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Brian: AC2YI Hi Everyone: I just bought a 6600 and I need some advice on what antenna to start wit

I just got my ticket in December 2018, so this is my first radio.  Just wondering what type of antenna I should be putting up to take advantage of this radio with all of it's capabilities?

       Brian AC2YI

Answers

  • N8FNR
    N8FNR Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Well of course money is the deciding factor. I do not have unlimited funds. I wish that I could have a large tower with a huge yagi but sadly I have not been dealt the cards to achieve this.

    In my opinion the SteppIR antennas are the best HF antennas as they do not use traps. They move back and forth to the length needed for any given frequency. My SteppIR BigIR moves a metal **** in housing to create a 1/4 length antenna at any frequency from 7-54MHZ. They are not cheap though. "The SteppIR technology has had a profound impact on improving vertical antenna performance over that of traditional designs – there is no substitute for having a true 1/4 wave vertical on every frequency within the coverage range, without having to “trick” the antenna into being resonant.  Being able to adjust the length of the element allows the SteppIR vertical to be mounted nearly anywhere and still provide a good match to your transceiver. As with all 1⁄4 wave verticals, ultimate performance depends a good radial system. SteppIR verticals can be ground mounted or elevated above ground."

    This is the antenna system I have for my 6400. 
    1 A SteppIR BigIR with 80M coil. https://www.steppir.com/shop/vertical-antennas/bigir-mark-iv-vertical-antenna-40m-6m/
    2 An SGC-239 tuner in a box on a tree. It has a 130 foot long inverted L antenna for 160M. http://www.sgcworld.com/239ProductPage.html
    3 A Pixlel RX loop antenna for 160-40. https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dxe-rf-pro-1b
    4 A Directive Systems 6M 3 element yagi https://directivesystems.com/50-mhz/dsejx5-50/ turned with TV rotor.

    One of the cheapest. fastest ways that you can get on the air is to get an SGC tuner, put it in a waterproof box, run some radials and then get the main element made of a random length wire up in a tree. This could be easily done for about $300. I used one for years and worked a lot of DX with it. It is not a perfect solution but will get you on the air. Take a look at this: https://www.sgcworld.com/Publications/Books/stealthbook.pdf

    Your rig has diversity reception. You really should take advantage of that if you can with 2 RX antennas and at least one good transmitting antenna.

    Always use good coax like this for example from DX Engineering: https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dxe-400max
  • Dwayne_AB6A
    Dwayne_AB6A Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    As much antenna as your location and budget can support.
  • Steve
    Steve Member
    edited April 2019
    Dwayne..GREAT answer
  • Dan Trainor
    Dan Trainor Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019

    A  dipole.
  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Put up 2 Multi-band Fan Dipole's you can build your self with wire and PVC pipe (one dipole element per band for each Antenna Port) and no tuner required if you cut the wires to the right length.  You-tube video if your a new bee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAlPQbf0SV0

    This way you CAN have the 6600's two separate Receivers going all the time and not mute the Receiver on the NON transmit Antenna port like you do with a single Antenna. 

    73's
    Bret
    WX7Y

  • Pat N6PAT
    Pat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Get yourself a Hustler 6BTV vertical. For $200 plus add on kits for 12, 17 and 60 meters  you can have a 9 band (10 if you use a piece of wire to add 160 like I did - email me for details)

    How well does it work with just 300 watts? Check my QRZ page.
  • Justin_KL2D
    Justin_KL2D Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I’ll second what Dwayne said!
  • Gene Duprey
    Gene Duprey Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I'm using a Off Center Fed Dipole from My Antennas.  Works really well, and fits my small lot size.

    Gene - K1GD
  • Steven WA8Y
    Steven WA8Y Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    A Center-fed Zepp or G5RV (ZS6BKW version) and if possible, raise the center (inverted V style) 66 feet or raise, Center and both Ends to 66' (and keep the antenna wire as straight as possible (dipole style). And bring the feed line straight down, making a T (if dipole style) for at least 33 feet. Sure, you hang a wire antenna any way you can and it will still get out, but with less range. A Hex beam (2 element moxon) works well with minimal height but a 2 element Quad works much better if you have a 70' tower because of its lower angle of radiation.
  • Brian Hollister
    Brian Hollister Member
    edited April 2019
    Thanks, Mark for your advice.  It was greatly appreciated!!
  • Brian Hollister
    Brian Hollister Member
    edited April 2019
    Thanks, Bret for the great advice!!
  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    One thing about 2 Antenna;s 90* apart from one another you can ALSO use diversity Receive for some cool noise cancelling. 
    Bret

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I agree with Mark. It isn't hard to put up a dipole, but it is hard to put something better than a dipole. Antennas get into the area of religion, so be prepared for some passion on this topic.

    As Mark said, start with something relatively simple, then grow or change as your interests change. I found that I mostly enjoy portable operation, so I don't have a big antenna investment at the house.

    I use a fan dipole inverted vee cut for 40 and 80. I also use an automatic external tuner to operate the same antenna on 20, 17, 15. An antenna will radiate all the power fed into it, whatever the configuration. Line loss may be a factor at high SWR, but even 3db line loss is only 1/2 S unit, hardly noticeable during my normal ops.

    For my Elmerees, I suggest two things. 1) Put up your antenna first, maybe before getting license or radio. After the radio/license arrives, the temptation  is to just put "something" up to get on the air which may be pretty marginal. 2) Consider upgrading the antenna before adding an amplifier. The antenna helps on receive and transmit, where the amplifier only helps on transmit. $1000 on antenna will usually increase station effectiveness more  than the same spent on amplifier, if you have the room. A 600 watt amplifier only increases the transmit signal 6dB, 1 S unit, over the 100 watts of the flex.

    YMMV
  • Brian Hollister
    Brian Hollister Member
    edited April 2019
    Thanks, John for the good advice. It's good to have a lot of input from experienced operators.
  • Keith WA0BEU
    Keith WA0BEU Member ✭✭

    Great discussions! I have great success with my Hustler 6BTV.

  • Dan Trainor
    Dan Trainor Member ✭✭

    Start with a 40m Dipole and go from there.

  • Dwayne_AB6A
    Dwayne_AB6A Member ✭✭
    edited October 2020

    A matched fan Dipole 40/20 would be a good start. I use a random length vertical with 4:1 Balun but that requires a decent external antenna tuner. For a vertical, something like a DX Commander would be easy to install and use and does not require an external antenna tuner.

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