The W5QJR Antenna Revisited

By Richard Morrow, K5CNF

figh1.gif (8076 bytes)

Back in October 1989, the entire paper magazine issue of antenneX was dedicated to a new antenna concept that engineer/inventor, Ted Hart, W5QJR had come up with in the course of trying to develop a good feed method for his tower on 160 meters. In the process he came up with the antenna that is depicted in Figure H-1. This rather odd looking antenna is a very interesting antenna in that it worked when it was taped to the leg of his existing tower. If it was tuned up there or if it was strung up with an insulating support, it worked just as well. But, an existing tower isn't essential—a tree or similar support will do fine. Here's how Ted's article introduction describes the concept:

"A short wire can be added to an existing tower (or hung from a tree) to form an excellent low band antenna. This antenna combines the features of a horizontal and a vertical antenna to provide constant signal level to all stations from near-in to more than 1,000 miles. It is the optimum antenna for rag chewing and net operation on 40, 80 and 160 meters. It is also an excellent DX antenna."

So I put one up for 75 meters that was only 32 ft. (9.75 meters) tall. To say it worked is mild. I was only running about 15 watts out and got some reports that were far better than I would have imagined. No one believed I was running so little power. A report of 20 over 9 from Los Angles was the first one I got—then a 30 over from Atlanta, followed by a 25 over from Cuba was enough to convince me that this antenna worked. No only did I get these good reports, I could hear Ted, who lived in Melbourne, Florida, which is about 1,100 miles due east from me across the Gulf of Mexico. He was working into Europe and making contacts in just about every country east of Moscow. Ted had only a TS-440 on the air, running 100 watts and he was getting good reports. Also, I could hear the stations he was talking to, but could not break into the pileups due to my low power. Moreover, I had a rather large amount of power lines, telephone cables and other utility lines surrounding my antenna. These lines were to the East of my antenna and also very close to the antenna. I am sure that these multiple conductors had a definite effect on my signal in that direction.

The interesting thing about this is that the antenna was hung from a 35 ft. (10.67 meters) pole held up by a 20 foot (6.10 meter) redwood pole. There was no problem tuning up the antenna, and it worked as long as I had it up. The construction of the antenna is simple and well described in the October, 1989 issue, which is in the Library archives. This antenna is well qualified to be a disguised antenna, since it is so short for the lower frequencies—32 ft.(9.75 meters) for 75 meters, 16 ft (4.87 meters) for 40 meters, and the size goes down from there. An interesting feature is that the folded-over portion of the antenna can be straightened out and extended straight up after going up in frequency past 20 meters. The folded part of the antenna adds a horizontal component to the radiated signal, which enables you to make more reliable contacts in closer than a pure vertical antenna would. This is due to the horizontal and vertical mixture of radiated energy giving higher angle radiation to the signal, yet enough vertical radiation for DX work.

This is a very unusual antenna, indeed. It can be put up easily and tuning is not that difficult either. It does work and work well. I have no explanations other than it is another of these antennas that came into being by accident. A very pleasant accident as well, I might add. One thing that is also interesting is that it does not look like an antenna, which adds to the disguisability of the antenna.

Another experimenter who put one of these antennas up was G6RJ, Rob. He had very good results working into the Far East with excellent reports via long path on 18 MHz. For those who are interested, there is several ways to make these antennas directional and if enough interest is expressed, we will put more about this in a future issue.

For now, if you are interested in this antenna, go to the Library under Past Articles and look at the article "The W5QJR Antenna-Revolutionary Concept!" and all of the basics and tuning information will be there and get you on your way to putting up one of these antennas. Many folks have reported finding this to be a very interesting concept and solves some unique problems. -30-

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 1988-2000 All rights reserved worldwide - antenneX©
Last modified: April 01, 2001