My Most Recent QSO's

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

End Fed Dipole

Several years ago, I bought a (what I consider a very portable antenna) to use when traveling back and forth to New York and North Carolina. I spend the majority of my radio time on 40 meters and therefore, it's pretty hard to stretch out a full dipole at times. (66 feet).

The antenna is marketed as an "end fed half wave dipole antenna". It's cut to use on the 40-20-and 10 meter bands and a LOT shorter than 66 feet.

I never gave it another thought. (other than it worked excellent and was a good choice for my portable station). I love the thing... and have worked several DX stations from both my New York location and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It's also highly adaptable since the matching network on the end allows me to attach the proper "half wave length" of wire, and change bands in a matter of minutes. And I DO mean ANY band from 10 meters to 160 meters.

Recently, I made a comment, on a message board, to the fact that I was going to North Carolina soon and would be taking the "end fed dipole" with me since I hoped to work a few of the guys back here in West Virginia while I was at the beach.

What a discussion.....

It seems the "end fed dipole" isn't (technically) a "dipole". My antenna is (technically) a Zepp. A little confusion here.....

But does it really matter that the original version of the dipole antenna (Rudolph Hertz in 1886) isn't what it was today? We learn new things and antenna designs have advanced to a different level now. The original design of the dipole was established 123 years ago.

The classic example being the G5RV and the Carolina Windom. The G5RV is fed directly in the center of the radiating wire. The Carolina Windom is fed "off center" but I've heard them both described as dipoles.

Sometimes I think we get a little too hung up on our "technical descriptions" about antenna's. The G5RV and the Windom are much MORE than a simple dipole antenna. I'd go as far as to say they should be classified as vertical antennas.

So the opinions go round and round....and to me, it really doesn't make a lot of difference if the feed point is in the center, offset, or on the end. As long as they function well and are dependable.

But why is the Zepp now being called an "end fed dipole"? I think the physical descriptions and radiating characteristics are exactly the same.

And besides...Zepp is a lot easier to send in CW than the long drawn out explanation of "half a dipole, fed at the end of the wire, with a matching network attached".

I'm not complaining about my antenna, and perhaps nothing more than a "definition".

I'm just here to have fun with my radio and pass along a few things I've learned over the years.

If you have an opinion about either the Zepp or the "end fed dipole" I'd like to hear about it.

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