Antenna Design
Compact 160-Meter Antenna Performance

K4SX Cage Inverted-L Antenna for 160 Meters

Author: Ron Lowrance K4SX © 25 November 2007

After over 44 years of enjoying Amateur Radio, I finally decided to attempt Ham Radio’s TOP BAND, 160 Meters. I have heard for many years of the great challenge of putting up a DX antenna for 160 then actually getting it to work. So, I decided to give it a try after all these years. Below are the details of my antenna which is a new twist on a well established antenna. I designed and constructed the antenna on November 11, 2007. I have also included my DX success after less than three hours of operation on CW.

Design Configuration
Inverted-L with a 6-wire cage for the vertical radiator.

Vertical Radiator
6-wire cage radiator using eight 5-inch plastic storage lids as separators with each wire feeding through each separator. I used 14 AWG stranded copper wire with insulator coating for each conductor.

The total length of the vertical radiator is 50-feet. The radiator is suspended at the point of the Top-Hat portion of the antenna with a feed-through insulator.

This part of the Inverted-L is approximately 75-feet in total length and is 60+ feet above ground at the end point. The wire for this part of the antenna is 12 AWG stranded copper with insulated coating. The optimum length of this part of the antenna will vary with frequency, the surrounding environment, and height above ground.

I currently have six insulated radials each at 135-feet in length lying on top of the ground. My objective is to put down 30 radials.

1:1 current balun; DXEngineering 10KW version.

50-ohm 4XL coax cable.

SWR Measurements

  • The SWR at 1.800 khz is 1:1
  • The SWR at 1.900 khz is 2:1

I measured the SWR with a MFJ Antenna Analyzer. The Standing Wave at 1.900 khz is actually just a little under 2:1.

Equipment Used
ICOM 7800, Alpha77, Palstar AT10K tuner with 10 kw Power Station, and a DXEngineering 10KW 1:1 Current Balun.

DX Worked on CW as of November 23, 2007
3X5A, CN2R, 8P5A, VY2SS, PJ4A, KV4FZ, RZ0AF, OZ1CTK, S50U, HI3C, HR9/WQ7R, YV1,NX, E51NNN, XE3ARV and  I4EWH.

K4ZRJ, W8JI, K4EWG, and the ARRL Antenna Handbook.

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