[TowerTalk] Beam Suggestions

k8jdc at sbcglobal.net k8jdc at sbcglobal.net
Fri Aug 18 20:20:54 EDT 2006

     That was my error to omit any references to my goals.  Without writing 
a novel, I will make a few notes:

- This is my first beam (excepting a homebrewed 20m Moxon that surprised me 
with its performance), so I'm trying to get a multiband directional antenna 
to provide better performance than the multiband dipole I currently use.
- As I've developed my station over the last 4 years, I've tried to built a 
quality station and I'd like an antenna to help complete that.  I'm not 
looking for world-class performance, but I'd like to be able to put out a 
good signal on the upper bands without apologizing for my crummy dipole.
- Considering our current propagation situation, my primary band will be 
20m.  I would rank the other bands in order of desirability as 17m, 15m, 
12m, and 10m.  I'm okay with the 17m/12m performance being roughly 
equivalent to a rotatable dipole as it's better than what I have now.
- I'm not a contester, but I very much like to chase DX when I find time.  I 
don't have to bust the pile on the first call, but I do want to work 
DXpeditions when reasonably possible.
- The cost is something that I'm just going to have to weight the benefits 
vs the cost.  Since I was hoping to put a Steppir up at the new house, I had 
already set in my mind that I was going to spend some signifcant money on a 
tower and antenna.  Given our situation at the current house, the decision 
is a little more involved and I'll just have to make the decision on what's 
the best way to proceed.

For all those who wrote emails directly to me with suggestions, I say 
thanks.  I will tell you that there are a lot of you who are Steppir fans. 
:)   I received several suggestions to use a 2L Steppir now and possibly add 
the 3rd element after moving to the new house.  Thanks to all for the help.


 Dave / K8JDC


Please provide some insight into what's important to you in your new antenna 
system, it will help many of us give you some really useful advice.   For 

What about 17 and 12 meters?  17 meters is an excellent DX band right now 
and ideal for low power operation.  In a few more years, 12 meters will also 
be an excellent DX and low power band.  Do you want a good signal on 17 and 
12 meters, or is "dipole" performance good enough for you?

Do you want to participate in contests or chase DXpeditions?

Do you want an antenna that allows you to compete successfully as DXer or 

Do you want to be able to work DX every day, or just occasionally when you 
can get through?

Is waiting in pileups annoying, or are you satisfied to wait your turn?

Do you want to be competitive on 20 meters (the band with the highest 
population of really good antennas and serious DXers), or are you willing to 
compromise performance on that band?

Is cost an important factor (if so, whats your rough antenna budget), or are 
you willing to pay more in the short term for a better long term return on 

Lots of annoying questions from a life-long system engineer (at least it 
seems like I've been one for a life time...)


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