Many thanks, Rick, for your eager willingness to post my photos.
I appreciate your helping me share these great builds, (and a few not so great ones of the past), but I'm getting better with experience.)
Well, where do I begin?
The Mclapp you see in the photo with the reflector is actually a very old factory made antenna I modified. Remember the one found in the trash for 5 bucks?
With that one, I removed the existing 8" whiskers and used them for another project. (the black plexi-glass one, but I dont know if I sent you that photo, or if you posted that one.)
I removed the badly rusted out hardware fasteners connecting the whiskers and phase lines, and replaced them with brass equivalents. I cleaned up te whole thing on the wire wheel, because it was literally covered with a thick, white powdery oxidation.
I made new 10" whiskers out of comparable sized 6-ish guage aluminum, replacing the 8" whiskers, which were all wrong considering the 9-1/2" spacing.
Finally, I wanted to improve the existing tubular reflector with 3" spacing, which was probably OK for UHF, but I wanted to get some serious forward gain and enhance VHF reception. I added several cooling racks with a 3/4 - 1" spacing, sold at the dollar stores for 2/$1.
It exceeded my expectations, pulling UHF nearly as strong as my DBGH, and vastly increasing signal strength in the two VHF channels and everything in front of it,
but nearly completely lost the three channels behind it, sadly. This was quite different to my first experience with a PVC Mclapp with 36 x 40" reflector, which did not improve forward gain much at all, but completely lost signals behind it.
Even though the gains were significant, the trade off, losing the others behind it make it not very desirable for a stationary antenna. This would be a great choice with a rotator, or if all channels were in the same general direction. It is a strong performer, but somewhat directional, though not as directional as my Radio Shack corner reflector yagi.
This weekend I will begin some serious testing on the DBGH, now with the recently installed 28" aluminum NARODS.
I didn't get much time to work with that like I had planned, but am optimistic. That would be the red one in the photos. The SBGH in the photo with the NARODS showed somewhat of a moderate improvement in VHF since adding them, but not extremely substantial.
I will update you all on the DBGH's VHF performance on channels 11 and 13 soon.
The other SBGH was my first, experimental GH antenna built for my neighbor, who got a good couple of months use , but is currently using an 8.5" x 8" Mclapp, on loan, until we can figure out whether we want to build him a DBGH with NARODS, as well, pending the outcome of mine.
This antenna was probably not optimum, or built in an orthodox manner, due to the twisting of (2) 12 guage wires together to stiffen it for outdoor use, as 12guage would be "floppy."
(He had literally SPOOLS of this stuff laying around)
It did, however perform quite similiar to the 8 guage one built to the same dimensions.
I have finally arrived at the conclusion. From my location, I am adamant a 8-1/2" x 8" or 9" x 8.5" seem to offer the best comprimise on all the channels. The results variance between the two seemed minimal, and too close to call, as to which one appears to be the real winner.
Also, I did quite well with an 8" x 8" and an 8" x 7-1/2" which also gave favorable results.
The 9-1/2" x 9" did well on VHF hi 11 and 13, the lower UHF channels, where it appeared to be it's strongest,
but came in slightly shorter on the upper 40's channels, which there are three.
These are also the weakest channels of the group.
The Channel Master baluns have definitely also made a noticeable improvement on all the antennas tested, over the Philips/Magnavox and/or Gemini, etc. ones, and one is incorporated into nearly every antenna. No failures or bad ones yet.
(Crossing my fingers)
Thanks again for posting my photos, Rick.