Friday, 6 February 2009
The Rybakov 806 vertical
I have no idea why this is called a Rybakov 806, but essentially it is a 7.6m vertical fed with a 4:1 Un-Un (unbalanced to unbalanced transformer) as described by IV3SBE.
It works very well with a fibreglass fishing pole and can be put up in a few minutes. The pattern (right) is what you get on 20m.
You need to put down an earth stake, and it really, really needs radials – the more the merrier.
The idea is that the antenna represents a non 1:1 SWR match at all frequencies – 7.6m is chosen as it isn’t actually a half wave (high impedance) or quarter wave (low impedance) on any band. The Un-Un (see below right) transforms the impedance to something closer to 1:1 and therefore reduces coax losses.
Does it work? I have tried a 7.6m Rybakov at a few locations and yes it does. Is it as good as a dedicated resonant antenna – no. You get losses in the Un-Un and there will always be a residual SWR on the feedline, which adds to the losses. You will also need to use an ATU to get the SWR down to 1:1, although most internal ATUs can usually cope with the mismatch.
As a matter of interest, here is the SWR I found with the 7.6m vertical (with the 4:1 Un-Un) with a single earth stake and two 20ft radials:
7.50MHz - SWR 3.2:1
10.1MHz – SWR 3.6:1
14.2MHz – SWR 5.6:1
18.1MHz – SWR 5.4:1
21.2MHz – SWR 2.6:1
24.9MHz – SWR 2:1
28.5MHz – SWR 2.1:1
The radiation pattern on 10MHz and 14MHz is typical of a vertical and good for DX. It is not so good on the higher bands as the antenna is longer than a quarter wave and gets complex.
It is also rotten on 80m (SWR 330:10) as it is waaaaay too short – if you extend the wire to 8.6m it will be better on 40m but you may as well make it a proper quarter wave (about 10.4m).
In tests it could hear local CB stations that were inaudible on my Windom, W3EDP or horizontal dipole. I know most CBers use vertical polarisation, but it shows that it might be good for low-angle DX radiation on 10m too.
It is a bit short for 40m, but does work. It was ok on 20m - some stations louder than on a Windom at 30ft, some worse. Same on 17m.
For 20m–10m use I think you are better sticking to 7.6m. The modelling shows that the radials are critical. You may get different SWR readings depending on how many you have. A single earth stake might give you a low SWR, but will be lossy.
If you have little space and like experimenting it might be worth a go, but I never found it matched a proper half-wave dipole at 30ft. More radials might help –if laying on/under the ground they don’t have to be resonant, just make sure they are roughly the same length as the radiating element and aim for as many as possible (32+ is good). If you try this antenna with just a ground stake I think you will be disappointed.
Let me know how you get on.