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Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => The HAM Radio Board => Amateur Radio How-To's => Topic started by: Carl on February 07, 2015, 01:23:30 PM

Title: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 07, 2015, 01:23:30 PM
This is a very different antenna by todays standards but it is easy and effective and works well
on 10 through 80 meters with use of a tuner . It is easy to describe and build.

It is a COAX FED 4 to 1 balun attached to a 17 foot long piece of 450 ohm ladder line
and a 67 foot long piece of wire attached to one side of the ladder line. This antenna will work
with gain and does well horizontal at 10 feet above earth as an NVIS antenna .

If 92 feet of wire is used instead of 67 ,it can even cover 160 meters and all bands to 10 meters.

(http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q639/kb5wmy/Zep_zpsvmye9nrm.jpg) (http://s1167.photobucket.com/user/kb5wmy/media/Zep_zpsvmye9nrm.jpg.html)

I use a version of this and often call it my End Fed Half wave...67 feet of wire and a 17 foot 6 inch wire attached to a 4 to one balun for 6 through 80 meters, or 35 and 17'6" for 6 through 40 meters...it is easy and effective and you can carry it in a pocket.

Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Smurf Hunter on February 08, 2015, 11:21:30 AM
Carl,

Does the orientation of the 67 foot wire section matter?

e.g. If the ladder line portion is running vertically up the side of my house, could the single wire part lay across my roof?
Also, can that 67' portion be angled or must it be in a straight continuous section to resonate properly?

Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 08, 2015, 11:56:28 AM
Carl,

Does the orientation of the 67 foot wire section matter?

e.g. If the ladder line portion is running vertically up the side of my house, could the single wire part lay across my roof?
Also, can that 67' portion be angled or must it be in a straight continuous section to resonate properly?

Glad you asked that. Straight lines are easier to draw.

The ladder line should be kept at least a foot from the earth and at least a foot from metal objects.
The wire 67 foot or 85 foot can be horizontal,part (or all) vertical, bent but not passed back within 3 feet of itself. Pretty much keep from 'clotheslining people' and it will work ,If run mostly at or about 10 feet you gain NVIS local coverage while retaining good distance capability.

Building,trees,metal objects near the antenna ALL effect it , but it is NOT a tuned length and the tuner makes adjustment while the antenna does a good job at getting your RF on it's way.

Also note that the ladder line is to get your signal to the antenna ( and perform matching )and when used portable all you need is the lengths of wire (total of 85 and 17 foot)and a 4 to 1 balun plus the all important TUNER.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: TexasGirl on February 08, 2015, 12:13:42 PM
Carl,

Is there any RF returning on the outside of the coax shield?  It's common for Windoms to do that from the balun to the rig, it's a property of unbalance.  Many people add ferrite chokes and such at shack entry / grounding points to prevent this.  I see some similarities between this design and a Windom, balance-wise.

Sad thing is most people forget to use an S meter in the shack after a new antenna install to see if they are bathing themselves in RF while keying.

~TG
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 08, 2015, 01:07:36 PM
There can be some RF though the balun and a not mentioned common mode choke will knock it out. a 20 foot or so length of coax in a coil about 6 in diameter or so near the balun.  Antennas radiate and so they all expose you to some RF,though this antenna ,being NOT a half wave on any current band tends to avoid the exposure within the operating area.

This antenna was designed in the 30's and called ZEP because of early use on airships...or so I have read.

A proper dipole for each band is hard to do,but one of the best ways to do it. This is just an easy compromise that works well for many who have tried it. I have used one portable ,because it is easy to toss it in a tree and be on the air.

I don't yet know of a perfect antenna...but I am looking.

TG and anyone interested ,here is an interesting series to read about antennas ,SWR,and we can all gain something from it.

Just follow the link at the bottom of each page ...

http://www.qsl.net/arrlsb/Digest/Pages/Antennas/antennas03.html
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on February 10, 2015, 11:03:48 AM
This is great information Carl!  Is their one balun brand you prefer over another?
David
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 10, 2015, 11:19:04 AM
This is great information Carl!  Is their one balun brand you prefer over another?
David

I use MFJ or Jetstream...here are some links (Price and power decide) also watch for the FREQUENCY as most are not good to 6 meters ,which is important if 6 meters is a band you want...Below are two I have in use now.

http://www.randl.com/shop/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=1970&products_id=67254&osCsid=2ilqhkge715e6v6n9eu5co3s93

http://www.randl.com/shop/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=1970&products_id=71098

Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on February 10, 2015, 01:20:55 PM
Thanks for another informative post, Carl!

I'm beginning to think that this would be a cheap and relatively easy to install option for my QTH. It would be a fair bit of work and coordinating with my landlord to install any full length dipole (will eventually happen) and the challenges of ensuring enough space for the 34 feet of balanced line for the G5RV to hang away from metal siding, etc. will pose challenges. It will probably be an Alpha-Delta DX-CC that I'll put up on the roof come March.

But back to the point of this thread, It would appear as though I could get the balun, ladder line and over 90ft of wire for well under the cost of MFJ's 80m end fed zep, and it would be relatively easy to string the wire around the yard, whether for NVIS or set higher.

I have a spot that would conveniently allow for mounting  the ladder line at 17ft, and only slightly angled away from some aluminum siding should be easy enough to do. If I wanted to set the wire low (at approx. 10ft to provide NVIS and not decapitate anyone in the yard) would it be okay to have the ladder line hang at an angle from the contact with wire to the balun?

Both the ease of setting up in my QTH (without additional help, access to the roof, etc.) and the promise of 80m access sounds appealing. Might a longer wire help for 80m use, or is the length of wire and ladder line given important for the max performance of this antenna? Since my current dipole works fine on the higher bands, just adding this might provide the most bang for my buck...
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 10, 2015, 01:51:41 PM
The ladder line is a matching stub and should be kept reasonably stable as it can vary tuning a bit when moving in the wind.
I would try for the 92 feet of wire to insure 80 meters is tunable...or prepare to add a bit if 67 feet does not tune well at your location. My version had the balun/coax feed point just a couple feet above the ground and the wire/ladder line were at 20 feet,supported 3 feet off the tower at top and bottom...from there the 67 feet of wire sloped to an 8 foot tall PVC stuck in my metal fence. It worked very well,but had local electrical noise as I have power and cable TV lines on 3 sides of my yard.

It is easy and the parts will make many other antennas as you experiment.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Smurf Hunter on February 10, 2015, 05:06:37 PM
Regarding "ladder line", is there a common name that non-hams use?  When I call local shops asking, they claim they've never heard of it.

There are several 450ohm ladder line based antennas I want to try out, so I figure buying a good length of it would be worth my time and education.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 10, 2015, 05:15:22 PM
Regarding "ladder line", is there a common name that non-hams use?  When I call local shops asking, they claim they've never heard of it.

There are several 450ohm ladder line based antennas I want to try out, so I figure buying a good length of it would be worth my time and education.

Ladder Line is what it is: 300 or 450 Ohm...no resistance involved...either size works. TV TWIN LEAD also works ,but just the kind with two conductors and not the shielded type...but TV antennas and twin lead are pretty much relics now.   

Some shops may call it "Window Line" but it's been years since I heard it called that.

http://www.randl.com/shop/catalog/index.php?cPath=11080
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on February 11, 2015, 03:40:31 PM
This is a very different antenna by todays standards but it is easy and effective and works well
on 10 through 80 meters with use of a tuner . It is easy to describe and build.

It is a COAX FED 4 to 1 balun attached to a 17 foot long piece of 450 ohm ladder line
and a 67 foot long piece of wire attached to one side of the ladder line. This antenna will work
with gain and does well horizontal at 10 feet above earth as an NVIS antenna .

If 92 feet of wire is used instead of 67 ,it can even cover 160 meters and all bands to 10 meters.

(http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q639/kb5wmy/Zep_zpsvmye9nrm.jpg) (http://s1167.photobucket.com/user/kb5wmy/media/Zep_zpsvmye9nrm.jpg.html)

I use a version of this and often call it my End Fed Half wave...67 feet of wire and a 17 foot 6 inch wire attached to a 4 to one balun for 6 through 80 meters, or 35 and 17'6" for 6 through 40 meters...it is easy and effective and you can carry it in a pocket.

Hi again Carl, and I hope you don't mind my asking a flood of questions to make sure that I get things right....

So if I understand correctly, we're talking about two slightly different antennas (not counting the different lengths for 40, 18 and 160m.

The first is essentially an end fed zep with 67ft of wire attached by 17ft of 450ohm ladder line to a 4:1 balun, plus coax to the shack, and by lengthening it to 92ft can make it suitable for 160m and probably tune better on 80m than the 67 foot version.

You then speak of a more portable antenna, which consists of a balun, wire, plus 17.5 ft of wire attached to the balun, I presume to act as counterpoise? If I were to first try this latter design (I could pick the required parts up tomorrow, but actually have to order the ladder line around here as my local ham outlet only has 300ohm line at $60 for 100 feet!), would I need another length for the counterpoise if I'm matching it to 92 feet of wire for 160/80m? And since I have both an LDG auto-tuner for my 987D, but also an MFJ 949E manual tuner available, might the latter be more suitable for tuning an end fed wire?

And aside from the parts listed above, I presume that I'd need to solder the wire to the balun (elementary question I know, but it sounds like it's about time I get a solder gun). If I get the ladder line later, I'd then just solder the end of the 92ft length of wire to one wire from the ladder line. For baluns, I noticed that my local store has the following in stock: http://radioworld.ca/rba-41-p-5743.html  http://radioworld.ca/w2au-p-3229.html and http://radioworld.ca/mfj-913-p-6591.html 

Any recommendations for which balun to use? The first is primarily meant for twin lead, but would I be able to use if for the simpler two wire design, at least until I get some twin lead? The second balun looks appealing since it's rated to 1000w, which might make it useful if I eventually get a 500w amplifier down the road, while the third, an MFJ product indicates that it's a current balun, which I noticed from the other links that you've posted might be significant.

If I just add a few plastic or ceramic insulators and zig-zag the antenna across the yard, probably a bit under 10ft to start, I could set up and take it down without waiting for access to the upstairs balcony/roof, etc. and do NVIS right away. I'd basically try to keep the wire/balun at least three feet away from any metal, and make sure that none of my bends are at less than 90% to ensure that the wire does not interfere with itself.

Later, if I add the ladder line and try to get the antenna higher, would it make a big difference if different sections have to be at different heights? I'd currently have it at about 17ft high from the ladder line end and could string about 50ft of the wire across to a tree at about 20 plus to maybe 30 feet, but it will need to be supported at a lower height for some distance after that and at the final endpoint, probably back to 17 feet.

