eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net


donate to eham
Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories | Alpha Antenna MOTO Help


Reviews Summary for Alpha Antenna MOTO
Alpha Antenna MOTO Reviews: 35 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $199
Description: The Alpha MOTO Antenna mobile system is constructed of Stainless Steel and Unplasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride. All joints are fully sealed with Marine Grade sealants and the internal components are held in place with rigid fire-retardant foam. Additionally, all non-stainless steel components on the exterior receive a minimum of four coats of under carriage coating for vehicles.

The 62 inch Stainless Steel Whip on a brass fitting is held in place by a Stainless Steel Spring, which sits above the solid-state Alpha Match mobile matching network. The entire antenna system is specifically designed for 6 through 40 Meter mobile operations and will tune 60-80 Meters when properly grounded. The Alpha Jam Mount will give you a well-grounded installation for full use of 6-40 meters and enable you to tune these bands plus 60-80 meters with an automatic or manual antenna tuner.

How did we do it? We know the frequencies that all amateur radio operators are required to operate on and the length of the antenna whip, so we used the formula to build the solid-state Alpha Match network, whose coils are tapped for each band.

Alpha MOTO User Manual: http://alphaantenna.com/pdf/Alpha_Antenna_MOTO_User_Guide.pdf

Product is in production.
More info: http://AmateurRadioStore.com
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Alpha Antenna MOTO.

Page 1 of 4 —>

VE4DL Rating: 5/5 Sep 13, 2016 21:22 Send this review to a friend
Amazing performance in a small package  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I spoke to Steve at Alpha antennas at length before deciding to get one of these fine units. First, I wish to tell the nay-sayers that this is not a simple Balun system and it is not a cheat of some kind.

It is a special matching network that works to complete the antenna system using a properly grounded/bonded counterpoise. For mobile, this is the body of the vehicle, properly bonded to allow RF current to flow to balance the antenna currents derived by the tuning/matching system and the matching network. Think of it SORT of like an endfed non-resonant wire antenna system, but using a short vertical whip.

Transportable field tests: ICOM-718 running 75-90W, MFJ 200W tuner (939I), 35 feet LMR-240. Kitchen table, cable out to tripod setup 25 feet from house.

Before installation, I wanted to try this unit as a ground plane vertical. So I also got the 4 foot Alpha tripod and adapter, plus the 13 foot military whip. I also have two long (12 and 17 foot) MFJ whips, and a 102" CB style whip, which I had planned to cut back during testing - more on this later.

I used 4 radials of 25 feet length, one to a ground rod. (west) The setup is in my backyard inside a wooden fenced area, no more than 25 feet from my house, with all sorts of "stuff" in the way - a tree 30 feet away, misc. sheds in neighbors' yards, and homes in a usual suburban setting.

13 foot military tests: On receive, this system was AMAZING on all bands including SWL bands and down to around 700kHz, with lots of sensitivity and not much noise. I was very impressed. Routine contacts on 20/17, 15 during an opening and 10 during another opening. 40m was not as efficient, but still able to hear everyone on several nets, and minimum 56 reports throughout NAm. All on 75-90W. Many times heard routinely above lightning crashes (40m) evenings in Midwest USA.

Best results were in late July, when I got some DX into Eurasia. 5x8 report from Azerbaijan station on 40m, and 57 on 20m into Finland, 58 into Canary Islands, and 56/57 on 20m into Estonia. 80 watts. Also had a brief QSO with a guy in the Falklands - much QSB, but best 20m signal on 80W with this setup was 55/56 from him. Not bad for a 13 foot vertical running 80W only 4 feet above ground in no clear area at all.

Unit with 10 lb. weight below tripod held up overnight on a 45 mph wind. Awesome camping setup FYI!

Similar results with 12 foot MFJ whip - all bands from 10-40 tunable easily, and similar results. 17 foot antenna was better for 40/20, but was not good for tuning the WARC bands. 15 also good. So I recommend going no higher than 15 feet with this as a stationary vertical antenna system unless you plan to use a wire length run more than 30 feet as a sloper, etc., instead of a vertical whip.

Short whip testing: Used a 102" whip to begin with. Tuned okay on 40/20/15, but really bad on 17/12. 10 nearly perfect. While it worked okay, I found places where RF return currents would cause cut outs. So, the 102 inch whip was forcing RF into the coax shield more. Not good. Saw this on occasion using 17 foot MFJ whip on a handful of spots mainly on 20/40.

Cut whip to 95.5" with total length including spring to be 98.5", or 2.5m long. Noticed better tuning on WARC bands and bad spots on some regions of 10m (lower portions below 28.3). 20m Was decent, but had two "cut out" locations. 40m was fine. 15 was decent but not ideal (no less than 1.6:1 SWR in most areas.

So, I stopped and remembered my chat with Steve, and thought about a good compromise, of 2.25m total length (3/8 on 6m, 3/16 on 12, etc...) and close to 8 feet, and longer than 5 feet.

Last two days... WOW!!! Tunes all bands in the 40-10 region VERY well, Best on 40/20/15/10, but also very good (<1.4-1.5 SWR on whole band) on 12/17. Lower on 12m and upper on 17m best.

Sensitivity is nearly as good (MAYBE 1S unit down from the 13 foot whip on receive, and lower noise floor, by 1-2S often (may be conditions dependent).

