I never really liked end-fed antennas. Most of them – if not all – were very noisy and caused a lot of trouble in the neighborhood. Over time I built a bunch of them but I never got it ‘right’. In the end I abandoned the idea completely and switched to symmetric antennas.
What I liked most (and still like) was the system of nested dipoles (aka fan dipole). Just make a few resonant dipoles, keep them apart with PVC tubes or rope, and let them end up in one feed point, in my case a 1:1 balun.
The 1:1 balun is only there to get rid of common mode currents and replaces the standard insulator. No tuner required if you do it right.
The Annoying Dutchman
I was aware that Rob PA3EKE and Ron PA3RK were developing a high quality end-fed, but I wasn’t really interested. I have no idea how many times Ron tried to convince me to try one, but in the end he became so
terribly annoying convincing that I agreed.
After some experiments (height, horizontal, sloping, wire length) we picked the long version of the 10/(15)/20/40 HyEndFed. No coils, no traps, but 20 meters of wire attached to the box. The antenna has been on my roof now for more than 6 months. Time to evaluate.
The end-fed antennas I built in the past were based on (random) pieces of wire and a 1:9 balun. This HyEndFed uses an 1:50 LC network instead. This system, according to Ron, would take care of the problems I encountered with the random wire/1:9 balun/tuner concept.
To my surprise it did. Compared to my old experimental end-feds the noise went down from S9+ to S2, and no angry neighbor armed with a pitchfork knocked on my door. So far so good.
HyEndFed versus nested dipoles
Both antenna systems don’t require a tuner (which I like very much) and both do well on the three bands they’re designed for. There are a few differences though.
On 40 meters the HyEndFed was the clear winner; my signal went up almost 3 s-points. It’s a great NVIS antenna / cloud burner.
No difference in performance whatsoever.
The dipole did slightly better, which is caused by the differences in radiation pattern and angle of attack. As soon as my QSO’s were just outside Europe the dipoles were the way to go. In turn the dipole had to bow to my 5/8 wave vertical, which is my antenna of choice when I want to work Asia, South America or the USA.
Please note that I only used this antenna horizontally. When you use this antenna as a vertical, supported by a fishing rod, it’s a whole new ballgame. Measurements on 10 meters high, open field, no obstructions.
What I really like about the HyEndFed is that this antenna is portable, low profile, and doesn’t require a tuner. As we all know there are no miracle antennas, but this one does tick all the right boxes.
Performance is excellent, but if you (like me) are a fan of the 10 meter band, this antenna wouldn’t be my first choice. Yes, it could accommodate my DX demands, but then I would have to mount it vertically. That would cause a war with my landlord, so that’s not going to happen.
Build quality is excellent in every respect. Then there is price. Good things don’t come cheap, but I still think the price for an antenna built by hand is very reasonable. My version costs € 110,00 (excl. VAT).
Link: HyEnd Company