S9 Antennas | S9v | Installation guide | S9 Antennas S9v Installation guide

Model S9v
18’ Mk II
Multiband Vertical Antenna
Installation Guide
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
Thank you for purchasing the S9v 18’ Mk II multiband vertical antenna,
hereinafter referred to as the S9v. We believe the S9v to be the lightest, most
efficient and safest full-size vertical antenna available and we sincerely hope that
you enjoy your new S9v.
The S9v is a tapered, ultra-lightweight 18’ fiberglass vertical antenna designed
for fixed and portable Amateur Radio use from 20 through 6 meters. Friction
locking sections and high-tech polymer tube rings allow the antenna to be quickly
and safely deployed in practically any environment without tools.
Please read this guide in its entirety FIRST before installing your S9v. The S9v
is extremely easy to install and deploy, but reading through this guide first will
make it a painless and enjoyable experience.
The S9v is shipped pre-assembled with all the components and hardware you
need to install the antenna. You will need to furnish coax cable, an antenna
tuner, a balun/unun, a small pipe or mast for the ground or roof mount, some
radials, and weatherproofing material.
Coax Cable
For top performance, the S9v must be fed with a quality, low-loss 50-ohm coaxial
feed line such as RG-213 or LMR400.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
Antenna Tuner
Since the S9v is extremely close to ¼-wavelength on 20 meters, it can be used
as a serious 20 meter monoband DX antenna using the antenna tuner inside
your rig (or with an external antenna tuner). In this configuration, the coax cable
can be directly connected to the S9v using the supplied ring terminal connectors.
Radials and a 1:1 current choke balun (located outside of the radial field) are
strongly recommended in this configuration. As a 20 meter monoband antenna,
the S9v can be mounted on the ground or as an elevated ground plane antenna
on a pole, on your roof or on a tower.
If you want to use the S9v as a multi-band antenna, you will need a 4:1 unun and
a quality antenna tuner in your shack. (Internal rig tuners do not have adequate
range to match the higher impedances presented by the antenna on bands
above 20 meters.) We recommend the LDG Electronics series of auto tuners for
use with the S9v. LDG tuners easily handle the wide-range of impedances
presented by the S9v over the higher HF frequencies.
Using a weatherproofed, remote antenna tuner at the antenna feed point ensures
absolute lowest signal loss and best overall multi-band performance. There are
several remote antenna tuners on the market. When a remote tuner is used at
the S9v feedpoint, a 4:1 unun is not required but a 1:1 current choke balun may
be needed between your transmitter and the antenna (outside of the radial field)
if you experience RF current in your shack. (Burying your coax cable also helps
minimize RF current from flowing back into your shack.)
For 20 meter monoband use, a 1:1 choke balun should be inserted in-line with
your coax outside of the radial field to prevent RF from coming back into your
shack over the coax shield. There are several commercially-available 1:1 current
choke baluns (Balun Designs being one of the best – see them at
www.balundesigns.com) or you can create a simple current choke balun using
your coax feed line.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
To create a 1:1 current choke balun using your coax feed line, simply wind 18
feet of your coax feed line (outside the radial field) evenly around a 4-inch round
form such as a PVC pipe. You can use zip lock cable ties to secure the windings
and to maintain the coil form. Additional information about constructing an
inexpensive 1:1 choke balun using your coax feedline can be found on-line at:
For multi-band use, a 4:1 “unun” from Balun Designs is recommended at the
antenna feed point. A 4:1 unun helps lower the higher impedances presented by
the S9v on frequencies above 20 meters.
Balun Designs sells two 4:1 ununs specifically for the S9v, depending on the
amount of power you expect to run. These ununs may be purchased on-line at
If you are running 300 watts or less, use the Balun Designs “Model 4130sv
for S9 Vertical”.
If you running more than 300 watts, use the Balun Designs “4:1 Unun for
Verticals” (Model # 4134).
Up to 300W: Balun Designs 4:1
Unun for S9 Vertical
(Model 4130sv)
Above 300W: Balun Designs 4:1 Unun for
Verticals (Model 4134)
In a multi-band configuration, expect excellent results on 20 through 10 meters.
