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[Towertalk] I need to be louder on 40 and 80.

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Subject: [Towertalk] I need to be louder on 40 and 80.
From: (
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 08:08:09 -0600
The SIMPLE solution for 80M is an inverted vee under the TH7.
If you feed with ladderline, you can also use this on 40M.
You may want to supplement this with lower dipoles (50 ft) 
for close-in coverage if you can find a place to mount them.

Note that on 40M, an 80M (horizontal) dipole acts as two 
half waves in phase which provides ~1.8 dB gain over a 
dipole but narrows the beamwidth to ~50 degrees with
DEEP NULLS off the ends.

The HF2V plays well on 40M where it is full size, but SUCKS
on 80M where it is BASE LOADED, the LEAST EFFICIENT
method of loading short antennas.  I like the low cost ($160)
MFJ 1792 80 / 40 vertical which is full size on 40M and has
an isolating coil that acts as more efficient TOP LOADING
on 80M in conjunction with a top hat.  Bandwidth is restricted
as for any loaded antenna and the maximum power rating is
reduced to 1000W on 80M.

For 40M I *highly recommend* matching the Boom of your TH7
as a rotary dipole.  KILLER  ANTENNA.  See below.

Tom  N4KG

BOOM   MATCHING as a  ROTARY  DIPOLE  on  40 / 30 Meters - N4KG

The loaded boom dipole trick works very well indeed!  A 24 ft boom end
loaded by 20M (full size or trapped) elements is self resonant very near
40M ( resonance is not needed for efficient radiation).  I have matched
my TH6 boom first for 40M and now use it on 30M where it has accounted
for 290 countries.  Shorter booms will also work with slightly less

The radiation resistance of a dipole depends on it's height above ground
so using someone else's exact matching system may not give identical
results unless the antennas are at the same height also.

A better approach is to describe the TECHNIQUE and make your own
matching system, tuned in place on the tower.

First, a matching ARM needs to be attached to the boom and brought
back to the mast.  I like to use 3/4 inch CATV hardline as a semi-rigid
piece of tubing that can be easily bent and formed.  (Besides, it's

I use a sloping feed, from near the 15M director back to the mast about
12 to 15 inches above the boom, and insulated from the mast by a piece
of slotted  PVC over the aluminum tubing.  I use 1/8 inch nylon rope to 
lash the tubing/PVC/mast together.  Smash the end of the tubing and 
use a hose clamp to attach the arm to the boom.  The arm may also be 
suspended below the boom if the antenna has enough clearance 
above the top of the tower.  Either a sloping or parallel arm will work.

I like using an OMEGA match (see ARRL Antenna Book) because it can
easily match lower impedances up to 50 Ohms AND tune out the inductive
reactance of the arm.  With this system, it is NOT necessary to find the
Ohm tap point (which can be a real pain!).  If the beam is already on the

tower, place the arm attachment point out as far as you can safely reach.

The OMEGA match uses two capacitors, one from the arm to "ground" 
(the center of the boom or mast, assuming a good boom to mast connection)
and another from the arm to the center of your feedline.  The braid of
feedline is connected to the "ground"/mast/boom-center.

To determine the necessary capacitor values, I mounted two 300 pf
variable capacitors on a piece of plexiglas, with a plexiglas front, and
pointer knobs.  A piece of 3" by 5" card (paper) is mounted behind the
knobs and lines drawn with calibration marks.  (It helps to have a
capacitance or impedance meter available for calibration).

To match the arm, I mounted two receiving-type 300 pF  variable
on a piece of plexiglas and connected the stators together.  A short wire
runs from this junction to the end of the arm where a hose clamp can be
used to make the connection.  The rotor of one capacitor goes to the
"ground" connection at the mast or center of the boom.  The rotor of the
other capacitor goes to the center of your feedline.  The braid of your
feedline goes to the "ground" at the center of the boom or mast.  Keep
these leads as short as possible.

The BEST way to tune the capacitors is with a battery powered
Antenna Analyzer.  Your transmitter (at reduced power) with a helper,
two meter radio, and SWR meter (at the antenna) will also work.
It is a good idea to wear heavy rubber gloves and have good 
communication (KEY, DONT  KEY, etc.) with your helper.

Once the capacitor values are known, I make weather proof capacitors
from solid dielectric coaxial cables such as RG-8, RG-213, or even RG-59.
(Solid dielectric cables have much higher breakdown voltage ratings than 
foam).  Fifty ohm cables are approximately 30 pF per foot while 75 ohm
cables are around 21 pF per foot.  To prevent arcing at the far end of
cable, I trim off 1/2 inch of braid and tape the end.  The cable can be 
coiled.  I like to tape the coiled cables to the matching arm (isolated
the boom and mast).  Be sure to attach the BRAID of the cable capacitors
to the matching arm.  (This prevents arcing from the braid through the
outer jacket which has only a 600 V rating).  The center conductor of the

shunt capacitor (cable) is then connected to the mast or boom center. 
center conductor of the series capacitor (cable) is connected to the 
center conductor of your feedline.  Again, the braid of the feedline is
connected to the center of the boom (or to the mast).  It helps to draw
a picture!

