Welcome to the new FlexRadio Community! Please review the new Community Rules and other important new Community information on the Message Board.
If you are having a problem, please check the Help Center for known solutions.
Need technical support from FlexRadio? It's as simple as Creating a HelpDesk ticket.

antenna choice

iv narrowed it down to 3 antennas for my qth with limited space,first choice is gap titan vertical,second is mfj 1775,and thirdly is the comet h-422,would like some comments on the best to get for my qth,running the flex 6500 with a pr40 microphone.thanks
«13

Answers

  • Jon_KF2E
    Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    For years I used a Hustler 6BTV vertical. It was an awesome antenna that worked very well.

    Jon...kf2e
  • Tony Hateley
    Tony Hateley Member
    edited February 2015
    got the 5btv not impressed
  • James Kennedy-WU5E
    James Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020

    Tony you need to think about your operating habits. Contester or Rag Chewer. The Gap Titan has the best repartition.  You going to run power? 

    Jim

    wu5e

  • Tony Hateley
    Tony Hateley Member
    edited September 2018
    no contesting,hopefully a lot of dx but no high power
  • James Kennedy-WU5E
    James Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020

    OK good luck with the Gap if that is your choice. Remember Antenna is always the best part of your station.

    Jim

    wu5e


  • Jim Gilliam
    Jim Gilliam Member
    edited September 2018
    I would read the reviews on eHam as there are good and bad reviews on all the antennas.
  • Jay -- N0FB
    Jay -- N0FB Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Hi Tony!  I have owned a GAP Titan for over 5 years now and it has been a superb performer.  The GAP is essentially a off center fed vertical dipole with an impedance matching harness in the vertical element.  This is why you don't need ground radials. I have over 120 DXCC's with the titan.  Most of these DX contacts are from 30 Meters and up.  40 Meter performance is reasonable, but on 80 Meters, as to be expected, a 25' antenna is too much of a compromise to perform well.

    This spring, I'm going to rehab my Titan.  I bought it used from Associated Radio in Overland Park, KS.  They had this antenna on top of their building for several years, then took it down and laid it on the flat surface of the roof.  The center harness was found in a puddle of water.  Water has wicked its way into the harness (I still had great performance even with this issue).  The folks at GAP are top notch and take customer service very seriously just like Flex Radio.  Even though I was not the initial owner, they supported me without question.  

    Even though I cannot  give you A-B comparison between the Titan to the MFJ or Comet, I can without hesitation recommend the GAP.  There is a reasonably active yahoo group for the GAP Titan.  Check it out.  You may get more helpful info there.   https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/gapantennas/info
  • Neil K2NF
    Neil K2NF Member ✭✭
    edited March 2015
    may also want to check out the zero-five ground plane verticals if you have the space for them
  • KT0AM  - Mark
    KT0AM - Mark Member ✭✭
    edited February 2017
    I also have a Hustler 6BTV and like it. It tunes up fine on all 6 bands with no radials. In fact the autotuner on my 6500 bypasses on most of the 10, 15 and 20m bands. I live in a covenant restricted neighborhood and have hidden the antenna in with some large trees and no one has complained so far.
  • Ernest - W4EG
    Ernest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    I used the Hy-Gain 18-HT -  HY-Tower when I lived in a small lot in Thousand Oaks, CA.
    I had no space for radials. However, I managed to worked DXCC with it and 100W from the Flex radios I owned.

    I also tried the Hustler 5BTV; I was a totally disappointed.

    I highly recommend it.  
  • Jim Gilliam
    Jim Gilliam Member
    edited January 2020
    What is 'it"?... the 5BTV or the Hy-gain 18-HT?
  • Ernest - W4EG
    Ernest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited January 2015
    Jim, 
    I should had made it clear.. I recommend the Hy-Tower.
    The antenna is a vertical antenna sold by Hy-Gain for more than 50 years and usually advertised in QST and all major ham publications. 
    I used it from 160 thru 6 meters with great results as I stated on my previous comment.
  • Walt - KZ1F
    Walt - KZ1F Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    Hi Tony,
       I'd take a different view. I had a Gap Titan and I really did not like it. From Massachusetts it was good into Western Europe to the Mississippi River. Keep in mind, you did NOT buy a **** rig so why connect it to a '****' antenna? I, and this is personal opinion, believe verticals are 'compromise' antennas. If you can swing a tower (even a 30 footer) and yagi, go for it. If you can't and your choices are vertical or dipole at 15' then go with the Gap, it's likely the best of the verticals, which is why I bought one. If I had to build a second one it would take way less time than the first. One thing about the Gap Titan, and likely any vertical, get some metal screen door mesh and form a 6' by 6' square with the Gap Titan coming out of the middle of it. That was the advice from a guy at Gap.
       I think the other advice you got is good, figure out what it is you want to do, DX chasing, contesting, or rag chewing. That should drive your decision. The other advice I agree with is the antenna is the biggest **** for the buck component of your shack. Get the best antenna you can afford, both monetarily and zoning wise.
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Tony I have used various verticals including all of the above. And I have been fortunate enough to have owned several yagi's as well. Bottom Line: VERTICALS WORK EQUALLY POORLY IN ALL DIRECTIONS Most verticals that claim to cover all bands are just giant resistors which provide a good match but waste all your power.as heat. if you can't get a yagi or even a dipole up in the air, then best vertical I have used so far is easily the SteppIR Vertical. At least it is not a compromise. Giant resistor.
  • Walt - KZ1F
    Walt - KZ1F Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    Yep, what the good Doctor said.  I didn't even think of Steppir, if I had I would have said the same.
  • Ricky
    Ricky Member
    edited January 2015

