About the Z6SBKW/G5RV:
- In the mid-1980s, Brian Austin (ZS6BKW) ran computer analysis to develop an antenna system that would permit a low Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) for the maximum number of HF bands possible without an antenna tuner to interface with, and a 50-Ohm coaxial cable as the main feed line. He identified a range of lengths which, when combined with a matching ladder line length, would provide this characteristic.
- According to an acknowledged expert in computer antenna design and modeling, L. B. Cebik: “Of all the G5RV antenna system cousins, the ZS6BKW antenna system has come closest to achieving the goal that is part of the G5RV mythology: a multi-band HF antenna consisting of a single wire and simple matching system to cover as many of the amateur HF bands as possible.”
- Published on May 13, 2012 in Amateur Radio and Radio Antennas: "Are you a fan of the G5RV antenna? Then you may be interested in the ZS6BKW antenna. The ZS6BKW antenna is an optimized variant of the venerable old G5RV. The G5RV antenna (c. 1946) was designed by Louis Varney (G5RV, SK). The ZS6BKW (early 1980's) was derived from the G5RV by Brian Austin (G0GSF, formerly ZS6BKW). He developed computer programs that were used in conjunction with Smith charts to calculate the optimum dimensions for his variant of the antenna. Read G0GSF's own article about the antenna."
In summary, the ZS6BKW antenna is an optimized variant of the venerable old G5RV. Unlike the original G5RV, which requires an antenna tuner on all bands, the ZS6BKW / G5RV is capable of operating on 10, 12, 17, 20 & 40m bands, generally without a tuner, and with SWR readings usually at 1.5:1 or less.
Using a tuner, 6, 15, 30 & 80m bands are attained with much higher efficiency than the original G5RV.
Each Antenna is handmade to order with materials carefully tested & selected by Ni4L for quality & durability:
- #14 polyethylene black jacketed FLEX-WEAVE™ - machine crimped for permanent connection: (92') FLEX-WEAVE™ is a sophisticated hybrid aerial wire constructed of 168 strands of #36 wire in a #14 highly UV-resistant PVC jacket. This innovation provides rope lay construction strength and high flexibility. It can be tied in knots to insulators and untied for repeated use. Flex-Weave is sometimes referred to as "wire rope" or "jewelers rope". It will not kink or rust out as will copper-clad wire. It is excellent for quads, dipoles, long wires, and rapid deployment (spooled-out) antennas.The PVC jacket has superior abrasion resistance for running through trees and is UV and weather resistant for use on the seacoast or in other harsh environments. It will stand up to acid rain, high wind loads, and high snow and ice loads;
- FLEXI 420-OHM LADDER LINE #16 AWG: (40') 2 #16 AWG; 19/29 strands Cu-clad with black poly jacket. Nominal OD .065 x .930; Extra flexible & less likely to break in the wind. Nominal impedance 420(ohms); VP 91.7%. Good for -20oC to +60oC degrees;
- W2AU LL-TRANSULATOR: is the latest configuration of the very popular W2AU ANsulator. Using the same body design, the traditional eyebolt design on the sides has been replaced with Stainless Steel bolts, washers, and nut assemblies. Like the W2AU ANsulator, it has a built-in lightning arrestor with 600 lbs. of pull-apart strength, in a weatherized, rugged package;
- Ladder-Loc™ Center insulator: The Ladder-Loc ™ is a strain-relief and mounting support for 450-ohm ladder-line. It is UV-stabilized and has a proven field record of durability. Over 15,000 have been shipped to satisfied users;
- SS hardware;
- Two small end insulators.
Hanging the Z6SBKW/G5RV:
The ZS6BKW/ G5RV is completely assembled and ready to hang.
It requires about 92’ of space and should be hung around 40’ high or higher.
It can be hung in a flat top or inverted V configuration.
Unlike Windom and OCF Dipoles, the ZS6BKW / G5RV is a very forgiving antenna when it comes to nearby towers, trees, fences and other structures.
