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Directional 75M DX Receiving Antenna




 
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Author Topic: Directional 75M DX Receiving Antenna  (Read 28059 times)
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K3ZS
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« on: February 23, 2009, 04:44:17 PM »

Didn't want to hijack K1JJ on his topic in the QSO section on his pileup recording. Thanks guys for the info on the Beverages and K9AY antennas.   I read about a two wire beverage that does not need a termination for a single direction.     At the fed end it uses the standard impedance transformer and at the other end it uses some sort of termination transformer.    I was wondering if any of the 75M Dxers use or know anything about this?    Apparently you can switch directions but only have to feed it at one end.    How do you think a 400 ft beverage would be on 75M compared to the K9AY loop.     I thought I knew a lot about antennas, but I never heard of the K9AY loop or the two wire beverage.
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Jim, W5JO
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009, 05:02:54 PM »

I have a beverage that is unterminated that works pretty good  It has about 15 db reject on the sides but is bidirectional.  I think the 2 wire thing you are talking about can be bought from DX Engineering.  I had a friend that had a switchable beverage that had a box at the feedpoint and one inside at the receiver.  I don't know the particulars.  I do know it could be switched from one direction to another 180 degrees opposite from the inside.


I have also played with a K9AY loop and it works very well.  According to Gary/W7FG it gave him up to 25 db rejection.  The nice thing about it is that you can switch it in any direction rather than be fixed to just two directions.  It takes up a lot less space and is easy to put up.  The only downside is you have to have a control cable from your operating position to the base.

But you have to switch the other as well, I just don't remember how it works.  I think it switches over the feedline.
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Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2009, 06:51:14 PM »

The "basic"version of the K9AY does not need a control cable. All the switching voltages are fed over the coax.

I thought the two wire bev still needed to be terminated. If not cool. Even if it does, it's nothing more than a 470 Ohm, 2 watt, noninductive resistor and a ground rod, same as any other bev.

I will run some models of a 400 foot bev and a K9AY to see how they compare. Remember that there are preferered lengths for beverage where they exhibit the best front-to-back and front-to-side ratios. The preferred lengths for 80 meters are roughly (it varies some with height and ground conductivity), 150, 295 Feet, 440, and 580 feet. The latter two lengths are superior as the take-off angle is lower and the front lobes are more narrow. The 150 footer probably would not be a good as a K9AY. The 295 footer would roughly compare to a K9AY, but I'll say more on that after running some models. 
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K1JJ
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009, 07:10:36 PM »

Bob,

Thought I'd transfer these Beverage antenna plots over here since you started a new FB receiving thread... :-)

BTW, Steve sent me a good article on phased K9AY loops. Quite an interesting read. I'd try the four square or Bobtail versions if I didn't already have Bevs up here.  Here it is:

http://www.aytechnologies.com/TechData/K9AYLoopArrays.pdf


T

------------------
For anyone interested, here's the horizontal and vertical patterns of a single 600' beverage compared to a pair side by side, spaced 180' apart.  Both are 7' above the ground and terminated.

The red plot is the pair of Bevs (fed in phase) and the black is the single Bev.  Notice how the pair has less side lobes, thus less noise off the sides. The horizontal pattern roll-off of the pair is much sharper, (narrower) though the vertical pattern stays the same since we are only stacking horizontally. The take-off angle is about 25 degrees, almost perfect for low angle DX on 75M.  These would make great receiving antennas for coast to coast AM work as well.

Notice these radiation patterns look as good as any 6 element Yagi at 1/2 wavelength above ground.   Beverages are tremendous receiving antennas for the low bands considering what it would cost in time and money to put up its transmitting counterpart.

Thanks to Steve/HUZ for making these models available.

T


* 80M_600'Bev_VertPattern.jpg (198.29 KB, 604x603 - viewed 469 times.)

* 80M_Bev_600'_HorizPattern.jpg (192.2 KB, 604x603 - viewed 460 times.)
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Frank / WA1GFZ says when he's working near high voltage, as a warning he sings this song by Jay and the Americans: "Come a little bit closer, you're my kind of man, so big and so strong, come a little bit closer, I'm all alone and the night is so long."
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 09:58:22 PM »

The beverage is effective, but I wonder if it would be worth the real estate, cost and effort to put up the phased array.  According to the chart, the difference between the two is only between 6 and 10 dB, whether absolute signal strength or f/b ratio.
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
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K1JJ
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2009, 10:21:25 PM »

The beverage is effective, but I wonder if it would be worth the real estate, cost and effort to put up the phased array.  According to the chart, the difference between the two is only between 6 and 10 dB, whether absolute signal strength or f/b ratio.

