Author Topic: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long  (Read 7367 times)

Offline Carl

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Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« on: September 24, 2016, 08:13:44 AM »
As an offspring of the 85 foot long W3EDP comes the Half size antenna for portable ,on the run,operation.
With a 4 to 1 or 9 to 1 balun connected to an 8 and 1/2 foot long section of ladder line (300,450,0r 600 OHM) or TV type twin lead wire.
If the balun has a + or red spot this will be the LONG side of the antenna , connect a 33 and 1/2 foot long piece of wire as the LONG side of your antenna ,
and you are complete.

 I am just beginning my testing ,but have been told that 6 thru 80 meters will work well with this ,short for 80 meter,antenna
and you may want to attach a 17 foot counterpoise to you tuners GROUND or radios ground terminal to reduce interference
or HOT radio syndrome as this antenna puts a fair bit of RF into the area about the antenna and you also can benefit from
a coiled coax (dirty balun as 7 to 8 coils about 6 inches diameter) or some snap on ferrite beads when GREMLINS begin sparking
about the house,if used at home... this leads back to my early antenna of a 34 foot and 17 foot pieces of wire on a 4 to 1 balun.


Full size W3EDP antenna link to thread:
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=53436.0


My EARLY ,EXPEDIENT antenna:
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=49809.0

What is a RANDOM LENGTH wire?:
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=55525.msg649171#msg649171

HF PORTABLE emergency antenna:
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=55458.msg650056#msg650056

OPTIMIZE your HF antenna for LOCAL coverage:
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=58543.msg689396#msg689396

Plenty to read and discover in the threads above, the W3EDP is one of the top performing antennas for home and portable/QRP use in Europe...You will be tested later ,
so you should have one of these easy to pack,store,erect antennas in use and one in storage or bug out vehicle ...because you never know....





Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2016, 11:29:45 AM »
Thanks for starting this thread, Carl.  This is such a great antenna design that it deserves the extra notice.  One more link, includes some SWR data:
https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/a-42-portable-multiband-hf-antenna-with-no-wire-on-the-ground-the-w3edp-jr/

Also, to re-post some stuff from yesterday's "What did you do today.." thread:
Finished up mine last night, hung it out in the yard this evening after work.  Tuned up OK on most bands with a manual that has a built-in 4:1 balun, though it doesn't like 20m.  Bands were kind of dead, but I managed to talk to some guys upstate on 80m with both the new antenna and the dipole.  Worked fine, but it gives up 10 dB relative to the dipole.  Not bad, about all you can expect for something that's less than a third the size it ought to be.
Honestly, I'm kind of stunned at how good this thing is and how easy it was to make.  Good to have a packable antenna that can do 80m, and that isn't a half-football field long like a full dipole would have to be.

Also did some shortwave listening on it, bypassing the tuner and just going through the 4:1 balun.  Worked great.

Offline Carl

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2016, 01:55:12 PM »
I found a place to get 1000 feet (you pull it in half) of antenna wire ,or 500 feet of stronger antenna wire for $21.50 (PRYME MEMBER PRICE)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CHTH8C/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

If you aren't a PRYME member then shipping might be high as it weights 5 pounds.
And if you don't have ladder line , TV TWIN lead will work as will FLAT,about 1/2 inch wide speaker wire (for hiding under carpet when used for speakers)
OR you can just use 42 and 8 & m1/2 feet of wire for 6 to 80 meters,or 17 and 34 feet for my first antenna for 10 to 40 meters, or for the non modified 1934 W3EDP with 85 and 17 feet of wire.
The original was the same dimensions as that of the HINDENBURG as I have read.
It may even work with the entire antenna made from this speaker wire and a 4 or 9 to 1 balun...
just cut and peel the wire past 8 & 1/2 or 17 feet and have a great antenna that fits in your pocket, though you might get stares if you pocket the balun. ::)
Note that the HALF SIZE antenna is a poor antenna for 80 meters as it is LESS than 1/4 wavelength and the FULL SIZED W3EDP has GAIN on 10 through 40 meters,maybe even 80 meters
and works on 160 meters though at less than 'full size' 160 meter antennas.ALSO,the wire can occupy a smaller space if you 'bend' it as it does not have to be straight,
though keep the length at least 3 feet away from itself and try to avoid parallel wires (even at 3 feet)
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 02:07:47 PM by Carl »

Offline Carl

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2016, 02:31:43 PM »
Thanks for starting this thread, Carl.  This is such a great antenna design that it deserves the extra notice.  One more link, includes some SWR data:
https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/a-42-portable-multiband-hf-antenna-with-no-wire-on-the-ground-the-w3edp-jr/

Also, to re-post some stuff from yesterday's "What did you do today.." thread:Honestly, I'm kind of stunned at how good this thing is and how easy it was to make.  Good to have a packable antenna that can do 80m, and that isn't a half-football field long like a full dipole would have to be.

