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 W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.

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Victor
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PostSubject: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeFri Mar 01, 2024 12:16 pm

I'm not very satisfied with the ATAS-120, rural area, can't get it to enough height, so i'm thinking about building me a W3EDP and then a version designed by VA3PCJ, the junior or the mini. The mini i can put up on the 12m Spiderpole i have, only in the description i read that it's only suitable for 10-20m band. The junior, about double its length, is suitable for 6-80m. (Why, what happened to 40m with the mini?) With the junior i can put the ladderline and part of the radiator up on the Spiderpole, but part of the radiator will have to slope down towards my garden shed, so i'll get some kind of sloping inverted L. On which configuration would your money be? As a novice i'm only allowed on 40-20-10m so 80m is of no interest.
I chose the W3EDP because of its simplicity to build, no radials(space), but if you have an alternative for 40-20-10m which also meets these criteria i'd like to hear it.

73

PS: I've seen them build with a 4:1 balun and a 4:1 unun, balun or unun doesn't matter?

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSat Mar 02, 2024 5:55 am

Hi Karel,

There is so much information about antennas that it can all be a little confusing to try and trawl through but please do make sure that if anything you have a lot of fun experimenting.

I say 'fun' as it should be enjoyable and you should not let frustration stand in the way of that. Also 'experimenting' as none of us seem to be happy with whatever antenna we put up so always land up tweaking, measuring, questioning then often building a different antenna altogether! Wink

My 'go-to' when I first started experimenting with antennas was the work of L.B.Cebik (W4RNL SK) all of which was quite illuminating. An archive of his work can be found here :-

http://www.antentop.org/w4rnl.001/radio.html

Specifically for the type of antenna you've mentioned there's another good resource at the following link :-

https://www.nonstopsystems.com/radio/frank_radio_antenna_multiband_end-fed.htm


As for the confusion surrounding antenna (aerial?) terminology it is to be expected with everyone putting their own 'spin' onto such things. An end fed antenna would really be an Unbalanced to Unbalanced type when utilising coax from the radio and so the UN-UN would be the right choice. However people call them all sorts of everything confusing BAL-UN (Balanced to Unbalanced such as for dipole antennas), simply calling them 'chokes' and sometimes misconstrued words resulting in 'balum', 'balem' and whatever from there.(!) I won't get into arguments about whether it should be a '1:4' or '4:1' as people swap that at whim too.

Many seem to get on very well with an end fed antenna arrangement but must admit I didn't get on well with my own experiments plus didn't really have the length in my garden. By the time I started adding counterpoises, 1:1 chokes, etc. along with bending the antenna to fit my plot I found I still needed a matching arrangement (ATU) but still had RFI problems along with unacceptable noise. Others though successfully string one up, are happy with their lot and then spend the rest of the Amateur days working with it.

You could get 'lucky' with your antenna plans but it's surprising how many people can have supposedly the exact same antenna as each other but experience considerably different results.

Once again, just make sure you have as much fun as you can. W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. 1f44d 



All the best,
Victor



My own antenna experiments saw me eventually working with a non-resonant 'doublet' antenna & ATU combination strung in my loft space which gives me everything from 160m through to 6m. It is however despite all my attempts at reducing QRM woes still quite a noisy setup (in my opinion) so my latest 'experiments' are involving the use of separate transmit/receive antennas with an active loop being built along with the switching arrangements. Hopefully getting the loop as far away from the houses as possible will improve my reception but we'll just have to wait and see. Half the fun I have is with such experimentation and the other half with actual operation....but I never let 'frustration' stand in my way.

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2024 11:35 am

This is a topic that interests me. After some repairs due to winter damage, in April I will be moving back into my garden cabin where I spend much of my free time in the summer months. (Alex has his man-cave)

Luckily we have a 2 acre plot (half pasture, half garden), but we live in a valley.

I'm drawn to an end fed long wire for HF, but have an open mind on that.

As experimenters with antennas, what would others here recommend I try in my situation?

Deb

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2024 3:49 pm

2 Acres? 2 Acres?! You lucky, lucky......you get my drift. Wink 
(Monty Python reference. Very Happy )

The world's pretty much your oyster then Deb depending on the shape of your plot and what you have to string an antenna up to. A massive big fan dipole could be cut giving you as many bands as you want, an end fed cut for a particular set of bands or even a big doublet with matcher, similarly with a non-resonant end fed wire. That's just the horizontals but you've got more than enough space for a big old vertical too so long as you can stick some sort of pole up. Heck you could stick up a tower if you wanted to!

Antennas are a murky old field of interest with much contention, debate or even procrastination and I'm a firm believer in getting up whatever you can however you can. Let your budget, build abilities, DX dreams and patience for such determine your outcome.

