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Ham Radio/ANTENNA SELECTION

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Question
QUESTION: DEAR CHRIS, I AM JUST GETTING STARTED IN AMATEUR RADIO. I HAVE A YAESU FT=897. WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST MULTI-BAND VERTICLE ANTENNA WITH NO GROUND RADIALS. I AM IN A TRAVEL TRAILER RIGHT NOW AN ONLY HAVE ROOM TO PUT UP A MAST OR PUT A PIECE OF TUBING IN GROUND TO PUT ANTENNA ON. I WOULD LIKE THE ANTENNA TO BE TUNED TO THE BANDS IT COVERS BUT I HAVE TUNER IF NOT. SORRY IF I SOUND UNEDUCATED IN THIS AREA BUT THATS BECAUSE I AM.  THANKS

ANSWER: Hiya Phil,

You should look at the Cushcraft MA5VA.

http://www.cushcraftamateur.com/Product.php?productid=MA-5VA

It sounds like it might suit your situation well.  It's rather compact and neighbor-friendly.

Welcome to the hobby!

Chris Bushman
WB6EEQ
Colfax, California.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: THANKS CHRIS FOR YOUR QUICK AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSE, I CHECKED OUT THE ANTENNA YOU SUGGESTED AND THE STYLE WAS JUST WHAT I NEED. I WAS NEEDING A FEW MORE FREQ,  LIKE 80,40,20,15,10 . IF YOU HAVE SUGGESTION I WOULD BE GREATFUL. IM NOT VERY EDUCATED ON THE HAM RADIO FREQ. BUT IM LEARNING. SORRY FOR MY LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ON THIS SUBJECT AND THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE.          PHIL, GRAHAM,TEXAS

Answer
Phil, never worry about asking a fellow Ham a question, we are always happy to help.  We all were new at this once.

The antenna I mentioned is designed for 2,10,12,15,17,& 20m.

Antenna length is a function of wavelength.  Most vertical antennas are 1/4 wave.  That means that they go up in the air for 1/4 wavelength and use the Earth as another 1/4 wavelength to make a nice "half" wave resonant antenna. Radials improve the Earth part of the deal.  Some verticals are designed to rely less on radials at a slight cost in efficiency.

The difficulty with 40m and 80m is that they are very long wavelengths.  A simple 1/4 wave vertical for 80 meters is 20 meters tall - about 66 feet.  Length can be lessened by using coils to fool the laws of physics into thinking the element is 66 feet when it's much shorter.  That's why 40/80m antennas like the Cushcraft MA8040-V is "only" 27 feet tall (but it requires radials).

If you really want to get on 40 & 80, you might consider a "mobile" antenna.  Which depend heavily on coils to make them really short.  If the roof of your mobile home is metal, and you were to mount such an antenna right in the middle, the roof would act as a sort-of ground plane to help the antenna work.  The Diamond SD330 is such an antenna.  It has a variable coil that changes size based on wavelength.  It covers 3-30 mhz 80m-10m.

http://www.diamondantenna.net/sd3301.html

While this antenna will work for all the HF Ham bands, it is a compromise.  The MA5VA will work better on the bands for which it is designed.  Full sized antennas give the best results, smaller antennas are always a compromise.  Life and antennas are similar in that you never get something for nothing.

Chris  

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Chris Bushman

Expertise

I have been an amateur radio operator for about 41 years.

Experience

In real life I managed a small motion picture film lab in Hollywood. I've been a fireman, a teacher of English in Okinawa, a personal computer tutor. I am an Advanced Class Ham radio operator using my originally issued callsign WB6EEQ. I have operated for extended periods of time from Okinawa (KR6FX & KR6OP), Texas (K5VXG), and Mississippi (K5TYP). While in the Air Force, I was a Manual Morse Radio Intercept Operator.

BS Zoology, UC Davis

Member, Society of Motion Picture/Television Engineers http://www.smpte.org/ - Member, American Radio Relay League http://www.arrl.org/ - Member, Quarter Century Wireless Assn. http://www.lockport-ny.com/radio.htm - President, Zen Nippon Airinkai, So Cal Chapter http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Chris_Bushman/ - Member, Maltose Falcons Homebrewing Society http://www.westval.com/mfalcons/ - Alumni, American Brewers' Guild http://www.abgbrew.com/

Education/Credentials
I have held Conditional, General, and Advanced Class Ham radio licenses. Attended UC Davis to study Zoology. Go figure!?

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