The antenna may be used on 6 meters provided your antenna tuner covers 6
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
Ground or Elevated Mount
A 1” OD or smaller diameter pipe is required for the S9v to be mounted on the
ground or in the air.
For permanent ground-mount installations, we suggest using a 2 foot length
of ¾-inch galvanized plumbing pipe from a hardware store like Home DepotTM or
LowesTM, as shown below. This 2-foot long, 3/4” pipe has an OD of 1 inch and
sells for around $5 - it makes a perfect ground mount for the S9v.
The S9v base tube simply slips over the pipe for an easy and elegant
deployment. (A mechanical connection from the antenna base tube to the pipe
is neither required nor desired.)
NOTE: Do NOT use a pipe with an OD larger than 1” or it will be impossible
to slip the S9v base tube over the pipe.
For elevated installations, the S9v functions as a ground plane (GP) antenna
and four, ¼-wave radials are required per band as discussed below. Because
the S9v is so light, you can roof-mount the antenna using a simple TV-type tripod
from Radio ShackTM or any electronics store or mount it on a push-up pole. We
suggest using a 3 to 4 foot fiberglass mast with a roof tripod. Again, do not use a
mast with an OD larger than 1”. Home DepotTM and LowesTM sell brooms and
tools with fiberglass handles and these handles make great masts.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
To create a mount for the S9v, simply install a U-bolt (not supplied) around the
fiberglass mast about 12” from the top of the mast. The S9v will slip over the
mast and rest on the u-bolt. You can then attach the four ¼-wave radials to the
u-bolt using ring terminal connectors. Then, attach your coax shield/unun ground
connection to the u-bolt. Do NOT run a wire from the u-bolt/coax shield/elevated
radials to an earth ground.
For optimum performance, the S9v should be used against a good RF ground. A
ground rod is not an effective RF ground! For an effective RF ground, use radial
wires constructed from 14 – 16 AWG stranded insulated copper wire.
For ground-mounted installations, use at least 16 radials (32 preferred), with
each radial at least 0.2 wavelength at the lowest operating frequency (14 MHz)
which is 13.37 feet (13 feet, 5 inches long).
There is no precise formula to calculate the length of ground-mounted radials
because everyone has different soil and soil tends to change the electrical length
of the radials. However, a general rule of thumb for radials is: “longer” and
“more” is better.
If you have the time and resources, 32 or more radials at least 13 feet, 5 inches
in length (or longer) should be considered. It is highly recommend that you use
a radial plate to connect and organize your radials.
The optional S9 Radial Plate has 36 radial mounting holes and includes 20 sets
of stainless steel hardware – enough to connect 40 radials to the plate.
Additional, detailed information on ground-mounted radials can be found on page
S9 Radial Plate
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
For elevated installations, use 4 radials per band, each ¼ wavelength long.
Attach the radials (and your coax shield) to the mast u-bolt at the base of the
antenna using ring terminal connectors. If possible position the radials equally
around the S9v base. You may drop the radials away from the S9v at a 45degree angle to the base, if desired, or lay them flat on a roof. Attach insulators
to the ends of each radial. Do NOT run a ground wire from the radials/coax
shield to an earth ground.
The S9v consists of six lightweight telescoping tapered fiberglass tubes with a
continuous, insulated vertical element wire inside the tubes. The base tube
functions as a hard shell case, protecting the collapsed fiberglass sections. The
antenna is shipped with end caps and polymer tube rings to retain the
telescoping sections and to facilitate portable operation.
The hardware that is provided with the antenna is shown on the next page.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
Hook Tool Used to Retrieve
Element Wire from Antenna
Spare Vinyl Cap for
Antenna Tip
Four Polymer Tube Rings
Two Ring Terminal
Connectors and Hardware for
Coax Center and Shield
Lower End of S9v 18’
Vertical Element Wire
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
The polymer tube rings are not clamps – they are “stops” that are used to
keep the associated tube section from collapsing down into the tube
immediately below it.
Slide a tube ring over the tube and use your thumb and index finger to
loosely latch the ring about 15 to 20 inches above the adjoining, lower tube.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
Next, slide the ring down the tube to see if it fits tightly against the top
edge of the adjoining lower tube.
