[AMRadio] Open Wire - was AMRadio Digest, Vol 46, Issue 24

jeremy-ca km1h at jeremy.mv.com
Wed Nov 14 12:11:15 EST 2007

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ben Dover" <quixote2 at ix.netcom.com>
To: "Brett gazdzinski" <brett.gazdzinski at verizonbusiness.com>; "'Discussion 
of AM Radio in the Amateur Service'" <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 9:59 AM
Subject: RE: [AMRadio] Open Wire - was AMRadio Digest, Vol 46, Issue 24

> -----Original Message-----
>>From: Brett gazdzinski <brett.gazdzinski at verizonbusiness.com>
>>Sent: Nov 14, 2007 8:12 AM
>>To: 'Ben Dover' <quixote2 at ix.netcom.com>, 'Discussion of AM Radio in the 
>>Amateur Service' <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
>>Subject: RE: [AMRadio] Open Wire - was AMRadio Digest, Vol 46, Issue 24
>>Someone correct me if I am wrong, but the coax
>>loss is listed at no swr.
>>If you operate off the resonant frequency, the swr will go up
>>and may be quite high if your antenna is cut for 3880 and
>>you operate on 36XX. Say the swr is 2:1 or more, wont the coax
>>get warm and lossy, and the open wire line still be virtually

Not at all. Coax VSWR loss is completely dependent upon frequency and at 80M 
it is so low as to be meaningless. Using RG-213 as an example a 4:1 VSWR 
will introduce a huge 0.374dB additional loss. If the transmitter can tune 
into that load a tuner is not necessary. Ive had no problem tuning a 
LK-500ZC at 1200W into that VSWR (going from 3.5 to 3.9 MHz)and the coax 
voltage is well below breakdown. I use CATV RG-11 foam for all my flexible 
cables and losses are even less than RG-213. With cheap little cables and 
higher frequencies the losses begin to add up.

Go to www.ocarc.ca/coax.htm and run your own analysis and get weaned off of 
the myths, many of which are CB originated.

> Yup, ya got it Brett. Coax is, by definition, meant to be a FLAT
> transmission line... meaning, terminated at it's characteristic
> impedance. With standing waves on it, that nice dielectric starts
> getting warm and gooey...   and if you're running the coax near
> it's max rating, there's the additional hazard of exceeding the
> breakdown voltage rating at the voltage loops along the line.

Only with cable that is being operated near its max in the first place. 
RG-8X wont break down with a Valiant at 4:1 but I wouldnt run a KW thru it 
even at 1:1.

I also wont us import connectors; Ive had PL-259's and barrels burn up at 
1200W into a dummy load.

> In TV and FM broadcast installations it's not real uncommon to
> see sections of coax hard line (made of 3.125" ID or LARGER copper
> pipe!) where at intervals along the line (1/2 wavelength) the
> pipe outer conductor has a bluish discoloration from heating at
> the current loops!
> BTW...   with broadcast hard line, the dielectric is usually dried
> air (provided by a dehydrator at the transmitter end of the line)
> or dry nitrogen gas. That has a lower dielectric loss than the foam
> or spiral polyethylene insulators used in Heliax lines. Both hard
> line and large Heliax are quite commonly used.
>>I used to have resonant dipoles for 80 and 40, and they worked well,
>>but if I went off frequency much I needed a tuner anyway.
> Understandable...   but when a dipole is fed with coax and a tuner is
> used, it's one of my pet peeves. The sole function of the tuner is
> to HIDE the high VSWR from the transmitter; it does NOTHING to fix
> problem that's causing the high SWR in the first place!

All tuner applications do that unless it is a pure resistive load.

At high power
> the coax takes a beating, and the line losses are elevated by the
> dielectric loss... and the bottom line is that efficiency is way down.

Pure mythology not supported by facts at  HF and MF frequencies with typical 
coax runs.

> With open wire, the tuner ALSO hides the high SWR from the transmitter,
> but because of the inherently low loss of open wire line the power loss
> is greatly reduced. You don't take anywhere near as bad an efficiency
> hit in the antenna system.

Same comments as above.

In addition, VSWR on open wire will radiate and can cause all sorts of 
problems from RFI/TVI, telephones, and strange pattern distortion not 
encountered with coax using a sleeve choke at the antenna.

Whether it is coax or open wire the tuner losses themselves will be more 
than the feedline in most cases, even with the best designs.

>>My open wire line was free, I used scrap #14 wire and scrap
>>plastic spreaders with plastic wire ties.
> My preferred method is similar to yours, except that the spreaders are
> sections of fibreglass rod cut from cheap electric fence posts. The
> posts are 48" long, and 3/8" in diameter, and they're strong as hell,
> as well as heat resistant so I can solder on tie wires to hold the line
> conductors in place. The posts are cheap enough... in single units from
> the local "Cowboy's K-Mart" (Farm and Fleet), they're under $1.50 each.
> The price goes down in bundles of six.
>>Surely if you want to operate multi bands and frequencies
>>at high power, open wire line is the only way to do it...

It is just ONE way to do it.

> I'll drink to that!

That may be part of the problem <GRIN>


> 73,s
> Mr. T., W9LBB
> ______________________________________________________________
> Our Main Website: http://www.amfone.net
> AMRadio mailing list
> List Rules (must read!): http://w5ami.net/amradiofaq.html
> List Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/amradio
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.html
> Post: mailto:AMRadio at mailman.qth.net
> To unsubscribe, send an email to amradio-request at mailman.qth.net with
> the word unsubscribe in the message body.

More information about the AMRadio mailing list

This page last updated 15 Dec 2017.