Horizontal vs. Vertical orientation?


As I tell everyone: “only The Great Spirit knows – beforehand – how any

antenna will perform...us Hams find out after its up.”


Shown below are two reports:

Rick, KC9NIY gets better TAK-tenna performance with Horizontal orientation.

Andre, N9RWG gets better TAK-tenna performance with Vertical orientation.


Are radials needed?


A vertical dipole does NOT need radials.

TAK-tenna is a dipole antenna.


Typically, the “vertical” we use is the quarter-wavelength monopole...also known as the “Marconi.”


Marconi – the genius that he was – discovered that the performance of a vertical antenna was aided by wave REFLECTION from the ground surface under and around it.


The textbooks describe this effect as being from an “image” of that aboveground vertical antenna as if it was actually buried in the ground and equal in size to the vertical antenna sitting directly above.


Of prime importance for good vertical antenna performance is the QUALITY of ground conductivity!


Poor conductivity = poor reflection = poor performance.


Radial wires are an attempt to correct for this poor ground conductivity.


The not-so-good news is that a relatively large surface area surrounding the vertical base needs to be laid out with these wires...how many...how long ...’depends.’



Fortunately for us Hams, the performance for a vertical DIPOLE is a different matter...and radials are NOT needed.













7'th month review 



I've had the  TAK-tenna 40 now for approximately 7 months. I have used the antenna at various heights from approximately 10' to 36' mounted on a monopole mast.


Coax run is approximately 65" with approximately 30' of it buried some 4" underground.


That is hooked to a FT-897 with a LDG 897 Tuner. Max power is 100W. The QHT is 312' ASL in SW Indiana.

My property overlooks the Ohio River and Ky. Terrain to the South falls off, rises to the East to Northwest and is gently falling to the SW through West.

Several people have reported good results with the TAK-tenna mounted vertically a few feet off the ground, hot side up. I tried that for about two weeks without much success. That isn't to say it won't work for you, but it didn't for me.

For my location I have found horizontally mounted at 32' seems to give the best performance.


When I lower the antenna I've found that I get better short range ( NVIS ) performance such as KY, IL, TN and better long and DX performance as I raise it; nothing overly surprising there.

For example when
Illinois had their QSO party I lowered the antenna and found I could reliably make 80-400 mile contacts with the antenna at 16 feet. Raised to 32' I'm normally fairly deaf to stations in Illinois unless they are up in the northern part.

On several occasions when there have been stable band conditions I've found cooperative Hams who have worked with me to check directional characteristics of the TAK-tenna.


The procedure was straight forward.
Starting with the antenna's cold side pointing at the remote station I would rotate the antenna through 180 degrees while doing a slow count. The remote station would then report the

S readings at various numbers which told me where the antenna was pointed at that time.


Not controlled or scientifically valid methodology, but it gave me an idea of what was going on.

During the rotation I typically got 1-2 S change although one person reported no change at all. Whether others can reproduce this I don't know, but those are the reports I received.

I've managed to make contacts on every band from 160-6m, but the TAK-tenna is not suitable as a 160 and I don't believe it is advertised as such.


The antenna works to a fashion on 80 and I've made numerous contacts on 80 and several on 60, but the majority of contacts have been on 40-20-17 with a fair number on 30m primarily due to band openings. All were done with a tuner. I have worked CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK and a few SSTV. The majority of contacts have been SSB and PSK.

As far as performance goes I have worked all but 3 states with the TAK-tenna.

I have made SSB contacts with Alaska, Hawaii, both of those in July 2008.

I've made SSB contact with all the provinces in Canada as well.


I've also worked all continents. Some of the more interesting contacts have been Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan all in the 8-9k mile range with under 100 watts.


 I've also had QSO's with most of the Caribbean Islands, most of Central America along with Chile, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, and Falkland Is. The most recent was the K5D Desecheo Is DX Expedition on 17m SSB.

In the
North Atlantic and Europe I have Iceland, Greenland, England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway,

Denmark, Austria, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Vatican, Poland, Croatia, Russia and a Belgium QRP station.


Going South, I've had several contacts with the Canary Islands, Madeira Is and on the other side of Africa, Mauritius Is which is my longest contact at over 10,000 miles. Thanks Alexey.

I've read a number of comments from people who criticize the fact that people who give good reviews to the TAK-tenna do so without side by side comparisons. That's a fair criticism.


However, if I had the room for a multi-band vertical and all the required radials, I'd probably have one. Same for a stacked Yagi on an 80 foot tower and if I didn't mind repairing, replacing or re-stringing a multi-band dipole every time the wind blew over 40 mph which breaks numerous limbs I might go that route.


As it is I've managed to make a number of interesting contacts using a very inexpensive antenna without a whole lot of muss and fuss.




A fun antenna that is a real lifesaver for restricted users! 

I live in a second floor apartment in northwest Chicago, and have limited ability to put up an antenna.

I tried a MFJ telescopic antenna-tuner, with very poor results, so much so, that I thought that my radio had gone kaput!

I mulled over purchasing the TAK-tenna 40 for quite a while, read the reviews and finally gave in (what the heck, right?).


When the antenna came, I was able to get it assembled in no time, as the instructions were easy to follow.

I tuned the antenna with a Radio Shack SWR meter and nailed it at 7.220, in less time it took to put the thing together.

With my landlord watching with a very critical eye, I mounted the antenna horizontally out of a window.

Although there was a noticeable improvement, and I made some good contacts regionally, I was a bit disappointed.

I was surprised to get an email from Steve, the maker of the antenna, who asked me how it was working out.

He suggested that I try a vertical orientation, and I did.


WOW! I had more contacts that I could shake a stick at!


Although my wife probably wants Steve's head on a spit (because I am planted at my shack when I am not at work), I am extremely happy.

Prior to my current apartment dwelling days, I put up quite a few antennas, and this was a fun antenna to assemble, mount, tune and (of course) talk on. I'm happy, the landlord is happy, and the wife is not happy (but valentine's day is coming), and I can enjoy playing radio.


The customer service was wonderful, and something that is extremely rare these days.


This is a great antenna that you absolutely cannot go wrong with.




Below is a picture of Andre's window vertical TAK-tenna