One of the best reasons to use a vertical antenna for HF Ham Radio is space savings. Using a vertical antenna does not always have to be a sacrifice if you get the right one. One of the best ways to make sure you what you pay for is to read a review on the products. This is a great way to gather opinions and make an educated decision.
The Vertical HF Antennas listed on this page are in my opinion the most common and readily available.
Another common mistake when using a vertical antenna is improper feed line selection. Do not listen when people say there is no difference in performance between the cheaper and more expensive cables. To the untrained ear, there is a huge difference in receive and noise floor alone when comparing RG-58 to Rg-213 cable (in a 50 foot or longer install).
Complaints of high noise floor on HF Vertical Antenna? Once again feed line is critical. Antenna height is also a factor, but, many work the world on vertical antennas mounted 5 feet off the ground.
Finally, vertical antennas can be quite sensitive to nearby metal and non metal objects. Sometimes just finding another spot for it can make all the difference. Great performance on a vertical is finding the sweet spot on your property where it works the best.
WARNING: Installing an Antenna can be Very Dangerous. The antenna and feed line should always be at least 20 feet shorter than the distance it would travel to the nearest power line. Meaning, if the wind should take your antenna in the air to the power line, the feed line should snap 20 feet before contact with any power lines.
Calculate the distance it would take to snap the cable if the antenna was to be completely air born heading for nearby wires. If your antenna was to dismount, fly through the air and in to some wires, this voltage could harm you in your house. i.e. long feed lines are dangerous if they are longer than the shortest distance to the nearest power line. Length of antenna Included. Spend at least a full day to a week calculating safety measures before you think about installing any antenna. It's always the little things we forget that get us hurt.
Example of Safety Plan for Vertical HF Antenna install. Antenna is 25 feet long and the feed line is 50 feet from the window of the house to the base of the antenna. That is 75 feet. Now measure from the window where the coax is going out of your house to the nearest power line. If it less that 95 feet you could be harmed. No Exceptions.
Antennas like to become air born in high winds and fly in to power lines. This connects all that voltage to your radio shack in an instant. Not only will it fry everything in your house, depending on the voltage, it could seriously hurt anyone in the house. Or worse. The cable must snap 20 feet before it could make contact.
Some of the power lines many people think are only a few hundred volts, are well over 5000 volts. It's best to treat them all like they extreme high voltages. By doing this you will live long enough to enjoy your Vertical HF Antenna. Some of these lines have so much energy they can "Vaporize" you. No Joke.
Remember, depending on the power line, you will likely be electrocuted before the antenna even makes contact with the line.