I could say that the best antenna I have ever had was the (giant) N6BT DXU-32 – which had 2 elements on 40M and 3 on 20M up 50′ on an AB-577, but when you compare what was required to get that monster up – even as “low” as it was, the DXE phased vertical array becomes nothing short of a small miracle.
With two 34-ish foot verticals spaced about 35′ apart, the performance is actually better to ZS than a dipole up a half wavelength. ZS6CCY consistently says that the DXE beats a half wave dipole up 1/2 wl by 10 dB! That’s no small feat. Getting even a dipole up that high on a small lot requires tall trees and also 67′ width. In fact, the DXE array performance is not that much down from the DXU-32 at 50′, so all in all, on a small lot, I have kept coming back to the 40M phased array.
Maintenance could not be simpler – no ladders, no towers, no trees . . .
The DXE boxes are so much better than when I followed the ON4UN Lowband DX-ing book and cut coax stubs for the Christman Array. This is because the DXE box does not require a delay line and all of those extra Tee and L coax connectors – instead, you plug a cox stub between each vertical and the remote phasing box and a lead into the shack – plus a control line – and it can’t be much simpler.
Yes, I do have bonded radials on the ground and 44 of them, but its on the side of a slide hill on a ledge over a creek – so not optimal in location, and my QTH is in a bowl – so this antenna system seems to “defy gravity”.
If I were only to have one antenna – this would be it. 40M is also my all time favorite band.