Last year my one good strategy was to treat WPX as a domestic contest. From this local it means hitting 40M/80M pretty hard. That said, it is nice to pick up the 6‑pointers (DX QSOs, off-continent) and EU on 40M is quite easy from my station. This year I decided to modify my strategy to capitalize on some easy EU contacts. I put up a very simple phased-vertical array – 40M bi-square – to see if it would be better than my trusty E/W facing G5RV. I think so!
A bi-square is simply a broadside phased-vertical array. The construction couldn’t be simpler…a vertical element approximately 35 feet long, a 70 foot piece of wire connecting another vertical element 35 feet long. These are typically shown in the ham literature as an upside-down U either fed in the corner by 50 ohm coaxial cable or fed at one end over a ground. There is no reason this structure couldn’t be flipped like a rightside-up U. Think of a traditional vertical antenna for 40M over a radial field, with one of these radials 70′ long with another 35′ wire vertical attached to it. Simple!
I can position my bi-square so that the broadside field of radiation is about 60 degrees. Effectively I am pointed right at the Mediterranean. The array is also bi-directional so it would favor to New Zealand as well. There is about a 60 degree 3dB beam width which should mean pretty good results into Southern and Eastern Europe/Northern Africa. On the other side of the world it means good results Eastern Australian and ZL. Guess what? Exactly as I experienced. Most of the time I was louder into EU on the array over the trusty G5RV. It was nice to have another 40M antenna.
Will throw some EZNEC+ models up here when I make some time.