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General info on the Beverage

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Ground and terminate
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Love letters about life with
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Bevarage antennas - some pratical views

Easy beverage antenna: use fences, street gutters, plain ground (Chris Knight)

Easier yet: just reel it out (Werner Funkenhauser)

Works great on the ground (Brian Webb)

No moose problems - just mouse... (Werner Funkenhauser)

Scooters don't mix well with wire... (Hermod Pedersen)

Nor do snakes (Dave)

Beverage antennas effective on entire HF range (Frank Donovan)

Phased multiple beverage antennas more effective (W8JI, Tom)

Subject: Easy beverage antenna
From: Chris Knight (
Date: August 7, 1995
Original source: Usenet's

Since many of us don't have the acreage for beverage antennas, a "mini-DXpedition" is a "must". However, the beverage antennas do not need to be elaborate and they don't need to be used only on mediumwave! They can be used on shortwave as well - especially for reception on frequencies below about 7MHz.
What I did was go down to a local electronics store and buy 500 feet of 18 gauge, copper, stranded, insulated, speaker wire (speaker wire has 2 wires side by side). Then, I separated the 2 wires carefully making sure not to damage the insulation on either one, and splicing them together end to end, had one 1000 foot piece of wire! Note: use stranded not solid wire for the antenna as solid wire tends to break more easily.

Next, at my parent's house (they have enough room for 750 feet of the wire), the wire was unrolled on the ground! That is correct! A beverage antenna with insulated wire does not have to be in the air to perform as I will show in a little while. But, being in the air a foot or two helps null stations off the sides a bit better.
After a month with this Southwest facing beverage on the ground, I managed to log every station in Tucson and Phoenix including their 10 watt Traveler's Information stations on 530 and 1610 respectively. I also logged some Australian and New Zealand stations, the best of which was a 2kW 4XO-1206kHz in Dunedin, New Zealand! Results were a little less impressive off the back of the beverage, but I still managed to log Norway-1314kHz and 2 "Radio Comercial" stations from Portugal.
Directivity was very appearant even though the antenna was on the ground. Hearing 138 stations from Mexico bore that out. Now, I've had very good results similar to this with my "Street Gutter" beverages. They are usually smaller, and, you guessed it(!) in street gutters (preferably not full of water). I don't recommend this method, however, since cars can come along and park on your antenna, and, there is a slight chance someone could come along and trip on your wire. However, you can use your imagination!

If there is a row of fences behind your house why not try that? The antenna doesn't have to be 1000 feet to work well. On some of the higher mediumwave frequencies and tropical band shortwave, 500 feet will do fine. The antenna should be laid out in as straight a line as possible pointed at the target stations.
If you really want to go "all out" and can find some sloping land, make your beverage into a "sloping beverage", sloping toward your target stations. On a DXpedition to Taos, New Mexico with a sloping beverage, I logged 16 stations from Japan (I have the tapes to prove it) and my best all time catch on Mediumwave, CJYR in Whitehorse, Alberta, Canada on 1400kHz. What made this so amazing was that 1400kHz is a local channel cluttered with stations in the US using 1kW. CJYR was using 60 watts! CJYR was S9+40db on my Kenwood R1000 and the ID occurred an hour and a half before local sunset. I heard of another person who put up a sloping beverage down the north side of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, and logged 610 CKRW in Whitehorse, YT, Canada. I've used the sloping beverage before on Rabbit Ears Pass near Steamboat Springs, CO with above average results.

A beverage on the ground, finally, gives performance on shortwave that is simply amazing Extremely low noise. Nothing could be quieter! I was hearing stations on one beverage that I couldn't even detect on my 60 meter dipole! Loggings from DXers in Sweden, Norway, and Finland attest to the superior performance of a beverage on both shortwave and mediumwave.

Subject: Easy beverage antenna: just reel it out
From: Werner Funkenhauser (
Date: August 8, 1995
Original source: Usenet's

I read Chris Knight's post on Beverage antennas with interest. I've never considered running a gutter antenna. Good one!
The gist of what you write, "keep it simple", is true. During the Spring Newfoundland DXpedition, we strung our antennas as straight as possible, without much regard for height on stretches that ran along the ocean shore. One inland antenna had to be hung as high as possible and we poked the wire up into the branches of scrub bush 7-12 feet because we had a moose problem. On two occasions, the critters walked off with our wire.

When I DX at my cottage, I often pull 1000 feet or more of antenna. I simply reel it out, allowing it to hang on convenient scrub and tree branches, even the odd weed. If it falls to the earth, it's no big deal. In one direction, I have to cross a lengthy stretch of open rocky shore, with little to support the wire. I'll just lay it on the ground, stretching it as far as I can until I hit the water.
Sometimes I use insulated wire attached to floating/anchored empty bleach bottles to run the wire right over/in the water for more length on that stretch. My boating neigbours have learned to give my beach area a wide berth at night, when they see my winking lights (little led flashers waterproofed and mounted atop the bleach containers) floating every 100 feet.

