fan dipoles work fine and I've used them several times in my
life, as did the fellow who mentored me in WINLINK gateway
construction --- good performance without a tuner! By all
means, post some photos!!!
My current favorite however is either a non-resonant dipole
(140 feet is nice) fed with 300 ohm window line (harder to see)
to a 1:1 or 4:1 balun (whichever works best) and then an LDG
auto-tuner. These have done 2+ years' service at my automated
An alternative has been an off center fed style with balun
works either in the center, or after a length of 300 ohm window
line to a more protectected location....and then the
With both types there is often one frequency band that is tough
to match --- and I stick in a coax-based trap (or two) in the
antenna line tuned to just the difficult frequency, to change
the effective length around there....and then it can tune
basically any frequency from 3 - 30 MHz. That sort of
performance is necessary for the SHARES DHS winlink gateway
Antennnas are a hoot, and there are a zillion ways to succeed
at it, so more power to you!!!!
Before I bought the 5-acre property in my gated HOA semi-rural
community (target practice can frequency be heard around us) I
got them to agree that a wire antenna was acceptable. They
basically didn't want huge antenna towers and huge yagi's.
Since I prefer thin little dipoles, they can hardly see mine.
Then I made a big thing about how they are part of a government
backup communications system and also to help ships at sea ---
and I've never heard a single complaint. Another ham moved
into the neighborhood and immediately threw up an end-fed long
wire with an auto-tuner and is having a blast, just like me.
Many people have published ways to hide antennas --- anything
from bird houses (my neighbor actually put up a Bue Martin
birdhouse that would be PERFECT) to invisible wires inside
At my QTH we have restrictions on antenna height, no more
then 7' above the roof line. My property is such that I did
not have a place to put up a 40 meter dipole. I was hoping to
put a multiband dipole. To achieve this, I combined two
different antenna designs I found online. For the 40 meter
part I adopted W5VM's shorty 40 design, which is under 38'
long. From the same coax I added additional dipoles for the 20
15 and 10 meter bands using a modification the classic fan
The antenna is hung from the top of my chimney, about 25' of
the ground to a tree on the property edge mounted at a point
about 7' lower then the chimney mounted end. There were 2
surprises when I tested this. According to W5VM, the loading
coil should be tapped 3 turns from the center for the drive
point. I designed the coil so I could test this tap, and 1
turn more and 1 turn less. All of these had SWRs over 2 to 1.
Since it was easy to try, I moved the drive point to the end
of the coil, and the SWR came down to an acceptable 1.6 to 1.
The second surprise is that the SWR on the high end of the 80
meter band is also quite usable at as low as 1.5 to 1.
The other unorthodox thing that I did was use 75 ohm RG6 coax,
which if very inexpensive, I picked up 100' for $6. My design
notes are attached on a spreadsheet. If anyone is interested I
can post pictures.