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Author Topic: Chameleon EMCOMM2  (Read 11795 times)
K0BT
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Posts: 186




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« Reply #45 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: 10




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« Reply #46 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: 186




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« Reply #47 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: 1668




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« Reply #48 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

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
N4CR
Member

Posts: 1668




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« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2013, 07:12:25 PM »

I guess that some people in New Zealand already tested the EMCOMM II and even did a review on it: http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/10895

No reviews there from New Zealand, just one ham from Tacoma Washington and some marketing copy with no gain or SWR specs. Posted in the last week, no doubt in defense of this thread.

The guy that did do some testing in NZ said it was about 10dB down from a hamstick. If I were you, I'd stop pointing that out.

Really, nobody here has said this antenna doesn't work or that it's not built well. Defending that is just a red herring to avoid what we are asking for. It's only noise trying to cover up the request of....

Gain and SWR bandwidth specs. Like every other commercial antenna. Published on the manufacturers web site.

It's really that simple. So stop trying to turn the argument into something that it isn't and answer that question, can you?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 07:14:40 PM by N4CR » Logged

73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
W1JKA
Member

Posts: 1714




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« Reply #50 on: January 21, 2013, 03:13:28 AM »

     The direction in which this thread is going reminds me of a pissing contest between two 4th grade boys in which neither won because they were both facing into the wind.
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WA2OMU
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #51 on: January 21, 2013, 09:36:15 AM »

Folks, some of you are obviously know-nothing nit pickers who THIMQUE you know something.  The sheer number of some of your posts and the 'content' of those posts make it quite clear to the rest of us.

Example, the way some of you have taken quotes from others and pick them apart on a totally nonsensical level.  I seriously doubt that you could understand the specs you keep screaming for, or how to put them to use.

Ok, we will politely tollerate you, but mostly ignore you.  You have added nothing of value to the discussion, only negative content.  There is no point in wasting time trying to communicate with you.

A wise old farmer once said "Dont git inta no pissin' contests with a skunk.  After the 2nd or 3rd squirt, ya cant tell who the good guy is any more."

Some of you are clearly intellegent and interested people, with much to contribute to the discussions.  

To those of you who have demonstrated good intellegence and submitted useful content and questions, I say thank you for your contributions.  Let us continue our dialog in a profitable and professional manner.

For the record, I have always designed and built most of my own antennas, including my VHF beams, but do buy some clearly more convenient ones - like the Hustler mag mount one I use for VHF FM.

I have designed, built and used a number of HF home and portable antennas.  They all work, but while I have access to a Rhode and Schwartz EMC Reciever to get figures to 0.01 dB, what is the point?  The most minor variation in the setup will change the figures more than whole dB's, let alone 1% of a dB.  These measurements, taken on an antenna range are ONLY valid for those exact setup conditions and are non repeatable in any other location or setup.  Everything changes, from the ground under it to the angle of the dangle, to the coax used, and how long it is, buildings, trees, power lines, etc, etc.  Even walking around an antenna on a test range will affect the pattern and therefore the 'gain'.  NONE of us will ever have a 1 inch diameter solid silver dipole over an infinite solid silver ground plane, with adjustable height to control the take off angle for different conditions.  Even then the DX guy will be off the END of the dipole...  So, enough of this.

When I first worked some people using Chameleon equipment, it raised an eyebrow from the good signals.  So I looked into them, and purchased a Hybrid Mini and the MIL whip.  These are just too convenient to pass up for my portable ops.  They are also broad band to give multiple band ops with the SAME setup.  Testing mine on my picnic table in the back yard with one 17 foot counterpoise just laying on the ground yielded an SWR of ~2:1 on 20 meters, and less than 1.6:1 up through 33 MHz - direct, no antenna tuner in the line.  I then attached my FT-817 and worked a bunch of DX from the US to eastern europe to south america - at 5 watts, and SSB for all of them, and on all the bands from 20 - 10.  With the original LDG Z11, the setup would load on both 80 and 40.  I did make one contact on 40, but the ~11 foot whip with the spring was too short to be efficient on 40, and it was vertical, when NVIS propagation was dominent.  Even so, I got a decent signal report with only 5 watts.

All my questions about the CHA stuff were fully and professionally answered by Carl on his forum before I made the purchase.

Yes, I am impressed with the overall quality and performance of their products, and have bought more of their stuff for my portable ops.  It is well made, works and is very convenient to use.  I will be using the 60 foot wire that came with the Mini for 75 and 40 when spring gets here.

