Radio_Works_catalogue_2006

Radio_Works_catalogue_2006
Full Line Product
Information
Antenna Trimming Chart - 60
Ground Loop Solution - 13
Installing Line Isolators - 16
Installing Antennas in Trees - 20
Power & Control Line Isolators - 18
RF Ground Systems - 7
Second Floor Grounding - 15
Tower Installation - 32
Ultimate Sealing Technique - 4
Weatherproofing - 3
Installation Checkoff Lists - 26
Inverted-V
Before installing your antenna as
an inverted-V, read page 61.
IMPORTANT -
Read pages 2 - 4
and all related instructions before
beginning any installation!
Copyright © 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2006 All rights reserved
Box 6159, Portsmouth, VA 23703 U.S.A.
757-484-0140
FAX 757-483-1873
WEB Site http://www.radioworks.com
CAUTION
Read This Text
This page is included to help you make your antenna installation safe. The following
cautions are general, and they apply to all antenna and balun installations; they are not
specific to any RADIO WORKS antenna, balun, or accessory.
HAZARDS
This antenna or antenna component is USER INSTALLED. The
RADIO WORKS has no control over its installation. Before you begin, you
must be qualified and must be fully aware of the CONSEQUENCES and
DANGERS involved in antenna, balun and transmission line installations.
If you are not totally familiar with SAFE antenna and balun
installation practices, GET COMPETENT HELP and ADVICE before
installing this antenna, antenna part or accessory.
POWER LINES
DO NOT build, erect or install any antenna or tower (or part of an
antenna, such as a balun or transmission line) near POWER LINES,
POWER POLES, OR ANYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH THEM. THIS
INCLUDES THE POWER LINES THAT RUN FROM A POWER
POLE TO A BUILDING. Mount your antenna so that it CANNOT fall (or
be blown by high winds) into power lines.
LIGHTNING
LIGHTNING is providential, and provisions must be made for it. Use
appropriate LIGHTNING protection, and install it following the
instructions supplied with the device. Also, disconnect all your antennas
from your equipment and disconnect your equipment from the power lines
during weather that is likely to produce lightning.
SHOCK
HIGH VOLTAGE may exist on certain parts of antennas, baluns, and
transmission lines. This represents a possible SHOCK or FIRE HAZARD!
It is not a fault of the design or the designer. It is a consequence of the
physical laws involved. Most antennas will develop HIGH VOLTAGE at
some point on their physical structure. HIGH VOLTAGE can occur in
some antenna types even when applying low RF power. Be certain that
your antenna installation provides for this POTENTIAL HAZARD. Locate
all parts of the antenna well out of the reach of people. It is also desirable
and proper installation practice to keep all antenna components away from
any object not made of insulating material.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
2
WARNING!
PROTECT YOUR WARRANTY!
THE ENCLOSED CoaxSeal® MUST BE USED AND APPLIED CORRECTLY.
Most weatherproofing techniques used by Hams are not reliable. Occasionally, a
customer returns an antenna or balun that no longer works properly. In nearly every case, the
product had not failed. Connectors or coaxial cable had failed as the result of improperly
applied weatherproofing. Often, no weatherproofing was used! Nearly all failures have been
traced to corroded connectors and moisture contaminated coax.
As a service to our customers, we are including CoaxSeal® with each product.
Applying CoaxSeal
®
* If any other weather sealer or weatherproofing technique is used with any RADIO WORKS
product or if the CoaxSeal® is not installed according to directions, the warranty is void.
It is not necessary to seal the
eyebolts. Seal only the wires
exiting the case and the
coaxial connector.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Make sure the coaxial connector and the
coaxial cable are clean and dry.
Baluns, Line Isolators, and Matching
Transformers are filled with a sealing
compound. However, to prevent any moisture
from entering the case, apply CoaxSeal® to fill
the holes where wires exit the balun’s or
matching transformer’s case.
Peel approximately five (5) inches of
CoaxSeal® from its paper backing. Start
winding from the coax jacket towards the
connector. Allow one-half overlap with each
winding, making sure all joints are well
covered. This is shown in the illustration,
“STEP 1 & 2.”
Pull lightly on each of the two wires to be sure
they are fully extended out of the case. Peel a
small piece of CoaxSeal® from its paper backing.
Ball up this CoaxSeal® and press around one of
the wires where it exits the case. Press and
mold the CoaxSeal® so that it sticks to the case
and to the wire’s jacket.
After the entire connector and coaxial cable are
covered with 3/16" layers, mold and form the
CoaxSeal® with your fingers to make a smooth
surface and to force out any air. CoaxSeal®
must stick to the connector and coax’s jacket.
See illustration “STEP 3.”
Repeat for the second wire on the opposite side of
the case.
If more CoaxSeal® is necessary to complete the
seal, simply cut the needed amount from the
roll and add it to the existing CoaxSeal®. Mold
and press into the other material. CoaxSeal®
sticks to itself with slight pressure.
Carefully inspect the seal to make certain
that all openings are covered and sealed.
Inspect for complete sealing.
Again, pull LIGHTLY on each wire to be sure that
the seal is secure.
3
Ultimate Sealing Technique
All sealing products are available at the RADIO WORKS.
Apply STUF to the
connector as shown.
You need Coax Seal, STUF, Coldshrink and electrical tape
When connector is tightened, “STUF”
is compressed and forced to fill any
voids in the connectors. Moisture and
excess STUF is forced out.
Important
Clean off excess STUF
A layer of quality electrical tape
is carefully applied in overlapping layers. The PL-259 connector is completely covered from the
balun case (or other surface) to
at least 1” on the coaxial cable.
Compression causes STUF to fill all cavities and voids inside the
connectors. Since all voids are filled with STUF, a Teflon dielectric
material, any path for moisture reentry is eliminated.
Overlap a layer of electrical tape
from body of the device and continue
well on the cable.
Apply one overlapping layer of IMPORTANT - Make sure the Optional, but recommended, apply
Coax Seal. Press so that it sticks Coax Seal is well whetted (stuck) a layer of Cold-shrink tape comto the device and covers at least 1” to the device as well as to the cable. pletely over the Coax Seal.
of cable. The seal must be solid
Cover the Cold Shrink with a layer of electrical tape
from device to cable.
You should enjoy years of trouble-free service from this sealing
technique.
STUF seals from the inside
Electrical Tape makes removal of the Coax Seal easier and forms
the next layer of protection.
Coax Seal provides a totally waterproof seal
Cold-Shrink Tape is a tough, solid outer layer which puts a squeezing force on the Coax Seal to improve the seal. It provides an extra
layer of protection.
4
Important - Power Ratings
Check the Specs Most products are rated at 1500 watts peak output on CW and SSB
under normal amateur radio duty-cycles. Antennas, baluns, and Line Isolators are not rated for
AM, FM, RTTY, or other high duty-cycle modes unless specifically rated for those modes in the
specifications.
Baluns and Line Isolators
All RADIO WORKS’ products’ power ratings are for standard Amateur Radio SSB and CW duty-cycles. Normally,
that is 25%, which equates to 25% transmitting time followed by 75% listening time. Often these numbers are even
more conservative in actual amateur service. We do not rate any of our products for high duty-cycle modes. This
includes AM, FM, RTTY and high duty-cycle digital modes. Essentially, these modes require devices designed for
commercial service. I have checked on prices for a commercial 2 kW balun and the price was nearly $1500. This is
certainly beyond the range of most of our budgets. I know that there are balun manufacturers that claim very high
power ratings. However, they say nothing about duty-cycle nor do they mention the load conditions under which they
will survive their rated power. I am being up-front with our ratings.
It has been only during that past five years that the interest in very high power operation has been more than a very
isolated case. We have been building baluns and Line Isolators for nearly two decades, and our power ratings were
more than adequate. Most operators were using SSB and CW. Most still operate those modes. Then came the
resurgence of AM operation and the apparent disregard of power limits. For example, an AM transmitter generating
1500 watts of carrier produces 6 dB higher output when fully modulated. In other words, the 1500 watt transmitter
delivers 6000 watts of modulated RF to the antenna components. That’s for a fully plate modulated carrier. The
legal limit is 375 watts of carrier, by the way. That results in 1500 watts of modulated output.
The operating style of AM, FM and most RTTY operators, especially when contesting or when just being long-winded,
is to run key-down for long periods of time. The same goes for the new digital modes. There is no cool-down time for
antenna components. Another problem with older transmitters which run “class-C” output stages is the very high
harmonic and spurious signal components in the output signal. Some antenna components, among them, high quality
current baluns and Line Isolators, absorb much of the harmonic and spurious energy. This can result in core saturation
and excessive heating. You may say that this doesn’t happen in other types of devices. The reason is that these
devices just pass the harmonics and spurious signals along to the antenna. This isn’t to say that current baluns and
Line Isolators can be used as “low pass filters.” Special devices are needed for that purpose. Each has its own
function and they should be used together.
PSK-31 operation is OK, and our baluns and Line Isolators will not contribute to distortion products or increasing
your IMD. Just keep the power in the 100 watt range.
I have to mention the PSK-31 operators. While PSK-31 is a high duty-cycle mode, nearly every operator I’ve heard on
the bands runs low power and gets through just fine. One reason for this is that PSK-31 operators are very conscientious about keeping their IMD products low. They reduce power until their rigs produce a clean signal. I wish this
concern for clean signals would spread throughout operators of other modes. Perhaps if our receivers had an IMD or
“distortion” meter, things would change.
Antennas
The matching transformers and Line Isolators used in our antenna systems are based on the same designs and parts
used in our baluns and undedicated Line Isolators. Therefore, all of the above information on power limits applies to
our antenna systems, too.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
5
IMPORTANT
Do Not Ignore the Installation Checkoff Lists
CAUTION
KEEP ANTENNAS AWAY FROM ELECTRIC UTILITIES
An RF ground is very important. See the grounding information in this product
manual starting on page 7.
DO NOT use your house ground system as your radio ground system. This is sure
to cause RFI and even more serious problems. Do not use water pipes for grounds.
If your radio room is not on the ground floor where very short ground runs are
possible, you will probably have RFI and RF feedback problems with any antenna
system. The solution is to install ground mounted and in-station Line Isolators.
Use a “single-point” ground system and run multiple ground runs. See page 15.
The checkoff lists start on page 26, following the complete general installation instructions
on page 20. These lists are step-by-step installation guides. Use them. They are specific
and detailed. Also, pay attention to the “Do’s and Don’ts” list on page 25.
For maximum life and performance from your antenna, do not assume that the “Installation
Checkoff Lists” are not important.
If your antenna is not installed properly, it will not perform properly!
If you call with questions about your antenna installation, we use the lists to help identify
any problems with your antenna system. In 99% of the calls, the problems could have
been avoided if these instructions had been followed.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
6
RF
GROUND
SYSTEMS
The UN-GROUND . . . .
Ground systems that aren’t ....
From the telephone calls we receive, many of you
are having problems with RF ground systems. RF
ground? Yes, most of us have ground systems that
provide adequate DC grounding. Unfortunately, a good
DC ground system may not be a good RF ground system.
In fact, you may have an ‘UN-GROUND.’
UN-GROUND? Absolutely. There are situations
where your ground system may actually un-ground your
station. The reason lies in the fundamental difference
between DC and RF circuits.
Definition
IMPEDANCE
The total opposition (resistance and reactance) a
circuit offers to the flow of alternating current.
Impedance is measured in ohms. The common
symbol is Z.
Definition
REACTANCE
Symbolized by X, it is the opposition to the flow of
alternating current. Capacitive reactance (XC) is the
opposition offered by capacitors and inductive
reactance (XL) is the opposition offered by a coil or
other inductance. Both are measured in ohms.
Any wire will have inductance and therefore, inductive
reactance. The longer the wire, the higher the inductive
reactance and the higher the opposition to the flow of RF
current. The fatter or larger the wire, the lower the
opposition to the flow of RF current. The effect is similar to
the DC resistance of a wire. The longer the wire, the higher
the DC resistance will be.
The fatter the wire the lower the DC resistance for the
same length wire. There is an important ‘however,’ that
we must consider. When the XL (inductive reactance) is
measured along the length of a wire, the magnitude of XL
(the opposition to RF current flow) varies from very low to
very high values. It continues to alternate between low
and high values in cycles that have a direct relationship
between the length of wire and the frequency of the applied
RF energy. DC resistance, on the other hand, has no cycle.
It simply increases linearly with the length of the wire.
When measuring XL, its value is very high when the
length of the wire is around one-quarter wavelength long.
Increasing the length wire to one-half wavelength, returns
XL to a low value.
The length of the wire does not have to be very long for
this effect to be observed. For example, at 28 MHz an 8'
ground wire (or any wire for that matter) is approximately
one-quarter wavelength long. If this 8 foot long ground wire
connects your 10 meter rig to may actually prevent RF from
traveling to ground. This is an UN-GROUND!
The RADIO WORKS
Why? As illustrated above, the inductive reactance of
wire that is one-quarter wavelength long is very high
and impedes RF current flow (thus the term impedance).
On other bands, where the length of the wire
is not an odd multiple of a quarter wavelength long,
the inductive reactance (XL) is at some intermediate
or low value.
High RF Voltage
Figure 2 shows a grounding diagram
of a typical ham station.
There is a heavy ground strap running along the back
of the equipment. The ground strap eventually reaches
the earth ground system, a ground rod, through a heavy
gauge copper wire 11 feet in length. The ground
connection for each piece of equipment goes directly to
the heavy ground strap that runs behind the station
equipment. The antenna is a ladder-line fed, 80
meter dipole used on all bands. The ladder line is
brought directly into the operating position where it
connects to the balanced output of the tuner
(transmatch). The ladder line is about 60 feet long and
goes directly to the antenna, but passes very close to a
metal rain gutter. Such a station should be effective
and trouble free. Unfortunately, this station is
experiencing problems on several bands. There is RF
feedback distorting the transmitted signal, and there
are some TVI and RFI problems. What could be wrong?
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
7
HIGH ABOVE THE GROUND
Transmitter
Coax
Linear Amp
Ground Loop
Coax
Transmatch
Ground Loop
Ls
Ground Bus
Earth Ground
If we tune up on 20 meters, the 80 meter
dipole becomes a center-fed, two wavelength antenna.
The feedpoint impedance is around 4500 ohms. The
length of the ladder line feeding the antenna is about
one wavelength long. It is a characteristic of
transmission line that it will duplicate its load
impedance every half-wave along its length. So, the
very high antenna feedpoint impedance appears right
at the tuner’s (transmatch) output terminals.
However, before reaching the tuner (transmatch), the
ladder line runs very close to a metal rain gutter.
Feedline balance is upset, and it begins to radiate at
that point.
The tuner (transmatch) uses a voltage-type
balun to create a balanced output. Baluns do not work
well in high impedance circuits, and voltage-type
baluns are especially bad in this application.
With a high impedance load, the voltage balun’s core
will saturate even at moderate power levels. Output
balance is poor.* This contributes to additional
radiation from the balanced line.
In this illustration, we have several problems,
each compounding the other. First, all of the ground
system and ground loop problems still exist, but we
now have a tuner (transmatch) balun that is
saturating and generating high level harmonics.
Signal distortion may be noticeable because the balun
is no longer operating in its linear region. The ladderline is not balanced so it radiates, and the equipment
at the operating position becomes part of the antenna
system. Here is a real shocker! There is RF all
over the equipment. The Microphone is biting your
lips. Your computer crashed. The packet TNC will
not talk to you anymore, but none of this matters
because the station power supply shut itself down and
you are off the air. Sound impossible? Unfortunately,
it’s not. This is a true story and this isn’t the end.
* Voltage-type baluns provide their best balance when
feeding matched loads. Current baluns provide better
balance under most conditions.
The ground wire is about 11 feet long. On 15
meters, this length is almost exactly 1/4 wavelength
A length of wire or coax that is 1/4 wavelength long
is an impedance inverter. One end is at low impedance, so
the other end presents a high impedance to the circuit
connected to it. In other words, the ground wire is near zero
impedance at the ground end, but due to the impedance
inverting characteristic, the station equipment ‘sees’ a very
high impedance at the equipment end of the ground wire. In
effect, the equipment is UNGROUNDED at high RF
frequencies.
On 20 meters, the 11 foot ground wire is .15
wavelengths long. Referring to figure 1 and interpolating
between zero and 1/4 wavelength, the inductive reactance of
the ground wire is still quite high. To our station equipment,
the ground wire simulates an inductive reactance in series
with the resistance of the ground wire. This is illustrated by
the coil LS in figure 2. We’ll disregard the DC resistance of
the ground wire.
Without getting into great detail, let’s just agree that
it would be better if the station had a direct, low impedance
path to ground. In this illustration, this is not the case. The
path to ground is a high impedance on the higher frequency
bands. In fact, there are alternate grounds available to the
station equipment. Other, undesirable, ground paths may
present a lower impedance path to earth or may act as a
counterpoise. Unfortunately, one of those ground systems is
the electrical power lines at the operating position. RF from
the transmitter, seeking a ground path, may have to pass by
or through several electronic appliances (TVs, VCRs, etc.)
that would work better if they were isolated from your
transmitting equipment.
Due to the inductive reactance of the ground system,
none of the equipment in this station is effectively grounded
on the higher HF bands. If an RF potential exists on the
station ground system, the entire station may ‘float’ up to
that RF potential. Thus, the earth ground reference is
actually several volts above ground. All sorts of RFI problems
can be the result, including RF feedback into station
microphones, computers, monitors, TNCs, power supplies,
etc.
Solid state equipment is especially sensitive to
ground problems.
Solid state equipment is especially sensitive to ground
problems. Each piece of equipment in figure 2 is
interconnected by two ground paths, a ground strap and the
coaxial cable that interconnects the equipment. The two
paths form a ground loop. Since there is high system gain
involved from the millivolts of the transceiver’s input circuits
to the kilovolts of the linear’s output circuit, ground loops
can be a serious problem. It’s even worse if the ground system
is ineffective and the entire station is ‘floating’ above ground.
Breaking the ground loops can lead to the solution to long
unsolved RFI problems.
The RADIO WORKS’ Line Isolatorstm are very
effective at solving ground loop problems.
The RADIO WORKS
8
The Shocking Truth
Have
you
ever
calculated what the
voltage across a 4500
ohm reactive load is
at 1.5 KW? It is more
than a few volts.
Actually, it’s a few
thousand volts. It’s
unbalanced, and it’s
looking for somewhere
to go. As we predicted
in
previous
paragraphs,the
antenna feedpoint
impedance
and
corresponding high RF
voltage is transferred
directly across the
output terminals of the tuner (transmatch). Several
thousand volts of RF is only a few feet away and at RF,
the station is poorly grounded.
I’m not going to bore
you with a lot of math, but
let’s simplify this situation to
a simple series circuit. In
figure 3, the antenna, tuner
(transmatch), and ground
system are represented by a
simple voltage divider. This
simple circuit will allow me
to illustrate what is
happening to the ground bus
in the ham shack.
First, let’s assume
the voltage at point ‘A’ on the
tuner (transmatch) is 500
volts. It is really much
higher. The impedance at
the output terminals of the
tuner (transmatch) is 4500 ohms, and the reactance of
the ground system is 500 ohms. I did not calculate the
value for the ground system, the 500 ohm value is for
illustration.
Reducing the problem to its simplest terms, we
have a 4500 ohm resistor in series with a 500 ohm resistor.
