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Antenna Reviews

Reviews of antenna, and/or hardware.

Review of the 30 Meter MonoGAP

The first thing I did was to start WSPR off using the new antenna… All the usual suspects came in all a bit better than before! Next I decided to see what one watt could do using JT65 and PSK Reporter… The photo at the left shows what happened, I am transmitting from Oregon… Continue reading »

Categories: Antenna Reviews, Construction, GAP: MONOGAP 30, Info, Reviews | 12 Comments

NI4L’s 7 Band OCF Dipole

This review of NI4L’s 7 band OCF dipole was prompted by my needing a quick deploy multiband antenna for both field day, and for RVing. Having looked over his antenna I decided on the 7 band version, as that would cover most of my needs while in the field. Last year on Field Day I was able to use an OCF dipole, and enjoyed the quick bandswitching it allowed, so I thought I’d try and find a good OCF dipole and give one an extended try. After looking around the net I found NI4L’s site. Interestingly enough I found it while on eBay, not with Google. His site is very difficult to locate on Google for some reason so here is the link to NI4L’s web site. But if you buy an antenna from NI4L, do it on eBay, it is a few dollars cheaper at this time. In any case, what caught my eye was that he is using Flex-Weave cable for the antenna. Others are, but for some reason NI4L’s site made it more apparent. Another reason is that NI4L is also using an off the shelf W2AU Balun. I have had good luck with that balun so that was enough for me. The W2AU is an all stainless steel hardware balun as well, so it will not be corroding off the antenna anytime soon. The W2AU balun also is good for 2 KW PEP, or 1000 at 100% duty cycle. I would not run it more than 500 Watts, but that is because I am very conservative. I would have liked to have it be good to 2 KW at 100% duty cycle, but alas, it is not. I called and ordered the antenna. It arrived a few days later in the package you see on the left and above. Continue reading »

Categories: Antenna Reviews, Construction, Info, NI4L: 7 Band OCF, Reviews, Station | 10 Comments

Phased arrays for 40 and 30 Meters

As you can see, even though it would fit, the compromises would be too much for 40 Meters… The radials in the North/South direction would be compromised, to say nothing about being up againset a chain link fence on the south side, and an eight foot metal fence my neighbor to the North put up… So… Change of plans! Continue reading »

Categories: Antenna Reviews, Construction, Info, Reviews, Setups, Station | 2 Comments

Review of DX Engineering’s Radial Plate

This review of DX Engineering’s Radial Plate was prompted by the installation of a Four Square array, and a two element 40 Meter vertical array at NK7Z. I decided to evaluate each item in the building of the arrays separably, then review the entire system as a whole later. Years ago I had promised myself I would never spend fifty bucks on a piece of metal with holes in it. After making the decision to build a Four Square for 30 meters, and a two element phased array for 40 meters, I decided to revisit that decision, as I had a lot of ground radials to lay and connect to antenna bases.

My plan was to buy the needed parts for a single monopole, construct it as perfectly as I possibly could, and then duplicate that process for the other five antenna. Part of that process was to buy a radial plate for the ground radial system so I could keep all of the wire under control… I bit the bullet and bought one! I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived, it is so pretty… So perfectly built… So heavy… I actually didn’t feel so bad about spending fifty bucks on a piece of metal with holes in it! Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Antenna Reviews, Info, Reviews, Station | 2 Comments

Review of Ameritron’s SDC-102 Screwdriver Controller

This review of Ameritron’s SDC-102 Screwdriver Controller was written as a result of perhaps 5 months of use of a new Ameritron SDC-102, in a 2004 Tahoe four wheel drive sports utility vehicle. The Tarheel 100HP antenna is mounted on the stock Tarheel antenna mount, which in turn is mounted to a Tarheel trailer hitch mount, which lives on the rear of the Tahoe in the trailer hitch receiver I am working on a quick weatherproof disconnect for that setup. When finished I’ll add it to the review section, or start a new section on homebrew stuff… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Ameritron: SDC-102, Antenna Reviews, Info, Reviews, Setups, Station | 3 Comments

Review of LDG AT-1000 PRO II Autotuner

The size of the boxes is very close, with the AT-1000 PRO II being the larger of the two… This caused me a bit of pain as my setup is VERY tight… The PRO II is about 1/4 inch wider… It almost did not fit. I had to remove the carry handle from my Icom IC-756 PRO 3 to get it to fit, and it was tight… I do miss the meter, and the thought of paying $130.00 for an external meter makes me take a deep breath and say… It’s OK… I have not bought the meter yet… I hope the meter takes power from the Icom like the tuner does… See the review for more on this… I will add to this review on the meter if I decide to shell out another $130.00… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Antenna Reviews, Info, LDG: AT-1000 PROII, Reviews, Station | 4 Comments

Review of the LDG AT-1000 Autotuner

I had always wanted an Autotuner, and for the price I could not pass it by. Over the past 4 or 5 years this tuner has performed flawlessly. So far I have connected it to a GAP vertical, an 80 Meter Dipole, a B&W BWD-90 antenna, and a random length wire, about 250 feet long. In all cases it has matched them fine… In fact, it will take my GAP Challenger and match it on 160, a band it was not designed for at all… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Antenna Reviews, Info, LDG: AT-1000, Reviews, Station | 6 Comments

Review of the Challenger DX Antenna by GAP

This review of the Challenger DX Antenna by GAP Antenna will not be a highly technical review, it will be performance based. First off what is the GAP Challenger antenna? It is a vertical, which can be ground mounted. It has a limited number of radials, because it is not the traditional vertical, it is a vertical dipole, this gives it several advantages over a standard 1/4 wave vertical. Chiefly the reduced number of radials… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Antenna Reviews, GAP: Challenger DX, Info, Propagation, Reviews, Station | 14 Comments

Review of the MFJ-856 Directional Noise Finder W/ 3 El. Beam

Overall it was useful to me in locating a few sources of RFI, you point it in the general direction of a noise source, and wave it around until you get a peak in the meter. Once you have that, you walk towards the source, waving the antenna around, following the peaks.

The device is reasonably well constructed, MFJ quality control seems to be good, as the unit I got has no defects in it. It came boxed nicely, and was simple to construct. There were a few items to note… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Antenna Reviews, Cleanup, Direction Finding, MFJ: MFJ-856, Reviews, RFI Mitigation, Station, Tools | 1 Comment