Since 2005 my antenna is the
Buckmaster 7-band OCF dipole. This is a good antenna!! Very well made and strong enough to last through ice storms (unlike my wire antenna below).
Put it up and forget it! When the tree supporting one end blew down, only the nylon rope broke.
This 25 foot high antenna works great on 80m to 6m, and quite well on 160m. On the entire 80/75m band the VSWR is less than 2:1. As long as your solid state TX is happy - 1:1 vs 2:1 - you won`t be able to tell the difference. The manufacturer has a recommended installation configuration, but I'm sure it will work fine in any reasonable setup. Mine is a standard end-supported installation - I never put up the center support. It also works great for SWL on the HF bands.
The manufacturer also recommends not using a tuner because of the ferrite core balun design, but I use a tuner on 15m and 160m. Actually without the tuner the VSWR on 15 meters is less than 3:1 at the TX end of the feedline, so my rig does not reduce its power output. With the IC-751 and AT-150, it works well on 160m. The balun can handle 300W, so core heating is no problem when using the tuner at 100W - the antenna still works great after many years of use.
Experiments with a 25' center support showed significantly higher SWR on 10m and 6m when the ends were pulled down. It works best in my original end-supported setup as a standard dipole, with the center drooping.
Need an antenna for 6m?
The DX-OCF worked as good as a 6m dipole and I worked 8-10 grids in the January SS with a 20W transverter.
For 30 years I used a 6m dipole, now I have a Yagi.
My old 80m thru 6m dipole
(160m with a tuner)
Dimensions shown are for 3.75, 7.15 and 14.15 MHz. Start longer and adjust 80m first, then 40 and 20 for best VSWR.
The VSWR of this antenna is 1.2:1 at resonance and <3:1 across all bands, measured at the transceiver.
This dipole was used on 80-10m with a Kenwood TS-180S solid state rig from 1983 to 1998 with very good results, without a tuner. It worked fine on 6m too. Later I used the IC-751 with an AT-150, which tuned a 1.1:1 match from 160-10m and worked 65 countries in the 2003 ARRL DX PH contest. At 25 feet, this dipole worked good on 160m.
Nov 2015 W3KM