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 My first go at a Dipole

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TamGlasgow
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PostSubject: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeThu Sep 14, 2023 12:05 am

Hi all,

As the title says, this is my first go at a dipole in my loft and this will probably be the first of many questions.

When attaching the wires to the rafters, can I simply staple them most of the way and then turn down the ends or do I need to have some sag on the wires? I am using "Coated" wires.
Also, I will be using a simple dipole centre, should it be a balun instead?

Thanks

Tam

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SangueG
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeThu Sep 14, 2023 6:57 am

Hi Tam. You'll probably read loads of dos and don'ts if you research into making one. Personally I would keep as simple as you can to begin with to play and experiment and add to or change later if you feel you want to or need to. A current balun helped reduce my unwanted noise, but you don't have to have one.

Start with the simple dipole centre. Staple if you want to, but I would leave free hanging for now, easier to trim. I have screwed screws into the rafters all over my loft and I tie the wire ends to them, some legs have insulators, some don't, but I use very little power so doesn't really matter. Wires can be taut or sag a bit, or like some of mine can be quite crinkled. Bend the ends about or zig-zag them if you need to, it will still work. Honest.

I am sure you'll have fund making and using one. Do let us all know how you get on.

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TamGlasgow
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My first go at a Dipole Empty
PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeThu Sep 14, 2023 9:13 am

SangueG wrote:
Hi Tam. You'll probably read loads of dos and don'ts if you research into making one. Personally I would keep as simple as you can to begin with to play and experiment and add to or change later if you feel you want to or need to. A current balun helped reduce my unwanted noise, but you don't have to have one.

Start with the simple dipole centre. Staple if you want to, but I would leave free hanging for now, easier to trim. I have screwed screws into the rafters all over my loft and I tie the wire ends to them, some legs have insulators, some don't, but I use very little power so doesn't really matter. Wires can be taut or sag a bit, or like some of mine can be quite crinkled. Bend the ends about or zig-zag them if you need to, it will still work. Honest.

I am sure you'll have fund making and using one. Do let us all know how you get on.
Thanks, yes there are loads of conflicting advice but, like you say, I will keep it very simple and of course, I will post updates. My first go at a Dipole 1f44d
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TamGlasgow
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeThu Sep 14, 2023 4:44 pm

Well, I am chuffed with myself!
I put the Dipole up in the loft, dropped the coax down through the hatch for testing and my SWR is below 1.5 across the 40 uk channels. I have connected the dipole to my wee Thunderpole T-X handheld and I can hear a few stations which I didn't before. Will give it a good workout tonight and see how it does. I think i'll need to get this smile surgically removed Very Happy. Apart from anything else, this is giving me confidence to try new things.

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Alan Pilot
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeThu Sep 14, 2023 6:22 pm

Nice when you make something and it works.
But that smile is nothing to the one you will have when you make a contact.
Well done Tam.

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TamGlasgow
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeFri Sep 15, 2023 11:48 am

Alan Pilot wrote:
Nice when you make something and it works.
But that smile is nothing to the one you will have when you make a contact.
Well done Tam.
Guess what Alan? You are spot on, I just had my first contact with a guy a couple of miles away, a step in the right direction and a huge smile. My first go at a Dipole 1f600 
Another wee question for you guys if I may?

I have insulators at the ends of the wires and I have screwed then to the joists, will that be ok or would I be better turning the ends down/up a little?

Thanks

Tam

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Alan Pilot
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeFri Sep 15, 2023 12:07 pm

Sounds ok as you have it to me.

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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeMon Sep 18, 2023 4:50 am

Very well done with your dipole there Tam! My first go at a Dipole 1f44d 

You will find a lot of conflicting information that abounds with regards to antennas, some helpful and some not. For what it's worth, never let anything stop you from experimenting with and using any antenna you can muster up however you can, wherever you can. There is nothing better than being greeted with a huge smile as you get your 'bit-of-wire' working as well as you can and making contacts with it.

I know that I get a warm smile when I hear of others successes especially after my own lawnmower-lead antenna shenanigans. Smile

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TamGlasgow
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeMon Sep 18, 2023 9:28 am

Victor wrote:
Very well done with your dipole there Tam! My first go at a Dipole 1f44d 

You will find a lot of conflicting information that abounds with regards to antennas, some helpful and some not. For what it's worth, never let anything stop you from experimenting with and using any antenna you can muster up however you can, wherever you can. There is nothing better than being greeted with a huge smile as you get your 'bit-of-wire' working as well as you can and making contacts with it.