Jerry  WA2OMU





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N4CR
Member

Posts: 1668




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« Reply #52 on: January 21, 2013, 10:34:17 AM »

Folks, some of you are obviously know-nothing nit pickers who THIMQUE you know something.  The sheer number of some of your posts and the 'content' of those posts make it quite clear to the rest of us.

Example, the way some of you have taken quotes from others and pick them apart on a totally nonsensical level.  I seriously doubt that you could understand the specs you keep screaming for, or how to put them to use.

Ok, we will politely tollerate you, but mostly ignore you.  You have added nothing of value to the discussion, only negative content.  There is no point in wasting time trying to communicate with you.

Attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument* is generally considered admission of losing an argument. Bad form, old chap, but I accept your concession.

Too bad you had to resort to personal attacks. (you weren't the first, the other one was so bad it was deleted by a moderator)

But, Pandora is out of the box now. Anyone researching the EMCOMM2 antenna will find this thread, will read that we found no specifications and will look on the manufacturers web site to see if this omission has been corrected.

They will read that they can make an antenna that works like this or better for a lot less money.

Then they will make a decision.

It's up to Chameleon to either take action or not. Nothing you can write here will change that now.

* This type of attack on personal character rather than facing the argument head on is so old that the latin term for it is ad-hominem.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
K5LXP
Member

Posts: 4491


WWW

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« Reply #53 on: January 21, 2013, 11:02:36 AM »

The most minor variation in the setup will change the figures more than whole dB's, let alone 1% of a dB.  These measurements, taken on an antenna range are ONLY valid for those exact setup conditions and are non repeatable in any other location or setup.

Because these variations are acknowledged, HF antennas are rarely empirically measured.  Instead, they are more commonly modeled using established electrical and environmental variables and those gain and pattern results are used.  Even the ARRL, who used to ban claims of gain in their antenna advertisements now allows simulated gain figures based on NEC models.  Not perfect, but transparent and repeatable.  In this instance, not even these are offered.

Since the performance of a 60' wire (in whatever environment or shape) is readily modeled, the only variable here is the matching box.  This too can be modeled, or empirically measured with common lab test equipment or even amateur test gear.  This will tell us the efficiency and isolation when mated to the radiating element. 

Lacking even this rudimentary and easily obtained measurement or simulation data confirms to the discerning buyer the points that N4CR suggests.  Why should it be up to the customer to base on faith the basic performance parameters that any other reputable antenna manufacturer supplies?  This may be the best built 60' end fed wire money can buy.  Why would this manufacturer obfuscate that?  These are the seeds of doubt the manufacturer plants by not revealing performance spec's.

There is a market for pre-made antennas even for many of us who typically make our own.  Sometimes sourcing materials and dedicating construction time and effort just isn't worth it to homebrew.  For $125 I would like to know if I'm getting value for my money.  Why should I have to rely on anecdotal data from internet forums when I should be getting that confidence from the manufacturer?  Better to officially publish the spec's even if they're less than optimum, lest some disgruntled owner measure and publish them elsewhere.  Witness the Comet CHA-250 vertical, the Maxcomm and other "miracle" antennas of their ilk.  For a $125 60' wire antenna I would expect some pretty remarkable construction and best in class performance.  Without stated spec's I can only assume it doesn't. 


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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N4DOV
Member

Posts: 52




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« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2013, 11:27:50 AM »

Quote
WA2OMU: the way some of you have taken quotes from others and pick them apart on a totally nonsensical level.

At the outset I wish to apologise, but I am going to DO exactly that.

Quote
N4DOV: I like ROB1955 too am dismayed that when someone takes the trouble to try to find out information, they get a dozen replies and NOT ONE has any experience with the product, (including me !).

O.K. thats me. Now I wish to formally retract/revise that statement. I am no longer dismayed, in fact my SMR reading (Status of Mental Reality) is HIGHLY AMUSED.
Further with over 50 replies and 2000 views, we had to import someone who has actual experience with the Chameleon Emcomm2 - thanks George ZL3QX. Hail Queen Elizabeth and the Colonies for stepping forward ! George, this topic perhaps reminds of those rugby games of yesteryear between the All Blacks and Springboks - or it is more correct to say Silver Ferns and Proteas ! Sorry I digress.

Quote
ROB1955; 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:

Now I wish to state categorically and for the record inspite of my obvious posting leadership, I AM NOT THE CEO of the Chameleon Antenna Company, as much as the obscure reference suggests. however if I was, I would happily own up.

Quote
W1JKA: 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.