Also did some shortwave listening on it, bypassing the tuner and just going through the 4:1 balun.  Worked great.

KARMA for believing in what many say can't be done,thanks for the link though I did not want to scare anyone away with all of the graphs and numbers as it and it's daddy are great multiband antennas.
I see lately a commercial piece of aluminum antenna that is like 16 feet long for up to 80 meters ( this is way short for the band) so the 42 foot half size or FULL SIZE offer HUGE GAIN over the $200 to $500 dollar pieces of 'yard art'. I like the part where it says "you may need a tuner" as they say some of them don't even need a ground or counterpoise system.. Some people believe anything. :deadhorse:

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2016, 03:18:33 PM »
After a weekend's worth of casual playing with this thing, I am happy to report that it works well.  It's strung horizontally straight out from the shack, with the ladder line tapering up from about 5' at the window pass-through to 10' for the length of the wire, strung between two PVC poles.  Could not have been easier.  Obviously in this configuration it's an NVIS antenna on the low bands, and probably has a really jacked-up skywave pattern on the high bands.  I hope to do some testing with it oriented vertically next weekend.

So far I've only made about a half-dozen contacts with it, 3 voice, 3 psk, on 80, 40, & 20m.  The bands have been stinky all weekend, but there were occasional openings.  Voice contacts reported that, switching between the W3EDP & 80m loaded dipole (~85' long, 20' apex inverted V), the W3EDP was about 10 dB down from the dipole.  Last night I managed some PSK contacts on 40 & 80m.  Those went smoothly.  While I don't have any direct signal comparisons to the the dipole, about the same number of readable signal traces showed with either antenna.  Finally, had a quick SSB contact with a special event station in upstate NY, some 1200 miles away, with '57' signal reports on each end.  But 20m was fading in and out like a hypoglycemic cheerleader, so after logging that one contact I moved on to some long-neglected house chores.

Anyway, success.  A 80m antenna that can be rolled up and stuffed in a go bag, that doesn't take up an entire yard, and  actually works noticeably better than a dummy load is something I've been looking for for a long time. 8)

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2016, 06:07:43 PM »
The sailboats-and-ham-radio guy bats another home run, the Mini W3EDP:
https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/the-mini-14th-w3edp-a-special-design-for-a-balcony-down-south/
Only 21' long, tunes down to 40m.  Very practical.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2016, 07:51:55 PM »
I hope to do some testing with it oriented vertically next weekend.
Got a little time in this evening between end-of-work and beginning-of-dark.  Set up in the yard with the W3EDP Jr. hanging mostly vertically in a tree – the wire portion was vertical, but the limb wasn't high enough to hoist the window line too, so it ran more-or-less horizontally to a yard table.  The bottom of the vertical wire, about 5' off the ground, was tied off to a tent peg to keep it relatively straight and vertical.  No grounding system was used.  My truck's battery supplied the power.

Poor band conditions today, but it was still able to hit Nicaragua on 17m (1300 miles) and west Texas on 40m (600 miles) on voice SSB.  That's enough for my purposes.

Despite the lack of a real ground system I didn't get any RF bite, even while operating a full 100w.  That was an unexpected bonus.  As a test, I ran a finger over the raw aluminum edge of the tuner's face plate while transmitting, and could barely feel a tingle.  Again, good enough.

It tuned easily enough, and was "close enough" to operate over most of each band I tried, once tuned for each band.  I was using a manual tuner, which took a little work.  An automatic tuner would make this thing a breeze.

So far, so good.

Offline Carl

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2016, 04:08:48 AM »
I still like the FULL SIZE W3EDP modified with ladder line feed because it has good gain on the bands above 40 meters,but the ease of tossing a HALF SIZE 42 foot in a tree makes for a good compromise and the 1/4 size may do when space to install is at a premium. I want to add that for 100 watts and less that TV twin lead is as good and much smaller,lighter,and more flexible for ease of carry though all three variants can be made with just wire and no need for twin lead or ladder line ...though they add a convenience to the antenna deployment .
I want to try a half size with 17 feet ladder line and a total of 42 feet length ,just for grins  as I think the longer feed may make for easier tune and stability as I don't need a 'easy to carry antenna all of the time...it may become my main antenna.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2016, 06:53:05 PM »
The sailboats-and-ham-radio guy bats another home run, the Mini W3EDP:
https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/the-mini-14th-w3edp-a-special-design-for-a-balcony-down-south/
Only 21' long, tunes down to 40m.  Very practical.
Got some time in with the quarter-size "mini" today.  The preliminary verdict: Not the droids I was looking for.

