Sunday, December 27, 2020

800 foot Beverage - first impression

 I've been working on a new RX only antenna called a "Beverage" antenna.  My first one is about 800 ft long and ranges in height from 10ft to 15ft (which I think is high).  I put mine up higher than normal because I drive my tractor through some of the areas it runs through.  I wanted to make sure it would clear ok.

I will post the actual details on how I built it later this week.  But for now I'll share this video...

This is 80m, 160m was a real eye opener for me.  I was decoding A45XR at -7 LOL.  I've maybe heard 6 dx stations outside North America on 160m in my life.  I just never had a decent RX antenna for the band.

Now I really have to get working on TX antennas for 160-40m.  Now that I can actually hear what I've been missing.


  1. I just started to notice your call making contacts all over the place and found your blog here... Question-- how often do those stations you see, actually hear you? I just put up a big inverted L for 160/80/40 but I always want to hear better. I don't have 800 ft. but maybe I can figure out something more Beverage-like. Impressive!

  2. HI Gary,


    I'm only running about 170w here. SO I'm not a power house transmitter. DXCC-speaking most of what I hear I can eventually work. There are those I just haven't been able to work. For example YB, HS, VU, 4S, BH. But I have worked 118 or so on 80m now, and 91 have confirmed. Most of which are between December 2020 and now Feb 21, 2021. So I'm getting out pretty well even at effectively being QRP.

    I do have to WORK at it tho. And I've only been operating FT8.

    I tend to spot the rare stuff. I'm not spotting my log. If I hear something I think it rare I'll spot them.

    I live near salt water here. So I'm sure that helps a lot. It's not outside my door, but I live on a small island in the mouth of a river which is brackish, and tidal. In some directions I'm sure it's helpful.

    I first put up my Beverage antenna's and then I built the "L" for transmit.

    I *CAN* tell you, that I hear all sorts of DX like A4 often as early as 2-3pm local time with the Beverage. It takes another few hours for my "L" antenna to hear anything DX. In the midst of hearing most of EU, and Med, and places like UN, UK, 4L, VU if I switch over to my "L" everything just drops off.

    Frankly I don't know how anyone using an "Inverted L" for RX can hear. That's an exaggeration, but it's like night and day between the "L" and a Beverage.

    I suspect even a short 'beverage on ground' would likely hear better than an "inverted L". I did really well with a 1/4 wave ground plane *(using resonant radials)* for 40m and 30m. Easily working 100+ in short succession. The GP antenna seems to hear fairly well as far at 40m at least.

    I know many people are using verticals for RX on 80m and 160m. I don't have much experience on these bands yet. But I can say that I can work about 70% of what I hear on the Beverage for RX using my "Inverted L" for TX even with QRP 170w.

    I would much rather be able to hear juicy stuff, and they not hear me, than the other way around! That's why I started by building the Beverage array first.

    I suspect if I was QRO like most of the rest of the 80 and 160m folks I hear, I could probably improve my odds a LOT. But I'm stuck low power until I can manage to get an HF amp.