If the ring is not tight, slide the ring back up the tube, use your thumb and
index finger to advance the latch ONE MORE CLICK. Repeat the previous
step and this step until the ring fits tightly against the top edge of the lower
tube section as shown above.
Once a tube ring is properly latched, there is no need to unlatch or change
the ring latch setting – simply slide the rings on and off the tubes each time
you assemble or disassemble the antenna.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
Unlatching a tube ring is easy! Use both hands. Push forward on one tab
while pulling back on the other tab to free the latching mechanism, as
shown below.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
1. Select the Site. Try to use as open an area as possible to deploy the S9v.
Even though the S9v is completely insulated, you absolutely MUST locate the
antenna site at least 27’ away from power lines (1.5x the length of the
antenna). In fact, an ideal installation site would be a least 27’ away from any
other large object such as a house or trees.
2. Install the Mount. The S9v requires a mount. The elevated mount was
discussed earlier. For ground-mount installations, you will need a large
hammer, a spare piece of wood and a level to install the pipe in the ground.
Place a piece of wood over the top of the pipe to protect the top edges
from becoming deformed. Hammer the piece of wood in a straight
downward direction. Do NOT directly hammer the pipe – hammer the
wood to protect the pipe.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
Drive the 1” max
OD pipe into
ground leaving a
maximum of 12
inches above the
NOTE: Use a level while you are installing the pipe to ensure that it
is as straight as possible in the vertical plane.
Drive the 1 inch max OD pipe into the ground leaving 12 INCHES MAXIMUM
above the ground.
3. Install the Radial Plate. After you have installed the pipe, install the S9
Radial Plate. (The S9 Radial Plate simply slips over the pipe.)
4. Assemble the S9v. To assemble the S9v antenna:
a. Lay the S9v on the ground and unwind the vertical element wire away
from the base tube in a straight line. Don’t pull unnecessarily on the wire
– the idea is to just un-roll the wire to its full length. Once the wire is
completely unrolled, pull small sections of the wire through your hands to
straighten the wire a little.
NOTE: The wire does NOT have to be perfectly straight, so don’t
spend a lot of time trying to straighten the wire!
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
Unwind wire straight out from
base tube until it is fully
extended along the ground
b. Next, remove the TOP cap plug (pulls off). Do NOT unscrew the
BOTTOM end cap where the wire exits. Put the top cap plug in your
pocket so that it will not be lost in the grass.
c. We are ready to extend the antenna sections. The S9v should still be
laying flat on the ground. To extend the antenna, grab a section of the
wire near the bottom end cap and push the wire into the base tube. This
action should cause the top, thinnest section of the antenna (it has a cap
on its tip) to pop out of the top of the base tube. (If this doesn’t work, pickup the base tube and shake it slightly while pointing the top part of the
tube downward.)
Grab top section
here (not the cap)
and pull straight out
to retrieve the next
section. Repeat until
all sections are
extended from the
base tube.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
d. Gently pull the top, thinnest section straight out of the base tube (pull the
section, not the cap) until it catches and pulls the next, lower section out.
Gently twist the top section to lock it into the lower section. Now, pull the
lower section straight out until the next section appears. Repeat this you
have extended all the sections EXCEPT FOR THE SECTION ABOVE
THE BOTTOM BASE TUBE. Pull and twist the upper sections to frictionlock them but don’t overdo it as it may be difficult to collapse the sections
later on.
e. As shown below, each upper tube section (except the top, tip section)
requires a polymer tube ring to prevent the tube from collapsing down into
the larger diameter tube immediately below it.
f. To install a ring, slide it over the top of each upper section and use your
thumb and index finger to squeeze the ring tabs until the teeth click
together, as shown below.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
g. Next, slide the ring down the tube toward the lower, larger tube section.
All tube diameters are tapered, so the goal is to have the ring fit tightly
against the top of the adjoining lower tube section. You may have to slide
the ring back up the tube (where the diameter is smaller) to advance the
ring latch another click and then slide the ring back down the tube before
you find the perfect fit. No pliers or tools are needed! This process is
easily done by hand. Use common sense to determine when a ring is
tight enough to keep the associated tube from collapsing.