Don't let a low ASL location set your mind either, I'm mostly surrounded with 200m peaks yet squeezed contacts from far afield as Chile to Japan, USA to Australia & New Zealand working QRP with FT4/8. That's from a black hole location inland too.


Sheesh, two acres....I'm trying to squeeze all my stuff into 0.043 of an acre. Very Happy

You lucky, lucky.......I'll shut up now.

I wish you well with whatever you settle on Deb and good luck with a build.  W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. 1f44d

73,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2024 4:42 pm

Think i'll just try both options, the junior and the mini, as the only differences between them are the lengths of ladderline and antenna wire. I've bought an MFJ-925 tuner, will buy a LUX RU 4:1 UNUN (nice waterproof) and make a 11 RG58 windings choke on a FT240-43 toroid. My son is in the electronics business, so he can get a little discount on the parts i still have to buy. BTW, what do you use as antenna wire, speakerwire, inside core of RG58, some random wire or specially made wire?

73

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2024 4:49 pm

Victor wrote:
2 Acres? 2 Acres?! You lucky, lucky......you get my drift. Wink 
(Monty Python reference. Very Happy )

Sheesh, two acres....I'm trying to squeeze all my stuff into 0.043 of an acre. Very Happy

You lucky, lucky.......I'll shut up now.

I wish you well with whatever you settle on Deb and good luck with a build.  W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. 1f44d

73,
Victor

Thanks Victor. I wasn't trying to show off (well, maybe just a bit  Rolling Eyes )

Our plot is about 80m wide by a long way up a slight incline. The house and garden are at the lower end, with barns to the right side running up hill. My cabin is about 60m uphill on the left with trees to the side, and is solar powered.

I could easily string up a long wire, but what length? I do have an ATU.

One thing I might try is: I have an 5mtr fibreglass telescopic festival flagpole. I'm wondering if I wind 5mtrs of wire around it if it would work as a 1/2 wave on 10m and 1/4 wave on 20m?

Now I have my licence, I'm keen to get a permanent shack up and running. Until now I've been operating from the van.

Deb

W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Transc10W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Cabin_10

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSun Mar 03, 2024 5:23 pm

Karel - I often use whatever wire is to hand. W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. 1f44d 

My attic doublet is 'famously' made from an old electric lawnmower lead including the ladderline and my outside antennas were made from stainless wire as well as plastic coated steel washing line for the strength and anti-corrosion properties. I did post a video link up a while back (but can't find it right now) where some experiments were made using everything from rusty old fence wire, barbed wire, ordinary and right through to 'expensive' antenna wire.....with no significant difference observed amongst them(!)

I'd go for whatever you have the depth of pockets for and be happy with.
(It doesn't all have to be expensive. Smile )



----------------------------------------------------------


Deb - Yeah, not jealous at all......until I saw your lovely cabin! Wink

I'm lucky in having a spare bedroom for my antics so keep nice and warm in winter but gets a little hot in the summer. 

End fed lengths? Depends on what bands you want to work, resonant or non-resonant and how well your ATU matching range is, so no simple answer. (Loads of info on the internet though.)

Here's a couple of links :-

https://k7mem.com/Ant_End_Fed.html

https://udel.edu/~mm/ham/randomWire/

There's much more besides. Researching is probably half the fun with antennas. W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. 1f44d 

Often the idea of 'compromise' antennas are thrown about but any antenna is better than none. Even my small space and bits of wire has achieved some good results. "I live in a very small house, but my windows look out on a very large world."


73 to you both, off for a spot of Sunday roast now. Smile

Victor

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeMon Mar 04, 2024 8:16 am

In the manual of the MFJ-925 (haven't got it yet, but searched the net) there is a table for long wire antennas, including which lengths you should avoid.

73

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeThu Mar 07, 2024 10:08 am

W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. 20240310
I received the ladderline and unun and build the choke. As this will be a semi-permanent installation i'd like to waterproof the connection between ladderline and unun, but how? Use bananaplugs covered with some heatshrink? Or just screw the ends of the ladderline under the posts and don't worry about it?

73

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeThu Mar 07, 2024 3:28 pm

Hi Karel,

According to the manual ( LDG RU 4:1 UNUN Manual ) the unit is water resistant but not waterproof with the suggestion of adding silicone caulking to the back of the unit to make it water tight.

I though honestly wouldn't worry about the ladderline connections but that's up to you.

I hope that helps and you'll have to let us all know how you get on with it.


All the best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeFri Mar 08, 2024 6:32 am

I use that greasy bandage type stuff but can never remember what it's called lol.
Scratching my head at the moment but nothing.
Will come back if i remember the name but i bet Victor is here first.

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeFri Mar 08, 2024 11:42 am

W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. 20240311
This should be it. Will mount it on the 12m Spiderpole, with the top 5m of the radiator sloping down.

Edit: It tunes on 40-20-10m!