The ground system is the tap between the two. In this
example, if there are 500 volts at the tuner (transmatch),
the station ground system will ‘float’ above earth ground.
The potential is about 50 volts. Your ground system and
all your equipment, in effect, has 50 volts of RF applied
to the equipment grounds. This is just like having a
50 volt input signal if the input circuits were at ground
potential.
Another way to look at this problem is to visualize
the antenna and ground system as a big coil that represent
the inductive reactance of the ground system and tuner
(transmatch). The antenna is at one end of the coil, and
the ground is at the other. We are tapped several turns
up the coil. The higher the impedance of the ground
system, the higher up the coil the ‘tap’ is located. The
only way to keep RF off the station equipment and station
ground is to move the point were the rig is tapped into
the coil closer to ground.
Of course, it’s never this simple. My numbers
are only representative, but they do serve as an
illustration. The RF voltage on the station ground
system does reach very high levels under some
circumstances. I have had hams tell me of severe RF
burns and visible ‘arcing’ from microphones, equipment
chassis, ground busses. Obviously, at these levels of RF
voltage, there will be terrible problems. But, what
happens when the RF voltage on the ground system is
only a few volts? You may not know that RF energy is
there, causing RFI or other problems.
Symptoms
There are some symptoms that may suggest the existence
of station grounding problems. A list must include such
obvious things as ‘mic bite,’ a tingly feeling when touching
metal while transmitting. A less obvious symptom is
transmitted signal distortion due to RF feedback. RFI
and TVI problems can often be traced to grounding
problems. Here are a few other observations that were
the result of an UN-GROUND.
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
Two SWR meters, one in your transceiver and the
second in the tuner (transmatch) that are in wide
disagreement. This assumes that both meters are
acurate, your SWR is low and the interconnecting
coaxial cable is short.
A change in indicated SWR when the station
ground system is temporally disconnected from
all equipment.
A change in indicated SWR reading after adding
a 1/4 wavelength counterpoise in parallel with the
station ground system. Information on making a
counterpoise is covered later in this chapter.
Adding a Line IsolatorTM at the output of your
transceiver changes the drive to your linear, alters
meter readings, requires changes in tuner
(transmatch) settings or results in a different
SWR reading on either the transceiver’s or linear’s
watt-meter.
If any of these observations suggest that there is a ground
or ground loop problem, there are several things you can
do. Eliminating a ground system problem may clear up
both existing and potential RFI problems.
Fortunately, under most circumstances we do not have
severe problems with our ground systems; still there may
be symptoms that go unnoticed.
9
The RADIO WORKS
[ ] Reconnect the ground system, grounding each piece of
equipment independently to a single, central ground
point. This will be your tuner, if one is used. If not,
ground central is the last piece of equipment in line.
Tracking down grounding problems is most often a teIt’s the one that connects to the antenna.
dious process. Adopting a step-by-step approach will proHaving completed these steps, there should be a
duce the best results.
noticeable improvement in the symptoms previously
observed. If not, the problem is so severe that you will
Here is one procedure you may want to try if you suspect
need to follow the suggestions in one of the RFI
you are a victim of an UN-GROUND.
handbooks.
The Cure
Procedure
[ ] Remove the “snap-together RFI cores and the MFJUsing this procedure for hunting an UN-GROUND or
701 toroids, one-by-one, making sure the problem does
not return. This procedure will confirm the specific
solving an RF feedback problem requires several (four to
source of the problem.
eight) 1/4" or ½” snap-together RFI cores or MFJ-701
‘break-apart’ toroids. I suggest using our “snap-together”
If a change in symptoms is observed when connecting
RFI cores first in each step. If you notice an improvement,
try one or more MFJ-701 toroids so see if there is further or disconnecting the ground system, follow the suggestions
for installing an effective RF ground system that follows.
improvement.
If placing RFI cores or MFJ toroids on one or more of
the coaxial cables that interconnect the transceiver, linear,
After completing each step, reconnect power to the and tuner (transmatch) is effective, install Line Isolatorstm
rig, go on the air and see if the symptoms persist.
in place of the cores. The RADIO WORKS’ Line Isolatorstm
Unless the symptom is eliminated, continue with each
are much more effective than any practical number of RFI
succeeding step.
cores or toroids.
If placing MFJ cores on one or more control
interconnect cables or power cables proves to be effective,
[ ] Temporarily disconnect the ground wires from all
equipment. Make sure that a shock hazard does not permanently install the RFI cores or MFJ-701 toroids on
those cables.
exist when doing this.
[ ] Disconnect all leads to ancillary equipment.
In most installations, it is a good idea to install the ine
[ ] Ground only the antenna tuner (tuner).
Isolators even if grounding problems are not evident. The
[ ] Snap on two or more RFI cores or wrap the coax
T-4 series of Line Isolatorstm are very effective in RFI
that connects the transceiver’s output to the linear prevention.
amplifier or tuner around one or more MFJ-701 cores
following the instructions supplied.
The station ground must provide both effective DC and
RF grounding. Creating a good DC ground is not a problem,
[ ] Install RFI cores (it may require several) or
but an effective RF ground must be carefully planned.
wrap the power cords to all equipment around
The ground system should generally follow these
MFJ-701 cores.
suggestions:
Determine the effect of the following. Remember to
evaluate any improvement in the RFI problem after each (1) The ground wire should be as short as possible,
preferably much shorter than a quarterstep.
wavelength long on the highest frequency band
operated.
[ ] Reconnect all ancillary equipment
(2) The ground wire should be very large. I
[ ] Reconnect the microphone
sometimes use the braid removed from a piece of
[ ] Reconnect all control cables.
RG-213. Better yet, use one or more lengths of
1/2" or 1" tinned braided strap. If you can
manage it, use 2" or 3" solid copper strap.
If the problem worsens when any cable is reconnected,
first try the “snap-together” RFI cores and if any improve- (3) Clamp this short, heavy ground wire to your
ground rod(s) or radial system.
ment is noted, install an MFJ-701 core or more “snap(4)
Use
several different lengths of ground wires in
together” ferrite cores, to see if further improvement is
parallel, each connected to a separate ground
achieved.
rod. This provides multiple, parallel ground
paths.
GROUND SYSTEMS
SIMPLE - a single ground rod driven into the earth just
outside the ham shack.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
INTERMEDIATE - Several ground rods, connected in parallel
with very heavy wire or braided strap.
10
ELABORATE,
and very effective - 25 short (6-12")
ground rods spaced approximately 4' apart and
interconnected in series by a 100' length of heavy
braided or solid ground strap. This system is very
efficient. The original design used stainless-steel pegs
for ground rods and stainless steel wire to prevent
efficiency reducing corrosion. Copper will loose its
effectiveness over time, but it’s still worth the trouble.
Regular ground system maintenance is necessary. I
have installed one of these systems at my station and
plan to install two more. I can say that this ground
system, combined with grounded Line Isolators at
ground level and standard Line Isolators in the shack
produces exceptional results with significant
improvements in RF grounding, reduction of RF
ground loops and feedback. Plus, I noticed a major
reduction in receiver noise. I’ll have more information
on this system on page 18 and page 19.
SOLUTION - RF Grounds
What can we do? A lot, but all the explanations and
details deserve an entire chapter or a good lecture at
your ham club. Here are a few quick suggestions:
(1) Lower the ground system impedance.
a. Use multiple ground paths - two or more
ground runs from station ground central to
earth ground via large gauge copper wire or
straps. Each run is a slightly different
length. Each run terminates into one or
more ground rod or other ground system.
b. Install a radial system
c. Use heavier ground cable, braid, or strap.
d. Shorten the ground wire
e. Install a counterpoise system
f. Be sure that the ground system is not
g. Use an MFJ-931 artificial ground.
h. Eliminate ground loops with Line Isolatorstm
(2) Lower the level of RF voltage on the
ground system:
a. If you are using balanced line, improve the
installation of the balanced line to keep it
balanced.
b. Change the length of the feedline by 1/4
wavelength or odd multiple (i.e.1/4, 3/4, etc.)
(3) Change antenna systems
a. Closed loops - their impedance values stay
much lower than open antennas and loops
operated on multiple bands.
b. Use trap antennas for multiband use.
c. The CAROLINA WINDOMtm, CAROLINA
BEAMtm or CAROLINA Shorttm, and the
SuperLooptm are high performance,
multiband antennas that keep the
impedance excursions under control and the
feedline SWR low.
The RADIO WORKS
Continuing with our original story - Of course this isn’t
the end of the problem. The antenna was changed to a
CAROLINA WINDOM, the ground system improved and
99% for the problems were gone. However, a few potential
problems remain. You may not know you have any RFI
problems until you install accessories, like a computer
and use its sound card for signal processing.
IMPOSSIBLE SITUATIONS
There are circumstances where an effective RF
ground is simply impossible using conventional
techniques.
Driving a ground rod into the ground and
running a 25 or 30 foot hunk of ground wire, no matter
how heavy gauge the wire. It is just not going to work.
The length of wire is much too long. There are alternatives.
If you cannot get close enough to earth to run a
very short ground wire and install a good, quality ground
system, try a counterpoise. An easy example of a
counterpoise is the ground plane used with vertical
antennas when they are mounted high in the air.
In its simplest form, a counterpoise can be a
single wire, one-quarter wavelength long or just slightly
longer. For best results, a separate wire is required for
each band. If you really want to get elaborate, use two or
more wires routed in different directions to make up your
counterpoise. The wires for different bands may be close
together, insulated and routed in a convenient way around
a room. This technique is recommended only in extremem
cases and only when running low power.
Counterpoise Length
160 meters
80 meters
40 meters
30 meters
20 meters
17 meters
15 meters
12 meters
10 meters
123 - 136 feet
65 - 70 feet
34.5 feet
24.3 feet
17.3 feet
13.5 feet
11.6 feet
9.8 feet
8.6 feet
As you can see from this table, the length of a
counterpoise can be quite long on the lower bands. Where
do you put 66 feet of wire? Before I answer that, let’s look
first at a suggestion for making the counterpoise for
multiple bands.
A multiband counterpoise consists of several separate
wires, each cut to the proper length for a single band.
You can probably eliminate counterpoise wires for bands
that are harmonically related in odd multiples. 15 and
40 meters or 80 and 30 meters are examples.
Do not run the counterpoise wire(s) near your
equipment or other electronic gear. The counterpoise is
part of the antenna and will radiate.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
11
So now that you have the counterpoise made,
what do you do with it? If you are installing your
counterpoise, you may want to hide or camouflage it.
It can be routed under carpets, along baseboards, out
a window and down the side of the building. I have
heard of some industrious types who removed the
floor molding, laid the flat cable along the floor and
then reinstalled the molding. Before permanent installation, we have to make sure the counterpoise is
working or even needed.
Testing the Counterpoise
The counterpoise radiates. That must be
considered in its installation.
There are other ways to tune a counterpoise. If
you are putting in the counterpoise system as a
preventive measure, cutting the wires to 1/4
wavelength is a good place to start.
The best way to set up the counterpoise is with an
MFJ-931. Buy one or borrow one if you can. The
MFJ-931 is a series tuned circuit that resonates
nearly any length of counterpoise or ground wire.
This makes the ground appear to be a very low
impedance at the rig though the length is not ideal.
With the ‘931 you can probably get by with just one
or two lengths of wire for your counterpoise. This
saves much work and makes the counterpoise easier
to hide.
Tune up your rig, but leave the counterpoise disconnected. You should experience the problem that
brought you to the point of building a counterpoise in
the first place. What ever the problem, RF in shack,
‘mic bite,’ flashing panel lights on the equipment,
whatever, you will still have the problem. Note the
severity of the problem in some quantitative way so
you can tell if the counterpoise makes a difference.
Note the SWR readings, tube plate current or output
transistor collector current on the rigs meters. Note Most cliff dwellers (people who live in tall building
with dense populations) want to avoid even a hint
the ALC reading.
of any TVI or RFI problems. Some of them will
Connect the counterpoise and look for changes. If install the counterpoise system, use good low pass
luck is with you, there will be an improvement. Note filters, Line Isolators, and every other RFI reduction
that the counterpoise was cut slightly long. If there trick they can think of. I guess, it’s like the old
is an improvement, try shortening the wire cut for saying, “an ounce of prevention . . . “
Counterpoise as a Preventive Measure
the band you are using by rolling it up for a short
distance. If there was further improvement in the
problem, continue lengthening and shortening until
the ideal length is found. Repeat for other bands.
This article was first printed in the RADIO WORKS’ Reference
Catalog, page 85, Copyright 1992.
When tuning the counterpoise, it is very important
that the counterpoise is very close to its final, installed location. If you are going to run it along a
baseboard, that is where it should be located during
the test. If it will be installed under a carpet, do the
testing with the counterpoise on top of the carpet.
Not only will the location of the counterpoise affect
its tuning, you will have the opportunity to see if a
particular location makes the problem worse. In that
case, you will want to run the counterpoise in another direction.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
12
The Ground Loop Solution
Multiple ground loops around various
pieces of equipment can cause all sorts
of problems. Even if you are not having
RFI problems right now, let’s just try to
avoid problems before they start.
Solving the ground loop problem may
be as simple as adding ‘Line Isolators’
in series with the coaxial cables
interconnecting station equipment.
Line Isolator™
Transmitter
Line Isolator™
Linear Amp
Transmatch
Ls
Comm on Ground Point
Figure 5
Earth Ground
Line Isolators & Ground Loops
First, eliminate the heavy copper strap
running along the back of the station equipment. Use your tuner (transmatch) as a common ground
point, ‘Ground Central.’ The heavy gauge wire from your outdoor ground system will connect directly to
the ‘common ground point’ on the back of the tuner (transmatch). Each piece of equipment will then be
connected directly to the ‘common ground point’. Actually, each piece of equipment is already connected,
in a round about way, to the tuner (transmatch) through the various pieces of coax that interconnect
station equipment. Of course, it is this “round about way” that causes the ground loops. We can’t eliminate
the ground braid on the coax, but we can break up the ground loops with Line Isolatorstm.
Line IsolatorsTM
The Line Isolatortm setup in figure 5 works well in most stations. Customers report that Line Isolatorstm
inserted in series with the cables interconnecting the transceiver, linear and tuner (transmatch) have
eliminated stubborn RFI problems that resisted being solved by other means.
HOW IT WORKS
Placing a Line IsolatorTM at the output of the transceiver or linear amplifier, prevents RF from traveling
along the outer surface of the coax’s shield. Any RF current flowing on the coax braid that can be radiated
or coupled to other equipment is forced to ground by the very high impedance of the Line Isolator.tm RF
current takes the path of least resistance. Of course, the Line IsolatorTM does not affect the signal traveling
inside the coaxial cable.
The Line IsolatorTM installed in series with the transceiver and linear amplifier helps the transceiver’s
output filters work effectively by breaking a secondary (leakage) path. As in the example above, the
ground loop path to the linear is eliminated.
It’s an idea worth a try.
A Line Isolatortm is not a substitute for good Low-pass filters. Both lowpass filters and Line
Isolatorstm should be used together for maximum effectiveness.
This article was first printed in the RADIO WORKS’ Reference Catalog, Copyright 1992, page 87
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
13
Installing Line Isolators
Lin e Isolator
Lin e Isolator
T ransm i tter
T ran sm atc h
Linear Am p
T -4 or
T -4-500
T -4
Common
mon
Com
Ground point
Apply CoaxSealtm to Connectors
when the Line Isolator is Ins talled.
RADIO W ORKS
T-4G
S O -239
To Antenna Feedline
G rou nd S tra p for
direc t g rou nd ing
To Rig
Grounded Line Isolators
To G round Rod
Jumpers
Several Line Isolator models feature ground straps. The ground
strap provides a direct path to earth for any undesired, stray RF
traveling along the outside of your coax’s shield. It’s a direct path to
ground so any stray RF heading for your shack sees only the very
high impedance of the Line Isolator and taking the least path of
resistance, heads straight to ground. The grounded Line Isolator
should be installed directly at a properly installed ground rod or
other station ground system.
All Line Isolators are made with an SO239 connector at each end. This permits
you to use jumpers with PL-259s on each
end.
We have a selection of factory made
jumpers for this purpose. You will need at
least one jumper per Line Isolator.
Which end goes to the antenna?
The end of the Line Isolator with the ground strap goes to the antenna. The opposite end goes to the
transmitter. Ungrounded Line Isolator models are bidirectional.
Where do I put the Line Isolator?
1. The ground strap on grounded Line Isolators is connected directly to a ground rod placed as close to
the operating position as practical. Apply Coax Seal as shown on page 4. The Line Isolator can
lay on the ground.
2. The only Line Isolator that can be used at the output side of a tuner is the T-4G, and then only when
it is grounded properly and the SWR on the feedline is relatively low.
3. Inside the shack, the first place to install a Line Isolator is between your linear amplifier and tuner
(transmatch). If a tuner is not used, then it is installed at the output of your linear. If a linear
amplifier is not used, the Line Isolator is installed at the output of your transmitter.
4. In really stubborn RFI and RF feedback cases, try an additional Line Isolator between the transmitter
and linear amplifier. This insures that all the critical ground loops have been broken up.
5. In addition to Line Isolators, it may be necessary to install ferrite cores on the control and signal
cables connected to your equipment. Our PCLI-2 is made to isolate the power supply leads.
6. If you are using a vertical antenna, a Line Isolator should be installed right at the antenna’s feedpoint.
If you have a ground mounted vertical, use a T-4G and ground the Line Isolator separately from
the vertical antenna’s ground system.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
14
Second Floor Grounding Solution
Line Isolator
Transmitter
Line Isolator
Transmatch
Linear Amp
T-4 or
T-4-500
T-4G
Antenna
T-4
Common
Common
Ground point
Gnd. Strap
Gnd. #1
Gnd #2
Apply CoaxSealtm to Connectors
when the Line Isolator is Installed.
RADIO WORKS
T-4G
SO-239
To Antenna Feedline
Ground Strap for
direct grounding
To Ground Rod
Use a T-4G following a tuner only
with low SWR antenna systems such
as dipoles, verticals, and most RADIO
WORKS antenna systems.
Ground systems
It is nearly impossible to establish an effective
ground system for a station located above the
ground floor of a building. When I moved my
shack to new locations on the second floor of my
home, for the first time I experienced severe RFI
and RF feedback problems. My new transceiver
was rendered essentially useless. An RF probe
revealed that there was a tremendous level of RF
current traveling on my ground system and on
the coaxial cables entering the shack from the
antennas. The solution to the problem eluded me
until I developed the “grounded Line Isolator.”
Installing a properly grounded T-4G on the coax
coming from my antenna solved most of my
problems. Installing Line Isolators between my
linear amplifier and tuner and a second Line
Isolator between my transceiver and linear
amplifier broke up the ground loops. The final
step was to use ‘single point grounding.’ Ground
leads from each piece of equipment were connected
to a single grounding point on the back of the
transmatch. One-inch braided ground straps were
connected to the same terminal on the transmatch.
This was an elaborate solution, but it worked. An
even more elaborate system was installed later.
See page 18.
The RADIO WORKS
Follow the procedures suggested at the front of this
manual for establishing a good RF ground.
Remember that your ground system will be
compromised due to your second or third floor
location. In the schematic above, ‘Gnd #1’ is the
station’s main ground system. ‘Gnd #2’ may be the
station’s main ground system, or it may be a separate
ground rod. The important matter in this case is
that the T-4G must be grounded using its own ground
strap. Each coaxial cable entering the shack should
have its own T-4G, but several T-4G’s may be
grounded by the same ground rod or ground system.
