The short and linear FCP was designed to reduce ground losses from disadvantaged radial systems beneath inverted L's and other vertical antennas. The FCP and Isolation Transformer allow us to get on Top Band and do well from a small building lot and other restrained circumstances. Other loss issues may be found and eliminated. We begin with the FCP, and introduce Pandora's Box of Loss Issues below.
Before the FCP was published in 2012, W0UCE laid out this drawing of the FCP. Tried and true, it has quickly explained the FCP ever since. Some looked at this drawing once and went out and built it. And it worked. So we have placed it in the opening screen.
We have updated the drawing since 2012, also adding
**Please use the web site you are viewing now for all technical content and direction.**
to the the Single Drawing FCP Description:
(a) The drawing above and its dimensions are for 160m. For 80m use +/- 16.5 feet (+/- 5 m), keep 4 inch (100 mm) spacing between wires, for 40 m use +/- 8.2 feet (+/- 2.5m), keep 4 inch (100 mm) spacing between wires.
(b) Do NOT adjust FCP wire lengths to improve SWR. Changes add loss. SWR does not predict performance. See
(c) You can use other antennas above an FCP, but an inverted L is a common choice, practical and very effective when properly placed and tamed. See to find how you can get the maximum out of your inverted L.
(d) New: We now recommend a minimum FCP height of 8 feet (2.5m) if at all possible, better 10 feet (3m). See other important FCP placement considerations at
(e) You do not need a lot of spreaders between FCP wires. A 160 FCP only needs support at the center, at the two ends, and two spreaders between an end and the center. Keeping number of spreaders low reduces dielectric material between FCP folds, reducing loss.
(f) The winding wire lengths only apply to a single T300A-2 or T300-2D core, or two stacked T300-2 cores. Alternate transformer configurations are discussed at
(g) Metric Dimensions, with harmless roundings to even metric numbers:
- The FCP is 10 meters from center to either end, 20 meters overall,
- at a recommended minimum height of 2.5 meters if possible, better 3 meters,
- the spacing between folded wires is 100 mm, and
- you may substitute locally available IEC wire size 4 sq mm for AWG 12. Exact AWG 12 wire is not required as part of the design. For the transformer's polyimide insulated AWG 14, we currently have no EU source for heavy polyimide insulated 2.5 sq mm copper and suitable matching standard wall teflon sleeving. If informed, we will include verified sources in our materials source listings.
(h) DO use an Isolation Transformer rather than a ferrite device at the feedpoint. Explained in Based on more than 250 FCP-related email thread or telephone consults 2012 through 2016, we only and very strongly recommend either a or commercial equivalent.
(i) If you must use a tower to support the bend of an inverted L, then see or depending on the size of your tower.
(j) To operate both 160 and 80 meters on the same L over FCP, see
After Jack's FCP drawing and related basic construction text, the rest of the FCP-related web site content is here because implementing FCP's exposed a Pandora's Box of RF loss Issues, especially concerning the inverted L. Inverted L issues are treated in eight green button topics. Remedying or designing around those losses exposed still more issues. "FCP+" is what we call a project that installs an FCP and remedies other loss issues. Remaining loss issues are treated in
The "Plus" items are not required to make an FCP work. They just remove loss. The total loss remedy from a fistful of fraction of dB issues can approach the major remedy of the FCP itself. FCP+ sometimes produces an amplifier's increase in TX signal strength without the amplifier.
At a given ham station, it varies wildly which RF loss issues actually exist and which of those are workable or difficult or expensive or just not doable. The list is there to show possibilities which may apply to your site. They are possible because individually they have existed and been remedied at multiple FCP project sites and we intend to list them all because any one of them might exist and be fixable at your site.
Reading the in planning for building a station, it has its very best application, a list of things to avoid.
You can read the storyleading up to Jack's drawing in the first four columns of the original May/June 2012 NCJ article. Note that portions of the article's technical content are no longer current. **Please use the web site you are viewing now for all technical content and direction.**
Are you using an FCP? If so drop us an email at peerreview[at]k2av[dot]com and let us know about it and how you are doing. 73, The Committee.