160m - wow

ToddDubya

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I stumbled onto 160m tonight and didn't expect to find anyone. Not only were there people, they were having some great conversations. Based on their voices and the topics, the youngest was probably 70, but no bunion, medical procedure chat. They were talking drinking, football, guns, busting balls. Is 160 where the hip old guys hang out? I don't have an antenna to TX on the band, but I have to tune into again for these late night rag chews.
 
I stumbled onto 160m tonight and didn't expect to find anyone. Not only were there people, they were having some great conversations. Based on their voices and the topics, the youngest was probably 70, but no bunion, medical procedure chat. They were talking drinking, football, guns, busting balls. Is 160 where the hip old guys hang out? I don't have an antenna to TX on the band, but I have to tune into again for these late night rag chews.
I love 160! I used to be on it all the time when I lived in NH. Having a KW (or more) helps tremendously. I am SO looking forward to getting my 160 antenna up in the fall after the leaves fall off the trees so I can see the branches.
 
What do you use?

I did some scouting today around my super secret squirrel location and I think I can fit an 80m length antenna up in the air without fighting branches. I'm guessing about 45' up. If I brought it down to person height I could weave it around and have a NVIS setup. It would probably end up as an accessory to antlers, though. Currently looking at the ZS6BKW.

Obviously 80 does not equal 160.
 
Almost every antenna for 160 that we plebes can afford/erect will be pretty much NVIS antennas due to their lack of height above ground. I’ve been considering putting up a beverage receiving antenna but I need to read up on those a bit more.

I have a couple of books by ON4UN, Low Band DXing by John Devoldere…great books but out of print now….the prices of those books have skyrocketed since John passed a couple of years ago.

I’ve seen them on eBay going for well over a $100 but if you’re patient, you’ll see them there for a more reasonable $30-40. Lots of great info in those books. I think I own three different editions.
 
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For the ARRL members, there is an old reprint of an article about 160m in this month's QST magazine from April, 1974. It has a couple different antenna designs, with the latter being interesting. It's a 40' vertical with four 50' wires coming off the top like guy wires. Those wires act like a capacitance hat to load the vertical for a match on 160m. I don't exactly know how that works, but that's what he did.

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I picked up a pile of aluminum tent poles (?) last fall at a garage sale that might work well for the vertical portion. Then just add in some wire and figure out a ground. I guess I'd have to do the legwork this fall to have it up for next winter. Too bad I don't have any place large and clear enough for all that.
 
This guy did a presentation on his 160m journey, ending up with a decent solution. I think he overcomplicated it by trying to add other bands, but to each his own. It's a little long, but you can skip to the parts where he talks about the inverted L. The interesting part seems to be the Folded Counterpoise (FCP) that makes this more approachable.

Mostly I'm putting this here so I can find it again later.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdKFHvJwJoI


 
Using a flat-topped Marconi (used to be a Zepp dipole) fed against a K2AV/W0UCE(sk) FCP here now.

I am well into accomplishing DXCC on 160m with this setup.
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It worked well and was about neck-neck with 4 elevated 1/4 wl radials.

They are worth a look for smaller lots for sure.

My recommendation is to not change the parts that K2AV (and W0UCE) studied and documented for the performance that they provide.

**Actually looking at the FCP link suggests there have been updates (now it is FCP +!) since I built mine with W0UCE support in 2012....

UJay
 
Toward the end you are tuning something. What is happening there? Just shortening the length by twisting one of the sections?
 
Toward the end you are tuning something. What is happening there? Just shortening the length by twisting one of the sections?
Yeah (from what I remember....) but I think one of the dudes K2AV or W0UCE at the time scolded me and corrected that I should tune the radiating element and NOT the FCP...... I should measure it again to see if it is shortened... It has moved around the yard a couple of times.

lol.... Here it is now in the old tower loading box.....
Wirenuts and everything......
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Yes confirmed here--- I may have had something to do with this edit... :)
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UJay
 
I'm building a 160 meter dipole (125 feet per leg), fed with home-made, 4 inch spacing, open wire feedline. We will see how it compares to my 160 meter Windom.
 
