Moonraker supply a whole range of wire trap dipoles covering from 2 to 5 HF bands (MTD1; MTD2; MTD3; MTD4; MTD5; MTD6). Diamond also produce trapped wire antennas, the W-721, W-728 and W735. Comet and Diamond each produce similar interesting 5 band wire dipoles that utilize both traps and a fan arrangement – the Diamond W8010 and the Comet CWA-1000. If space really is limited then look out for KZJ Communications (dongo1950 on ebay) – he produces ‘Limited Space Inductive Dipoles’. These are inductively loaded and shortened dipoles so they will have reduced efficiency, of course, but are very nicely made, so might be very useful in a tight spot.
To obtain good efficiency and achieve a low angle of radiation, desirable for longer distance DX, a horizontal dipole needs to be installed at a good height – over 20 feet would be desirable and it is quite common to install horizontal dipoles at around 30 to 40 feet above ground level. This might be a problem at some QTH’s, it certainly is at mine!
Allan Copland, GM1SXX comments: “The dipole will operate well on the band it has been sized for , if placed at a suitable height, but will also operate as a’ three-half-wave’ aerial at three times the frequency and so on, so it’s not strictly a single band aerial. An 80M dipole (132 feet typical) will work nicely on 30 metres (three half waves) but not on 40m (two half waves)… because on 40M the feed-point is at a voltage node and not at a current node, for easy feeding. Most aerials are current fed.
The radiation pattern changes when a dipole is not used on its design frequency. The pattern will break up into multiple ‘petals’. This can be either a disadvantage or an advantage depending on what you expect from it. Since most of us use co-ax, an UN-BAL should really be used to connect the unbalanced feeder to the balanced aerial, but how many people actually bother? Not many I suspect. It’s possible of course to use a balanced feed-line system instead with a dipole and just have a delta match (no centre insulator… none needed). There are many choices and permutations, but in general, dipoles are centre fed at a point of current maximum (and minimum voltage).
A normal dipole is current fed but of course can be voltage fed instead. This is what’s done in the EFHWA or Fuchs aerial where a resonant half wave wire is fed at one end (max voltage / min current) from an L/C tank, against a very short counterpoise wire.
Original article is :W3DZZ Dipole Aerial design by the Maidstone Amateur Radio Society