Transmitting Antennas W8JI

Transmitting Antennas at W8JI

Home Up TX_four_square

W8JI House Station

W8JI Contest Station


When I was first
licensed in the
early 60’s, I had to
scrounge or build
everything. Don’t
think I’m loaded
with money. Like
most Americans
living expenses eat
up most of my money.
I’m still a master
scrounger. I’ve yet
to buy a brand new
tower, and my very
first brand new
radio was purchased
in 1998!

My first good
antennas were at my
first house in
Sylvania, Ohio. I
had a 1/4 wave
insulated base tower
for 160 meters and
some Beverage and
loop antennas for
receiving. I
basically stayed at
that antenna level
until moving to the
farm here near
Barnesville, GA.

When I moved to
Barnesville in December 1998,
I hastily erected a
190-foot Rohn 25
tower as a quick way
to get on the air. I
was pretty happy
with that tower
until I failed to
work Spratly Island
on 160 meters, even
though I was hearing
them very well. That
prompted me to
install a
four-square antenna
for 160 meters.

In early January
1999, Bill Fisher
(W4AN) approached me
about using my
station for a
contest. I wasn’t a
serious contester,
but I agreed to let
Bill and John K4BAI
operate from here. Little
did I know we would
wind up competing in
a “shootout” with
two New England
stations. The path
from here to
saltwater in the
direction of Europe
is several hundred
miles. At that time
no one thought an
inland station could
ever compete with
the East Coast for
DX….especially on
the most difficult
band….160 meters.

You can read
about that event in

an article by

We were all very
proud of our finish.
With no advanced preparation
at all and very
little experience in
160 contests (160
contests require
unique operating
techniques), W4AN
and K4BAI did a
remarkable job.

Bill Fisher W4AN
operated from here
several times after
that event, pushing
the scores higher
Bill set several
record scores and
had several first place
finishes. The East
Coast no longer held
a monopoly on 160
contests, or
160-meter DX.

In 1999, I added
a 318-foot tower and
a rotating 160-foot
tall Rohn 55G. I
also kept refining
my receiving
experimenting and
improving the
technology of weak
signal reception. I
started using true
stereo diversity
receiving around
2000. Stereo
diversity turned out
to be a significant
weak signal DX aide.
Since 1998 I worked
over 300
countries and all 40
zones from
this location on 160 meters.

160 meters

was the very
first band I even
heard a Ham talking
on. It has always
been the centerpiece
of my love for
amateur radio. I was
quite content to
have 160 meters as
the main focus of my

Interests Change

I was always mostly
a low-band
operator. I think
this is because my
first equipment was
homebrew and I just
could not get things
to work well on
15-meters. I
developed very
little personal interest in
bands other than
160, 40, and 80
Around 2003, Bill
Fisher (W4AN)
started talking with
me about a joint
contest effort for
all bands, not just
160 meters.
Unfortunately Bill
passed away April
4th, 2004, so our
plans never came to
fruition. Bill
willed me his
antennas. I always
hoped to finish the
station Bill and I

Everything pretty
much stayed in limbo
until WW4LL
approached me. Fred
wanted to have one
last hurrah before
getting too old, and
I had the resources
necessary for a
joint project. We
started making major
changes in the
antennas in 2007.

The first antenna
up, the old Rohn 25G
for 160, was the
first to go. The 25G
was removed and
replaced in 2007.
This link has
details of the

 lifting Rohn 25G
Rohn 45G tower


160 Omni Tower
shown below:


W8JI antennas 45G insulated base rohn tower



The new ~200-foot
Rohn 45G tower in
the center
foreground is the
new main omni-directional
160-meter antenna.
It now has 
stacked Yagi’s
pointed towards
Europe for 10-meters.
This tower supports ropes for 80-meter antennas, and
very long ropes that
support four 1/4
wave tall vertical
elements for a 160-meter four square.  The omni tower centers in the 160
meter four-square.

This tower is series-fed
(insulated base) against a ground system of
about one-hundred 200-ft
or longer radials. The radials are shallow buried 16-gauge bare
solid copper wire known as “buss wire”.

A small low-pass L-network
using a vacuum capacitor and variable inductor matches the tower.

transmission line coiled around an insulated form between the L-network and
DXE-RR8-HD antenna relay detunes this tower when the four-square is used.

eight-direction four-square,
supported from rope
catenaries, is detuned when the omni-tower is used. There
is a 2nd harmonic
filter located at
the antenna.










