Monday, September 11, 2017

160 Meter Vertical ... DONE!

 After many days of work I finally have the 160m antenna up and running.   Its a 1/4 Wave Vertical with 8 Radials.    I have a 1 Watt WSPR running on it waiting for some propagation to open as day turns into night.

 The toughest part of this falls antenna work has been getting 4 new runs of LDF4 up to the top of the hill.  I have a 4X1 switch about 100' from the house then from there there is 4 runs of the cable.   The hill is a huge pile of gravel that rises about 120' over a 500' distance.   Getting to the top get me 3-6 db more towards Europe so the whole effort is very worth while!

 The IFL is amazing cable that was destroyed by a backhoe a couple of decades ago.  I collected it all up and have pieces about 200 to 300' long.   Connectors are hugely expensive so I was sitting on the fence until I came up with this idea ....

Completely encased the connections in Silicon nothing is exposed.  Been using this technique for awhile now and have had good success.

 Each of the 8 radials is 150' in length.  Cut it in the front yard then dragged it up the hill for install.   Logged a few Ks laying these guys down dragging the cable from the desired vector towards the antenna base.   The " Vertical" element  was 140'  ,  goes up 35' then across parallel to the ground 100+'.   The vertical antenna only radiates from the bottom 20% and the rest of the antenna is only there for loading.   My vertical element is 27% of the antenna length so I am good!   The " Vertical Support " is of course a Tree.   I don't have a forest ... I see antenna supports!

 Radials are 12 gauge galvanized fence wire...purchase 1/4 mile roll at the local farm store.   The Vertical Element is about a 12 Gauge Stranded Insulated Wire that I had laying around....never pass up good garbage!

 There is nothing quite like the moment you lite it up for the first time.  The degree of satisfaction of a reasonable VSWR is directly proportional to the amount of work that went into creating the antenna.
First results had me scrambling back up the hill to take 3' off ending up with the prescribed 137' radiator!   Ended up with about a 1.4:1 at 1.8 MHz....a little more tweaking will be done but it looks like I should be able to improve it a little more ... good enough for now!

 I will be tweaking the radials to get them to lay flat I dont want any Deer getting caught up in the wires.   I may also do a couple of small tweaks to the radiator too...but good enough for now!

Just a little update VSWR on Sept 29th ...

1.74 MHz 1.6:1
1.75 MHz 1.5:1
1.76 MHz 1.5:1
1.77 MHz 1.5:1
1.78 MHz 1.5:1
1.79 MHz 1.5:1
1.8   MHz 1.5:1
1.81 MHz 1.5:1
1.82 MHz 1.5:1
1.83 MHz 1.5:1
1.85 MHz 1.5:1
1.87 MHz 1.6:1
1.89 MHz 1.7:1
1.9   MHz 1.7:1

Looks like I can take a few inches off to move the optimal VSWR up a little to get the 1.5:1 across the entire 200 KHZ of the band


  1. I'm surprised you couldn't get a lower VSWR... any idea why?

    1. Hi KC ... you are right I can lower the VSWR I just haven't got to it yet thats all.