There are many types of antennas available for ham radio.
Probably too many!
All antennas have strengths and weaknesses, NO EXCEPTIONS!
Selecting the right antenna for your specific needs
is a very difficult task because of the vast variety of designs.
THE COMMERCIAL ANTENNA PROVIDERS ARE NOT HELPFUL WITH THE SELECTION.
Indeed their "Marketing Hype" can be very misleading.
Everytime someone tells you about "the BEST antenna",
your reply must be "Best for WHAT?"
THE TRUTH ABOUT ANTENNAS IS:
WITH GOOD BAND CONDITIONS,
YOU CAN WORK THE WORLD ON A SHOE STRING!
GOOD BAND CONDITIONS? When's the last time we saw that? ;-)
Unless we compare the antenna to be tested with a known antenna, the results of the test are not very meaningful. Statements like the following are WORTHLESS:
- I worked the following DX: (list of DX worked)
- I can work everything I hear ("reciprical band conditions" is a myth!)
Standard Antennas that I used for Comparison
1. HORIZONTAL DIPOLE (always one of these)
- 80m dipole, slightly in an Inv.-V shape, with the feedpoint 12m (40 ft.) high and the ends 10m (33 ft.) high.
- 40m dipole, about 10 to 12m high (33 to 40 ft.).
- Openwire fed doublet, 2x 17m long, matched with a truely symmetrical link-coupled antenna tuner.
2. VERTICAL (always one of these)
- Full size quarter wave monoband vertical, with 2 elevated radials
- Shortened Vertical Dipole, 2x 6m legs (2x 20 ft.), matched with a symmetrical link-coupled antenna tuner.
"CONTROVERSIAL ANTENNAS" TESTS
I have no plans for testing all kinds of antennas.
There are already plenty of tests to be found on the Internet.
What I will do in this section is show you a couple of controversal antennas which I have built, or bought (sometimes both) and tested against standard, well known antennas.
For me, the only things that counts with antenna performance are:
- Does it get the job done that you want it to do?
- Is the performance acceptable?
- Does it do this as good or better than other [affordable] antenna alternatives?
- Can I use it at my QTH?
- Will my neighbors shoot me or hang me if I install this antenna?
If the answer to questions 1 thru 4 is "YES", and the answer to question 5 is "NO",
then the following things do NOT matter:
- How the technology works.
- What the so called "experts" say about the antenna or its technology.
JUST USE THE ANTENNA AND HAVE FUN!
IN THE PAST, I have run many tests comparing a specific antennas to others. For a few of these tests, I took the time to document the results on my computer. I will show you what I experienced. Whether you like the antenna or not will probably depend on your needs.
- Magnetic Loop Antenna
- Non-resonant Vertical with "Magnetic Balun"
Select from the menu on the left.
To be continued . . .