Standard flag -VS- Dual in-line phased loops (Waller Flag)

You know my previous post where I stated I’d be keeping my Waller Flag until I moved?  Well, about that…

The other night I noticed I had lost all directivity on my “Waller Flag” receive antenna. I was unable to troubleshoot the cause, and I checked everything possible – transformers, termination resistors, feedline, ETC. I reconfigured the antenna as a standard flag receive antenna, 16ft high by 26ft long, terminated with a 920 ohm resistor and matched with a 9:1 transformer on the other side. I got my pattern back. This antenna has a fatter front lobe, more gain, better front to back, and seemingly better immunity to it’s surroundings (no interaction noticed). Signals seem to be close to the same strength on this antenna as the transmit vertical, but with less noise. The plot below shows the pattern as opposed to the Waller Flag (in yellow prior to the loss of directivity). You can see the narrower front lobe and better F/S the WF provides.

Deember 2020 update:  Please don’t let this dissuade you from trying the WF.  In my case, I had interaction issues with nearby power lines that I was not able to overcome.  N4IS continued to develop the antenna, and DX Engineering sells a commercial version.  JC determined that a horizontal WF, high in the air, outperformed the vertically polarized version lower to the ground, and K3LR has one at his Multi Multi station.  The antenna does work!

H44MY on 160M

Here is a quick recording of H44MY CQing on 160m, QSX on 22 (1822Khz).  The loud static crashes are courtesy the large Nor’easter up in the mid Atlantic states and from thunderstorms along a strong cold front over northern Florida.

More recent update after making this original post:  I was sure I had worked him easily.  There were a ton of static crashes, but I heard N*N* and the timing was perfect.  He wasn’t working that many people otherwise.  Turns out he actually worked NN1N, and not me.  So, as of December 2020, I still need zone 28 on 160m, one of my last two zones still needed (zone 26 is the other).

Dual Phased Flag Receive Antenna (Waller Flag) – More

Here are a couple more pictures showing the updated configuration of my Waller Flag receive antenna.  I connected a rotator so I can now turn the antenna from the shack; the antenna seems to be working well enough that I went through the effort of running the rotor cable down the dock.

Here is another plot of the antenna’s pattern:

Power lines run along the shore line, to the left of the antenna in the plot above, about 50ft away.  You can see how the pattern is disrupted – reradiation of noise?  There is not much I can do about it but relocate the antenna further away down the dock, which would place it directly next to the big vertical.  I would have to do a full reconfiguration of all the antennas – which is not going to happen.

So – honestly – how does the antenna work?  To Europe I see definite performance.  I hear stations on the RX antenna that are inaudable on the TX vertical.  In other directions, the receive antenna improves the signal to noise ratio, however there have been several cases where I still hear the DX best on the transmit antenna.  I suspect that I hear exceptionally well with the vertical as it is located over salt water, which may make it seem like the RX antenna isn’t working as well as it is.  On the higher bands I see definite performance, even on 17 and 15m.  On these bands I have a high hoise floor, and the RX antenna definitely knocks the edge off on the noise.  I am extremely happy with the Waller Flag, and will keep it until time to pack up and transfer in late Spring 2010 (where to, I don’t yet know).

Some photos:

Here is the rotator showing the home-made heavy duty twisted pair feeder at the high stress turning point.

Waller Flag Receive Antenna – Revisited

Here are two plots showing the antenna pattern. I do not have a rotator – so while plotting I am manually rotating the antenna, trying to maintain an even speed while making one full revolution in 60 seconds. Not easy! This plot was made while listening to AM1600, a low power omni station 2 miles to my east, a clear shot across salt water.

The yellow is with the 160/80m antenna in the 80m position (detuning the antenna from 160m). The blue arc is in the 160m position. There seems to be little difference, with the exception of some lost F/B, however I notice the noise floor increase when listening on the RX antenna and switch the big vertical into resonance on Top Band. Also note the fatter lobes to the left quadrant. I have power lines running on this side of the antenna, perhaps 50ft away. Could this be the reason?

This seems to be a much prettier plot. This was taken while listening to AM1660, located due north of my some hundred miles away on the mainland in Naples, Florida. The difference is that I am looking directly into the power lines when pointed at this station. In my opinion, this confirms that the rear lobe seen on AM1600 is due to interaction with the power lines.

I replaced the CAT5 twisted pair at the point where the mast rotates in it’s mount. The other day, I left the antenna unpinned and it freewheeled in a thunder storm, breaking the CAT5 twisted pair. This beefy homemade twisted pair was made by cutting two equal lengths of wire, and spinning them with an electric drill with the opposite ends in a vice.