All of the other antenna options that I've discussed on other threads remain dependent upon factors that might take months to work out, so I'm really interested in figuring out if this might offer the fastest solution to my 80m woes. If I have to settle for NVIS for now and can later get the wire high enough for longer distance comms if circumstances warrant, this would fill the biggest gap in my ham capabilities up to the present time. Even if I end up eventually putting a full length or shortened 80m and up dipole on our roof, I can see this remaining useful both at home (where I'd still like the option of operating NVIS) and as a portable device.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 11, 2015, 04:40:18 PM
Hi again Carl, and I hope you don't mind my asking a flood of questions to make sure that I get things right....

So if I understand correctly, we're talking about two slightly different antennas (not counting the different lengths for 40, 18 and 160m.

The first is essentially an end fed zep with 67ft of wire attached by 17ft of 450ohm ladder line to a 4:1 balun, plus coax to the shack, and by lengthening it to 92ft can make it suitable for 160m and probably tune better on 80m than the 67 foot version.

You then speak of a more portable antenna, which consists of a balun, wire, plus 17.5 ft of wire attached to the balun, I presume to act as counterpoise? If I were to first try this latter design (I could pick the required parts up tomorrow, but actually have to order the ladder line around here as my local ham outlet only has 300ohm line at $60 for 100 feet!), would I need another length for the counterpoise if I'm matching it to 92 feet of wire for 160/80m? And since I have both an LDG auto-tuner for my 987D, but also an MFJ 949E manual tuner available, might the latter be more suitable for tuning an end fed wire?

*** The two antennas are very similar and act and tune much the same. The 17 or 17 1/2 foot counterpoise on either must be kept above ground (a few inches or feet) and is more contained as ladder line. The version with 'regular wire only' was first done on a wooden fence in an antenna restricted area with the 17 1/2 foot section along about a foot off the ground and the longer wire at the 5 foot level along the top of the wood fence. I used the wire only version along side a wire and ladder line version with no difference in signal TX or RX BUT the ladder line version works a bit more stable and looked more like an antenna for my shack. The constant position of the ladder line seems a bit more stable with variance of ground (wet/dry soil) but that may be just my soil.****



And aside from the parts listed above, I presume that I'd need to solder the wire to the balun (elementary question I know, but it sounds like it's about time I get a solder gun). If I get the ladder line later, I'd then just solder the end of the 92ft length of wire to one wire from the ladder line.

******Until you decide on a build ,I would use wire nuts or other temporary connect at the balun to save wear and tear BUT solder the final product to prevent oxidation from doing crazy things with your connections. ********


For baluns, I noticed that my local store has the following in stock: http://radioworld.ca/rba-41-p-5743.html  http://radioworld.ca/w2au-p-3229.html and http://radioworld.ca/mfj-913-p-6591.html 

**** Looks like one of the ones I use...Tie wire to the EYE HOOKS for strength and then connect the copper wire from internals of balun to you wire so that you avoid stress on the balun internal works****

Any recommendations for which balun to use? The first is primarily meant for twin lead, but would I be able to use if for the simpler two wire design, at least until I get some twin lead? The second balun looks appealing since it's rated to 1000w, which might make it useful if I eventually get a 500w amplifier down the road, while the third, an MFJ product indicates that it's a current balun, which I noticed from the other links that you've posted might be significant.


****The MFJ 1000 watt will work better for either form as the LDG is more a temporary balun as the 5 way binding posts are not the best for permanent installs , I use both types and would only use the LDG if the wire and balun were held stable from wind motion.****

If I just add a few plastic or ceramic insulators and zig-zag the antenna across the yard, probably a bit under 10ft to start, I could set up and take it down without waiting for access to the upstairs balcony/roof, etc. and do NVIS right away. I'd basically try to keep the wire/balun at least three feet away from any metal, and make sure that none of my bends are at less than 90% to ensure that the wire does not interfere with itself.


***** 90 degrees is not set in stone ,it just insures minimum interaction and maintains predictable SWR , I have folded the wire within 20 degrees of itself (3 feet separation in 15 feet) but it caused a need for about 5% more wire length. When you move above the low 10 foot level,TUNE will change...but the tuner and balun allow a lot of room for this.*****

Later, if I add the ladder line and try to get the antenna higher, would it make a big difference if different sections have to be at different heights? I'd currently have it at about 17ft high from the ladder line end and could string about 50ft of the wire across to a tree at about 20 plus to maybe 30 feet, but it will need to be supported at a lower height for some distance after that and at the final endpoint, probably back to 17 feet.

****Don't worry about different height or direction of your wire,it does effect radiation pattern,but you probably won't worry how it maps out when you find how it works for you over your soil and near whatever conductors that effect it,each antenna is different.*******

All of the other antenna options that I've discussed on other threads remain dependent upon factors that might take months to work out, so I'm really interested in figuring out if this might offer the fastest solution to my 80m woes. If I have to settle for NVIS for now and can later get the wire high enough for longer distance comms if circumstances warrant, this would fill the biggest gap in my ham capabilities up to the present time. Even if I end up eventually putting a full length or shortened 80m and up dipole on our roof, I can see this remaining useful both at home (where I'd still like the option of operating NVIS) and as a portable device.

Every part of this antenna can be used in many different forms,like legos, there is no end to what can be done .Here is some reading about SWR and antennas that answers many questions .Just read each page and link to the next as antennas and SWR become much less a mystery.


OH just in case ...BUILD the wire only version and get it on the air. We might make some changes later if you have band tuning issues..The manual tune may have a bit more range than the auto tuner but I think the LDG will do well for you as it does for me. Plus...if tuning or stability is  noticed ,a second 17 foot or so counterpoise or maybe an earth ground may be the fix. I had a bit of RF in my shack until I used an earth ground.

http://www.qsl.net/arrlsb/Digest/Pages/Antennas/antennas03.html
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on February 11, 2015, 08:19:49 PM
Thanks Carl!

So I'll plan on picking up 125ft of stranded copper wire ($30 Cdn) and a W4:1 balun ($35) and perhaps another two or three ceramic insulators (I've got at least two here at home). The precise height and pattern will invariably be a trial and error process, and will probably be adjusted whenever I might get the ladder line. I'll may start very low but might go higher it it's easier to keep clear of any metal objects or branches that way.


I noticed in the notes above that you speak of a 92foot wire for 160/8m and higher frequencies at one point, but then speak of 85ft and the 17ft counterpoise elsewhere for 80m use (which interestingly enough totals the overall length of a G5RV). Since it's easier to start long and trim back, perhaps I'll try to cut 17.5 feet for the counterpoise and start with the 117-118feet that would be remaining, unless you'd think that it might be better to cut it closer to 92 feet (plus 1-2 feet for fudge factor) right from the start.

I realize that the articles that you link to suggest that I not fret too much about getting close to half wavelength on my preferred band, but if I'm focusing on 80m, would there be any cons to going all out and laying a 133 ft. wire plus 17 ft counterpoise (from a 150ft roll) if it can be fit into my space? If I later decide to shorten the long wire to 92 or 85 feet I could always use the extra wire to make a second 17ft counterpoise.

Though I'll probably experiment with it both ways, should I expect that having another dipole cross the yard at a slightly higher height to interfere with the long wire? Since the main point of this experiment is to get on 80m, I'd happily rely upon the dipole for higher bands and switch to the wire for when I want to work 80m and NVIS.

Another quick point: since the ONTARS 80m nets operate almost every hour daily from 7am to 5pm, that would offer lots of opportunity to check the antenna's TX and RX, as well as the effect of various adjustments to length, operating height, etc. I could easily do that in between other activities around the QTH and wouldn't be adverse to trying it on some local 40m nets or even ongoing 20m continental nets like those found at 14.300Mhz. And I'll naturally test it across all of the available bands from 160-10m to see which bands the tuner can handle. Perhaps I'll even take down the dipole for a week or so to play around with this setup at various times and frequencies.

I'm getting stoked at the idea of being able to play around with this until the opportunity arrives to install something on the roof!
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on February 11, 2015, 10:56:14 PM
Quick addendum: I see now why 84-85 feet and 17 foot counterpoise was chosen, as well as the longer lengths that help versus which ones to avoid: http://udel.edu/~mm/ham/randomWire/. It's a case of trying to avoid multiples of half wavelengths which are harder for the tuner to match. There's lots of articles about the length combination above from 1936 to present, and a chart at the link above indicating which other lengths might work best for particular bands.





Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 12, 2015, 05:19:27 AM
Quick addendum: I see now why 84-85 feet and 17 foot counterpoise was chosen, as well as the longer lengths that help versus which ones to avoid: http://udel.edu/~mm/ham/randomWire/. It's a case of trying to avoid multiples of half wavelengths which are harder for the tuner to match. There's lots of articles about the length combination above from 1936 to present, and a chart at the link above indicating which other lengths might work best for particular bands.

YEP,Random is not so random. And while I arrived at the 17 foot counterpoise during experiments with tripod mounted mobile whips for HF work (Hamstick from MFJ) I settled on 17' 6" and use a 20 meter dipole in my portable kit as the verticals counterpoise and it allows few items in a small kit to provide many antenna configurations. I rarely need to go portable now,but do advise those who do on the importance of antenna kit components.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: helix2301 on February 12, 2015, 09:05:20 AM
I don't know if it helps but this month is QST's Yearly Antenna Issue. It might help if you have questions or need ideas for antennas

http://www.arrl.org/qst
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on February 14, 2015, 08:42:25 PM
The initial results are in! This antenna design looks very promising, despite a few kinks that I still need to work out. Many thanks to Carl for all of the information and links that he posted, that were invaluable.

The basic design of this antenna was first mentioned in a 1936 article in QST, where the author spoke of an antenna put together by his friend W3EDP, who used an 84 foot wire and 17 foot "counterpoise." A variation on this design is the antenna posted by Carl at the top of this thread, which gets the same 84 foot main wire by attaching 67 feet to 17 feet of ladder line, with the wire on the ladder line that's not attached to the main line playing the same role as the 17 foot "counterpoise" in the original W3EDP. Since Carl indicated that the design with ladder line can effectively work 80 and 160m with 92 feet of line, I took that as to mean that 92 plus 17 feet (109 feet total) should be my starting point. I also took note of the following line from another blog post on the subject, which suggested another slightly longer length: "If you are using a longer length of wire, perhaps as a Sloper or inverted ā€˜Lā€™ good lengths to choose are either 19.4, 22.8 or 34.3m long (112.5 feet), as these avoid high impedances on most of the Amateur bands from 160 to 6m." (Source: http://www.g8jnj.net/usingautotuners.htm). Adding another foot to play with, and a further foot to make up for any wire that will be bent back upon the balun or insulators gave me starting lengths of 114 feet for the long wire and 19 feet for the "counterpoise." The fellow who cut my 150 roll of wire seemed to add an extra foot or two for good measure, leaving me with an additional 18 feet, so I could possibly set it up with two "counterpoise" wires that would sit a short distance above the ground.

