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 If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?

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peewee norfolk
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If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Empty
PostSubject: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeSun Feb 04, 2024 6:07 am

Hi guys/girls

I have a question for you that popped into my head while trying to
decide on an antenna for my small garden (12m long by 6.5m wide)

If you had to choose between "compromise" multiband antenna for HF,,
EFHW  with a 49-1 unun for example, allowing more bands to be used
at a "reduced efficiency"

or a dedicated ,cut for one band only antenna,,better efficiency,but you are
"stuck" with that one band.

which would you choose / have chosen ?

cheers
Alan

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Ivy Mike
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If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeSun Feb 04, 2024 7:56 am

5 band Cobweb beats multiband vertical.
It's approx 8feet square and works very well at 20 to 25feet.

I have tried various verticals nothing beats a Hustler with a load of surface mounted radials.
Surface mount radials can be any length that can be fitted in.

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SangueG
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If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeSun Feb 04, 2024 10:25 am

If I had to choose, it would be a "compromise" multiband antenna. Though as we know, every antenna is a compromise in some form or another. I feel I do well with my multiband HF fan dipole in my loft which is about a 2 thirds the area size you gave. There are quite a number of other constructions up there too, plenty of room really and any interaction between them I don't feel is hindering me much. So just one antenna, would be that one, but I would add further legs for some other bands to that which are not permanently setup for currently.

If I had to operate only one band, it would be 10m. In short I love it for many reasons and there is a massive frequency range to experiment in without annoying other operators. My first SSB ham contact was on 10m and I have enjoyed contacts via many other modes on there since both locally and some of my best DX, but still only scratched the surface of what I could do.

If (a lot of if's lol) I was to put up one very unobtrusive antenna for just 10m outside, it would be something I designed on November 5, 1955, when I slipped on the edge of the toilet while hanging a clock in my bathroom and hit my head on the sink... no, wait a minute, that was someone else... but it does look like Doc Brown's flux capacitor drawing. A quarter wave ground plane with 2 legs with a remote switch in the centre so that it could be operated as a 1/4 vertical or by switching out the top element to have the hot side on one of the legs it wold be a horizontal polarized inverted V. That a do me.

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Victor
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Victor


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If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeMon Feb 05, 2024 10:06 am

Hi Alan,

A good posting with some great answers already given and I can only add with my own experiences.

I don't think I could ever live with a single-band option nowadays and hence why I pursued a multi-band antenna system which opens up opportunities depending on band conditions differing for each of them.

I'm often 'informed' that my final antenna choice is a 'compromise' but considering the small space I have available it has all worked out rather well for me. My garden space is a little bit smaller than yours being split between front and rear with my property plonked right in the middle. I could have strung a large dipole/doublet over the whole property but planning permission aside I personally didn't like the idea of antennas hanging from the front of my property.

Verticals are as mentioned able to be fitted into even the smallest of plots (ground radials often excluded) but again I didn't like the idea of a dirty big 'radio tower' languishing the rear garden where we frequent much family time.

In the end much like Neal I afforded the space available in my loft/attic giving me the best height I could easily obtain, accessible without thinking about ladder safety, made cheaply and importantly protected from prying eyes or effects of weather. The space is much smaller than available to you (22ft x 20ft) but made to work with some clever folding.

However I did have to make a lot of my own equipment such as an antenna matcher with a wide enough range to accommodate my desires. My single wire doublet happily gives me access to everything from 160m to 6m and I've even been known to squeeze out some 2m activity from it too!

As for 'better efficiency' I have also experimented with typical rule-of-thumb cut dipoles for 10m as well as 20m but found my doublet was far more effective than either of them. A similar tale was told for a delta-loop cut for 6m which surprised even me at first as well as a typical end fed long wire along with a 40m loop. It seems the old Ham adage of "as much copper as you can, as high as you can" serves well.

You'd be surprised what you can get away with by folding, bending and wrangling an antenna into the space you do have and then being grateful for any contacts you can make. Any antenna is better than no antenna. (Except for the number-crunchers and DX kings. Wink )

Up to you though in the end and part of the ever learning principles that come with this fantastic hobby. 

As I've exhausted my own possibilities I spent more time on other aspects of my station setup including noise suppression by addressing feeders, common mode current solutions, etc. in efforts to reduce my noise floor. So far these efforts have provided additional gains, you can't work them if you can't hear them.


As Neal has mentioned 10m can be great when there are openings but leave you bereft at other times and popular bands like 20m can leave you fighting in the notorious 'kilowatt-alley' especially seeing as UK operators will be amongst those 'loud' signals soon. (Some already are..."Only 400W this way, HI-HI".)

