I’ve decided the best antenna for me is the one I have – The UrbanBeam
After running a bunch of EZNec plots – on 40M – and then on several bands above – I realize that the best antenna for me is the one I have. Getting it up to 65′ will be plenty good enough for my needs. As much as I would love a 2 element shorty 40 – the weight and the fact that I would be stuck on one band is a bridge too far. I’ll sacrifice gain and F/B over the Shorty-40 on 40M and take the added gain and takeoff on 40 and 30 – and all higher bands – so I will continue to have flexibility.
Part of the decision hinges on me starting DXCC QRP – where I am sure that having as many bands possible will be critical. 40M probably will be the “best” band for the rest of this year and also into next year, but since it will take years to get to 300 QRP DXCC entities, I will need the flexibility of having the higher bands. 30M is also a favorite band, and 20M will no doubt wake up every now and then. I also remember my “cautionary tale” of working Monk Apollo, SV2ASP/A – when I made it onto the Honor Roll – and how my 40M QSO with a wire dipole up 65 – 70 feet barely heard him on SSB, but then a few months later he had a guest op (rumor was it was an OH ham) on CW – and that operator was fantastic and I easily worked him on 17M. I had a similar situation with 7O6T – if it weren’t for 17M I would have been SOL.
Speaking of that – I sold my Red Hot 40, and will be selling my Norcal40A – mainly because once I get the KX-2, there is no way I will be interested in using another QRP rig. Also – the KX-2 has on board a full size rigs features packed into a hand held QRP rig. If I were not getting serious about QRP – these other “classic 90’s” rigs would have been the perfect novelty.
I may one day consider a Shorty-40 yagi – maybe if and when the UrbanBeam goes belly up, but for now – just getting it up 65′ will make a noticeable difference and offer me the best antenna compromise – and all antennas are a compromise . . .