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Author Topic: Chameleon EMCOMM2  (Read 25356 times)
WB6BYU
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Posts: 15675




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« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2013, 10:43:33 AM »

First, let me welcome the newcomers to the eHam forums!  I hope they will stay and
contribute on a regular basis.


Meanwhile, back to today's episode of Shakespeare...

Quote from: Hamlet, Act III, scene 2

       The lady doth protest too much, methinks.



I don't think it helps Chameleon's reputation to label every engineer who understands
the application of Kirchhoff's laws to antennas as a "troll" just because you don't like
their conclusions about the antenna.  That makes it sound as though the only
engineering that went into the design of the antenna was of the P. T. Barnum variety,
so any observation or criticism, however accurate it might be, becomes threatening.
We've seen several such companies before on here:  they notice any critical comment
on the Internet and send in their minions with anecdotes and personal attacks, without
actually addressing the truth of the technical comments.

I sincerely hope that Chameleon is not that type of company, because I think they have
some creative ideas and a lot of potential.  But, to be a credible antenna company, they will
need to provide credible information and data about their antennas.

Remember, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data".


Now, in this case, we can't really say that they don't meet their claims about the antenna,
because basically they haven't made any, other than that the antenna "works" on some number
of bands.  That's a highly subjective term, and clearly what "works" for one ham may not
"work" for another.  But we already have some idea of the Chameleon definition of "work",
based on actual measurements by G8JNJ of the V1 antenna reported here:

http://g8jnj.webs.com/currentprojects.htm


Quote from: G8JNJ's comments


When operated in the broad band configuration. The antenna efficiency is quite low...

On 80m the performance is about 10dB worse than a Hamstick...


Since the V1 "works" on 80m according to the manufacturer, that sets the bar pretty low.
However much I might enjoy QRP operation, for many hams having as little as 1% of their
power actually radiated might not qualify as "working".


To provide a customer service that truly serves the customers, I'd like to see a discussion
of the pros and cons of such an antenna included on the website, including:

1) where it is appropriate to use such an antenna, and where it isn't

2) what to expect from the antenna

3) relative signal strengths compared to other antenna options.  (Yes, I know this is
difficult to do when the coax is a part of the radiator.)

4)  possible symptoms of common mode current problems, and what can be done about them.

5)  Since the antenna requires a tuner anyway, why this particular configuration is any better
than attaching the 60' wire directly to the back of the tuner?


This then allows customers to determine whether it is the right antenna for their needs.
True, there aren't a lot of other manufacturers who go to this effort to meet the customers'
needs, but honesty goes a lot way towards gaining trust.
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AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1413




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« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2013, 10:57:40 AM »

THREE antennas and FOUR bands for $305 which is indeed SO MUCH less than $125 for 6M to 160M. But be reassured people because AC4RD can build the whole thing for less than $30.

I *can* build you a four-band wire antenna for under $30.  And you could build yourself one if you wanted--it's easy as can be.   I'm just saying that Chameleon may be run by nice guys and they may make good products and they're probably kind to animals and help old ladies across streets.  But Chameleon does NOT have any magic to make a 60' chunk of wire a better antenna than any OTHER 60' chunk of wire.  They're still bound by the laws of physics.  And you can build your own version of their antenna--or even a much BETTER one IMO--for a few bucks and a few minutes of work in the back yard. 

And if you're still not convinced, I'll sell you the KENCOMM DX-LEPRECHAUN antenna, 10 feet of wire, feed it with a tuner for operation on all bands from 160 to 10.  Only $250!  Order today and get a SECOND KenComm DX-Leprechaun for only $5 plus separate shipping and handling costs.  :-)
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 15675




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« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2013, 11:56:26 AM »

Quote from: ROB1955

WB6BYU: Did you know that those guys have two dedicated forums that are available specially to answer such questions and to support the customers and community?



Have all those questions been answered in the forums in a technically credible manner?
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ROB1955
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2013, 12:07:00 PM »

Have all those questions been answered in the forums in a technically credible manner?

I don't know. Go read for yourself. If you do not find what you're looking for then ask them.
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N4CR
Member

Posts: 1757




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« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2013, 12:29:29 PM »

Quote from: ROB1955
Did you know that those guys have two dedicated forums that are available specially to answer such questions and to support the customers and community?

So what you are defending here is the obfuscation of specifications?

