I purchased the antenna because at the time it was remarkably popular. It covers the 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter ham bands (this was pre-WARC and there were no 30, 17, and 12-meter bands). Propagation in those days was such that I spent nearly all my time as a Novice on 40 and 15 meters—callsign WN7AIU. I had a Heathkit HW-16 CW-only transceiver which I received as a college graduation gift from my parents.
The antenna is designed to be mounted atop a structure (in my case the “mast” was a short section of 1.5″ pipe strapped to the brick chimney on my parents’ house in California) with some very simple radials. Basically, two radials for each band. That meant radials for 40, 20, and 10 (15 meters is a convenient multiple of 40 meters and the same radials will do for both). This is in contrast to more “modern” vertical antennas that are ground mounted and require more than a dozen radials—sometimes many dozens.
I didn’t use any kind of tuner and never had any problems loading my “hot water sixteen” directly into the antenna via RG-58 coax. And I worked the world! Well, okay, “my” world, which was pretty much the state of California. DX for me was Northern Mexico or perhaps Oregon. I was stuck on 7107 kHz because that’s the crystal I had. I’d tune the radio and read a magazine until I heard a CQ, then answer it (Morse code only, of course). I look back at my log and see Hawaii (in all caps with three exclamation marks) and American Samoa (in caps and a box—see photo above), and Japan (again in caps in a box).
After I passed my General exam and became WB6GBT, I traded the HW-16 for a Yaesu FT-201 (yes, 201—that’s not a typo) and fully explored 40m, 20m, and 15m single-sideband. I remember one time I had just come into my room from the shower and the radio was tuned to 7253 kHz and I heard an SSB CQ from Duncan on Johnston Island. I’m looking in my log now—it was 18 Jan 1976 at 0547Z and his call was KJ6CF. He was there on a military assignment. I grabbed the mike and had a great QSO. As soon as we ended, the pile-up started! Ah, propagation was good then. And I made that contact on my Hy-gain 14AVQ!
So, what antenna do I recommend for hams new to HF? Well, still a wire dipole because it can be made for next to nothing. But that 14AFQ was sure a good performer!