FYI, the shorter wire could also be set up with spacers to ride up on the vertical portion of the antenna just like ladder line and I'll probably do that eventually, but for now I wanted to just get the antenna installed and on the air.

And one more point about the antenna length before proceeding further to my initial results. The following link (http://udel.edu/~mm/ham/randomWire/) provides some further information about the ideal lengths for a so called "random wire" antenna, that isn't so random after all. If you look down the page, you'll notice that the author provides a colour coded chart that shows which lengths to avoid if you want to have multiple band capability. If I understand correctly, the lengths are multiples of quarter or half wavelengths that make it difficult to tune to the bands that they match.

So here's my initial results:

I set the balun and feed point to the antenna just outside my apartment with the long wire rising vertically (at a bit of an angle) up to the an insulator at the top of a second story balcony at about 17 feet). The short wire extends from the balun just above the ground to an insulator that's attached to a wooden fence. From the balcony, the long wire crosses the yard to another insulator tied off to a tree in the northwest corner at about 20 feet, and from there the wire crosses over a coach house to the northeast corner, where it passes through another insulator tied off to a tree at about 10-12 feet. I first tied the remaining length of wire to a balcony support post that only gave me ten feet in height and passed awfully close to a power line and trees along the edge of the property. After my first attempt at tuning the antenna, I took down the last leg and connected it to a tripod/crappie pole that now has the end point several feet away from the power lines and at somewhere between 17-20 feet high in an open spot in the yard. It didn't change the tuning characteristics, but at least confirmed that any problems tuning on some bands was unrelated to the power line and branches.

So far, the antenna tunes nicely onto 40, 20, 15 and 10m. Because it had gotten dark by the time things were set up, I checked into the "Brother's Net" that runs Monday-Saturday evenings from 7-9pm on 7.192Mhz. I had no trouble checking in and was 59 to the NCS in Maryland (about 500 miles away) by the time he got around to my number.

80m was a slightly different story. I've been listening on a few different frequencies, including the daily Great Lakes Emergency and Traffic Net that runs everyday from about 8-9pm EST. So far I'm able to comfortably listen to a net that's usually much harder on the ears to follow, and I wouldn't be surprised if the improvement in Rx has been a full S unit or higher. But when it comes time to tune, I'm not getting anywhere near the under 2:1 SWR that we're after.

Looking back to the chart on the link above, it looks as though the antenna with a couple extra feet for fudge factor lands within the coloured zones that occur from about 109-132/33 feet. According to the chart, I should get 40m and higher, but not 80 and 160. There is however a window from 104-109 feet (that also falls within the lengths listed in Carl's first post) within which 80 and 160m should be tunable. Though I'm not too concerned about 160m access and might find an 85 foot long wire easier to deal with, I like the stronger Rx that seems to come with this longer antenna and will probably just tune it down to somewhere between 105-108 feet, or somewhere between 100-103 feet to avoid a zone about 104 feet that I ought to avoid. The chart that I'm referring to was also for the CW portion of the bands in question, so there'll be a bit of shift for SSB that I'm after. Before I trim I'll see if adding the second 18 feet of wire as a "counterpoise" changes anything for the better (if it doesn't work I'll just take it off again) and I'll consider connecting the short wire to the longer one in twin lead fashion after I get things working with the antenna as set up.

Like any first time setup of a wire across a backyard, I can envisage better ways to position it and will endeavour to get at least the end point several feet higher, or at least tie it into the second floor balcony. For Sunday morning and early afternoon, I'll also try it on a couple of 40 and 20m nets that I regularly check into to get a better sense of how it compares to the dipole that's currently down.

So I'm not quite there yet to my goal of an effective antenna on 80m, but if I can get the length adjusted to a low impedance sweet spot, I'll have an effective 80m antenna that will also work on 40 and a couple other bands. More to follow....
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 15, 2015, 04:25:10 AM
 :egyptian: :egyptian: :clap:  Testify brother...another convert to wire antennas....
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 15, 2015, 05:59:12 AM
Hey Canadian Prepper...the 17' 6" length was pretty critical when using plain wire (Not ladder line)and I am guessing also 17' would be critical if ladder line were used...That second 18 feet of wire might should be carefully cut back to 17' 4" or 17' 6" ...maybe do the test first at 17' 6" for one or BOTH of your short wires.

I had the same problem when developing my BIG STICK VHF/UHF antenna and the radio of the short  to long wire is pretty critical.
Lets think 85/17  represents a 5 to 1 ratio...I would stick to a 5 to 1 ratio while avoiding the  multiple wave zones of the cut chart.

Just a though if you start scratching your head with getting the wire to tune multiple bands ....I actually did go through this with my first few versions but don't know for sure if it were my surrounding or the antenna.
And it is interesting I worked up to my 17' 6" and 35' for my 20 meter design without being aware of the W3EDP.This is still an experimental antenna for me and I want to see if our results compare.

I also found this and just want to note how he also discovered the importance of 17 feet for the short wire as antenna current is RF POWER...

http://zs6rsh.blogspot.com/2014/03/rf-current-measurements-on-long-wire.html
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 15, 2015, 06:36:13 AM
More of interest to people who want to build this "NEW" antenna


http://www.qsl.net/w5rin/Projects/Antennas/ae5vv/W3EDPAntenna.pdf
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on February 15, 2015, 05:47:09 PM
I had a decent first day with the wire antenna.

I began with two QSOs to the daily 40m provincial comms net, speaking to a US station during the pre-net and the NCS in Ottawa later on. Afterwards I went to 14.300Mhz and checked into the Intercon net, where I came in strong into North Carolina. The wire seems to have particularly good Rx on that band. I then played around with 15m for two contacts before noon in Ukraine and Belgium, followed by contacts into Slovakia, Northeast Italy and Northern Spain on 10m.

The 1pm provincial ARES HF net was a bit disappointing, as there was lots of QRM and it was harder to listen to many of the stations. Another regular check in that's only a few miles away from me said however that I've come in the strongest of the several check that he's heard of me from the past. I then managed one more check in to Vancouver Island on the Sunday Trans Canada 20m net and found it pleasantly easy to listen to the NCS out there.

I only briefly made contact with Carl on 20m during the regular Sunday 40/20/10m net at 1300CST. It should be emphasized however that my wire probably averages about 15ft overall height and I'll need a warmer day before I can set everything higher.

I added the second "counterpoise" but that didn't make any difference when it came to tuning 80m. As Carl Points out, I'll probably need to slightly shorten the two "counterpoise" wires. Since my long wire is longer than the ones referred to in his original post I'll almost undoubtedly need to trim it back slowly by several feet, and suspect that another 6' to 1foot on the counterpoises might still be okay if the long wire remains over the 100ft mark.

@Carl: Did you ever try this design on 80/160 meters with the 92 foot wire you described for working those bands, and if so was that with ladder line or the slightly more portable wire only format? The reason I ask is that I added 92+17feet to get the length for a wire only antenna design, plus a bit extra. I want to keep things the longest possible length to maximize Rx, which seems particularly helpful for the 80m band that I want to get on, rather than trim back to 84-85 feet right away. Might you have any link to anyone/any articles about people who've used this design on 80-160 if you haven't worked the latter with it yourself? I'm just trying to get ideas before I end up cutting more than a few feet. The wire is just expensive enough that I wouldn't want to cut back 20-30ft in one foot increments, lol!

I must admit that I'm awfully surprised at how easily the antenna tunes on 40, 20, and 15m. I wouldn't be surprised if the SWR is low enough to use it in those bands without a tuner and would imagine that to be even more doable if it were mounted high and away from any potential interference, which may or may not be affecting my own results. The radio was able to effectively tune the wire on 12m today, so I think that contact with twigs, wind, etc., are having a slight effect on the wire.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 15, 2015, 06:06:19 PM
I only did one test with longer wire and that was a 4 to 1 balun with 170 feet of wire folding across my 55 x 55  foot back yard and a 17' 6" short wire and a 35 foot short wire...all bands tuned but 160 was dead. my experiment was a DOUBLE SIZE antenna of the 85/17' 6" that I had used BEFORE I had heard of W3EDP. It worked But I had no room for it as the neighbors were about to riot.
It worked great on 80-60-40-20-17-15-12-10 and refused to tune 6 meters.

A lot of tuning issues can be local conductivity of soil.I am still working to find what works best at the BOL ...that's where I was today and only could run 35 watts of the battery at the time.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on February 18, 2015, 10:50:41 PM
By way of a quick update, I shared my difficulties with tuning 80m on my wire with another HAM at our ARES meeting tonight, who noted that he often had to change his feed line length to avoid tuning problems on that band. So the first thing I did was switch from the 50feet of coax I was using to 25 feet, at which point I was able to tune every band from 160-12 (I didn't bother with 30m, as I'm only using SSB right now). Though no one band tuned quickly, I got the max usable bandwidth with 25ft and noticed a significant improvement in RX on 80m.

Since the 25ft coax didn't allow me to keep the transceiver in its regular location and my desire to experiment further, I switched back to the 50ft of coax after winding some 12-15 feet into a circle and taping it up. Whether it was the change in overall feed line length or the roll of wire holding back RF to the shack, I got an almost instant tune on 80m and managed to tune 40, 20, 17 and 15m. Though I lost use of both the very lowest and highest bands with this setup, I'll play around with this current setup for the next several days, and work on getting the wire higher now that I don't see any immediate need to trim it. My first contact on the midnight Trans Canada Pow Wow Net managed a 57-58 report to an NCS in Saskatchewan, so I expect further testing in this configuration or with the wire higher to prove the antenna's effectiveness on 80m. Perhaps I'll look to adding a 10m counterpoise to bring back that band, as Carl had suggested to me, switch to the shorter wire to play on 160, etc. but it looks like I'll have lots of options to play with.

I don't gather that it's most desirable to have feed line length dictating the tunability of the wire portion of the antenna, so if anyone has any suggestions about that I'd greatly appreciate it. Might taking one of the counterpoises and repositioning it as a balanced line against the long wire help any with that?
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 19, 2015, 03:22:06 AM
I think the 'problem' is due to some radiation of the coax shield and the common mode choke (coiled coax)
goes a long way towards preventing feedline RF, I would put the loop closest to the feed point.....but use
what works for now and get a feel for it before a change so that you will know which radiates/receive better.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on February 19, 2015, 09:40:32 AM
I think the 'problem' is due to some radiation of the coax shield and the common mode choke (coiled coax)
goes a long way towards preventing feedline RF, I would put the loop closest to the feed point.....but use
what works for now and get a feel for it before a change so that you will know which radiates/receive better.