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeFri Mar 08, 2024 5:20 pm

Some pics of the W3EDP in the air. Also to show some people with 2 acres Very Happy how others have to get by.
W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. 20240313
W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. 20240312
Would it be problematic if the ladderline would slope from the pole? Then i could put the whole length of the radial vertical. Or should it be a problem if i mounted the unun and choke on the wall below the pole. I don't like to put a horizontal load on the pole.

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeFri Mar 08, 2024 6:37 pm

karelgol wrote:
Some pics of the W3EDP in the air. Also to show some people with 2 acres Very Happy how others have to get by.

You are so lucky not having 2 acres. With work to be done, I don't have much time to play with antennas  Laughing


W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Img_2010W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Tracto10

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSat Mar 09, 2024 5:12 am

Karel :-

With ladderline I've found that there isn't much of a problem if it runs across something metallic but it doesn't like to run along a length of metal. So as long as you can keep it away from such it shouldn't be much of a problem.

Be careful with adjusting/tweaking your antenna setup continuously though as sometimes you can make things worse rather than better(!) Always good to work with what you've got as you might just be pleased with the performance. (I still reckon it takes at least a year to properly evaluate an antenna.)

Well done with the work you've done. W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. 1f44d 


------------------------------------------------------------

That's a nice little tractor there Deb and that topper mower must make short work of that field of grass. In the dim & distant past I had a stint as a landscape gardener with a client having a similar sized plot who insisted it was cut with a 24" rotary cylinder because he liked the 'stripes'! Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSat Mar 09, 2024 6:32 am

Karel,

It's awesome that you are trying antenna that is a little different to what appears to be main stream choices. Do let us know how you get a long using it for both rx and tx.

Deb,

You've summed up a big pro of not having 2 acres. My garden is so small, it takes me more time to get my little push by hand 12" cylinder mower out of the shed than it does to actually do the mowing. If I had your plot I would definitely make a full 160m loop on the ground for quiet listening on top band and other SW frequencies.

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSat Mar 09, 2024 7:27 pm

SangueG wrote:

Deb,

You've summed up a big pro of not having 2 acres. My garden is so small, it takes me more time to get my little push by hand 12" cylinder mower out of the shed than it does to actually do the mowing. If I had your plot I would definitely make a full 160m loop on the ground for quiet listening on top band and other SW frequencies.

You mean actually laid out on the ground? Would that work? When I get the cabin/shack sorted for the summer, I was thinking a full wave dipole up in the trees for 160m.

Deb

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSat Mar 09, 2024 7:48 pm

Victor wrote:
That's a nice little tractor there Deb and that topper mower must make short work of that field of grass. In the dim & distant past I had a stint as a landscape gardener with a client having a similar sized plot who insisted it was cut with a 24" rotary cylinder because he liked the 'stripes'! Rolling Eyes

I always wanted tractor, and when we gave up keeping horses in the pasture the grass had to be mowed. That little Yanmar was a birthday present from Alex several years ago. Talking of stripes, if we had a level bit of ground, we'd have had a bowling green by now. We do play petanque out front on the gravel drive though. Smile

On a different note - Was listening to (viewing?) SSTV on 20m this afternoon. A UK M0*** purposely sat chatting to friends just 2khz away from the SSTV calling frequency, 'to get away from the contest stations' he said.

Frustrated again
Deb

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSun Mar 10, 2024 5:34 am

Deb - mention of the LOG or 'loop on ground' antenna by Neal is a well known concept for reduced noise reception on the lower bands but not of much use for transmission. (Bit hard to mow over too. Wink ) I think your plans for a full size dipole/doublet is a good one or even worth a try at a full wave 'sky' loop if so inclined. Yeah, they'll always be a 'special' one on air but as annoying as that is it's always best to remember that they actually number in the few. (Attempts at education will see retorts of 'band-police' mention and conflab thereafter!)



Karel - Looking forward to some QSO reports and how happy you are with your antenna efforts. (Might be great for others contemplating a similar setup. W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. 1f44d )

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PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSun Mar 10, 2024 5:57 pm

Alan means denzo tape  Very Happy
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Join date : 2020-05-21
QTH or Location : Steenwijk, JO32bs
Equipment Used : Dynascan AT5555,Yaesu FT-897, W3EDP junior, MFJ-925
Age : 65

W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Empty
PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitimeSun Mar 24, 2024 11:25 am

Think getting into the air again will take about  a week. This night my Spiderbeam pole went down. One of the bands with which i secured it to the supporting angled iron has snapped in heavy wind. Unfortunately the bottom band didn't so the #1 section is now mangled/ripped at the bottom. When the replacement section comes in i think i'll use some professional cargo band.

73
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W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Empty
PostSubject: Re: W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative.   W3EDP, what kind? Or simple alternative. Icon_minitime

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