The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => The HAM Radio Board => Topic started by: Carl on February 19, 2017, 05:26:49 AM

Title: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on February 19, 2017, 05:26:49 AM
  This is totally new little antenna that I imagined during the wait for my microwave to heat breakfast this morning. I have already built one
and as soon as the sun comes up,I plan to erect and test it! Other testers needed.....

  It is a simple antenna design that uses 18 gauge speaker wire...34 feet of the stuff,though most any twin wire and gauge will do. You say 34 feet?
Well you use 34 feet BUT you cut it so that one side is 17 feet long and the other "long" side is 51 feet long (yes ,you solder the scrap to the end for the long side. Place this ZIPP ZEPP on a 4 to 1 balun (the 'long' wire to + or red dot )  and the antenna is complete! It should work in most any configuration though I estimate that the paired 17 feet or so will perform best if vertical and the rest as any form of horizontal or sloping. I did the math:

(http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q639/kb5wmy/Equations2_zpsvchechpj.png) (http://s1167.photobucket.com/user/kb5wmy/media/Equations2_zpsvchechpj.png.html)

And it works out fine...really! So...after you had your coffee and woke up good,lets do some antenna testing...help me out guys as any antenna that you can build for a dollar just has to work great. I will put my 20 foot expanding fishing pole on top of my speaker tripod and be testing mine in an hour or so,but reports and results may take a bit as I designed and built this antenna before the sun has risen on Sunday Morning....will it work??

(http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q639/kb5wmy/Equations1_zpsdvqoapaf.gif) (http://s1167.photobucket.com/user/kb5wmy/media/Equations1_zpsdvqoapaf.gif.html)

Yea, it looks like a winner as an easy to carry and erect BUDGET antenna ( a 50 foot roll of speaker wire from the 99 cent store)
with a 4 to 1 balun and a good antenna tuner make for a antenna that should really perform.

  Tuner testing and performance reports to follow and I hope someone else can spare some time to also add their test reports to this thread.

What??? No speaker wire...just use 17 feet and 51 feet of most any wire you got as this antenna design is FLEXIBLE if nothing else...
Just be sure to keep ALL of the wire off of the ground as even the short side has RF on it and better not to waste your radio power in the dirt.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on February 19, 2017, 07:25:15 AM
  WELL,you ask??

 My first impression after only an hour and a half is GREAT!!!
 This simple antenna held on a 20 foot tall expanding fishing pole and the speaker tripod with the long end tossed up in a tree,tied to a partial bottle of water and feed with 25 feet of RG8X ,called Mini8,coax to my LDG antenna tuner and Yaesu 857D tuned everything I tried.

I could not tune 6 meters BUT did tune 10,12,15,17,20,40,80,and 160 Meters...any not listed I just did not try yet.

I had good reports on 40 meters from a group that included Indiana,Ohio,Texas,and Colorado,
I also got a favorable report on 80 meters from Houston,North Dallas,and Amarillo.
On 20 meters a Ham in New York and one in Pennsylvania replied to my CQ---TEST call with fair reports
as conditions were not so good this foggy morning YET.
The performance was good on 20 and 40 and close to my main ,full size inverted "V" on 80,even though the antenna is a bit short for 80 meters.
No extra counterpoises or ground wires were used...and the wire of the antenna will fit in a sandwich bag with the small 4 to 1 balun...PORTABLE!

(http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q639/kb5wmy/ZIPP-ZEPP_zpsn1ys8dor.jpg) (http://s1167.photobucket.com/user/kb5wmy/media/ZIPP-ZEPP_zpsn1ys8dor.jpg.html)

More PLAYTIME serious testing is needed and hopefully I can also get input from fellow TSP Hams as the antenna takes so little to build and is easy,even for a man who can only walk with a walker today, to put on the air.

Now,what to do with the rest of this day???
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Canadian Prepper on February 19, 2017, 09:45:43 AM
Thanks for the heads up Carl!

I have a 20ft telescoping pole that I can mount onto my tripod, but extended the rod was too flexible to hold up any weight. This wire design might be the solution.

I was researching some MFJ loop tuners to try in my limited back yard space., but with the Balun and wire costing about on tenth the price I think I had better try this first :)
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on February 19, 2017, 10:23:12 AM
Thanks for the heads up Carl!

I have a 20ft telescoping pole that I can mount onto my tripod, but extended the rod was too flexible to hold up any weight. This wire design might be the solution.

I was researching some MFJ loop tuners to try in my limited back yard space., but with the Balun and wire costing about on tenth the price I think I had better try this first :)

I am having some success this morning with this 'newborn' antenna as it was just an idea this morning and even the 18 gauge speaker wire worked fine at 50 watts I am using...HF conditions are poor in my area and my reports are nearly equal (both ways) on all contacts so far. I did work a station from France on 17 meters this morning though, rough copy both ways.

  The size and disposability ,if needed,of this little antenna is encouraging as I have bought 500 foot rolls of this 18 gauge speaker wire for $22 from AMAZON and the wire or gauge is not critical though the speaker wire does make a neat arrangement.

  I feel that even the modified W3EDP would also work with the thinner speaker wire or heavier lamp cord for strength, This was a reason for my
ZIPP-ZEPP as an exercise to make the antenna smaller as I had not forgotten your need (and many others seeking a smaller,more compact,antenna)
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: DonC on February 21, 2017, 12:35:00 AM
It's an interesting build to say the least! Just when I thought I'd seen every version of the W3EDP, Carl comes up with yet another. Since I have 2 W3EDPs, I'm going to dismantle one in favor of this new design. More to come!

