Using CB Antennas on the 10 Meter Ham Band
When the band is "open" it does not take loads of power, multielement arrays or lots of skill to make contacts to distant lands and fellow hams around the world.
In making "DX" contacts, (contacts out of your country), you will want your signal to reach out as far as possible at a low angle to the earth's horizon and not go out at a high angle relative to the earth.
The lower the angle of radiation, the further your signal will go bouncing further and further around the globe using the ionosphere as your "reflector" in space.
Having an antenna that has a low angle of radiation on 10 meters is of great importance in getting those DX stations to hear a stronger signal from you. Using low angle radiation type vertical antennas also greatly improves your chances over your "local" area also. Many operators use 10 meter mobile rigs in their vehicles with of course vertical antennas mounted on them, so in order for you to communicate with them at any distance, your antenna must be the same polarizaton...vertical.
So what types of antennas have a low angle of radiation that will reach those local operators AND DX stations with the same antenna you may ask?
Enter the vertically polarized antenna.
There are many ways to utilize a vertical antenna on the 10 meter band from simple homebrew wire verticals hung in a tree to commercially built high dollar multielement beam antennas designed for this purpose.
Use a CB antenna on 10 meters!
One of the simpler ways of getting a really good low angle signal out at much less expense is to use a vertical CB antenna converted to 10 meters. Yes, you read that correctly....a CB antenna.
Many of the commercially made CB antennas can be easily converted to 10 meter use by just a simple tuning modification of the CB antenna length. Since they were originally designed for 11 meter use on the CB band, they are usually longer than those required for the 10 meter ham band due to the difference in frequencies.
So by using an old CB antenna OR a new one that may be very inexpensive, you can modify it by shortening it until you get the lowest swr on your favorite band, 10 meters.
There are several brands and models of commercially made vertical CB antennas that have been designed to cover many of the ham bands "outside" of their original design parameters of the CB band.
So what would be a good commercial CB antenna to use on 10 meters?
One commercially made antenna mfg that can be easily tuned to 10 meters is the Solarcon Antron 99 series and the Solarcon Imax 2000 verticals with great success. These particular verticals come with a tuning adjustment that will enable them to be used even down to 20 meters with a tuner. They get very highly rated reviews and are very popular among 10 meter operators and have been used for many years. They work well without a tuner when used on 10 meters due to their wide frequency range design.
The adjustment to take them "up" to 10 meters is a simple matter of a shortening of the vertical element and a fine tuning of a "tuning" ring adjustment for lowest swr.
The Antron A-99 antenna is a 17 foot tall antenna as designed and the Imax 2000 is 24 feet tall when it comes from the factory.
Either of these antenna can be readily used on 10 meters with just a bit of simple tuning and you will be very pleased at their performance. They get great reviews and are widely used.
The A-99 is the least expensive of the 2 models at around $60.00, 2011 prices, and the Imax 2000 is usually under $100.00. Both are fiberglass and will handle more than the legal limit of rf power.
So bottom line, if you don't want to
build your 10 meter antenna or convert that old CB antenna you may have
laying around, then these antennas are highly recommended and highly
rated for the 10 meter operator who wants to get more signal out to
the horizon for those DX contacts.
From John, KL7JR:
73, just my two cents worth! KL7JR
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