Trying a “Short” Beverage Antenna on 160m

I wanted to do something to improve my Station performance on 160m, so I thought a Receive Antenna would be the way to go. Everyone tells me that you need a decent RX Antenna for 160m, because you can not expect much on the RX side, from a 160m dipole. The dipole is sure to be mounted too low for any useful dipole directivity pattern, so something is needed to hear those far-away stations.

My QTH only had about 250′ linear length in the E/W or NE/SW direction, I put out a beverage antenna to give it a try. I used a single wire mounted at a height of about 7-8 feet above ground. I put a ground rod at each end, and used a DX Engineering transformer for the Beverage. The result was that it was just too short to help much on 160m. I could not see any benefit.

While this antenna was not helpful on 160m, it did help on some of the higher Bands, mainly 40 and 20 meters. It gave some directivity and helped to knock down the booming signals from some of the W5 and W9 stations that can make contesting on the East Coast a difficult challenge. So. at least this antenna proved to be somewhat useful, although not on the desired 160 meter Band.

Next up, I am going to try a Beverage-on-ground, and will let you know if that helps me on 160 meters.

73 and Merry Christmas

P.S. – updated for Dec 2018 – I used this antenna again in the recent ARRL 160m contest and found it to be somewhat helpful on 160m. I do not think this short antenna acts like a Beverage on 160m. The directivity was unpredictable. Some of the stations I worked were surprising, and certainly were not located off the terminated end of the antenna (“pointed” to EU). But the signal diversity from the pattern did help in some cases. Altough the gain was low, reducing received signal levels, the noise level was also lower than my Dipole and ZS6BK antennas provided. This was a definite benefit, resulting in several QSOs that I could not have made on the other wires alone. Still, much more length is recommended for use on 160m





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