Definitely need to buy a couple more baluns!
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: armymars on February 21, 2017, 09:35:43 AM
For baluns doesn't SOTA have some small ones good for 125 watts?
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: idelphic on February 21, 2017, 09:43:45 AM
I've used speaker wire in the past for dipoles and it works fine...  I have even used CAT5 cable pulled apart...

My Par Electronics EndFed Zep 40/20/10 got shreaded seven years ago when the twins where born (by a kind neighbor), I repaired it with ...  speaker wire.  While I ordered a replacement, it's still running on that speaker wire.

The only thing I lack in building this antenna is the BALUN..  sigh.. guess I"ll have to add that to my next Amazon order.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on February 21, 2017, 09:46:17 AM
For baluns doesn't SOTA have some small ones good for 125 watts?

I recall seeing some,yes. I commonly use an MFJ  4 to 1 that is $23.95 from R and L Electronics and is PVC cased for weather and 300 watt capable.
I used an LDG 4 to 1 for the tests,though the final antenna will get a different balun as my little LDG is my easiest to test antennas with.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on February 21, 2017, 09:50:40 AM
I've used speaker wire in the past for dipoles and it works fine...  I have even used CAT5 cable pulled apart...

My Par Electronics EndFed Zep 40/20/10 got shreaded seven years ago when the twins where born (by a kind neighbor), I repaired it with ...  speaker wire.  While I ordered a replacement, it's still running on that speaker wire.

The only thing I lack in building this antenna is the BALUN..  sigh.. guess I"ll have to add that to my next Amazon order.

There are balun kits,though only $5 less than a complete balun...I have seen a $10 kit on EBAY with long wait shipping from China that may be an option for some people.Also,a 1 to 1 may work OK with an external wide range tuner with some bands ,though a 4 to 1 and wide band tuner works GREAT.

The real trick here is using a twin conductor wire INSTEAD of ladder line to greatly compact the overall carry size of this antenna and lower the cost and materials search...most any twin conductor (Non Twisted) wire will perform, even lamp cord.

Did anyone notice the math error in my figures above?

Anyone familiar with my BIG STICK VHF/UHF antenna might notice that this ZIPP-ZEPP is just an upscaled version of the Big Stick with a 4 to 1 balun instead of the shunt feed system of the Big Stick. One day,I may try to shunt feed this HF antenna as it should also work...I gotta' do more math for that.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Smurf Hunter on February 21, 2017, 01:24:42 PM
There are balun kits,though only $5 less than a complete balun...I have seen a $10 kit on EBAY with long wait shipping from China that may be an option for some people.Also,a 1 to 1 may work OK with an external wide range tuner with some bands ,though a 4 to 1 and wide band tuner works GREAT.

The real trick here is using a twin conductor wire INSTEAD of ladder line to greatly compact the overall carry size of this antenna and lower the cost and materials search...most any twin conductor (Non Twisted) wire will perform, even lamp cord.

Did anyone notice the math error in my figures above?

Anyone familiar with my BIG STICK VHF/UHF antenna might notice that this ZIPP-ZEPP is just an upscaled version of the Big Stick with a 4 to 1 balun instead of the shunt feed system of the Big Stick. One day,I may try to shunt feed this HF antenna as it should also work...I gotta' do more math for that.

Regarding the Chinese eBay balun kits - I just ordered one for myself.  While I probably could have bought a complete one for $10-15 more, one curious aspect is you may configure the kits as 1:1, 4:1 or 9:1 depending on how you wind the donut :)

I also think it may be a novelty to build my own.  Once I develop opinions, I might find ways to source the raw materials cheaply and make several from scratch in the future.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on February 21, 2017, 02:32:03 PM
I also have built a balun or two from a kit and while it is not hard,the kits I used did not save money and by the time I fully built the baluun within a box with hardware it cost more than a purchased balun. I know how and may do it again ,if it represents a money savings.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: blacktalon606 on February 21, 2017, 06:03:19 PM
I also have built a balun or two from a kit and while it is not hard,the kits I used did not save money and by the time I fully built the baluun within a box with hardware it cost more than a purchased balun. I know how and may do it again ,if it represents a money savings.

What exactly is a balun? I know they are used in antennas and you hook your antenna elements and coax to them and blah blah but what is it as someone who has made one? What's in that little box?  And, can't a coil of coax around a ferrite core do the same thing?
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Smurf Hunter on February 21, 2017, 10:39:24 PM
I'm no expert, but the name is short for "balanced unbalanced".  Coax in unbalanced, while twin lead or ladder line is balanced.  In old time TV with 2 screws to attach antenna on the rear panel, you needed one to connect cable TV from coax.

It's a transformer than matches the impedance on both sides.

(http://quill.scene7.com/is/image/Quill/s0702078_s7?$img320$)

Suppose you have a dipole, cut to resonate frequency length.  If you change the shape, move it near metal objects, or lower it near the ground, the impedance will change and your SWR will get tweaked.

You are correct that typically a ferrite core with wires wrapped a certain number of times is inside.  They also can serve as chokes to prevent the feed line coax from resonating in some cases.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on February 22, 2017, 04:12:38 AM
What exactly is a balun? I know they are used in antennas and you hook your antenna elements and coax to them and blah blah but what is it as someone who has made one? What's in that little box?  And, can't a coil of coax around a ferrite core do the same thing?