NOTE: Unlatching a tube ring is easy! Use both hands. Push
forward on one ring tab while pulling back on the other tab
to free the latching mechanism.
h. The top tip section does not require a tube ring. To secure the top section,
hold the section below it with one hand and firmly twist and pull the tip
section with your other hand until it is firmly friction-locked in place.
NOTE: The antenna should now be fully extended except for the
section above the base tube.
The end of the vertical element wire is terminated with a male bullet
connector and a rubber band to make retrieving the wire fast and easy.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
j. Note how the rubber band is looped around itself on the tip of the
connector. Now, remove the rubber band from the connector and
unscrew the black plastic cap from the bottom of the S9v base tube. Next,
poke the bare connector through the hole near the center of the black
plastic cap and remove the cap. Hang on to the cap as we will screw it
back on in a few steps.
k. Now, re-attach the rubber band. Be sure to loop it tightly around the metal
tip of the connector as shown below.
Fully extend the section above the base tube. The bullet connector and
rubber band will disappear into the base tube as the upper section is fully
m. Now, install the largest tube ring on the section above the base tube like
we did with the thinner, upper sections.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
n. To retrieve the vertical element wire from the antenna, use the hook tool to
fish the rubber band loop out of the exit hole in the side of the base tube
(as shown below). Once the tip of the connector is close to the exit hole,
remove the hook tool and use your fingers to bring the connector through
the hole.
o. Now, remove the rubber band from the tip of the connector and connect
the male connector to the female connector on the provided lower wire
p. Before we raise the antenna, remove the center piece from the screw on
cap and put it in your pocket. Now, screw the ring back onto the bottom of
the base tube. The ring will protect the base tube bottom cap threads
while the antenna is deployed and it also creates a drain path for any
moisture that accumulates inside the fiberglass sections.
1. Remove cap center piece
2. Screw plastic ring back
onto bottom of base
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
5. Raise the S9v. This is the fun part! To raise the S9v, simply grab it and
lower it down over the ground pipe.
6. Connect Feed Line (or Unun) to Antenna. If you are using the S9v as a 20
meter monoband vertical, proceed with step “a”, below. If you are using the
S9v as a multi-band antenna (20 – 6 meters), skip to step “b” on the next
page now.
a. If you are using the S9v as a 20 meter monoband vertical, position the 1:1
current choke balun in-line with your coax feed line, outside of the radial
field. Then, solder the two supplied ring terminal connectors to the
antenna end of your coax feed line. (If you are using a commercial 1:1
choke balun, this would be the ‘antenna end’ of the coax that you run from
the balun to the S9v.) To prepare the coax, remove about 3 inches of the
coax outer jacket. Leave the braid 3 inches long and trim back the center
connection to around 1-1/2 inches long. Then, solder the center and
shield coax connections to the ring terminals.
About 3 Inches
Solder Coax Shield to Ring
Solder Coax Center to Ring
About 1-1/2 Inches
Refer to the picture on the next page and wrap some electrical tape
around the coax center and shield. Then, using the supplied hardware,
connect the coax center connector to the S9v vertical element wire.
Secure the coax center lead to the bottom of the base tube with electrical
Next, connect the coax shield to a convenient hole on the radial plate.
Now, skip to step “c” on the next page.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
Connect coax
center to S9v
vertical element
Connect coax shield to any
convenient point on the
radial plate
Coax to 1:1
choke balun
Wrap electrical
tape around coax
center lead to
secure it to the
base tube
b. If you are using the S9v as a multi-band antenna (20 – 6 meters) position
the Balun DesignsTM 4:1 unun at the base of the S9v and connect the
S9v vertical element wire ring terminal connector to the 4:1 unun stud
marked Vertical.
