For what it is, I think the HyEndFed 5 band antenna works very well. The location where I am using it is my wife’s house so there has been some careful negotiations taking place. 🙂 If it was up to me, a 24 meter tower with several beam antennas in the top would be a reasonable choice. But since it was not my decision I had to go for something more low key, stealthy approach.
The property is about 30×36 meters with one high fur tree along one of the sides. A reasonable way of installing a wire antenna is between the roof of the house and the tree. Distance between them is about 26 meters. I wanted to work the HF bands, including 80 meters, but for 26 meters a multiband dipole was out of the question since 2 x 19 meter is too large. I used Google Maps in satellite view to measure the distance between the tree and the house where the other end of the antenna was going to be.
So I started to look into End Fed Half Wave antennas. This would be very practical as one of the end points of the antenna is on the house. My choice fell on HyEndFed 5-band MK3 for 10/15/20/40/80 meters as this antenna has a length of 23 meters.
The order and delivery was super smooth and quick but I was surprised by the 4% card fee HyEnd company charged. According to my dutch wife, this is very common practise in the Netherlands where HyEnd company is located, but I think they should reconsider this when going on an international market.
The product looks high quality and I ordered the one with mounting plate and strain relief option. The antenna is rated for 200 watts SSB but note, that for CW and digital modes, the limit is only 35 watts! If you want to run these modes, you might want to consider another antenna. On their website, the specifications only mention the SSB limits (“Max. Power : 200 watt PEP, SSB.”). I think they should also be clear about the CW and digital modes limits and mention them in the online specifications!
When delivered, the antenna only needs to be adjusted for the 80 meter band. As delivered it will be resonant at about 3550 kHz. Shortening the 80 meter part of the wire by 1 cm will raise the resonance frequency about 4 kHz. This is mentioned in the supplied installation papers. You should cut the antenna to make it resonant on the frequency where you plan to use it the most on 80 meters. It is also recommended to use an antenna tuner on 80 meters in order to be able to use the entire band.
After making a temporary mount of the antenna at approximately 4 meters (later on it will slope from about 10 to 6 meters height), I tuned in on 20 meters, heard a station from Slovenia calling CQ. I got immediate response and a 59 report. Checking the output power on my radio, it was set to only 20 watts. Looks promising.
The wire is discrete so it is a perfect antenna for “stealthy” installations. The fact that my wife didn’t notice the antenna until after 2 days in place seems to proove this. 🙂
When the feeding point is above 2 meters over the ground, no grounding of the antenna is needed but you should put a wave trap on the coax line with at least 4,2 meters of coax between the antenna box and the wave trap.
But even though I used a wave trap I got problems with HF going into my PC making sparkling noices while transmitting on 80 meters outside the resonant frequency (using a matchbox). This was easy resolved by purchasing a 1,5 meter copper ground rod that I drove into the ground and grounded my radios as well as the chassie of the PC.
Note: Do not connect the ground nut on the antenna box and the radios/pc to the same ground rod simultaneusly. This will overlap the wave trap and you will get HF into the shack, onto your radios and PC.
I’ll add more to this article when it is in final position and when I have worked more QSO:s on it. So far it is looking good though.
EDIT: After writing this article, I decided to replace it with a 8 band EFHW antenna.