A ferrite core or open air coil of coax is often called a balun as it is intended to prevent RF from travel down the length of coax. A balun as in the 4 to 1 balun is a transformer with a turns ratio to alter impedance from one side to a more manageable impedance on the other, in this case ...at a four to one ratio so as to allow a device (radio or tuner) to accept a wider range of impedance than it would normally function with. If you look at the photo of the balun being tested  http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=59826.0   ,you will see a ferrous core with wire wrapped about it , the ratio is determined by the square or the turns so a 4 to 1 balun actually has a 2 to 1 ratio of wire wraps on the core ( a 9 to 1 has 3 to 1 ratio)

  I could show more math and graphs but just prefer to accept that a balun does the job it is intended to until the core becomes saturated by RF due to frequency or power level going beyond it's design limits.See me test a 9 to 1 balun at this link.

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=59826.0
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Alan Georges on February 22, 2017, 06:14:58 AM
Balun vs. unun, what's the diff?  Two very similar examples:
Balun: http://www.mtcradio.com/ldg-electronics-rba-4-1-voltage-balun/ (http://www.mtcradio.com/ldg-electronics-rba-4-1-voltage-balun/)
Unun: http://www.mtcradio.com/ldg-electronics-ru-4-1-unun/ (http://www.mtcradio.com/ldg-electronics-ru-4-1-unun/)

From digging around on the web, it looks like as best as I can tell (and I could be very wrong) a balun goes through the transformer while an unun goes across the transformer.  Anybody got any information on this?

It looks like the zipp zepp is sort of unbalanced and should maybe take an unun?  Or does it make any difference here?

From the blurb, it looks like the balun shown is for coupling coax to undeniably balanced systems, like a length of ladder line feeding a dipole.  OTOH, the unun is for coupling coax to a random vertical pole and a set of radial ground plane wires.  But what about these in-between cases that we're doing here?
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on February 22, 2017, 10:13:45 AM
Balun vs. unun, what's the diff?  Two very similar examples:
Balun: http://www.mtcradio.com/ldg-electronics-rba-4-1-voltage-balun/ (http://www.mtcradio.com/ldg-electronics-rba-4-1-voltage-balun/)
Unun: http://www.mtcradio.com/ldg-electronics-ru-4-1-unun/ (http://www.mtcradio.com/ldg-electronics-ru-4-1-unun/)

From digging around on the web, it looks like as best as I can tell (and I could be very wrong) a balun goes through the transformer while an unun goes across the transformer.  Anybody got any information on this?

It looks like the zipp zepp is sort of unbalanced and should maybe take an unun?  Or does it make any difference here?

From the blurb, it looks like the balun shown is for coupling coax to undeniably balanced systems, like a length of ladder line feeding a dipole.  OTOH, the unun is for coupling coax to a random vertical pole and a set of radial ground plane wires.  But what about these in-between cases that we're doing here?

An UNUN will work but I have found a 4 to 1 CURRENT BALUN to get more radiated power out with a field strength meter test.
A voltage  4 to 1 was OK...within 15% of the Current balun
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Canadian Prepper on February 25, 2017, 08:23:02 PM
  WELL,you ask??

 My first impression after only an hour and a half is GREAT!!!
 This simple antenna held on a 20 foot tall expanding fishing pole and the speaker tripod with the long end tossed up in a tree,tied to a partial bottle of water and feed with 25 feet of RG8X ,called Mini8,coax to my LDG antenna tuner and Yaesu 857D tuned everything I tried.

I could not tune 6 meters BUT did tune 10,12,15,17,20,40,80,and 160 Meters...any not listed I just did not try yet.

I had good reports on 40 meters from a group that included Indiana,Ohio,Texas,and Colorado,
I also got a favorable report on 80 meters from Houston,North Dallas,and Amarillo.
On 20 meters a Ham in New York and one in Pennsylvania replied to my CQ---TEST call with fair reports
as conditions were not so good this foggy morning YET.
The performance was good on 20 and 40 and close to my main ,full size inverted "V" on 80,even though the antenna is a bit short for 80 meters.
No extra counterpoises or ground wires were used...and the wire of the antenna will fit in a sandwich bag with the small 4 to 1 balun...PORTABLE!

(http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q639/kb5wmy/ZIPP-ZEPP_zpsn1ys8dor.jpg) (http://s1167.photobucket.com/user/kb5wmy/media/ZIPP-ZEPP_zpsn1ys8dor.jpg.html)

More PLAYTIME serious testing is needed and hopefully I can also get input from fellow TSP Hams as the antenna takes so little to build and is easy,even for a man who can only walk with a walker today, to put on the air.

Now,what to do with the rest of this day???

I am trying to visualize what you're talking about and getting a bit confused. It sounds to me as though this is simply a matter of connecting 50ft of speaker wire to a 4:1 Balun, and making sure to keep the wire off of the ground.

But what's going on with the fishing rod, throwing another end into a tree, etc.? I am trying to visualize how I'd set this up quickly in the back yard, and something isn't computing.

If it's easier to get the antenna higher up in my QTH (i.e. by getting one end higher into a tree and sloping down to the balun just off the ground) I could see it give a different radiation pattern that might be better on some bands than the W3EDP, but I'm still trying to compute what it might do. Besides that, it sounds like a simple way of augmenting a $50 balun (our exchange rate has been horrible lately) for quick portable ops.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on February 26, 2017, 02:50:58 AM
I am trying to visualize what you're talking about and getting a bit confused. It sounds to me as though this is simply a matter of connecting 50ft of speaker wire to a 4:1 Balun, and making sure to keep the wire off of the ground.

But what's going on with the fishing rod, throwing another end into a tree, etc.? I am trying to visualize how I'd set this up quickly in the back yard, and something isn't computing.

