Few QST articles on receive antennas sparked as much interest for the topbander as "Is This EWE for You?" (QST February, 1995, p.31) and "More EWES for You", QST January, 1996, p. 32) both by WA2WVL. Here was an easily-constructed antenna, small in size, with good F/B ratio and reasonable gain, easy to match and install. Hundreds of topbanders and SWLs built them and generated much discussion in the following months about the effectiveness of this antenna in snagging the weak ones.
It is essential that anyone considering construction of the EWE antenna obtain the original well-written articles, which contain matching transformer, installation and measurement data. The one thing which was missing was the fact that the success of this antenna depends on the type of soil over which it is erected. Those installing it found a wide variety of success or lack thereof depending on the environment. Installed over average moist soil, the antenna performed as described by the author, with from 15 to 20 db of F/B and from -15 to -28 dbi of gain. A good 20db preamp is a must with this type of antenna.
When the EWE was installed over dry, non-conductive soil such as is found in many areas of mid-western North America, or close to metallic structures (especially topband TC verticals) the antenna did not perform well at all. The bottom line is that this is a ground-dependent antenna which works well in some environments but not in others.
I built one in the spring of 1996, running the horizontal wire through trees. Unfortunately, the antenna was installed too close to my TX vertical and coupling to it reduced the overall effectiveness of the EWE. I had only about 45 feet of separation between the termination point of the EWE and the vertical....not enough by a long shot. However, the antenna performed well enough that I could see that it had potential if installed in the proper environment. Separation of at least 1/2 wave length from nearby metallic structures is desireable to minimize coupling and throwing off the directional characteristics of the EWE.
For those intending to build one of these antennas I would advise that you first do a search in the Topband Reflector Archives for dialogue on the EWE.
Here are some other links which will provide you with an abundance of information on this very popular antenna.