Multi-band antennas can give you some relief by working WARC bands being free of the "5/9 Number 223" competition stuff.

A Yagi beam is a great antenna unless you live in a flat with no access to the outside (but I've run beams for VHF/UHF indoors successfully If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? 1f44d ) and a dirty long Beverage is only an option for us with access to acres of land.

You'd be surprised of what you can achieve with even the most modest of antennas and always best to at least squirt some RF into the atmosphere for someone to pick up.


I wish you well with your ultimate choices there Alan. Just make sure you enjoy yourself.

All the best,
Victor


(Apologies once more for my typical 'waffle'. Wink )

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43CT016
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PostSubject: Re: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeTue Feb 06, 2024 9:13 am

I would go with a compromise multiband, as too often the conditions just don't suit limiting yourself to a single band.

I have run an EFHW on 80-10, but am now running a OCF Dipole...better on some bands than the EFHW, worse on others, but better for me with how I operate...which is the thing people need to look at, of course.

My limiting factor is not so much garden size, but lack of high trees and council restrictions on masts/towers!

Hoping to get either hexbeam or triband mini beam up soon for a decent second antenna, as a vertical doesn't really work for me, as ground mounted, it's just firing into surrounding houses, etc.

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53 Prefect
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PostSubject: Re: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeMon Feb 19, 2024 12:14 pm

DX Commander.  Took down my wire antennas, my beam, and tower.
Just have the DX Commander now, Can hardly see it.

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peewee norfolk
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PostSubject: Re: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeMon Feb 19, 2024 6:50 pm

Good old cal! Might get one next
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peewee norfolk
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Age : 56

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PostSubject: Re: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeMon Feb 19, 2024 6:52 pm

40m for me here, voice, ft8/ft4 seems to work best band at the mo followed by 10m but hit and miss on conferms for me there
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Coyote
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If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeTue Feb 20, 2024 12:03 am

I use a Antron 99 tuned for 27.205 as the center frequency for my Ranger 2950 (10 meter, 11 meter, 12 meter radio), the antenna is fairly wide banded, i am able to go from 25.005 Mhz to 28.555 Mhz with my SWR below 1:5 at both ends of the above stated frequencys with the SWR on the center frequency (27.205) at 1:0, as you can see by the center frequency i mainly run on 11 meters.

2CT216.
California.
United States.

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Northern Crusader
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PostSubject: Re: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeSat Feb 24, 2024 11:36 am

Definitely 5 band Cobwebb or even one with 40m added too. The thing about the Cobwebb is it isn't a compromise multiband antenna. 

Next option would be DX Commander or Hustler 4/5/6BTV. Both of those need a radials putting out though which may not be an option and you don't get the free ground reflection gain you do from a horizontal antenna.

If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Gain10

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Nightprowler
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PostSubject: Re: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeSat Mar 23, 2024 10:53 am

I use 20M with a homemade inverted V dipole down the end of my garden. The ends of the elements are only about 6 foot off the ground but I have worked a lot of DX with it and it cost me next to nothing.


Last edited by Nightprowler on Sat Mar 23, 2024 2:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

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PostSubject: Re: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeSat Mar 23, 2024 12:42 pm

Which band to use if only one? I would probably choose 40m; assured contacts 24/7, but not as much fun as DX on 10m when that band is open. I managed Turkey from northern France recently from home with 20w static mobile on 10m, and I live in a valley.

I fully intend to experiment with antennas at the back of the property, but my garden cabin won't be repaired enough to use as a shack until at least May. (the floor is rotted in some places) So until then I am reduced to working from my campervan parked on my front driveway.

To at least get on the air, I bought a portable vertical multiband antenna which I have mounted on a 'boot mount' on the tailgate, (not suitable for driving with it though) and I'm very surprised at how well it performs. I don't have an antenna analyser, but the one built in to the G90 shows good VSWR on 40 20 15 and 10, and the rig's ATU doesn't have to work hard to bring all bands down to below 1:3.

The multiband Komunica Explorer-1 will also be used when touring NI and RoI in May and probably GU in September. One thing I'm hoping to do is work US and Canada from as near as I can get to the Marconi transatlantic wireless telegraphy station near Clifden.

So, to answer your question, the key is experimentation. No two situations are identical, from flat/apartment to the couple of acres that I have, you must figure out what's best for you.

After all, messing with bits of wire is the fun part of the hobby. Well, for some of us it is!

Deb

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weealan
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PostSubject: Re: If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ?   If you could only operate one HF band, which would it be ? Icon_minitimeSat Mar 23, 2024 4:09 pm

Using the Komunica pro 2 myself for static mobile,,but at 2.6m long it is strictly static use lol!

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