If it's easier to get the antenna higher up in my QTH (i.e. by getting one end higher into a tree and sloping down to the balun just off the ground) I could see it give a different radiation pattern that might be better on some bands than the W3EDP, but I'm still trying to compute what it might do. Besides that, it sounds like a simple way of augmenting a $50 balun (our exchange rate has been horrible lately) for quick portable ops.

The antenna is,starting with the 4 to 1 balun....17 feet of two conductor wire,and 34 MORE feet of ONE CONDUCTOR wire added to the + side of the balus  so you wind up with the balun having 17 feet on one side and 51 feet on the other side. I ised an expanding fishing pole as a support as I have no trees in my yard and I was able to throw the end of the wire over a neighbors tree...YOU WANT THE ANTENNA OFF THE GROUND.

  This is the same as the W3EDP except that two conductor wire replaces the heavier ladder line and the total length is 51 feet. It is just a shorter,simpler,W3EDP varient that is more portable and not too hard to get on the air.

My buddy DON has cut one of his W3EDP antennas down to 51 feet to test though the real favorite part of this antenna is that ANY TWO CONDUCTOR WIRE appears to work fine and the final antenna is smaller and lighter,along with shorter ,so as to be easy to deploy. I can't even walk without holding on to something solid and yet I am able to deploy and use this simple antenna.

  Regular wire can also be used with one side 17 feet long and the other side 51 feet long. Is this the answer to all of your antenna desires? NO ,but it is an easy to carry and easy to deploy antenna that offers a good performance 6 to 40 meter antenna with acceptable 80 and 160 performance.

Look at the time, it is just after 4 AM and here I am on the forum...I just don't sleep so good these days.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Canadian Prepper on February 26, 2017, 07:17:08 AM
Thanks Carl!

So if I understand correctly, you attach speaker wire (which has two strands of wire) to the plus side of the Balun, but at !7 feet, you cut off one of the two strands, leaving the remaining strand continuing to a length of 50 feet?

I could see the lighter wire making it easier to lob the longer end into a higher section of branches, so that notwithstanding the loss of reception on 80m, it might perform better on 40m and some of the higher bands than a W3EDP that's essentially only 20ft up right now (needs to be tightened up after all these months up in the yard).

Is that the right idea, or am I still missing something?
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on February 26, 2017, 07:35:49 AM
Thanks Carl!

So if I understand correctly, you attach speaker wire (which has two strands of wire) to the plus and MINUSside of the Balun,only two wires to 17 feet,the total length of the minus side and the PLUS wire a total of 51 feet but at !7 feet, you cut off one of the two strands, leaving the remaining strand continuing to a length of 50 feet? Two conductor,speaker wire is used instead of the larger ladder line , this is just a shorter W3EDP type antenna design

I could see the lighter wire making it easier to lob the longer end into a higher section of branches, so that notwithstanding the loss of reception on 80m, it might perform better on 40m and some of the higher bands than a W3EDP that's essentially only 20ft up right now (needs to be tightened up after all these months up in the yard).

Is that the right idea, or am I still missing something?

The ZIPP ZEPP is a smaller ,lighter version of the modified W3EDP without need for the ladder line...the PAIR of conductors ,one + and one Minus are side by side for the first 17 feet...THEN only one conductor,on the Positive leg,continues to a total of 51 feet from the balun. While I used 18 gauge speaker wire for the prototype...I suggest 14 gauge wire for a more permanent antenna as to withstand wind and weather better.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Greekman on March 01, 2017, 02:42:31 PM
So what happens when you start separating the two strands?

edit: just before turning in for the night i found this, trying to answer my question
Off-center-fed Full-wave Doublet Antenna
No38 at http://www.n4lcd.com/wireantennas/
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on March 01, 2017, 02:58:31 PM
So what happens when you start separating the two strands?

As the antenna works fine with two wires,a 17 foot and a 51 foot,as long as BOTH wires are kept off the earth by at least 1 meter,the antenna will work just as designed when connected to a good tuner.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Greekman on March 01, 2017, 02:59:32 PM
carl you beat me to the second!
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on March 01, 2017, 03:26:54 PM
carl you beat me to the second!

This 51 foot antenna is easy to toss in a tree and low cost,except for the $25 balun...the thing it does best is allow use of all HF Ham bands with a good tuner and easy to carry and deploy as there are bigger,better,antennas though few easier to make or use.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Smurf Hunter on March 02, 2017, 09:06:33 AM
I may have solved the $25 balun problem.  I ordered a $10 balun similar to this:

(http://www.giga.co.za/ocart/image/data/Antenna/Balun/Balun_Kit_5.jpg)
http://www.giga.co.za/ocart/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=218

That link includes good details on how to wind the toroid, and the schematics for 1:1, 4:1 and 9:1.
Also includes a 4:1 VOLTAGE design if you think you might need that.

I just got mine completed last night, so no testing likely until this weekend.

1:4 Current Balun

Typically unbalanced = 50/75 ohms and balanced = 200/300 ohms.
(http://www.giga.co.za/ocart/image/data/Antenna/Balun/4_1_Current_BALUN.jpg)
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: armymars on March 02, 2017, 09:18:59 AM
Sweet.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on March 02, 2017, 09:22:43 AM
  Just a note on testing a balun with an analyzer or a low power (5 watt or less) and a resistor of 200 ohms and capable of the power level used.
For the analyzer scan through frequencies that indicate between 35 and 65 ohms or so to find frequency covered by the balun.
For radio testing a 200 ohm 10 watt or so resistor and watch for 1.5 or less SWR indication across Ham bands as often baluns saturate around 10 meters and only good ones make it to 6 meters.

Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Smurf Hunter on March 02, 2017, 09:34:46 AM
  Just a note on testing a balun with an analyzer or a low power (5 watt or less) and a resistor of 200 ohms and capable of the power level used.
For the analyzer scan through frequencies that indicate between 35 and 65 ohms or so to find frequency covered by the balun.
For radio testing a 200 ohm 10 watt or so resistor and watch for 1.5 or less SWR indication across Ham bands as often baluns saturate around 10 meters and only good ones make it to 6 meters.

On paper, the Chinese kit is stated as 3-30mhz. 

I need to improve my testing and diagnostic abilities at home.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on March 02, 2017, 09:52:55 AM
  It is easy to use a resistor and SWR meter,usually built in modern radios, to test the balun as it works without the antenna.
Your kit will do just fine though a 200 ohm resistor (non inductive for 5 or 10 watt) is a budget part for testing as it will show 4 to 1 SWR
when placed across an SWR meter and 1 to 1 when used after the 4 to one balun while a 450 Ohm will test a 9 to one balun etc etc.

While an analyzer is cool,I would not buy one now due to cost when your SWR meter and radio will work just fine with a 50,100,200,450 NON-INDUCTIVE 10 watt resistor ,or higher power as the 50 is a good dummy load and 100 should indicate 2 to 1 SWR etc etc  and don't forget that parallel resistors HALF each other so TWO 100 ohm in parallel will make a 50 ohm double the wattage dummy load etc.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on March 04, 2017, 03:40:05 PM
  This is a report from a local(to me) Han using the 51 foot ZIPP ZEPP just tossed over his roof as he is in a no antenna neighborhood.

Made my first contact on 15m today on it (to Lodi, CA but he said I was weak—I only tried 25W) and multiple digital contacts on 40m.  I could also hear people on 17m and 10m but didn’t get through.  I heard tons on traffic on 20m but it was a zoo with everyone doing contest stuff and no real conversations.  I’m dying to find out if it works on 80m tonight!

Looks like a happy camper as he is new to HF and I gave him the prototype 51 foot antenna that I made with 18 gauge speaker wire.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on April 21, 2017, 06:11:40 PM
  Jeff came by today and we put up a Zipp-Zepp 17 X 51 at 10 feet off the ground and only about 5 feet above my chain link fence.
The 20 meter band was strong and noise was S7,but ay 20 watts PSK ,I worked a few stations and pulled a PSK REPORTER map of
stations that heard me...I noticed that I could work stations at as close as 700 miles with the HORIZONTAL WIRE when the portable/vertical antenna would only work for stations 1100 to 1700 miles away from me and this was NOT NVIS as 20 meters does not bounce for NVIS.. Interesting..
I suspect few heard me West coast as the time had then just off work and it was 'date night' or ,at least,dinner time for many as the test was at anout 6PM local time as 20 meters was dieing. The 51 foot long antenna with 4 to 1 balun tuned and worked on 6 through 80 meters well..

(http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q639/kb5wmy/Zipp_Zepp_10_feet_zpsaryizsfa.jpg) (http://s1167.photobucket.com/user/kb5wmy/media/Zipp_Zepp_10_feet_zpsaryizsfa.jpg.html)
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Smurf Hunter on April 22, 2017, 07:29:07 AM
As we move to longer daylight, I suspect cross continental contacts will increase.  Being on the west coast I've experienced some fascinating "gray line" propagation into Asia a few times.

E g  my dusk is their dawn.  Of course most work days don't have many folks operating, so Friday night seems best, as it's morning in east Asia.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on April 22, 2017, 10:17:23 AM
  I find it interesting how much effect the orientation of the antenna effects coverage area,even when not using the NVIS effect . Simple Vertical was 'limited' to at least 1100 miles away and a horizontal antenna brought the 'near range' in to 700 or so miles ,without effecting the long range capability. One can effectively 'target' the area of desired coverage ,to Some extent and even direct direction with radial placement or dipole orientation to better cover a desired area.Twenty meters and higher frequencies tend to follow the sun and 40-60-80-160 meters tend to excel in the night and these simple 'rules',combined with antenna choice and orientation can be a real advantage to the Ham who 'surfs' the grey line as we alredy know that you can't fight Mother Nature.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on May 05, 2017, 07:14:04 AM
  I could not sleep beyond 3 AM today and felt like a project. Made a quick drive to the BOL and picked up my old Yaesu FT 450D to clean the dust from it and test drive the Zipp-Zepp 51 foot antenna on the 3 to 1 Auto Antenna Tuner that is built in to the beautiful little FT 450D. Results?

  The FT 450 D tuned 80-40-30-20-17-15-10 and 6 meters below a 1.5 to 1 SWR on all places of the bands I tried,I did not try 60 meters though I am sure it would have worked...I just forgot to try it. The DSP equipped 450D had Power,ALC,SWR meters built in and the auto tuner surprised me on the 17 x 51 foot ZIPP-ZEPP with good performance.

  So ,while I don't guarantee your results, you really have no reason not to try the simple,quick and easy to deploy Zipp-Zepp.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Smurf Hunter on May 05, 2017, 07:53:58 AM
That internal AT deserves more credit. :)
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on May 05, 2017, 08:23:59 AM
That internal AT deserves more credit. :)

Remember that the choice of balun also effects it as I use a 4 to 1 current balun and the balun ratio multiplies the turers effective tuning range,but I admit that the capability of the internal tuner did surprise me.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Smurf Hunter on May 05, 2017, 10:23:18 AM
Remember that the choice of balun also effects it as I use a 4 to 1 current balun and the balun ratio multiplies the turers effective tuning range,but I admit that the capability of the internal tuner did surprise me.