I know that I get a warm smile when I hear of others successes especially after my own lawnmower-lead antenna shenanigans. Smile
Thanks Victor,
It is working better than I thought although like elsewhere it's pretty quiet around here. I have a wee sideband box coming tomorrow, can't wait to try that.
Whilst I am messing about in the loft, I will make a wire for 2m and see how that goes, I will put that on the opposite side of the loft.

Cheers

Tam
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Alan Pilot
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeMon Sep 18, 2023 10:00 am

Sounds like you have got the bug Tam.
Handy when you can get in the loft or go up a ladder not like me and Victor lol.
Can't get Linder up either but she gets a new hip for my birthday so you never know.

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TamGlasgow
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeMon Sep 18, 2023 10:24 am

I think I have the bug too mate. It's a struggle these days to get up there but the wife helps out Very Happy.
There is so much info. out there which wasn't available back in the day.Google and the likes of forums like this are a godsend as long as you take some of it with a pinch of salt. If it wasn't for reading this site, i'd never have tried this stuff.

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TamGlasgow
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeThu Sep 21, 2023 6:39 pm

Ok, I was never blessed with patience Very Happy.
I notice that the performance with local stations is pretty poor, would it make a difference if I make an inverted V? I am screwed here for anything outside so my loft is my only option.

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hawk657
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Equipment Used : AT5555, CRT2000H, Midland PORTAPACK, SIRIO and FIRESTIK mobile antennas. Home built DIPOLE in the loft, T2LT and a Silver Rod going up this week (sep 23)

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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeFri Sep 22, 2023 4:18 am

I'm no antenna expert Tam, and I'm using a home built dipole in my loft too.  When I built it and tested it out here's what I found.  

It worked much better when I put it right up in the very apex of the loft; i first strung it halfway up.  

It worked way better when I put a 5 turn choke in the down line to the coax too.  

I attached the ends via bungee cords rather than screws to the rafters, this way it 'floats' in mid air and not against the beams.  the bungee cords then go on to be attached to the walls so there is no metal near the insulators at the end.

I think if you build it to an inverted V (if the angle is correct) you in theory should get a little more range with your signal for DX'ing but a horizontal should give you a good chance of stronger contacts locally.  

Hope this helps and great work so far!  

Best wishes.

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Alan Pilot
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeFri Sep 22, 2023 6:29 am

Vertical for local horizontal for dx ???.
Don't often use 11 myself and no local traffic round here anyway.
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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeFri Sep 22, 2023 7:08 am

Hi Tam,

Your local stations are more than likely running vertical antennas so with you running a horizontal dipole you're going to get a loss.

One antenna you could try is a Delta loop and such an example for CB/11m is here :-

http://dl5dbm.darc.de/d11m_e.pdf

If you simply rotate this design so that the coaxial feed is at a bottom corner you'll have a very effective vertical polarised antenna matching your local contacts but also low angle radiation so should be good for DX too. My first go at a Dipole 1f44d 

Should fit a loft space with each side being about 12 foot long and follow a typical triangular attic space.

Go grab some more wire, a length of TV coax, some 'chocolate block' connectors (myself and Neal-SangueG would approve of that! Wink ) and have yourself some fun.


All the best,
Victor

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TamGlasgow
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeFri Sep 22, 2023 11:00 am

Thanks guys, plenty for me to get on with, appreciated!
Matt, I do have my Dipole half way up and screwed to the rafters so as "She who must be obeyed" is going shopping today, I have added(Asked) her to add bungees to her list. Very Happy

Victor, that looks like a wee project I can get into, thank you!

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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeSat Sep 23, 2023 7:24 am

Tam, if you didn't know, the theory of an inverted V says that it is a little more omnidirectional than a straight dipole, and that it squirts out very small vertically polarized lobes perpendicular to the main horizontal lobes. Excluding all other factors like what might be nearby in your loft or rooms under it, piping, and electrical wiring in your house etc, sloping the legs of your dipole could help your local work a shade. It will still be mainly horizontally polarized though so.. note Victor's and others posts.

Height is might, especially for local, so getting it up that little be higher into the apex of the roof could help too as per Matt's post. Mine is fed up in the apex of the roof and I can reach Swindon to talk (I am in Cirencester).. the few stations there and around me are big boy DXers now though, not small stations on biscuit tins like back in the day, so their big stations compensate my losses through using opposite polarization.