Go to the Mosley, Hy-Gain, KLM, Steppir, Cushcraft, Comet, MFJ or any other mainstream antenna manufacturer site. Notice that EVERY antenna that any of them make has gain and SWR bandwidth specifications. All of them. This is all we ask. It's literally the baseline for every commercial antenna. And you don't have to go to any forums and sift through hundreds or thousands of messages to get the information.

Your position is indefensible.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.
AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1413




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« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2013, 01:38:06 PM »

I looked at the Yahoo groups link Rob posted; the first message in the thread says this:

Question: Why people bash a product without trying it?    
Posted By:  ChameleonAntenna-owner@yahoogroups.com
Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:53 am
Why people bash a product without trying it?
... people on eHam.net forum are already bashing the EMCOMM II without even bought and tried the antenna: (link to this thread)
Why people are doing things like that?


I'd like to make it CLEAR that we're not trying to 'bash' the antenna or the company, not as such.  Most of us are just trying to point out that NO 60' end-fed antenna can possibly be any better than the laws of physics allow.  And the laws of physics relating to antennas are well-understood and absolutely predictable.  Most of us have made similar antennas many times over the years and we know how they work, their strengths and their shortcomings.

Some of us are also puzzled that anybody would spend $125 for a piece of wire and some gizmo at the feedpoint--a gizmo (resistor or transformer) that can't possibly increase the efficiency of the antenna.   But that's up to the buyers.   If paying a bunch of money for something labeled "EMCOMM" makes you happy, that's your own deal. 
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W1JKA
Member

Posts: 2034




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« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2013, 05:50:11 PM »

    Due to this thread I believe the EMCOMM folks are enjoying a minimum of $125.00 worth of free ad space directly targeted to 1,483+ hams.I must admit it is a shrewd marketing technique on their part intentional or not.
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WA2OMU
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2013, 08:07:30 AM »

Folks, you cannot give 'specs' for an emergency antenna that can be strung up 1000+ ways.

This is not a beam on a tower, with a fixed configuration that can be range tested.

Any wire antenna, be it random, or a resonant dipole is not a repeatable installation, therefore no 'specs' can be given. 

Oh, it has 2.15 dB gain... 

REALLY!!  Over WHAT??  An Isotropic antenna?  (go FIND one to compare it to!)  A 60 watt bulb?  A Dummy Load??

How high above WHAT kind of ground?  And so on.

So you can go and buy some toroids and make your own Hybrid.  Can you PACKAGE it like the CHA Mini?   What will THAT cost you?

Carl's products are well designed and manufactured to high standards.  All of which is expensive - design (knowlege - schooling required) - tools (computer, software, more knowlege) procurement, stocking, manufacturing (machinery, $$$) and still more knowlege and tools.

I find Carl's products (yes I DO own some of them) to be of very high quality.  They are very well made and they work.  Most of all, they are convenient to use, and are quite rugged.  Are they opimum?  Go DEFINE optimum.  They work adequately for their purpose.

To put this into perspective, your ham gear is toy consumer level stuff (cheapest parts, dont drop it!).  Police and Fire radios are Commercial / Industrial level, better parts, more rugged.  Mil radios are Mil Spec - parts, testing, qualification, etc.  VERY rugged.

With each increase in quality, the price goes up accordingly.  Ham rig - ~$1,000.  Police, Fire radio - ~$4,000.  Mil radio >$40,000.

I find Carl's CHA products on the high end of commercial / Industrial, and would most likely pass most Mil Spec requirements.

In other words, you get what you pay for.

Jerry  wa2omu
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KC2NBE
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2013, 09:55:17 AM »

Here's the bottom line...
1) I'm a Ham...Maybe, you're a Ham...Maybe you know more than I do...THAT'S OK.
2) I like my Chameleon Antennas...I like their products...Maybe you do too...Maybe you don't...THAT'S OK...
3) I'm happy with CHAMELEON ANTENNA products...specs and all...They work for what I need them to do...Maybe you have a better antenna....maybe you made it yourself....THAT'S COOL!
4) I'm a Ham and I'm Happy....HAPPY WITH CHAMELEON....I LIKE THEIR PRODUCTS....No! I don't have a degree from MIT...I've posted reviews and recommended them....No scientific test...I just simply used them....They worked ...every time...No I don't have a Stepp IR...I've put them side by side with another popular antenna product....Chameleon worked...still does..

