Good results with “RE-Worked” W3EDP

Well today “Some” of my amateur radio related yardwork got done as it was a fantastic afternoon.

My flimsy 30 foot telescopic mast got taken down and put away in the basement till the spring.  I used to have two of them but last year I decided I did not need to take it down…  Now I have one left and I take it down and store it inside away from the freezing rain and ice…

In its place my J Pole now rests on a 12 foot (or so) lenght of masting as as thats all I need for the local repeaters on VHF/UHF it will work fine.  Using my FT 897 (yes I know its a bit of overkill using that rig on FM only) with the dual band JPole at 12 feet I can bring up all the local Ottawa Repeaters with no problems at the lowest power levels.

Today I also tried playing around with my W3EDP antenna.  For those of you who are not familure with that style of antenna its best described as a 85 foot long wire with a 17 foot counterpoise.  I have used a tuner and a direct connct (no balun) also used a 1:1 balun and my last attempts (modifications) have been done with a 4:1 balun which by the way gives me the best results so far.

My first versions were built rather lightly with a home brewed 4:1 balun and I had good results with my FT 817 along with my LDG Qrp auto tuner at QRP Levels.

So from the video above you can see that the antenna is quick and easy as its an end fed style antenna and the early versions were QRP but had good receive qualitites for 80m on a Sunday Afternoon.

Here is the first version of my W3EDP (the one in the video)..


Todays changes to the W3EDP consisted of running both the 85 foot long element and the 17 foot counterpoise in a vertical configuration.  Now after about 30 feet (or so) it turns more into an inverted L but I think you get the picture.


Now on the good side of things….  Running both elements vertical seems to have removed some of the noise I used to pick up when the 17 foot counterpoise was horizontal.  Now using my Timewave ANC-4 I can bring the noise level down almost to zero.  This is much better than the S9 + noise level I used to have on 80m.

Still on the good side of things I seem to have picked up a new band.  Just for the heck of it I tuned up on 1.890 and hit the auto tune button and it loaded up quickly.  I figured it was now a fancy dummy load but I did hear WA3PBL Chris calling CQ and figured why not give it a try.  We had a great QSO and I was getting 5-7 to 5-9 with an occasional little more in the signal reports.


As you can see from his QRZ Picture he has a bit more antenna than I do…

He could not really believe what I was using on the “Top Band” and to be honest I could not really believe it either…  This was a distance of around 420 miles from my QTH in Ottawa to Chris’s QTH just outside of Pittsburgh PA.  Not bad for 100w and a lenght of wire eh!!!

So here I am now…  Operating 10m to 160m with good signal reports using 100w and a W3EDP in a sort of inverted L configuration and I am having a blast…  Never really worked 160m before as I thought I did not have enough real estate….

Lets see if Sunday gets going as good as Saturday…….


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6 Responses to “Good results with “RE-Worked” W3EDP”

  1. David, vk2dmh Says:

    Hi Bob,

    I just read your posting in the HFpack group.

    Nice to see your take on the W3EDP antenna. And having a photo and a graphic diagram helps a lot also!

    I have seen other designs for the W3EDP multi-band HF before, and filed them away and basically forgot about them. You have just re-kindled my interest. :-)

    Thanks es 73, de vk2dmh, David.

    • va3qv Says:

      Hi David and thanks for reading and your comments…

      I currently use two versions of the W3EDP.
      At home I use the 83 foot longwire with the 17 foot counterpose with a spreader system which makes it look like the old style home brewed ladder line. This with a 4:1 commercal balun gives me 10-160m from a very limited size yard at home. I run the antenna vertical for the first 20 feet then horizontal for the rest so it looks like an inverted L antenna and yes the counterpoise goes vertical as it runs beside the longwire side.

      In the park I use a W3EDP which is costructed completely out of the cheap 300 ohm TV Twinlead. one side is 17 foot long and the other side is the 83 foot lenght. I feed this with a homebrewed 4:1 balun and string it out in every possiable configuration with my 817 in the park.

      A tuner is needed but…. Its a great multi band limited space antenna that only really needs one support but is better with two…


  2. Stuart Roy, m0sar Says:

    Hi Bob,

    Like David, I too was interested in your posting. My back yard is only 35′ deep, so long antennas are out of the question. However, my club has a top-band net every Sunday morning and so I have spent ages trying to find something small that will cover top-band too.

    Consequently, I have spent the last 3 hours or so making my version of your version of the W3EDP! I happened to have 17′ 6″ of 450-ohm ladder line, so I cut that to 17′ and added 68′ of wire to one leg. I made a 4:1 balun with an old T200-2 core and some spare twin-flex. I’ve used an 18′ fibreglass pole at the bottom of the garden, put the balun at the bottom, run the ladderline up the pole and then taken the wire across to the house and down to a tree stump in the small front garden.

    My IC-7700’s internal tuner was happy to tune it up across all bands except top-band, unfortunately, but my MFJ Versa-Tuner soon took care of that. I’m looking forward to seeing just how well it performs.

    Many thanks for sowing the seed – I hope the harvest is plentiful!

    73 – Stuart, m0sar

    • va3qv Says:

      Good luck with it….
      its not the best but its better than nothing….

      My only real DX on any band with the W3EDP has been South Africa and most of Europe but… Its been a good performer locally across Eastern Canada on 40-80 and 160…

      I am very antenna restricted here with a 20 foot square back yard. Only saving grace is a tree in the back yard and a tree in the front yard… using light blue automotive wire my landlord has not noticed the wire stretching over the house from the front yard to the back yard…

      Let me know how it turns out for you


  3. Michael VE3WMB Says:

    Bob :

    After talking to you a few weeks back at the OV-QRP outing in Hampton park I had a look at your blog info on your W3EDP. I have been using one for a number of years but not in the end-fed Zepp configuration (I have the elevated counterpoise going off at a right angle). I did some modelling using EZNEC and it looks like the Zepp-style W3EDP is a winner from a matching perspective (only 10m looks really problematic). Also I tried modelling some different configurations (i.e. inverted-L, inverted-L with sloping wire etc) and the impedance seems fairly stable regardless of how you deploy it so it should be easily matchable in the field regardless of how it is deployed.

    I think that I will do some playing around with a portable version of this and then maybe I will consider a more sturdy version as a backup antenna for use at the cottage (You gotta love an 84ft end fed wire that covers pretty much the whole HF ham bands ! )


    Michael VE3WMB

    P.S. It is worth noting that it looks this antenna will even perform when erected as an inverted-L or inverted-U supported by two 20 foot Shakespeare wonder poles; so tall masts or conveniently located trees are not a necessity.

    • va3qv Says:

      Thanks for the comments Michael… Its worked fantastic for me in many different locations and with many different configurations… I like the inverted L the most but a vertical sloper (low end at balun and high end in tree) has worked well as well with my 817 and qrp auto tuner…

      CU on Field day


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