23 Nov 2012

Big wheel antennas?

www.wimo.com big wheel
When I move to my new (higher) QTH on top of our local East Anglian "hill" next year I'll have to give some thought to what VHF/UHF antennas to erect for horizontal SSB/CW/digital DXing. I could go for a decent set of beams and a rotator or I could go for an alternative approach and erect a stack of big wheel antennas for 2m and 70cm. A single big wheel has a horizontal gain of around 2-3dB over a dipole but a couple will give almost 5dBd, which is similar to an HB9CV beam but without the hassle of a rotator and with almost 360 degree coverage.

For my sort of (occasional) 2m and 70cm DXing the big wheel may be a suitable solution. I have around 6 months to sort this out, so no rush, but I'd value inputs from people on this. Have you used big wheels? How effective were they?

Incidentally, even from my old QTH I've worked all sorts of decent VHF DX with just a halo and a few watts QRP in contests, so a lot depends on how prepared one is to wait for lifts or big contest stations to work. Clearly if the aim is to work 600-700km under flat band conditions then 100W and a largish beam are almost essential. I'm not entirely ruling such a station out of the question, but it would be a big change from my usual QRP, so pretty unlikely.


Philippe, F8BXI said...

Hello Roger,

I also used the Wimo bigwheel for 2m and 70cm, only one of each.

They are installed on a 50cm mast in my attic, 7m above ground and around 70m ASL.

Using an IC-746 betwwen 20 and 50w, I work station betwwen 200 - 300 km regularly.

With a fair tropo like the one we had these last weeks, I can work above 500km.

With tropo and a contest situation, I can work DL stations (DR9A in IARU UHF) and G/ON/HB stations from JN18DQ square.

BW are a relaly good choice and if tiu can stack 2 or 4 on a high spot, you will be the king of the bands ;-)

Regards and 73,

Roger G3XBM said...

Thanks Phillipe. The BW looks worth considering especially if stacking more than one on the mast.

Roger G3XBM