The article titled “Is this Ewe for You?” by Floyd Koontz, WA2WVL, published on QST February 1995 presents a simple yet effective receiving antenna design tailored for 80 and 160-meter DXing. As solar activity decreases, making MF and HF signals weaker and ambient noise stronger, serious DX operators seek improved signal-to-noise ratios through directive receive antennas.
Koontz introduces a novel design based on the principle that parallel wires carrying similar RF currents create directivity regardless of phase or amplitude. He proposes a short wire formed as an upside-down U and fed against the ground to achieve good front-to-back (F/B) directivity. Using Brian Beezley’s AO software for modeling, Koontz achieves immediate success in predicting F/B ratios greater than 30 dB, albeit with initial skepticism due to assumptions about ground conductivity.
The antenna, named the “Ewe,” resembles a Beverage antenna but operates differently. It essentially functions as a two-element driven array, with the rear element (wire 3) fed via the top wire (wire 2). Koontz provides various configurations for feeding and terminating the Ewe, with impedance-matching transformers and resistive terminations being key components.
Experimental results indicate consistent F/B ratios over multiple megahertz, leading to the design of a second antenna covering a broader frequency range. Koontz explores variations including reversible Ewe designs and arrays of multiple Ewe elements to enhance performance further. He emphasizes simplicity in construction, recommending common materials and minimal critical dimensions.
The article concludes by highlighting the Ewe antenna’s exceptional performance relative to its simplicity, suggesting it as a worthwhile option for enhancing receiving capability on low bands like 80 and 160 meters.