There may be less elaborate solutions, and you may
want to take a step-by-step approach, installing each
Line Isolator as needed. Also, this solution may not
work at every QTH. There are simply too many
variables. For example, this system does nothing to
prevent RF from exiting or entering the shack via
the power lines or telephone lines. Those are
separate problems with different solutions. This
system has proven itself effective for keeping solid
state gear happy in the shack, and I recommend it.
You may have to employ other techniques to solve
RFI problems with telephones, VCR’s and other
entertainment equipment. Still, the use of Line
Isolators has solved RFI problems which eluded a
solution for years.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
15
Individual Grounds - see below
Inside Outside
Earth
RG-8X
Jumpers
Ground System
IMPORTANT
See note*
Must use if
rig is on
2nd floor
or higher
RG-8X
Jumpers
Or
Inside
1/2” - 1” Braid or Strap from each
piece of equipment to a single point
at the highest potential point in the
station.
Earth
Outside
Ground System
T-5
mounted
to stake
Ground sytstem - 1 or more (more is preferred) copper ground stakes,
interconnected with 2” copper strap or individually brought back to
radio equipment with separate, short ground runs.
* Important Note - Line Isolators have power limits and must be derated when the SWR on the feedline
is high. This is often the case when using a tuner. Obviously, I recommend using only RADIO WORKS’
antenna systems. With our antennas, the SWR is well controlled and there should be no problems
operating up to the full power ratings our antennas. Installing Line Isolators after a tuner is its most
hostile environment. If you are using antennas of other designs, the SWR must be low (<3:1) for full
power operation. Read the power rating information on page 5. Always monitor your reflected power.
Any change in reflected power when transmitting can mean that the Line Isolators are heating up. Steps
must be taken to prevent this.
Don’t be fooled by domestic
imitations, either.
“Check the Specs” before you buy.
Yea, right! “A New Concept in Filters” reads the headlines in
QST. Imagine a marvelous NEW device from Japan bragging
about 50-60 dB common-mode attenuation with a choking
impedance of 1.1 - 5.7 K. Our Line Isolators produce a choking
impedance in the 75 K range! Even more amazing is the price tag
of only $99 for a 250 watt model and $129 for a 5 KW model. You’ll
Don’t be fooled by those big ads from Japan. These are copies of our Line Isolators that we
have been marking for nearly 15 years. And... we have far better specs. along with our much
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
16
In some cases, it may be
necessary to remove RF
from the cable interconnect
in the computer and/or
The RADIO WORKS
17
PCLI-4 Power and Control
Line Isolator. Usually
these are 4 wire systems.
Mount isolator as close to
the automatic tuner as
Tuner ground must
be a very effective
RF ground path. It
must have a low
resistance path to
the radio ground.
If not, the tuner
will float above
ground which can
cause tuning errors
and promote RF
interference to
The importance of an effective RF Ground system cannot be over emphasized in marine,
RV, and mobile installations. The efficiency of the HF antenna system and thus radio
communication is dependant on the effectiveness of the RF ground. Just as important,
proper RF ground systems reduce problems with RF interference and ground-loops.
A secondary problem is “direct radiation,” the result of HF antennas and equipment
being physically close to one another. These problems are generally solved with shielded
cables and RFI “snap-on” cores.
Ground systems are different with each installation. Boat installations require special
considerations. Use accepted marine RF grounding techniques. RV installations require
keeping the antenna as far away from the equipment as possible. Use the RV chassis as a
ground system. Use large ground straps, 1/2” to 3” is appropriate. Bond the ground strap
so that the connection has the minimum possible resistance.
Mount the PCLI-2 as
close to the
transceiver as
Single-point grounding technique
is recommended. Ground all
ancillary equipment directly to
radio transceiver ground lug using
1/2” to 1” strap or tinned braid. A
short, heavy ground strap (1/2” 2” wide) or larger is connected
from the radio to the RF ground
system. All connections must
have very low resistance.
RFI “Snap-on” cores are
installed on all cables
interconnecting critical
auxiliary equipment
First intended for marine and RV installations, but applicable to most stations.
17
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
Station Grounding
The ground system currently used at W4THU is a version of the so-called “Army Ground.” This system is
reported to be far more efficient than a standard 6’ or 8’ ground rod, or even several of them. This is a very
elaborate system and it consists of 100’ of heavy copper strap. In this case it is 1/2” tinned-plated copper.
I have used this same material in saltwater and it has lasted well. You will probably want to use standard
1/2” to 2” copper strap or even 1/2” or 3/4” copper pipe. If I ever put in another ground system like this, I
will probably use copper pipe and the appropriate pipe fittings to interconnect the 25 ground rods used in
the “Army Ground”. In my system, each ground rod is 1 foot long, so you get 10 rods out of a 10’ length of
1/2” ground rod. I’ll comment on further details in the illustrations. This is only a small part of the overall
grounding system used at W4THU. The entire ground system consists of three of these 100’ systems, plus
the use of ferrite cores and several Line Isolators at ground level and in the radio room itself. Also, very
careful attention is paid to single point grouding withhin the shack. I’ll have full details on the complete
system in future publications and on the web.
Twenty-five ground rods are used. I used copper pipe, though
other more desirable materials are available. This is the inexpensive way to go.
For maximum mechanical strength and conductivity, I used the
following system. Each ground rod has a cut in the end of the
pipe that is a bit over 1” long. The cut is the same width as the
copper strap and was made using a Motor Tool and a cutting
wheel. The copper strap is pushed down into the ground rod as
shown and a copper pipe end-cap is fitted. At this point the strap
is soldered to the pipe and the end cap is soldered into place.
This produces a very low resistance connection that is mechanically strong. This is repeated for each of the 25 ground rods which
are placed every 4 feet along the 100’ length of ground strap.
This is the first of three “Army
Ground” installations. On the right
side of the photograph is a set of
ground rods with their interconnecting ground strap. Also shown, but
hard to see are several ground rods
poking out of the trench ready to be
hammered in. The trench is only
about 8” deep because the ground
doesn’t freeze very deeply in this part
of the country. Once the ground rods
are hammered to the bottom of the
trench, 5 cables will be added. There
are three Super 400 low loss coaxial
cables, one BR-240, a special high
power, low loss RG-8X cable and one
rotator cable. This installation took
place during Christmas vacation. By
spring, I couldn’t see any evidence
of the trench. Two other ground systems will be installed later. Since
coax will not be buried, in the additional only a small slit in the dirt will be used to bury the additional
grounds.
The RADIO WORKS
In this photograph, two separate ground
straps are connected together. This was
necessary since my ground strap material was only 25’ long. To connect the
pieces together, two screws are used to
mechanicaly hold the two pieces of copper strap together. Following that, the
two straps are soldered together over a
two or three inch length.
This is where all the cable comes up out
of the ground. There is a pair of 5’
ground rods with copper pipe cross
members which permit installing T-4G
Line Isolators. The feedlines from all
antennas will be routed to this location.
If more than four antennas are used, a
coax switch will be installed to accommodate the added cable. This location
is beside a wooden shed about midway
down the back yard. A box, similar to
the one you will see on the next page
will be used to terminate the cables and
house the coax switch.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
18
Getting the Ground Strap and Coaxial Cables Into the Radio Room
Before the cables are routed inside
the house, the three Super 400
cables go through a lightening surge
suppressor as shown in the photo on
the left. A ground strap connects the
surge suppressors directly to earth
ground. This is easily seen the picture on the right. Inside the box are
three enhanced T-4G Line Isolators.
The cables leaving the top of the box
(all BR-240 coax) are then routed together with the RG-8X in the ground
and a BR-240 cable run to a
“InTreeVert,” our 1/2 wave 2 meter vertical that’s supported by a rope at
the 70’ level in a nearby tree. All cables entering the radio room are BR240, low loss, higher power, RG-8X-type cable. BR-240 is used because it is
much easier to run than larger types while providing ample power rating and very high shielding. Also, in
the cable loom running to the shack are three separate ground straps, each of a different length before
being attached to their Army Ground installations. The last cable in the loom is the rotator cable.
The assemblage of cables and ground
straps are tied toegther with cable-ties
and are routed directly into the radio
room as shown in the photo at left. From
there, all cables and ground straps are
routed directly to a single-point ground
system which will be described further
in other publications. The three ground
straps are spaced evenly around the
other cables to offer some shielding.
Each ground run is a different length
by a couple of feet to provide at least several non-resonant ground runs on each
band. Not shown in these photos are
two additional ground straps running
down the right side of the large window
under the siding. In all, there are five
ground runs. Combined with further
techniques used inside the ham shack,
this has proved to be a very efficient
ground system. All traces of RF problems have vanished. Once all of the
equipment is installed in the shack, and
all interconnecting wireing is in place,
RF current measurements will be made
on each cable in the shack. Tests will be made with the ground system connected and with parts of it
disconnected so the differences in stray RF can be measured and quantified.
The extra ground strap material in the photo on the right are awaiting the installation of the additional
ground systems. The two coaxial cables running horizontally are from a satellite dish and are not part of
the ham station. It’s unfortunate that the cable loom runs in front of the large porch window, but to route
the cables in a way that would not be visible would add an extra 12 feet to the ground run. This would have
defeated much of the effectiveness of this project. If I had planned far enough ahead, I would have installed all of the coax, control and rotator cables, plus all five ground straps when I enclosed the upper and
lower porches, installed the hamshack on the upper level porch and then installed siding. But then, there
was a ten year period between projects!
The purpose of these two pages is to illustrate an effective, though elaborate, ground system. It does not
stand alone, but is combined with other techniques employed within the radio room to further enhance
grounding effectiveness and to avoid problems with stray RF. I will put more information, along with color
photographs on the RADIO WORKS’ website. I’m not suggesting that you have to install such an elaborate
ground system, but you can certainly take advantage of part of it. This system, while elaborate, does
illustrate how an effective ground system can be installed that will complement a second floor ham shack
location.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
19
Installing Wire Antennas in Trees
SUPPORTS
Before selecting an antenna system, you must first find a place to put it.
Visually survey your property and find out exactly where your right to put up antennas and your neighbor’s
right to tear them down ends. This sets your limits. If there is an XYL involved, the available space may
be artificially restricted even further. If you are fortunate, you may have a neighbor who will permit you
to use one of his trees to support an end of your antenna.
NATURAL HIGH
Nature, in its wisdom has favored ham radio with
Methods for getting the support rope up a tree
a vast supply of tall, non-conductive, self-maintaining antenna supports - trees. Unfortunately,
most neighborhoods seem to want an unobstructed
view of utility poles, power lines and other people’s
houses, so they cut down most of the trees.
Trees are frustrating.
Using trees for antenna supports is a double-edged
sword. At their very best, trees are frustrating.
On a calm day, with your antenna strung from the
very top limbs of a couple of well placed tall trees
are wonderful. However, when our kindly old tree
and wind and storms get together to do a little
mischief, the combination is a real beast. Treetops
whip around and two trees never move in the same
direction. When the trees move in opposite
directions, the only thing trying to hold them
together is your antenna.... the antenna doesn’t
have a chance. Maybe it’s nature’s way of seeing
just how far your support ropes will stretch before
they break. Maybe it’s just nature’s way for trees
to get rid of all that junk we hang from them.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Tie a light string around a rock and toss it
over a convenient tree limb.
If you are a good fly fisherman, you can lob
a line over any limb of choice.
A powerful slingshot will put a lightweight
fishing sinker and light weight monofilament
fishing line about 70 feet up a tree. See our EZ
Hang on page 22.
The real pros are the archers. Forget picking a
particularlimb, select a tiny branch all
the way up in the top of the tree and an archer
will lay a line right over the spot and do it the
first time. That’s how I put support lines into
trees.
One hint for Archers
If you add extra weight on the front of the arrow, it
will drag the monofilament or ‘Game Tracker’ line
out of the tree and down to the ground where you can
reach it.
Whatever the reason, tree hung antennas require
special treatment and installation procedures.
Once trees are conquered though, they are worth
all the effort and trouble.
Now wait a minute, I’m getting ahead of myself.
An antenna can’t fall down until after you get it
up. Let’s look at some ways to get your antenna
support rope in the top of a tree.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
20
ALTERNATIVES
A Better Technique
Getting practical, anything that will propel a
projectile over the selected limb is what is needed.
It can be a sling shot, bow and arrow, baseball, it
doesn’t matter. So whatever installation method
you select, the following suggestions will apply.
In my opinion, the best way to get a line into a tree’s
top branches, well above the climbing level, is to
use a bow and arrow and a device called a ‘Game
Tracker.’ With a compound bow and the ‘Game
Tracker,’ you can probably get a line 125 to 150-feet
into the air if you have trees that tall.
First, be absolutely sure that safety is
the major priority.
Often a compound bow is overkill and a ‘long bow’
or ‘recurve’ bow with a 40 or 50 pound pull will do
the job. A WORD OF CAUTION: You cannot be
too careful when using a bow. It is a lethal
weapon. Should an arrow get loose from its
trailing line, it can travel a great distance.
Always have a lookout to make sure the path is
clear for several hundred feet in the direction
of the arrow’s travel. Use a high trajectory so
the arrow will come down in your yard.
The small line goes up first
Use light weight monofilament fishing line or
something similar as the first line up the tree. A
light weight line produces minimal drag on
whatever projectile you’re hurling over the tree.
Ignoring mathematics, this simply means that you
can get higher in the tree for the same effort. I use
10 pound test fishing line.
I learned this lesson the hard way when I found that
my compound, which will launch a target arrow 80
yards with only a few inches of drop, could hurl an
arrow over a tree and continue traveling for a city
block before touching down. Behind my house is a
school yard that was unoccupied at the time. I was
using a lookout, and nothing was harmed.
Paying out the monofilament line can be done in
two relatively efficient ways. The first involves
unwinding enough line off the spool to make the
trip up the tree and back down. The line is
carefully routed around your meticulously groomed
lawn where it can be pulled aloft by the projectile
while avoiding a snag that will completely stop the
progress of this project. You will not fully
appreciate how much junk is on your lawn until
you try this method.
The Game Tracker
... a snag will completely stop the
progress of this project.
Having had poor results with the lawn technique, I
discovered casting or spinning fishing reels. A rod
isn’t necessary. Select a reel that will hold at least
enough line to make it up and down the tallest trees
you ever plan to conquer. The line must come off
the reel without any drag at all.
The technique here is simple. One person holds the
reel (which is attached to something he can hold on
to) and you shoot, throw, or whatever, the line over
the selected limb.
The RADIO WORKS
A ‘Game Tracker’ is a hunting accessory that
attaches to a bow. It is a small canister of very light
weight, but strong, nylon line. It has practically zero
drag on the arrow. You tie the tracker line to your
arrow. Though designed to leave a string trail
behind recently shot game, this device is perfect for
shooting arrows over tree limbs. The only draw back
(no pun intended) is the relative high price of the
tracking string. It is not reusable. You will aim
more carefully once you realize that each shot is
costing you a buck. (There I go again with my puns).
A ‘Game Tracker’ may be substituted for the
monofilament line used with other techniques. Its
convenience is unequaled. You can find a ‘Game
Tracker’ at most archery or hunting stores and on
the Web.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
21
NEXT UP, A MIDDLE WEIGHT LINE
Once you have your monofilament line or ‘tracker’ line
in the tree where you want it, you will have to pull up
heavier lines to hold the antenna. I usually use three
steps. The medium-weight line follows the monofilament
or ‘tracker’ line and should be strong enough to pull up
the final antenna support line. It cannot be so heavy
that it breaks the monofilament line. For my second line,
I use lightweight nylon twine or cord. It is strong enough
that I can’t break it by pulling on it as hard as I can, but
it’s still very light in weight.
length of the antenna support rope is on the ground, check
it out for deterioration. Pay close attention to the points
where the rope crosses any tree limbs. If the rope is frayed,
replace it. If all is well, pull the support rope and the
antenna back up and inspect the line in the second tree.
The entire procedure takes only a short time, much less
than the time required to replace a broken support line.
Tie the monofilament or ‘tracker’ line and the mediumweight, second line together, using knots that will not
snag as you pull the lines through the tree limbs. Pull
up the medium-weight line.
THE FINAL SUPPORT LINE
The medium-weight line is then used to pull up the final
line that will directly support the antenna or pulley
system.
There will, of course, be abrasion of the
support line’s fabric as the tree sways
in the wind.
Once you have your final support line over your favorite
limb, the task is nearly done. If everything works out
OK you’ll have one end of your support rope on the side
of the tree in the direction of the antenna. The other end
of the rope will be somewhere on the other side of the
tree near where you started. You simply repeat the
procedure in a second tree.
If you have chosen the proper support lines, you will enjoy
long and useful service from this installation. There will,
of course, be abrasion of the support line’s fabric as the
tree sways in the wind. There is also the normal
weathering and deterioration caused by the sun. Both
effects limit the life of the support rope. To reduce this,
read the “pulley” information on page 23.
THE INSPECTION
It is a good idea to inspect your antenna support system
every few months or as a minimum, once a year. One
way to accomplish this is to re-use the medium weight
rope you used when installing your wire antenna support
system. Tie one end to the antenna support rope. Secure
the free end of the ‘medium’ line. Pull down ‘antenna
support’ rope from the antenna end. Usually, just untying
the support ropes will drop the antenna. Once the entire
The RADIO WORKS
EZ Hang
EZ-Hang is a specially selected spinning reel combined
with a hunting slingshot and the proper weights and line
to make your next antenna installation a snap.
The slingshot has a tempered steel yoke, welded construction with easy release button and fixed arm support. It
uses the highest quality tubular thrust bands and has a
padded wrist support for extra comfort. The extra bright
yellow weights make it easy to see in the trees.
The “Intermediate Line Dispenser” features 500-feet of
#18 Nylon line with 155-pound break strength. The line
color is an easy to see orange color.
If you’ve read my suggestions for installing wire antennas, you’ve seen my three-line method. The EZ-Hang
supports my recommended system. The first line is the
light fishing line off the spinning reel. The “Intermediate
Line Dispenser” is the second line and is pulled into the
tree with the lightweight line from the slingshot. The
final line is our Mil Spec line or our Double Dacrontm
antenna rope as the final support rope pulled up by the
second line. This is the easy way to get your antenna into
the air.
It’s the easy way to get lines into your trees. See our General Catalog for current EZ Hang prices.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
22
PULLEYS
KNOTS
The knot of choice for nearly every antenna chore is
the BOWLINE. This knot is easy to tie and it will not
slip under any condition. With this knot, the more load
you put on it, the tighter it gets.
Adding pulleys to your wire antenna support
system will greatly increase its reliability. As an
additional benefit, changing or repairing your
antenna will be much easier.
There are several methods for installing pulleys
in trees. Of course, you can climb the tree and
install the pulley directly in the tree. The method
I suggest, which can be accomplished from the
ground, is shown above. A heavy, ‘pulley line’ is
supported by the tree. A pulley, attached to the
heavy support rope, is pre-strung with the antenna
support line. The pulley is hoisted high into the
tree, as near to the top as practical. The loose,
The Bowline Knot
opposite end of the heavy rope is then conveniently
tied off to the tree near the ground. The antenna
Use the Bowline to tie the support rope to each pulley, is pulled into the air with the antenna support
insulator, center-insulator, balun, etc. You can even rope. The free end of that rope is tied off near the
tie two ropes together using the bowline.
ground.