I realize built-in matchers add some manufacturing cost, but I wish more models included them.  As far as I'm concerned, they are a required piece of gear for an HF station. 

There are some novel alternatives to running tuners, like the Yaesu ATAS-120(https://www.amazon.com/Yaesu-ATAS-120A-Motorized-FT-450DandFT-897D-ATAS-120/dp/B004UM9UL4), but that's specific to mobile vehicle installation and more expensive than a premium tuner.  That's next to useless if your doing field operations away from a vehicle.

I got into a long discussion with a ham who insisted the loss from a tuner was too great, and adjusting the antenna to resonance was the better course.  While he may be technically correct about maximizing radiating power, I don't think it's worth the cost or inflexibility that we get from "ZIPP ZEPP" and other random wire style antenna systems.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on May 05, 2017, 11:45:16 AM
I realize built-in matchers add some manufacturing cost, but I wish more models included them.  As far as I'm concerned, they are a required piece of gear for an HF station. 

There are some novel alternatives to running tuners, like the Yaesu ATAS-120(https://www.amazon.com/Yaesu-ATAS-120A-Motorized-FT-450DandFT-897D-ATAS-120/dp/B004UM9UL4), but that's specific to mobile vehicle installation and more expensive than a premium tuner.  That's next to useless if your doing field operations away from a vehicle.

I got into a long discussion with a ham who insisted the loss from a tuner was too great, and adjusting the antenna to resonance was the better course.  While he may be technically correct about maximizing radiating power, I don't think it's worth the cost or inflexibility that we get from "ZIPP ZEPP" and other random wire style antenna systems.

  I have an ATAS 120 and at $349 ,it costs more than an LDG or other auto tuner and due to the small size of the coil,the ATAS is no more effective than a 5 foot wire and the Auto Tuner. I don't mention the ATAS as it is not worth mentioning when a $25 MFJ 40 meter whip and $159 LDG auto tuner will out perform the finicky,easily damaged ATAS. While the only 5 foot ATAS is cool,I just can't depend on it's 2 meter to 40 meter tuning as it requires power THRU the coax and often gives trouble tuning for the radios that can use and tune it like my FT450D,FT857D..A 'solid' antenna with a tuner is more reliable and more effective due to physical size as power lost in a tuner is minimal and due to component heating...the same as the screwdriver coil of the ATAS gets HOT.

Most LDG tuners have less than .5 DB insertion loss I am told...Measure output power to a resonant antenna or dummy load and then insert the tuner, My LDG AT100 ProII and AT200 ProII to a dummy load at 100 watts show less than .2 watts less on a good analyzer and on an antenna...less than .5 watts on my near resonant 20 meter dipole.

Note that the larger components of higher power auto tuners are actually more efficient and lose less (is a tenth of a watt less?) power though I chose them for a more robust set of components rather than worry about losses. I found I lose more power due to the under-sized wire on the power lead of the factory wiring harness.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on May 07, 2017, 09:45:27 AM
  The ZIPP-ZEPP antenna is really simple to build.

You start with a 4 to 1 balun ,a current balun is preferred , though a voltage balun is OK also.
Next you need a parallel pair of wires...Ladder line,zip cord,TV 600 ohm flat twin wire ,speaker wire...most any parallel paired wire. The wire pair is 17 feet for BOTH WIRES and 51 FEET for the lone long wire with the long wire on the + or center connected side of the balun.
Toss it in a tree or stretch between supports and you are good to go.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on May 12, 2017, 04:59:13 PM
  A photo is worth quite a few words...PSK can be heard a long ways out when propagation is good.
The 'old' RTTY contact was in my log,but I thought someone was joking with me.

(http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q639/kb5wmy/PSK_EQSL_zpsx4q9vnqq.gif) (http://s1167.photobucket.com/user/kb5wmy/media/PSK_EQSL_zpsx4q9vnqq.gif.html)
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on June 10, 2017, 06:34:34 AM
Typical PSK 20 meter contact at 7AM this morning on the ZIPP-ZEPP at only 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet above my metal fence.
Below is a typical contact though at an early hour under current HF conditions ,I usually must wait till 9 AM for first signals on PSK and 20 meters.
NOTE only "His Call sign was edited this is his on air signal as received.My side is GREEN

Louisiana to West Virginia (some 700 miles)with only 25 watts and a poor antenna at a bad time of day for HF 20 meters and GREAT SIGNAL STRENGTH.

CQ CQ  de KB8??? KB8???
PSE K pi

CQ CQ CQ DE KB5WMY KB5WMY KB5WMY pse K

etoe L te eKB5WMY KB5WMY KB5WMY de KB8???  KB8??? KB8???

Hi Carl,  Thanks for coming back to my call
Report :599  599  IMD-28dB  S/N 30dB
Name :Jim Jim  qth :ONA WV, ..Ona  WEST VIRGINIA ..USA ...Cabell County    loc:  mM88vk
Info :on QRZ   Radio Club  RCARA. & (TARA,) Tri-State Amater Radio Association.   Member ARRL   QCWA 23683
 PODXS 070  #2127

My QSL is OK via eQSL (AG).cc QRZ  or via the bureau or LOTW or Direct.
 BTU Carl, KB5WMY de  KB8???  pse kn  t oe te      e

you also are very strong 59 plus in Louisiana,first signal I heard today
KB8??? DE KB5WMY you are 599 in Louisiana
 

 KB8??? de KB5WMY
Icom 7100 at 25 watts with
50 foot long zeppelin antenna at 10 feet high
or so,tossed in a tree most of the time.
Station is solar powered  and I like DIGIPAN
 software on my old DELL laptop
 dutDZKB5WMY  KB5WMY  de KB8???

