[TowerTalk] 80 Meter beam

jimlux jimlux at earthlink.net
Sat Apr 1 12:59:50 EDT 2017

On 4/1/17 7:07 AM, David Aslin G3WGN wrote:
> Grant, did you happen to also do a Pro/4 analysis of a 4-square over poor ground?
> At my new QTH I'm not going to be able to get a beam higher than around 125ft for 80m, and that would be a 2-el wire inverted vee style since a Yagi is out of the question from a neighbour/town planning approval perspective.
> Although the conductivity map of this part of UK suggests average ground, I'm getting some empirical data from the installation of electrical safety grounds at 3 points on the property.  UK regulations require that these show less than 200 ohms resistance (!) and the electrician is finding he needs 5/8" ground rods 8ft or longer to meet that test (most homes in this country have 3/8" 4ft rods for safety ground at the service entrance).  This suggests that locally I may have poor ground so a 4-square may not be my best choice.  It would be good to compare the wire 2-el with a 4-square over poor ground.  The downside of the wire beam of course, is that it will be fixed in direction.
> All thoughts/comments welcome as I will only get one shot at building this station!
> 73, David G3WGN  M6O

you may want to use your antenna analyzer to measure the soil 
properties.. There's several ways - one is to drive a pair of rods in 
with the right separation to make a balanced transmission line and 
measure the Z.

The ARRL Antenna book (and maybe the handbook) describe the technique.

electrical safety grounds are measured at line frequencies and that can 
be quite different.  For one thing, they're really just measuring 
"sigma" (conductivity) not "epsilon", and for antennas, both make a 

But to your desire for gain and different directions.  With the same 
number of supports (4), you could build 4 doublet (between the supports) 
and switch among them with some simple phasing and get gain in 4, if not 
8, directions.  The dipoles don't have to be a full 1/2 wavelength 
long.. the gain difference between a 1/4 wavelength long doublet and a 
1/2 wavelength is small.   You could also do a drooping 1/2 wavelength 
(1/4 wave flat between supports, 1/8 wave sloping off the end) to get 
the match better (although I think bulk loading at the feed point would 
be just as good.)

You could also make a sort of hybrid V dipole system with 4 supports. 
Feed point at the top of the support (so the post holds the coax up).  A 
90 degree V, with the two feedpoints 1.414*90 =127 degrees apart - 
actually, for a V dipole, the "phase center" (apparent feed point 
location, given the far field phase and extrapolated back) is somewhat 
"within" the V anyway.

You'd probably need some guys to hold the wires, and you'd need some 
switching at the top of each post (or very cleverly at the bottom, with 
openwire line coming down) to share a given wire between two dipoles 
(the switch has to take fairly high voltage)

And then there's some clever schemes where you have multiple posts with 
two inverted Vs supported from the post (and serving as guys), and 
switch among the V's to get gain in the right direction.  I've looked at 
schemes with 3 and 4 posts.

However, all these schemes do require some fiddling around to get good 
F/B (just like a 4 square) in the face of non ideal, non identical 
elements.   Getting gain is pretty easy and you can be sloppy with 
tolerances, but getting a good null is harder.

More information about the TowerTalk mailing list