At the risk of setting off a flood of letters by Hams expounding the “best antenna ever,” I would like to offer an alternative to the off center fed dipole described by The Consultant. That’s a great antenna but did not fit my property or needs. After much searching and simulation of various antenna designs, I settled on the delta loop antenna.
My delta loop works with low SWR (with tuner) on 80 through 6 meters, with the exception of 60 meters. It consists of 275 feet of THHN #12 gauge black insulated copper wire from the big box store. I have it strung through a few trees in a lazy triangle shape, with the apex at 75 feet above ground. The lower leg comes off my deck at about 15 feet off the ground. 450 ohm ladder line runs about 20 feet down from the feed point to a 4:1 balun, then about 20 feet of 50 ohm RG8 coax heads into my radio room and antenna tuner (an LDG model). I have two ground rods, one at each end of the coax, attached to the coax shield.
The cool thing about this antenna is that the feed point is near ground level. You don’t have to run 50 or 100 feet of transmission line up in the air, with the suspension and weight issues. I have two ropes hoisting the corners up into trees, but that’s the extent of the high wire action.
The antenna is not too noticeably directional on 80 meters, but on the higher bands there are many lobes, making it omnidirectional. This works well for the regional and national nets I participate in, as I can hear stations all around my location. Also, I suspect that the side that is low to the ground gives it some high angle radiation for NVIS-like operation. I can communicate with stations near and far.
Anyway, this is a good alternative to the OCF dipole, is pretty inexpensive, and has a more convenient feed point.
Radio Ready in Virginia