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Antennas and Towers




 20M - 6M

 NA4RR HexBeam / 6el Optibeam

 35 foot Universal Tower

 10m 12M 15M 17M 20M

 4 el Steppir Yagi / 3 el QUAD

 85 foot MA-850 U.S. Tower

 30M 40M

 2 el Optibeam Yagi

 85 foot MA-850 U.S. Tower



 40 foot MA-40 U.S. Tower

 Lo Band Rx antenna

 K9AY loop (Array Solutions)

 24 foot ground mounted mast



Universal tower and

Optibeam 6 el Yagi for 6 Meters

NA4RR Hex beam 20-6M

Universal tower

Optibeam OB6-6 

6 elements on 6 meters

  • Universal aluminum tower 35 feet
  • Located just outside the shack
  • Peet weather station sensor mount for wind, rain & temp
  • Optibeam OB6-6  --  from Array Solutions
  • 1 reflector, 4 directors
  •  2:1 Balun on driven element

     Completed on 20-Dec-2007




NA4RR HexBeam

Installed 15-Mar-2015








My "across the creek" U. S. Tower MA 850

and Optibeam 2 el 30M / 40M Yagi

U.S. Tower MA 850 

         My "across the creek" MA-850 is one of two I have at this QTH.  It's about 250 feet from the shack

U.S. Tower crank-up, tilt over

MA-850 cranks up to 85 feet but I keep it around 75 feet.

Yaesu G-2800DXA

Optibeam 40/30 yagi on a TiltPlate

LMR 600 Coax with N type connectors


   Foundation cage --  11 yards, 4,000 psi

   Foundation poured on July 7,  2007

   Setting the 300 lb tower base  in place

        Completed on 24-Aug-2007

    The tower was installed on 24-Aug-2007. 

    The 2 el Optibeam antenna for 40/30 Meters is installed on this tower.  

    (Other MA-850 with 4 el Steppir in the background)



   Three towers are visible in this picture with newest one in the foreground.



 2 el Optibeam 40/30 yagi on tiltplate




My "backyard" U. S. Tower MA 850

U.S. Tower MA 850

  • My "backyard" MA-850 is one of two I have at this QTH and is about 100 feet from the shack
  • U S Tower, crank-up, tilt over
  • MA-850 cranks up to  85 feet but I keep it around 75 feet.
  • Yaesu rotor G-2800DXA
  • 4 El Steppir Yagi on tiltplate
  • LMR 600 Coax with N type connectors


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  • 13.5 yards of 4,000 psi concrete with fiberglass. 
  •  About 40,000 pounds!
  •  Foundation poured on 6-Jun-2003



Click to go to my Steppir Stuff page for information on:

Steppir Surge Protection

  • At the tower & in the shack

Steppir Element Boots

  • How long will they last?

Steppir Boom Truss Mod

  • Don't saddle a dead horse


    Completed on 1-Jun-2004

A rare snow storm in Georgia.  My U.S. Tower MA-850 and 4el Steppir with freezing wet snow coating the elements.

Cubex 3el 5 band Quad

The SteppIR was replaced with a 3 element quad in order to test the new QuadLock device.

  Click here for more information.




My "by the shed" U. S. Tower MA 40

and homebrew 80M vertical

U. S. Tower MA-40

  • My "by the shed" MA-40 is about 450 feet from shack
  • U.S. Tower crankup tiltover
  • Tower erected in  January  2000, originally hosted a 2el  quad
  • Now being used for an 80M vertical with a gamma match
  • And 60 radials @ 60 feet each
  • LMR 600 Coax with N type connectors

     Completed on 2-Oct-2007


         The Model & Plan      

   A friend noted "It's sort of a Steppir for 80M." 




   Element height adjusted for reasonance at 3.5MHZ, reactance tuned out with the gamma match for a 1.0 SWR

Coax to Antenna Analyzer shown (LMR 600 to shack)

Vacuum Variable Capacitor for the gamma match






Lo Band RX  - K9AY loop


     Completed on 21-Oct-2007



K9AY loop for low band RX antenna

The K9AY project

  • The K9AY loop compares favorably with the  1WL beverage (see RDF table below). 
  • It requires a small amount of real estate and is good solution if you don't have the room for multiple beverages
  • The K9AY loop is a good homebrew project but I elected to purchase the Array Solutions package.  It includes everything you need.  (antenna, mast, preamp, controller for switching directions and adjusting the terminations).  Visit the Array solutions web page for details on the "AS-AYL" kits.

Location, Location, Location

  • Location is an important consideration. 
  • Keep the loop away from transmitting towers (as far as practical, preferably at least 100+ feet)
  • Stay away from household noise sources (light dimmers, internet routers, etc)
  • Stay away from utility lines, and especially high voltage power lines.  My loop is located:
    • about 300 feet from the 80m transmitting tower
    • about 200 feet from the 40 M transmitting tower 
    • about 400 feet from the shack/house. 
    • about 500 feet from the closest neighbor and any utility lines (which are underground)

Suggestions for installation

  • Keep coax low, on the ground or buried (better) to keep it from acting like an antenna.  I buried mine in 3" schedule 40 PVC.
  • Consider using radials in addition to a ground rod (see my test setup and  results below)
  • Consider the disconnecting the coax shield from the antenna ground.  See my relay box mod to allow either option and results below
  • Consider using ferrites to stop common mode near the antenna

My Results 

  • Dramatic noise reduction compared to my 80M vertical.  A definite winner for this band.
  • Also works on 40M and 30M (preamp/bandpass filter must be off)Performance is a toss up compared to my 2EL Optibeam 40/30M yagi.  This antenna is advertised to have 15/22 db F/B so the results are about what you would expect.   Sometimes K9AY is quieter but sigs are not as loud as the yagi.  Nice to have the option though and do use it at times.
  • Seldom need the preamp but it provides gain of about 15db.  Can be useful at times when sigs are weak.
  • F/B of 15db is routine.  Occasionally see up to about 21db if null is just right.  (assuming 3db per S unit for the calculations with signals between S1 and S9)
  • Recommended termination setting of 5 for 80M seems to be right
  • GROUND THE COAX? - No perceivable difference between the factory grounding option and the disconnected coax shield.
  • RADIALS? - A/B testing did not find any significant difference.  Seems about 1 S unit better at times but F/B remained about the same.  My conclusion is that if you have a good ground you don't need the radials but they can't hurt so I'm making them permanent.
  • Overall am very satisfied with the results!






Radials may improve performance

  • Temporary test setup above allows switching the radial IN/OUT
  • Using 8 radials each 20 feet long
  • 1 Radial under each loop leg and 1 between each l loop leg
  • See "my results"  above

6-Oct-2007, trenching out to the antenna location (400 ft from shack)



The option to disconnect the coax ground from the antenna ground is recommended (sometimes).   It requires cutting a trace, a wire, and adding another wire.  I decided to add a switch to select either the factory ground or the disconnected option.  


































































































































HI-Q mobile antenna

Hi Q (stealth)


  • Excellant resouce for Mobile Antenna installations:


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hiqexplorer.jpg (56427 bytes) unun.gif (34339 bytes)  Unun detail
  • matching network
  • in aluminum box
  • cuts motor noise
  • red, wire tied to housing