My two cents:
This thread is one of the BEST we have every had on Topband. Very
informative. Thanks to everyone who took time to post.
I started with Beverages in 1980 shortly after moving to my current QTH in
NH. I had five and they were pointed NE, E, S, W and NW. I used the single
wire design and all ran through my woods. They came to a central point and
were switched with home brewed relays (from Meshna and came from pinball
machines) and a 600-75 ohm matching transformer. Over the years, I found
that trees, limbs, moose and deer would take out at least one antenna per
season. If I caught it quickly, I could repair them by knotting the wire and
soldering. I also found the insulation would deteriorate and weaken the
antenna. I would replace the wire every two to four years depending on where
Then we logged the woods and everything had to come down.
After the logging was completed, a 12 month process, it was time to rebuild
my receiving array. My good friend Gary, KD9SV, had designed the WD1A
bi-directional antenna and this seemed to both simplify installation, two
wires equals four directions, and with the open woods, might survive longer.
They worked well but fell prey to the same problem, deer, moose and trees
falling. Repair was slightly more difficult as WD1A has seven wires, four
are tinned copper and three are galvanized steel. Luckily, I was a Signal
Corps guy and had training on how splice WD1 and it carried over to the new
FWIW, WD1 was the larger, twisted telephone wire that was used in the old
tip and ring phone systems. The new WD1A was designed to be used with the
digitally switched phone systems that came on line around the time I left
Around this time, I had a long conversation with John W1FV, who designed a
nine element array that was published in NCJ and shared at YCCC meetings.
Like me, John had "issues" with Beverages just like mine. They were a pain
to keep up. DX Engineering and Hi-Z were marketing receiving arrays in
several iterations. I chose the 4 element Hi-Z and located it in one of my
hay fields. It goes up in an afternoon after our last cutting of hay and
comes down in April. Overall, I have found the array to as good as, if not
better than the Beverages.
That said, it has been stated by a number of Top Notch 160 DX'ers, you can
never have enough receiving antennas.
Long term, I need to find a place on my property to install either an 8
element array or Kaufman's nine element iteration. I also will reinstall a
NW-SE and NE-SW WD1A Beverages. All it takes is time.
All the best during this wonderful Holiday Season. Merry Christmas,
Chanukah, Festivus, Kwanza and Solstace. May 2015 be a good year on Topband
for us all!
73 Craig K1QX
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