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Stick vs. Beam

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Old 10-06-2011, 03:30 PM
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Default Stick vs. Beam


Whats the advantages ? Other then with a beam u multiply ur powa....
Got some locals here telln me to bust out with a beam insted of my 5/8s stick ? I seem to do aright on the channels...

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Old 10-06-2011, 03:45 PM
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The benefit of a beam compared to a 'stick' antenna is that it is directional and probably has some gain (both receive and transmit). I think the being directional is the biggy. It means that you will hear better in some direction and less in the opposite direction. That means that you can 'blank out' stations opposite to the direction you point the thing. That's as much a part of that directionality thingy as hearing better in the direction you are pointing the antenna.
The 'down side' of directional antennas is that you need a way to turn them to point in the right direction. Meaning a rotor and a stronger support for that heavier antenna. It also means that there will be times when you won't hear one person because you want to hear another in a different direction. So a directional beam isn't always the best solution. It is certainly a solition in some ways, just not others.
- 'Doc


(Tell those friends that if they will furnish you with a beam and tower and rotor, you'll put the thing up. See what they say to that. )
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:21 PM
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Yeah...I got burned on 2 used rotors I bought....one off ebay and the other off a local....also a control box off ebay.....the only way I would buy a used rotor again is if I seen it work.....kinda turned me off of wanting to put my beam up....for the time being anyway.

Some of the guys around here claim that once you go flat....you won't go back....one guy in particular preaches flatside....and he does do really well at talking skip.

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Old 10-06-2011, 05:28 PM
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Doc has it pretty well covered. A directional antenna has gain on both RX and TX and the average gain on TX is equal to adding an amp of anywhere from 500-1000 watts. It is nice to be able to turn the antenna and null out interfering stations. For example, here in Nova Scotia I often hear Africa and the USA at the same time. With the antenna pointed at Africa, the USA is right in the rear-side null dropping signals by more than 20 dB as compared to the stations in Africa. The extra gain can also help out on long haul contacts to the opposite side of the planet too.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:24 PM
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The beam helps with skip most of the time, but not always.

There are times omni is best. But turning toward what you want is really nice.

Flatside is no big deal where DX is concerned, and certainly a disadvantage where local talking is concerned. I like flatside simply because it permits me to put a vertical omni above it, and because it's easier to tune the beam for best SWR that way. If I were running another quad it would be vertical polarity.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:23 PM
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There are supposed advantages to a beam..
However typically as i see it..
Not as good as many point it out to be (on HF anyways)

Yes i get the directional thing..
Yes i get the not having to hear everyone else around you..
On HF that just never seemed to be an issue for me..

I have talked all over the world..Nearly everywhere except Antartica.

Now if you want to talk about VHF and UHF then that is where a beam really comes on to its own..

Only way i see a beam making a constant/continual difference .. is if ( say for 11 meters ) it is at least a 4 element (better as a 6 element) with it being 32 foot or longer ..
Otherwise my 5/8 wave ground plane will do at least as good
( as evidenced by how i have spoken all over Europe,Africa,North and Central America,the Asia's and even Australia )..

However run a beam on VHF or UHF... Then without having to get a monster size antenna...electrically you can have a huge gain antenna and truly increase your range (hearing and talking).

For HF i use a good 5/8 wave Ground plane ( Interceptor I-10K )
for VHF & UHF i use both typical verticals for local and repeaters& beams for talking distance/skip (well if you want to call it skip )

Anyways...that is my 2 cents

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Old 10-06-2011, 07:43 PM
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oh, id love to put up a beam
too bad i dont have the place for one or the $.
As i know my 5/8 antenna with this little tube box works the DX on 26 & 28 most of the time
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:45 PM
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A horizontal beam will often hear things that a vertical won't. Or vice versa. Signals can arrive at your antenna with either a vertical or horizontal polarization after it has made several bounces off of the ionosphere. I get far more contacts on the horizontal beam due to a quieter receive, as this helps immensely too.

Doesn't hurt to use/have both.
That is, if DXing is your thang . . .
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