Hi Don,

Well, when it comes down to performance, it's just like getting the last few tenths of a second out of a quarter mile dragster. Likewise, squeezing the last edge out of a receiving system soon reaches diminishing returns.

However, 6db is a tremendous difference in the real world if you're near the noise level trying to pull out a signal. 

But forward gain means little with Bevs - the real advantage is the difference between the sharpness of the patterns.  If you look carefully at the horizontal  db vs degrees grid, you'll see the two phased Bevs frontal pattern falls off about TWICE as fast as the single Bev.  What this means is the atmospheric noise coming from the areas not desired is rolled off faster too. The side lobes are also smaller, thus the noise off the sides is reduced. All this reduction in accumulative noise adds up, but will vary depending on what's happening in the sky... :-)   S/N is improved.  The pattern comparison is about the difference between a 3 element and a  ~6el Yagi.


This assumes you want a narrower pattern. But the path to Europe is far enuff away and the Euro population concentration falls between a narrow range, between about 30-60 degrees heading from CT, so a pair of phased Bevs from the east coast or farther west USA work out very FB!

For example, there are nights when I can switch to my Yagi beaming SE and hear high levels of pure atmospheric noise and static. (or T-storms)  The phased Bevs have a nice null in that side direction.... better than the single Bev.  With the phased Bevs on, I hear little noise from the SE and the NE Euro signals pop right up nicely.

As a hands-on experience, I've noticed the comparison of the 2el NE quad vs: the Bevs over time in dual diversity. When I had only ONE Bev, the quad usually had a slightly better S/N on receive. Now using the phased Bevs, it's about equal most nights. The NE signals will favor one or the other variably, as they did the other night into Eur.

So, in summary, yes, it was worth the extra trouble for me.  Besides, if I knew I could try it and didn't, it would bother me until I did... :-)

Hope this helps.

T

 

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Frank / WA1GFZ says when he's working near high voltage, as a warning he sings this song by Jay and the Americans: "Come a little bit closer, you're my kind of man, so big and so strong, come a little bit closer, I'm all alone and the night is so long."
Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2009, 10:46:48 PM »

Gain is irrelevant here and it is for most receiving antennas. It's directivity. The phased array is far more directive and thus makes a better receiving antenna, at least in the desired direction. It's better to look at things like RDF (receiving directivity factor) when comparing receive antennas.

Ultimately, whether it's worth it depends on your goals and the amount of time/money you want to spend. Some guys phase 3 and 4 beverages, and put up multiple versions of these arrays up to cover many directions. But they want the max directivity in numerous directions to cover all the DX paths. For more general receiving purposes, a single beverage may be good enough. For some people, a dipole is good enough. It all depends on what you want.

However, I would recommend almost anyone to try one of the specialized receive antennas. You don't know what you are missing until you try it. I put up the K9AY for DX work. It does well at that. But it also helps out on many much shorter distance AM contacts, especially on 160 meters. I'd never have even guessed, let alone known this, if I hadn't actually built the thing and tried it.
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Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2009, 11:01:13 PM »

From the modeling, the 400 foot Beverage is superior to the K9AY. Look at the plots below.

The elevation take-off angle (TO) is 30 degrees for the Beverage and 35 for the K9AY. For DX, the lower take-off angle is better. If you are looking to improve the SNR on shorter range paths (like stateside AM), the higher TO may be better. Also notice on the elevation plots that the pattern is sharper for the Beverage. The output on the backside drops off more quickly. Yes, it has some lobes on the backside, but even those lobes are less the the more smooth pattern of the K9AY. And the big notches on the Beverage mean even less noise or QRM coming in from the undesired direction compared to the K9AY.

Continued in the next post ....


Didn't want to hijack K1JJ on his topic in the QSO section on his pileup recording. Thanks guys for the info on the Beverages and K9AY antennas.   I read about a two wire beverage that does not need a termination for a single direction.     At the fed end it uses the standard impedance transformer and at the other end it uses some sort of termination transformer.    I was wondering if any of the 75M Dxers use or know anything about this?    Apparently you can switch directions but only have to feed it at one end.    How do you think a 400 ft beverage would be on 75M compared to the K9AY loop.     I thought I knew a lot about antennas, but I never heard of the K9AY loop or the two wire beverage.



