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Author Topic: Maldol AX95  (Read 1870 times)
KE7EOZ
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Posts: 117




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« on: March 29, 2006, 07:45:15 AM »

Does any one know anything about this antenna, performance quality, etc, also if you compare this anttena against diamonds which one would be better,.
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2006, 07:53:18 PM »

The antenna in question is a mag mount dual bander. Consider this: Most insurance companies nowadays, won't insure non-permaently installed hardware. Secondly, the published gain figures for the antenna are exaggerated. It's also made in China.

Here's a suggestion echoed by many others who visit these pages. Buy yourself an NMO2/70B, drill the necessary hole, and never look back.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KE7EOZ
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2006, 09:23:35 PM »

The Antenna is not magnet mount, it comes with mno or pl259 type of base
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K0BG
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2006, 06:41:25 AM »

Interesting. Their web site lists it as a mag mount. As for the PL259 mounting, it is tell-tale of quality.

One very good measure of an antenna's sturdiness and adaptability, is to look and see if the two way boys are using them. If they aren't, you can pretty well figure they aren't what they're hyped up to be.

There is a very good reason the Larsen NMO series is the best selling VHF/UHF antenna, bar none! The answer is quality and ruggedness.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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W3LK
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2006, 11:43:20 AM »

I'm with Alan, forget the Chinese and Japanese antennas, and their flaky UHF mounts, and spend your money on a Larsen.

If those foreign antennas and the UHF mounts were any good, the commercial radio installers would be using them. They don't and that speaks volumes about their quality and dependability.

Lon W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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K7VO
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2006, 05:42:01 PM »

I'm going to disagree with Alan and Lon, particularly as they are judging antennas they have never used or tried.  I have used the Exceed series dual band Maldol antennas as well as their multiband designs and the quality and construction is excellent.  I also am using UHF connectors on my mobile antennas and have been for seven or eight years now with zero problems, HF, VHF, and UHF.

Is the NMO mount better?  A little, yes.  Buy the NMO version if you don't already have a mount in mind.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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K7VO
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2006, 05:50:33 PM »

Maldol's website for the Apex series (including the AX-95) and the Exceed series is at:

http://www.maldol.co.jp/maldol/p1.html#apex

It doesn't say mobile mount anywhere, does it?  The U.S. website for their distributor is here:

http://www.cometantenna.com/products.php?CatID=1&famID=4&childID=4

The AX-95 is a half wave on 2m and a 5/8 over 5/8 colinear on 70cm.  Performance should be typical of that style of antenna, which is to say pretty good.  All of the larger Japanese antennas will need to have the Allen set screws tightened up perhaps once a month.  Keep this in mind when considering this style of antenna.  They don't show an NMO version but, again, I've always used the UHF (PL-259) style connectors on my Maldol and Diamond antennas with absolutely no problems.  My K-400 Diamond trunk lip mount is about eight years old now.

This should work well for you.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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KE7EOZ
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2006, 08:34:58 PM »

Caity, thanks for your reply, because I was really looking for the answer of people whom had use this antenna, since like you have use both so I am going to ask you , between Maldol Ax95 and diamond 7500 which one would you pick?
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W3LK
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2006, 09:47:09 AM »

Caity,

<< they are judging antennas they have never used or tried. >>

Not exactly correct. When I came back to ham radio after being gone for several years I did try the Japanese brands and quickly went back to what I used in commercial service. Since then, I have been called upon to replace more than a few of them for other people who have had the problems Alan and I refer to.

I still contend, why settle for second best in an antenna when the best is actually cheaper, is better constructed and performs better? Makes no sense to me.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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W3LK
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Posts: 5644




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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2006, 09:52:56 AM »

<< All of the larger Japanese antennas will need to have the Allen set screws tightened up perhaps once a month. Keep this in mind when considering this style of antenna. >>

Yet another problem that one doesn't have to deal with on Larsens. Smiley

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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K7VO
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Posts: 1010




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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2006, 11:36:19 PM »

Lon, when Larsen makes a nice triband 2m, 222, and 440 mobile antenna I'll certainly consider it.  In the meanwhile my Diamond CR-320A has been flawless.  I really like the fold-over design of that antenna and the bigger CR-224A (2m/222 dual bander).  Larsen doesn't make a dual bander like that, either.  I don't think my antennas are "second best".  Like I said, they've been flawless for me.

KE7EOZ: I have no experience with the Diamond 7500 so I can't give a fair answer.  Look at the two and the one with the sturdier construction is probably the best choice.  

I am personally a fan of Maldol antennas.  I bought one of their small 6m beams back when I lived in CA (maybe 10 years ago) and I liked the construction a whole lot better than Cushcraft.  For mobile antennas I've used a number of theirs, including the HMC-6S HF/6m/2m/440 antenna.  Maldol antennas tend to be durable and perform pretty much the same as similar designs from other manufacturers.  I've had good experience with Diamond as well.

The Allen set screws Lon objects to are because the really big antennas have to break down into sections for storage and shipping and, more importantly, for tuning.  I don't mind tightening them  now and again.  I like a good fold-over design.  It's much better to have the antenna fold over than bend or break when hitting an object.  I have forgotten to take down my antenna pulling into a garage more than once.  

The one thing to remember in making your comparison is not to take manufacturers' gain figures into account.  They are all pretty much B.S.  

73,
Caity
K7VO
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K0BG
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2006, 11:56:28 AM »

Caity, I have been operating mobile since early 1972. I have owned just about every antenna you can name, and I'd bet a bunch you've never heard of. One of the first things I learned, is just how poor some antennas are, regardless of the hype.

