Wire Antennas + Fittings
The EFW Antenna
For HF operation, wire antennas are by far and away the most popular options. The prime reasons are that they are both cheap and also easy to install. The majority of hams can only dream of what it might be like to own a large directional array such as a Yagi. The fact remains that most of us for one reason or another have to make do with what the majority end up with; a wire antenna!
In this section we show a range of options. One option which I personally now endorse is the EFW (end fed wire). The name is pretty random and to most of us it suggest a length of wire that will fit into the garden! But in recent times this “random” end fed wire has become more refined.
An end fed wire is not easy to feed and always requires a matching unit. Some form of ATU has always been needed. This in turn requires accurate tuning for each band and changing bands requires new settings to be made. However, modern component technology has now permitted the matching unit to be preset and housed in a small box that effectively becomes part of the antenna. The result is an antenna that can be end fed directly with coax cable and does not require an ATU. Any minor VSWR remaining can be matched using your radio’s internal ATU. In many ways this antenna can become the dream backyard antenna. Let’s take a look at the advantages.
1. An EFW is often the easiest to fit into a garden. No long lengths of coax cable dangling down.
2. An EFW can easily be installed as an inverted “V” or an inverted “L.” Both forms of installation reduce the space needed.
3. The mast support requirements are minimal because you are only supporting wire and not baluns or heavy coax feeder.
4. It is easy to install either as a permanent or temporary antenna.
I would strongly suggest that you use a branded and tested model. I personally use the MyAntenna model because, like many other users around the world, I have found that it works really well with low receive noise. Similar comments apply to the MFJ model. The extra cost is more than justified because no external ATU is needed.
Maybe a word of warning is needed. Some of the cheaper designs seem to be very lossy and the claimed low VSWR may well be the result of these losses rather than efficient transfer of power!!
Peter Waters G3OJV.
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