* 80m400bevel.gif (36.76 KB, 604x603 - viewed 454 times.)

* 80mk9ayel.gif (36.12 KB, 604x603 - viewed 452 times.)
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Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 11:04:14 PM »

... continued...

Looking at the azimuth patterns, again the Beverage is much sharper - the beamwidth is less. This also means less noise and QRM.  The  downside is that you need to point it more precisely in the desired direction.  It also means you will cover less area on the globe than with the K9AY, but what you do cover (and it is a significant chunk), you will cover far better.

So, for the one desired direction, the Beverage is better than the K9AY. However, the K9AY can easily give you four directions. So, depending on your requirements, the K9AY may be the better choice. But, if you want to cover Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa from your location, the beverage is the far better choice. If you make it a two-wire reversible Beverage, then you can also cover some the the Pacific, including VK and ZL land. Take a look at a azimuthal-equidistant projection map centered on your location. You can quickly see what headings your need to cover the desired parts of the globe. You can generate this type of map at the link below.


http://www.wm7d.net/azproj.shtml


* 80m400bevaz.gif (37.46 KB, 604x603 - viewed 457 times.)

* 80mk9ayaz.gif (37.01 KB, 604x598 - viewed 517 times.)
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K1JJ
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 11:12:52 PM »

Steve,

Yes, a HUGE difference in my eyes, in favor of the Bev - if you're looking for raw performance.  Good job, OM. 

A 400' Bev is still of reasonable length, considering the nice pattern.  There was a time in the 80's when I had up a 2,000' long Bev when I didn't know any better. That was even too long for 160M.


Another point... I realize it's in a delta config, but since the K9AY is fed against ground and stands up in a "vertical" manner, I wonder if it is more "local noise" prone than the horizontal beverage?  The Bev is also fed against ground but is physically more horizontal.

I've never tried a K9AY, so have not compared it. Maybe when you get your Bev working you can, assuming you have some local noise. (hope not... :-))

T
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Frank / WA1GFZ says when he's working near high voltage, as a warning he sings this song by Jay and the Americans: "Come a little bit closer, you're my kind of man, so big and so strong, come a little bit closer, I'm all alone and the night is so long."
Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2009, 12:07:05 AM »

The answer is yes. The K9AY is essentially two short phased verticals. It is more sensitive to local man made noise. Luckily, I have very little here. If you lived in a noisy urban location, I'd use shielded/balanced loops for something small. If space was available, yes the Beverage would be better.

Some pix of the K9AY at HUZ Radio.

http://www.amwindow.org/misc/lakehouse/antennas.htm


Another point... I realize it's in a delta config, but since the K9AY is fed against ground and stands up in a "vertical" manner, I wonder if it is more "local noise" prone than the horizontal beverage?  The Bev is also fed against ground but is physically more horizontal.
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k4kyv
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2009, 02:30:05 AM »

My beverage is 900' in winter, but I have to shorten it to 390' in summer to stay out of the way of the farmer who leases the crop land.  40m performance drops off when I lengthen it, but 80 and 160 performance improve.

The beverage is highly vulnerable to local electrical noise, particularly if it happens to originate from the direction of the main lobe, since it responds mostly to vertically polarised signals.  Narrowing the lobe will make the antenna seem quieter because you are closing the window on random noise sources. My problem is that the chronically noisy power line runs east to west, and is located about 1/3 mile north of here.  Whenever it acts up, no matter where the actual source of the noise is located along the line, it would pretty well render the beverage useless even if I could rotate the whole thing over an angle of 150 or more.

It makes a tremendous improvement over the 110' high 80m dipole when receiving signals from northeast USA or Europe.  Usually I hear signals from N.E. USA very poorly on 160 with the vertical.  The indoor rotatable loop is a little better, but nothing like the beverage when the noise is quiet.  Probably, for my purposes, the single wire is better, since the AM signals I hear arriving from the "northeast" cover a fairly broad sector of the azimuth.  If I had more of my real estate available for antenna use, I am sure a multiple wire array would be a big improvement for Europe, but all of Europe from here takes in a considerable swath of angle to cover every thing from Scandinavia and northern Russia to the Mediterranean.

