It’s time to test a new antenna! The fan dipole. I was considering building a parallel dipole, but I wanted the separation between the elements to ‘hopefully’ help in increasing the bandwidth available & decreasing the tuning interactions between the elements. After reading an article over on eHam: “The Fence Fan Dipole (FFD) — A Quick, Easy and Inexpensive Multiband Antenna” by W6HDG, I was instantly interested in building this sturdy looking antenna that would allow multiband operation without any kind of traps, inductance coils, etc. Here’s a shot of Howard’s finished project, quite the antenna!I took many of my ideas from Howard’s project, but changed a few things. Unfortunately I won’t have a fence directly underneath mine to tie my ends off too, they’ll more likely be in a more separated pattern.
I was glad that I had a 1:1 current balun leftover from DX Engineering. I attempted to sell it a few weeks ago, but had no takers, so instead of a monoband dipole, I could use it just the same on a fan dipole! I was going to paint it black, but paint doesn’t stick to PVC very well, at least over time it doesn’t, so I think i’ll leave it as is. The PVC enclosure will provide complete weatherization for everything inside. I’ll also place silicone on the terminals outside to prevent water/pest intrusion.
This antenna will definitely take two people to tune/trim so I don’t have to take a million trips up and down the ladder! 10 wires seems like a lot though, hopefully I can strategically route them in a way that’s not too obtrusive. I think i’m going to go for a FlexWeave type wire for this so that i’m not constantly untangling wires. I’ll be using a RigExpert AA-30 to test the antenna & a 6′ jumper. Apex will be about 25′ high.
I’m thinking the bands 40/20/17/15/12? Or maybe I should throw out 12, and include 30 in there since I like digital so much, I’ve got a few days to decide while I wait for the wire to come in, so if you have any suggestions, i’m open!
My OCF has been a great performer, but about 40% of the antenna is less than 6 feet off the ground. My hopes were to remove that 40%, but by doing so, I’ll be losing 80m & 6m. Not a big loss in my book since I never get DX on 80, and 6m isn’t a consistent enough band to have a dedicated antenna for it (plus my coax switch has high loss on 50MHz). The loss won’t be missed (I hope). I could have just made a shorter OCF version, which I still may do, if the fan dipole is unsuccessful. Some say resonance isn’t that big of a deal, I beg to differ. I think it’s important to have as effective of a system as you can, especially with my 100 watt operations.
Take a look at the short video I made!
Stay tuned for Part II, just waiting on some wire!