Here is an easy way to remember how to tie the Bowline: Usually, the ‘antenna support rope’ is smaller than
It’s the way we teach it to new Boy Scouts.
the pulley support rope (the one in the tree). Done
this way, as the antenna moves in the wind, the
With the end of the rope in your right hand, make an ‘antenna support rope’ moves through the pulley.
overhand loop. Hold the loop in your left hand. Using The ‘pulley support rope’ is stationary in the tree,
the Boy Scout verbiage, “the rabbit (the end of the rope) so abrasion is practically eliminated. As a
comes out of his hole (the loop), goes around the tree secondary benefit, it is now easy to change
(the long end of the rope) and then the rabbit goes back antennas, and the chance of a support line getting
in his hole.”
tangled in the tree is reduced.
If this sounds too complicated, just follow the diagram To further protect against the wind breaking the
above.
lines, some installations use counter weights or
springs at the ground end of the ‘antenna support
rope.’ I recommend against this. It can be
dangerous if the weighs fall. It also puts too much
stress on the antenna. I use long lengths of
support rope and leave a little slack in the
antenna. This method has survived two
hurricanes.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
23
Up to this point, I
have only been
talking about trees as
antenna supports.
You may have other
options.
A building can be an
antenna support,
although this is not
ideal. Keep your
antennas as far away
from buildings as
possible. Use the
building to support
only one end of the
antenna.
CHOOSING A PULLEY
The best pulleys for antenna installations are
found at sailboat outfitters and at the RADIO
WORKS. The junk you’ll find in most hardware stores is just that, junk. Marine pulleys
are carefully designed and manufactured for a
specific application.
Purchase pulleys designed for the size line you
plan to use. I also suggest choosing pulleys with
swivels as shown above. If your rope twists,
the force does not transfer to your antenna.
High Quality, stainless-steel marine-grade
pulleys are available from the RADIO
WORKS’ General Catalog.
A HINT
Metal or wooden masts can be fabricated into excellent
antenna supports. Wooden masts up to about 40' can
be made with little difficulty.
USE WHAT YOU HAVE
If you plan to put up a tower that has to be guyed,
why not use the guy wires as low-band antennas. If
you don’t want to use guy wires, add an outrigger arm
to the tower to accommodate wire antennas. The
outrigger is often a 10-foot pipe, metal or plastic, that
is securely attached near the top of the tower. At the
end of the outrigger, away from the tower, mount a
pulley.
CAROLINA WINDOM
Tie a bunch of knots in each end of the antenna
support ropes about 10 feet from each end. Tie
the knots to form a large ‘clump.’ The idea is
this: If one end of the rope accidentally gets
loose, it will jam when the knot reaches the
pulley. You can release the ‘pulley support rope’
and pull the pulley to the ground where you
can recover both ends of the antenna support
line.
The RADIO WORKS
See page 32 for specific tower mounting
instructions.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
24
Do’s and Don’ts of Antenna Installation
Follow the check lists. Failure to do so will result in your antenna not achieving maximum performance.
Do’s
Dont’s
Inspect coaxial cable for flaws in its jacket.
Don’t be concerned about minor jacket
irregularities.
Do not change the length of manufactured
antennas. Antenna lengths are critical.
Do not roll up the ladder line in G5RVs or
SuperLoops.
Pay particular attention to station grounding.
This cannot be over emphasized.
Do not bury Ladder Line or let it get close to
the ground or anything metal. Do not run it
near other cables. It must be in the clear.
In most cases, it is OK to bury standard coax.
You can add some protection by running it
inside standard garden hose. Bury coax below
the frost line.
Do not rely too much on inexpensive antenna
analyzers. You can’t be sure what parameter
you’re actually measuring.
Carefully seal any coaxial connector exposed
to weather. Follow the procedure outlined in
this publication.
Do not support a CAROLINA WINDOM so that
its Vertical Radiator is closer than 15' from a
tower or other metal object. If less than 15',
direct it away from the metal pole or tower at
an angle.
Check available space before purchasing an
antenna. Make sure the antenna will fit.
Reasonable bending of wire antenna elements
will not hurt. Elements must never be bent
back on themselves. If space is limited,
consider alternative antennas.
Do not tie down the Vertical Radiator of a
CAROLINA WINDOM. It must move with the
antenna, or the connectors will pull apart.
However, don’t let the Vertical Radiator swing
around enough to hit something. The weight
of the coax and Line Isolator is usually enough
to keep the Vertical Radiator in place.
To avoid kinks in antenna wire, roll it out handover-hand.
Antennas will work in trees. In most cases, it
doesn’t hurt if the wire touches leaves, though
you might set a leaf or two on fire. If you want,
consider using insulated wire.
Don’t lay the CAROLINA WINDOM’s Vertical
Radiator on your roof .
Don’t use heavy weights in combination with
pulleys to hold an antenna taut. Free falling
weights accelerate the antenna like a bow
string. The wire fails. Don’t pull the antenna
up too tight. Leave some slack.
Definitely use Dacrontm antenna support line.
Nylon, Polypropylene, Hemp, Cotton, or other
rope types are not suitable in this application.
Use Kevlartm only if you don’t want any stretch
in support lines, however, some stretch is
desirable.
Install your antenna as far away as possible
from your or your neighbor’s house. Antennas
close to houses can cause RFI and TVI
problems.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
25
Type CAROLINA WINDOMtm Installation Checkoff List
Caution
KEEP ANTENNAS AWAY FROM ELECTRIC UTILITIES.
Read and apply all applicable information which precedes this page.
1.
Install antenna support ropes. If practical, use the pulley system descried on page 23.
2.
The antenna should be in the clear and far away from anything metal.
3.
If a metal center support is to be used (i.e., a tower or mast), see pages 24, 32 and 33 for details.
4.
The antenna should be as straight as possible. It is acceptable to bend the antenna at its feed point
with angles greater than 120-degrees between legs. An example would be an Inverted-V.
5.
Ends of the antenna may be bent as much as 90-degrees, but the bent portion of the antenna
should be less than 10% of the leg length. Antennas with built-in bends should not be modified.
6.
Once the support ropes are installed and secured, unwind the antenna on the ground. Use a handover-hand motion to avoid kinks and tangles.
7.
Carefully tie the antenna support rope to the antenna end insulators.
8.
Pull the antenna into the air so that you can easily reach the matching transformer.
9.
Apply coax Seal to the WHITE WIRES as directed on page 3 of this manual.
10. “Kneed” the Coax Seal again to assure a perfect seal. Make sure it “whets” to the case and to the
wire.
11. You received a length of coaxial cable with two PL-259 connectors installed. This is the “Vertical
Radiator.” Screw one of the Vertical Radiator’s PL-259s on the Matching Transformer’s mating
connector. Tighten with hard finger-thumb pressure. Apply Coax Seal. Make sure it “whets” to
both the coax and the Matching Unit’s case. Do not cover the hole in the bottom of some
matching units.
12. Optionally, cover the Coax Seal with electrical tape to keep it clean.
13. Pull the antenna further into the air so that the end of the Vertical Radiator is easily reached.
14. Screw the remaining PL-259 on the lower end of the Vertical Radiator coaxial cable into one of the
SO-239 connectors on the Line Isolator.
15. Attach your coaxial cable to the Line Isolator. Apply Coax Seal to each of the two coaxial
connectors on the Line Isolator. RG-8X coax is recommended. It places less physical stress on
the antenna.
16. Pull the antenna into the air. Don’t pull the antenna up tight. It performs best when the ends are
slightly higher than the feedpoint.
17. Let the Vertical Radiator swing in the “breeze.” DO NOT TIE or RESTRAIN IT SO IT CAN’T MOVE.
Doing so will cause antenna or connector failure during moderate and high winds.
18. Before applying power, measure across the PL-259 at the radio end of your coax. You should have
a reading of about one-ohm. This is normal. If you use an antenna analyzer, you will find a
resonance inside the lowest band covered. On the higher frequency bands, resonance will occur
just above the band limits.
19. Hook up the coax to your tuner and enjoy your new, high performance antenna.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
26
SuperLooptm Installation Checkoff List
Caution
KEEP ANTENNAS AWAY FROM ELECTRIC UTILITIES.
Read and apply all applicable information which precedes this page.
1.
Install antenna support ropes. Use the pulley installation
described on page 23.
2.
The antenna should be in the clear and as far away
from anything metal as possible. KEEP IT AWAY
FROM ELECTRIC UTILITIES. It should be above
minimum recommended height.
3.
If a metal center support is to be used (i.e., a tower or
mast), see page 24, 32 and 33 for details.
4.
The antenna should be as straight as possible, but not too
tight. Leave some slack in the wire.
5.
The SuperLoop may be reshaped from a triangle to a
rectangle by adding extra insulators.
Cable Tie - Female End
Attached to Stub
Male End
Cable Tie
Matching
Unit
6.
Once the support ropes are installed and secured, unwind
the antenna on the ground. Lay it out to roughly resemble
the triangular shape of the antenna. Use a hand-overhand motion to avoid kinks and tangles.
7.
Carefully tie the antenna support ropes to the antenna end insulators.
8.
Pull the antenna into the air so that the two loose ends of the wire can easily reach the matching unit.
9.
Unwind the ladder line. On the end of the ladder line is a heavy-duty cable tie. There is a matching
cable-tie on the matching transformer’s top eye-bolt. Push two or three inches of the matching units’s
cable tie through the “eye” on the end of the cable time on the end of the ladder line. This is a
mechanical connection only and it keeps the ladder line from rolling up.
10. Wind each of the two loose antenna wires around one of the eye-bolts on the matching unit. After
passing through the eye-bolt, wrap the wire around itself for at least seven tight turns. See figure
above.
11. Strip the insulation off each to the two white wires exiting the matching transformer’s case. Wrap a
couple of turns of each white wire around the nearest antenna wire. These turns should be
immediately adjacent to the previous seven turn winding as shown above.
12. Solder the two white wires to the antenna wire. Use as little heat as possible to make a good solder
joint. Don’t use a torch. Too much heat weakens the wire.
13. Apply Coax Seal to the WHITE WIRES where they exit the matching transformer as directed on
page 3 of this manual.
14. “Kneed” the Coax Seal to assure a perfect seal. Make sure it “whets” to the case and to the wire.
15. Attach your coaxial cable to the matching unit and tighten the PL-259 with your fingers. Carefully seal
the coaxial connecter with Coax Seal, or follow the instruction for the Ultimate weatherproofing on
page 4. DO NOT COVER the drain hole in the bottom of the matching unit. RG-8X coax is
recommended. It places less physical stress on the antenna.
16. Following the instructions beginning on page 23, pull the antenna into the air. Don’t pull the antenna
up tight. It performs best when the ends are slightly higher than the middle of the antenna. The
SuperLoop is not a perfect triangle. The diagonal sides are supposed to “bloom” slightly.
17. Before applying power, measure across the PL-259 at the radio end of your coax. You should have a
reading of about one-ohm. This is normal. If you use an antenna analyzer, you will find a resonance
inside the lowest band covered.
18. Hook up the coax to your tuner and enjoy your new, high performance antenna.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
27
General Antenna Installation Checkoff List
Caution
KEEP ANTENNAS AWAY FROM ELECTRIC UTILITIES.
Read and apply all applicable information which precedes this page.
1. Install antenna support ropes. Use the pulley procedure described on page 23.
2. The antenna should be in the clear and far away from anything metal.
3. If a metal center support is to be used (i.e., a tower or mast), see page 24 and 32 for details.
4. The antenna should be as straight as possible. It is acceptable to bend the antenna as its feed point
with angles greater than 120-degrees between legs. An example would be an Inverted-V.
5. Ends of the antenna may be bent as much as 90-degrees, but the bent portion of the antenna should
be less than 10% of the leg length.
6. Once the support ropes are installed and secured, unwind the antenna on the ground. Use a handover-hand motion to avoid kinks and tangles.
7. Carefully tie the antenna support rope to the antenna end insulators.
8. Pull the antenna into the air so that you can easily reach the balun or matching transformer.
9. Apply coax Seal to the WHITE WIRES where they exit the balun’s case as directed on page 4 of this
manual.
10. “Kneed” the Coax Seal to assure a perfect seal. Make sure it “whets” to the case and to the wire.
11. Attach your coax cable to the balun and apply Coax Seal to the coaxial connector. RG-8X coax is
recommended. It places less physical stress on the antenna.
12. Following the instructions on page 23, pull the antenna into the air. Don’t pull the antenna up
tight. Some sag is desirable and will increase the life of the antenna.
13. Hook up the coax to your tuner, if you are using one, and enjoy your new, high performance
antenna.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
28
What Makes The CAROLINA WINDOM Work So Well?
At hamfests, I spend a lot of time talking about antennas.
The number one topic is “What makes the CAROLINA
WINDOM WORK?” Here is the story in a nutshell.
Area of diminished
low-angle radiation
The magic of the CAROLINA WINDOM is its ‘Vertical
Radiator.’ When the vertical radiator is removed, the antenna
still operates, but, not surprisingly, the radiation patterns are
just about the same as they are for any multiband antenna of
the same length.
Presented at right are two radiation patterns. Each is a
CAROLINA WINDOM 80 operating on 20 meters. In Figure1,
the vertical radiator has been removed. In Figure 2, the
vertical radiator is operating. What an amazing difference
the Vertical Radiator makes. As you can see in Figure 1, when
Figure 1
the vertical radiator is absent, radiation at low takeoff angles
CAROLINA
WINDOM 80
diminishes as the radiation pattern approaches the horizon.
On the other hand, in the pattern where the Vertical Radiator Operating on 20 meters with its Vertiis operating, radiation from the antenna continuously cal Radiator removed.
increases up to a point less than 5 degrees above the horizon.
This is where “ground-effects” prevent a zero-degree takeoff
angle. This is a significant radiation pattern improvement at
Area of increased
the important very low takeoff angles.
low-angle radiation
Current lobes
Vertical Radiator
Operating on 20 meters with the Vertical Radiator operating.
Current in
Vertical Radiator
Figure 3
Current distribution of the antnna is shown in Figue 3.
It is the high current in the Vertical Radiator which causes
the radiation pattern to change as it does from Figure 1 to
Figure 2.
Location is IMPORTANT
Pick a location for your CAROLINA WINDOMTM that is as far from
buildings, towers and other antennas as possible.
The RADIO WORKS
Figure 2
CAROLINA WINDOM 80
The Vertical Radiator is an inverted vertical
antenna. Its counterpoise is the flattop portion of the antenna. Both the horizontal and
vertical elements of the CAROLINA WINDOM
combine to form an antenna system which
produces an exceptional radiation pattern.
Radiated energy is concentrated at low to
moderate takeoff angles. Such a pattern is
not possible with conventional horizontal wire
antennas.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
29
CAROLINA WINDOMS
Location is IMPORTANT
Pick a location for your CAROLINA WINDOMTM that is as far from buildings, towers and other antennas as possible.
Running your antenna over the top of your house can increase chances of RFI inside your house. This is true for all antennas.
Flat-top and Inverted-V
Bending the ends of the antenna
There are many ways to install your CAROLINA
WINDOM. If two supports for the ends are
available, suspend the antenna as a “Flat Top.” If
only a single, non-metallic support is available,
use it to support the antenna by the eye-bolt on
the matching transformer. The ends of the
antenna slope downward toward the ground. Keep
the angle between the two halves of the antenna
at least 120-degrees. This configuration is know
as an “Inverted-V” because the shape of the
antenna resembles an upside down letter “V.” The
low ends of the antenna and Vertical Radiator
must be at least 8 feet off the ground, well out of
the reach of man or beast.
If you do not have quite enough horizontal room to
support your antenna, it may be shortened by bending
the ends of the antenna as much as 90 degrees
horizontally or vertically, up or down. 10 - 15 % off
each end is the maximum I would recommend. Add
extra insulators as shown on page 33.
Sloper
The “Sloper” is a second, single support
alternative. Here, a single high support holds one
end of the antenna. The entire antenna slopes
toward the ground. As with the Inverted-V
antenna, keep the lower end of the antenna at least
10 feet off the ground, again for safety reasons. A
slope angle of 45 - 60 degrees is popular and
appears to work well. You will need a tree or other
support about 56' tall for the standard CAROLINA
WINDOM. Double that height for the CAROLINA
160. Keep the feed line as vertical as practical.
Minimum Height
Antenna height is important. Within reason, the
higher the antenna the better. Fortunately, the
CAROLINA WINDOM will work satisfactorily at low
heights above ground. If you have any choice, support
the matching transformer and Vertical Radiator as
high as possible. Most of the antenna’s radiation
comes from that part of the antenna. The ends of the
antenna radiate less and can be closer to the ground.
As a rule, the minimum height for a CAROLINA
WINDOM equals the length of the Vertical Radiator
plus eight feet.
How Close?
Try to keep you antenna at least 15 feet from anything
conductive. The greater the distance, the better. If
you must be closer than 15 feet, there will be some
detuning of the antenna and a reduction in antenna
performance. Again, you have to mount the antenna
in the space you have available. Just be aware of the
compromises you are accepting.
Coax Length? Use whatever coax length is practical
Certain lengths of feedline will produce a lower SWR reading at your tuner. If you find that it is
difficult to tune your antenna with your automatic tuner, try adding 1/4 wavelength of coax calculated
for the frequency hardest to tune. Take into account the velocity factor of the coax. This trick will not
always work, but it is often useful. If you use a manual tuner or one of the wide range automatic
tuners like the LDG tuner, use whatever length of coax is practical.
SAFETY FIRST - Read the Caution Page in this manual before proceeding with installation.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
30
CAROLINA WINDOM 80 Support Configurations
GENERAL MOUNTING REQUIREMENTS
*Mounting height of vertical section: >30'
*Minimum angle between legs = 126 degrees
*Minimum height at ends = 8'
GROUND SPACE REQUIRED
Configuration vs. Length needed
Flat top:
133'
Inverted-V @ 40' height: 77' + 40' = 117'
Inverted-V @ 60' height: 73' + 34' = 107'
Inverted-U @ >30' height: Length = 114'
Inverted-U Bend: 10' short leg; 15' long leg
Sloper @ 40':
128' (not recommended)
Sloper @ 60':
121'
It’s OK to bend the outermost 10 - 15% of each leg of a
CAROLINA WINDOMTM. Bends must be <90°.
Recommended mounting configuration
Flat-top, suspended between two tall trees located
>140' apart.
The support configuration of a CAROLINA WINDOM is not critical. The ends may be bent downward, upward, or sideways. One end can go up and the other end down. If pattern distortion is to be
avoided, these bends should not use more than 15% of the wire in the element being bent. Ideally, the
CAROLINA WINDOM is installed as a flattop. It does not hurt the performance of the antenna at all if
the antenna droops in the middle. In fact, a 10' droop is completely acceptable and center droops between
zero and 6 feet may actually add to the overall performance of the antenna. In the Inverted-V configuration, any angle less than 120° is not recommended due to adverse pattern changes on the higher bands.
(See page 62)
Keep the Vertical Radiator and Line Isolator as far away as possible from any conductors . A
recommended minimum is 15 feet. See page 32 for tower mounting information.