I believe the lobes can be made more narrow by increasing the spacing between the antennas in a multi-array.
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2009, 07:38:34 AM »

My beverage is 900' in winter, but I have to shorten it to 390' in summer to stay out of the way of the farmer who leases the crop land.  40m performance drops off when I lengthen it, but 80 and 160 performance improve.


Don,

NOT an antenna modeler here, but am contemplating a new antenna system here at the new QTH in Colorado Springs.  As I like to DX on the BCB, a bev seems to be in the future.

My question is this:  Would it take to capacitive 'loading' to shorten it for other bands?  Or would any type of 'loading' screw with the pattern?  I've never used a bev, but they seem to be the ticket for low band performance.

Thanks, in advance.

--Shane
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Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2009, 08:16:54 AM »

You can add a cap or inductor to the resisitive load to change things. I plan to use an inductor on my short beverage. From the modeling, it looks like the inductor improves the F/B quite a bit. The downside is that the Beverage will be a single band antenna. On the BC band, you may have to change the cap or inductor value as you tune across the band.
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2009, 08:37:12 AM »

You can add a cap or inductor to the resisitive load to change things. I plan to use an inductor on my short beverage. From the modeling, it looks like the inductor improves the F/B quite a but. The downside is that the Beverage will be a single band antenna. On the BC band, you may have to change the cap or inductor value as you tune across the band.

I was actually thinking of a motor driven...  Best of all worlds, if it worked.

Tuning would be slightly tricky, but I think just "tune for the peak" would work best.

Since it's not a tx antenna, no problems with super sky high voltages, a bread slicer would work I would think.....  Or would a VV be better for higher Q?

I wonder if a cap and long antenna, or some L with a short antenna would be better? 

And if the cap is a good method, a VV would provide some SERIOUS adjustment capabilities! Smiley

--Shane
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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2009, 12:17:54 PM »

But would a capacitively or inductively loaded long wire low to the ground still be a beverage?  The latter works on the travelling wave principle, not as a resonant piece of wire, and a terminated beverage is by definition an untuned antenna.  I suspect with the L or C loading, which makes it frequency sensitive, causes it function more like a long skinny tuned  loop,  with the ground serving as the bottom side of the rectangle, combined with any phased vertical action at the up and down leads at the ends of the wire. Or maybe it just acts as a plain longwire antenna.

But if the antenna works, I suppose what you call it is just a matter of semantics.
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2009, 01:23:19 PM »

But would a capacitively or inductively loaded long wire low to the ground still be a beverage?  The latter works on the travelling wave principle, not as a resonant piece of wire, and a terminated beverage is by definition an untuned antenna.  I suspect with the L or C loading, which makes it frequency sensitive, causes it function more like a long skinny tuned  loop,  with the ground serving as the bottom side of the rectangle, combined with any phased vertical action at the up and down leads at the ends of the wire. Or maybe it just acts as a plain longwire antenna.

But if the antenna works, I suppose what you call it is just a matter of semantics.

Don,

The question you raise is EXACTLY why I was hoping to get it modeled, or to have someone smah-tah than I to do some interjecting.

I have MANNA-GAL, and it's great, but I am by NO means an antenna modeler....  However, I think I'll have a shot at it, and see what it says.

Amazing, what we can do with simple computers, I tell ya! 

--Shane
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2009, 02:23:04 PM »

The Beverage is a section of transmission line (single line over ground plane)terminated in its characteristic impedance.  The ground plane is lossy and so the resulting radiation pattern, as opposed to a perfect ground plane/transmission line and no radiation coupled in or out.
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2009, 02:34:47 PM »

I've modeled a short (200 foot long on 80 meters) Beverage with just a resistive termination and then with the resistor and an inductor. The right selection of inductance improves the F/B. Yes, the Beverage will now be a single band antenna, unless the inductance is changed or removed. It doesn't matter in my application. The 200 feet would be far too short to do any good on 160 meters, inductor or not. If I want to use it on 40 meters, I can just short out the inductor. I will post the modeling results later to illustrate.

