[TowerTalk] Antenna selection

Bob Bogash bobby1 at rbogash.com
Tue Jul 29 13:00:53 EDT 2008

They were up front with me...  they told me I could order a Big Vertical,
but it would be October before they could ship me one.  No over-sell here.
Just the facts, ma'am.

I want one, but do not want to wait;  what would you guys put up
until then?  I suppose I could put a Hustler 5BVT on a DX-Engineering
or Penninger radial plate, and then supplant the SteppIR for the Hustler
when it arrives, and use the same radial field.

Any other ideas?          ======  K8JHR  =====


I have a Steppir small vertical and a Hustler 4-BTV.  I think they are 
both good antennas.  I live on salt water, that likes vertical antennas, 
and have a large steel roof, that I wanted to use as a ground plane.

I started with a 20m Hamstick on a magmount to test the concept.  It 
worked very well.  So I got the Hustler.  The Hustler didn't like the 
metal roof - I couldn't get my SWR's down despite a million tweaks and 
trips to the roof.  I wound up putting it on the ground with just 2 
radial wires lying on the ground per band.  It worked very well there.

I got the small Steppir vertical because I didn't want the extra 14 ft 
length and guying problems of the Big one just to pick up 40m - which I 
was handling Ok with a G5RV.  I put the Steppir on the roof again where 
the Hustler had been struggling.  The antenna is grounded with a very 
short jumper to the steel roof panels.  Surprisingly, the Steppir took a 
lot of fooling around with to get a decent SWR - especially on 20m - my 
band of choice.  Finally, I got the SWR down to about 1.7-1.8 on 14.250. 
  It was mostly by accident.  I had two radials cut for 20m that I taped 
to the roof in various angles and orientations, without much luck.  Then 
one windy day, the two radials blew out from under their tape and 
dangled down the mast.  I had a big drop in SWR.  I've left them there 
ever since - about a year.

In this configuration, this is a VERY good antenna for me.  I run 
several 20m nets multi times/week covering N. America.  I almost always 
get outstanding signal reports - I'm talking S9 minimums - day in and 
day out - usually +20, sometimes +40.  I get really great reports from 
JA and EU.  I usually run about 500 watts.  My buddies always give me a 
hard time - want me to get a beam and tower.  Well, maybe some day.  But 
why fix what ain't broken???  I usually respond with "Stand-by while I 
turn my antenna in your direction!"  It's also quiet on receive, doing 
A-B comparisons with a 20 m dipole.

Steppir support sometimes leaves something to be desired - at least on 
the front end.  Check the Yahoo Steppir group.  They promised a 4 week 
lead time that turned into 18 weeks.  They finally called to say it was 
ready (I picked it up locally.)  After I had it home and on the air, 
they sent me an email saying it would be another 4 weeks.  Oh well, I 
have it, and it works very well.  It's an easy access should I have a 
mechanical problem - I wouldn't want it 100 ft up a tower!  The 
controller is designed for the Beam, as is the Manual, which is 
confusing (no 180 degree directional flip, etc.), but I got through 
that, being a smart ham.

I still have the 4-BTV.  If you want it, I'll make you a good deal!

Bob Bogash

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