Author Topic: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required  (Read 18470 times)

Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #30 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..

« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 06:19:14 PM by Carl »

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #31 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.

Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #32 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.

Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #33 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.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2017, 07:53:58 AM »
That internal AT deserves more credit. :)

Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #35 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.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #36 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.

Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #37 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.

Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #38 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.

Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #39 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.


Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #40 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



Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #41 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.

Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #42 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.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #43 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.

Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #44 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.

Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #45 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.


Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #46 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.

Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #47 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.

Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #48 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.

Offline LodeRunner

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #49 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!



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


Offline Carl

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #50 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.

Offline LodeRunner

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Re: The ZIPP ZEPP , a 51 foot long multi-Band HF Antenna,Tuner required
« Reply #51 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