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Any u guys running a ZS6BKW dipole ?..

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Antennas' started by Oatmeal, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Oatmeal

    Oatmeal Active Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I used to run the G5RV few years ago and worked alot of dx on 20m with it, as some of u no it got destroyed in a bad storm here a couple years ago, and since then have been running a end fed, and still have it up...

    Just curious about this ZS6BKW dipole and how u guys like it for 20m use....and how high do you have it hung up ?..


  2. w9cll

    w9cll W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

    Jan 19, 2013
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    Build one and try it, let us know how it works.
    binrat likes this.
  3. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

    May 9, 2008
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    Oatmeal likes this.
  4. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

    Feb 11, 2007
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    Yes I'm running a home brewed one. I recently changed from a Carolina Windom to the ZS6BKW due to losing a tree out front as a support. I had to come up with a shorter antenna for my usable yard space and this one fit the bill. I once used a G5RV but it really only seemed to be good on 20 and decent on 40 meters. The other bands were ok.

    I have the ZS6BKW antenna up 43 ft high in an inverted V configuration with a 43ft push up fiberglass mast. I use 40 ft of 450 ohm feedline that's 3 feet from the ground where the 1:1 choke balun is mounted. I used spare parts from my Windom antenna balun to make one that has terminal rings for the 450 ohm feedine to be connected to the inner core and a 50 ohm UHF connector on the bottom of a 2 gang weather proof electrical box. I only use about 15 ft of coax from the shack outside to the balun box.

    I started off with 90 ft overall length of 14 gauge THHN wire but ended up trimming about 8 inches on each leg to get a good tuning on 6 thru 40 meters minus 15m and 30m which it won't do very well without mods or an external tuner. The link BJ radionut posted I read before tells you about some mods and tips that can be done.

    Other than the 15,30, and 80, I can honestly say I can use a good portion of the antenna without a tuner. My external tuner can easily tune 15 and even 80 which does have a high SWR but you can still use it. 30 and 60 meters is too high and the impedance's are too far out of range for my tuner but that's ok with me.

    It's an excellent antenna on 20 meters and seems to work well on the other bands too. Like most multi band antennas, there will be some compromise but I think this one is definitely an improvement of the G5RV.

    After trimming antenna, here are the numbers showing the frequency where I checked them and where the lowest SWR falls within or just outside of each band. I didn't check 10 meters at the time because I use a mono band 3 element Yagi but it should be just fine there too.

    Here are the readings using a Rigexpert AA54 antenna analyzer.

    Band----Freq---SWR---------------Lowest SWR Freq----SWR


    40m----7.200---1.9----------------------- 6.900---------1.5

    20m---14.200 ---1.5----------------------14.140--------1.3



    6m----50.120--- 2.1----------------------50.495--------1.2

    As you can see above, 6m thru 40 can easily be tuned with most HF radio's internal tuners if needed. 80 and 15 will need an external tuner or you can do mods to the antenna but that's basically doing the same thing the an external tuner will do. It would be necessary if you only wanted to use your rigs internal tuner.

    Your results may differ due to antenna height and if it's a flat top or inverted V.

    Hope that helps!
    #4 fourstringburn, Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    Shadetree Mechanic and Oatmeal like this.
  5. 543_Dallas

    543_Dallas Sr. Member

    Jul 25, 2011
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    I used to use one. It will work fine as long as you have room to install it as intended. I replaced it with a doublet and ran the feedline to a balanced L tuner. I'm a lot happier with that. I use whatever length of dipole I have room for and whatever length of ladder line to get from point A to B.

    With the zs6bkw you'll want to keep the coax as short as possible. On bands that have a high swr you'll have to use a tuner. You will have a lot of coax loss on these bands. Use rg213 or something better...even if you operate qrp.

    Check out the w5dxp website for additional zs6bkw info. He calls it a "no tuner" all band antenna. His idea is a good one but you're stuck using his exact dimensions. A balanced tuner is the cheapest and most efficient solution. You can make one in an hour, but everyone wants to buy expensive store bought stuff that sucks for this application.
    Oatmeal likes this.

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