You can respond to this ...or you may not...but between me and the wall and whoever reads this...THIS is my opinion of Carl and his gear...I LIKE THEM AND THEY WORK...Was I skeptical before? OH YEAH!....Am I skeptical now?? NO. That's it! No last words...No "I WON THE ARGUMENT"...It's my experience with his products and I, and a lot of other HAMS, like them...The way you like whatever you got...I happen to like CHAMELEONS...maybe you like something else...I'm a ham...maybe you're a ham...But, I'm a ham and I have Chameleons and I'm happy with them...
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WA2OMU
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2013, 12:14:14 PM »


KC2NBE has really hit the nail squarely on the head.  While we ARE hams, we dont need to use cheap, poorly made equipment - unless we WANT to.  It is realy YOUR choice.

Take the Hybrid Mini, which I have, and is internally identical to the matching unit for the EMCOMM2 - the machining is impecable, everything matches cleanly to its faying surface.  All sharp edges are cleanly broken.  The top cover is held on with stainless steel Allen head bolts, which are also partially recessed into the cover.  I suspect that they are properly torqued to spec, too.  And NO tool marks, dings or scratches!  Clean as a whistle.

All that takes extra work and cost to do, and is a mark of Quality. 

Anybody can make radioshack and mfj level stuff.  Loose parts rattling around inside before you open the shipping box, meters crunched under one corner of the front panel opening, etc.  Read my post on their dummy load.  I wouldnt accept anything mfj for a gift, any more!!  The glorified CBers can have it ALL.  Most of them have never even SEEN anything better, so have NO IDEA what-so-ever.  If you have walked barefoot all your life, dont bash Cressi Rondini italian hiking shoes till you try them!

The Hybrid Mini is Mil Spec quality materials and construction.  I will wager the inside is just as good.  I dont need to look inside, seeing what the outsice looks like.  I have tested it with the MIL antenna, and it works very well. 

I made several good DX contacts with my FT-817 with the Mini-Mil combo on my picnic table in the back yard, and NOT having to retune the antenna from 20 - 10 meters is a REAL Plus for portable ops.  The SWR with one 17 foot radial on the ground was 2:1 on 20 meters, and was less than 1.6:1 on up to 33 MHz.  No tuner needed.  The 60 foot wire that comes with the Mini also has a machined interface to the Hybrid.  NICE Touch!  I will have to wait for spring to try the wire, tho.  No place to hang it in the yard.

The MIL antenna and now the V1L are also of Mil Spec quality.  For the price, I couldnt make a counterpoise kit that good, either.

So. WHAT is NOT to like?  Real rugged Quality that works well at a reasonable price?  Convenience of use?

I dont have an EMCOMM antenna, as it only duplicates what I have with the Hybrid Mini with its 60 foot wire.  However,

Carl knows how to design stuff, and build it right, with quality.  His prices are VERY good for what you get!

Jerry  WA2OMU
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KB4QAA
Member

Posts: 3122




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« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2013, 01:45:21 PM »

Quote
If you have walked barefoot all your life, dont bash Cressi Rondini italian hiking shoes till you try them!
If they were selling "Emconn Flying Rocket Boots", we would be fully justified in demanding specifications and proof, regardless of the quality of materials and workmanship.

Edit: 
Quote
Folks, you cannot give 'specs' for an emergency antenna that can be strung up 1000+ ways.
The same ridiculous statement could be said of an airplane.  Is it really impossible to tell me how fast, slow, high, fuel consumption and landing distance?  Pick a configuration, state your specifications and stand by your product.


Quote
In other words, you get what you pay for.
And sometimes you get a lot less than what is claimed.  I understand the Trojan Horse was very well  built but turned out to be different than expected!

Radio is based in science and engineering.  Refusing to provide specifications for their antennas is a result of only three possible things on the part of the manufacturer:  Lack of formal education/training, deliberate intent to deceive customers, or placing profit above honesty through benign neglect.

There is no place for "Works good, lasts a long time and it's well built, so you can't criticize us".
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 02:09:05 PM by KB4QAA » Logged
K0BT
Member

Posts: 279




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« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2013, 02:10:08 PM »

I have no skin in this game and have objectively (I hope) read all the posts.  With that said, I have a question.

ROB1955 - Are you affiliated with Chameleon?  Your only other posts since 2009 were in a discussion in this forum entitled "W3EDP antenna" in which you also defended the Chameleon brand.

It was odd how you jumped into the discussion with the "bashing" comments.  It poisoned the discussion and  seemed to be an attempt to divert readers from thinking about the simple fact that 60 feet of wire is 60 feet of wire.  Add a resistor or a matching network to it and it is still 60 feet of wire.  End feeding 60 feet of wire with a tuner/resistor/transformer will make your radio happy, but it's still an end-fed 60 foot length of wire.