I originally had a common mode choke on the coax right near the feed point, but it was just several turns at less than 6" in diameter. The extra size additional several feet of coax seems to have made all the difference. BTW, I've made several other 80m check ins throughout the morning, and despite my reports getting weaker as the morning progressed, I can consistently get picked up and am clearly readable. I'm really looking forward to my results with tomorrow night's Great Lakes Emergency and Traffic Net, plus seeing what improvements I'll get over the weekend if I get the wire higher. In short, this has opened up far greater connectivity with the local ham community over my previous capabilities.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 19, 2015, 11:01:13 AM
Way better to build and make it work than to BUY and find out it doesn't.
Now you have a great understanding of the much maligned SWR and a great antenna.
You will be asked what you have done by others ,I am sure.
And you can tell them it is a "NEW" design from 75 years ago. 8)
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: armymars on March 05, 2015, 09:27:52 AM
  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. The 450 ohm line is called window line. The losses are very low on it. Ladder line looks like a ladder. We use to make it out of old Bic pens with the guts removed. You would find them in the trash cans at school everyday and it didn't take long to have enough to make 50' of line. Just one pen body every 6 inches and solid wire. The losses are even lower. This was just a few years after you could buy ball points for a reasonable price. (Bic's were the first low cost, disposable ball point pens.)
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on March 05, 2015, 01:33:19 PM
By way of a quick update, during the past two weeks I've managed to make regular check ins into the ONTARS net that runs everyday from 7am to 6pm, the nightly Great Lakes and Emergency Traffic Net, and some more distant 80m nets like the weekly TAPRNet that runs Sunday nights, and whose NCS is located in Georgia. The antenna's effectiveness is naturally influenced by time of day and propagation conditions, but I can consistently make contact or hold a QSO in circumstances where that wasn't possible or consistent in the past.

As for the ability of the antenna to tune, I've noticed that it remains a bit temperamental in that regard. Several days ago I discovered that several inches of snow covering the coax and the common mode choke would change the bands or frequencies within them where it would tune. That was easily fixed by simply shovelling away the snow.

The other night I played around with the feed line length by adding two more loops to the choke with the coax that I'm using (no more length for more loops) but found that rather than improving things on 160 and 80m that I couldn't even tune across the entire 80m band anymore, though it might have improved things on 40, 20, 17 and 15m. I undid the extra loops to go back to the way things were beforehand, as that's most suitable for what I'm using the antenna for at the moment. I probably won't play around with the feed length or choke again until some warmer weather inspires me to raise the wire by several feet. That would undoubtedly help the 15-20m bands for DXing and perhaps enable me to get better long distance transmit and receive on 80m.

So this antenna remains a work in progress though it's been wonderful for effectively opening up the 80m band that's so widely used in this area. Since I managed to get Ukraine the first day I used it on 15m, I'm confident that it's not only a fine DXing antenna in its current configuration but that I'll do even better once I've raised it. 
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on March 05, 2015, 01:54:57 PM
CANPREP,glad to heare you are well and frisky enough to experiment. Also happy to hear of
your success with the experimental ,NEW,1936 antenna.I have the stuff to build one for future
portable use,for my own.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on March 24, 2015, 12:40:25 PM
Given that several weeks have passed since my last post, I just wanted to provide an update about the effectiveness of this design.

I accidentally chanced upon the ARRL SSB DX contest last month and decided to play. By Saturday night I had about 100 contacts, followed by another dozen or so during about an hour of participation on Sunday afternoon. That provided a plethora of contacts from South America, the Caribbean, and Europe on various bands, with 80 and 40m limited to North American contacts. Outside of that contest I've added some additional countries and provinces, so that the antenna's connected me to about forty countries, a dozen US states plus a few territories, and a few Canadian provinces.

This past week I finally had an opportunity to raise the far end of the wire up by about another ten feet so that it's at about 25-27 feet at its highest. While the band conditions during the past week have been up and down, making a direct comparison difficult, a few people on the nets that I frequent noted that the change resulted in the highest signal reports to date on 80 and 40m. I think that a few local 80m stations might have dropped off slightly as the angle of radiation has changed, but the overall trend suggests an improvement. And during an ARES/Red Cross meeting this past weekend a few people who've talked to me on the HF bands commented favourably about the antenna's effectiveness.

The wire is sensitive towards wet weather, especially when the coax lies on the ground, and I'd like it to tune across a wider portion of the 10 and 160m band, but it's otherwise working awfully well as is. I may raise one corner higher, test it with an analyzer and perhaps eventually add a 600W amplifier, so the story's hardly over, but I wanted to reiterate that it's been working well and keeping me happy.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on March 24, 2015, 01:34:48 PM
Given that several weeks have passed since my last post, I just wanted to provide an update about the effectiveness of this design.

I accidentally chanced upon the ARRL SSB DX contest last month and decided to play. By Saturday night I had about 100 contacts, followed by another dozen or so during about an hour of participation on Sunday afternoon. That provided a plethora of contacts from South America, the Caribbean, and Europe on various bands, with 80 and 40m limited to North American contacts. Outside of that contest I've added some additional countries and provinces, so that the antenna's connected me to about forty countries, a dozen US states plus a few territories, and a few Canadian provinces.

This past week I finally had an opportunity to raise the far end of the wire up by about another ten feet so that it's at about 25-27 feet at its highest. While the band conditions during the past week have been up and down, making a direct comparison difficult, a few people on the nets that I frequent noted that the change resulted in the highest signal reports to date on 80 and 40m. I think that a few local 80m stations might have dropped off slightly as the angle of radiation has changed, but the overall trend suggests an improvement. And during an ARES/Red Cross meeting this past weekend a few people who've talked to me on the HF bands commented favourably about the antenna's effectiveness.

The wire is sensitive towards wet weather, especially when the coax lies on the ground, and I'd like it to tune across a wider portion of the 10 and 160m band, but it's otherwise working awfully well as is. I may raise one corner higher, test it with an analyzer and perhaps eventually add a 600W amplifier, so the story's hardly over, but I wanted to reiterate that it's been working well and keeping me happy.

So you almost won the lottery on a home made experimental NEW 60 odd year old antenna...I am impressed.
You did great work and strengthen what I try to say about how environment effects antennas.Glad to hear from you CP.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Greekman on October 03, 2015, 11:57:07 AM
pheww.. I just had the time to read the whole of this thread.

Carl, how does the Zep design relates to an HF J-Pole?
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on October 03, 2015, 01:38:06 PM
It is NOT shunt fed and NOT 1/4  or a half wave in any frequency...so really not similar to a "J" Pole ,besides using ladder line in it's construction. You see,an antenna must NOT be resonant on any used frequency so as to be useful on all the Ham bands.

Continue to read about RANDOM length and see how it is not just any length ,but a special length to permit multiband use.

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=55525.0
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Greekman on October 03, 2015, 04:00:26 PM
It is NOT shunt fed and NOT 1/4  or a half wave in any frequency...so really not similar to a "J" Pole ,besides using ladder line in it's construction. You see,an antenna must NOT be resonant on any used frequency so as to be useful on all the Ham bands.

Continue to read about RANDOM length and see how it is not just any length ,but a special length to permit multiband use.

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=55525.0

My mind went on the ground wire being shorter than the driven element.
And yes, I "back calculated" the design and it got me somewhere around 8.5MHz

edit: I just realised that the 17ft element is a counterpoise.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on October 03, 2015, 04:22:45 PM
My mind went on the ground wire being shorter than the driven element.
And yes, I "back calculated" the design and it got me somewhere around 8.5MHz

edit: I just realised that the 17ft element is a counterpoise.

Yes,the 17 foot 'short' side is the counterpoise and though it is close to 20 meter band ...it does a good job with 80 through 6 meters as a 'field' or easy up antenna or as a more permanent base type antenna. I used originally a 17 foot and 35 foot wire in this configuration for up to 40 meters ,but this current version or the W3EDP (the Zeppelin antenna)work consistently better.

Those 'trials' are also in the Ham ,how to section here.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on October 06, 2015, 03:06:19 PM
My setup, inspired by Carl's posts, is about 114 feet with two 17-18ft "counterpoises," though neither of mine touch the ground. I picked the longest length that I could make with 150 feet of wire to maximize gain on the lower frequencies, which opened up a great deal of 80m activity that I couldn't hear well or talk to prior to setting up my end fed. I had to play around a bit with feedline length, but eventually found that my choke balun made by wrapping my coax about ten times into 6-8" gave me a wide range of effectiveness from 80 through 15m.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Greekman on November 28, 2015, 02:41:45 AM
found this
Zepp Antenna Theory
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwYSS335wZw

but I am left with more questions.
Can one modify the feed line to lower resistance at 50ohm? (assuming a single operating frequency). He says something along this at 9:00
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on November 28, 2015, 06:41:18 AM
found this
Zepp Antenna Theory
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwYSS335wZw

but I am left with more questions.
Can one modify the feed line to lower resistance at 50ohm? (assuming a single operating frequency). He says something along this at 9:00

Adjusting the antenna or feedline to achieve 50 ohm impedance will work FOR ONLY ONE FREQUENCY.
The ZEP must be used as NON-RESONANT to get multi band/multi frequency  capability.
The all band capability is due to the fact that it is not resonant on any HAM band without use of a tuner.
50 OHMS is only needed for the radio as radios are no longer built with robust enough components to deal with mismatched impedance.

An example is the 2 meter antenna and why most people choose a 5/8 wave antenna as 'best' ,even though the resonance and impedance is out of range of most radios without the use of matching device in the antenna base...NON RESONANT antennas are nothing NEW...just the need to match radio due to solid state design...read more at the link below and you may change the way you think about antennas.

It is what you should have been taught about antennas and well worth your time to read.

http://www.qsl.net/arrlsb/Digest/Pages/Antennas/antennas03.html
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Greekman on November 28, 2015, 07:01:12 AM
Yes I already have...
this is way I mentioned a "single operating frequency" myself.

But I think you also mean to say that it makes no sense to have a single freq zepp?
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on November 28, 2015, 07:20:55 AM
You can built a "J" pole with 1/4 wave (adjusted for velocity factor) of ladder line and a 1/4 wave of single wire with the addition of a SHUNT FEED to the antenna. But besides single wire 'easy up' antenna ,much the same can be done in the field as FEED LINE is not needed and a dipole can be directly connected to the radio/tuner with tuner only needed if antenna is not cut to length for frequency AND surroundings.