The CAROLINA WINDOM will perform well at moderate heights, but as is the case with all
antennas, heights up to about 1 wavelength will produce more desirable radiation patterns. Since this is
an antenna which covers 80 through 10 meters, one wavelength on 10 meters is only 32 feet. Obviously,
to insure optimum performance on the lower bands, it is necessary to sacrifice performance on the higher
bands. Therefore, support heights between 60 - 100 feet are perfectly acceptable, but high angle lobes will
be developed on 10 and 15 meters. If this compromise is not acceptable, I recommend installing two
CAROLINA WINDOMS - a CW 80 to cover 80 and 40 meters and a CW 40 to cover 10 and 15 meters.
Either antenna will perform very well on 40 and 20 meters. Having two antennas in the air permits
switching between them and selecting the antenna producing the loudest signal under prevailing band
conditions.
Watch your wattmeter closely. If any of the antenna’s components are being over stressed, you will
see a drift in reflected power. Reduce transmitter power until there is no drift in meter readings.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
31
CAROLINA WINDOMTM
LINE ISOLATOR
Tower Mounting Technique
The Line Isolatortm is a refinement introduced
in the original RADIO WORKS’ CAROLINA
WINDOMtm systems. The Line Isolatortm performs two
major functions. First, it provides a method of determining precisely the portion of the feed line that acts
as a vertical radiator. Second, the Line Isolatortm prevents RF from traveling along the braided shield of the
coaxial cable beyond the point the Line Isolatortm is inserted into the cable. This prevents RF feedback problems.
Over the years, the Line Isolator has been refined to produce optimum performance from each different antenna system. Consequently, Line Isolators
and Matching Transformers are not interchangeable.
Off-the-shelf Line Isolators (i.e., T-4) perform the same
function as the Line Isolators used in the CAROLINA
WINDOM. However, the Vertical Radiator and Line
Isolator work together in the CAROLINA WINDOM to
provide maximum feedline isolation, maximum low
angle performance and proper antenna matching. Nonoptimized parts are not effective in this role.
HOW IT WORKS
The CAROLINA WINDOM is fed off-center.
Current in each of the two horizontal radiator sections
of the antenna is severely out of balance. Coaxial cable
(which is not a balanced line) will radiate when the
voltage and phase relationships are not proper. Thus,
part of the coaxial feedline is forced to radiate.
The RF transformer used to match the
transmission line (coaxial feedline) to the antenna is a
special design that enhances transmission line radiation.
The coaxial cable serves not only as the antenna’s
transmission line (feedline) but also as a very effective
vertical radiator. The horizontal half-wave wire portion
of the antenna is the counterpoise for the vertical section.
The result is an inverted-vertical antenna located high
in the air and free of ground losses. It is a very efficient
vertical antenna.
Radiation from the horizontal radiator is
conventional. As frequency is increased, multiple
horizontally polarized lobes are developed. This
combination of vertical and horizontal radiation patterns
produce an exceptional signal on each band. This is the
secret of the CAROLINA WINDOM’s outstanding
performance.
The RADIO WORKS
IMPORTANT
All antennas, especially those with ‘Vertical
Radiators’ must be kept well away from
metallic objects such as towers, masts,
gutters, metal roofing, etc.
Use a tower stand-off (4' or more). A 10' length
of 2" PVC pipe may be used to hold the antenna away from the tower.
Antennas that use Vertical Radiators
should be mounted so the Vertical Radiator is
> 15 feet from the tower. To simplify tower
mounting, the CAROLINA WINDOMTM has an extra
insulator in the package that you can install
on the long leg of the antenna. You will have
to add your own insulator to other antennas.
Use this insulator to support the antenna as
illustrated above. Installation instructions are
on the next page. The Vertical Radiator and
LINE ISOLATORTM should be held at least 15 feet
away from the tower.
Use the same procedure for other antennas, such as the CAROLINA BEAMTM series, The
CAROLINA WINDOM SpecialTM series, and
the VRDTM.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
32
Installing the Optional Strain Insulators
Some antennas are supplied with one or more extra insulators for use in reconfiguring antennas.
For example, an extra insulator is included with CAROLINA WINDOMS of all types to aid in
tower or mast mounting. The BigSig Loop and Super Loop have two extra insulators for
reconfiguring loops from triangular configurations to rectangular configurations. However, in
the case of loop antennas, it is recommended that you install them as delta-loops, if possible.
The extra insulators must be installed by the user, but they are made to be slipped over the wire
and twisted into place. You do not have to thread the antenna wire through an “eye” on a standard insulator, so these insulators are simple to install.
Step 1
Step 2
At the proper point along the antenna wire,
press the antenna wire through the clips
on the side of the insulator. Bend the wire
around the insulator and press the wire
through the clip on the opposite side of the
insulator.
Tightly twist the wire together for several
turns. Soldering is not necessary. The wire
will not untwist if the twists are tight.
Step 3
Step 4
Thread several inches of support rope
through the insulator as shown above.
Tie the support rope with a reliable knot. A
Bowline is shown in the installation section
of this manual. Shown above are two halfhitches.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
33
CAROLINA WINDOM 40, 40 Performance Plus,
CAROLINA WINDOM 20 & 620
21'
13'
Matching Unit
Follow the installation procedures outlined
starting on page 20.
10' Vertical Radiator
41'
25'
Matching Unit
CAROLINA
WINODOM 40
& 40 Plus
10' Vertical Radiator
18' on “40 Plus” version
50 Ohm Line Isolator
5 0 O h m C oax to T un e r
GENERAL MOUNTING REQUIREMENTS
*Mounting height of vertical section: >25'
*”40 Plus” version requires > 33'
*Minimum recommended angle between legs = 126° .
*Minimum angle between legs = 90O
*Minimum height at ends = 8'
Configuration vs. Length needed
Flat top:
70'
Inverted-V @ 40' height:100' minimum
Inverted-V @ 60' height:120' minimum
Inverted-U @ >30' height: length = 41'
Inverted-U Bend = 5' short leg; 10' long leg
Sloper @ 40' = 58'
Sloper @ 60' = 40'
It’s OK to bend the ends of the antenna.
Recommended mounting configuration:
Flat-top, suspended between two tall trees
located >70' apart.
IMPORTANT
The vertical section MUST be kept well away
from metallic objects, such as towers, masts,
gutters, metal roofing, etc.
See Tower mounting technique - page 32.
CAROLINA
WINODOM 20 & 620
50 Ohm Line Isolator
5 0 O h m C oa x to T un e r
GENERAL MOUNTING REQUIREMENTS
*Mounting height of vertical section: >25'
*Minimum recommended angle between legs = 126°
*Minimum height at ends = 8'
GROUND SPACE REQUIRED
This antenna is only 34 feet long. You can support your
CAROLINA WINDOM 20 or 620 as a flattop, sloper, or
inverted-V.
Recommended configuration:
Flattop, suspended between two tall trees or similar supports
located >40' apart.
Special considerations for 6 meter operation.
You will want the best performance possible from your
CAROLINA WINDOM 620 when you are operating on 6
meters. Two issues must be considered.
1. Antenna location and configuration
2. Feed line
For maximum 6 meter performance, supporting this antenna
as a flattop is best. Bending the antenna into an inverted-V
will reduce 6 meter performance. With the short length of
this antenna, this should not be a problem.
Feed lines - Since 6 meters is in the VHF spectrum, more
care must be taken when choosing coaxial cable for the
antenna’s feed line. Unless the length of feed line is short,
less than 75 feet, you should use RG-213 or better coax. For
shorter lengths than 75 feet, quality RG-8X will be fine.
You will be using a tuner with this antenna on 6
meters, so you want feed line with the minimum loss possible.
However, unless you need to run a very long coax run, there
is no real need to use expensive, low-loss coax types.
SAFETY FIRST - Read the Caution Page in this manual before proceeding with installation.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
34
CAROLINA WINDOM 160TM
Follow the installation procedures outlined
starting on page 20.
83'
Support Configurations
GENERAL MOUNTING REQUIREMENTS
182'
Matching Unit
*Mounting height of vertical section: >40'
*Minimu mangle between legs = 126 degrees
*Minimum height at ends = 8'
22' Vertical Radiator
CAROLINA
WINDOM
160
50 Ohm Line Isolator
GROUND SPACE
NEEDED
50 O h m C oa x (R G -8 X ) to
you r Tu ner
Mount your 160 meter
CAROLINA WINDOM tm
using good HF antenna
installation technique. Due
to the very large size of this
antenna, you may want to
bend the ends of the antenna
vertically or horizontally if
the full 270' of mounting
space is not available. This
will not usually reduce the
performance
of
the
CAROLINA WINDOMtm on
the lower bands. There may
be some effect on the
radiation pattern on the
higher bands.
SPECIFICATIONS
Freq. coverage: 160 - 10 meters
Gain:
As much as 10 dBd* reported
Radiator length: Horizontal 265'
Vertical 22'
Polarization:
Both vertical and horizontal
Matching method:
Tuner
Tuner needed: Yes
Power Rating: 1500 Watts CW/SSB See page 5.
Recommended Hgt.:
>40'- Usable at 35'
Radials?
Not required
* Based on user reports, field evaluations, and product
reviews.
IMPORTANT
Vertical section MUST be kept well away from
metallic objects, such as towers, masts, gutters, metal
roofing, etc.
See Tower mounting technique detailed earlier in
this manual.
Watch your wattmeter closely. If any of
the antenna’s components are being
over stressed, you will see an upward
drift in reflected power. Reduce transmitter power until there is no drift in
meter readings.
Read the information on the
CAROLINA WINDOM 80.
The RADIO WORKS
Of course, it is best, if you have the room, to put
the antenna in the air as a flattop or inverted-V. SWR
is only one indicator of an antenna’s performance. Reactance,
band to band, is well controlled and the SWR, though not below
2:1, is low enough to avoid high losses in the coaxial feed line.
Your tuner easily matches the antenna feed system to your
rig.
You have all the convenience of an open-wire fed
antenna, with the convenience of coaxial cable.
As the CAROLINA WINDOM 160tm comes to you, it
is adjusted for maximum radiation performance on all bands.
Operating on other frequencies
Operating a CAROLINA WINDOMtm outside the amateur
radio bands is possible. Transmitter power will usually
have to be reduced to a few hundred watts. Do not use
your linear. You will need a wide range, manual tuner.
SAFETY FIRST - Read the Caution Page in this
manual before proceeding with installation.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
35
IMPORTANT
Follow the installation
procedures outlined
starting on page 20.
CAROLINA WINDOM Low Profile “LP” Versions
CAROLINA WINDOM 80 LP
CAROLINA WINDOM 40 LP
CAROLINA WINDOM 40 Performance PLUS LP
CAROLINA WINDOM Short 80 LP CAROLINA WINDOM Short 80 LP
CAROLINA WINDOM 20LP
CAROLINA WINDOM 620 LP
Installation
Power Limits
Follow all of the installation instructions
for the standard CAROLINA WINDOM versions.
The power limit for all “LP” versions of the
CAROLINA WINDOM is 600 watts CW/SSB
output under normal duty-cycles. That duty-cycle
is 25%. In other words, no more than 25%
transmitting time followed by 75% listening time.
Maximum key down time is 30 seconds.
Watch your reflected power meter when using
the antenna. If the reflected power drifts upward
or downward, as you transmit, the components
inside the matching transformer or Line Isolator
are overheating. There are many things which
can cause this. Most often it is excessive power,
spurious output or parasitic oscillation from your
linear amplifier, or a combination of all three.
Sometimes, the reflected power will change as an
antenna “swings” in the breeze. This is normal.
The 600 watt power rating of the “LP” series
of CAROLINA WINDOMS means that it should
be able to handle the output power of many solid
state linears and 811-class amplifiers like the
Ameritron AL-811 or Collins 30L-1. The
Ameritron AL-811H and some single tube 3-500
amps may be used with the “LP” series of
antennas but you will have to keep the power
down and don’t overdo your speech processing. If
you need to run more power, you need that
standard version of the CAROLINA WINDOM.
The “LP” versions of the CAROLINA
WINDOM antennas are identical to the
standard size versions with the exception
of the matching transformer, Line Isolator,
and power limits. The “LP” is a full performance CAROLINA WINDOM.
Antenna Support Height
Since these are easier to hide, stealthy antennas, they have been optimized for lower
support heights. Standard CAROLINA
WINDOMS are optimized for a support
height of 50 feet, whereas the LP versions
are optimized for a height between 30 and
40 feet.
Though optimized for a height of between
30 and 40 feet, performance will be improved if the antenna is supported higher
off the ground. There is nothing wrong with
supporting a CAROLINA WINDOM LP at
60, 80 or even 100 feet off the ground. Only
the SWR at the transmitter end of your
feedline will increase while the radiation
pattern and thus antenna performance will
be improved. Never substitute height for a
lower SWR.
The RADIO WORKS
Operating Modes
CW and SSB are the design modes. PSK-31
should be OK if you run your rig at 100 watts or
less. AM, FM, RTTY and other high duty-cycle
modes are not recommended, and will probably
result in antenna component failure.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
36
CAROLINA WINDOM Short 80TM
GENERAL MOUNTING REQUIREMENTS
*Mounting height of vertical section: >35'
(30' if two 16' verticals are used)
*Recommended configuration: Flat-top
*Inverted-V configuration is usable if the angle is large.
Note: Inverted-V configuration upsets element spacing and alters
the pattern.
*Minimum height at vertical ends: >8'
The CAROLINA WINDOM Short 80tm
was previously know as the CAROLINA
BEAM 80tm. Likewise the CAROLINA
WINDOM Short 40tm was previously
know as the CAROLINA BEAM 40tm.
Recommended mounting configuration
Flat-top, suspended between two tall trees located >100' apart.
HOW IT WORKS
LINE ISOLATOR
The ‘Line Isolator’ is a refinement introduced in the
original RADIO WORK’S CAROLINA WINDOM systems.
The line isolator performs two major functions. First, it
determines precisely the portion of the feed line that acts
as a vertical radiator. Secondly, the Line Isolator prevents
RF from traveling along the outside of the braided coax’s
shield beyond the point where the Line Isolator is inserted.
This is important in preventing RF feedback problems.
Can I Turn My CAROLINA WINDOM
into a CAROLINA Short?
Each DMU (Dedicated Matching Unit) in the
CAROLINA WINDOM and CAROLINA Short is
optimized for a specific antenna system. A DMU must
provide the correct current imbalance and output
impedance to produce maximum efficiency from a
particular antenna.
Similarly, the new CAROLINA Short’s
‘DEDICATED MATCHING UNIT’ provides the load
reactance and proper phase response necessary for
proper operation of the CAROLINA Short’s ‘Vertical
Radiator Element.’
Unfortunately, the DMUs cannot be
interchanged. Just bending up a CAROLINA WINDOM
means you would give up much of the performance
capability of the CAROLINA Short.
The CAROLINA WINDOM Short
80tm or CAROLINA WINDOM Short 40tm
antenna system combines the best
characteristics of the CAROLINA
WINDOM and the ‘Bobtail Curtain.’ The
main reason for the CAROLINA
WINDOM’s exceptional performance is its
‘Vertical Radiator Section.’ The CAROLINA
WINDOM Short is similar to the CAROLINA
WINDOM in that it is fed off-center. This
forces the current in each half of the
horizontal radiator sections of the antenna
to be severely out of balance. Coaxial cable
(which is not a balanced line) will radiate
when the voltage and phase relationships
are not properly balanced.
The RF transformer used to match
the transmission line (coaxial feedline) to
the antenna is a special design that
enhances transmission line radiation.
Thus, the coaxial cable serves not only as
the antenna’s transmission line (feedline)
but it functions, simultaneously, as an
effective vertical radiator. The horizontal
wire portion of the antenna interconnects
the three vertical sections. The result is a
multi-element inverted-vertical antenna
high in the air and free of major ground
losses. Radiation from the horizontal
section of the antenna is conventional.
SAFETY FIRST - Read the Caution Page in this manual before proceeding with installation.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
37
CAROLINA WINDOM Short 40TM and Short 80TM
100'
50'
84'
42'
17'
8'
8'
Matching Transformer 25'
#1Vertical
Radiator
10'
#3Vertical
Radiator
#2Vertical Radiator
LineIsolator
CAROLINAWINDOMShort 40
8'
16'
50-ohmcoax, user supplied
16'
16'
Matching Transformer 50'
34'
#1 Vertical
Radiator
22'
16'
32'
#3 Vertical
Radiator
#2 Vertical Radiator
LineIsolator
Useeither
Vertical
Radiator
50-ohmcoax, user supplied
Use either
Vertical
Radiator
Freq. coverage: 40 - 10 meters
Radiator length: Horizontal 42' or 50'
Verticals 8',10',8' or 8',10',16'
Polarization:
Vertical and horizontal
Feed line:
50 ohm Coaxial cable
Matching method:
Tuner
Tuner needed: Yes, on all bands.
Power Rating:
1500 Watts CW/SSB See page 5
Recommended Hgt. >35'- Usable at 30'
Freq. coverage: 80 - 10 meters
Radiator length: Horizontal 84' or 100'
Verticals 16'/22'/32' or 16'/22'/16'
Polarization:
Vertical and horizontal
Feed line:
50 ohm Coaxial cable
Matching method:
Tuner
Tuner needed: Yes, on all bands.
Power Rating:
1500 Watts CW/SSB See page 5
Recommended Hgt. >35'- Usable at 30'
All CAROLINA WINDOM Short 40tm elements are
interactive and must be in alignment for proper operation of the antenna. SWR is only one factor that
affects an antenna’s performance. Reactance, band
to band, is well controlled and the SWR, though not
below 2:1, is low enough to avoid high losses in the
coaxial feed line. Your manual tuner easily matches
the antenna feed system to your rig. This gives you
all the convenience of an open-wire fed antenna, with
the convenience of coaxial cable.
The CAROLINA WINDOM Short 80tm is a unique
combination of the CAROLINA WINDOMtm and the very
high performance wire beam, the ‘Bobtail Curtain.’
The CAROLINA WINDOM Short 80’s radiation
pattern is different from simple dipoles and similar
antennas. The CAROLINA WINDOM Short 80tm combines
three vertical elements with a single horizontal radiator.
It is this unique combination of horizontal and vertical
radiating elements that account for the outstanding
performance of this antenna system. An added benefit of
this system is the short length of the CAROLINA
WINDOM Short 80tm. At only 84' or 100' in length, it is
much smaller than an 80 meter dipole.
As the CAROLINA WINDOM Short 80tm comes
to you, it is adjusted for maximum radiation performance
on 80 - 10 meters.
As the CAROLINA WINDOM Short 40tm comes to
you, it is adjusted for maximum radiation performance
on all bands, 40 through 10 meters.
Follow the installation procedures
outlined starting on page 20.
All CAROLINA WINDOM Short 80tm elements
are interactive. Reactance, band to band, is well controlled
and the SWR, though not below 2:1, is low enough to avoid
high losses in the coaxial feed line. Your manual tuner
easily matches the antenna feed system to your rig. This
gives you all the convenience of an open-wire fed antenna,
with the convenience of coaxial cable.
SAFETY FIRST - Read the Caution Page in this manual before proceeding with installation.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
38
Field Reconfigurable
The pattern of the CAROLINA Shorttm is adjustable. The insulators are installed at the proper points to
allow any of three configurations. Typically, the pattern of a CAROLINA Shorttm has multiple, large
major lobes, with deep nulls between. The angle of radiation is very low and favors long-haul DX. You
may want to experiment with the three different CAROLINA Shorttm configurations and the resulting
pattern changes. It is easy to change configurations - simply insert your support rope into the appropriate insulator, and the job is done.
