160 Meter Antenna Experiment

Some history …

About two years ago, February 2015, I had a QSO with ON9CC/OT6M (Frank) on the 160 meter band. Though my FD4 was, of course, not the most appropriate antenna setup to use on this band, Frank actually managed to read my signal. I was very pleased, almost high-spirited (hi), because this was my first contact on the 160 meter band !

OT6M - 2  OT6M

Since that moment I got fascinated more and more in, what we HAMs call, the 'Top Band'. But it lasted till January 2017 to undertake suitable action as a result of such I orderded the 'gear' needed for a horizontal end fed antenna solution. I selected the HyEnd Company in the Netherlands as the supplier for the antenna (and some other parts) because of the excellent equipment they make. Thanks Ron for the advice and great service !

Getting ready for the experiment …

On February 24th at noon, I started the construction of the 'U'-shaped antenna system. Though there were countless rain showers, I managed to finish the construction at around six p.m. … plenty of time to have a nice dinner and some minor preparations for the CQ WW 160 Meter (SSB) Contest which would start at 22:00 UTC.

160m - 1

February 24th, Friday : some indoor preparations before the real building process in the garden started.

160m - 2 160m - 3

I used two wooden support poles (140 cm long / 8 cm in diameter) per mast.

160m - 4 160m - 5

(GFK) Heavy Duty fibreglass telescopic pole(s) : 10 m long / 6 – 1 cm in diameter (brand : DX-Wire).

The guy rope is 4 mm in diameter, maritime quality ('16 kops'). Mast base plate for 4 support/guy ropes at 6 m height. Fitting an additional mast base plate is possible.

160m - 6 160m - 7

Mr. Blue Sky … well, sort of 🙂

160m - 8

The GFK poles were stretched to the limit … but they didn't flinch. The next time I'll use two base plates per pole, in my case it will be fitted at 8m height.

160m - 9

Sunset in Riemst around 6.30 p.m. …

160m - 10

February 25th, Saturday : an overview of the complete (almost) 'square' / 'U'-shaped 160 meter antenna setup …

160m - 11

HyEndFed 160 meter (monoband) Balun (left), HyEndFed Line Isolator –  UnUn 1:1 Choke (right)

>>> And what about the results of the experiment ?

The HyEndFed 160 meter antenna worked GREAT ! The incoming signals during the CQ WW 160 Meter (SSB) Contest were very strong : signals between S9+30 – S9+40dB were no exception ! The spectrum scope & waterfall of my ICOM IC-7600 turned reddish all the time. The outgoing signals were also amazing : I worked stations all over Europe and a few in Russia. I can't wait till the next 160 meter happening … for sure !

>>> Some technical information i.e. antenna measurements

For my experimental setup (which was not ideal because of the nearby trees !) , the VSWR on the 160 meter band was pretty good : 1:1.25 on 1.845 MHz. Below and above this frequency, the VSWR varied between 1:1.35 and 1:1.6. This turned out to be no problem for the built-in antenna tuner. The measured power output across the entire 160 meter band, was about 90%.
On the 80 meter band, the resonance frequency turned out to be around 3.730 MHz. The small VSWR mismatch below and above this frequency was also corrected easily by the tuner with only minor power losses.

>>> A few (e)QSL cards I recently got because of the CQ WW 160 Meter SSB Contest (24th – 26th February 2017)

NL13566 bevestiging HA4XH bevestiging

UR1118SWL rx-bevestiging SP9AQF bevestiging SP1MVG bevestiging SM5EPO bevestiging PI4F bevestiging PE2JMR bevestiging HB9CXZ bevestiging EU1WW bevestiging EA1DR bevestiging