S9 Vertical Antenna Installation ManualV2

Model S9v
31’ Multiband Vertical Antenna
Installation Guide
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
Thank you for purchasing the S9v. The S9v is a tapered, ultra-lightweight 31’
vertical antenna designed for portable and fixed Amateur Radio use from 40
through 6 meters. We believe the S9v to be the lightest, most efficient and
safest full-size vertical antenna available. Whether you’re at home or in the field,
we sincerely hope that you enjoy your S9v.
Please read this guide in its entirety FIRST before installing your S9v. The S9v
is extremely easy to install and deploy, but reading through this guide first will
make it a painless and enjoyable experience.
The S9v is shipped assembled with all the components and hardware you need
to install the antenna. You will need to furnish a Phillips head screwdriver, coax
cable, an antenna tuner, a balun/unun, a pipe or mast for the ground or roof
mount, some radials, and weatherproofing material.
Coax Cable
For top performance, the S9v should be fed with a quality, low-loss 50-ohm
coaxial feed line such as RG-213 or LMR400. RG-8x is perfectly adequate for
short runs of 50 feet or less.
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
When used with a proper ground system, the S9v is a serious 40 meter DX
The natural resonant frequency of the S9v is just above the top of the 40 meter
band - around 7.4 MHz - and it is extremely broad-banded. Depending on your
RF ground system and proximity to nearby objects, the S9v may exhibit an SWR
well below 2:1 in the upper, SSB portion of the 40 meter band without an antenna
So, if you operate a lot of SSB on 40, you may be able to use the S9v on 40
meters without using an antenna tuner. In this configuration, the coax feed line
can be directly connected to the S9v. Radials and a 1:1 choke balun are strongly
recommended, however. As a 40 meter monoband antenna, the S9v can be
mounted on the ground or as an elevated ground plane antenna on a pole, your
roof or a tower.
If you want to use the S9v as a 40 meter monoband vertical in the lower, CW
portion of the band and do not own (or want to use) an antenna tuner, consider
our optional 40 meter monoband conversion kit – please see our web site for
details. The monoband conversion kit is also useful if you want to phase two S9v
antennas on 40 meters for 3 to 4 dB of directional gain over a dipole.
Antenna Tuner
Internal rig tuners will easily tune the S9v anywhere on 40 meters. But if you
want to use the S9v as a multi-band antenna, you will need a quality antenna
tuner in your shack or remotely located at the antenna feed point. (Internal rig
tuners do not have adequate range to match the higher impedances presented
by the antenna on bands above 40 meters.) For multi-band use, we recommend
the LDG Electronics series of auto tuners for use with the S9v. LDG tuners
easily handle the wide-range of impedances presented by the S9v over the
higher HF frequencies and also cover 6 meters.
Using a weatherproofed, remote antenna tuner at the antenna feed point ensures
absolute lowest signal loss and best overall multi-band performance. There are
several remote antenna tuners on the market. Some of these remote tuners
include u-bolts allowing them to be mounted directly onto the S9v base tube.
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
When a remote tuner is used at the S9v feedpoint, a 4:1 unun is not required. A
1:1 current choke balun may be required between the tuner and your transmitter
if you experience RF current in your shack. (Burying your coax cable also helps
minimize RF current from flowing back into your shack.)
For 40 meter monoband use, a 1:1 current choke balun should be located as
close as possible to the antenna feed point to isolate RF currents from flowing
back into your shack over the coax shield. There are several commerciallyavailable 1:1 choke baluns (Balun Designs offers some of the best – see them at
www.balundesigns.com) or you can create a simple choke balun using your coax
feed line.
To create a 1:1 choke balun using your coax feed line, simply wind the last 18 to
21 feet of your coax feed line before the antenna evenly around a 4-inch round
form such as a PVC pipe. You can use zip lock cable ties to secure the windings
and to maintain the coil form. Additional information about constructing an
inexpensive 1:1 choke balun using your coax feedline can be found on-line at:
For multi-band use and coax runs over 50 feet long, a 4:1 “unun” from Balun
Designs is recommended at the antenna feed point. A 4:1 unun lowers the
higher impedances presented by the S9v on frequencies above 40 meters.
