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:
HIGH STRENGTH AERIAL WIRES
Poly-STEALTH ™ High Strength Aerial Wires are manufactured with high strength, high conductivity Bare Copper-Clad Steel (BCCS) and insulated with a high quality UV Resistant Polyethylene to provide you with one of the strongest and longest lasting antenna wires on the market today.
The strongest wire of the group is ideal for the longest of wire runs with or without additional support.Advantages to Poly-STEALTH ™ High Strength Aerial Wires:
Ideal balance of strength and flexibility
Low-Gloss finish and small size makes wire disappear into the background
Superior abrasion resistance for running through trees
UV & Weather resistant for use on the seacoast or in other harsh environments subjected to acid rain, high wind, or 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;
- Weather Resistant PVC: SO-239 connector terminating the ladder line connection. Crimped, soldered, covered in black adhesive lined heat shrink.
- 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 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. Try and keep the ladder line off the ground if height is an issue.
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.
I was looking for a single antenna to have in my remote QTH, and this one seems to be a good fit. Construction is awesome, materials are top quality. If you only can afford one antenna, this is the one you need.
I just hung this antenna several weeks ago at 50' in an inverted V. The antenna is very well made and receives extremely well. The first DX station I heard was ZS1 in Cape Town, South Africa. The reason I purchased this antenna was I just bought an Elecraft KAT500 Tuner and KPA500 Amplifier to go with my Kenwood TS-590SG Transceiver and my old end-fed antenna would not take the power but this baby does. I have been on the 80, 40, 20, 17, 15, 12, 10 and 6 meter bands and the tuner hasn't had to do much work and the antenna handles the 530 watts very well. Now able to get in the pile-ups and make the contact. If you live in an HOA community like I do, you might want to consider this antenna. My lot is only 72' wide so I had to get permission from neighbors on either side of me to tie off each leg. The wire is so small you can hardly see it. This is a great multi band antenna that will allow you to work those distant stations with ease. Good DX and 73.
Great service from Chris, Terrific antenna. Sturdy, well made. Great reception. Highly recommend
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
Very well constructed.