#2
#3
Standard Configuration
#4
Special Matching Unit
This configuration will give the best overall
patterns on the higher bands. The shorter Vertical
radiators are optimized for the two highest
frequency bands. The spacing between the
elements will produce a multi-lobe pattern on all
but the lowest band. There will be significant
radiation off the ends of the antenna.
Use insulators #2 and #4 to support the
antenna. You may want to hang weights or use
light weight support lines at insulators #1 and #5
to keep the Vertical Radiators in place.
#1 Vertical Radiator
#5
#1
#2 Vertical Radiator
#3 Vertical Radiator
Line Isolator
50 Ohm Coax, user supplied
CAROLINA Short
Alternate Configurations
#2
#3
Special Matching Unit
Short Flat-Top
The #3 Vertical Radiator is doubled in length. This
generally improves the radiation pattern on the
next to the lowest frequency band. The antenna is
now shorter which can be an added benefit to some
users. The radiation pattern of this configuration
will have multiple lobes and very deep nulls. The
takeoff angle is very low and favors long-haul DX.
To set up your CAROLINA Short in this
configuration, simply use insulators #2 and #3 to
support the antenna. Again, you may want to
hang weights or use light weight support lines at
insulators #1 and #5 to keep the Vertical Radiators
in place.
CAROLINA WINDOM
#1
#2 Vertical Radiator
#1 Vertical Radiator
Line Isolator
#4
#3 Vertical Radiator
#5
Use inner Insulator to Increase Lengthof Vertical Radiator
50 Ohm Coax, user supplied
Short Flat-top Configuration
#1
You have the option to turn your CAROLINA
Shorttm into an antenna similar to a CAROLINA
WINDOM. This would be the choice if you find
the pattern of the CAROLINA Shorttm to be too
aggressive for your needs. You may want to use
one configuration for contests and another for
everyday use. Try the various configurations and
see which work best for you.
The pattern will contain multiple lobes on the
higher bands, but the nulls between lobes will not
be as severe. Radiation off the ends of the antenna
will be low-angle and vertically polarized. To put
the CAROLINA Short tm into the CAROLINA
WINDOM mode, use insulators #1 and #5 to
support the antenna.
The RADIO WORKS
#2
#3
#4
#5
Spe cial Matching Un it
#1 V ertical Radiat or
Use Outermost End I nsulator
Use Outermost End Insulator
Lin e Isolator
50 O hm Coax, user supplied
CAROLINA WINDOM Configuration
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
39
CAROLINA WINDOM
CAROLINA WINDOM 160 Specialtm
CAROLINA WINDOM 80 Specialtm
Special Versions
CAROLINA Short 160 Specialtm
CAROLINA Short 80 Specialtm
It is possible to make a CAROLINA WINDOM
work on 160 meters. The feed point impedance
is very low, so the Matching Transformer and
Line Isolator are very heavily stressed. Special Matching Transformers and Line Isolators
are required to handle the high RF current applied when operating the half-frequency band.
The SWR will be high, but fortunately, on 160
and 80 meters, quality coaxial cable has practically no loss, so an elevated SWR does not
produce excessive loss in the feed line.
installation where further reduction in power may be
required. Remember, adding the extra band at the low
frequency end of the antenna’s normal operating range
is done only to permit casual operation on that band
while retaining full performance on all the higher
bands.
There are unavoidable losses
system efficiency on that band. Compared with fullsized 160 meter antennas, you can expect your signal
to be down between one
and
two
S-units.
Operation on 160 meters
However, in situations
results in a loss in overall
where a 160 meter
system efficiency, but not on antenna is not practical,
you will be able to
the higher bands.
operate with a capable
signal. It’s an excellent
compromise and permits experiencing one of the lower
frequency bands when space doesn’t permit larger
antennas.
There are unavoidable losses in the Line
Isolatortm and Matching Unit due to the very
high RF Current being fed to the antenna. We
could optimize the Matching Unit and Line Isolator for the low feed point impedance, but if
we did, we introduce unacceptably high losses
on all the higher frequency bands. Consequently, the compromises are made on 160
meters (or 80 meters in the case of the CW 80
Special and CW Beam 80 Special).
You Must Reduce Power on the
Lowest Frequency Band.
Special heavy-duty matching transformers
and Line Isolators are used in all the “Special”
antennas, but it is
not practical to
Transmitter power must be
build these parts to
limited to 500 watts or
handle full legal
less on SSB and CW with
power.
They
normal duty-cycles.
would be too large
and too heavy.
T h e r e f o r e ,
transmitter power must be limited to 500
watts or less on SSB and CW with normal
duty-cycles. When using higher duty-cycle
modes, power must be reduced further.
The RADIO WORKS
Where does the signal go?
Component losses, combined with the very short
radiator length on 160 meters results in a loss of overall
Because there is a significant amount of power
dissipated in the matching transformer and Line
Isolator, you must lower power to a maximum of 500
watts on the lowest frequency band. Failing to do so
will cause overheating of the matching transformer and
Line Isolator and their ultimate failure.
On the higher bands, 80 - 10 meters, where the antenna
is now operating in its normal design mode, losses are
minimal and the antenna takes on its usual exceptional
characteristics. Performance is not compromised on
these bands, and full power may be used.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
40
CAROLINA WINDOM 80 & 160 SPECIALTM
CAROLINA WINDOM 80 Special
Follow the installation procedures
outlined starting on page 20.
25'
CAROLINA WINDOM 160 Special
50'
41'
Matching Unit
83'
10' Vertical Radiator
Matching Unit
50 Ohm Line Isolator
22' Vertical Radiator
50 Ohm Coax to Tuner
50 Ohm Line Isolator
50 Ohm Coax to
Tuner
Specifications
Freq. coverage:
Feed line:
Tuner needed:
Power Rating:
80 - 10 meters
50 ohm coaxial cable
Yes, all bands
1500 Watts (40 - 10 m)*
500 w MAX (80 m)*
Recommended Hgt.: >30'- Usable at 25'
Most automatic tuners do not have tuning range
to match this antenna on 160. In that case, a
wide range manual tuner is required. Unsatisfactory tuning with manual tuners can usually
be traced to improper station grounding or
ground loops.
Specifications
Freq. coverage:
Feed line:
Tuner needed:
Power Rating:
Recommended Hgt.:
160 - 10 meters
50 ohm coaxial cable
Yes, all bands
1500 Watts (40 - 10 m)*
500 w MAX (160 m)*
>35'- Usable at 30'
*CW/SSB duty-cycles only.
Watch your wattmeter closely. If any of the
antenna’s components are being over stressed,
you will see an upward drift in reflected power.
Reduce transmitter power until there is no drift
in meter readings.
*CW/SSB duty-cycles only.
In both antennas, all elements are interactive and must be in alignment for proper operation
of the CAROLINA WINDOM Special. Reactance,
band to band, is well controlled and the SWR,
though not below 2:1, is low enough to avoid high
losses in the coaxial feed line. Your wide range
manual tuner easily matches the antenna feed system to your rig.
If you use an automatic antenna tuner on
40 - 10 meters, and the CAROLINA WINDOM’s
SWR is beyond the tuning range of your automatic
tuner, trimming the length of coax feedline will
usually produce acceptable results.
Try adding a short jumper in series with
the feed line at the transmitter. 6' to 12' is a good
starting length. Since all installations are different, you may want to experiment to achieve the best
results. You have all the utility of an open-wire fed
antenna, with the convenience coaxial cable. Automatic tuners generally do not have sufficient tuning range for the lowest frequency band covered.
SAFETY FIRST - Read the Caution Page in this manual before proceeding with installation.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
41
CAROLINA WINDOM Short 160 Special & Short 80 Special
42'
84'
50'
100'
34'
Special Matching Transformer 50'
16'
17'
16'
#1 Vertical Radiator
Spe cial Matching Transform er
8'
16'
#1 Vertical Radiator
32'
22'
#2 Vertical Radiator
8'
16'
10'
#3 Vertical Radiator
Line Isolator
8'
25'
#2 Vertical Radiator
Optional #3 Vertical
Line Isolator
50 Ohm Coax, user supplied
Op tional #3 Vertical
#3 Vertical Radiator
50 Ohm Coax, use r supplied
CAROLINA WINDOM Short 160 Special
CAROLINA WINDOM Short 80 Special
Follow the installation procedures
outlined starting on page 20.
The CAROLINA WINDOM Short
tm
All CAROLINA WINDOM Short Special
antenna elements are interactive and must be
in alignment for proper operation of the
antenna. Reactance, band to band, is well controlled and the SWR, though not below 2:1, is
low enough to avoid high losses in the coaxial
feed line. Your tuner easily matches the
antenna feed system to your rig. This gives you
all the convenience of an open-wire fed antenna
with the convenience coaxial cable.
Can I Turn My CAROLINA WINDOM
into a CAROLINA WINDOM Short?
Each DMU (Dedicated Matching
Unit) in the CAROLINA WINDOM and
CAROLINA Short is optimized for a specific
antenna system. A DMU must provide the
correct current balance and output
impedance to produce maximum efficiency
from a particular antenna.
Similarly, the new CAROLINA
Short’s ‘DEDICATED MATCHING UNIT’
provides the load reactance and proper
phase response necessary for proper
operation of the CAROLINA BEAM’s
‘Vertical Radiator Element.’
Unfortunately, the DMUs cannot be
interchanged.
Just bending up a
CAROLINA WINDOM means you would
give up much of the performance
capability of the CAROLINA Short.
The ‘CAROLINA WINDOM Short 160 SPECIALTM’ and
the ‘CAROLINA WINDOM Short 80 SPECIALTM’ are a
unique combination of the CAROLINA WINDOMTM and
the very high performance wire beam, the ‘Bobtail
Curtain.’
The CAROLINA WINDOM Short SPECIAL’sTM
radiation pattern is different from simple dipoles and
similar antennas. The CAROLINA Short SPECIALTM
combines three vertical elements with a single
horizontal radiator. It is this unique combination of
horizontal and vertical radiating elements that account
for the outstanding performance of this antenna system.
An added benefit of this system is the reduced
length of the CAROLINA WINDOM Short SPECIAL.TM
CAROLINA WINDOM Short 160 Special
When operating the CAROLINA WINDOM
Short version on its lowest design frequency, the
feedpoint impedance is very low. This results in a high
SWR. Feed line losses are low on 80 and160 m, so loss
due to the SWR are low. However, very high RF current
passes through the DMU and the Line Isolator. The
high current requires that you keep the transmitter
output below 500 watts (CW and SSB duty cycles).
SAFETY FIRST - Read the Caution Page in this manual before proceeding with installation.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
42
CAROLINA WINDOM Shortwave
Follow the installation procedures
outlined starting on page 20.
25'
41'
Matching Unit
12' Vertical Radiator
50 Ohm Line Isolator
50 O h m C oa x to
R e ceive r
General Mounting Requirements
*Mounting height of the antenna: >20'
*Minimum recommended angle between legs = 126° .
*Minimum angle between legs = 90 degrees
*Minimum height at ends = 8'
Recommended mounting configurations:
Flattop, suspended between two tall trees located >70'
apart.
This antenna is very forgiving and can be bent to
fit the available space. Bends in the wire should
not be less than 90-degrees (the angle between legs).
Larger angles are recommended. As with all
antennas, the higher the antenna is in the air, the
better the performance.
IMPORTANT
Vertical section MUST be kept well away from
metallic objects, such as towers, masts, gutters,
metal roofing, etc.
See Tower mounting technique - See page 32.
SPECIFICATIONS
Freq. coverage:
Radiator length:
HF Spectrum
Horizontal 66'
Vertical 12'
Polarization:
Both vertical and
horizontal components
Feed line:
50 ohm coaxial cable,
RG-8X recommended.
Matching method:
Dedicated Matching Unit
Recommended Height: >30'- Usable at 20'
Radials?
Not required
* Based on user reports, field evaluations, and product reviews.
The CAROLINA WINDOM Shortwave is a new application of the CAROLINA WINDOM. Our new
“Low Profile” matching transformer and Line Isolator are featured. The antenna is designed to cover
the HF spectrum, but it is usable in the BC band
and up to 50 MHz. It is optimized for frequencies
between 5 and 30 MHz.
A manual antenna tuner can improve performance
in critical applications, but is generally not necessary and does not produce a worthwhile improvement in reception. The reception pattern is essentially omnidirectional which is ideal for shortwave
listening. This antenna is intended for quality receivers as the excellent signal capture effect of this
antenna may overload some receivers. This is the
simple consequence of an efficient antenna that
produces gain at most medium and higher shortwave frequencies. You may find it useful to use
your receiver’s attenuator under some circumstances.
The CAROLINA WINDOM Shortwave provides increasing performance when signals are arriving at
very low angles. This effect can enhance distant
stations significantly.
SAFETY FIRST - Read the Caution Page in this manual before proceeding with installation.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
43
Troubleshooting Antennas
The CAROLINA WINDOMS
50'
83'
22' Vertical Radiator Matching Unit
Line Isolator
CAROLINA WINDOM 80
RG-8X to tuner,
user supplied
Occasionally, you will put up an antenna, and it
will not work as anticipated. Most often the
fault is improperly installed connectors, bad
coax, an installation error or something else
easily remedied. If your antenna does not seem
to be performing properly, below are a few
simple tests to help locate the problem.
CHECK THE SWR
Use low power and measure the SWR at several different
frequencies between 3.5 MHz and 3.8 MHz. A normal
CAROLINA WINDOM 80 will have an SWR minimum
of about 1.5:1 at 3.65 MHz. This frequency may vary
100 KHz up or down depending on the antenna’s
environment. Also, the SWR may be higher or lower.
On the CAROLINA WINDOM 40, the lowest SWR will
be in the middle of the 40 meter band. Similarly, other
models will exhibit the lowest SWR on the band covered.
The exceptions are the “Special” versions where the
lowest SWR will be on the band next to the lowest band
covered.
2. Disconnect the ‘Line Isolator’ from the ‘Dedicated
Matching Unit’ and repeat the measurement. This
time the measurement should indicate an open
circuit at the transmitter end of the cable. If not,
check for a shorted connector or bad coax.
The only DC short in the system is in the ‘Dedicated
Matching Unit’ or ‘DMU.’ All inputs and outputs
of the ‘DMU’ should be a very low resistance from
any terminal to another. If there is an open circuit,
the ‘DMU’ is bad.
If you do not measure this drop in SWR somewhere in
the lower part of the lowest band covered, either the
antenna is severely detuned by its environment or there
is a problem with the system. Vertical Radiator must
be at least 15-feet from any metal object.
The Coax and Line Isolator should present an open
circuit when measuring across a connector. You
will measure a low resistance when measuring from
the input center-pin of the Line Isolator to the
center-pin of the connector at the end of the vertical
radiator. Measure from center pin to center pin
and from nut to nut. (The nut is the part of the
coaxial connector that is free to spin.) A short
circuit can usually be traced to a bad connector.
It is normal for the SWR to run between 2:1
and 4:1 when your tuner is out of the circuit.
In the CAROLINA WINDOM’s history, there have been
very few failures. First, check for open or shorted
connectors and damaged coaxial cable. The ‘Dedicated
Matching Unit’ and the ‘Line Isolators’ are generally
bulletproof.
Intermittents: If there is an intermittent problem
with your antenna, it can usually be traced to the
feedline and its connectors. Check each connector
in the system. Repeat the procedure in the
paragraph above, and gently pull or twist each
connector. Any change in a meter reading indicates
a bad connector. Also, make sure there are no signs
of moisture entering the connector or coax.
Checking out the CAROLINA WINDOM
Antenna with an Ohm Meter
1. Measure across the coaxial connector at the
transmitter end of the coaxial cable, the ohmmeter
should indicate a very low resistance
(approximately 1 ohm).
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
44
SuperLoop 80tm & SuperLoop 40tm
112'
SuperLoop 80
31'
56 '
#14 St r anded Ant enna Wir e
SuperLoop 40
HD Ladder Line
Swit ching St ub
16 '
#14 St r anded Ant enna Wir e
HD Ladder Line
Swit ching St ub
Mecha nical conn ectio n on ly
Mechanical connection only
SuperLoops
SuperLoops
Dedicat ed Mat ching unit
DXpedition Proven
Endorsed by Contest Ops
Dedicat ed Mat ching unit
DXpedition Proven
Endorsed by Contest O ps
50 Ohm Coax t o t ransmat ch
50 Ohm Coax t o t ransmat ch
See page 27 for installation instructions.
Installation of the 80 or 40 meter SuperLoops are identical.
HOW IT WORKS
The SuperLoop 80tm is a remarkable antenna.
It is an automatic bandswitching 80 through 10 meter
loop antenna. The SuperLoop 80 reconfigures itself from
a full-size, full-wave loop on 80 meters into a mutli-wavelength “Bi-square” on higher frequency bands. The
SuperLoop’stm impedances and reactances are so well
managed that the SuperLoop 80 may be fed on all bands
with coaxial cable. You will have to use your tuner
(transmatch).
On 80 meters your RADIO WORKS’ SuperLooptm
is a high performance, full size, full wave loop antenna.
On 40 meters the SuperLooptm is a 2-wavelength antenna
that is similar to a Bi-square. On this band its gain approaches 4 dB. Gain will be higher due to the low takeoff angle of the radiation pattern. A Bi-square loop is
not a closed loop. It is open-circuited exactly one wavelength around the loop. This is one purpose of the stub
at the center of the top section of the loop. It creates
open circuit at the center of the antenna when operating
on even harmonically related bands starting with 40
meters.
The Dedicated Matching Unit, along
with all the other components in the antenna, works
together to provide a relatively low SWR on all
bands. The SWR is not below 2:1. However, it is
low enough to allow the use of coaxial cable. Losses
are low.
One further purpose of the dedicated tuning
unit is to provide the interface between the
unbalanced coaxial cable and balanced loop
antenna. In other words, the dedicated tuning unit
functions as both a multiband antenna matching
device and a high performance balun.
Opening the SuperLoop into a rectangle or
square may slightly improve gain and bandwidth on 80
and 75 meters, but could shift resonance with 40 meter
band.
SuperLoopTM Height
If the supports available are shorter than the
minimum required height, you may tilt or slope a
SuperLoop antenna. Just pull the bottom of the antenna
to one side, so that it does not hang vertically. Like all
sloping antennas, the SuperLoop will tend to favor
stations in the direction of the downward slope. You may
use this effect to some advantage in DX operations.
INSTALLATION
Your SuperLoop 80 or 40 comes to you
assembled except two connections which must be
soldered. It is complete with a custom designed
“Dedicated Matching Unit.” You provide a couple
of convenient trees or other suitable structures that
are at least 120' apart and a minimum of 35 feet
high.
Erect your SuperLoop as a ‘Delta loop’ with
the apex down. If this is not possible, you may add
insulators to the loop and form it into a rectangle
or square. See page 33 for insulator installation
instructions. As a last choice, you may turn the
antenna upside down and feed it from the top with
the apex up. The SuperLoop is designed to be
supported apex down.
The SuperLoop is an excellent antenna for
shortwave listening.
SAFETY FIRST - Read the Caution
Page in this manual before proceeding
with installation.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159, Portsmouth, VA 23703
45
ULTIMA DIPOLEtm
Heavy Duty, Single Band Dipoles
‘L’
½ ‘L’
Tuning your Ultima Dipole
½ ‘L’
B1-5K Plus Balun
50-ohm coax
User supplied
Follow the installation procedures
outlined starting on page 20.
