All Band Antenna

Ha! If you believe there is such a thing as an all band antenna, you might also believe there is a pot of gold at the end of each rainbow. To build a really good all band antenna system you will need a pot of gold.

After experimenting with radios and antennas since 1959, I have come to the conclusion that most of us in suburbia living on average sized lots in averaged sized houses do not have a prayer of achieving a really good all band antenna system.

All band in this case is everything from 160 meters to 10 meters.

My solution to the antenna problem is pretty simple. A four element tri-band beam for 20, 15, and 10 meters. I use a KLM KT-34 up at 55 feet. Now there is a very good multiband antenna. For 80, 40, and 30 meters I use resonant dipoles, all three fed from a common coaxial feedline. I have given up on 160 meters entirely.

At one time I used a non-resonant dipole, open wire line, and an antenna tuner. I changed because I wanted an antenna system that did not require tuning. I wanted to be able to merely flip a switch and be ready to go on any band I wished to operate. So the open wire line and antenna tuner were retired.

Then there was a period where I did some extensive computer modeling of 80 and 40 meter antenna systems. In nearly every case the results were less than spectacular. Perhaps the best was the full wave delta loop, but all the other dipole configurations had take-off angles pointing straight up.

Since there was no way I was going to be able to flat-top a dipole at 136 feet, I decided to settle for what could be done. So far I have not been disappointed in the performance of my three resonant inverted vee dipoles on a common coax feedline, but then I have never used a flat-top dipole at 136 feet so I may not realize what I am missing.

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One Comment on “All Band Antenna”

  1. Lorraine, K1ZX Says:

    Since 1959, I experimented with just about every antenna type. You’re right, there’s no single antenna that can possibly give you the all-around high-performance efficiency you need on HF (1.8-30 MHz). However, it’s possible to use TWO antenna systems, and achieve truly spectacular results. (WARC Bands treated seperately).

    The KT-34XA is hard to beat, and is arguably the finest commercial tribander available on the market. Mine was at 42′ (5/8-wave) on a Universal free-standing tower, embedded in 9 cubic yards of reinfored concrete cast into solid New England bedrock. I ran about a dozen or so 1/4-Wavelength radials out from around the base of the tower, and strapped each of the tower legs to the ground system. It was fed from the station with Times LMR-400, with a short length of flexible RG-214 stranded coax around the Rotor. A lot of big bucks, a lot of work, but outstanding performance.

    However, an effective low-angle horizontal antenna for the low bands is totally out of the question, unless you want to heat up the sky overhead. Further consideration is pointless unless you can support it at least 130′ up (See ARRL Handbooks).

    For omnidirectional low-angle DX on the low bands, I used a simple cost-effective inverted “L” antenna, with 33′ of #10 AWG insulated stranded wire running vertically to an Unadilla 40-Meter trap (they’re lossy, but practical), and continuing 26′ vertically to an 80-Meter trap. Supported at this height by 3/8″ Dacron chord strung through stainless pulleys, the balance of about 42 feet ran out horizontally to provide the necessary loading for 160-Meters. MIL-grade RG-213 coax was used to feed the system, and an MFJ-259 Analyzer was used to bring the system into resonance. With 4 resonant 1/4-Wavelength insulated radials for each band, it easily worked DXCC on 40, 80 and 160. K1ZX


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