C rl, my station
  Radio    : Yaesu FT2000D  Power  30W   INTERFACE   Timeeoave Navigator
  Software : HRD DM780 v6.4.0.D u7 Release 6.4.0.647
  Computer : Lenovo ThinkPad  P50 Windows 10 Pro
  Antenna  : Cushcraft A3S tribander with A743 Kit for 40 meters   Up 50 ft
  Operator : :Born 1941  First  licenced 1962

My QSL is OK via QRZ  eQSL (AG).cc or via the bureau or LOTW or Direct.

BTU KB5WMY de KB8??? kn ee i 
    
All good I am born 1957 and now dealing with cancer,leaves me home much of the day and 25 years I have been a Ham but 20 years before that I used a home built CB radio at about 10 watts in Washinton DC area...don't tell I was licenced but illegal 10 watts ..

KB5WMY de KB8??? 73 Carl and thanks for this BPSK-31 QSO on 20m, good DX in 2017, 
 All the best to you and your family.
 Hope to see you down the log or waterfall.
KB5WMY de KB8??? sk   6/10/2017 12:00:08    iO  u anee  e
\   e
 I also use EQSL  73 KB8??? DE KB5WMY SK
I use EQSL

Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Smurf Hunter on June 10, 2017, 09:12:24 AM
When some of the traditional hams in my area asked why I like psk31 so much, I tell them it works.

Band conditions are far from optimal right now, so any tricks to get your qso further away is helpful.

Great example QSO Carl.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on June 10, 2017, 09:29:51 AM
When some of the traditional hams in my area asked why I like psk31 so much, I tell them it works.

Band conditions are far from optimal right now, so any tricks to get your qso further away is helpful.

Great example QSO Carl.

I enjoy using a portable type of setup...low to ground antenna to cut down on noise received,Rig run off a solar charged battery to also cut down on received noise , I gain 2 "S" units of noise by just connecting an ac powered charger,without even turning the charger ON! I find that ,during our current POOR HF conditions that LESS IS MORE...I wonder how many have trouble hearing another station and they have RF gain at maximum and all the while it is local neighborhood noise that can be eliminated with RF gain adjustment. My 80 meter BURIED LOOP at the BOL is most always quiet yet effective.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Alan Georges on June 10, 2017, 01:23:35 PM
Funny thing Carl, I worked the same guy just last week on 20m & psk31.  We were having really bad band conditions, but he was patient and we made the contact work.  Very nice fellow.

When some of the traditional hams in my area asked why I like psk31 so much, I tell them it works.

Band conditions are far from optimal right now, so any tricks to get your qso further away is helpful.
It's getting to be my favorite mode too, Smurf.  That narrow bandwidth cuts through distant lightning noise like a razor, makes even QRP practical under the current conditions.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on June 10, 2017, 01:38:57 PM
Funny thing Carl, I worked the same guy just last week on 20m & psk31.  We were having really bad band conditions, but he was patient and we made the contact work.  Very nice fellow.
It's getting to be my favorite mode too, Smurf.  That narrow bandwidth cuts through distant lightning noise like a razor, makes even QRP practical under the current conditions.

Cut back on the RG GAIN and see more signals and way less errors in spelling due to lost characters on PSK and I hear OLIVIA is pretty good to ,though not as many users yet.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Canadian Prepper on July 08, 2017, 12:39:29 PM
The ZIPP ZEPP is a smaller ,lighter version of the modified W3EDP without need for the ladder line...the PAIR of conductors ,one + and one Minus are side by side for the first 17 feet...THEN only one conductor,on the Positive leg,continues to a total of 51 feet from the balun. While I used 18 gauge speaker wire for the prototype...I suggest 14 gauge wire for a more permanent antenna as to withstand wind and weather better.

My W3EDP is down at the moment as my landlord needed to rebuild the balcony where the highest point was secured off of a telescoping fishing pole.

I just saw speaker wire at the local variety store for $4.99 for 50 feet. So I just need to cut off the second strand from 17 to 50 feet, attach the long wire to the plus end of the balun I have for the W3EDP, and then separate enough of the two strands at the base so as to connect the smaller strand to the negative side of the balun? beyond that, the wire should be light enough to hang high into the trees, etc.

Do I have that right? Some of my earlier confusion stemmed from the fact that the photo and description didn't make it obvious as to where the shorter length of speaker wire would be  attached.

I have been listening to local repeater traffic, but I'm itching for a quick and easy way to get onto HF this afternoon.

Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on July 08, 2017, 01:38:16 PM
That internal AT deserves more credit. :)

Maybe you can add a report now...NOTE that Smurf now has this radio.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on July 08, 2017, 01:42:32 PM
My W3EDP is down at the moment as my landlord needed to rebuild the balcony where the highest point was secured off of a telescoping fishing pole.

I just saw speaker wire at the local variety store for $4.99 for 50 feet. So I just need to cut off the second strand from 17 to 50 feet, attach the long wire to the plus end of the balun I have for the W3EDP, and then separate enough of the two strands at the base so as to connect the smaller strand to the negative side of the balun? beyond that, the wire should be light enough to hang high into the trees, etc.