I like how you think outside of conventional design.... :)  +1 Karma


Also note that a resonant antenna CAN often be tuner adjust to several  bands that are higher in frequency than the primary cut length,
just not as easily as a non-resonant wire...My first experiments were with a 17 feet ladder line and 17 feet 6 inches of wire as a 20 meter antenna with capability on some higher frequencies. I settled on NON RESONANT as the best way to insure multi-band without stressing the tuner capabilities.Don't be afraid to TRY something different ...JUST WATCH THAT POWER/SWR meter if not using an automatic antenna matcher (Tuner)
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on February 05, 2016, 08:56:54 AM
I plan to get started on my Zepp this weekend. I won't finish but I hope to get a good bit done.  Considering what I read in this thread I have a few questions please.

1.  Should I allow enough coax to form a common mode choke near the feed point (balun)?

2.  If yes what extra length should I allow for the choke?  I believe I read that it should be about 6" in diameter.

3.  I'm pretty sure I will be able to run the entire length of the ladder line vertically.  Then the 67' will run across the yard to a pole that I will         locate in the corner of the yard.  (Their is an outside chance I may be able to go 92' I son't know yet I have not had a chance to measure.) I planned to allow some extra length on the 67' for insulators, wrapping etc.  Is 2 feet enough? 

David
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 05, 2016, 09:25:14 AM
I plan to get started on my Zepp this weekend. I won't finish but I hope to get a good bit done.  Considering what I read in this thread I have a few questions please.

1.  Should I allow enough coax to form a common mode choke near the feed point (balun)?

YES,20 feet will be enough

2.  If yes what extra length should I allow for the choke?  I believe I read that it should be about 6" in diameter.

as above,but may need number of coils adjusted due to your exact circumstances and tune ability

3.  I'm pretty sure I will be able to run the entire length of the ladder line vertically.  Then the 67' will run across the yard to a pole that I will         locate in the corner of the yard.  (Their is an outside chance I may be able to go 92' I son't know yet I have not had a chance to measure.) I planned to allow some extra length on the 67' for insulators, wrapping etc.  Is 2 feet enough? 

Yes but even longer can be folded back on itself so "OPEN LENGTH" is 67 feet and you might need slight extra for velocity factor,ground conductivity adjustment (if tuning difficulties)

David
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Smurf Hunter on February 05, 2016, 09:41:13 AM
Some inspirational material for DIY chokes and baluns.

http://www.hamuniverse.com/balun.html
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on February 07, 2016, 07:41:05 PM
I'm having a little trouble and need some help.  In the pic below where the long wire portion makes the turn (in my case to go across the yard) I have an insulator.  Is it ok if the long wire makes a couple of loops through the insulator before making it's trip across the yard to is termination point?

(http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk247/SC_Dave/Zep_zpsxs2whxpi.jpg)
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 08, 2016, 06:05:26 AM
I would not LOOP the transmission wire.though you can...please understand that the image IS NOT the configuration of the antenna...simply an illustration...it can be in a strait line or make a lazy loop about the space available....it is just that strait lines are easier to draw.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Smurf Hunter on February 08, 2016, 08:58:53 AM
I'm having a little trouble and need some help.  In the pic below where the long wire portion makes the turn (in my case to go across the yard) I have an insulator.  Is it ok if the long wire makes a couple of loops through the insulator before making it's trip across the yard to is termination point?

(http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk247/SC_Dave/Zep_zpsxs2whxpi.jpg)

I suggest a gentle bend where possible.  Run antenna wire through an insulator, but use cordage like 550 paracord to tether the insulator.

Here's a standoff made from pvc.  Imagine your 67 foot wire making a slight bend as it leaves that pvc insulator.
(http://s217877884.websitehome.co.uk/amateur_radio/amateur_radio_antennas/images/antenna_insulator_1.jpg)
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on February 08, 2016, 09:13:21 AM
Makes sense I guess but I'm having trouble understanding how I can run my ladder line vertically then make the turn to go horizontally for 67 or 92 feet without making a 90* turn.  I can tether the insulator with 550 no problem but it will have to be attached to the 14 ga long wire for strength and not the ladder line.  Or, and I completely missing something SH?  :-\
FF
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 08, 2016, 09:39:45 AM
I would support the weight of the ladder line with 550 paracord and tie a loop bypass to the antenna on BOTH sides of the insulator adding that I twist or bend the antenna wire as little as possible to avoid stress cutting of the wire.SMURF HUNTER has some good thoughts also on the matter , I build for longevity as I depend on others to install for me.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on February 08, 2016, 09:57:25 AM
I would support the weight of the ladder line with 550 paracord and tie a loop bypass to the antenna on BOTH sides of the insulator adding that I twist or bend the antenna wire as little as possible to avoid stress cutting of the wire.SMURF HUNTER has some good thoughts also on the matter , I build for longevity as I depend on others to install for me.

I am sorry to ask so many questions.  I guess I'm that special kind of dumb you only read about in medical books.  I don't know what a Loop Bypass is.

I can figure out how to support everything I believe.  But, what I can't figure out is how to go vertical with one part of the antenna and then horizontal with another part without putting a bend in it.  I am obviously missing something and I apologize for being so dense guys.
FF
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on February 08, 2016, 10:31:19 AM
Here is a quick and ugly sketch I did of my plan to try to help you guys help me.  It is not to scale.  For example, the mast at the bottom will not be nearly that close to the ladder line.......

(http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk247/SC_Dave/IMG_0355_zpshl0vvsas.jpg)
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Greekman on February 08, 2016, 11:00:51 AM
i would get 3 feet of small diameter PVC pipe and flex it like a bow..
Then I would pass the wire through.

Now how to keep it flexed, I do not know. LOL
maybe a 1x1" piece of dowel in place of the bow string?
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Smurf Hunter on February 08, 2016, 11:54:43 AM
If you have the space, I would attempt to get the balun up in there air.  Here are a few photos from how I have field deployed the W3EDP.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9whqqaDnL0E/Vq4n8r74eQI/AAAAAAAAdSw/fb5lAvDQ00s/s912-Ic42/20160130_092921.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KgT2TqjfB74/Vq4oo0Sf8qI/AAAAAAAAdTI/XtX5SioEqlQ/s512-Ic42/20160130_111611.jpg)(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-IvB8mghguZU/Vrjj9voyGQI/AAAAAAAAdbg/AM_qlQ5YGOw/s912-Ic42/2016-02-08_10-45-40.png)

In both of those, all the weight of the ladder line + wire is on the balun eye bolt hardware. 
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on February 08, 2016, 12:47:46 PM
SH, what gauge is your ladder line?
FF
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Smurf Hunter on February 08, 2016, 12:54:49 PM
SH, what gauge is your ladder line?
FF

18awg 450ohm
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on February 08, 2016, 03:18:07 PM
If you have the space, I would attempt to get the balun up in there air.  Here are a few photos from how I have field deployed the W3EDP.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9whqqaDnL0E/Vq4n8r74eQI/AAAAAAAAdSw/fb5lAvDQ00s/s912-Ic42/20160130_092921.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KgT2TqjfB74/Vq4oo0Sf8qI/AAAAAAAAdTI/XtX5SioEqlQ/s512-Ic42/20160130_111611.jpg)(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-IvB8mghguZU/Vrjj9voyGQI/AAAAAAAAdbg/AM_qlQ5YGOw/s912-Ic42/2016-02-08_10-45-40.png)

In both of those, all the weight of the ladder line + wire is on the balun eye bolt hardware.

Not a bad idea getting it up in the air but I didn't buy that style balun.  This one was delivered today.

(http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk247/SC_Dave/H0-005579A_zpsseii59oa.jpg)
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 08, 2016, 09:05:24 PM
Here is a quick and ugly sketch I did of my plan to try to help you guys help me.  It is not to scale.  For example, the mast at the bottom will not be nearly that close to the ladder line.......

(http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk247/SC_Dave/IMG_0355_zpshl0vvsas.jpg)

Looks fine , the stand-offs should do just fine too.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on March 01, 2016, 05:28:16 AM
Carl, my Google-Fu is weak today so my hunt was unproductive. Do you have any radiation pattern charts for this antenna?
Thanks, FF
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Smurf Hunter on March 01, 2016, 09:48:46 AM
Carl, my Google-Fu is weak today so my hunt was unproductive. Do you have any radiation pattern charts for this antenna?
Thanks, FF

It depends:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_wire_antenna#Radiation_pattern
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on March 01, 2016, 10:43:07 AM
It depends:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_wire_antenna#Radiation_pattern

I can see how it does.

Actually I am trying to solve a problem with mine SH.  I am not getting the performance with mine that I think I should.  I'm not sure what I'm basing that on except my expectations.  Expectations too high?

Difficulty making contacts on several bands etc.  Have no trouble receiving.  Tuner tunes all bands, SWR acceptable.   

I paid a lot of attention to detail during my build so I hope I didn't miss anything.  Ladder line is 17 feet.  Long wire is 92 feet.  I did wonder about this though.  This say http://www.hamuniverse.com/randomwireantennalengths.html (http://www.hamuniverse.com/randomwireantennalengths.html) 92 feet is a multiple to avoid.  Could this be an issue. 

Thoughts?
FF
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Greekman on March 01, 2016, 11:26:17 AM
sparkeled my interest and did a google IMAGE search for the radiation pattern.
Had some success with the WEDP and the double-zepp antenna keywords
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Smurf Hunter on March 01, 2016, 12:48:33 PM
I can see how it does.

Actually I am trying to solve a problem with mine SH.  I am not getting the performance with mine that I think I should.  I'm not sure what I'm basing that on except my expectations.  Expectations too high?

Difficulty making contacts on several bands etc.  Have no trouble receiving.  Tuner tunes all bands, SWR acceptable.   

I paid a lot of attention to detail during my build so I hope I didn't miss anything.  Ladder line is 17 feet.  Long wire is 92 feet.  I did wonder about this though.  This say http://www.hamuniverse.com/randomwireantennalengths.html (http://www.hamuniverse.com/randomwireantennalengths.html) 92 feet is a multiple to avoid.  Could this be an issue. 

Thoughts?
FF

Welcome to amateur radio :)

Seriously, there are days that the bands are shot dead, and I'm just certain something in my station is broken.  If it was not for the internet, and the ability to cross check with local hams, I'd probably go crazy at times myself.

Here's what I'd do:

1) check the band conditions in your area. Often at least one band is workable.
2) if you run digital modes you can call CQ and often various spotting stations will automatically report hearing you
See: https://pskreporter.info/pskmap.html

#2 recently changed my whole outlook on DXing.  When I noticed that stations in Indonesia and Brazil were logging reception reports for my callsign, I got really inspired.  Some folks aren't into digital, and that's cool - but is a way to stretch you TX signal a bit further when bands are not great.

