Because I was asked - Best Vertical

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Because I was asked - Best Vertical

Postby HomerBB » Friday 7th Dec 2012, 10:14

Because I was asked, the best vertical of those I've made:

1. 1/4 wave Ground Plane:
Smaller than many others, light weight, easy to mount, simple to build. Wide-banded, easy match. No matching network required which translates to diminished losses. Potential to handle lots of power because there isn't anything to burn out.

2. Half Wave Dipole:
Simplest to build, lightest weight, nearly infinite configurations. Power limited only by the materials of choice when building it. Most portable after # 3. Most stealthy.

3. Sleeved Dipole:
A little more work than a simple dipole, it is basically the same as and on a performance par with the common dipole. Common Mode Currents are more likely from this dipole, but the trade off is the ease of mounting it vertically compared to a center fed dipole. As a portable the coaxial sleeved dipole is the king.

4. End Fed Half Wave (EFHW):
Performance adequate, but without radials not as good as either the Dipole or the 1/4 wave GP. When the radials are added and the antenna meticulously tuned, performance is on a par with some 5/8 waves. Most complex matching section. More potential losses. More power limited due to matching network.

5. Astroplane:
Smaller in height and breadth than either a 1/4 GP, or a proper EFHW, as light as either, if not lighter, but more robust performance. Much smaller than a 5/8 GP. No matching network as the antenna design itself acts as both antenna and matcher so greater power potential than the EFHW. Works as well as any 5/8 wave I've made and used. Must have adequate height, long enough metal mast, and sufficient clearance from other conductive materials to achieve peak performance.

6. 5/8 wave/ .64 wave: All these types I've built have had radials and either an inductor coil or ring to match impedance to feed line. All of them have out performed a 1/2 wave by a little, but neither the .64 or .625 have had any detectable performance differences between themselves in my experience. Power handling I would suspect is completely dependent upon the robustness of the inductor in the matching network. Building and matching a working 5/8 wave is the effort of a single afternoon. There is nothing at all complicated about this antenna, and simpler to build and tune than an EFHW.

7. Vector 4k:
Noticeably higher gain than the 1/4, 1/2, or 5/8-.64 verticals. Taller than the others by feet, it trades off from the other vertical types by being no broader than the Astroplane - tall and skinny. The ears are the best, and it has farthest reach TX-wise than the others. Not noticeably better within 20 to 25 miles than the others, it comes into its own as the far field local work begins making communications with stations I strained to hear, or could not hear in this mountainous terrain out to 65 - 80 miles much easier by comparison.

Which do I like the best of the 11 meters verticals I've made?
a. For simplicity and portability, the dipole.
b. For classic elegance, the 5/8 wave.
c. For uncomplicated reliability, the 1/4 wave GP.
d. For shear outreach above the others and total beauty, the V4k.
e. For a mix of simplicity, size, reliability, better than most other antennas I've used, and uniquely eye pleasing appearance, the Astroplane.

The one I like the least is the EFHW, the number one pick is the Astroplane.

EFHW negatives - more prone to CMC, more complex to match, more losses by design, and less power handling.

Astroplane positives - Small, easy to build. Inherent matching without network. Greater power handling potential. Pretty. Out performs all others except for V4k, but out points it because of its ease of mounting, building, and maintaining.

These are my personal preferences/observations based on building, testing, and using each of these for a minimum of weeks on end. All of this is subjective and relies on my personal level of satisfaction, and the differences in the demands of my Ozark Mountains locality. In another place I might have to re-evaluate each of these and come to different personal conclusions.

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