As with all models of the G5RV antenna, the Optimized version also requires a minimum of 70 feet of 50-52 ohm coax to complete the matching network. Without this 70 foot of coax, the antenna will NOT function correctly.
Reviews Hide Reviews
So Far So Good.
So far this antenna is working very well. I am still in the process of getting it installed in its final location. The center is up at about 40 feet but I currently have it in a slightly inverted V. Still trying to find end contact points to have it in a complete horizontal plane. My only suggestion about the antenna is it would be nice to have the point where the coax attaches to the ladder line somehow recessed so the coax connection is protected from the weather. With the current connection unless the contact point is protected from rain/snow water will flow down into the threads of the coax connection. This would give it 5 stars.
Well Built, Quality Product
My XYL (K3TBD) and I (K3IVN) purchased this antenna to get our first HF rig on the air. The antenna was well built and works great. We strung the antenna between the peak of our house and a tree at the other end of our yard. The antenna is in a flat configuration about 30' off the ground, is connected to our ICOM IC-765 transceiver with 100' of RG-312. We just made our first QSO's with this setup and from Laurel, MD made multiple contacts in Indiana, Illinois, Ontario, Ohio, North Carolina and Maine on 40 meters at 100 watts! Our IC-765 has a built-in antenna tuner and hardly had to make any adjustments (it's rather loud when it is actively "tuning" when we tuned on 80, 40, 30, 20 and 15 meters. I would highly recommend this antenna for anyone. We can't wait to see how many states we can get with this configuration. The customer service was terrific and very friendly. This is how all customer service should be!
Good basic ham antenna
Just received my ZS6BKW/G5RV antenna. Looks like it is made of quality materials, much better than the MFJ G5RV that it replaced (but that antenna worked well and lasted for over 15 years in Northern Michigan climate). Now to get it up in the air and run some RF through it. It will be my basic antenna while I build some other ones over the next few years.
DX on 80 CW
As an updare to my previous review, last night I tuned up the ZS6 on 80 cw, apprx 1.2 to 1 and shortly thereafter worked E51MQT with a good signal report.
June 16 & still amazed at the performance of this wire in the sky ! All the charts suggest NO PROPAGATION ...... wooops my Log is still racking them up on DX. http://zl2cq.weebly.com/current-log.html Broke the EU pileup into 8Q7CQ today on the 3rd call ! Still the best bang for bucks, 73 guys
Hi, this is the 1st commercially made wire antennae I have had up, all the others were brewed variants that worked well for the location. Having replaced a modified 3 Band Double Extended Zepp, this antennae resembles its performance on all Bands to date. I Rate this at 5 Stars - it is obviously a "compromise" antennae & with a couple of basic add ons has proven to be more than foolproof for me 80m thru to 10m, therefore totally no hassle. I have a minimum run of RG58CU Coax with a tuned Coil at tranceiver end & 6 Torroids at the Feedpoint. ZERO RF on the feedline ! ...... & yes it handles up to 1kW when needed - here anyway. The Antennae Apex (inverted config) is a 14m alloy 3 x section mast which equates to 60m above Sea Level. If you have a Tuner & tune for max power out you will find there is a compromise of vswr & max power on tune. Using the feed from the end to the shack of coax, torroids or flat wound electrical choke, it recommends 72 ft. of coax but that is relevant without a Tuner & in some cases questionable - just use a Tuner on all bands that it needs. I consistently NOW run 30% LESS power input to the Amp. than I was for virtually similar results. RX - have worked S3 signals on all Bands ......... however I am using an Elecraft K3 so I am a little spoilt in the receive department. Check http://zl2cq.weebly.com/ for pics etc. Bang for Buck - works for me no problem. Good DX to you.
The newversionof G5RV antenna
I find this extended version of the famous G5RV antenna to be really a good antenna. with some more experimenting it could possibly be fully extended to not need an antenna tuner at all.William/AD0GB
NIce product - eager to get it up in the air.
Very well constructed.