Spot on. It has come to my attention that our (sorry their) Emcomm2 is now out of stock, and is being replenished. Please start other threads about Chameleon antenna products, so we can up our (there I go again, cant get that CEO allusion out of my head!) sales and production. Thankyou.

Quote
N6OG: I have a number of Chameleon antenna products and they work very well.

To set the record straight, like above, I do own Chameleon Antenna products and happy that I overspent for them, but appreciate all looking after my pocketbook.

Quote
W1JKA: The direction in which this thread is going reminds me of a pissing contest

Could not agree more. My PSA level is doing a number - PSA : Possible Sanity Attenuation level

Quote
AC4RD:  such thing as Magic Beans.
Quote
KB4QAA: Emconn Flying Rocket Boots

Reviewing the above, I realize it is time to put on my EMCONN flying rocket boots and take my victuals, the magic beans, together with my newly acquired AR-15 and head to a secure safe location so that comments on my sanity (very questionable), or my manhood (still there), or my electronic/antenna knowledge (minimal).

I hope to meet you all in a less hostile enviroment, (after my release from the institution) on the air, and maybe my pet Chameleon will be present. I apologise for wasting your time and to those working and may read this post later, as a retiree, I appreciate you replenishing the Social Security Fund.

73's David.
Not the CEO.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 11:58:36 AM by N4DOV » Logged
AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1235




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« Reply #55 on: January 21, 2013, 11:39:22 AM »

Since the performance of a 60' wire (in whatever environment or shape) is readily modeled, the only variable here is the matching box.  ...  For $125 I would like to know if I'm getting value for my money.  Why should I have to rely on anecdotal data from internet forums

Mark, one thing we DO know about this antenna is that no tuner is needed for multiple bands.  One of the tactical  paratrooper emcomm guys told us he can be up and running quickly, without wasting precious seconds on tuning an antenna system.  Heck, that can take as much as 30 seconds!  Who can waste that kind of time in an emergency?

Now, most of us know perfectly well what that "broadbanded no-tuner-needed" statement means; it means there's so much loss in the system that resonance isn't very important.  Most of us know you can get the same thing by putting a 60' wire on the input terminal of a dummy load:  most of the energy is dissipated by the 50-ohm load (no tuner needed!) and a bit of RF will radiate from that wire.  You'll even make some contacts, if the bands are good.

I suppose there ARE people willing to waste >80% of their output power so they don't have to waste precious seconds tuning an antenna system in a tactical emcomm emergency, and who don't mind spending a bunch of money on a lossy antenna to do just that.  They could get the very same thing by end-feeding a 60' wire with 500' of RG-174; no tuner needed there on multiple bands.  And they would even make a few contacts, if the bands are in good shape.  :-)

Thank goodness our emergency tactical emcomm needs are being met by these free-spending technical wizards!



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WA2OMU
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #56 on: January 21, 2013, 12:50:30 PM »

W1JKA de WA2OMU...

The 4 year olds just took their own bait - hook line and sinker!

Now, when you 4 year old folks (and now we as well as your selves all KNOW just WHO you are) decide to grow up and add something of value, your inputs will certainly be welcome.

By the way, I mentioned NO names or calls.  YOU took the bait.

The shoes must have fit well, because you all put them on.  And I'll wager that they werent Cressi Rondini ones, either.

By the way, I think I bot those at Eastern Mountain Sports a long time ago.  I have owned more and less expensive hiking shoes, but THOSE never gave me any blisters.  None.

Likewise, I have owned more and less expensive Ham gear, and like the shoes, some have and some have not given me any 'blisters'.  The cheap stuff like mfj has given me the most.  I simply boycott them any more.  My Array Solutions AA-54 has given me none.  If you want a good antenna scope, try them.  Put it to a CHA and publish YOUR results.

I havent owned Chameleon stuff long enough to tell, yet, but so far NO blisters.  Nor do I expect any from what I have seen.

Regards Kornfyoozer software, like NEC, GIGO. Garbage IN Garbage OUT.  I have used engineering software longer than many of you have been on this rock, from mainframes to UNIX workstations to modern PC's.  No matter how good the software, your model wont ever be perfect, so neither will your results - particularly with NEC.  You cant model the effects of nearby power lines, building wiring, underground pipes, fences, and too many other things that will affect your results.  With Spice, you are at the mercy of the IC models - GHASSSPP!!!!  Better VERIFY them, or GIGO WILL GET YOU!!!  I have seen too many OP Amp models that work OK in simple inverting configurations but give a fixed negative output in a non-inverting config - oh, single supply ones, at that.

