It seems I have a knack for starting reflector wars. I would like to
offer my many thanks to you all for your wonderful and informed responses.
Through the many responses, I bought and am reading ON4UN's Low Band DX's book,
bought and setup the Hustler 6BTV vertical antenna and started working on
correcting my dipole problems.
The vertical antenna is erected about 40' from a power line which is about
the same height as the top of the antenna. Unfortunately, its the only place I
could put it. The noise is worse than with the dipole, however, the SNR is
much better because the signals are coming in so much stronger. I found that
the transmitted signal is not as good so I have both antennas hooked up to my
K2's ATU. This way when I encounter someone who can barely read me, I can
switch my transmitting to the longwire.
Removing the 1:1 balun helped my SNR on the longwire because of the ATU's
characteristics, (another received email).
20-meters receiving left something to be desired. Adding radials for
20-meters helped immensely. Unfortunately, I don't have room for radials for 40 or
Instead of a standard dipole, I've decided to try playing with a variation of
a rectangular antenna up about 30'.
>Unfortunately, I don't have room for radials for 40 or 80 meters.
Don't lose too much sleep over that, simply get as much wire up there as a radial
system as you can. Don't even worry that much about having the radials all the same
length -- even adding only a single radial for the lower frequency can help loading on
that band. The general rule with radials and ground systems is that more is better.