There are several advantages to matching the boom of a Yagi as a
rotary dipole compared to using an inverted Vee suspended below
the Yagi. One obvious advantage is that the antenna can be rotated to
maximize radiation in the desired direction.  A less obvious fact is that

a flat horizontal dipole can have up to 3 dB more gain than an inverted 
vee because radiation off the ends is minimized and interactions with
other antennas is minimized.

This technique of matching a Yagi boom as a rotary dipole has been
successfully copied by several others with good success.  My own
systems continue to perform well after 20 years.  Using various
rotary dipoles at 80 ft, I have worked over 300 countries on 40 meters.
Optimum heights range from 80 to 90 feet, where the radiation resistance 
of a 40M dipole goes through a minimum, thus maximizing the current
(and GAIN) of the dipole.  Because of this impedance / current / gain
relationship to height, further increases in height actually yield LESS
gain until approaching a height close to 1 wavelength (140 ft.) !

If you have followed me this far, have an adventurous spirit, and are
looking for a good 30 meter antenna in addition to 40M, I see no 
reason that one could not put a second matching arm to the opposite
side of the mast and tuning that arm to match on 30M.  If separate
feedlines are used, be sure to NEVER connect both feedlines to 
separate radios at the same time!

Try it, you'll like it !

GL,   Tom  N4KG    (10 / 23 / 97)

On Wed, 27 Mar 2002  "Chris Hurlbut" <> writes:
> Hi everyone,
> Maybe some of you can help me out.  I'm looking to improve the 40 
> and 80
> meter signal here at the University of Idaho, W7UQ.  Right now the 
> antenna
> is a ladder line fed inverted vee wire of unknown origin, up about 
> 50 feet
> on the side of a wood chip silo.  I've been thinking up ideas, but 
> I'm not
> really sure what would work out best.  Maybe some of you out there 
> have
> experience with one or more of these and could help me out.  Here is 
> what we
> have here at W7UQ:
> On top of the powerplant on campus is our tower with a TH7 on top.  
> I am
> guessing the tower starts at 50 feet, and is 50 feet tall.  This 
> puts the
> TH7 at about 100 feet.  There isn't much room to stretch out wires 
> or
> anything on top of the tower that would go out.... but something 
> might be
> worked out with the powerplant people.  Just below the TH7 is a 
> random wire
> that seems to be worthless, but it is very large.  I've never used 
> this
> antenna effectively on any band.  My goal is to be loud for DOMESTIC
> contests... such as NAQP, SS, and the sprints.  Very rarely would I 
> ever do
> a DX Contest seriously from here.  There is limited space, but a 
> wire
> pointed east/west is doable (ie dipole, etc).
> I have had a few suggestions already about what might work, but I'm 
> not sure
> if some of them would be worth the trouble.  On the other hand, they 
> may
> turn out to be great.  Here is what I have thought up, or people 
> have
> suggested:
> 1) Loading the tower for 80 meters, and hanging radials off the side 
> of the
> silo.  Sounds like a great idea to me, just not sure if the 
> powerplant folks
> would go for it.  Would it be THAT much better than a dipole?  What 
> about
> effectiveness in a domestic contest setting?  Would it work at all 
> with 50
> feet of tower and a tribander?  Hanging radials?
> 2) Loading the guy wires as a sloper array if they're long enough, 
> shorting
> at the breaks in them.  Not sure how this would work, but it sounds 
> cool.
> 3) Dipole on each of 40 and 80, up as high as I could get them.  
> (Seems like
> the best to me?)
> 4) Other wire type inverted vee array such as a double extended 
> zepp.  Maybe
> it has more gain than a dipole?
> 5) HF2V butternut vertical.  We have one of these in the shack + 
> coax ready
> to go up.  Aren't they supposed to be ground mounted with a ton of 
> radials?
> Not sure we could get it on the ground, or up in the air with enough 
> wire
> for it to work.
> 6) 2 element 40m yagi fixed to states (I WISH! heh)  But maybe a 
> wire yagi
> with close spacing?  It would have to be pretty close spacing... no 
> more
> than about 12 feet I think, if that much.
> I really like the idea of the tower turned into a vertical, but I'm 
> not sure
> if hanging radials would even work?  I'm no antenna expert.  Dipoles 
> seem to
> work OK, at least better than some non-resonant wire.
> Any help would be appreciated, and it might even get you an extra 
> mult in
> NAQP :)
> Thanks,
> Chris KL9A
> _______________________________________________
> Towertalk mailing list

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