Trouble with you younger and inexperienced folks is that you BELIEVE your computers, without ever realizing the GIGO principal.

Now, just how accurate data do you need?   Wellll...  We put men on the moon, and brought them back safely, and we did it with SLIDE RULES.  I still have both of mine, and the 'batteries' have yet to run down...  For those of you who dont know, they are good to 3 significant figures - YOU keep track of the decimal point.  My first calculator was an HP-45, and most will do 15 or more figures AND keep track of the decimal FOR you to boot!  Yeah,  They cost more.  But.  They do more.  And.  They give back more.

Likewise, the CHA Mini, which is also in the EMCOMM2, does more and gives back more - but it DOESNT Cost more than a good tuner!

Any simple antenna, be it a wire or whip (stiff wire) is resonant at some frequency(s) (harmonics) You need different antennas for different bands.  You can make a trap and make a single multi band antenna - I use a homebrew 80- 40 Trap dipole for my home station, have used it for over 40 years.  I can use it on all the bands from 80 to 10 with a tuner, manual or automatic.  I have talked all over the world with that antenna.  Is it Optimum?  Define Optimum.  Yes, it is optimum for my yard, because it does everything I want of it.  Is it an optimum DX antenna?  WHO WOULDNT like a 150 foot tower with stacked tri-banders on top??!!  Yet, with 100 watts maximum, I have talked all over the world with that trap dipole.  So, I am SATISFIED with it.

The Hybrid gives me the ability to take that simple wire or whip antenna and use it for multiple bands with low SWR without needing a tuner, with its interconnect cables, etc.  In other words, it simplifies any installation, portable or perminant.  That is pretty Optimum for most folks.  Especially those with restrictions - SOMETING is lots mo' betta than NOTHING!  That sounds pretty Optimum to a lot of folks!

You can certainly go and build your own Hybrid and wire antennas - probably for less.  But,  Can you package it the same for less?  Rugged, waterproof, easy to use, etc.  Even if you have a machine shop in your basement, what is the return on the investment and materials, and of course your time to do the design and built it? 

Carl has done all that work FOR you, and at a pretty reasonable price, too.

73, Jerry WA2OMU

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K5LXP
Member

Posts: 4491


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« Reply #57 on: January 21, 2013, 12:56:07 PM »

one thing we DO know about this antenna is that no tuner is needed for multiple bands.

That is contrary to the website which does state, "An external tuner is required.", and, "VSWR: Subject to configuration".  So if a tuner really isn't needed per a field report vs required per the manufacturer, we're still in a state of unclear specifications.


Quote
Now, most of us know perfectly well what that "broadbanded no-tuner-needed" statement means; it means there's so much loss in the system that resonance isn't very important.

One can also infer that by the relatively high power rating of this matching unit ("500W SSB") it's either got a very low thermal resistance to the environment or it's only moderately reactive, performing a minimal isolation and matching function.  That could translate to using the coax as a ballast so between the matching box and coax losses a palatable impedance range is present at the tuner.  Again assumed, because there's no recommended configuration offered by the manufacturer.

They are very clear in stating in their disclamer that all information about the antenna is property of Chameleon and that they can change it at any time without notice.  Not sure who'd they'd have to notify anyway, certainly not their customers because they never got them in the first place.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 01:20:10 PM by K5LXP » Logged
W1JKA
Member

Posts: 1714




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« Reply #58 on: January 21, 2013, 12:57:55 PM »

     I read these E-Ham forums/posts with interest because I can often learn something new or try out new ideas on my own and this thread is no exception.So far after reading 4 pages of responses(containing mostly of you know what) I have learned two things,(1) these EMCOMM2 antennas work and (2) a certain percentage of hams have expendable monies available.So keep it on rolling boys and I may learn something else and if I don't the entertainment value is priceless.
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AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1235




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« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2013, 01:34:49 PM »

...  We put men on the moon, and brought them back safely, and we did it with SLIDE RULES.  ...
Any simple antenna, be it a wire or whip (stiff wire) is resonant at some frequency(s) (harmonics) ...
The Hybrid gives me the ability to take that simple wire or whip antenna and use it for multiple bands with low SWR without needing a tuner,

OK, Jerry, you're a rocket engineer; answer me one very simple question, that's all I'm asking:  How much of your transmitter power is lost in that matching device?  You can't have low SWR across multiple bands without loss in the system, right?  Can't happen, laws of physics.  So just tell us: how much output power do you lose with this antenna in exchange for low SWR over multiple bands?  I'd really like to know.

BTW, I've had my own current sliderule since about 1975.
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