As with Friday's testing, the antenna was hung vertically.  It tuned up quickly on 40m, and I got a contact about 80 miles over.  As 80m was on the half-size, the 40m signal was way down on this quarter-sized antenna from what I'd expect on a full-sized antenna, but still perfectly useable.  The real trouble started however on 20m.  Wouldn't tuned there, nor at 17m.  Didn't get to any higher bands, got cut short by a light sprinkle starting, so that's something to try in the near future.  Now, I don't claim to be the most skillful antenna tuner, and maybe I'll have better luck on the higher bands another day, maybe I'll even get 20 to tune.  But not today, not with this tuner.  One more tuner to try however.

So... the mini works, sort of, but it is not all I'd hoped it to be.  Will give a try or two more before giving up.  A 21' multi-bander that works down to 40m is a goal worth working toward.

Offline Carl

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2016, 06:56:51 PM »
I don't have much hope for the 1/4 sized one ,but the half size looks promising. Your efforts are helpful.

Karma dude.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2016, 08:58:35 PM »
Thanks Carl.  Yeah the half-size has its charms, chiefly that it makes a dandy compact NVIS antenna.  The 21' quarter-size is a lot easier to get fully vertical from a limb to do low-angle omni on the high bands.  That makes this mini-antenna worth some more work.  Getting it to tune up may yet defeat me, but I'm a long way from done.

Offline Carl

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2016, 09:09:02 PM »
Thanks Carl.  Yeah the half-size has its charms, chiefly that it makes a dandy compact NVIS antenna.  The 21' quarter-size is a lot easier to get fully vertical from a limb to do low-angle omni on the high bands.  That makes this mini-antenna worth some more work.  Getting it to tune up may yet defeat me, but I'm a long way from done.

I suspect a 17 foot counterpoise wire attached to the tuner will aide tuning on several bands or a Half Size 8 and 1/2 feet ladder line and a shorter wire ...
Use a half size feeder (8  1/2 feet) with a 21 foot total length.

My earliest antenna of this type was 34 total length with a 17 foot feeder....

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2016, 05:12:43 PM »
I suspect a 17 foot counterpoise wire attached to the tuner will aide tuning on several bands or a Half Size 8 and 1/2 feet ladder line and a shorter wire ...
You sir are a fount of practical knowledge.  With a counterpoise hanging off the tuner's ground lug it worked like a charm, and managed to tune everything from 40 to 12m.  Couldn't quite get up to 10m, but that's no biggie.  Made contacts as far as NY and AZ (I'm near New Orleans) with solid signal reports on 20 & 17m.

It's a bit of a struggle to tune this shorty antenna.  Once the SWR minimum is more-or-less found, the final fine adjustment is twitchy.  But once there, it's good across a fairly wide bandwidth, maybe ±0.1MHz.  The whole thing makes for a pretty darned good hiking/BOB antenna, even if I have to lug along a tuner.  And again, that short size makes it practical to hang vertically.

Anyway, much thanks Carl!

Offline Carl

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Re: Half Size W3EDP antenna 6-80 Meters (with a tuner) 42 feet long
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2016, 05:30:35 PM »
You sir are a fount of practical knowledge.  With a counterpoise hanging off the tuner's ground lug it worked like a charm, and managed to tune everything from 40 to 12m.  Couldn't quite get up to 10m, but that's no biggie.  Made contacts as far as NY and AZ (I'm near New Orleans) with solid signal reports on 20 & 17m.

It's a bit of a struggle to tune this shorty antenna.  Once the SWR minimum is more-or-less found, the final fine adjustment is twitchy.  But once there, it's good across a fairly wide bandwidth, maybe ±0.1MHz.  The whole thing makes for a pretty darned good hiking/BOB antenna, even if I have to lug along a tuner.  And again, that short size makes it practical to hang vertically.

Anyway, much thanks Carl!

If you are close enough to hear the radio noise (static) just adjust to loudest noise by ear and you will be very close and save
the SWR's from running out during tuning.
And I find often just folding the 17 foot long counterpoises back on itself that 10 and often 6 meters also will tune.
NOTE that my counterpoises are all with a gator clip on EACH END so the will work as 8 1/2(doubled over) ,17,and 34 foot(2 end to end) counter poise when needed
and they also clip to a dipole center for a 20 ,or with two of them end to end ,a 40 meter dipole without having to carry too much heavy wire.