Balun Designs manufactures two 4:1 ununs specifically for the S9v, depending
on the amount of power you expect to run. These ununs may be purchased online at www.balundesigns.com:
If you are running 300 watts or less, use the Balun Designs “Model 4130sv
for S9 Vertical”.
If you are running more than 300 watts, use the Balun Designs “4:1 Unun
for Verticals” (Model # 4134).
For multi-band use and short coax runs (50 feet or less), a quality antenna
tuner and a 1:1 current choke balun at the antenna feed point will suffice.
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
In a multi-band configuration, expect excellent results on 40 through 17 meters
and very good results on 15 through 10 meters. If your tuner covers 6 meters,
your S9v will allow you to make local contacts and DX contacts during Sporadic
E openings.
Ground or Elevated Mount
A pipe or mast is required for the S9v to be mounted on the ground or in the air.
For standard ground-mount installations, use a 40-inch long (minimum
recommended length), 1-1/4” (1-5/8“OD MAXIMUM) galvanized pipe. You can
also use our optional Portable Mount for permanent or temporary installations.
Hardware stores such as Home DepotTM and LowesTM stock 1-1/4” galvanized
pipe in their plumbing departments and this type of pipe is ideal for the ground
mount. Most hardware stores also have a pipe cutting machine and they will cut
your pipe to 40 inches upon request.
The S9v base tube simply slips over the 1-1/4” pipe (or our Portable Mount) and
rests on the ground for an easy and elegant deployment. (A mechanical
connection from the antenna base tube to the ground mount is neither required
nor desired.) Do NOT use a pipe with an OD larger than 1-5/8” or it will be
impossible to slip the S9v base tube over the pipe.
The optional S9v Pipe Mount Clamp, shown below, lets you raise the S9v base
off of the ground for a professional installation.
S9v Pipe Mount Clamp
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
For portable ground-mount operations and DXpeditions, use our optional
Portable Mount, shown below. The Portable Mount is a heavy-duty mount with
an integral stake that makes ground mounting the S9v in temporary (or
permanent) locations fast and easy.
S9v Portable Mount
For elevated installations, you have several options. Because the S9v is so
light, you can roof-mount the antenna using a simple TV-type tripod from Radio
ShackTM or any electronics store. We suggest using a 3 to 4 foot fiberglass mast.
Again, do not use a mast with an OD larger than 1-5/8”. To create a mount for
the S9v on the mast, simply install the optional S9v Pipe Mount Clamp 15” from
the top of the mast. The S9v will slip over the mast and rest on the flat portion of
the clamp assembly. In this elevated configuration, the S9v functions as a
ground plane (GP) antenna and only 4 radials are required, as discussed below.
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
For optimum performance, the S9v should be used with an RF ground system
consisting of radial wires.
For ground-mounted installations, use at least 16 radials (32 preferred), with
each radial at least 0.2 wavelength at the lowest operating frequency (7 MHz)
which is 26.75 feet (26 feet, 9 inches long). A ground rod is not an effective RF
There is no precise formula to calculate the length of ground-mounted radials
because everyone has different soil and soil tends to change the electrical length
of the radials. However, a general rule of thumb for radials is: “longer” and
“more” and “some” are better than “none”. If you have the time and resources,
32 or more radials at least 26 feet, 9 inches in length (or longer) should be
It is highly recommend that you use ring terminal connectors and a radial plate to
connect and organize your radials. The optional S9 Radial Plate (or our PRO
plate) has 36 radial mounting holes and includes 20 sets of stainless steel
hardware – enough to connect 40 radials to the plate. Additional, detailed
information on ground-mounted radials can be found on page 19.
S9 Radial Plate
For elevated installations, use 4 radials, each ¼ wavelength at 7 MHz (33 feet,
5 inches long). Simply attach the 4 radials to the optional S9v Pipe Mount
Clamp below the base of the antenna and try to position the 4 radials
equidistantly around the S9v base. If possible, drop the radials away from the
S9v at a 45-degree angle to the base. Attach insulators to the ends of the
radials. Connect your coax shield to the clamp and radials. Do NOT run a wire
from the radials/clamp/coax shield to an earth ground.
