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Re: Topband: Recommended Antennas for 160M/80M Receiving

Subject: Re: Topband: Recommended Antennas for 160M/80M Receiving
From: D Rodman MD <>
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2014 21:21:26 -0500
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Just a few more observations with receive antennas. This past year, I did a lecture at the DX club about low band receive antennas. Basically, I gave points for various characteristics of the antennas as I employ them at my QTH. I compared the DX engineering circle 8 vs SAL vs Beverage vs K9AY. Among the factors considered were cost, ease of construction, size, usefulness, ease of repair, signals. The factors were based on my experience with them over the last years. The discussion was not limited to 160m but this was factored in. I added the numbers and made this part of the discussion. What I learned and presented was as objective as I could be. All things considered, the SAL-30 was the best performing system considering all factors. If I had to pick one antenna for receive, that would be the one. The circle 8 was the most expensive, by far. To be honest, mine is not optimized for 160m but is set at a compromise radius for 80 and 160, the radiators are about 20' tall and I exchanged all the preamps for HiZ ones instead of the original DXE. On 160m the coaxial bidirectional (900ft long) beverage provided the best signal strength into EU. I did not find much difference between a K9AY and the SAL-20. They all helped receive stations. For the most part, I have Delta Loop antennas for transmit. They are very noisy. So anything is better than them for receive. I will say this, the antennas all stayed up last winter but this year we had 6 ft of snow in two days just prior to the CW WW contest. Both the SAL-30 and the beverage were destroyed and needed to be repaired/replaced. I had the chance to fix the beverage, but it was broken in several places where trees came down on the wire. The circle 8 was not broken at all. The K9AY was not damaged either. We had winds of 70 mph plus during the storm. Large trees 8" in diameter were taken down. Pines were decapitated of all foliage. The circle 8 is pretty tough as I constructed it but it is just not a great 160m receive antenna. It is good but not as effective with S/N ratio to the NE as the beverage. I think some of my observations are latitude specific for Western New York and I acknowledge that my location is very very bad on antennas. Some of my yagis only lasted months before they were destroyed by wind storms. I eventually redesigned almost everything including the 4 Square vertical radiators that were severely damaged last winter. That is it. In my case, physical design of the receive antenna begins to be of paramount importance when considering installation.

David J Rodman MD
Assistant Clinical Professor
Department of Ophthalmology

Office 716-857-8654
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