Antenna bits

The coax and ZS6BKW antenna are both here!

ZS6BKW antenna from W8AMZ
ZS6BKW antenna from W8AMZ

It probably won’t be until after Christmas before I can get everything up and running though. Still need to finish getting the office and the computer back into shape, then make room to set up the radio (which mostly involves finding enough flat surface space for everything). Then I’ll invite some friends over for an “antenna raising” and see about getting the shack operational.

Antenna location, location, location

ZS6BKW variant of the G5RV has been ordered as well as 100′ of RG-8X coax with PL-259 connectors on the ends. Now to figure out where to put the antenna up.

I don’t think I want to have 94′ of wire stringing out in front of the house, so that’s out. There are neighbours on one side of the house, and the power lines/SCEG right-of-way in the back of the house limits the amount of space I can use there.

That leaves the other side of the house, which faces a neighbour’s wooded property. With some assistance, I can probably get the antenna set up in an inverted V arrangement with the apex in one of the trees along the ditch. I just need to make sure the line stays out of the ditch and mark it so that the people who go through the ditches trimming back vegetation don’t take it out. I thought about maybe securing the ends of the antenna to the house, but that would put the antenna at an angle which I’m thinking would probably end up producing a less than optimal radiation pattern.

It’s too bad the tree behind the house didn’t survive the house construction. It would have been a great antenna mast.

Antenna shopping list

I think for the first antenna at the house I’m going to go with the G0FAH/ZS6BKW variant of the G5RV multi-band dipole antenna.

It’s a simple antenna, a bit shorter than the G5RV with a slightly longer ladder feed line and from what I’ve read online about it, has pretty decent SWR in most of the ham bands I want to operate in.

Shopping list:

I can either make one myself, which doesn’t look all that difficult, or get an already made one. Total cost ends up being about the same either way.

Still need to figure out how to put it up. There are some trees hanging over the ditch next to the house that have some sturdy looking branches that look like promising antenna supports.

There are a few constraints I have for getting the antenna up high: anything I use has to fit in the car and there’s a limit to the height I can reach easily. The power lines running behind the house also limits where I can put the antenna and supports. Maybe I can get some of the club members to come out and help me figure something out.

Looking for an antenna

Slowly gathering the parts to put the ham shack together. The space is going to be an office/ham shack where I’ll have my computer/workspace in one corner, the radio, power supply and maybe a laptop for logging in another corner, and a bookshelf or two. Still need to move my computer and desk into the room.

Need to find an antenna now and think of a good way and place to put it up. Then I’ll need to get the feedline into the house.

I think to start, I’ll just go with a simple multi-band wire dipole, like a G5RV or something. I’d like to start building my own antennas, but the workshop doesn’t quite have all the necessary supplies yet. Slowly getting there but it’ll take a bit of time.

Looking forward to getting things set up and getting back on the air.

Update: Got a lot of good antenna ideas from @W2MDW, @KQ2RP and @WB0LCW. All dipole variants and look pretty easy to build. Now I just need to work out how to put it up.