So when my antenna analyzer finally arrived in the mail (a RigExpert AA-30), I was quick to hook it up to my Hustler 5BTV, and WHOA, my frequencies were way off!! SWR was sky high, and the antenna was already starting to show signs of corrosion near the contact points on the aluminum tubes (I forgot to use dielectric compound).
Long story short, I took everything apart, reused the original dimensions from the DX engineering guide, I kept trying to get 10m to resonate near 28.500, but I just couldn’t get it to resonate anywhere on 10m! 15, 20, 40 & 80 were all reasonably acceptable (need to adjust a little more), but 10m was just being stubborn!
I still haven’t figured out why I can’t get it to resonate. I’ve adjusted the trap up & down & the tube lengths up and down to no luck! Why would 15, 20, 40 & 80 work but not 10?
I’m still stumped.
Here’s a few photos of what I did to change my install:
Since the tilt base wasn’t mounted to a metal pole effectively grounding the tilt base to the radial plate, I added a thick piece of copper plate behind the two & bolted it on (had to drill more holes between the copper plate & stainless steel plate (almost ruined my drill bit – the DX engineering steel is tough). This was suggested over on eham (actually to use a metal braid – but a strip provides more surface area). I cut the strip from an old grounding plate I had previously attempted to use.
I’ve heard from hams that say to ground the coax before it gets to the antenna, some say ground it after it gets to the antenna. Which is right? Both work, one just grounds the coax before it gets to the feed point, not sure if that’s the right way. This way is working though. So what if 10m isn’t working right now. I got pretty frustrated with it so I put it on the back burner again, lol.
So the Hustler is back up and running.
The SWR is a bit high for me though. I’m going to try and add some radials to attempt to get the SWR down below 1.8 or below.
I’ve learned that installation of ANY kind of vertical requires careful planning & execution! I suppose I learned my lesson here. Another gentleman suggested, “ah just let your tuner take care of the rest!” Wrong! A tuner only masks the problem IMHO.
So as you can see, I still have some work to do, but it’s at least working! Before my SWR on 40m was over 10 to 1. There’s only 22 radials down on the ground, I plan on attempting to add another 8-10 to see what that does. Some say 32 is the magic number. But I might need more since my radials are shorter in length than they should be.