A colleague asked me the other day what the most ridiculous antenna I had ever tried on 630-meters was. This sounds like the start to a pretty good joke but the reality is I had an answer for him.
In January 2014 I examined a variety of antennas that might be accessible to the average ham in order to get on 630-meters. It was not a scientific study, rather only a snapshot of when and where the experiment was performed.
All of the antennas tested were in a vertical configuration with base loading and a radial system of varying degrees. Power to each the antenna was 100 watts and WSPR was the evaluation method of choice.
All of the antennas tested actually worked on 630-meter. I guess one has to define what makes an antenna dumb but rather than taking the time to do that I will interject my own prejudice and declare that the dumbest antenna in my experiment was the 8-foot tall base loaded pipe.
and again, yes, it did work and I did not start any fires during the test. WSPR results below:
Perhaps equally dumb and much more labor intensive to set up was the Gap Challenger vertical, supplied by Jerry, KB6OJE:
Again, this antenna worked but losses were incredibly high and tuning was a mess. I literally heard this one fade into the noise as I was listening to it from 1/2 mile away as the tuning shifted. Fortunately no FET amplifiers were hurt in this experiment. Incomplete WSPR data below:
A pretty good antenna was the helically wound 16-foot tall fishing pole using the same radial field as the 8-foot pipe. This antenna would have been killer with a little top loading but the wind loading was non-existent and had a very serviceable signal around North America:
WSPR data follows:
The absolute best small antenna tested was a home brew G5RV base loaded as a Marconi-T and fed against 3 short radials over high quality ground. There are no pics of the antenna because wire just does not show up well, but here are some WSPR results at 100-watts. They look like the results I see at home running the big vertical:
On any given night, the results could have been radically different but one could find success on 630-meters using antennas such as these some of the time. Its worth experimenting to see what can be made to work. 73 and good luck!