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Author Topic: Which Screwdriver? High Sierra or Tarheel?  (Read 1456 times)
K4KWH
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2007, 03:13:33 PM »

I see a lot of stuff going on with mobile antennas--especially with the newbies.  That isn't a dig, it's just a lack of experience (like I had about 40 yrs ago). I had one fellow came back to me saying, "*Your*
(meaning it was MY fault) antenna won't work". He had it mounted/supported to the tire carrier with a metal U-bolt!!! HA! Direct shorted to ground! It's a wonder he don't take out his finals if he tried to transmit with it. In so doing, he put a dimple in the mast by squeezing the bolt very tight. Well, that's part of my "secret" for stopping any slop, wiggle, or bounce: close tolerances. If you squeeze the mast where the coil "travels", you will lock it down! I fixed that for him. I don't say anything, but I WAS starting to get annoyed! Then he goes away, comes back with a braided STRAP attached to the bottom of the mast.  SHEESH! Smiley (now, WHY did he do that) Sad

"Man, what are you DOING", I cried, "You can't DO that!"  I mean, he's still trying to act as if it is MY fault.

I asked him if he READ the instructions.

"Uh..................no"   Oh COME ON, now, man!

Then I tried to explain about shunt-feeding, and RF ground vs DC ground.He couldn't grasp why the little matcher wasn't a "short" in itself because his VOM went all the way to the right.  Didn't get it.  Oh well...........  One day it will COME to him. Patience, Jerry, patience! Smiley

Can't win 'em all!

73

Jerry
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KF4KQI
Member

Posts: 30




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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2007, 03:48:03 PM »

Hey Jerry, do you go to any of the Hamfests here in NC or SC?
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N7EMW
Member

Posts: 5




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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2007, 12:57:33 PM »

I prefer the Hi-Q style antennas and currently own their 5/160RT. I prefer their setup since all moving parts are internal and not exposed to the weather and the antenna does not change length as others do.

I owned a High Sierra 1500 for several years  before getting the HiQ antenna. It worked well but since the antenna moves up and down I did have some erratic SWR issues at times. I also recently looked at Tarheel models which are very similar in appearance and mounting to the High Sierra. I also currently own a HS Sidekick (great portable antenna I use with BuddiPole mast and tripod system with 4 10-12 ft. horizonatl telescoping whips as counterpoise) and MP2 (great backpack radio compact screwdriver).

Appearance wise I prefer the Tarheel, slighly over the H. Sierra, but performance wise prefer the Hi-Q especially on 80 and 160m (larger coil diameter).

I'm using the new universal screwdriver antenna mount for my Hi Q 5/160, and this also fits the Tarheel, High Sierra and other screw driver antennas with base diameters up to 2-1/4 inches in diameter. The mount is heavier duty than some other mounts and bolts to a receiver hitch, bumper or other surface with up to a 1 inch bolt or trailer hitch ball. Check out my new web site for information on this mount: www.repdesign.us.

The best place for any HF antenna is on the roof of a car or  bed of a truck, but the roof can not really support a large screwdriver and will probably be destroyed the first time you forget about the antenna and drive into a garage! The next best location, which I have used successfully (e.g. DX) for years is a Class I or larger receiver hitch. To make this work you need a SHORT (try 2 ft. or less) and wide (i inch or wider) ground braid that is attached to at least one point to your vehicle subframe or body (NOT bumper). Scrap off the paint, attach the ground bolt(s) and then water proof it so it will not corrode! Use a 2 inch (or greater) rise hitch to get the antenna slightly higher above the road, especially if you use it with a smaller car.

Good luck with your decision, let us know which antenna you purchased!

73

Dick, N7EMW



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K4KWH
Member

Posts: 51




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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2007, 01:28:36 PM »

Yep! Sure do!

I was at Morganton, Spartanburg, and I'll be at Salisbury coming up next month!


73

Jerry
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K4KWH
Member

Posts: 51




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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2007, 02:04:41 PM »

I DO like the Hi Q myself.  I just can't afford $400 for a screwdriver when I don't HAVE to pay that! Smiley
I also don't like PVC loading coils (won't use 'em, either).  Incidently, the Carolina Cyclone uses hard nylon coils and the same for internal parts.  Same price as the PVC ones, AND you can run a KW SSB. Try that on a PVC loading coil and you'll have a "slinky toy" in short order!! The 3" version is rated for the "full monty"---1500 SSB. I just don't know anybody that is actually running that much power--or why they'd WANT to!  And the price for the CC is almost exactly the same as the PVC ones!  Run the CCI at 5-600 watts on 75 Meters, as the late Cajun cooking guy used to say, "AH GA-RUN-TEE" you'll have a signal not to be ashamed of! And 100 watts is NO slouch, either!!!

I HAVE to be frugal, so that's why I made the ones I make (aside from just plain liking to fool with antennas). To each his own, and having a screwdriver that doesn't move up and down is nice: I LIKE that.  However, it is not totally necessary because screwdrivers CAN be made to work VERY well even with the movement of the coil. Like I said before, if the antenna is machined to close tolerances, it can be extended FULLY with almost NO movement at all, certainly no slop, wiggle, or flop-around! I've seen a few that "danced" around like Lawrence Welk! I won't HAVE that in MY antennas.  A good lathe and an experienced machinist can work WONDERS!

