Installing a GR5V Multiband Antenna

The GR5V is a Popular Amateur Radio Dipole Antenna used for 3.5MHz to 30MHz

By Mark J. Donovan

Recently I decided to renew my interest in Amateur Radio. For 30+ years I held a Novice license (WB1FXS) due mainly to the fact that I never found time to upgrade. I have a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and have worked as an engineer for most of my professional life so it wasn’t the circuit theory that was holding me back. It was the time required to learn all of the FCC regulations and ancillary ham radio subjects on antenna theory, operator band use, etc.

Over the years my interest in amateur radio ebbed and flowed, as I got frustrated with my limited operating privileges and antique radio equipment. So when I recently received a letter in the mail reminding me that it was once again time to renew, I decided that it was time to upgrade.

I was so determined to upgrade, that I studied for the Technical, General and Extra over several weeks and then went out and took the tests.

Today I am pleased to say that I hold an Amateur Extra class license. While studying for the exams I also decided to upgrade from my old Heathkit HW-101 transceiver to a new entry level HF ICOM IC-718 transceiver.
In addition to upgrading my amateur radio ticket and buying a new transceiver I have also been researching antenna options for my amateur radio station and experimenting with a couple of dipole antennas.

I first built myself a homebrewed 40M/15M dipole antenna and it worked quite well. However, I wanted access to more of the HF bands that I now had the privilege to work on. So last weekend I purchased and installed a GR5V multiband dipole antenna in my backyard. It supposedly works from 3.5MHz to 30MHz. I have successfully used it on 40M and 20M so far. My tuner seems to have some trouble tuning it for 80M, however I believe that this issue is associated with the fact that I only have the antenna hanging above the ground about 35 feet. From what I understand I need to raise the antenna to nearly 100’ to really get the antenna to perform at 80M. I have not had time yet to try the other bands. GR5V Antenna installed at my house.

I installed the GR5V multiband antenna in trees in my backyard. I used a 28 foot ladder to initially get it up and running. However I was not satisfied with the performance. Using some fishing line and a 4oz lead weight, and standing high up on my ladder I was able to toss the weight up higher into the tree limbs. This was a dicey endeavor to say the least and I would not recommend this approach to anyone. The fishing line was constantly getting tangled in branches and as a result it took me many attempts to finally place the fishing line where I wanted.

After placing the fishing line over the desired branch, I then tied the fishing line to the support rope that was tied to one end of the GR5V antenna. Then I simply pulled on the other end of the fishing line to pull the rope up and over the branch. Once I could grab onto the rope end I elevated the antenna by pulling on the rope. I chose to tie off the rope near the base of the tree to allow me easy access for lowering and raising the antenna. I repeated the process on the other side of the antenna.

I also tied a line to the center insulator of the GR5V antenna and secured this line up into another tree. Doing this allowed me to raise the center of the antenna which was drooping.

I also made sure to have the ladder wire hang perpendicular to the dipole by about 10’ before turning it in a gentle arc towards my radio shack (2nd floor of home). The balun that connects the ladder wire to the coax dangles just a few feet away from my shack so that the coax can feed directly into the shack.

Today I am glad to say that I am back on the air with my new amateur radio privileges and enjoying every minute of it. I am sure I will eventually move to a high gain Yagi antenna for 20/15/10M but for now, I will enjoy my old hobby with my new equipment and privileges.

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