Topband: short beverages

Jon Zaimes AA1K jz73 at
Sat Nov 4 07:16:28 EST 2006

In the '90s at a previous QTH north of Wilmington, Del., I tried a 130 foot "Beverage" just one foot above the ground, in the bottom of a V-shaped drainage ditch about 10 feet deep, aimed toward Europe. I used a preamp at the feedpoint using a pair of MPF102 FETs. 

I also had a 600-foot single-wire Beverage, 10 feet high, aimed at Europe.

About 10 percent of the time the shortie was better, presumably when high-angle signals were dominating on the path. Maybe the ditch helped provide some shielding too from nearby noise sources -- this was in a fairly dense suburban environment.

Sometimes I had them hooked to two separate receivers, with one going into each ear, and at times the signals would flip-flop between the two very quickly.

In the '80s at my QTH near Bear, Del., I had a 185-foot Beverage 10 feet high, aimed at Europe. It ran about 50 feet from my 100-ft. shunt-fed tower, and the coupling often enhanced signals on the short Beverage. During times of high precipitation static, however, the noise coupled from the tower was overwhelming, and I had to detune the tower to make the Beverage useful. Later when I added a 600-foot Beverage about a half mile away in some woods, that was almost always better than the short Beverage. But the short Beverage was almost always better than listening on the vertical. The short Beverage aimed at Europe also was almost always better than any of the longer Beverages I had in other directions -- exceptions being perceived as when signals were skewed from the East or Southeast occasionally. I also had a small closed RX loop and the short Beverage was almost always better than that.

All of the above mentioned Beverages were terminated.

So bottom line, if you only have room for a short Beverage it is worth trying -- maybe even in addition to a long Beverage or loops.

73/Jon AA1K
Felton, Delaware

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