User Supplied Parts
•
•
•
RG-8X, RG-8, RG-213 or similar coaxial cable
2 each PL-259 connectors for your coax
Support rope
Installing your Ultima Dipole
You have made an excellent antenna choice.
Now it’s time to put your Ultima Dipole into the air.
Any of the configurations outlined earlier are
appropriate.
Antennas for the higher bands may be
supported vertically from one end. Supported
vertically, the antenna will radiate in all directions
with a low radiation angle. Always direct the
transmission line away from the antenna at a right
angle for as long a distance as possible (>1/4
wavelength is desirable) to reduce interaction
between the coax and the antenna.
ANTENNA LENGTH
Frequency
3.5 MHz
3.6
3.7
3.8
3.9
7.0
Length “L”
134’
130’
126.5’
123’
120’
66.5’
Your antenna comes to you cut for the CW end of the
band. On 160, 80, or 40 meters, you may want to trim the
antenna for your favorite part of the band. Sometimes, the
antenna may need trimming due to interaction with other
antennas or particular conditions at your antenna site.
If the lowest SWR occurs at a frequency lower than
needed, shorten the antenna a few inches. Similarly, if the
SWR is lowest at a higher frequency, lengthen the antenna.
Refer to the “Tuning Chart” on page 60. This chart will give
you a general idea of the length of wire involved in moving
the resonant frequency of the antenna a given number of KHz.
Lengthening or shortening the antenna is done at
the end insulators. To shorten the antenna, unwind the wire
as it wraps around itself at the end insulator. Move the
insulator the required length toward the center of the
antenna. Re-wrap the antenna wire to secure the end
insulator.
The antenna comes to you tuned to the CW portion
of the band. It is unusual to have to lengthen the antenna.
Using a tuner
You may use a tuner (transmatch) with your ULTIMA DIPOLE. This is most often done on 160 or 80 meters
to allow full band operation. Typically a dipole covers only
about 200 KHz (or less) of the band between 2:1 SWR points
on 80 meters. In some parts of the band, the SWR will rise
to a fairly high figure (>4:1). A transmatch will provide a
good match to the transmitter.
Do not use a dipole at twice its design frequency,
even with a transmatch. (i.e. an 80 meter antenna will not
work well on 40 M when fed with coax) You may use an
antenna at three times its design frequency. For example, a
7 MHz antenna can be used on 21 MHz. You will probably
need to use your transmatch to get an acceptable SWR.
L(in feet) = 468/MHz
Frequency
7.2 MHz
10.12
14.0
14.2
18.12
21.0
Length “L”
65’
46.2’
33.5’
33’
25.8’
22.3’
Frequency
21.2 MHz
24.93
28.0
28.5'
29.0
29.5
Length “L”
22’
18.75’
16.7’
16.4'
16.1’
15.9’
SAFETY FIRST - Read the Caution Page in this manual before proceeding with installation.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
46
BigSig LoopTM
SPECIFICATIONS
Freq. coverage:
Radiator length:
Feed Impedance:
Matching method:
Feed line:
SWR:
Power Rating:
Radials:
Available for all bands
3/2 wave
50 ohms
Balanced Matching Unit
50 ohm coaxial cable (RG-8X)
Low: Full coverage on
bands except 75/80 M.
1500 watts HF CW/SSB
300 watts on 6 meters. see pg. 5
No
The BigSig LoopTM is an unusual 3/2 wavelength loop that delivers outstanding performance.
The advantage of the BigSig LoopTM is its large
capture area, its low radiation angle and ease of installation. The enhanced, low angle, radiation pattern of
the BigSig LoopTM antenna gives you the competitive edge over other stations using dipoles, invertedV’s, or trap antennas, operating under similar
conditions.
A balanced dedicated matching unit was custom
designed to match the BigSig loop antenna’s high
impedance to your 50 ohm coaxial cable. BigSig Loops
are easy to get up and get going.
The Larger the Internal Area of a Loop, the Better the Performance.
Sloping Loops
After deciding the shape of the loop based on the space
and supports you have available, you will need to choose
the feed point location. I generally feed all my loops at
the bottom. I find this convenient. For enhanced DX
performance, it may be desirable to have the feed point
at one corner of the loop. (Corner feeding a rectangular
loop yields a vertically polarized pattern and a lower radiation angle). A DELTA configuration results in a combination of vertical and horizontal polarization.
You may tilt a loop antenna. This can be helpful if you
do not have enough support height. Just pull the bottom
away so that the antenna is no longer vertical. Like all
sloper antennas, the loop will tend to favor stations in
the direction of the downward slope. You may use this
effect to some advantage in DX operations. You can
easily reverse the direction from the ground.
Assembly
If possible, mount your BigSig Looptm as a square or
apex down Delta. This puts most of the antenna as high
in the air as possible. Turning the apex of a delta upward will work, but a large portion of the antenna wire
will be parallel to the earth. This reduces the effective
average height of the antenna.
Assembly of the BigSig Looptm is similar to the
SuperLooptm. Refer to the SuperLoop’s assembly
instructions.
INSTALLATION
You may build your BigSig Looptm as a square, triangle, rectangle, or other geometric figure. Some shapes are
marginally better than the others. The best is a circle, followed closely by a square, a rectangle, and a triangle.
The larger the internal area of the loop, the higher the theoretical performance in terms of gain and bandwidth.
The difference in actual performance is probably not worth the debate. Your antenna site will usually dictate the
loop’s final shape. Use the instructions for the SuperLoop on page 27 omitting the installation of the ladder line
stub.
SAFETY FIRST - Read the Caution Page in this manual before proceeding with installation.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
47
BigSig Configurations and Dimensions
B
B
A
A
C
C
H
B
DMU
DMU
Band
Rectangular Loop
Radiator
Height = A
Apex Down Loop
Side B
Height = H
Length
Side B
Side C
Top Length
80
420’
50’
160’
65’
190’
115’
40
210’
40’
65’
40’
90’
60’
30
150’
37.5’
37.5’
38.7’
55’
47.5’
20
105’
26’
27’
30’
35’
35’
17
84’
21’
21’
24.25’
28’
28’
15
72’
18’
18’
20.75’
24’
24’
12
60’
15’
15’
17.3’
20’
20’
54’
13.5 ’
13.5’
15.6’
18’
18’
10
Antennas are precut to the appropriate dimensions for the band of operation.
6 meters
Due to small size on 6 meters its installation is flexible. It is only 13' 6" across the top as it comes from the factory.
It may be reconfigured as a rectangle or square. For best performance keep the area inside the loop as large as
possible.
- TUNING You may need to lengthen or shorten the wire elements depending on your antenna’s location and its
interaction with other antennas. Changing the shape of the antenna may also require slight trimming.
Do not cut the wire when trimming the antenna, simply use more or less wire at the insulators. This
way, you can always change your mind if you find you have made the antenna too short when it really
should have been lengthened.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
48
TM
G5RV
PLUS
only by The RADIO WORKS
#14 Antenna Wire
51'
51'
Glass-filled Insulators
Specifications
Frequency Coverage:
Radiator Length:
Matching Method:
Line Isolator:
Transmatch:
Power Rating:
Radials:
Recommended height:
80 - 10 m
102’
Stub
Y1-5K Balun
Required
> 1500 watts, see page 5
No
> 40’
30' 8" 450 Ladder Line
Y1-5K Plus Balun
50 ohm coax to tuner
System SWR
System Ground
The SWR of the G5RV is lowest in the middle of
the 20 meter band. Here the SWR is typically 1.8:1.
On other bands, the SWR can be considerably
higher. An SWR of 4:1 is not unusual. This is
normal and is due to the reactive nature of the feed
system. Transmission line losses are low, so system
efficiency is high.
It is necessary to provide a good ground system for your station’s equipment. This is done
for a variety of reasons. As a minimum, ground
your equipment by driving a long “ground rod”
into earth. See the section on grounding. Connect the ground rod to your rig with a short,
heavy gauge copper wire, braid, or strap.
Effects of Nearby Objects
Installing Your New G5RV PLUS
As with all antennas, mount your G5RV PLUS as
high and in the clear as possible. The ladder line
stub is critical to the proper operation of the
antenna. The ladder line stub MUST be kept away
from anything that could affect its characteristics.
This includes any non-insulating material and the
ground. The stub should be routed perpendicularly
away from the radiator. The coaxial cable may be
handled in any convenient manner.
There are many ways to install your G5RV
PLUS antenna. Read information beginning
on page 20 for installation tips. It is important
to keep the ladder line matching section
of the G5RV away from anything metal.
It must not come in contact with the
ground. The ladder line stub may be directed
away from the antenna at an angle if support
height is less than 32 feet.
Automatic Tuners
The G5RV PLUS was designed to be supported
in the flattop configuration. Bending or sloping the antenna will affect the G5RV’s matching system. This doesn’t mean that your G5RV
PLUS won’t work. It will just tune up differently.
Manual or external automatic tuners are best, but
the G5RV PLUS is compatible with many built-in
“automatic” tuners. Tuning range may be limited
on part of 80/75 meters.
CAVEAT
To hang the G5RV PLUS from its center, simply wrap your support line between a pair of
the ribs in the center insulator.
One short caveat. On some frequencies, the G5RV
PLUS may be too reactive for the limited tuning
range of automatic tuners built into some rigs. An
external automatic tuner or a manual tuner can
match a variety of loads and are perfectly suitable
for use with the G5RV PLUS.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
49
The RADIO WORKS Is .... B A L U N S
Check the Specstm
The RADIO WORKS introduced a full
line of precision, Current-type TM baluns in
1986. We were actually producing CurrenttypeTM baluns in 1984, but it was not until 1986
that they became generally available to the
public. They were instantly popular because
Current-type TM baluns avoid the problems
conventional ‘Voltage-type’ baluns exhibit.
Since low impedance antennas are
current-fed, a balun that produces equal and
opposite current at its output over a wide range
of load impedances is desirable. ‘Voltage-type’
baluns produce equal and opposite voltages at
the balun’s balanced port. There is little to be
gained by forcing the voltages of the two
antenna halves, whether the antenna is
balanced or not, to be equal and opposite in
phase. The antenna field is proportional to the
currents in the elements, not the voltages at
the feed point.
Current-typeTM baluns are not a new
idea. They have been used in TV receivers for
many, many years. TV tuners require a very
wide bandwidth balun that will work with a
severely mismatched antenna, like a TV’s socalled ‘rabbit ears’ antenna. The Currenttype TM balun was the best choice for that
application.
Unfortunately, when baluns were first
popularized for use with antennas, a voltagetype design was chosen. Other balun makers
just followed along. It was years before the
first true, Current-type baluns appeared on the
market.
Of course, times change and today you
can find entire books devoted to Current-typeTM
baluns. The Radio Works was the first to offer
you a full line of Current-type baluns for every
application.
Misconceptions
1.
2.
3.
4.
Baluns will not improve SWR (the exception is
where a balun is used as part of a matching
network, i.e., 4:1 baluns used in loops)
They are not lightning arresters. The winding
inductance in most baluns is far too low.
Built-in spark-gaps do not work. The radio
equipment is destroyed long before the ‘spark gap’
arcs over.
Baluns do not allow multiband operation of single
band, coax fed, antennas. They do not make
antennas more broadbanded.
These are all generalizations and, of course, there may
be specific exceptions to any of them.
A balun really has only two jobs
1.
2.
Isolate transmission line from the antenna.
Provide balanced output, either voltage or current.
Proper Balun Design
A properly engineered balun will include these design
points:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
High winding inductance (high reactance)
Low stray capacitance
Very short internal transmission lines << 1/4 wave, the shorter the better
High power components - High voltage wire
insulation to withstand high power or a
mismatch.
Large gauge wire to reduce I2R losses.
Large cores - prevents saturation and provides the
necessary high inductive reactance values on the
low bands.
Mechanical considerations: Weather-proofing,
rustproof hardware and a strong case to withstand
high mechanical loads.
(This text was taken from the RADIO WORKS’ Reference
Catalog, copyright 1992, page 11.)
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
50
The RADIO WORKS’
Baluns
Balun cases are high quality PVC. Eye-bolts,
if they are used, are made of stainless-steel.
Wires from the internal windings are brought
directly outside the case for connection to the
antenna. This eliminates any chance of an
unreliable connection.
All 1:1 and some 4:1 models are Current-typeTM designs. Current-typeTM baluns are extraordinarily
saturation resistant and provide superior reactance
characteristics. Signal distortion and RFI due to
core overload are practically eliminated. CurrenttypeTM baluns are very forgiving when feeding antennas that do not provide an ideal load.
In most models, the all-important wire used to
make the internal transmission line(s) is
insulated with Teflon® or similar materials.
Top of the line models use silver-plated wire
and Teflon® insulation for maximum power
handling and minimum power loss.
Retrofit models
Installing a properly designed current balun or
Line Isolator can substantially improve antenna
performance by giving the antenna balanced
current at the feed point plus excellent feed line
isolation. Beyond improving an antenna’s
radiation pattern, the retrofitting of a current
balun or Line Isolator will significantly reduce
feedline radiation and dramaticallydecrease
RFI, TVI and RF feedback problems. Beam antennas benefit from improved balanced drive and superior feedline isolation which results in improved
front-to-back and front-to-side ratios. Further, receiver noise may be reduced by eliminating signal
pickup by the feedline. The Y1-5K ‘YagiBalun’ plus
the T-4 and T-4G are considered retrofit devices.
Remote Balun
You can have the convenience of coaxial cable
combined with the flexibility of open wire.
The RemoteBaluntm is a special, saturation resistant, Current-Type© balun capable of handling the legal power limit with loads of moderately high impedance. Power must be reduced
with high impedance loads.
Unlike other baluns, the RemoteBalunstm are designed specifically for antennas fed with open-wire,
ladder line or twin-lead. The balun is located outside. A short length of very low loss coaxial cable
connects your transmatch to the RemoteBalun.tm
This eliminates the complication of routing balanced
feeders into the radio room.
RFI Applications
For example, in RFI reduction, the most important
factor is very high load isolation over a wide bandwidth.
Current-type baluns and Line Isolators are
especially effective in reducing RF current on
the outer surface of a coaxial cable’s shield. This
type balun has several exceptional features not
present in other balun designs.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
51
FEEDLINE ISOLATION
In this discussion we will look at the RF energy
distribution on a coaxial cable feeding an
antenna. There are three different RF currents
flowing on or within a coaxial cable. There is
an I1 current flowing on the center conductor of
the cable. Due to the skin-effect, there are two
currents flowing on the cable’s shield. On the
inner surface of the shield, there is the I2
current. At the antenna end of the coax, I2
divides into I3 and I4. Without a device to isolate
the antenna from its feed line, the outer surface
of the coax’s shield is part of the antenna, thus
the division of current. I3 is radiated by the
antenna and I4 flows along the coax. On its
way back down the coax, some I4 current is
radiated and some is conducted back to the
transmitter and onto the station’s ground
system, house wiring, etc.
I3
I1
Coaxial Cable
I2
I1 Center conductor current
I2 Current on inside surface
of the shield
I3 RF current at antenna feedpoint
I4
I1
I4 RF current flowing down the
outside surface of the shield
Inadaquate isolation between an
antenna and its feedline will cause
A balun or Line Isolator substantially
reduces I4.
I2 to divide into I 3 and I4
A balun has little or no effect on I 1 and I2
currents. With I4 reduced near to zero, I2 H” I3.
This means that nearly all of the I2 current is
radiated by the antenna and none by the feed
line. The antenna pattern improves, and most
of the RF current flowing down the outer surface
of the coax’s shield is eliminated.
RF current from transmitter
The problem is isolating the antenna from its
transmission line. A current balun is the perfect
device for the task, since we are working with
RF currents at the feed point. Any of the
RADIO WORKS’ current-type baluns are well
suited to this application. Current-type baluns
all have excellent output balance and
unmatched isolation factors.
the coax being within the radiation field of the
antenna. Since the coax conducts the RF energy to
the antenna, it is not possible to physically isolate
the coax from the effects of the antenna’s radiation
field. Consequently, it is advisable to install a
Line Isolatortm at the transmitter end of the
coax. This eliminates the ground path for I4
and I4i.
Although a well-designed current balun will
eliminate I4 current, there will be an induced
current, call it I4i (subscript “i” for “induced”)
flowing along the outer surface of the coax’s
shield. This current is the result of
The length of the coaxial feedline will have some
influence on the RF induced onto the coax. Lines
close to multiples of ½ wavelength are more susceptible to I4i current.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
52
You may notice that when you add a RADIO
WORKS Current-typeTM balun to an existing antenna
system, a dipole for example, the resonant frequency
will move upwards a bit. When this happens, you
know that the coax was acting as part of the antenna
making it appear longer. The current balun isolated
the coax from the antenna, and the antenna is now
operating closer to its formula frequency.
Experiencing this effect leaves little doubt
that the balun was needed and is useful even with
dipoles and similar, simple antennas.
A Flat SWR Curve
Current or Voltage Baluns?
Most commercial baluns are voltage-types.
As such, their performance is poor unless operating
conditions are nearly ideal. Even under the best of
conditions, a perfect match, low power, etc.,
insufficient winding inductance and poorly designed
transmission lines sacrifice efficiency and reduce
bandwidth.
The B4-2KX balun is an excellent example of
a current-balun which overcomes problems typical of
voltage-type baluns. It is a high quality, high power,
twin transformer 4:1 balun. Two special ferrite
toroids help manage reactance and provide the
inductance values nec-essary in a 4:1 balun. The
output impedance of the B4-2KX balun is 200 ohms.
The inductive reactance of the internal windings
should be at least five times the load impedance to
effectively isolate your antenna from its transmission line. 1000 ohms is the required value for a 4:1
balun. I have measured some popular commercial
baluns where this value is only 240 ohms. This is a
uselessly low valu-e. The winding’s inductive
reactance of the B4-2KX is over 1000 ohms. Here is
another example: The transmission lines in many
1:1 and 4:1 baluns are made with #14 enamel-covered
wire. The impedance of such a transmission line (two
wires in parallel) is generally between 20 and 25
ohms. This value is totally inappropriate. It should
be 50 ohms if the balun is to be used with 50 ohm
coax. Otherwise, bandwidth will suffer and unwanted
reactance can be introduced into your antenna
system.
We design our transmission lines very
carefully. The spacing between the wires in a
transmission line determines the line’s impedance.
In every RADIO WORKS balun, every aspect of
construction is carefully engineered to provide
maximum bandwidth and power handling, with a
minimum effect on antenna tuning. Look at the
diagram above. Here, our B4-2KX is compared with
a famous 4:1 balun. Notice the competitor’s balun.
Its SWR is low over a very narrow band of frequencies.
Compare it with the nearly perfect curve of the B42KX.
The RADIO WORKS
Achieving this kind of result is difficult.
It is hard to produce the necessary inductance
reactance on the low bands without introducing
unacceptable capacitive reactance and leakage
on the upper bands. Broadband performance is
possible only through the correct application of
selected ferrites, properly designed transmission lines and occasionally, L/C compensation
networks. The mechanical construction of the
balun also influences the final characteristics of
any balun.
Wire Lead Length and Detuning Effects
The length of a balun’s output lead can
have a significant effect on the tuning of your antenna. Output leads are part of the antenna
and depending on the application the effect is to
lengthen the antenna or to add an inductive reactance between the balun and the antenna’s
feedpoint. The effect is greatest on 10 meters
where the length of the balun output leads are
the longest in terms of antenna length. On 80
meters there should be no noticeable effect.
