The Beverage Experience:  Year 2

Or, “Snakes are welcome in my yard”


Jeff     VE1ZAC


I finally have a working DX antenna for Top Band !  Yahoo. But there were some issues for getting my new “WindoVert” to work, and one of them was to treat that downlead area for the Windom as a vertical antenna. And that meant no horizontal wires running 12” away at 8 feet off the ground.

If you followed my series of Beverage articles, last winter I discovered the joys of a shortish, reversible and null steering Beverage , called an SWA by Victor Mizek, an authority on these things. I took this antenna down in the summer because it was in the way of my summer back yard activities. I left the terminations in place so it literally took an hour to re-erect the antenna and plug it in. All fine and dandy, but it was re radiating my 160M transmission from the WindoVert. I had to either move it or look at some other options. I didn’t want to loose it, as anyone with a Beverage of any sort will attest. And, in surveying the yard I really had no where else to put it without drastically shortening the length. It’s only about 200 feet long as is.


What to do ?


I have read a few articles on BOG antennas, or Beverage On Ground. This is actually what Harold Beverage originally experimented with when he invented the thing. John Devoldere and Victor Mizek both discuss these antennas in their Beverage books and Victor suggests that these will work fine with the exact same reversible setup I currently have. Even the antenna impedance will work fine. They also theoretically work better over crappy ground ( Did someone say Nova Scotia ?)……..soooooo….. it took a few minutes to remove the elevated Beverage and route a piece of RG6 outdoor coax along the ground between the two termination transformers and make a little adapter.


I turned it on in the shack, and…. the darn thing works !  In fact, it works better than the elevated wire in some respects. This thing now obviously favours 160M and works less well on 80 and 40. A reverse of the previous setup. But work it does, shows reverse gain properly and still lets me steer the null around anywhere I choose. Very cool. It’s a keeper, and the interference is non existent to the 160M transmit antenna.


BTW, I put this antenna into the receive only port on my Pro 3, but be warned this is a very unprotected port. Sultronics makes a nice little port saver device which is highly recommended for this task. Gary and I both use these things. You can make one yourself if you can find a reed relay and a few bits to do the job.


I have been listening around for the last few evenings with it and am very pleased. Who would think that something lying on the ground could work so well ? Oh yeah, the title. These things are also known as “Snake” antennas.