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
1. Select the Site. Try to use a clear and open area to deploy the S9v. Even
though the S9v is completely insulated, you absolutely MUST locate the
antenna site at least 46’ away from power lines (1.5x the length of the
antenna). In fact, an ideal installation site would be a least 46’ away from any
other large object such as a house or trees.
2. Install the Mount. The S9v requires a mount. The elevated mount was
discussed earlier. For ground-mount installations, you will need a large
hammer, a spare piece of wood and a level.
Place a piece of wood over the top of the pipe or Portable Mount to
protect the top edges from becoming deformed. Hammer the piece of
wood in a straight downward direction. Do NOT directly hammer the
pipe or Portable Mount metal – hammer the wood to protect the
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
15 inches
maximum from
ground to top of
NOTE: Use a level while you are installing the pipe or Portable Mount to
ensure that it is as straight as possible in the vertical plane.
Drive the 1-1/4” (1-5/8” OD MAX) x 40-inch long pipe into the ground leaving
15 INCHES MAXIMUM above the ground. If you have purchased the
optional S9v Pipe Mount Clamp, bolt it to the pipe an inch or two above the
If you are using the optional Portable Mount, drive the stake into the ground
until the bottom of the mount is flush with the ground.
3. Install the Radial Plate. After you have installed the pipe or Portable Mount,
install the radial plate. (The S9 Radial Plate simply slips over the pipe or
Portable Mount.)
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
4. Assemble the S9v. To assemble the S9v antenna:
a. Lay the S9v on the ground near the ground mount and unwind the vertical
element wire from the base tube. Now, “walk the wire” away from the
antenna base tube in a straight line. Don’t pull unnecessarily on the wire –
the idea is to just un-roll the wire to its full length. Once the wire is
completely unrolled, pull small sections of the wire through your hands to
straighten the wire. NOTE: The wire does NOT have to be perfectly
straight, so don’t spend a lot of time trying to straighten the wire!
Pull wire straight out from
base tube until it is fully
extended along the ground
b. Next, remove the TOP end cap. Do NOT remove the BOTTOM end cap
where the wire exits. Put the top cap in your pocket so that it will not be
lost in the grass.
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
c. Now we are ready to extend the antenna sections. The S9v should still be
laying flat on the ground. To extend the antenna, grab a section of the
wire near the bottom end cap and push the wire into the base tube. This
action should cause the top, thinnest section of the antenna (it has a cap
on its tip) to pop out of the top of the base tube. (If this doesn’t work, pickup the base tube and shake it slightly while pointing the top part of the
tube downward.)
Grab top section
here (not the cap)
and pull straight out
to retrieve the next
section. Repeat until
all sections are
extended from the
base tube.
d. Gently pull the top, thinnest section straight out of the base tube (pull the
section, not the cap) until it catches and pulls the next, lower section out.
Gently twist the top section to lock it into the lower section. Now, pull the
lower section straight out until the next section appears. Gently twist and
lock the sections. Repeat this until you have extended all the sections
from the base tube.
NOTE: When the antenna is completely extended on the ground the
vertical element wire may disappear into the base tube - we
will retrieve it in a few steps.
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
e. All of the sections (except the top section) have been pre-drilled to accept
a stainless steel screw (9 needed; 10 provided). Starting at the bottom of
the antenna, grasp the base tube in one hand and twist and pull the
section above the base tube until you see a small black mark on the upper
section (the mark should appear above the seam between the two
sections). Twist the upper tube until the mark on the upper section aligns
with the pre-drilled screw hole in the lower base tube. At this point, the
pre-drilled holes in both sections should be aligned. For example:
f. Using a Phillips screwdriver, install TWO screws in the base tube (one on
each side). DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN the screws. It is not necessary to
make the screws extremely tight.
Do NOT overtighten screws!
g. Install screws in the remaining fiberglass sections, working your way up
the antenna. (The base tube is the only section that requires two screws.)
