[TowerTalk] 40m Vertical(s)

AA6DX aa6dx at arrl.net
Sat Dec 1 13:46:33 EST 2007

The discussion about materials for verticals brought old memories to the forefront --
Making 40m verticals is not very difficult. In the mid 70s, I had a disastrous tower failure with a way overloaded W67 --my bad-- and a Wilson DB54 and 6L 10m "bit the dirt" -- and fence -- etc.  I salvaged the parts and put them in my already saved aluminum pile (we all have one of those, right?) I read in 73 magazine, or perhaps it was Ham Radio ... about phased vertical systems.  I spent a week getting together the coax switches, and accurately measuring the phasing lines.  I could just put 3 verticals in my back yard.  This was before I knew about the affect (effect?) of the tubing size on the performance of an aerial built of aluminum pipe .. found out about that with the first beam computer programming I used over at WA7NIN's place, 20 years later...So, I cobbled together 32' verticals of the pieces on hand .. used PVC for insulator, 4x4 supports..  with individual ground systems, no inter-ties between the in-ground multiple wires under the verticals.  I still believe that is the way to go on phased systems, btw.  I used interspersed larger and smaller sizes of tubing to get the desired height, so was not "pretty".  The antennas were aligned basically N-S. I then individually tuned each vertical to the same frequency, with no phasing involved, in the low CW portion of 40m and then connected the phasing harnesses. The results were just short of being amazing.  Though the details are lost in the fogs of a third of a century, broadside was OK,not spectacular, and the East Coast of the US was darn good.  BUT .. into deep Russia was spectacular, in the wee hours of the Far Northern California mornings.  The elements worked mechanically just as fine vertically as they did on the horizontal beams...never had one break.  The aluminum alloy Jim used on his Wilson beams held up swell through the rough coastal winter storms, though it was interesting to watch the 3 of them SWAY together in the wind  --  HIHI.  System worked "OK" on the phone band, too, up to around 7225 or so...not a tuner in my system those days, I tuned the aerials.  
~~ I do use tuners now, because of my quite small downtown lot.  160m is a challenge ... but I'm there, pipsqueak signal from SF Section for the duration of the contest!
Anyway, for those 32' verticals, find some fellow hams with some old beam parts that they are willing to part with.. WORKY WORKY!!
73, Y'all -- would rather put up a tower than this dratted tree!  `Lectric train still works!  Mark  AA6DX

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