Verticals, Auteks, filters

Ed E Jensen ae110 at rgfn.epcc.Edu
Wed Jan 4 14:31:36 EST 1995

This is the result of my enquiry on verticals.  I have repeated
the original post and a summary of the replies.  Complete copies
of the replies are available on request.

Also included is a note regarding the Autek SWR analyzer per an 
enquiry posted a while ago but I can't remember from whom.
I relate my experience with the analyzer and a technique to use
it to measure cable loss from the shack.  

Also also included are my thoughts on the 250/500 Hz filter matter.

I was leaning towards the GAP or MFJ, but I went with the
majority and have ordered a Butternut HF9VX and 160 meter kit.

BTW, I had a problem ordering it.  My usual deep discount dealers
don't handle Butternut.  Finally found it and a friendly price at JRS.

Thanks to all for their advice.

73, Ed, K5ED

A. My original post:

>Here's a question from a little gun stuck in a city lot with
>dipoles for 80/40 at 40 feet.
>I think a vertical would be better for dx than my low
>dipoles (yes, no, maybe?).
>I am considering the GAP, Butternut, MFJ.  Any advice?

B. Table of replies

Recommended              Not recommended

Butternut       8        GAP 4
hb vert         6        R7  2
Shunt fed tower 2
GAP             2
Cushcraft       1

Excerpts from each reply are in part E.

C. Regarding Autek RF-1 SWR analyzer.

I had an MFJ 249 but wanted an analyzer with digital readout so
I sold it and got the Autek about a month ago.  I have used it now
to tune up a tribander and various dipoles.


1. At first I thought it might be inaccurate, since it read differently
from my other computing SWR meters (Autek WM-1, FT1000, Palomar M-827).
I made up a couple of dummy loads, one 50 ohm for 1:1, and one 23 ohms
for 2.2:1.  All meters read 50 ohms as 1:1, only the Autek analyzer
read 23 ohms accurately as 2.2:1.  All the others read low (1.7-1.9:1).

2. The frequency adjust arrangement is awful.  It has a coarse tune
and a fine tune knob.  It's very difficult to set.

3. It's very easy to find quarter and half wave lengths of coax using
the impedance readout (just look for peaks and valleys).

4. As a bonus, you can measure cable loss from your shack without
disconnecting the cable from your antenna.  Just look for swr peaks
and then use a graph included in the instructions to get loss.  The
graph (also in an old Antenna Handbook) assumes you have an open or 
short at the other end of your cable, but off resonance a ham antenna 
approximates an open.  I was able to get within .1 dB of
the loss figures given by the transmission line program included
with the latest antenna manual for new RG58, RG8 and 9913.  You can't
do this with the MFJ since it is not calibrated above 3:1 (the Autek
reads to 15:1).

D. 250 vs. 500 Hz filters

For CW and RTTY contests I use dual 250s on 80-20.  I use dual 500s for 
casual op and contests on 10,15.  I think both filters are essential so 
I would avoid a rig that does not allow switching between them. 

E. Excerpts from replies in the order I received them.

*** 1. From Arlan Bowen, N4OO, abowen at

good results with inverted L type antennas for 40/80.

*** 2. From Don, W4ZYT, DLYNCH at

have experience with several verticals - 14AVQ, R-7, Butternut
HF6V, R-5 - and feel strongly that for the money, the Butternut HF6V is
the best you can get, Using about 200 watts, I was able to work some 140
countries on 40 and another 103 on 80, to qualify for 5BDXCC.  I have a
new Sommer beam on 40, and in the short haul, the Butternut actually does

Used an R-7.  That's also a good antenna, but I have been more impressed
with the Butternut, and also the R-7 doesn't give you 80 meters. On 40
and 30 meters, the two seem about the same.

for a ham with limited space, I think the Butternut is hard to beat.

*** 3. From Larry, W9AGH, larry at

If you work only one mode, any of the commercial verticals are OK. The
GAP must be ordered for 80 or 75m. The Butternut can be manually retuned.

*** 4. From Sean, KF9PL, tigger at

Use a sloping dipole on 40m.  I've had this vertical up for almost 3 
months now. I've worked 40 states and 62 countries with it, all
with a hundred watts.  The biggest problem I've had with it is that it
keeps coming down on a fairly regular basis.

My personal experience with the GAP vertical is not a good one.  used one
in Jamaica for the WPX CW contest in May. I had better results with
the dipole at 25 feet than with the GAP (on 80m).

*** 5. From Scott, K9MA, sellington at

Shunt feed tower on 40 and 80.  I do that with a 70 foot tower
on 80 and 160, and it works very well.

*** 6. From Scott, AA7TF, apub064 at

Had a Butternut HF2V (80/40) vertical on the roof of my
house for several years. Mounted it on a small tripod and used
their radial kit. I was pleased with the performance. It was
easy to build, and I had no problems with it.

