Barker & Williamson BWDS-90N

Today was a really nice fall day in the state of Indiana, so I decided to take advantage of it and do some antenna work before winter hits.  Today I hung up a Barker & Williamson BWDS-90N antenna.  This antenna is a broadband folded dipole antenna.



I have been testing it for a bit this afternoon and this is what I found so far:

The BWDS-90 is a broadband antenna that works all the way down on 160m and as high up as 6m.  Generally this antenna is not a performer.  They are also quite expensive (about $250 for the BWDS-90 model).  However this antenna is a perfect match on all the bands without a tuner.  If you get it up high enough it does work okay.  I even made a few DX contacts with it.  One to Italy and one to France today.  So it does work.

The military uses these antennas often since they match well on the bands and work well for NVIS type installations.  They are popular with the military for field ops using man-pack portable radios.

I am looking forward to testing it more, since I didn’t really have time today to put it though it’s paces.

While I was on the roof I also tweaked my G5RV antenna so that I could still use that as well.  It works also just okay. I really cannot have anything great where I live right now, I just don’t have the room for it.  Perhaps when I move later there will be better antennas in my future.

I will try to make some time this week to test out the BWDS-90 antenna so more and let you know how it goes.

73! for now.  de Nick N9SJA

3 thoughts on “Barker & Williamson BWDS-90N

  1. It looks like a simple arrangement. Will it take legal limit? If so it may get you on 160m and 80m with an amp to make up for the inefficiency. It’ll be fun for you to do some comparisons with a coax switch.

    • B&W says that the BWDS-90 is rated for 1KW PEP, so I can use my amp with it. I have tried it with about 700 watts and everything seemed A-OK (well nothing caught fire or exploded so that’s a good thing :). I do have a coax switch so that I can switch between the G5RV and the BWDS-90. I have noticed that the BWDS-90 is quieter and rejects noise better. I seem to get about the same reception between the two antennas. On HF the BWDS-90 has a VSWR of less than 2:1 from 1.8 MHz to 30 MHz. On 6m it has less than 3:1 VSWR. I think it works about as good as the G5RV, which is not great, but it works to get me on the air. Someday I will have mondo cool antennas, just not today. I am still looking to move a bit more into the country, but the right property just hasn’t presented itself yet. I check on the listings ever other week or so to see if there is something out there. I’m pretty particular and am looking for about 3-5 acres of land within the county (so that my drive to work isn’t too far and Im still close to my family). I wanted a wooded plot without a whole lot to mow 😉 I have plenty of time so I can look casually. When I get to a place like that, I will put up a tower and be able to have all toys ham radio. That will be nice! 73! Jeff. -Nick N9SJA

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