For the past few months, I’ve been tinkering with the idea of improving my current antenna situation, which includes a full length 102′ G5RV (10m-80m) installed horizontally at approximately 42 feet.
In order to proper install and tune new antennas, I then decided to acquire an antenna analyzer, a “must have” tool if you ever want to tune any antennas. Many Amateur Radio operators use and recommend the MFJ 259B antenna analyzer but after I had a chance to used one, I decided it wasn’t quite the analysis tool I was looking for.
After researching the internet for a while, I discovered the excellent line of products from Rigexpert. Although slightly more expensive than the MFJ, the RigExpert analyzers was exactly what I wanted, hightly rated by people who bought some and well worth the extra money. Modern, precise and powerful, it does what I want it to do in a very slick way. Any serious HF amateurs deserves to own one of these.
I got a RigExpert AA54, which covers 0.1 Mhz to 54 Mhz, comes with a USB port (For detailed PC analysis) and has a full graphic display to plot results, something you would have a hard time doing with the MFJ analyzer. The RigExpert also has models for other Amateur bands, but since I have only interest for HF+6m, the AA54 offered all I needed.
Upon getting the AA54 thru mail order, I hooked my G5RV to it and let it do its thing. The G5RV antenna I use is a Radiowavz 10m-80m full length antenna, which is a really basic multi-band antenna. I was eager to check out the results on this very popular HF antenna, didn’t waste a minute plugging the analyzer on the coax and see the results come in. I’d like to share my results with you. First, here is the SWR graph of a G5RV on frequencies ranging from 0.100 MHZ to 54.000 Mhz, which is the full scanning range of the AA54 analyzer:
What stands out the most when I looked at the granular results are that low SWR happen on non-amateur bands (grey area). No wonder most seasoned Amateur Radio operators dislike this antenna.
Let’s look at SWR on each Amateur bands:
Conclusion: The only bands the G5RV is efficient on, and the only reason why I use it, are 80m and 12m. I do use the G5RV on other bands, but with a good antenna tuner. My other Multi-band antenna (An Alpha-Delta DX LB Plus) cover the other bands a bit better and I will publish SWR results of this other antenna. Meanwhile, if you need a good antenna analyzer, check out http://www.rigexpert.com.
You can now check out PART 2 of this series of SWR analysis where I test an Alpha-Delta DX LB Plus Antenna.