Topband: Vertical antennas aren't always best for DX

Roger Kennedy roger at
Thu Nov 22 18:02:45 EST 2018

Well I've often written about this subject . . .

I've been DX-ing on 160m for almost 50 years . . . and ALWAYS used a
horizontal half-wave dipole! (typically just 50 ft high)

At my present QTH, it isn't even the best antenna I've ever had . . . yet
people tell me that most of the time my signal compares favourable with
other Gs . . . who are nearly all using Verticals!

25 years ago, when I lived down south, I did a whole load of tests with my
good friend G3SED. My half wave dipole was better there, but again just at
50ft. Mike was using a 90ft Inverted L, with 50 radials.

We came on Top Band on numerous occasions on SSB, to get comparison reports
from dozens of different  North American stations, so we made sure we were
running the same power.  We asked the stations to carefully watch our
signals as we passed it back and forth a few times (to allow for any QSB).
And guess what? At least 80% of the time stations said we were the same

And I'm talking about right across to the Mid-West, South America . . .
sometimes African stations.

Yet I know this flies in the face of the "perceived wisdom" that a low
dipole will be rubbish for DX on Top Band.  I guess that's why most stations
I work are amazed when I tell them I'm using a Dipole !

Roger G3YRO

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