    I would go with the GAP. They are also wide band versus the other 2 and MFJ is a pain to tune.


  • Bill Roberts
    Bill Roberts Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    I'd strongly favor the GAP. They're much quieter than any quarter wave vertical. I've had Butternut HF 6V, 18-HT, or trapped Hustler. One vertical to consider is the MFJ 1792 or 3. They are less expensive and are more broad banded than Hustler or Butternut.
  • Jim Gilliam
    Jim Gilliam Member
    edited May 2015
    Why is a vertical less efficient than a dipole if the vertical has 120 buried radials?
  • KT0AM  - Mark
    KT0AM - Mark Member ✭✭
    edited February 2017
    LOL! This has been an amusing thread to follow... So, there, Tony, good luck on your choice, glad we were able to help clarify things for you! Let us know which direction you end up choosing.

    Cheers, all!
  • Tony Hateley
    Tony Hateley Member
    edited February 2015
    my head hurts lol
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2014
    Simple. A dipole is directional so it has gain while a vertical is omni directional so it has -2.3dB less gain in the dipoles direction.
  • Bob G   W1GLV
    Bob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Tony, vertical antennas are a compromise. I had a GAP but got rid of it for a hex beam. Much happier with the hex.
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited January 2017
    To Amplify what Bob Said...

    Unless you have absolutely no other choice (or you are sitting on top of a salt water ocean and can put up multiple phased verticals) almost any other antenna will perform better than a vertical...

    For example even a simple dipole will have a 2.3dB gain advantage in its favored direction over a vertical...

    If in fact you have no other choice, then I would spend the extra bucks on a SteppIR Vertical as it is the least compromising vertical as it is actually resonant on every band without gimmicks such as large resistors or loading coils (except on 80) to fool the radio into thinking it is resonant...

  • Stan VA7NF
    Stan VA7NF President Surrey Amateur Radio Communications Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016

    The biggest problems with a (quarter wave) vertical are two-fold.  Firstly almost all the current, hence radiation and reception is at the bottom right in the local noise.  Secondly, talking about current, half of that current is in the radials/ground and is not radiated at all.

    Now an off-center fed vertical diploe, or inverted "L" if the top is folded horizontally, has the advantage of the current fairly high up.

    Here is where I disagree with you Howard.  If you can't turn a horizontal dipole, the vertical dipole puts it power (at a relatively low angle) and is good for skip and no power "wasted" straight up.  This makes it very poor for local rag chew.

    The LOW dipole is great for cloud burning vertical radiation for local rag chew and emcom work but has very little low angle radiation for distant skip. Whereas the HIGH dipole is a different beast.

    So the question remains, what do you want to do with the antenna?  Skip or local rag chew?  In many cases the Inverted "L" has a good mix of cloud burning and skip; just try and aim the horizontal part so your destination(s) are broadside.

    Stan VA7NF

  • Brad - N6SPM
    Brad - N6SPM Member
    edited December 2014
    Hi Tony,

    Nothing will get Hams (or Engineers) going like antennas. I'm an engineer and have owned, operated and modeled many types of antennas. Here's my particular take.

    I only operate DX and I live in a small tract-house in a congested Los Angeles suberb. I run 100W now, although in the past I ran my Henry Linear and a beam.

    The best performing antenna I used was a KLM KT-34(A) - used both. Great antennas hands down. Trouble (for me) with beams is the total cost with towers and rotors, the major troble to put up and maintain/change as well as the limited number of bands most allow - tri-band being the most common. Nowadays I want bands other than 10, 15 and 20M and I want a simple setup.

    Dipoles have so many obvious limitations, I only use them when I have to, but I have worked a fair amount of DX with them.

    Trap verticals proved to be problematic over time: water and the like. Traps and high power are not my favorite mix. For that matter, verticals and power just don't make a lot of sense to me, but that's just me.

