Saturday, September 10, 2016

All Choked Up

I am announcing my support for Choke Baluns!  Lots of folks say they don't matter much.  I disagree based upon my own research here at the KI4FH labs!  With a Coax Choke at the feed point both my 40 Meter dipole and 20 Meter Dipole, both flat-tops, are pleasantly broad banded and offer a low SWR.  Without the choke, there was resonance to a degree but the antennas were not as broad banded.
So I have played around with several iterations of center feed insulators.  All homebrew using Sched 40 PVC.  I have also hidden a #73 Bead Choke Balun inside a PVC tube but the weight is too much for the occasional torrential summertime Florida storm.  I now incorporate a waterproof taped piece of Coax with 50 #73 torrid beads on the cable.  This is working out excellently although it is ugly.  To lower stress point issues on my 8X center conductor and braid, I have them fed into a straight through PVC cap to an SO-239.
I prefer the bead balun when the number of turns of cable to effect the same result would cause a lot of weight at the center.  On the 20 meter antenna, the turns are about 6 with a 4 1/2" air core  The cable is strapped together with UV resistant ties.  This works great.
To round things out, I purchased a Budwig Center Insulator from WizeSupplize and am now experimenting with that as opposed to one of my waterproof home brew centers.
It seems pretty tight!

So, that is it for now.

73, KI4FH

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ok, so I gave up on the loop and the sloper.  Also tried a neat endfend with a 9:1 balun.  It performed ok but was really noisy.  So I installed Hustler 4BTV on DXSSB Contest Weekend. Thanks to Greg at HRO in New Hampshire for changing the order to allow me to pick-up the antenna at UPS. The radials were from #24 surplus wire from Sarasota Electronics and hooked up to ground bus bars for electrical boxes. The bus bars were about 7 dollars each. The wire was about 10. Much cheaper setup than the DX Engineering radial plate kit. Not as solid or as good quality but it works until I can afford the good stuff! Without tune up, out of the box, the antenna is ok.

  • 40 Meters 7.150 1.6:1
  • 20 Meters 14.150 1.4:1
  • 15 Meters 21.160 1:1
  • 10 Meters 28.5 1:1 

So I will need to tune up 40 meters and maybe 20. I am extremely happy with the antenna and had great success during the ARRL DX SSB contest this month.
Here are some pics. Radials are buried about 1" down to keep from getting chewed up by the mower.
Check my log on the Activity page to see how it is performing from Sarasota, Florida.

Full setup.  Off to the upper left is the feedline for my
G5RV Jr.  A great antenna.

Not perfect all around but very effective.  Lengths vary due to
obstacles etc.  Longest ones are 34+ feet and shortest about 16.


The Antenna does not come with an SO-239 So I borrowed the back side of an
old homebrew antenna tuner.  Saved some time.  The balanced feeders are 
still in place though obviously not used as I am using the PL259. 
All was sprayed with clear outdoor Enamel to help protect from corrosion.  

I liked the view!