I also don't mess with 160 meters. I see a lot of screwdrivers that offer 160 Meter thru 10 Meter coverage. People demand antennas that do everything, are SMALL, and look pleasing.  But they DO give up something in the process. To get that 160 Meter coverage, the builders will sometimes wind coils with itsy-bitsy little wire on a skinny form, and YES! It will, indeed, "load" on 160.  So will a dummy load!!!!
And that's about whatcha got! Yep, it "works", but compared to WHAT?  While some folks may disagree with me, "It take a BIG, 'UGLY',BEEFY antenna" to get the really good HF mobile signal, and that's what *I* am after! So I build mine with, at least, #14 wire wound at 8 TPI (I was doing this BEFORE several of the other big name guys came along!)Smiley

I build a 3" screwdriver starting in '96. I decided I wanted something to compare with the Texas Bugcatcher I was originally running (and still have!) THAT big boy is "SUM'PIN on 75M!!!

Anyhow, no matter WHAT antenna you run, the idea is to be HAPPY with it and have FUN!  That's why *I* make the Carolina Cyclone; the FUN comes first!


73

Jerry
K4KWH

www.qsl.net/k4kwh

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KQ6UP
Member

Posts: 136




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« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2007, 04:05:11 PM »

I really like your product (The Cyclone).  I already own the HS-1800/Pro, so it's a little too late (although I'm not depressed about it because I got it new at $230 for the whole kit).  I have also told other hams to stay away from 160m versions because you have to sacrifice too much Q for a crappy antenna on 160m.  I would much rather have a better 80m-10m.  That seems to be a better compromise.  Although mine only goes down to 3.560.  I'm kind of bummed about that because I like 80m CW.  Maybe a CB whip on the top of the resonator will cure that.

Anyhow, I will recommend your product over the Tarheel, and the High Sierra to anyone that asks about what I think they should get.  Again, I really like my High Sierra, but you have a better product.  Also, the control box that came with the HS-1800/Pro is a piece of garbage.  It was DOA.  I am just using a banana plug until I figure out what the heck is wrong with it.  It is supposed to interface with my IC-7000.  I measure 12v with the supplied accessory plug, but that voltage does not show up at the control box.  Maybe I'll spring for a Turbo Tuner down the road (although manually tuning is pretty easy, $200 is a lot of dough to spend just because I don't feel like tuning ;o)

Anyways, enough jabbering ;o) es 73's de KQ6UP
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W3LK
Member

Posts: 5644




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« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2007, 04:29:59 PM »

KQ6UP:

<< If I get sick of my High Sierra, I will definitely be looking at your product. I'm not looking forward to changing the spring contact every 6 months,  >>

My HS1800 is five years old and I finally changed the contact spring about 6 months ago. It didnt' need it but I did it as a preventative maintenance measure. There was little perceptable wear on it and I am on the air mobile a couple of dozen hours a month.

It  took about five minutes or less to change the spring.

Despite what the manual says, I can't imagine wearing one out unless one were running the coil up and down every few minutes on a fairly constant, daily basis.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
AD5TD
Member

Posts: 112




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« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2007, 08:26:55 AM »


http://www.kj7u.com/

I have used one of "Larry's Antennas" for two years now.  It does 6 through 160M with a 6' whip.  I is the cleanest mount I have ever used. (I have used ATAS 120, HS 1800 Pro, Hustler whips) It is a TANK! I have never had to work on it and it has performed flawlessly.  Larry is a great guy, I bought the unit off ebay and it had no operating cables.  I emailed Larry and he sold me everything I needed for $25.  I had a friend add a piece of 3" by 1/2" flat bar to my trailer hitch and I was in business.  No ugly mounting hardware (like HS), very little wire shows, and one bolt, one plug and one wingnut, and it's off in the trunk.  I have never had a problem being heard with 100 watts and if you want to add an amp, it will handle 600 watts and there is a KW model also.

The only thing I wish is that he made one with wider coil spacing and only covered 6-80M.  It's just a bit tricky to tune sometimes and 160M in a mobile is worthless (not only that but my car computer shut down when I came into resonece!) so I wish he made one that was just as tall that only went to 80M.

 

Any of the ones mentioned will do you fine.

73 de AD5TD
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WT6P
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2007, 06:31:31 PM »

I only know a bit about the internals of other antennas (mobile type), but I have owned High Sierra antennas since the first one developed and would highly recommend them.  They are made of the highest quality material, machined to high tolerances and, if PROPERLY installed, work the world.  I know, I have done it.  Have had them mounted in the bed of pickups, on receiver hitches and on tripods with radials...completely satisfied.  If someone has a problem with a control box functioning, contact High Sierra tech line.  They are happy to work with anyone so they have a pleased customer.  Again, I know...been there.  I would only purchase something from a company that has a solid track record like High Sierra.

Mark
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KQ6UP
Member

Posts: 136




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« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2007, 08:55:09 PM »

I wanted to apologies for using strong the strong words in calling High Sierra's Control boxes "garbage"  I have since contacted Jim at High Sierra and helped me to resolve the issue.  I will say he has done a fine job of taking care of me.

Sincerely,
Chris KQ6UP
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