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The K2KQ 'Double-L' is also a performer if you have a high enough support

I might have to try this FCP on 80m first. I could probably fit that at the house. 160 would be a real stretch.
Yeah, I had plans to have 2 of these on 80m with a Christman feed. I ended up with a 2-el 80m array with raised radials (no FCP...) and it was awesome. 3db of gain is significant on 80m.
^^ He also has a calculator. Would love a phased pair on 160m..... someday. Would need to put one across the street and figure out how to get the feedline over there. Will need to get the 80m's back up first tho.

I'm building a Toad Harbor special - 160 meter dipole (125 feet per leg), fed with home-made, 4 inch spacing, open wire feedline. We will see how it compares to my 160 meter Windom.
Sounds like a Zepp or ??? Is there a web resource? I'm guessing It will kill the Windom on all bands! Open wire line has no losses. The caveat, of course, is you need a good tuner. For best result bring the open-wire feedline in to the shack directly to the tuner - no coax.. This is what I am using for 160m now... I shorted the end and the dipole part is like a capacity hat- Using it as a 'Marconi' now.
I use this stuff The Classic W7FG Multi Band Open Wire Fed 600 Ohm Ladder Line Dipole Since 1985 homebrew.
I spoke to that website/business owner a couple weeks ago while at the FL hamvention, and he didn't care that I didn't use his product directly and was willing to make my stuff better. It looks like his page has good resources.

Keep us updated, dudes!

UJay
 
Too many options now. ;)

I always figured ladder line was for old codgers, but it does look to be quite a bit more efficient. I don't know that I trust that chart, but I can see how it would be more efficient. Are they using just say an 80m dipole and letting the tuner get the rest of the bands, SWR be damned?
 
Too many options now. ;)

I always figured ladder line was for old codgers, but it does look to be quite a bit more efficient. I don't know that I trust that chart, but I can see how it would be more efficient. Are they using just say an 80m dipole and letting the tuner get the rest of the bands, SWR be damned?

A tuner would be required for the band the OWL dipole was 'cut' for, as well.

SWR has little to do with radiation or efficiency it does keep the transmitter happy. K2AV referred to it in the FCP pages, too.

If I could only have 1 single antenna it would be a 80m dipole fed with the 'real' W7FG Open wire line in to the shack.
I still have mine up here and that is what I use on 160m as describer earlier....(shorted the feedline and made it a flat-topped 'T'/Marconi)
Worked Ukraine, Russia and Poland with it around 0200z last night on topband.
The main reason it is still up is because it was up so long the trees grew around the support ropes and it is stuck until it breaks.

UJay
 
Yeah, I saw that but my brain says "SWR = loss" after so many years of that. Probably true because most everyone uses coax which I always knew was inherently lossy, and is lossier with higher SWR. I'll have to do some more reading and thinking on this before it makes sense.

It's too bad ladder line is not very convenient or attractive, either. It'd be interesting to play with for QRP to see how much of an improvement it makes.
 
I stumbled onto 160m tonight and didn't expect to find anyone. Not only were there people, they were having some great conversations. Based on their voices and the topics, the youngest was probably 70, but no bunion, medical procedure chat. They were talking drinking, football, guns, busting balls. Is 160 where the hip old guys hang out? I don't have an antenna to TX on the band, but I have to tune into again for these late night rag chews.
To be a real 160 meter codger, you have to talk about your lumbago at least once. After you talk about visiting the outhouse with the Sears catalog. :)
 
Based on their voices and the topics, the youngest was probably 70, but no bunion, medical procedure chat. They were talking drinking, football, guns, busting balls.
ever think about joining the local moose club? they give you a seniors discount at the bar!
 
i forget the group, but there's a group that meets on 160 nearly every night, i'll have to check my log.... when i had my house i would use my aluminum gutters for 160 and 80... my apartment faces the wrong direction and i have powerlines and transformers right outside my window, so HF sucks for me now.

but if they can hear me upstate using rain gutters and 100W, they can't probably hear you with anything.
 
Damn, now I'm looking at a manual tuner that can in a balanced line or long wire (MFJ-949E). I know I was just talking about the 80m, and I'd still like to do that, but a nice efficient 40m doublet would be nice too, especially if it would work on everything above 40m. Sometimes my DX Commander just can't hear squat, and I often think I might be better off with something horizontally polarized that I can switch over to. I can't fit a half wave on 80m on my lot.
 

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ever think about joining the local moose club? they give you a seniors discount at the bar!
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