In summary, folks not answering you doesn't mean they can't hear you.  There are many reasons, don't take it personally.

For me, 15 meters is my new favorite DX band.  Because of my QTH in the northwest US, I cover most of the pacific rim.  Lots of Japan, some eastern Russia, Oceania, and if I'm lucky Australia and New Zealand.  Like 20 meters it's only good in the day time. 

All things equal, the lower frequencies tend to be noisier, or at least more sensitive to noise. 

Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on March 01, 2016, 12:56:53 PM
Welcome to amateur radio :)

Seriously, there are days that the bands are shot dead, and I'm just certain something in my station is broken.  If it was not for the internet, and the ability to cross check with local hams, I'd probably go crazy at times myself.

Here's what I'd do:

1) check the band conditions in your area. Often at least one band is workable.
2) if you run digital modes you can call CQ and often various spotting stations will automatically report hearing you
See: https://pskreporter.info/pskmap.html

#2 recently changed my whole outlook on DXing.  When I noticed that stations in Indonesia and Brazil were logging reception reports for my callsign, I got really inspired.  Some folks aren't into digital, and that's cool - but is a way to stretch you TX signal a bit further when bands are not great.

In summary, folks not answering you doesn't mean they can't hear you.  There are many reasons, don't take it personally.

For me, 15 meters is my new favorite DX band.  Because of my QTH in the northwest US, I cover most of the pacific rim.  Lots of Japan, some eastern Russia, Oceania, and if I'm lucky Australia and New Zealand.  Like 20 meters it's only good in the day time. 

All things equal, the lower frequencies tend to be noisier, or at least more sensitive to noise.

I get it.  Maybe I'm looking for something to be wrong, IDK.  I have had 4 sessions over 6 days with few contacts so it has me skeptical.  Am I reading too much into my 92 feet long line as being a length to avoid SH?

http://udel.edu/~mm/ham/randomWire/ (http://udel.edu/~mm/ham/randomWire/)

FF
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Smurf Hunter on March 01, 2016, 01:31:16 PM
I get it.  Maybe I'm looking for something to be wrong, IDK.  I have had 4 sessions over 6 days with few contacts so it has me skeptical.  Am I reading too much into my 92 feet long line as being a length to avoid SH?

http://udel.edu/~mm/ham/randomWire/ (http://udel.edu/~mm/ham/randomWire/)

FF

If you are really convinced the length is a factor, you can fold it over on itself and the RF will think you cut it shorter.

Your setup appears superior to my own.  I have a ham friend that lives across the valley from me.  Our elevations are probably about the same, but he has a lot less QRM in his neighborhood, and his antenna is actually outside hanging from trees, where mine is in my attic.

He'll message me on FB and brag he just had some exotic QSO and I can't hear diddley squat when I tune to his freq.  If you can RX a clean signal, you are probably in a good situation, and you just need to be patient.  You might also want to play with NVIS at some point if you want more regional contacts.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on March 01, 2016, 02:19:42 PM
No, I'm on convinced at all.  It's just a new style antenna for me and a new installation and having not been able to make that many contacts I'm a little suspect.
FF
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on March 01, 2016, 06:39:46 PM
No, I'm on convinced at all.  It's just a new style antenna for me and a new installation and having not been able to make that many contacts I'm a little suspect.
FF

Rest assured that if you can hear them...they can most likely hear you as the path is the same. I work 20 meters for 2 hours a day and often only make 3 or 4 contacts though I admit that I try to share info with my contacts and often people just want to do me to say they did...Contact without CONTENT is just a waste..and so many people seem to think that Ham is all about the contact...it is not.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on March 01, 2016, 07:28:43 PM
I can see how it does.

Actually I am trying to solve a problem with mine SH.  I am not getting the performance with mine that I think I should.  I'm not sure what I'm basing that on except my expectations.  Expectations too high?

Difficulty making contacts on several bands etc.  Have no trouble receiving.  Tuner tunes all bands, SWR acceptable.   

I paid a lot of attention to detail during my build so I hope I didn't miss anything.  Ladder line is 17 feet.  Long wire is 92 feet.  I did wonder about this though.  This say http://www.hamuniverse.com/randomwireantennalengths.html (http://www.hamuniverse.com/randomwireantennalengths.html) 92 feet is a multiple to avoid.  Could this be an issue. 

Thoughts?
FF

I've got a couple thoughts on the matter that I think will add reasons to remain optimistic.

While the link you refer to may be correct to tell you to shy away from 92 feet, keep in mind that the total radiating length includes the 17 feet of ladder line. The second wire in the ladder line serves the role that the separate 17 foot wire (or in my case two of them) play in my wire only version of the design (which is how they were originally made).

I would highly recommend logging all of your activity, including times and signal reports, etc., as that will teach you invaluable knowledge. I'll share a few of my observations about the different bands which should help you to figure out some of the difficulty you may be having.

For starters, these antennas are great for 80 and 40m but with a small caveat. The length of the wire really helps with RX and TX in a manner that few shorter, compromise antennas can, but given the catch is that very few of us can get our wires high enough to afford us a low angle of radiation, turning it into a semi-NVIS antenna. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because during the day absorbsion in the ionosphere limits those bands to within several hundred miles. Those bands are quieter in the wintertime and at night, and will even get further distance at those times, but you shouldn't expect DX, even if that fellow with the Yagi on a seventy foot tower near Milan keeps booming through. You might also hear a bunch of distant stations with amplifiers that are hard to talk to, but I wouldn't let that trouble you.

The good thing about the 80 and 40 meter bands with a W3EDP antenna is that you'll be able to consistently talk to people within several hundred miles either during the daytime or night, which makes it an excellent band for EMCOMM or prepper purposes. I would recommend researching the times and frequencies for several local nets, probably ARES groups, SATERN, etc., and then try checking into them regularly. People on those nets will be more than happy to give signal reports, and if some people can't hear you well, others probably can, which will give you hints as to how the antenna operates.

Moving up to 20m you'll be limited to daytime use, and will get best DX results with areas that are still in sunlight when you call. Add in the approximately 500 mile radius skip zone around you and it should be self-explanatory that most nets will consist of a good proportion of stations not being able hear each other, but that by working as relays most people could get through. I would highly recommend listening to the 14.300 Intercon and Maritime Mobile Service Nets over several hours with the radio on in the background. Sometimes the NCS will boom in, while others (and they're located all over the US and Canada) will be inaudible.

Over here, I find that 20m works pretty good across N. America outside of my skip zone throughout the day, and that I could sometimes get DX with Europe from mid morning to early afternoon, depending upon whether or not the sun is still up in Europe. I would recommend researching several nets and trying to contact them at different times. For the most part, you probably won't touch 20m during the nighttime. Keep in mind that a 20 foot height isn't ideal for 20m (33 feet would be ideal) but the bandwidth is short enough to allow significant skip and distances (whether across the US or DX) so you'll probably still find it useful. For EMCOMM purposes, 20m can still play a role, but to use Katrina as an example, you might have had stations up around where you are relaying information down to hams in the regions that were hit (Carl might have some more info on this).

I get a fair bit of use on my antenna on 17 and to a lesser extent 15m, but keep in mind that they are essentially daytime bands (for both stations). On 17 I can often hear only one of two stations during a chat between them, but frequently can connect and comfortably hold a lengthy conversation with the other station. I find that I'm quite regularly talking in the afternoon from here (in Ontario) with stations in the US NW to SW. I find 15m to be a bit more temperamental, though as with 17 I can get a fair bit of DX from Europe if I time it right (keeping in mind the season).

On 10m, the band can be good for local SSB or FM nets that usually cover an area slightly larger than one might usually cover on VHF/UHF with a repeater, and that's at both daytime and during the night. For lengthier contacts, it's essentially a daytime band at both locations (sometimes in the winter it gives about two or three hours of excellent DX to Europe from about 10am to maybe 1pm. Because the skip over such distances can be quite variable and often the reliance on band openings, the band is essentially a short range EMCOMM option or great to DX for fun, though I wouldn't expect to consistently hit someone in Europe from one day to the next. Again, I would highly recommend researching your local nets and giving them a try. 12m is naturally similar, but I spend much less time there given the much smaller range of frequencies.

I haven't played much with 6m as one of my radios only goes up to 10m, but it might be worth checking into whether there's any local SSB or FM nets around you, and it can have some openings. but that's really on my to do list.

As you might imagine from the above, when I first got into the hobby and started randomly surfing through the bands, things sounded painfully quiet when I'd scan a band like 10m at night when it was essentially dead, or 40 or 80m during the daytime without knowledge of local nets, and sometimes at first got frustrated when I heard stations across the bands with amplifiers talking from afar as if only to tease me. After some practice and keeping track of my contacts however, I've discovered that I can check into all sorts of nets on different bands at the appropriate times and maximize DXing for fun by choosing the times that I search for them according to what works in my area.

If everything is tuning properly, I'd play around with the antenna at different times over the next few weeks and try checking into the local or regional nets that you should be able to uncover with one or two Google searches. Also keep in mind that propagation has its highs and lows (you can check any of several sites to get a prediction for your area based on the solar weather on a given day), so it will take a bit of practice to determine whether or not your success or failure with checking into a net is simply a consequence of unusual conditions on a given day.

Keep in mind that the wintertime is generally better for a bunch of bands (less noise on 40 and 80, and I seem to get more DX on the higher bands at this time of the year, so that's variable). It should be self evident by all of this that the unlicensed prepper who pulls his new radio out of it's foil wrapper/Faraday cage after an emergency will wish that he or she had worked with it sooner.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on March 02, 2016, 04:27:59 AM
 :clap: Your description of the conditions and traits of the HF bands is quite good. These bands were gifted ,on a secondary basis,to Hams years ago as they were considered too temperamental and not acceptable for commercial use....Hams have learned to take advantage of weather,time of day,seasonal changes to use the potential of HF as an advantage....like surfing...one must learn to work WITH nature rather than against it.

Including both vertical and horizontal elements in the length of your antenna can aide in take-off angle and allow good operation for both NVIS and DX stations.The wire length will mostly effect tuning with slight change in effectiveness.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on March 02, 2016, 07:11:28 AM
I've got a couple thoughts on the matter that I think will add reasons to remain optimistic.

While the link you refer to may be correct to tell you to shy away from 92 feet, keep in mind that the total radiating length includes the 17 feet of ladder line. The second wire in the ladder line serves the role that the separate 17 foot wire (or in my case two of them) play in my wire only version of the design (which is how they were originally made).

I would highly recommend logging all of your activity, including times and signal reports, etc., as that will teach you invaluable knowledge. I'll share a few of my observations about the different bands which should help you to figure out some of the difficulty you may be having.