Next, solder two ring terminal connectors to a short piece of radial wire or
copper braid (shown) and connect the 4:1 unun Radials stud to the
nearest hole on the radial plate. Finally, connect your coax feed line
PL-259 male connector to the Balun Designs SO-239 female connector.
c. You can use electrical tape or zip ties to secure the vertical element wire
below the base tube exit hole. If there is any slack in the vertical element
wire, it needs to be left ABOVE the electrical tape or ties. This way, there
will be some slack wire available to move with the fiberglass sections in
the event of very strong wind.
d. COMPLETELY weatherproof the vertical element wire connection and all
coax feed line and unun connections using the sealant of your choice such
as coax seal, silicon RTV, etc.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
NOTE: It is not necessary to weatherproof the ring terminal
connections on the radial plate.
7. Install Ground Radials. For ground-mount installations, we suggest a
minimum of 16 radials, each at least 13 feet, 5 inches long spaced as evenly
as possible around the S9v base. For best performance, use 32 (or more)
radials. It is suggested that you use 14 -16 AWG insulated stranded copper
wire (available at Home DepotTM and sold in a 500-ft roll for around $35). S9
sells ring terminal connectors to facilitate connecting the radial wire to the
ground plate.
Use lawn and garden fabric staples from Home DepotTM or LowesTM to secure
the radials to the ground. Install the first staple about 3 inches or so from the
edge of the radial plate. Grass will eventually grow over the radials and cover
them. In the meantime, be sure to set your lawn mower blade higher than
normal to ensure that the radials do not get caught in the mower blade - this
advice comes from real-world "experience" (!). It is best to use at least 5
staples per radial to ensure the radials are held firmly against the ground.
Install first radial staple
about 3 inches from the
edge of the radial plate
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
The antenna should perform in winds up to around 50 MPH. Ice is definitely a
concern for any antenna. If winds above 50 MPH and/or ice are expected, you
should lower the antenna to protect it from becoming damaged.
To lower the S9v, simply disconnect the vertical element wire ring terminal
connector from the coax center connection (or unun) and carefully lift the
antenna straight up off of the ground mount. Then, gently lower the antenna to
the ground.
NOTE: If the wind is strong, it is much easier to lower the antenna with the
wind at your back.
If your S9v becomes damaged, replacement fiberglass sections are available
from S9 at reasonable cost.
To disassemble the S9v:
1. Disconnect the vertical element wire from the coax center connection or unun.
2. Remove the antenna from the mount and gently lower it to the ground.
3. Remove the bottom end cap ring from the base tube and insert the center
piece back into the ring – we will put this cap back on in a few steps, so hold
onto it for now.
4. Carefully disconnect the lower element wire from the upper portion of the
element wire and gently push the male connector through the exit hole and
into the base tube.
5. Slide the smallest tube lock ring off of the antenna and repeat this step for the
larger, three remaining rings. Put all four tube rings in a zip lock bag for
future use.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
6. Now, collapse the antenna sections. Hold the base tube firmly in one hand
and twist section above the base tube while pushing it down slightly toward
the base tube until the tube collapses into the base tube.
7. Before collapsing any other sections, if required, pull any slack in the vertical
element wire out from the bottom of the base tube.
8. Thread the male bullet connector through the small hole in the end cap center
piece and then screw the bottom end cap back onto the base tube.
9. From the base tube, collapse the remaining antenna sections one-by-one by
twisting and pushing them into the base tube.
NOTE: Keep an eye on the vertical element wire to ensure
that it does not get pinched in the base tube.
10. When all of the sections are in the base tube, push the rubber end cap
into the top of the base tube.
11. Loop the vertical element wire around the base tube and you’re ready
to go!
The S9v requires little, if any, maintenance. The S9v is finished with a durable
painted surface, but it is subject to oxidation – just like an aluminum antenna. If
you notice surface oxidation (color becomes lighter), use a soft cloth and Armor
AllTM to restore the finish. Automotive spray wax is also an excellent product to
seal and protect the finish. The S9v may also be repainted, if desired, using a
quality exterior spray paint such as KrylonTM or RustoleumTM. It is suggested that
you lightly dull the finish and then prime it with a quality primer before you paint it.
S9v 18’ M k II Installation Guide
If you have any questions or problems installing your S9v, please contact us.
You can reach us via:
Email - support@ldgelectronics.com
Phone - 410-586-2177.
Web – www.ldgelectronics.com
Our mailing address is:
LDG Electronics
1445 Parran Road
St. Leonard MD 20685
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