News

October 10, 2021

Antennas for the Field

—Ron Reeves, NN5R

  Recently, there was a Winlink Wednesday survey on the best antennas for Field Day and remote operating. The criteria were a vague subjective “best.” I wandered through the results and tallied a list ’cause inquiring minds want to know!

  If you group all the dipole variations together, dipoles were the winner. EFHW came in second with caveats: the longer the better and you must have a good counterpoise. Yeah, we knew that. Beams were way down in the list and had an important comment: they take more effort to setup but are more effective than other antennas. Yup, knew that too. The best comment submitted: “The best field day antenna is whatever YOU can set up the fastest. Beams and portable towers are impressive, but often have a really long setup time. Don’t forget a 2-meter antenna for 200 points of radiograms!”

  Survey says—

Dipoles (all variations).......... 37
EFHW.............................. 24
Vertical.......................... 20
Dipole............................ 16
OCF Dipole......................... 6
Buddipole™......................... 4
G5RV Dipole........................ 4
Wire (unspecified)................. 4
Resonant Dipole.................... 3
Single Band Beam................... 3
Tri-band beam...................... 3
Chameleon™ EMCOMM II (L or sloper). 2
Fan Dipole......................... 2
Folded Dipole...................... 2
Mag Loop........................... 2
Multi-band trap dipole............. 2
Linked Dipole...................... 2
Chameleon™ Inverted Delta Loop..... 1
Hex Beam........................... 1
Loop............................... 1
Quad............................... 1

  Specific antenna brands mentioned in the survey included:

  • Alpha EZ Vertical

  • Buddipole™

  • Chameleon™

  • Cobra Junior Folded Dipole

  • Hamstick Vertical

  • Outbacker Vertical

  • SOTABeams™ Bandhopper Linked Dip

  • Super Antenna® Vertical

  • Wolf River Coils SB-1000 TIA Vertical

  Look at which antenna you might want to setup for the field. Quick and easy is recommended because the objective is to operate—not spend the day setting up antennas. So, look at dipoles, EFHW, verticals, Buddipole™, and Chameleon™. Hey, that’s almost the whole list. Maybe I should have grouped all the antennas under one category: radiating metal in the air?

—73 Ron