Can I Hear You? – Exploring Receive Antenna Options

We’re perhaps 6-7 weeks from the likely end of “fun” antenna season, so it sounds like a perfectly good time to decide to add some antennas!

Modest set of plans before the weather sets in (actually it is the very short daylight hours that limits me more until the hard frost comes in):

First to put the Gap Titan DX vertical antenna back on line, including installing the DX Engineering tip-over base that I’ve had for a year now. I’m not looking to use the Gap all that much for a transmit antenna, as I would like the vertical Omni-directional receive as my log periodic is deaf to anything weak that it isn’t pointed directly at. So the Gap would become “receive vertical for 80-6m” in my antenna farm, as well as an occasional transmit antenna – specially for digital.

Gap Titan DX Antenna

Gap Titan DX Antenna

DX Engineering Tilt-Over Base

DX Engineering Tilt-Over Base

Second receive antenna I am considering is a K9AY loop receive four-way array, like the Array Solutions offering. This would be a space effective way to add a topband (160m) and 80m directional receive to put some “real ears” on my lowband efforts. That their Wolf Systems K9AY setup is potentially DXpedition portable seems a plus, though whether I’ll get to use it for a DXpedition is a question.

Unlike the first antenna, I need to order this K9AY unit soon if I am to get it cabled in before the frost hardens the ground.

Array Solutions K9AY Array - General Layout

Array Solutions K9AY Array - General Layout

Array Solutions K9AY Array - Controller

Array Solutions K9AY Array - Controller

Perhaps I will have to settle for getting the underground in for the Gap and getting it sorted out. Those limited daylight hours you know….



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2 thoughts on “Can I Hear You? – Exploring Receive Antenna Options

  1. Kuby, N6JSX-EN70 says:

    Last weekend while driving to Indy I eves dropped on a conversation on 18.165, between a VE6 mobile and a Michigan K8 station (with breakers all over the USA). The K8 was pounding all of NA. He was describing his 17m antenna running bare foot. He states he works the world and gets reports that rival those with beams running <1kW.

    He was running a simple 1/4 vertical but he had elevated it to install four perfectly cut 45degree ground radials. Then installed a balun to insure a match/RFI shield to the coax.

    Figuring this out it meant that his vertical antenna was ONLY about 25' tall with the feed at about 12'.

    With the signal I heard and as simple as this antenna is to make with little yard area needed – I intend to make one and try it out. They always say verticals are the best for DX.

    Buttttt this is a mono-band antenna. The challenge will be to make it into a multi-band. The lower in frequency the higher/longer the elements too!
    40m vertical like this would be nearly 60' high.

    I have a 4BTV (40-10) just laying around. Wonder if I mounted the 4BTV at 30' then attached four +5% multi-element ground radials (five conductor rotor cable) at 45degrees, attach an "Ugly Balun" placing it just under the 4BTV, and use the four radials for guy'ing – would it work nearly the same but be multi-banded?

    Simplicity defies logic (except with RF) time to try the KISS method. Cheaper too!

    • Sean kj6ajl says:

      I run a setup similar to this. 34′ wire fed against 3 33′ radials. I modeled it on EZNec and as long as you get them exactly 120 degrees apart, the pattern is the same as 4 radials @ 90. I feed it 10-15′ above the ground, but with 450 Ohm ladder line and a tuner. This give me a radiation angle of 20 degrees! This summer, running barefoot from the west coast I was able to work several countries in eastern Europe. I’m looking at adding the k9ay loop to my setup this summer. The vertical is very noisy to listen to.

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