*** 7. From Peter, ON6TT, p_casier at box.eunet.beSubject:

We did a field test with a butternut, r7, gap and a home made vertical
next to each other. Winner was the home made vertical with the close 
runner up the butternut.  Gap and R7 performance on 40, 80 and 160 
was getting close to that of a dummy load compared to the two others.

*** 8. From Kevin, N0IOS, krueg010 at

I have a GAP DX-IV (46ft, 40, 80, and 160M) which I've used for Field Day
and the last 160M contest.  During Field Day I was very impressed with
it's 40 Meter performance, compared to a dipole, loop, and G5RV used in
previous years.  80 Meters seemed about the same as previous antennas.

The materials are good and it's put together well.  I've assembled,
erected, and disassembled it three times now.  It does require guying
and therefore some space.

*** 9. Steve, AA9AX, aa9ax at

My experience with an 80 meter vertical:  
It wasn't great. The Gap Voyager vertical looked good.  I bought 
the factory counterpoise kit (ground radials).The results were this:
1.  The antenna is spectacularly broadbanded and with low SWR.
2.  All the literature made sense.
3.  The antenna reminds me of a black hole in space, because I don't
know to whence the radiation went, but it didn't go to other people's
receivers!  I did A/B tests on transmit and receive on 80 and 160 meters,
and NEVER found anyone that I heard or that heard me better than my loop.

It is hard to rate the GAP well when I never heard ANY dx! The GAP is 
everything you could possibly want in a vertical with the sole exception 
that it doesn't seem to radiate the RF into space.

*** 10. From Ward, N0AX, hwardsil at

For 40m, the HF2V is hard to beat.  On 80m, the loading coils make it
less efficient.  Also, the radials need to be pretty long; 67 feet at

On 80m, my GAP Voyager is quite good, although somewhat unwieldy at 50
feet with the 8' capacity hat.  It's OK on 40 and better than low wires
on 160.  80 is its best band.

*** 11. From Jim, N6IG, n6ig at

Put up a Butternut HF2V on a tilt-over mount with about eight radials on
40 and 3 on 80.  It works pretty well!  I live on a 1000' hill with a 500'
clear dropoff from North through east to the South.  I seem to really
stomp into Africa and the South Atlantic on both 40 and 80.  I actually
beat people out in pileups.  I use a KW.

The Butternut will work well on 40 since it is quarter wave.  It is very
narrow on 80 and not very efficient since it is base loaded.  If you mess
with it and put up a top hat, it would work better I am sure.

*** 12. From Rick, VE6GK, zabrodsk at

Load up what ever is supporting your dipoles as a vertical!

*** 13. From Tony, AE0M, becker at

I put up a ground plane for 80m, and have been using a vertically 
polarized delta loop for 40m.  I'll let you know after a few
contests what I think.

*** 14. From Dick , K4IQJ, jaeger at

An HF2V working as a GP with 4-6 trapped radials at 40 feet will do an
excellent job.

*** 15. From Tony, K1KP, fisher at

1. Butternut.
2. Radials

*** 16. From Tad, NZ3I, bbs at

I had good luck with my Butternut on 80 meters and 40

*** 17. From Ken, WM2C, ken.silverman at atlas.ccmail.AirTouch.COM

If you have a support at 40', try a wire vertical for the low bands, 
33' (or there abouts) for 40m. You can also do an inverted-L for 80m. 
I once had a 160 inverted_l up 75' with 2 radials, and with 100 watts, 
worked 75 countries in 2 months from my old New York QTH.  They work.

*** 18. From Marc, KN6SO, willis at

I have a Butternut 40-80m vert. It works ok. I have used it in contests
with some pretty good success.  The butternut is difficult to tune
for both bands without a tuner. Bandwidth is limited.

*** 19. From Paul, KR4UJ, pbp at

Recently put up an 80M vertical. It is a homebrew wire vertical.
The wire is abt 65 ft long and it is up in a tree. The base is about 1 ft
off the ground.  Have worked many Europeans with only 100 watts.

*** 20. From Eric, WD9GGY, HALLERI at

Have used a Cushcraft AP8 for five years...great vertical..
I would recommend an AP8 ground-mounted or an R7 (no radials needed)...
I am a contester and like a charm w/100 watts...

Ed Jensen, K5ED, El Paso, TX (ae110 at

>From jholly at (Jim Hollenback)  Wed Jan  4 21:48:31 1995
From: jholly at (Jim Hollenback) (Jim Hollenback)
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 13:48:31 -0800
Subject: ICOM addresses
Message-ID: <9501041348.ZM25715 at>

I'm curious what the ICOM address/model mapping is. i.e, a 735 is at
address 4. What are the others? No, I don't have an ICOM, just a 
compatible xcver (OMNI-VI).

jholly at

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list