Friday, 3 July 2009
The Hustler 5-BTV
I quite like the Hustler 5-BTV vertical. It is rugged, well made and gives you five bands in one antenna.
BUT - you must make sure you have a good earth radial system if ground mounted. Putting a single earth stake in will work, but it will be quite deaf. Adding radials makes a big difference. They don''t have to be resonant. As they are lying on the ground this detunes them anyway - just make sure that they are as long as the antenna is high.
In fact, there is no hard and fast rule about radial length, apart from more shorter ones are better than fewer longer ones.
The golden number to aim for is 120 radials, but that isn't really practical. As you add radials you will notice the SWR change and the performance improve, but as you add more the effect will be less - the law of diminishing returns. By the time you get to 48 -64 you probably won't see much difference.
In a test, I tried a 5BTV mounted on a single three foot ground stake - it was very, very deaf, although the SWR was fine. It was at least three S points down on a dipole and a Windom.
Adding just six 26ft radials made a big difference - it equalled the dipole and Windom and actually beat them at times.
A ground mounted vertical like a Hustler or Butternut is only half an antenna - put down a decent radial system and it will really improve.