The Yagi Baluns have precisely measured
leads. Occasionally, you may have to take lead
length into account. However, most of the time,
an inch or two, will make little difference if
Gamma, Beta, and similar matching schemes are
used.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
53
Effect of Balun Lead Length on Balun Measurements
Because the balun’s leads are an inductive reactance in series with the balun’s windings, you cannot measure
the SWR by placing a non-inductive resistor at the end of the balun’s output leads. If this is done, serious
errors will occur on the higher frequencies. Ideally, the load should be placed directly at the output of the
balun (i.e. at the core). This is not practical without taking the balun apart, so the best compromise is to
place the load across the output leads of the balun as close to the balun’s case as possible. You can use
needles to poke through the wire’s insulation and attach the non-inductive resistor to the needles. When
dealing with any RF device, the length and impedance of input and output leads must be considered.
POWER RATING
RemoteBaluntm
All products made by the RADIO WORKS will
handle the legal power limit, unless otherwise
specified. Some models are designed for low
power or receiving applications. Since The
RADIO WORKS advocates adherence to the
legal power limit, we do not endorse transmitter
power above the legal limit. However, since 2:1
and 3:1 safety factors are often desirable, the
RADIO WORKS does build heavy duty
components.
RemoteBalunsTM are a special case. They operate under the
most difficult conditions. The check out procedure for the
RemoteBalunsTM is the same as in the previous paragraph.
If you notice the SWR drift on one or two bands, this usually
means that the load impedance is too high or too low for
efficient balun operation. Changing the length of the balanced
feeders (ladder line) by a few feet, or ideally, 1/4 wavelength
will often remedy the situation and permit full power
operation.
Rated power assumes an SWR of less than
2:1 unless otherwise noted. The rated
frequency is 3.5 MHz. Duty-cycle is CW or
SSB with normal processing. High duty
cycle modes, like RTTY, AM, FM, Slow
Scan, etc. may over stress a balun and
require lowering the maximum power
rating. See page 5.
SATURATION
When a ferrite core balun saturates, there will
be a noticeable upward drift in SWR long before
the balun fails. Core saturation can be caused
by too great a mismatch at the load (antenna)
or by running too much power or a combination
of both. If you see an upward movement in
SWR, determine the problem immediately. If
you must stay on the air, lower power until SWR
drift ceases.
In new installations, tune the antenna system
for minimum SWR. Apply a few hundred watts
of power on each band the system covers.
Monitor the SWR with power applied. Increase
power gradually until maximum power output
is achieved. Watch the SWR or reflected power
meter closely. If the SWR drifts, determine the
problem before continuing operation.
The RADIO WORKS
INSTALLATION
While there are no special mounting requirements, I do
suggest strain relief for long unsupported transmission lines.
BEAM ANTENNAS
Use standoffs for your coaxial cable. This can improve the
front-to back and front-to-side ratios of your beam antenna.
It doesn’t make sense to put up a good beam and then let the
feed line radiate (because of a poor balun). It also doesn’t do
your antenna system any good to couple your coaxial cable to
a large vertical antenna (like your tower). Taping your coaxial
cable to a tower leg creates a large capacitor which effectively couples your beam to the tower. The tower acts as a
large vertical antenna. Use stand-offs to hold the coaxial cable
away from the tower leg. This procedure in combination with
a RADIO WORKS balun can dramatically improve the frontto-side ratio of some beams.
A balun may be supported by its eye-bolt. Baluns and Line
Isolatorstm may be strapped to the antenna’s boom, secured
with waterproof tape or quality hose-clamps.
LIGHTNING PROTECTION
Some balun manufacturers will tell you that their baluns
have built in lightning protection. Those that do use spark
gaps that are absolutely useless. The high winding
inductance of our baluns offers some protection, but for
proper protection use devices intended specifically for
lightning “surge” protection.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
54
Balun Cases
9.5"
9.5"
RADIO WOR KS
7"
Produ ct
M ode l
Se ria l No.
4.8"
3.5"
3.5"
2.5"
3.5"
1.5"
3.5"
B1-2K all models
B1-4K, all models
B1-5K and B4-1.5K
Y1-5K Plus
B4-2K, B4-2KX,
RemoteBaluntm
B1-1KV,
B4-1KXV
Important
In all RADIO WORKS’ baluns the output
wires are brought directly from the windings
through holes in the balun’s case. This eliminates any possibility of poor connections. This
is just one more way we give you the utmost
in high performance. However, since there
are holes in the balun’s case, water can enter
the balun through these holes. Coax Sealtm
is supplied with each balun to seal these holes
and for weatherproofing the coaxial connector on your coax. We could apply the Coax
Sealtm when we make the balun, but during
storage and shipping the tenacious whetting
properties of Coax Sealtm can be a bit messy.
It will stick to anything, including the package, literature, etc. It is best applied when
the balun is put into use. So, we have left the
application of the Coax Sealtm to you. Just
follow the instructions on page 3 of this
manual. Even though each balun is filled
with a waterproof foam plastic, it is very important to apply the Coax Sealtm.
Do not skip this step.
The RADIO WORKS
B1-200
B4-200
All LP models
7 turns
Seal
wire
exit
holes
Seal
Connector
Installation
Use the eye-bolts for antenna wire strain-relief.
Bring antenna wire through eye-bolt and wind the
wire back on itself for at least 7 tight turns. Solder
the balun output wires directly to the antenna wire.
Connect the PL-259 on your feedline to the SO-239
connector on the bottom of the baluns. Seal with
Coax following the instructions on page 3.
Don’t cover the drain hole on the bottom of the
balun.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
55
RemoteBaluntm
Applications
The RemoteBalunTM is an interface between
balanced feeders and coaxial cable. The
RemoteBalunTM is located outside the house
or building where the balanced feed line is
available without obstruction. A short length
of very low loss coaxial cable connects your
tuner at the operating position to the
RemoteBalun.TM The inconvenience of routing
balanced feeders into the radio room is
eliminated.
RADIO WOR KS
Produ ct
M ode l
Se ria l No.
3.5"
3.5"
A different kind of balun RemoteBaluntm
Most modern tuner circuits are T-networks
or similar circuits which do not accommodate
balanced transmission lines (feed lines). To
provide a balanced output, a tuner of this type
will have a built-in balun. Unfortunately, a
voltage balun is almost always used. Voltage
baluns are inappropriate in this application,
because they do not work well when their loads
are mismatched. This is almost always the case
in this application. Even worse is excessive power,
especially in combination with reactive loads can
cause most voltage baluns to saturate, and this
can lead to TVI and other RF interference.
To further enhance output balance, a special
circuit, we call it the ‘X’ configuration, uses a twin
core, balanced design that produces a balanced
output under a wide range of conditions.
These are Current-typetm baluns. Unlike voltage baluns, Current-typetm baluns maintain output balance over a wide range of loads. This
makes them ideal for use at the transition between balanced feeders and unbalanced coax.
Maximum Power As with all electrical
components, there are limits. The maximum
power which may be applied to the Remote
BalunTM depends on the magnitude of mismatch.
Checking the power limit
It is a good practice to insure that your operating
conditions are not causing overheating of the
RemoteBalun. Check the balun’s operating
temperature on each of the bands you operate. The
procedure is simple. Monitor your SWR or reflected
power after you have properly adjusted your tuner.
A drift in SWR indicates heating of the RemoteBalun’s
core.
Power Rating
The RemoteBalun’s power rating is 1500
watts under normal SSB and CW duty-cycles. It
is not possible to put a specific value on this
specification because the power rating depends
on so many factors. The load impedance and
reactance presented to the RemoteBalun,
combined with the operating frequency and duty
cycle are interrelated factors which must be taken
into account. The 1500 watt power rating
assumes normal duty cycle modes (CW and SSB)
with the balun operating into a moderate electrical
environment. The same thing holds true for very
high or very low impedances.
Under any of these adverse conditions, you should
derate the maximum power delivered to your
tuner (transmatch).
The RADIO WORKS
If overheating occurs, there are two solutions. One is
to reduce the level of mismatch, and the second is to
reduce power. Another often effective, simple solution
is to change the length of the balanced transmission
line. A small change in the length of the balanced
transmission line can have a dramatic effect on the
load impedance presented to the RemoteBalun. In
difficult cases, the addition or deletion of 1/4
wavelength of transmission (on the band causing the
greatest overheating) will usually do the job.
As a last resort it may be necessary to reduce power,
but in most cases, adjusting the length of the balanced
feeders will eliminate the problem.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
56
Installation
The RemoteBalunTM is located outside. A short
length of low loss coaxial cable connects the
RemoteBalun to your transmatch.
Wire -tie or othe r st rain relief
The RADIO WORKS
1.
With as much slack in the ladder line as
possible, solder each of the wires from your
balanced feedline (ladder-line, twin-lean, openwire) to one of the balun’s output wires. Leave as
much extra ladder line as possible. You may
want to shorten the ladder line after initial tune
up.
2.
Add strain-relief by attaching the balanced line
to the balun with a large wire tie, rope, etc. This
takes the strain off the soldered connections.
3.
Mount the RemoteBalunTM using a J-bolt, hook,
or whatever method you prefer.
4.
Prepare the low loss coaxial cable, or order one
premade from The RADIO WORKS. Use quality
connectors. Screw one end of the coax to SO-239
connector on the RemoteBalunTM .
5.
Apply CoaxSeal® to the connector, following the
instructions on the package and on pages 3 and 4
in this manual. Also, apply CoaxSeal® where the
wires come out of the
balun’s case. Make
sure the CoaxSeal® sticks to the case and to the
wires.
6.
Bring the free end of the coax into the building.
Leave a little slack to form a ‘drip loop.’
7.
Connect the coax to your tuner.
8.
Tune tuner for lowest SWR. Test for over heating
by following the procedures outlined previously.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
57
TUNING YOUR ANTENNA
CAROLINA WINDOM
Since the CAROLINA WINDOM and all of its derivatives are off-center fed, changing the length
of the antenna is done in a 1:2 proportion. If you want to shorten the antenna one foot, take 4
inches off the short leg and 8 inches off the long leg. However, it is best to use the factory
antenna lengths. They have proved to be the best compromise for all band operation.
I suggest using the antenna just as it comes out of the package and use a transmatch
on all bands.
Using a tuner (transmatch)
Most of our antennas are designed to be used with a wide-range, manual transmatch
(tuner). Some modern transceivers have built-in tuners which will satisfactorily tune our antennas
on most bands. This is not the case with older transceivers. Further, your particular installation
may result in conditions out of the range of your transceiver’s built-in tuner. It is best not to rely
on an automatic antenna tuner but to plan to use a good, manual transmatch at your station.
There is an exception: External automatic tuners, especially those made by LDG and SGC, have
enough tuning range to tune any of our antennas.
Dipoles and Tuners
You may use a tuner with the Ultima Dipole. This is most often done on 160 or 80 meters
to permit full band operation. Typically, a dipole covers only about 200 KHz (or less) of the band
between 2:1 SWR points on 80 meters. In some parts of the band, the SWR will rise to a fairly
high figure (>4:1). Under conditions where the SWR is elevated, a transmatch will provide a low
SWR interface between your transmitter and feedline.
Do not use a dipole on even harmonics, even with a transmatch. (i.e. an 80 meter antenna
will not work well on 40 M when fed with coax) You may use an antenna at three times its design
frequency. For example, a 7 MHz antenna can be used on 21 MHz but you will probably need to
use your transmatch to get an acceptable SWR.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
58
Trimming a SuperLooptm or BigSig Looptm
Wire double-backed on inself
Antenna Wire
Twists to hold the
wire in place
One leg of a Loop Antenna
Antenna Wire
Procedure
SuperLoop
1. Do not cut any wire from the antenna.
You can move the 80 meter
resonance higher in frequency. Do
this by making the loop smaller.
You do not change the actual
overall length of the wire. Instead,
simply twist the loop’s wire
together at the insulators. You will
need to twist the wire for a foot at
both insulators to notice a
significant effect. Don’t overdo it,
or you will affect things on 40
meters.
2. To raise the resonant frequency, shorten the loop
using the technique shown in the illustration.
3. Hold the antenna wires together at each insulator
and wrap with a few turns of wire (any copper wire
will do) or twist the antenna wires together. Twist
or wrap with enough turns to insure that the
adjustment does not pull loose.
4. Do not try to move the loop too far off its design
frequency. Loop size and multiband operation are
interactive. With multiband loops, changing the
resonant point on one band will alter the SWR
curves on all other bands.
5. You may restore the antenna to its original
dimensions by removing the wrapped wire or twists
installed in step 3.
The RADIO WORKS
We suggest this method of tuning
the SuperLoop because it does not
change the shape of the loop, and
the antenna may easily returned to
its original dimensions.
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
59
Antenna Trimming Chart
Use this chart as an aid in trimming the length of your antenna. It gives you an idea of the
change in wire length needed to move antenna resonance a specific number of KHz.
* Dimensions are for each leg of a half-wave dipole
* For quarter-wave antennas (i.e. verticals ) use the dimensions directly from this chart
* Full-wavelength antennas (loops) - multiply the chart dimensions by four (4) and change the
overall length of the antenna by that amount.
Lengths are estimates. Many factors will affect their exact value.
+ value = add to length of antenna
- value = shorten antenna
To Move
80/75 m
40 m
20 m
15 m
10 m
-400 KHz
+6' 8"
1' 9"
+6 1/2"
+2 1/2"
+1 1/4"
-300 KHz
+5'
+1' 4"
+5"
+1 3/4"
+1"
-200 KHz
+3' 4"
+10"
+3 1/4"
+ 1 1/4"
+5/8"
-100 KHz
+1' 7"
+5"
+ 1 1/2"
+1/2"
+3/8"
00 KHz
0
0
0
0
0
+100 KHz
-1' 7"
-5"
-1 1/2"
-1/2"
-3/8"
+200 KHz
-3' 4"
-10"
-3 1/4"
-1 1/4"
-5/8"
+300 KHz
-5'
-1' 4"
-5"
1 3/4"
-1"
+400 KHz
-6' 8"
-1' 9"
-6 1/2"
-2 1/2"
-1 1/4"
+500 KHz
-8' 4"
-2'
-8"
-3"
-1.5"
Example
Lengthening or shortening the antenna is done at
the end insulators. To shorten the antenna, unwind the antenna wire as it wraps around itself at
the end insulator. Move the insulator the suggested
distance toward the center of the antenna. Re-wrap
the antenna wire to secure the end insulator. Do
not cut the wire. Wrap it back around the antenna
wire. You may need to lengthen the antenna later.
You have measured the SWR of your 40 meter
dipole at various frequencies across the band.
You have determined that the SWR is lowest
at 7.00 MHZ. You actually want the lowest
SWR to occur up in the sideband portion of the
band, so you need to move resonance up in
frequency about 200 KHz.
According to the chart, to move +200 KHz on
40 meters, you will have to shorten each leg of
the dipole 10-inches. The overall length of the
antenna is shortened a total of 20 inches.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
60
ALL Inverted-V antennas
CAROLINA WINDOMS & “Short” (all models) and the G5RV PLUS
This effect is for all multiband antennas, not just CAROLINA WINDOMS
Important new information has come to light.
Please read this page if you plan to install your antenna as an inverted-V
Flattop on 15 m azimuth plot
Flattop on 15 m 3D plot
140° Inv-V on 15 m azimuth plot
100° Inv-V on 15 m 3D plot
100° Inv-V on 15 m azimuth plot
140° Inv-V on 15m 3D plot
While working on a new book, I
have discovered a most distressing
result of using single element wire
antennas on several bands. It has
been conventional wisdom that
there was little to lose by supporting an antenna in the inverted-V
configuration. I have done a lot of
antenna modeling to determine
what the effects were. I found that
there was some signal loss in inverted-V antennas when the included angle between legs was
smaller than 120-degrees. But,
those studies were conducted at the
fundamental operating frequency
of the antenna. A continuing study
of the same antennas operating on
higher frequencies shows that the
inverted-V configuration can produce undesirable results.
Shown at left are the radiation patterns of a G5RV with two different
element angles. The frequency is
21 MHz. As you can see, even
when the included angle between
legs is large, 140-degrees, there is
signal loss. Decreasing that angle
to 100-degrees reduces low-angle
performance of the antenna by a
substantial amount. This effect
was confirmed on several bands
and with different antenna types.
Until further information is developed to the contrary, I no longer recommend installing our CAROLINA WINDOM series nor the G5RV Plus as Inverted-V antennas with
an angle between legs of less than 140°.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
61
Installing ground straps
Figure 1
This the procedure for wrapping the Line Isolator ground
straps around a ground rod. It is not shown in these illustrations, but the end of the ground strap is screwed to
the Line Isolator. Don’t loosen the screw on the Line
Isolator.
Figure 1 - Begin by starting to form the strap into a
circle as shown in Figures 1 and 2. Unscrew the adjustment screw so that only a few threads are showing.
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 3 - Shows how the clamp is locked into place.
Simply push the retaining pin through the appropriate
hole needed to permit placing the strap around your
ground rod or pipe. The groove in the retaining pin will
hold the ground strap in the selected hole once the adjustment screw is tightened.
Figure 4 - This is really part of figure 3. The ground
strap has been placed around a socket wrench to show
how the strap wraps around a rod or pipe. Make sure the
copper plate is under the end of the screw.
Figure 5 - Simply tighten up the adjustment screw until
taut. The copper plate between the end of the screw and
the surface of the simulated ground rod are easily seen
in this illustration. This copper plate improves contact
with the ground rod and doesn’t remove copper from a
copper-plated ground rod when the adjustment screw is
tightened. There is a copper-to-copper connection. This
little copper plate also protects copper pipe when it is
used for a ground rod. The copper plate permits significant tightening without smashing the hollow copper pipe.
Note: I am not suggesting using copper water pipe in
your house as a ground. This is for those, like me, who
use copper pipe as ground rods driven into the earth.
As a last step, screw the “jam-nut” until it is tight against
the ground strap.
Figure 5
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
62
Index
Caution - Read This!
2
Weatherproofing
Coax Seal
Ultimate Sealing Technique
3
3
4
Grounding
Ground System, 2nd floor
Ground Systems
Power Rating
Line Isolators
Baluns
15
7-19
5
14-17, 32
50-57
Antennas
BigSig Loop
47
CAROLINA Short 40
37
CAROLINA Short 80
37
CAROLINA Short 80 Special
40
CAROLINA Short 160 Special
40
CAROLINA WINDOM Shortwave
43
CAROLINA WINDOM in general
29
CAROLINA WINDOM 80
31
CAROLINA WINDOM 160
35
CAROLINA WINDOM 20 & 620
34
CAROLINA WINDOM 40 & 40 Plus 34
CAROLINA WINDOM 80 & 160 Special 40-42
CAROLINA WINDOM “LP” series
36
G5RV Plus
49
SuperLoop 40
45
SuperLoop 80
45
ULTIMA DIPOLE
46
Antenna Installation
Do’s and Don’t of antenna installation 25
Antenna Installation lists
Installing Wire Antennas
Antenna Trimming Chart
Pulleys
Tower Mounting
Tree Installation of antennas
Tuning your antenna
Antennas not specifically listed in this index should follow the general
installations instructions beginning on page 20.
The RADIO WORKS
Box 6159 Portsmouth, VA 23703
63
26
20-28
60
23
32, 33
20-24
58, 59
All proudly made in the U.S.A.
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