When I see the manufacturer of an import VHF antenna state in their advertisements, that the published gain figures are based against a standard handheld antenna (in essence a rubber ducky), then anything else they say about their antenna is suspect.

Further, I've NEVER had an import antenna that lasted longer than a year without having to fix it or replace it. My current VHF antenna is a Larsen NMO2/70B. This is the third car it has been on. It's had the garage door closed on it twice, and it's still in one piece.

The late influx of foreign-made HF antennas is even more of a joke. One of them is nothing more than a Chinese made MaxxComm. If you don't remember, that's the one with the 50 ohm resistor across the coax. Automatic tuning indeed! Even the ARRL got duped on that one. And when they say their HF mobile antenna will cover all of 40 meters without the need to retune....

Well, you get the point. But please, don't assume I haven't tried one unless you ask me first.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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W3LK
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Posts: 5644




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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2006, 11:25:20 AM »

Caity,

With all due respect, the ham antenna market is pretty small and the market for 2m/220/440 and 2/220 antennas is even smaller. There's simply very little market for these combinations and that's why Larsen doesn't make them. I'm happy for you someone does.

That said, the comparisons between Larsen and the Japanese/Chinese antennas is based on actual usage and construction. As far as performance goes, the five and six foot long Comets and Diamonds are no better performers in real life than the 36" tall NMO270B and C and in many installations can be worse.

As for construction, on the Larsens there is a base loading coil and a whip - that's it. The center loading coil is wound using the whip and is therefore a one piece unit. No screws, no extra parts to come loose, no extra parts to break.

I have seen literally dozens of the big Comets and Diamonds in pieces after hitting tree limbs, gas station overhangs, parking garages, etc. I've never seen a destroyed Larsen.

I hold to my contention that the Japanese and Chinese antennas are second best, no matter what the fancy advertising says.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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K7VO
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2006, 11:18:29 PM »

OK, Alan, let me be fair.  Have you ever owned a Maldol AX-95 or any of their Apex series?

I pulled my HRO receipts.  The Diamond CR-320A that is on my car at this moment was purchased in January, 2003.  It has never failed me.  One of my CR-224As is at least two years older than that.  It has never needed repair or failed either.  My Maldol HMC-6S is coming up on one year and it's perfect.  A friend of mine bought his Comet 2m/222/440 tribander about the same time I bought my Diamond.  He liked it so well he bought two more, one per vehicle in the family.  They are all still in service with no failures.  Your claim that all imports fail withing a year is certainly contrary to all my experiences.

Lon, I'll stack up the CR-224A to any other antenna out there on either 2m or 222.  I simply get into repeaters from farther out than I can with any other antenna.  Why?  It's a bigger antenna and a colinear (at least a well made one) is going to have more gain than a 1/4 or 1/2 or 5/8 wave.  You can't change the laws of physics, period.  I ignore manufacturers' claimed gain because I know those numbers are bogus.  I stick with a good, solid knowledge of antenna design.  

I realize that I have only run mobile since 1984 so I'm relatively inexperienced Smiley  You CANNOT make a blanket statement that all American antennas are good and all imports are bad.  It's false.  Have I had bad imports?  Sure.  The Comet UHV-6 is a fragile toy.  It fits the description you give.  So, I looked for a sturdier design that did the same thing.  The Diamond had the same basic design flaws.  The Maldol did not, hence my choice.

Do you know when I bought my first Maldol antenna, a 6m beam?  1991.  The ham that bought it from me still has it in service.  It's 15 years old now.  Granted, that isn't a mobile antenna but it certainly is a well made and durable one.  Has Maldol made some crappy antennas?  Probably.  I haven't had one yet but I'm sure it's out there.

Yep, there are antennas that hams swear by that are no better than dummy loads.  They come from the U.S., Japan, and China.  There are also excellent American and Japanese antennas.  (I haven't owned a really good Chinese one yet.)

My experience is real world.  Hype doesn't sell to me.  Solid performance does.  

Oh, and Lon, if there is no market for 2m/222 and 2m/222/440 antennas why do Diamond, Comet, and Austin all sell them?  Why has Diamond added a second (smaller) 2m/222 antenna to their product line if they don't sell?  You'd think one loser would be enough.  Obviously there is some market.

Guys, back off the generalizations and give your real world experience with specific antennas and you will never have an argument with me.  Keep saying all Japanese antennas are inferior and you will.  Again, I believe my CR-224A is second to none, and I do have both Hustler and Larsen models out in the garage.  They don't get used because they don't work as well, period.

The only caveat, which I consider NOT to be a big deal, is that large, multi-part antennas do need to be tightened regularly, say once a month.  Lon, you're right that a little Larsen doesn't need that.  It's a small price to pay (30 seconds of work) for the ability to be able to hit the 146.835 from south of Green Bay or the 223.94 from Oconto.  People keep reminding me I am "out of the range of the repeater" yet getting in solidly.  Not with my antenna I'm not out of range.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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W3LK
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Posts: 5644




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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2006, 06:35:14 AM »

Caity,

After all these years, I can't begin to remember every antenna I have installed or used. I do tend to remember the failures, though.

Performance-wise, I'll put the NMO270 up against any of the five and six foot antennas and bet you dinner that there isn't a mile difference in fringe operating range. I know this because I have done it with both the top Diamond and Comet on my vehicle and on other's.

Neither of us is going to change the other's mind, so lets just agree to disagree.

Have a good weekend, Caity.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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