For starters, these antennas are great for 80 and 40m but with a small caveat. The length of the wire really helps with RX and TX in a manner that few shorter, compromise antennas can, but given the catch is that very few of us can get our wires high enough to afford us a low angle of radiation, turning it into a semi-NVIS antenna. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because during the day absorbsion in the ionosphere limits those bands to within several hundred miles. Those bands are quieter in the wintertime and at night, and will even get further distance at those times, but you shouldn't expect DX, even if that fellow with the Yagi on a seventy foot tower near Milan keeps booming through. You might also hear a bunch of distant stations with amplifiers that are hard to talk to, but I wouldn't let that trouble you.

The good thing about the 80 and 40 meter bands with a W3EDP antenna is that you'll be able to consistently talk to people within several hundred miles either during the daytime or night, which makes it an excellent band for EMCOMM or prepper purposes. I would recommend researching the times and frequencies for several local nets, probably ARES groups, SATERN, etc., and then try checking into them regularly. People on those nets will be more than happy to give signal reports, and if some people can't hear you well, others probably can, which will give you hints as to how the antenna operates.

Moving up to 20m you'll be limited to daytime use, and will get best DX results with areas that are still in sunlight when you call. Add in the approximately 500 mile radius skip zone around you and it should be self-explanatory that most nets will consist of a good proportion of stations not being able hear each other, but that by working as relays most people could get through. I would highly recommend listening to the 14.300 Intercon and Maritime Mobile Service Nets over several hours with the radio on in the background. Sometimes the NCS will boom in, while others (and they're located all over the US and Canada) will be inaudible.

Over here, I find that 20m works pretty good across N. America outside of my skip zone throughout the day, and that I could sometimes get DX with Europe from mid morning to early afternoon, depending upon whether or not the sun is still up in Europe. I would recommend researching several nets and trying to contact them at different times. For the most part, you probably won't touch 20m during the nighttime. Keep in mind that a 20 foot height isn't ideal for 20m (33 feet would be ideal) but the bandwidth is short enough to allow significant skip and distances (whether across the US or DX) so you'll probably still find it useful. For EMCOMM purposes, 20m can still play a role, but to use Katrina as an example, you might have had stations up around where you are relaying information down to hams in the regions that were hit (Carl might have some more info on this).

I get a fair bit of use on my antenna on 17 and to a lesser extent 15m, but keep in mind that they are essentially daytime bands (for both stations). On 17 I can often hear only one of two stations during a chat between them, but frequently can connect and comfortably hold a lengthy conversation with the other station. I find that I'm quite regularly talking in the afternoon from here (in Ontario) with stations in the US NW to SW. I find 15m to be a bit more temperamental, though as with 17 I can get a fair bit of DX from Europe if I time it right (keeping in mind the season).

On 10m, the band can be good for local SSB or FM nets that usually cover an area slightly larger than one might usually cover on VHF/UHF with a repeater, and that's at both daytime and during the night. For lengthier contacts, it's essentially a daytime band at both locations (sometimes in the winter it gives about two or three hours of excellent DX to Europe from about 10am to maybe 1pm. Because the skip over such distances can be quite variable and often the reliance on band openings, the band is essentially a short range EMCOMM option or great to DX for fun, though I wouldn't expect to consistently hit someone in Europe from one day to the next. Again, I would highly recommend researching your local nets and giving them a try. 12m is naturally similar, but I spend much less time there given the much smaller range of frequencies.

I haven't played much with 6m as one of my radios only goes up to 10m, but it might be worth checking into whether there's any local SSB or FM nets around you, and it can have some openings. but that's really on my to do list.

As you might imagine from the above, when I first got into the hobby and started randomly surfing through the bands, things sounded painfully quiet when I'd scan a band like 10m at night when it was essentially dead, or 40 or 80m during the daytime without knowledge of local nets, and sometimes at first got frustrated when I heard stations across the bands with amplifiers talking from afar as if only to tease me. After some practice and keeping track of my contacts however, I've discovered that I can check into all sorts of nets on different bands at the appropriate times and maximize DXing for fun by choosing the times that I search for them according to what works in my area.

If everything is tuning properly, I'd play around with the antenna at different times over the next few weeks and try checking into the local or regional nets that you should be able to uncover with one or two Google searches. Also keep in mind that propagation has its highs and lows (you can check any of several sites to get a prediction for your area based on the solar weather on a given day), so it will take a bit of practice to determine whether or not your success or failure with checking into a net is simply a consequence of unusual conditions on a given day.

Keep in mind that the wintertime is generally better for a bunch of bands (less noise on 40 and 80, and I seem to get more DX on the higher bands at this time of the year, so that's variable). It should be self evident by all of this that the unlicensed prepper who pulls his new radio out of it's foil wrapper/Faraday cage after an emergency will wish that he or she had worked with it sooner.

I salute you sir!  I thank you for taking the time to give me this detailed information.  I helps me understand this on a different level.  Thanks very much for this very helpful post!  :clap:
FF
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on March 02, 2016, 07:13:07 AM
:clap: Your description of the conditions and traits of the HF bands is quite good. These bands were gifted ,on a secondary basis,to Hams years ago as they were considered too temperamental and not acceptable for commercial use....Hams have learned to take advantage of weather,time of day,seasonal changes to use the potential of HF as an advantage....like surfing...one must learn to work WITH nature rather than against it.

Including both vertical and horizontal elements in the length of your antenna can aide in take-off angle and allow good operation for both NVIS and DX stations.The wire length will mostly effect tuning with slight change in effectiveness.

Surfing!  What a great analogy!  Thanks very much Carl!
FF
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Canadian Prepper on March 02, 2016, 10:40:37 PM
Hi FF!

I was glad to have been of help. I'd hate to get struck by a bus or lightning and have all that knowledge lost, so it's my pleasure to put it out there for others to use.

Sometimes substandard conditions provide an opportunity to learn some additional skills. I just checked into a new 40m HF net tonight that was tough to follow at first, but got through when conditions improved a bit and was able to relay another station that couldn't get through into net control. It really adds a sense of satisfaction to be able to do that for someone on occasion, especially since it almost seemed as though I wouldn't even check in.

Perhaps I'm just discovering them now, but it feels like there's a an uptick in prepper or right of center HF nets as of late, and more people checking into the ones that have already been around for a while. If you're in the Northwest, I would recommend taking a look at www.amrron.com and trying out a couple of their voice and digital nets.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Smurf Hunter on March 03, 2016, 09:56:26 AM
Posting this for encouragement, not to boast...

I stayed home sick from work yesterday.  After a nap and some soup, I started working some DX.  My voice was hurting, and I wanted to maximize my TX range, so I went with JT65 to see what I could find.

This is slightly redacted for OPSEC, but look what a wire inside my attic could do in an afternoon:

(http://i.imgur.com/qeJF2dZ.png)

South America seems to really dig 10 meters, but I'm more proud of my New Zealand contact on 15 meters.
All I did was exchange signal reports, but the more QSOs I log, the more data I collect and the more I understand propagation patterns.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on March 03, 2016, 10:58:24 AM
That's fantastic SH.  Good work!
FF
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on March 03, 2016, 12:25:00 PM
Posting this for encouragement, not to boast...

I stayed home sick from work yesterday.  After a nap and some soup, I started working some DX.  My voice was hurting, and I wanted to maximize my TX range, so I went with JT65 to see what I could find.

This is slightly redacted for OPSEC, but look what a wire inside my attic could do in an afternoon:

(http://i.imgur.com/qeJF2dZ.png)

South America seems to really dig 10 meters, but I'm more proud of my New Zealand contact on 15 meters.
All I did was exchange signal reports, but the more QSOs I log, the more data I collect and the more I understand propagation patterns.

 :clap: :tinfoily:< in place of HAM RADIO smiley
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on March 07, 2016, 08:53:39 AM
UPDATE:

I moved one end of my Zepp higher.  So one end is now at 18 feet and the other is about 35 feet so I guess it's a sloping Zepp.  It improved things a great deal for me.  I was able to make contact more readily and got better signal reports.  So I guess my problem was height.  Imagine that, a ham who's antenna wasn't high enough..... :facepalm:

The high end is temporarily over a tree limb in a tall pine.  I say temporary because I don't like using trees because of the common pitfalls.  Wind, abrasion etc.  So i'm not sure what the permanent fix is.  Pole?  Mast?  Suggestion?

I wanted to post a snap shot from my QRZ.com log like SH did but I'm not that talented.......
FF
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Smurf Hunter on March 07, 2016, 10:03:11 AM
UPDATE:

I moved one end of my Zepp higher.  So one end is now at 18 feet and the other is about 35 feet so I guess it's a sloping Zepp.  It improved things a great deal for me.  I was able to make contact more readily and got better signal reports.  So I guess my problem was height.  Imagine that, a ham who's antenna wasn't high enough..... :facepalm:

The high end is temporarily over a tree limb in a tall pine.  I say temporary because I don't like using trees because of the common pitfalls.  Wind, abrasion etc.  So i'm not sure what the permanent fix is.  Pole?  Mast?  Suggestion?

I wanted to post a snap shot from my QRZ.com log like SH did but I'm not that talented.......
FF

Consider a weather balloon, or perhaps an autonomous drone...  :excited:
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Freedom Forged on March 07, 2016, 01:11:00 PM
The weather balloon might turn it into a vertical.  Hmmm, that might work too!
FF
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on September 20, 2016, 05:11:11 AM
I wanted a smaller/shorter all band antenna and discovered someone beat me to it with a HALF SIZE W3EDP at 42 feet long it works on 6 through 80 meters and can be built with 300 ohm TV TWIN LEAD or Latter Line ...most any parallel line will work. You use a 4 to one balum to 8 1/2 feet twin lead wire and 33.5 feet of any wire suitable for an antenna.

https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/a-42-portable-multiband-hf-antenna-with-no-wire-on-the-ground-the-w3edp-jr/
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Greekman on September 20, 2016, 05:59:32 AM
great Carl! one more tool for the toolbox!

Quote
The weather balloon might turn it into a vertical.  Hmmm, that might work too!
not necessarily...remember you can tether it at any height and adjustably too.
So you get the slope you want ANY time.

question.do ballon get tethered with one line or three?
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Alan Georges on September 21, 2016, 05:58:22 PM
I wanted a smaller/shorter all band antenna and discovered someone beat me to it with a HALF SIZE W3EDP at 42 feet long it works on 6 through 80 meters and can be built with 300 ohm TV TWIN LEAD or Latter Line ...most any parallel line will work. You use a 4 to one balum to 8 1/2 feet twin lead wire and 33.5 feet of any wire suitable for an antenna.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krD4hdGvGHM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krD4hdGvGHM)  I like how it can do 80m without taking up a ginormous amount of room.  Looks like a practical solution to a problem I've been wrestling with.  I mean, this could be the answer for a trail and bug-out antenna.  Let me count my pennies here... $0.40 per foot x 9' + scrap wire = damn near free, especially considering that I have all the parts on hand.  Well there goes half of my Saturday!

