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Author Topic: High Q Mobile Antennas  (Read 1836 times)
KB0GU
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Posts: 130




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« on: November 20, 2003, 01:30:24 PM »

I would like some input on the High Q antennas.  In a meta-review of "screwdriver" types these models are advertised as having the highest efficiency, construction, etc.  They are, as most, costly so I do not want to pay this much money and be dissappointed.
I plan to run a multi band HF radio & ALS500M.  I have a Dakota Quad cab 4X4 with no cover on the bed and would like to be able to lower the antenna on a hinge mount or quick disconnect for entering parking garages, etc.  Not really concerned about 160 meter operation, but 80 and up are of interest.
Are these antenna's price to performance ratio the best way to go?
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K0BG
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Posts: 10248


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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2003, 03:11:41 PM »

They're actually better made than just about anything else you can buy. Technically speaking, they are NOT a screwdriver type. I say this because their length doesn't change with frequency, and they're not (as most screwdrivers are) base loaded, they're center loaded.

As with all electrically adjustable HF mobile antennas, they have to have special mounts. Hi-Q makes some of the best, but as you have found out, they are not cheap! Go to Hi-Q's web site and look at the pix of various installations. At least it'll give you an idea of what you're up against.

If you do buy one, get the matching transformer too. You'll need it.

Alan, KØBG
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N3ZKP
Member

Posts: 2008




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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2003, 02:41:00 PM »

Alan:

I know you are fond of the Hi-Q antennas over the others, but I must take some exception to a couple of your assertions:

<< Technically speaking, they are NOT a screwdriver type. I say this because their length doesn't change with frequency,>>

"Screwdriver" refers to the original source of motors used to adjust the coils - electric screwdrivers. It has nothing to do whatsoever with whether the coil is movable or not. Since virtully all of the manufacturers no longer use this source, these antennas are more properly called "motorized" and this DOES include the Hi-Q.

<<and they're not (as most screwdrivers are) base loaded, they're center loaded.>>

Virtually all the motorized antennas ARE center loaded. The feedpoint is at one end of a three to six-foot bottom section connected to one end of the coil and a (generally) six-foot whip on the other end of the coil. Both physically and electrically they are all effectively center loaded.

I would note that, with the exception of the advertising hype published on Hi-Q's web page, I have never seen any serious comparison of the PERFORMANCE of the Hi-Q vs all the others.

Lon
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W5QRQ
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2003, 03:18:22 PM »

I have owned the Hi-Q.  By the way it is not high Q.  There are lots of problems with the design.  Mine failed pretty quickly.  

The motors are used.  Charlie buys them from All Electronics.  They are either Globe or Pittman.  The motors are used in ATM machines and have lots of miles on them.

I had the disk that holds the finger stock break three times.  The motor would drive the disk to the top or the bottom and strip the threads right out.  Again, it is a really poor design.  When that happens, the whole antenna has to go back.  It is not possible to repair the antenna.  

Since the coil is exposed, there are currents in the unused portion of the coil.  That causes loss.  

One of my friends had the whip strip out of the top of the antenna.  That is because the whip screws into a piece of aluminum.  Again, a real poor design.  

Because the coil does not move, the only support is the plastic sleeve.  Over time, it too cracked.

The list of problems goes on and on.  Charlie is not helpful.  As he says in the instructions, once you have had it for a month, it is yours.  I can see why he has been trying to sell Hi-Q for over a year with no takers.  

Do yourself a favor and buy a reputable brand name.
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KB0GU
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Posts: 130




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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2003, 03:40:34 PM »

Okay if High Q is so poor, who makes one that is more bullet proof?
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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2003, 04:47:02 PM »

I am prejudiced because I have one, but in my opinion the best constructed and best performing is the 1800 series from High Sierra. There are cheaper costing antennas, but you get what you pay for. The much-touted "southern copy" is not in the same league as the HS in any manner - looks, construction or performance.

Lon
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KA5S
Member

Posts: 229




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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2003, 03:34:54 AM »

>>RE: High Q Mobile Antennas  
by KB0GU on November 21, 2003  
Okay if High Q is so poor, who makes one that is more bullet proof?  <<

Nothing is "bullet proof."  I have three motorized antennas and the only one that has yet to break somehow is a *reject* DK3 I got at a flea market from Don Johnson himself.  It will fail, eventually -- and I'll fix it, too.

I AM tempted to get one of the new little High Q or High Sierra models and mount it on top of my Class A RV.  The DK 3 is too tall for driving around.


Cortland
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KR4JA
Member

Posts: 37




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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2003, 01:20:05 PM »

I've been using a HiQ antenna for 3 years now. No problems at all and it's very well designed/manufactured, IMHO. Also Charlie is lowering the price on his antennas on Dec 1st due to increased production capacity, check them out!

73, Dave
Norcross, GA
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N4GRN
Member

Posts: 47




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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2003, 09:18:43 PM »

Just saw this post. I have had a HiQ for about 14 months now. I have had no problems at all with the antenna. Great quality and looks.

