Suggestions On 10-Meter Band Antennas
For The
Loudoun Amateur Radio Group's Thursday Night HF SSB Voice Net
This is a Loudoun Count On Us Operation
Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap - Canby - Loudoun - Virginia

(Purcellville, VA. January 27, 2008)  Tonight, there were some questions about 10-Meter antennas on the LARG Sunday Night 2-Meter FM Net. Our newer operators are interested in getting on 10-Meters and operating in our Thursday Night HF SSB - Voice Net.

Information on expanding our Thursday Night HF SSB - Voice Net to a 10-Meter frequency is available here.

We have picked 28400 kHz in the center of the 10-Meter Technician and Novice SSB - Voice Frequency Allocation for this operation.

These antennas are quite simple since they are small. A quarter-wave element is equal to 234 / frequency in MHz. For 28400 kHz that is 8 feet 2.87 inches - cut it a little longer - like 10-niches, and you can fold back the 'bared' wire onto itself when you tune it up. You may want to operate in the CW portion of the band someday.

A dipole is a pair of these connected to some better coax cable - one to the center conductor and the other to the coax shield. You can hang it from the center insulator in a sorta Inverted-Vee configuration or level between two supports - like trees. Don't hang stuff off your house. You can make this antenna yourself. Cut your wire a little longer then above so you can tune up the antenna.

You could arrange the antenna as a ground plane with a single support and with a single element connected to the center conductor and say two more elements connected to the coax shield for radials. Then pull up the center element in something - like a big tree and spread out the two radials. Higher is better but anything that keeps the radials above say 10-feet will work.

Don't short yourself on coax cable type - RG-58 isn't good - get some 9913 or equivalent. And use decent wire: number 14 copper or bigger - meaning smaller number.

Another approach is a 10-Meter magnetic mounted whip. There are those with base loading/matching and thus are shorter than a quarter-wave length. And, of course, they don't work as good. Don't do this unless all else fails. Try this if you can get to your car in front of your house and at net time connect up some good coax and run it into your shack. Just set the mag-mount in the center of your car roof.

Some more experienced folks have tried ready made ground plane antennas - like a cut down CB ground plane. It is mountable on a simple post or pole. Of course, you mark yourself for life. Wire antennas can be hidden quite nicely.

There is one more approach, you will find that a true full-length 75-Meter Dipole Antenna will load up - you might need a matching tuner - on 10-Meters very well. And it hears well.

Finally, don't expect to hear everyone in Loudoun County with these smaller antennas. It's much like propagation on 2-Meters. But you'll find you can work many stations throughout the USA and the World when skywave propagation is present. During the daytime - like after 10 AM be on 10-Meters - you might hear stuff. Old 'Sol' needs to punch out lots of sunspots before 10-Meters returns to its glory day. I'd expect we'll have to relay comments by some folks during our net operations - this is good practice. We've been down this road before but it is very worthwhile: it gets new folks on the air and it will support operations in various 15-mile diameter sections of the county if the 'Balloon Goes Up."

For those with acreage, a yagi antenna is best and you should explore this approach.

For the new HF folks, here is a nice site. You can Google other combinations of "10-meter dipole antennas" or "ground plane antenna"

If someone need help putting an antenna together then speak up. Many on here will help. There's a big iron here on Canby; just bring your parts - coax cable, connector, insulators, wire and maybe a balun though the latter is not really necessary.

Hope to meet you on the air.


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