Do I have that right? Some of my earlier confusion stemmed from the fact that the photo and description didn't make it obvious as to where the shorter length of speaker wire would be  attached.

I have been listening to local repeater traffic, but I'm itching for a quick and easy way to get onto HF this afternoon.


Yes,you have that correct and many have had success with 50 to 51 feet and 25 instead of 17...experiment and enjoy ,trust your tuner to protect the radio.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on October 29, 2017, 09:55:44 AM
  I read through this thread again and can only add that this was a simple modification of my ORIGINAL ZEPP that was 34 feet and 17 feet and worked well on 6 to 40 meters and this 17 X 51 ia even better with very easy ,toss over a tree type installation and fast deployment for such a handy ,low cost ,antenna.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: LodeRunner on November 04, 2017, 03:47:10 PM
  WELL,you ask??

 My first impression after only an hour and a half is GREAT!!!
 This simple antenna held on a 20 foot tall expanding fishing pole and the speaker tripod with the long end tossed up in a tree,tied to a partial bottle of water and feed with 25 feet of RG8X ,called Mini8,coax to my LDG antenna tuner and Yaesu 857D tuned everything I tried.

I could not tune 6 meters BUT did tune 10,12,15,17,20,40,80,and 160 Meters...any not listed I just did not try yet.

I had good reports on 40 meters from a group that included Indiana,Ohio,Texas,and Colorado,
I also got a favorable report on 80 meters from Houston,North Dallas,and Amarillo.
On 20 meters a Ham in New York and one in Pennsylvania replied to my CQ---TEST call with fair reports
as conditions were not so good this foggy morning YET.
The performance was good on 20 and 40 and close to my main ,full size inverted "V" on 80,even though the antenna is a bit short for 80 meters.
No extra counterpoises or ground wires were used...and the wire of the antenna will fit in a sandwich bag with the small 4 to 1 balun...PORTABLE!

(http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q639/kb5wmy/ZIPP-ZEPP_zpsn1ys8dor.jpg) (http://s1167.photobucket.com/user/kb5wmy/media/ZIPP-ZEPP_zpsn1ys8dor.jpg.html)

More PLAYTIME serious testing is needed and hopefully I can also get input from fellow TSP Hams as the antenna takes so little to build and is easy,even for a man who can only walk with a walker today, to put on the air.

Now,what to do with the rest of this day???

Cool.  Essentially its an OCF Doublet for 40M.  I'm surprised that it matches well on 12M - 24.9Mhz is one frequency where you're very near a Voltage Loop, with the feedpoint being where it is, 30M and 6M are two others, so not surprising that it doesn't play on 6M. 
Have you made any contacts on 12m with it yet?  Efficiency is probably not good on 12M due to the impedance being well above 200 ohms at the balun, but when propagation is in favor of it, it doesn't take much power on 10/12/15 meters to make contacts.

Like a G5RV, it's going to be a "compromise" on 80/75 meters.  It will work well enough to make NVIS contacts; just know that efficiency will be down around 60%.  This shouldn't harm anything, unless you beacon at 100% TX on WSPR running the 'full boat' 100 watts from the radio.   'cause nobody does that just to see how far they can get  ;P

On 160M it's essentially being "matched by it's losses".  The antenna is 1/8 wl long on 160, and so the impedance looking into the balun [from the antenna side] is probably only a few ohms.  The balun is trying to divide this by a factor of four, so the coax looks like it has a short at the antenna end, and your tuner is essentially loading the capacitance of the coax itself.  It's the losses in the coax and balun that are absorbing most of the power, and making the antenna look "tunable" from the viewpoint of the tuner.  Maybe it's worth a try to see what you can do with the 1~3% radiation efficiency you might get, just don't stay key-down too long or you may ruin the coax, or balun, or both.

Have fun, and keep hackin radio stuff.

Cheers

Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: Carl on November 04, 2017, 04:28:55 PM
  I actually found that coax length can greatly effect the internal tuners ability to tune the antenna...yes,it is not terribly efficient,but it does work and toss it in a tree for fast utilization of the simple wire.The W3EDP is the full size version and is better ,though a little more work to raise for quick operation. The 51 foot ZZ is more about flexibility and easy install,for efficiency that is still better than many of the chrome plated ,no ground needed ,wonders marketed for hundreds of dollars to the unsuspecting that read "GAIN" and "no Ground Plane" and "effective on 80 meters? in an ad for a 16 foot tall radiator.
Title: Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
Post by: LodeRunner on November 06, 2017, 04:31:27 PM
... efficiency that is still better than many of the chrome plated ,no ground needed ,wonders marketed for hundreds of dollars to the unsuspecting that read "GAIN" and "no Ground Plane" and "effective on 80 meters? in an ad for a 16 foot tall radiator.

Uh, YEAH!  Antenna advertisements are a wild west of misrepresentation, fluff(y) anecdotal "evidence", and outright lies.  Particularly for HF antennas.  I own exactly ONE commercially made HF antenna: an HF2V that I bought 20 years ago from the estate of a club member who had passed.  I've used it as-designed, and as a starting point for several experiments over the years.  Right now, it is sitting in a bag in my garage waiting and hoping to be part of the next 'field operation' I participate in, i.e. Field Day, JOTA, etc.  It's been at least 3 years since it was used.

Every MF/HF antenna I currently use is one I designed and built.  All but one are wire antennas of various configurations.  NEC is your friend. EZNEC is excellent for beginners to intermediate users, but NECv4 has advantages for advanced users - especially if you run it on Linux and use scripts to automate the process of iterative testing to find "sweet spots" for experimental designs.

Cheers