After working with
fiberglass tubing in my homebrew
Hexbeam, I came to appreciate the advantages of using light
weight composites to support wires for HF
I was planning to homebrew a
30M / 40M
vertical out of aluminum tubing salvaged from an old beam, but then
S9 vertical antennas which are made from
telescoping fiberglass tubing, with a wire running inside.
With a little base loading
the S9V 31 ft. vertical
makes a good resonant 40 Meter antenna. And with a tuner (or a base
capacitor) it makes a fine 30M DX antenna too. Not only that
it comes in a stealthy green color (like my
AB-577 mast). Since the
antenna was very reasonably priced, I decided to give the S9V
antenna a try.
S9 Antennas sells a
radial plate with
stainless hardware, as part of a package deal with the S9V
Shipping was very fast, just a few days from Texas to my
I bent a piece
of aluminum and drilled a few holes to mount a SO-239
coax connector on the plate, as
S9 Antennas Radial Plate
with SO-239 added by me
Each of the 20 ring connectors has 3 wires soldered in...
for a total of 60 radials
Most of the radial wire came from un-twisted
CAT3 twisted pair cable. Using a reversible variable speed drill, two helpers
(daughters) and a fair amount
of patience, I got my 60 radials, free.
I drove a pipe into the ground and
spread out the 60 radials pinning them down
with cheap radial anchor pins from
Here is the
installation with homebrew 40M base coil and a variation of the
(wound on a large plastic juice container). I optimized the balun for
common mode choke
impedance at 30-40M.
You might notice grass seed on the bare ground.
I have since added a
separately fed 30M wire element. The wire element goes up to a
tree, at about a 30 degree angle from vertical...and away from the
mast. This way, the antennas don't interact much, and the ground
plane is used for both vertical elements. The DX results of
this antenna on both 30M and 40M have been very gratifying.
UPDATE: This antenna
was installed in 2010 and
de-installed in early 2014. During those 4 years, a few of the
telescoping sections "fused" together...permanently. This was
a disappointment to me as I can no longer store the antenna fully