    I'm presently using a Hy-Gain AV-640. I chose it because of the lack of conventional traps, lots of bands (all I want), and no radials. It was cheap and I had it up in no time at all. I'm tired of the serious work (and money) it takes to put up and maintain Beams/rotors as well as verticals with adequate radials. It *does* have a rather peculiar radiation pattern, but it works. I have worked hundreds of DX stations in the last couple of years all over the globe with this antenna and 100W, many during the last solar trough. I can't bust pileups, and I don't try to get dxpeditions on the first couple of days. However, with good operating technique, especially split, and emphasizing CW and digital, I do just fine thank you. Oh, and some will say the lack of radials ruins DX and causes RFI issues. Not true based on my experience. I already said I have all the DX success I want, and my neighbors (and my shack) are only 25 or 30 feet from the antenna: no RFI issues at all although I did add HF ferrite chokes to the coax when I made it up. Oh, and these old houses have 2 wire Romex - no real ground or shielding.

    I can argue the technicals from my engineering background with anyone, but who wants to? This outfit does well enough for me and not too bad for a "resistor" :-) It's a hobby. Don't let the battle of the dBs and technicals worry you. Buy what fits your wallet and circumstances and enjoy the hobby. Compromise is not a bad thing.

    73
  • ai6re
    ai6re Member
    edited November 2016
    M y suggestion to anyone with a new 6000 series Flex would be a Hex Beam as it will function on multiple bands at the same time and does not need redials. I have talked to people with Hex Beams mounted as low as 15' to 20' and they still work well. I have a Steppir and it is a great antenna but really can only work on one band at a time. IMHO Don
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Well Tony

    I can now understand why your head hurts.

    Lots of totally different and conflicting opinions.... some based on theory... some based on experience.

    Like Brad, I am a professional engineer and i have designed and built comm systems around the world     My ham radio antenna experience is based on having tried virtually everything on the market at one time or another.  A lot of my testing was paid for by clients so we could research alternatives.. and some of it was for our Contest Club group to see where we could squeeze out an edge...

    I ended up with a SteppIR MonstIR @ 85' on a crank up tower because in the end it was NOT a compromise.. even with 100W I can break ANY Pileup, we can occasionally win a contest (1500W) and usually I am the first or second person (1500W)  to work a DXPedition.. but then for me compromise means finishing second or thirds...not something I like to do... 

    Our contest group uses SteppIR's and a Force 12...  We have several verticals as well but they perform so poorly (except of the SteppIR Vertical which is the best of the verticals) compared to the Beams that they are hardly ever used except for diversity reception..

    I don't like most commercial verticals because they use gimmicks like traps and resistors to fool the radio into thinking the antenna are resonant without any consideration of the radiation efficiency of the antenna.  Most commercial Verticals are compromises that have very poor radiation efficiency where lots of your power is lost in traps and resistors...


    Ultimately it depends on your personal situation...   If you live where you can't put up a beam or a dipole then you are stuck with a vertical.

    Still I would advise ..Spend as much money as you can afford on the best possible antenna system.
    It will give you by far the best **** for your buck..

    Don't be discouraged by Brad... I have had my Tower up Since Dec 19, 2004. and the MonstIR since March 12, 2005. with minimal maintenance issues.   Why?  Because I spend the $ up front to design and build it right the first time....


  • Walt - KZ1F
    Walt - KZ1F Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    As I said as well as the good Doctor and others, start with the best antenna system you can afford and local zoning will allow. Steppir also makes a vertical if that's the best zoning will allow. The Titan is good but not so much without the 6 squared mesh at ground level, not buried. Remember, a bad radio with a great antenna is better than a great radio with a bad antenna. That's where you should focus. Perhaps the first order of business is what is it you are allowed to put up. Next is what you can afford to put up.
  • Terry K8EET
    Terry K8EET Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Before you invest in a commercial vertical, you should do some reading about loops. If you have any thing at all to hang one from they are great antennas for limited space. 
  • Bill Roberts
    Bill Roberts Member ✭✭
    edited November 2015

    Just curious...  what makes Step-IR verticals so superior?  Aren't they just base loaded quarter wave verticals that require lots of radials and pick up lots of noise?  Yes, I know they can be tuned to a 1:1 SWR.  I'd think they'd suffer from the same limitations of other base loaded quarter wave verticals.  Never owned or used one.  Not an engineer, just a ham for 50 years.

    Thanks in advance for your patient explanation.

Leave a Comment

Rich Text Editor. To edit a paragraph's style, hit tab to get to the paragraph menu. From there you will be able to pick one style. Nothing defaults to paragraph. An inline formatting menu will show up when you select text. Hit tab to get into that menu. Some elements, such as rich link embeds, images, loading indicators, and error messages may get inserted into the editor. You may navigate to these using the arrow keys inside of the editor and delete them with the delete or backspace key.