SWLing Post reader, Ken Hansen (N2VIP), writes:
A few months ago I purchased a couple S9V18 18′ vertical antennas for $65 at cheapham.com, with the intention of deploying a quick HF aerial at my HOA-laden home for ham radio use. I found they work great for SWL.
The S9V18 antenna is made to slip over a 1″ o.d. pipe driven into the ground at least a foot, with 12″ of the pipe rising off the ground. You can pound a two foot pipe half-way into the ground, or do as I did and fill a bucket with cement and stick the pipe in that half-way.
After adding a reasonable ground plane of 8x 14 ga wire cut about 15′ long I hooked up a 4:1 balun and ran it to my Kenwood TS-570D.
What I found was the aerial not only worked well on 20 meters, it also made a great shortwave aerial! Stations were booming in here in Texas at night.
My ‘discovery’ was that a nice, modest vertical antenna can really improve reception on SW bands…
Cheapham.com sells the S9V18 antenna on close out for $35/each, the 2′ pipe is a few dollars more, add in a bit of coax and a modest ground plane and you can really up your SWL ‘game’.
Antenna on closeout:
I suggest anyone buying this antenna seriously consider buying additional clamps at the same time, they are just a few dollars and will help extend the life of the antenna:
For shortwave broadcast listening a direct connection without balun would probably suffice, but I used an LDG 4:1 balun to support multi-band ham transmitting:
Just thought I’d share my ‘discovery’…
And we thank you for sharing your discovery, Ken! This is a great, simple solution for those who cannot erect a permanent “high-profile” antenna. I’m especially impressed with how budget-friendly your solution is, Ken.
Post Readers: If you have other suggestions for inexpensive low-profile antennas, please contact me or comment below!