And yes, as far as I can tell, it's still a Beverage. You aren't necessarily resonating the antenna with the inductance. I just set the inductance for the best F/B. I don't know if it's resonant or not. You can read an FCC memo from 1958 on the Beverage. It's all there, single wire, two wire unidirectional, two-wire switch able directions, and using reactive terminations to steer or change the nulls on the back side.

http://www.ae5d.com/bev/bev2.html


I'd go with the longer Beverage over the shorter one. It will provide more output/gain, have better directivity and have a lower take-off angle. You wouldn't need a VV for your Beverage. It's not a high Q system. A trimmer cap would work. But if you are just after making the thing look shorter for higher frequencies you may not need to mess with a cap. Depending on the range you wish to cover, one proper length can work quite well. There are numerous published lengths that cover 160 and 80 or 80 and 40 meters. If you want to optimize over a greater range than these, just use a relay to add and subtract additional lengths. It would probably be easier than trying to remotely "tune" or optimize the thing with a variable cap.
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2009, 03:06:38 PM »

You can read an FCC memo from 1958 on the Beverage. It's all there, single wire, two wire unidirectional, two-wire switch able directions, and using reactive terminations to steer or change the nulls on the back side.

http://www.ae5d.com/bev/bev2.html

Thanks for that link.  Loads of information there plus all the embedded links in the document.  Hours of reading.  Plenty of bookmarking and copying to do.
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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2009, 09:12:15 PM »

See plots below. The null off the back is much greater with the 200 foot beverage terminated with a resistor and an inductor.


I've modeled a short (200 foot long on 80 meters) Beverage with just a resistive termination and then with the resistor and an inductor. The right selection of inductance improves the F/B. Yes, the Beverage will now be a single band antenna, unless the inductance is changed or removed. It doesn't matter in my application. The 200 feet would be far too short to do any good on 160 meters, inductor or not. If I want to use it on 40 meters, I can just short out the inductor. I will post the modeling results later to illustrate.


* 80m200bevtermcompel.gif (36.74 KB, 604x603 - viewed 456 times.)

* 80m200bevtermcompaz.gif (39.71 KB, 604x603 - viewed 441 times.)
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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2009, 10:23:12 PM »

SHE"S A WIDE BODY.....Ought to work OK


See plots below. The null off the back is much greater with the 200 foot beverage terminated with a resistor and an inductor.



I've modeled a short (200 foot long on 80 meters) Beverage with just a resistive termination and then with the resistor and an inductor. The right selection of inductance improves the F/B. Yes, the Beverage will now be a single band antenna, unless the inductance is changed or removed. It doesn't matter in my application. The 200 feet would be far too short to do any good on 160 meters, inductor or not. If I want to use it on 40 meters, I can just short out the inductor. I will post the modeling results later to illustrate.
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Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2009, 09:19:02 AM »

The K9AY is even wider on the front lobe  - 130 degrees at the 3 dB points compared to about 90 degrees for the Beverage , so I'm hoping to see some improvement with the Beverage.

I'm still trying to figure how I can add some more wire to the Beverage (think neighbor's yard).  Wink
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« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2009, 09:51:33 AM »

This is a wealth of information, thanks to all of you.   I was wondering what is the basis for the favored lengths of the beverage, I suppose it is the pattern only.    Will one that is 295 ft be better than 400 ft?    Also how well would these work during the day for the average AM contact?     Being in Central PA, I do a lot of daytime 75M listening.    Many times there is a QSO in Ohio and New England going on at the same time on the same frequency.     With the high angle at these distances, and from Steve's plots, it seems that the K9AY loop may a better directional receive antenna for daytime use.
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Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2009, 10:23:27 AM »

The preferred lengths produce sharper nulls off the back/better or better F/B and F/S ratios. If you have room for 400 feet, go with it or the 440 foot length. It will be superior to the 295 foot length.

For relatively short distance AM use, I'd go with the K9AY. It has much greater high angle response, as you noted. And you can switch it in four directions. From my location in southeastern Virginia (about 60-70 miles from the NC border), I can easily hear 1-land AM stations, even those in Maine during the day, at least during the winter months. In December, I could hear these stations as early as 1300 local time. But that was only on the K9AY. With the dipole, many stations were in the noise. I don't see much improvement on most AM signals at night, except for longer distance ones, like the Midwest and West coast.

The K9AY also makes a difference on many AM signals on 160 meters at night, much more than on 80/75 meters. Even stations as close as 300 miles are often heard better on the K9AY.

Since the K9AY is so small, you could probably put both it and the Beverage up. Point the Beverage towards Europe for DX and use the K9AY for everything else. You would have it all!
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