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
h. The top section does not require a screw. To secure the top section, hold
the section below it with one hand and firmly twist and pull the top section
out with your other hand until it is firmly locked in place.
NOTE: The antenna should now be fully extended and laying on the
ground and all sections (except the top section) should be
secured with the screws.
i. Now, let’s retrieve the vertical element wire from the base tube. Rotate the
base tube until you see the wire exit hole – it is located on the opposite
side of the tube from the wire tabs.
j. Use the supplied hook tool to grab the wire and pull a small U-shaped
portion of the wire through the exit hole, as shown below.
Once you get a small U-shaped portion of the wire out of the exit hole, you
can twist the tool, if needed, to help retrieve the wire. Now STOP and
carefully remove the tool. Next, hold the top part of the wire firmly in one
hand while you use your other hand to pull the lower, loose end of the wire
out through the exit hole. Do not pull on the top part of the wire – just pull
on the lower, loose end!
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
1. Hold top part of
wire firmly. Do
not pull on this
part of the wire.
2. Use your other
hand to pull the
loose end of the
wire out of the
base tube
Bottom of Antenna
Top of Antenna
k. Before we raise the antenna, unscrew the bottom end cap. This cap
consists of a center piece and plastic ring. Remove the center piece and
put it in your pocket.
2. Screw plastic ring back
onto the base tube
1. Remove cap center piece
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
l. Now, screw the plastic ring back onto the base tube. The ring will protect
the base tube bottom cap threads while the antenna is deployed and it
also creates a drain path for any condensation that accumulates inside the
fiberglass sections.
5. Raise the S9v. This is the fun part! To raise the S9v, simply grab the base
tube with one hand and the next section with your other hand and raise the
antenna. Next, center the antenna directly over the pipe or Portable Mount
and then gently lower the S9v down until the bottom of the base tube rests on
the ground or the optional pipe mount clamp.
6. Connect Coax Feed Line to Antenna.
If you are using the S9v as a 40 meter monoband vertical, proceed with step
“a”, below.
If you are using the S9v as a multi-band antenna (40 – 6 meters), skip to step
“b” on page 19 now.
a. If you are using the S9v as a 40 meter monoband vertical, position the
1:1 choke balun as close as possible to the S9v base. Then, solder the
two supplied ring terminal connectors to the end of your coax feed line. (If
you are using a commercial 1:1 choke balun, this would be the ‘antenna
end’ of the short length of coax you run from the balun to the S9v.) To
prepare the coax, remove about 3 inches of the coax outer jacket. Leave
the braid 3 inches long and trim back the center connection to around 11/2 inches long. Then, solder the center and shield coax connections to
the ring terminals.
About 3 Inches
Solder Coax Shield to Ring
Solder Coax Center to Ring
About 1-1/2 Inches
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
Refer to the picture below. Wrap some electrical tape around the coax
center and shield. Then, using the supplied stainless steel hardware,
connect the coax center connector to the S9v vertical element wire. (The
bolt head should face the base tube, as shown below.) Secure the coax
center lead to the bottom of the base tube with electrical tape.
Next, connect the coax shield to a convenient hole on the radial plate.
Now, skip to step “c” on page 19.
Connect coax
center to S9v
vertical element
Connect coax shield to any
convenient point on the
radial plate
Coax to 1:1
choke balun
Wrap electrical
tape around coax
center lead to
secure it to the
base tube
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
b. If you are using the S9v as a multi-band vertical, position the 4:1 unun
(or remote antenna tuner) at the base of the S9v and connect the S9v
vertical element wire ring terminal connector to the unun stud marked
Vertical (or to the remote antenna tuner connector marked Antenna).
Next, solder two ring terminal connectors to a short piece of radial wire or
copper braid and connect the unun Radials stud (or remote antenna tuner
Ground connector) to the nearest hole on the radial plate. Finally,
connect your coax feed line PL-259 male connector to the 4:1 unun (or
remote antenna tuner) SO-239 female connector.
c. You should use electrical tape to secure the vertical element wire below
the base tube exit hole. If there is any slack in the vertical element wire, it
should to be left ABOVE the electrical tape. This way, there will be some
slack wire available to move with the fiberglass sections in the event of
very strong wind.
