With a small back garden there is no way that I could accommodate an aerial for the 160m band that would be anything approaching full size. A full size dipole would be about 65 metres long and would need to be mounted at a very good height to be at its most effective. A full size vertical 1/4 wave would be about 37.5 meters tall. Impossible! Bending a 1/4 wave wire into an inverted L would still result in a very long wire - say 10 metres vertically and 27.5 metres horizontally. Still too large.
Full size top band antennas are big, far too big for my small plot, so I have tried a few different shortened 160m aerials. I really would prefer to use a balanced dipole not only for the radiation efficiency, but just as importantly for the lower noise on receive - like a ground mounted vertical aerial an inverted L can be rather noisy on RX. However I have to settle for a compromise, so shown in the drawings and photographs below is my current top band aerial, along with some previous experiments and ideas further down the page.
This incarnation of my Top Band aerial takes two forms. A compact Inverted L and, in its lower position, a less conspicuous sloping wire, shown below:
General layout of Top Band Aerial with fibreglass pole retracted to a height of 2 metres
Wire lengths are approximate: Inductor 5cm dia with approx 40 turns of 0.9mm e.c.w.