I'm sure not bashing the antenna. The company is obviously doing something right to have so many vocal supporters. From some of the comments, it's 60 feet of very nice wire that is packaged and marketed very well.
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ROB1955
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2013, 02:56:39 PM »

ROB1955 - Are you affiliated with Chameleon?  Your only other posts since 2009 were in a discussion in this forum entitled "W3EDP antenna" in which you also defended the Chameleon brand.

Not at all. I rarely to never post anything on this forum (too many KNOW-IT-ALL here) but I read a lot. So because we post something about a product that we like we're now automatically affiliated with it. Sometime I also post on Apple & Glock forum too. So I am probably affiliated with Steve Jobs and Gaston Glock... Guilt by association... wow that's great! Well I guess that all the following members are guilty too and are probably shareholder's of Chameleon. With 22 posts N4DOV is probably their CEO:

WA2OMU about 2 posts
KC2NBE about 1 post
N4DOV about 22 posts
N6OG about 3 posts
ZL3QX about 1 post
K5HTB about 2 posts


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K0BT
Member

Posts: 279




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« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2013, 03:19:02 PM »

ROB1955 - Are you affiliated with Chameleon?  Your only other posts since 2009 were in a discussion in this forum entitled "W3EDP antenna" in which you also defended the Chameleon brand.

Not at all. I rarely to never post anything on this forum (too many KNOW-IT-ALL here) but I read a lot. So because we post something about a product that we like we're now automatically affiliated with it. Sometime I also post on Apple & Glock forum too. So I am probably affiliated with Steve Jobs and Gaston Glock... Guilt by association... wow that's great! Well I guess that all the following members are guilty too and are probably shareholder's of Chameleon. With 22 posts N4DOV is probably their CEO:

WA2OMU about 2 posts
KC2NBE about 1 post
N4DOV about 22 posts
N6OG about 3 posts
ZL3QX about 1 post
K5HTB about 2 posts




Nope, not guilt by association.  Just curious so thought I'd ask rather than wonder why you're so passionate about this one subject.  Chameleon obviously has a loyal following with passionate supporters. That doesn't, however, replace the need for objective information when discussing antennas.

It's good to be skeptical if you can avoid becoming jaded. The scientific method demands it. 

Hypothesis:  Chameleon has a superior product in the EMCOMM2 antenna.  Seems like the commentators are testing that hypothesis. I'm enjoying the debate.  I just like to know who is debating and whether or not they are objective.
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N4CR
Member

Posts: 1757




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« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2013, 06:49:29 PM »

Folks, you cannot give 'specs' for an emergency antenna that can be strung up 1000+ ways.

Wrong. You can publish specs for any antenna. You might even tell your customers how you performed that test and what the antenna configuration was.

Quote
This is not a beam on a tower, with a fixed configuration that can be range tested.

Wrong. Any antenna can be range tested. You can even publish what the best configuration was if you tried many configurations. You can repeat the tests and get the same figures from the same configurations.

Quote
Any wire antenna, be it random, or a resonant dipole is not a repeatable installation, therefore no 'specs' can be given.

You start your reply with a series of false statements and expect to be taken seriously?

Saying "it's too hard" is either a cheap shot at the scientific method or pure laziness. Your reply reminds me of a child throwing a temper tantrum when faced with a math homework problem.

A resonant dipole has been measured for gain countless times. If the Chameleon EMCOMM2 has 2.15 dB of gain as you say then either someone measured it or you are guessing. By the way, what frequency or frequencies does it exhibit 2.15 dB gain and what was that measured against?

Where do you think the gain of a dipole in free space being 2.15 dB over an isotropic radiator came from? If you think the Chameleon antenna is hard to measure gain on, imagine how hard it is to measure the gain of an isotropic radiator, a theoretical antenna! It's easy to depend on someone else's hard work, isn't it?

There is no excuse for not testing and publishing the specifications of a commercial antenna product. If it was my product, the configuration I based my specifications on would be the absolute best I could come up with. If I had to try it 100 different ways, you can be assured that I would publish the one that represented my product in the very best light.

So, get back to us when the gain and SWR bandwidth figures for the absolute best you can come up with are posted on the website. Until then, all we can assume is one of the following:

1. You don't know how
2. You did and the specs are so bad that posting them would hurt sales
3. Laziness
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73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.
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