I ran it for 6 weeks in temp highs of 34F and lows of -28F consistently with rain, ice, salt, and sand. I only had to de-ice the feed point about twice daily and it tuned perfectly every time. See pix of it covered in snow on web address showing on qrz lookuo of N4GRN.

I have nothing but good signal reports ("did you say mobile"). I have now added a 1000W AMP for those rare times that an amp is needed (one call saying mobile at 250W usually gets an immediate return even in big pileups).

The HiQ handles the 1300W max that my amp can put out with no issues. The vswr does not change but a small amount going from 10W tuning to 1300W transmitting. It simply works great.

I can only say good things about this product and Charlie. He provided instant return calls when I was installing the antenna as it was my first ham antenna and was a perfect experience. I have only had a ticket since last year when I became an extra. The mobile was my first rig and I have contacted over 100 countries from the mobile since Feb 2003.

You can see mobile rig by going to qrz and looking at web address there under my callsign. I highly recommend this product as does almost anyone that has ever used one.

73   N4HRN
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LNXAUTHOR
Member

Posts: 43




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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2003, 09:46:21 PM »

> You can see mobile rig by going to qrz and looking at web address there under my callsign.

- umm, i guess you haven't checked your qrz info lately? there is no web address under your callsign info?

- i'd still be interested in see the pix
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N4GRN
Member

Posts: 47




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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2003, 11:15:24 PM »

LNXAUTHOR:

I just checked my QRZ info page and there were actually 2 web pages referenced just as I thought.

The first web site listed was my business web site which for you convenience I just deleted from my profile to simplify the finding of the web site that has the mobile pictures.

The picture web page is also in a verbal description of where the pictures are located. That description is found in the body of the QRZ info page as it has always been.

All you have to do now is click on the link and you will be re-directed to the web page with the pictures.

Hope you can find the web site this time.

73   N4GRN
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KR4JA
Member

Posts: 37




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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2003, 09:49:49 AM »

Hi George,

All I can say is "WOW"...regarding your mobile setup.  You've certainly come a long way from when I met you at the Stone Mt. hamfest over a year ago Smiley Very impressive!

73, Dave
Norcross, GA
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K5ZP
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2003, 07:10:32 PM »



    I'm on my second High Q antenna.  The first one was one of the Stealth 2.5 models (80 - 10M).  I drive 110 Texas miles a day so I really put any antenna system to the test.  I really liked the fact that the Xc doesn't change while tuning.  From an engineering stand point an antenna with only one variable will probably be easier tuning/broader and more efficient.  I did notice a big performance increase over my DK3, ATAS 100, and Hustler system...........

    I got the urge to upgrade and purchased a High Q 4/160.  This one is even more efficient than the 2.5.  I am a happy customer and have never had a problem.  I've met Charlie in San Diego and his charming wife.  He very quick to respond to owners and has helped with specific vehicle installation problems.  The Giant Quick Disconnect and Whip quick disconnect really make it easy to run the truck throught the wash and get it  into the garage.............

    Everything in my antenna looks and performs as new.  I see no indication of motors with lots of miles on them.  Absolutely no problems dragging these around for 125,000+ miles.  Both are still fully operational (sold the first one to a friend and it's still kickin' after four years+ with no problems)..............

    I run between 20 and 1200 watts mobile.  The smaller antenna didn't like it above 750 watts on 40 and 80 but the 4/160 seems happy anywhere at 1200 watts.  I am running the largest alternator offered on the Ford F-150 and eight 2SC2879s.  

    If I ever wear this one out I'll go back to Charlie and get another one.  Bottomline, if you want a very big signal and quality antenna - see Charlie.   I'm not affiliated with any amateur radio product companies...
                     73 de K5ZP/M


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KA5S
Member

Posts: 229




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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2004, 01:04:11 AM »

True to my earlier prediction, my DK3 did break, but I haven't repaired it yet. Instead, I shelled out a bunch of money for a Hi Q 4-80 at Seaside, and to be safe, later got an Outbacker heavy duty mount to save my HB mag-mount (five inch magnets times seven and 2 feet in diameter)from the conssequences of potholes and speed speed bumps and the sizable mechanical moment of the 80-4.  (And then I put a rope around the antenna.) Didn't bring the RV, though; this is on a Hyundai.

Charlie tells me that I could hold this antenna UP with just the one bolt it comes with, but I think the spring mount probably absorbs a lot of the sharper mechanical stresses.  Using a top hat I could (it's on order) run a reasonably short rooftop installation that still works on 75 or 80. I've been checking into Washington state Army MARS nets with it, anyway, and working 40CW, 60 and 17 meters.

Charlie's workmanship is impressive. But I am still wondering about the effect on efficiency of the large metal disks at the coil ends.  Need to find a shootout and see how it does.

Cortland, KA5S
somewhere in Washington
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