a 
couple questions. I've been licensed since '64 and have spent the majority of 
my hamming on CW, 80-10 meters. A couple years ago I built a "shortened, half 
sloper" for 160 meters. It worked "OK", but certainly wasn't the kind of 
antenna one will get DXCC on 160 with. I made perhaps 50-100 QSOs with it doing 
occasional operating on 160, and none any further than Texas. But I digress...

I recently moved to this QTH (Folsom, CA) and have a very nice, 21 year old 
home that, unfortunately, came with CC&R and HOA. Not a huge deal, as the HOA 
really has no teeth. But just the same, I don't want to be bombarded with nasty 
notes from the HOA, so I've tried to go "stealthy" with my antennas. I was able 
to put up an 88 ft long doublet, hidden in the trees, fed with 80 ft of 600-ohm 
ladder line. It works very, very well on every band from 80 through 6 meters. 
Alas, the tuner in my Elecraft K3 isn't up to the task of making this doublet 
work on 160. And, I do want to get up some sort of antenna to at least make a 
lot of stateside QSOs. DX would be nice, but being realistic, I'll probably not 
be able to erect much of a competitive, DX-worthy antenna on this property.

We have several 50 ft high redwood trees across the back of the property, and 
another one right out by the street in front. One side of the house is lined 
with some 40 ft high liquid amber trees, and one of them serves as the support 
for one end of my 80-6 doublet. I ran across an article by K6MM about a 
helically-wound, 30 ft tall vertical for 160 meters. I was going to build one 
and give it a try when another fellow mentioned that I ought to first try 
putting up an Inverted L antenna, given that I have a bunch of redwoods on the 
property. So, I'm about half way into the Inverted L project and had a couple 
questions. I got the vertical part of the antenna installed this afternoon. The 
best I could do was to get it straight up to a height of 35 ft. Now I'm ready 
to feed out the remainder of the wire in the horizontal plane. After reading 
(and attempting to comprehend!) the ARRL Handbook, The ARRL Antenna Book, and 
ON4UN's Low Band DX'ing book, I accept the fact that a vertica
 l antenna is the best bet (for transmitting, anyway) 160 meters, AND that the 
Inverted L is basically a vertical antenna. If that is the case, does this mean 
that it radiates just like any other vertical, primarily omnidirectional? If it 
is omnidirectional, does it matter in which direction the horizontal portion of 
an Inverted L is aimed? I can run mine in either of two different directions; 
one higher, but not too stealthy, the other direction a tad lower, but more 
hidden from the HOA Nazis.

Oh, and yes, I am planning on installing several looooong radials. It would be 
great if I could plop down 50-100 of 'em, but that isn't realistic, either! 
I've already got two strung out along the fence perimeter, and I might be able 
to get one or two more put down, providing the XYL doesn't go ballistic with 
all the wire strung out around the house. At least she's also a ham, so she 
"might" cut me some slack on that part of the project!

I do have a licensed copy of EZNEC and I've downloaded the free cocoaNEC 
program for Mac (provided by W7AY). Unfortunately, I just don't seem to be able 
to get my brain working properly to use either of these programs to model this 
Inverted L. I suppose if I were proficient with either one, this posting would 
not be happening!

So, can anyone enlighten me on the subject of that horizontal wire component of 
the Inverted L antenna?

Thanks, Jim / W6JHB
UR RST IS ... ... ..9 QSB QSB - hw? BK

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