Trying a delta loop is a great idea of Victors. I was influenced by another person on this forum who made a loop and I made my own take on it THIS THREAD, it's working very well for DX for me (into US too now conditions have changed) and most local station are being pulled in much stronger because it is vertical (even if it doesn't look it physically). Hit's the Weston-Super-Mare SDR (50 miles away) often with + signals on PSK Reporter where using the horizontal dipole it doesn't (Weston SDR uses a vertical 5/8 antenna). It's a shade simpler to make than the one Victor showed you because no matching stub is required, and if you can fit a 1/4 wave whip in your loft then the loop will fit in your loft too. I made a different drawing of it on my QRZ page showing the choc block like the diagram in Victors link.

A simple 1/4 wave ground plane antenna could be something else that might work well for your local work. My try picked up a lot of noise though and moving my loft latter about upset the SWR quite a lot, but your tries may vary.


Sorry, I went on a bit there. Next year's new year resolution should be to me make shorter posts Embarassed

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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeSat Sep 23, 2023 9:25 am

Fantastic stuff there Neal mate. My first go at a Dipole 1f44d 

Scrap your resolution plans as I'd rather have as much information as I can garner than a brief note with no explanation whatsoever.

(I don't even apologise for my 'waffle' anymore! Wink )

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PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeSat Sep 23, 2023 12:09 pm

SangueG wrote:
Tam, if you didn't know, the theory of an inverted V says that it is a little more omnidirectional than a straight dipole, and that it squirts out very small vertically polarized lobes perpendicular to the main horizontal lobes. Excluding all other factors like what might be nearby in your loft or rooms under it, piping, and electrical wiring in your house etc, sloping the legs of your dipole could help your local work a shade. It will still be mainly horizontally polarized though so.. note Victor's and others posts.

Height is might, especially for local, so getting it up that little be higher into the apex of the roof could help too as per Matt's post. Mine is fed up in the apex of the roof and I can reach Swindon to talk (I am in Cirencester).. the few stations there and around me are big boy DXers now though, not small stations on biscuit tins like back in the day, so their big stations compensate my losses through using opposite polarization.

Trying a delta loop is a great idea of Victors. I was influenced by another person on this forum who made a loop and I made my own take on it THIS THREAD, it's working very well for DX for me (into US too now conditions have changed) and most local station are being pulled in much stronger because it is vertical (even if it doesn't look it physically). Hit's the Weston-Super-Mare SDR (50 miles away) often with + signals on PSK Reporter where using the horizontal dipole it doesn't (Weston SDR uses a vertical 5/8 antenna). It's a shade simpler to make than the one Victor showed you because no matching stub is required, and if you can fit a 1/4 wave whip in your loft then the loop will fit in your loft too. I made a different drawing of it on my QRZ page showing the choc block like the diagram in Victors link.

A simple 1/4 wave ground plane antenna could be something else that might work well for your local work. My try picked up a lot of noise though and moving my loft latter about upset the SWR quite a lot, but your tries may vary.


Sorry, I went on a bit there. Next year's new year resolution should be to me make shorter posts Embarassed
Brilliant mate-Thank you so much! More things for me to try which I am enjoying.

I raised my dipole into the apex and hung it on bungees as suggested and what a difference! 
Coming through loud and clear are a lot of foreign accents on USB and my swr is below 1.5 across the uk 40. I just need the bottle to try and answer these My first go at a Dipole 1f600 .
Guys, thank you so much for your invaluable help.

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hawk657
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Equipment Used : AT5555, CRT2000H, Midland PORTAPACK, SIRIO and FIRESTIK mobile antennas. Home built DIPOLE in the loft, T2LT and a Silver Rod going up this week (sep 23)

My first go at a Dipole Empty
PostSubject: Re: My first go at a Dipole   My first go at a Dipole Icon_minitimeSun Sep 24, 2023 6:32 pm

TamGlasgow wrote:
Thanks guys, plenty for me to get on with, appreciated!
Matt, I do have my Dipole half way up and screwed to the rafters so as "She who must be obeyed" is going shopping today, I have added(Asked) her to add bungees to her list. Very Happy

Victor, that looks like a wee project I can get into, thank you!

Indeed Tam, the SWR was better and less noise when i 'floated' the dipole using bungee chord rather than screws.  As high up as possible the apex of the roof, this got me a full S point on one local breakers report!

Enjoy

Matt

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