I have a unique
way of getting
HF Yagi and Yagi
control cables to the tower.
I use my “bridge to
nowhere” made from a
mixture of scrap
Rohn 20G and 25G
towers shown below:


Tower bridge




This bridge is
1/4 wavelength long on
160, and is grounded at
the end away from
the tower. Feed
cables run through
this 1/4 wave long
bridge to the 200-foot tower. This 1/4
wave “hollow stub” decouples
anything inside it
from the ~200-ft tower, allowing the insulated-base tower to be
series-fed on 160
holding multiple Yagi
antennas. You can
see a 160-meter four
square element just
to the right of the
6×6 wooden support
pole. A 50kW peak /
25kW continuous
generator is in the







Wire four square element






Four 1/4
wavelength tall elements
for my eight
direction 160-meter
4-square hang from catenary ropes as
shown in this photo.



Wire is 9
gauge aluminum wire.
This saves weight.

Connections are made
with stainless steel

Each element is
about 130-feet tall
and spaced 1/4 wave
apart at the corners
of a square.

Each element has
about 50 radials,
each radial 1/4
wave long. These
radials are bonded
into other radials
they cross.


system forms a
traditionally sized
130-feet on a side
with a huge ground
screen. I
use unique phasing
and matching to
obtain eight
selectable primary
directions and
higher gain than a
typical 4-square.











High and Low Dipoles,
some Yagi antennas,
and a new Curtain
Array will be supported by this
new 320-foot tall
Rohn 65G tower.  

Rohn 65G W8JI



Multiple antennas
will be supported by
this tower.


This Rohn 65G
tower is about
320-feet tall and
sits on a pier
pin. You can see
more details at my

Rohn 65 Project




The new
Rohn 65G tower on
the right will hold
multiple HF Yagis for
Asia, dipoles for
160-meters, and one
end of a large
Curtain array for 80
and 40. To look at
this project click
on this link

Rohn 65G Project.

This Curtain will
probably be the
highest gain USA
amateur array for
Europe on 80 and 40
meters. ERP with
1500 watts applied
will the equivalent
of nearly 40 kW to a
standard dipole.


















This is the view
back to the Rohn 65G
from the base of the
new Rohn 55G. The
Rohn 55G will
support the far end
of the curtain

Rohn 55G

We have now
virtually completed
the first tower for

planned Curtain Array
The second 300-foot
tower is nearly

Want to climb up?

View from old 318-foot tower
(now replaced with

are only at around 250 feet here, and looking towards the east. The far right
horizon has a water vapor cloud from a power plant near Juliette, Georgia about
15 miles away. Nearby is the Whistle Stop Cafe, from the movie Fried Green

Ground height is about 800 feet above sea level, but the important thing for
VHF and UHF is the ground slowly rolls away in three directions. The effective
height above average terrain for your view for the next 20 miles is around
350-feet, even though you are only  250ft above ground.

The rope in this picture comes from the end of one of my 318-ft high apex Inverted Vee
Dipoles for 160 meters, and goes out over those tiny 80 to 100-foot tall trees
about 700 feet away.

My Beverage and vertical receiving antennas are out in the pastures,
spread over a 1500- by 3000-foot area. Antennas are controlled by BCD data fed over
underground telephone-type 6-pair control cables. Eight coaxial trunk lines feed 
three switching hubs where multiple smaller antenna feed lines leave, or feed
specific antennas for primary directions or experiments.

For stereo recordings of 160-meter signals, click here.   



Spotting –
Multiplier Antennas


Originally 160
feet tall, this
tower was extended
in height in 2007. This is a rotating
200-foot tower with Yagis
for 40 meters up through
2 meters. The
rotating hardware comes

from K0XG
and has been trouble-free
since 2001. This tower has sixty 140-foot long buried radials for lightning
protection, and to help with low NVIS
antennas like



South America /
Caribbean / USA

Freddie Tower




The South America
/ Caribbean/ USA
tower is the short
Rohn 25G tower in
the background. It
is 70 feet tall.























Freddie tower Rohn 25G








My shortest and
lightest tower is
a 70-foot Rohn

This tower
supports 4-element
monoband Yagis for
20 through 10
meter. The 20
meter antenna is
on the top.

The antennas are
turned by a Hygain
HDR-300 rotor.




















40 Meter

We also have a 40
meter 4-square
antenna to augment
the other 40 meter
antennas. It is
located at the
80-20 meter
vertical location
in the map below.


Antenna Layout


W8JI antenna and feedline layout







Orange line is my

Blue line is a
creek that starts
from a spring.

Circles with
triangles are

Black solid
circles are
feed line access

Thin dotted lines
are the main
cables. Most
feed line is 7/8th
inch 50-ohm

Empty circles are

A=verticals and 40
meter 4-square

200-foot Rohn 55G

C=70-foot Rohn 25G

D=200-foot Rohn
45G insulated base

E=318-foot Rohn

F=300-foot Rohn













My Receiving Antennas


Wiring and Grounding






Hit Counter