Leave wire slack
above tape
d. COMPLETELY weatherproof the vertical element wire connection and all
coax feed line and unun connections using the sealant of your choice such
as coax seal, silicon RTV, etc.
NOTE: It is not necessary to weatherproof the ring terminal
connections on the radial plate.
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
7. Install Ground Radials. For ground-mount installations, we suggest a
minimum of 16 radials, each at least 26 feet, 9 inches long spaced as evenly
as possible around the S9v base – like wheel spokes. For best performance,
use 32 (or more) radials. It is suggested that you use 14 AWG insulated
stranded copper wire (available at Home DepotTM and sold in 500-ft rolls for
around $35). S9 sells ring terminal connectors to facilitate connecting the
radial wires to the radial plate.
Use lawn and garden fabric staples (sold at Home DepotTM or LowesTM) to
secure the radials to your yard. Install the first staple about 3 inches or so
from the edge of the radial plate. Grass will eventually grow over the radials
and cover them. In the meantime, be sure to set your lawn mower blade a
little higher than normal to ensure that the radials do not get caught in the
mower blade - this advice comes from real-world "experience" (!). It is best to
use at least 8 staples per radial to ensure the radials are held firmly against
the ground.
Install first radial staple
about 3 inches from the
edge of the radial plate
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
The antenna should perform in winds up to around 40 MPH. Ice is definitely a
concern for any antenna. If winds above 40 MPH and/or ice are expected, you
should lower the antenna to protect it from becoming damaged.
To lower the S9v, simply disconnect the vertical element wire from the coax
center connection (or unun/remote antenna tuner) and carefully lift the antenna
straight up off of the ground mount pipe. Then, gently lower the antenna to the
NOTE: If the wind is strong, it is easier to lower the antenna with the
wind at your back.
If your S9v becomes damaged, replacement fiberglass sections are available
from S9 at reasonable cost.
To disassemble the S9v:
1. Disconnect the vertical element wire from the coax center connection or unun.
2. Carefully lift the antenna off of the ground mount and gently lower it to the
3. Remove the bottom end cap ring from the base tube and insert the center
piece back into the ring – we will put this cap back on in a few steps, so hold
onto it for now.
4. Carefully bend and push the connector end of the vertical element wire back
through the exit hole and into the base tube.
5. Remove ALL screws from the fiberglass sections and put them in a zip lock
bag for future use.
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
6. Now, collapse the antenna sections. Hold the base tube firmly in one hand
and grab and twist the section above the base tube while pushing it toward
the base tube until the tube collapses into the base tube.
7. Before collapsing any other sections, pull the vertical element wire out of the
bottom of the base tube.
8. Thread the wire through the small hole in the end cap center piece and then
screw the bottom end cap back onto the base tube.
9. Stay at the base tube and collapse the remaining antenna sections one-byone by twisting and pushing them into the base tube.
NOTE: Be sure to keep an eye on the vertical element wire to ensure
that it does not get caught in any of the collapsing sections.
10. After all of the sections are in the base tube, push the rubber end cap
into the top of the base tube.
11. Wind the vertical element wire around the two base tube tabs and
you’re ready to go!
The S9v requires little, if any, maintenance. The S9v is finished with a durable
painted surface, but it is subject to oxidation – just like an aluminum antenna. If
you notice oxidation (color becomes lighter), use a soft cloth and Armor AllTM to
restore the finish. Automotive spray wax is also an excellent product to seal and
protect the finish. The S9v may also be repainted, if desired, using a quality
exterior spray paint such as KrylonTM or RustoleumTM.
S9v 31’ Installation Guide
If you have any questions or problems installing your S9v, please contact me.
You can reach me via email at: john@s9antennas.com or feel free to call me at
469-426-8554 from 8 AM to 6 PM CST M-F. Our mailing address is:
S9 Antennas
P.O. Box 524
Royse City, TX 75189