Thanks for posting that link Carl.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on September 21, 2016, 06:18:28 PM
It looks like a good deal as the 85 foot W3EDP does tune and transmit on 160 meters ...it should work great.
I plan to run a W3EDP or maybe half sized with a 9 to 1 balun as this should lower SWR to a range that even internal(to the radio) Tuners should handle.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on October 03, 2016, 10:12:06 AM
In re-reading this I find I may have become the Ham that I avoided trying to read in the early days of my Ham radio adventure. You know the
guy who's description of a new project tended to leave me more confused than educated. Please ask questions and the knowledgeable radio men
here will make every attempt to explain.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 13, 2017, 06:19:05 AM
  Just so this cool antenna floats to the top again...I find that a simple 100 foot roll of wire and a 4 to 1 balun will make this ZEPP or W3EDP an easy ,portable antenna that deploys within minutes...those who are mobile can just use an 84 or 85 foot wire with their vehicle serving as the 'short' 17 foot side and make good use of the effective long wire antenna when using an antenna tuner as protection for your radio output.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Smurf Hunter on February 26, 2017, 05:40:53 PM
I spent some time yesterday outside, 20 ft up on a ladder in 38F weather re-routing my antenna wire outside my home.

Previously I had the ladderline + long wire sloping down from my roof line to about 5' about the ground.

I now have the wire running about 30ft up, just under my roof line along the side of my house.  My house wasn't long enough, so the final 8 feet do slope down to about 10 ft above ground, and is tethered to a wooden gate post.

Unfortunately on RX I didn't really improve too much, however it does appear to have a different radiation pattern than before.  The wire is pointing due east, and it does seem like I'm getting better reception into the midwest and east coast than before.

My feedline is LMR-240, and per the online calculator my 100' on 20 meters is should be sending 35 watts when I transmit at 50 watts.  Not too terrible, for digital work. 
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on February 26, 2017, 05:53:22 PM
  It is a fine line between hobby and mental illness...only a Ham would be out in such weather routeing wire...
Look at all the fun you are having with simple wire antennas.... :)
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on October 26, 2017, 11:28:13 AM
To float this gem to the top and add a simple modification...ladder line is NOT NEEDED as I us twin conductor wire called ZIP CORD,LAMP CORD,POWER CORD and even SPEAKER WIRE and prefer 12 or 14 gauge though even speaker wire of 20 gauge or so works and makes for a thin ,lightweight antenna that may break ,but is great for temporary installs.Just cut the 'short side' to length and save it for later.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Lamewolf on July 13, 2018, 11:14:29 AM
I wonder what the swr looks like on this antenna on the various bands without a tuner ?
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on July 13, 2018, 02:00:53 PM
I wonder what the swr looks like on this antenna on the various bands without a tuner ?

It probablyreally sucks...but as you don't run this antenna without a tuner...It does not matter  The tuner allows the radio to match impedance with the antenna and the radio is happy....any length of conductor will radiate RF that is routed to it...you "TUNE" the antenna to make the radio happy...and yes,you can CUT an antenna to a length and it will work fine...but SWR (within reason) is not why you cut an antenna as people using SWR meters rarely leave well enough alone and continue to trim the antenna for 'perfect' SWR while all they are actually doing in causing LOSS in the system and this loss causes SWR to look better. With a known length needed for that 'perfect' match being a finite measure....why is it that so many Hams won't leave well enough alone???

  The ZEPP of most any of the random length wires exist because the average Ham simply does not have space or time to install a dozen antennas and TECHNOLOGY allows that we don't have to now ...the antenna tuner makes the radio happy and the RF goes out...that's all you need.. I still,at times,discuss the merits of a 1/4 wave dipole VS a random wire of similar size and I continue to have  discussion stall as to which antenna actually produces a better (stronger) signal...there are just too many variables involved with propagation let alone antenna design.

  If you read this far without your eyes glazing over....I currently run a lazy dipole...a ZEPP that is pulled apart...it is a 4 to one balun,coax fed,with 51 feet on one leg and 84 feet on the other at 10 to 25 feet above my yard and folded to being nearly a loop...the ugly piece of scrap wire can work all bands from 160 to 6 meters and has proven itself effective...or proven propagation was good ,more times than I can count...what is the best antenna??? It is the one you are using NOW. I have talked all over the world with antennas from a disturbingly small 4 foot ,base loaded whip to a loop of wire BURIED beneath the soil on a hill and ALL OF THEM were the best at the times I used them.

  We have never had it as good for radio technology than TOMORROW. USE YOUR RADIO...don't be a slave to it.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Carl on July 13, 2018, 02:07:08 PM
I wonder what the swr looks like on this antenna on the various bands without a tuner ?
  About 10 to 15 to one....but SWR is a readout for radio output like oil pressure can tell you fuel mileage on a car....they simply are not capable of any significance for the item being measured...high SWR when tuned by a tuner is no longer high SWR...just make the radio safe and happy and spend time transmitting rather that running an analyzer to a non useful conclusion.

I wonder what the SWR looks like without a radio???  It does not matter 'cause it ain't gonna' happen.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Pabrides on November 10, 2018, 10:38:14 AM
I have to tell you guys that this thread kept me reading for three pages - the entire thing... 

I have one question - what is the final verdict?

You have been throwing around antenna length numbers until Im confused as *ell. Im so interested in a Zepp antenna now that I just wanna bust. 

Is the original 67 plus 17 with 4:1 balun a good thing, or has one of you come up with some better length?

thanks for the read
P
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Alan Georges on November 11, 2018, 09:01:34 AM
I have one question - what is the final verdict?
I've been having good luck with the 42' version while camping.  It's kind of a hassle getting it up over a limb high enough to stretch it out vertically, but with some kind of launcher it's not too bad.  Tunes and works well down to 80m, particularly well on 60m.  And of course, it just eats up the higher bands very easily in that configuration.

I've also stretched it horizontally at about 10' height and worked 80m NVIS with it.  Signal reports from ~100 miles away were that it worked, but was 10 dB down from my low NVIS dipole.  Good for a backup, so long as you're not on a QRP radio.

My favorite however is the mini 21' version.  It's much easier to hang, no launcher needed, just a good throwing arm.  It only works down to 40m, which is fine if I'm just out for an afternoon hike.

In the field, they both tune more easily and on more bands if you drape on the dirt a 17' wire off the tuner's ground lug.  If I'm in the shack testing things out, I just tie into the shack's ground.

I imagine a full 67' version is about the easiest way to get onto 160m.  Ought to give it a try this winter.

Once you've got a tuner, the actual antennas are priced in the free-to-really-cheap range.  It comes down to how much room you have, what antenna supports are there, and if you want to work vertical for low prop angles or horizontal for NVIS.  Good luck and keep us posted on how you go with this.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Pabrides on November 12, 2018, 08:35:47 AM
Well if no one talks me out of it I will probably go with the 67 ant + 17 ladder-line.  I will have to do a bit of research though....  everyone everywhere seems so occupied with matching elements that I cant help but wonder how one could consider a 4:1 balun adequate when matching 50 ohm coax to 450 ohm ladder-line; which equates to about 450:200 mismatch (about 113:50).  Is this considered reasonable?  in that case 75 ohm cable might be better with a 50 ohm matching section at the transmitter; 450:300 (or 113:75).  However a 9:1 balun would match the ladder-line to 50 ohm almost perfectly (BTW - doesnt 9:1 sound strangely inefficient??).  So indeed I have some reading to do about this...  One of the thread contributors stated that changing the position of his coax feeder drastically  changed the tune-ability of his trans-match - that means there was some rf on the feeder.... thats a leak which hardly contributes to radiation efficiency.  It means the trans-match or auto-tuner must be working pretty hard to keep the transmitter happy....  besides, I thought baluns were to match unbalanced feeders to balanced antennas...  How is a Zepp a balanced antenna?  Maybe this is where the 17 feet comes in...  Im open to some comments here.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Alan Georges on November 12, 2018, 05:31:22 PM
The original design started as a random wire with a short counterpoise, a sort of off-center fed dipole, then the counterpoise got folded along the length of the random wire, then it got turned into window line, which makes it a variant of the Zepp.  That 17' (~5 meters) piece of window line doesn't work as a transmission line here, it's more akin to a matching stub because it's so much shorter than any of the HF wavelengths.  It's going to have all kinds of crazy common mode currents running up and down the window line, but the total antenna does load up properly and radiate.  The balun connecting it to a short feed coax will keep most of that common mode junk off the coax and out of your tuner & radio, and a 17' wire on the tuner's ground lug will bleed off the rest.

This article has some measured SWR data: https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/a-42-portable-multiband-hf-antenna-with-no-wire-on-the-ground-the-w3edp-jr/ (https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/a-42-portable-multiband-hf-antenna-with-no-wire-on-the-ground-the-w3edp-jr/) both without a 4:1 balun/unun (1st column) and with (3rd column).  The SWR numbers in the 3rd column are all within the range of most autotuners.  Without taking a deep dive into modeling the boundary conditions and radiation pattern, it's just easier to point to the SWR data and say "don't overthink this one, because it works."  And yeah, that's a total cop-out voodoo answer, but if it works and it's easy to hang up in a tree, I'll take it.  :)

It's a weird antenna, really a one-armed version of the G5RV, but that one-armed-ness is what makes it to easy to hang.  You should go for it, if it fits in your yard and the the spouse doesn't complain.
Title: Re: All Band Single Wire Antenna,The Zeppelin
Post by: Pabrides on November 12, 2018, 09:33:33 PM



I looked at the link you sent and smiled at the last row...  but you just mentioned another 17 foot counterpoise at the tuner (I suppose that just gets snaked around the shack... Yesterday I bought 20 ft of ladder-line (450 ohm) at almost a dollar a foot. Ill use the extra to make a VHF J-pole or slim jim.  Ill be making my own balun for the Zepp  which will be another first.  Thanks for your time and the information.  Im just getting too old to do a lot of climbing and tinkering around... These days I want something that works the first time and every time.  I mostly had dipoles before but our new place makes one almost impossible.  I could go vertical and have considered an H-pole, however they have their own problems.  I also detest the idea of radials so an elevated H-pole, which doesnt use them, seems to be a good bet..  The Zepp seems to be very portable, which is bonus.  Ya know the worst thing about getting old is that one just cant afford the things one used to.  The price of ladder-line surprised me, but I want to try this Zepp so bad I cant see straight... Dont tell my wife... HIHI     thanks again.