Antenna 009: Basic End Fed Vee
Author: Frederick R. Vobbe, W8HDU
August 7, 2008
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An End Fed Inverted Monoband Vee has a low impedance point around 1/4 wave away from ground, and the multiples of 1/4 wave on the feed side.

This antenna does require a tuner, but the tradeoff is that it's often easy to construct. One application of this antenna is by using a tower as the top support, and making the guy wires the antenna. Be sure to account for the physical pressures of the guy tension in the fabrication of this antenna.

In Figure 1 we see a typical End Fed Inverted Monoband Vee. Note that the ground portion of the feed point is 1/4 wave, while the "hot" side is multiple 1/4 wavelengths up and over the support.

End-Fed Monoband Inverted Vee antenna
figure 1

Let's suppose we're designing a End Fed Inverted Monoband Vee for 40 meter use. Our center support will allow us to have at least 50 feet of elevation. We know from the Pythagorean Theorem that the hypotenuse of a right triangle can be easily calculated from the lengths of the sides. The hypotenuse is the longest side of a right triangle. So we just need to make sure we have a wire where the two longest sides (added together) plus insulators equals a distance of approximately 1 wave, or (4) 1/4 wavelengths. See Figure 2 below.

Pythagorean Theorem on triangles
figure 2

We know that a 40 meter antenna, cut to 7.200 MHz, would be 41.66 meters or 136.657 feet for full wave. Let's assume that we make this antenna "perfect" by having the 1/2 wave spot being the apex of our support. That means that we'll have 1/2 wave on one side of our support, and the other 1/2 wave on the opposite side. So our antenna will look like figure 3. The red dots are the insulators. Black is the wires. Blue is our support. And green is ground.

Picture of what our antenna will look like
figure 3

So now that we have the basics, let's get building!

To make this easy get about 175 feet of wire. Cut off 150 feet of #12 wire (assuming that we're building for the 40 meter band). Why 150? Because our antenna will be 136.657 feet full wave (for 40 meters) and we'll need to wind the end of the wire around some insulators. When we are done we can "tweak" the antenna by shortening the wire at the ground end by a few inches. The other 25 feet will be used to support the antenna at the ground ends, (gray closest to ground), and for jumpers.

Next, find the center of the 150 foot wire, which is 75 feet. Cut at this point. Next, take one of the 75 foot pieces and cut it exactly in half again. You should now have (2) pieces 37.5 feet long, and on that is 75 feet long.

Plastic InsulatorYou will need six insulators. Unless you are running extreme power, you can use plastic "egg" insulators. If you are running over 500 watts of power I would use the glass or porcelain insulators. If you need the plastic ones, I have them for sale. I would appreciate your business.

Take each piece of wire and attach them to an insulator. If you are using insulated wire, you can wind the wire with insulation through the insulator. However, we will need to bare at least 2" of the end. Make sure that your wire does not slip through the insulator. Personally, I use Belden 8000, or I have used #10 THHN. But I'll remove some of the insulation an wind the loose end around section goint to the insulator and put some solder on it to keep it from slipping.

Next, on one end of a 1/4 wave wire, and on one end of your 1/2 wave wire, attach some of the excess wire which will attach to the ground supports. You will also need a small amount of wire between the insulators separating the 1/4 wave sections. Add about 6" of wire at the feed point to attach to your coax. After you install this, seal the wires attaching to, and the exposed dielectric of the coax with RTV or Silicone caulk. You don't want water ingressing into your coax.

At the top of the support you'll tie the 1/2 and 1/4 wave sections to the support via the insulator, but don't forget to jumper on the hot side from the 1/2 to the 1/4 wave section to make your connection. Your antenna should loook something like figure 4 below.

Antenna Layout
figure 4

The ratiation pattern of this antenna looks like what is seen in figure 5.

Radiation Pattern of the Vee antenna
figure 5

You'll note that there is a lot of energy going UP! However, there is some signal going out to the sides. This antenna tends to be generally omnidirectional in the horizonal plane, but does have some artifacts due to basically being a dipole. The ratiation pattern of this antenna looks like what is seen in figure 5.

VSWR, as seen in figure 6, might be somewhat of a problem without a tuner. The feed point is rather high, (207.4+j15.28 ohms), and has a return loss of 3.00 dB. The usable gain is only .559 (a 2.53 dB loss), but what I have found is that its radiation pattern sometimes snags stations closer to me than the standard skip zone exhibited on a standard dipole.

figure 6

To counter this, there are two solutions. One is a balun, and the other is a matching network. I've used a 4:1 balun with success, but I've found that on solid state rigs (which are somewhat intolerant to any VSWR issue), the better solution is a tuning network. The way I have designed the network is to run my 50 ohm line to a Pi tank, and then use laddar line to reach the feed point. A simple Pi tuner looks like what you see in figure 7.

Simple PI tuner
figure 7

Your network will be different for various bands. But you can also multiple tap the coil for various band segments. For example, you could tap the coil for best match on 7.050, and then have a second tap for 7.200, and have a relay select one or the other taps.

Frederick R. Vobbe, W8HDU

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