Subject: Beverage antennas works great on ground
From: Brian Webb (
Date: May 16, 1994
Original source: Usenet's

In November of 1986 I accidentally discovered that a 1000 foot end-fed wire works just as well as an antenna if it's laid on the ground as it does if it's elevated. From late 1986 to early 1988, I deployed several unelevated, end-fed, very long wire antennas and tested their performance. The antennas were insulated wires 1000, 1050, 1200, 2000, and 5000 feet long. They were laid on the ground in a straight line and a communications receiver was connected to one end.
These antennas exhibited the following characteristics: * Good sensitivity from 50 KHz to at least 10 MHz (very high sensitivity from 200 KHz to 3 MHz)
* Directional from 50 KHz to at least 10 MHz (very directional from 200 KHz to 3 MHz)
* Distant signals heard on the 5000 foot long wire had virtually no fading

The operating range of the antennas varied with the environment in which they were used. When deployed in the Mojave Desert, which has very dry soilnd a deep water table, the operating range was 50 KHz to at least 10 MHz; wires placed on beach sand only 2 or 3 feet above the salt water table only worked across a 50 to 500 KHz range.
When two or more very long wires are laid out and spaced 30 to 90 degrees in azimuth, different stations are heard on each wire and with 4 wires spaced 45 degrees, it's possible to do direction finding (that's how directional these antennas are).

Subject: No moose problems - just mouse...
From: Werner Funkenhauser (
Date: October 10, 1995
Original source: Usenet's

Chris Knight ( wrote:
With the "On-The-Ground" Beverage antenna there's no moose problem here, but rather a mouse problem. Every now and then a mouse will eat at the wires.

Porcupines are also pests. They love the vinyl coating.

Have you ever "put up" a beverage on just the water only? Am curious.

No, but I did once stretch a 2000 footer directly upon the ice of Georgian Bay (on which my cottage is located) some years ago, during late January. The ice was thick after a long cold period that year. I set up in a tent on shore. For a while it was OK, but my tent heater couldn't keep up with the temperatures as it got dark. I quickly retreated to the cottage. Warmer, I was content enough to DX with a loop!

Subject: Scooters don't mix well with wire...
From: Hermod Pedersen (
Date: October 12, 1995
Original source: Usenet's

Swedes DXing above the Polar circle have occasionally put out long stretches of wire on, and below, the snow. This is often necessary when wishing to use/cross huge lakes. One problem is all those scooter drivers. They do not mix well with copper wire...

Subject: Neither do snakes...
From: Dave, in Australia
Date: October 12, 1995
Original source: Usenet's

Interesting that the beverages actually work below the snow & lakes...
Out here in Australia we have problems with Kangaroos & other wildlife eating through the wire.. On a recent trip to Cape Otway (Western Victoria) we found our 2000m bev in about 20 pieces the following morning.. I would have thought there were more tastier things than beverages to chew on
I don't know which would be worse.. putting a beverage out in freezing cold conditions like snow... or as we did last October, put our antenna out in snake infested territory in 38C.. We had knee high rubber boots & a shovel for the entire 1500m (This was at 'The Coorong' in South Australia..)
4 Tiger & Brown snakes had headache's that day & I was faster than Carl Lewis.. hi!
We actually heard RSI on 1179.. Not a bad feat from here.

Subject: Beverage antennas effective on entire HF range
From: Frank Donovan (
Date: October 22, 1995
Original source: Usenet's

Properly designed Beverage receiving antennas are very effective across the entire HF frequency range.
At the W3LPL DX contest station we use Beverages from 1.8 to 14 MHz, and during the sunspot maximum we used them up to 28 MHz! Beverage arrays (multiple Beverages designed to operate as a phased array) are even more effective on HF. I've seen Beverage arrays with as many as 128 individual Beverage elements, each 220 feet long and 4 feet high.

Subject: Phased multiple beverage antennas more effective
From: W8JI, Tom (
Date: October 23, 1995
Original source: Usenet's

Frank Donovan wrote:
Properly designed Beverage receiving antennas are very effective across the entire HF frequency range.

Mine also work fine from below the BCB to 30 MHz. I use mine for general operating on HF.

Beverage arrays (multiple Beverages designed to operate as a phased array) are even more effective on HF.

Interesting to hear that. I've never heard anyone else mention that before.
I've used pairs of 1 wl Beverages spaced broadside 5/8 wl on 160, and it helps much more than making them longer (actually I never could tell *any* difference as they were made longer).
But my Beverages, both in Ohio and here in Georgia, still have poor directivity and S/N ratio for the space they require. HF receive antennas exclusively rely on directivity to improve S/N ratio, and all longwire arrays are poor performers in directivity and power gain vs. physical size.

My small loop array's with four 15 foot loops spaced 70 feet occupies around 220 feet of linear space and handily beats the Beverages on 160 and 80. The normal difference is an "S" unit or so, but sometimes the loops are superior by several "S" units (especially when noise or QRM is from the backfire direction).
On the plus side, Beverages and other longwires are much easier to install.

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