BOG (Beverage On the Ground) Antennas

Jim Glover WB5UDE
Note: My plan is to make this page a living, breathing document, which grows and changes as I learn more about BOG's. My initial focus will be MW BCB ("AM broadcast") because there are lots of stations, from lots of different directions, which can be located if they can be identified, all up and down the band. As I learn more, I'll shift my focus to SWL and/or amateur radio communications.

What is a BOG anyway? A BOG (Beverage On the Ground) is a variation of the more familiar multi-wavelength, low Beverage. The Beverage is typically deployed at a height of from just a few feet up, to about 10 feet up or so. It is deployed in a long, straight line, so they're for people who have some real estate to devote to them. A Beverage of at least several wavelengths will be directional toward the end of the wire. If the far end is grounded (through a resistor) then it will be directional in only that one direction. Otherwise, it will be bi-directional, toward both ends of the wire. A BOG is a variation of the Beverage, one where the (insulated) wire is laid out directly on the ground, usually about 500 - 1000 feet long. I have been able to find only scant information about BOG antennas, and would appreciate more information if anyone has some pointers.

Some links to BOGs on the web:

AMANDX Presents Beverage Antennas
Easy Beverage Antennas

The nuts and bolts: For MW BCB monitoring, I use my HF transceiver with general coverage receiver, and a 500' spool of stranded 14 gauge green ground wire purchased (for $25) from Lowe's. I have simply stripped the insulation from about an inch of one end of the wire, and folded the stripped section in half. I insert the fold into the center conductor hole in the SO-239. I put a wooden dowel through the middle of the spool, with a paper sack between the spool and my hand to insulate me from the friction, and begin walking. To my surprise, this wire is not too stiff to manage. It wants to coil back up for about 10 or 15 feet at the end, but I solved that problem by folding a few inches of the wire over, and pushing it into the grass. When I'm done, I use a little handle I made on the side of the spool (this is where the aforementioned nut and bolt come into play) and slip a 5 or 6 inch piece of 1/2" PVC over the bolt to make a bigger handle. Then, I start cranking. It isn't so hard to wind it back up. This actually works pretty well.

Picking a site: I tune in a weak AM radio station--one that gets clobbered any time I get near half the noisy powerlines in Oklahoma City--and drive around to some places I'm considering as possible sites for trying this out. I need a place where I can park the car, and from there, stretch my wire out 500 feet. I've found it helpful to reset the car's trip odometer (so it will be at exactly 0 miles) and drive until it shows exactly 0.1 miles (528 feet) to determine whether I have enough space to roll out my BOG. If I can drive alongside the place where I'm thinking about rolling out the BOG, and not hear any undue noise in the AM radio tuned to the weak station, I figure I have a good spot.

Here are some of my ideas and opinions about BOG's, and experiences with them so far:

BOG Experiments

Here are links to details about BOG experiments I've performed:
Saturday, September 26, 2009
_Saturday, October 3, 2009

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