Topband: Inverted L Lengths

Doug Turnbull turnbull at
Sat Nov 12 12:54:02 PST 2011

Dear OMs,

    I note that some use inverted L antennas of 160 feet plus in length and
others like myself have them closer to a quarter wave length at 132 feet or
so.   My antenna runs nearly 100 feet in the vertical and then goes
horizontal for about 32 feet.   I do not need to use a variable capacitor to
tune it the SWR with eight raised radials is around 1.4 to 1 and it performs
very well indeed.   What is the advantage of the longer wire?   In my
ignorance it would seem to detract from the vertical element and raise the
angle of radiation.   Am I missing something?   I believe both designs are
shown in DXing on the Edge but there is no comparison between them in this
book.   I prefer not to use a variable capacitor outside though one was
purchased in case needed.   

     My radials come from about six inches above ground and slope up to
about eight feet above ground supported a few feet from the antenna by four
foot high fence posts before going into my wood and being supported by
electric fence insulators screwed into trees.   Yes I know four radials
should do but I am able to put up more and it seemed to broadband the
antenna a bit better and the antenna works over the whole of the 160M band
though it seldom is used on phone.


     The band seems very lonely this year but most of my receiving antennas
are not yet up due to cattle in adjacent fields.   I hope they are soon
moved.   A Hi-Z 4 square receiving system is on order and this may augment
my K9AY and improve the situation.   Top band operators are made of sterner
stuff than I am as it is so hard to stay up through the night.

                             73 Doug EI2CN

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