7.5 foot (88.5" total, 2.25m) whip is also exceptional. Under fair to good conditions, Was Able to hit Costa Rica 58, CONUS 56 to 59+, Italy 57 on 17m, Brazil and Chile at 56/57 on 20m, and Slovakia at 56 with heavy QSB on 17m! We're at a low in the spot cycle and hit and miss into better fall conditions, and I am doing significant DX call-ins without much extra effort over my stationary setup with 250+W and a 60 foot sloper!

So, my setup will be using the cut down 102 whip to 2.25m with 1" corona ball From Hi-Q (ask him to drill hole to 1/8") and 25 feet of LMR-240. Binding critical regions of my 2013 Edge in progress.

I've had significant results with the setup and refinement that I sent at least a dozen folks to Steve at Alpha for this fine product offering. What I prefer with the Alpha Moto is a clean, sleak line look with simple whip(s) versus the rather beefy look of a Tarheel system. The Moto gets out, looks good and is multi-functional.

I can't wait to finish this up for a road trials in an open area of the province! Stay tuned!

Darren VE4VE (ex VE4DL)
 
KG4UHV Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2016 21:15 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the alpha moto SS antenna a week ago from Alpha antenna. Great antenna. Thank you N0TES for the great products and excellent client service.

KG4UHV
TREVINO
 
KC1ELZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 7, 2016 13:17 Send this review to a friend
VERY Satisfied  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My 40 thru 6 Meter Mobile-Multiband Antenna: Why Do I Use the Alpha MOTO?

I had a dog, once. It was black & white, not some fancy color. It was reliable, friendly, and protective. It didn't eat too much, and it never complained if I banged into it, being the clumsy sort that I am. It wasn't big like a Mastiff, or fast like a Greyhound, or smart like a Border Collie, or aggressive like some breeds. Neither was it docile like a pup that was neutered too early, or twitched in the head like a dog that's been abused. The dog went where I went and did what I wanted... most of the time... and could have taught a few people the Marine Motto. That is what my Alpha MOTO multiband/mobile antenna has been for me in the world of HF radio operation, as a newly licensed ham operator. You'll see why.

This review is long, but I think it's important to tell you the what & why of my mobile build. I lead off with my multiband antenna, because when I was prepping for this build, that particular antenna was a hotspot of controversy. But, since May 6, 2016, I've been on the air, using Alpha Antenna's Alpha MOTO multiband/mobile antenna as my go-to antenna for HF & 6m work on my 2010 Santa Fe mobile. To be honest, I don't know if I'll always use this Alpha MOTO multibander. But, for now, it works for what I need. I have ZERO complaints about the antenna's performance and durability in my application. It even survived having the 6 foot whip hit snow laden tree branches, a dozen times or more, in a late winter storm this year. The Diamond K9000 actuator & mount also survived the shocks... at 50MPH... and BOTH the actuator and the antenna have kept functioning flawlessly, including subsequent driving at up to 85mpg a few times.

Yes, like most other hams, I "wish" I could get more successful QSOs and QSLs, but then, I hear almost every other ham complaining about propagation conditions, these days, even the hams who have tall antennas, big wires, and run hundreds of watts more than the 100watts that I use. I bless God that I can talk around the country and do some DX, even with my "inefficient" system. Check my QRZ & LOTW logbooks to see where I've talked with this setup. As experienced hams keep telling me, getting on the air with clear TX and RX is a constant balance-compromise act with any ham setup, and especially with a mobile. Yet, though I probably will never try to win any contests, I keep getting good reports off this Alpha MOTO multiband-mobile antenna setup coupled with my Yaesu FT100D HF/6 multiband radio. Here's the rest of my story...

I passed my Tech and General exams in September 2015, and my Amateur Extra in June 2016. Since I began studying, last year, I have tried to pay attention to what the manuals and experienced hams say does or doesn't work. I have tried to assimilate theoretical as well as practical considerations, and to apply as much of that as possible in my mobile build. As with most people, given my limited finances, I realized, early on, that I would have to make some tough choices. I had to choose between time and money intensive remodeling of my housing space for a ham shack (and not have a radio on the road) versus bypassing a ham shack, and, instead, building a mobile setup that would travel with me and require less money. I knew that going mobile would definitely put me on the air a LOT sooner, despite its challenges. Most hams get into this hobby to get on the air and talk all over the place, right?

In my decision to go mobile (before having a fixed station), I set these goals for my project:
1) I had to be mobile, which meant adapting my 2010 Santa Fe to ham use,
2) I had to be able to get my mobile setup in and out of my garage, and public parking garages, which meant a remote capability to raise and lower my antennas, without getting out of my vehicle,
3) Any antennas that I used had to be adaptable to my second requirement,
4) Because of limited space in my Santa Fe cockpit area, I had to minimize the amount of radio hardware there, which prompted me to buy a used, remote-headed, Yaesu FT100D HF/VHF/UHF 100 watt multiband radio,
5) It all had to work within my budget.

My selection of a VHF/UHF antenna was not difficult, based on my reading and numerous testimonies of long term users of the Larsen 2/70. That was an easy choice to make. When I looked around for an HF antenna that would satisfy all of my requirements, that process was agonizing. I must have read/reread, watched/rewatched 50 or 60 different sources of information online, comparing what was said and done, against the theoretical stuff in the books, and much practical mobile radio setup advice that's posted online (including K0BG's website that extensively shares theoretical and practical material about going mobile).

My affordable, adaptable, final choice was Alpha Antenna's Alpha MOTO multiband/mobile antenna. I picked that because,
1) the Alpha MOTO had multiband capability,
2) its size and weight made it a prime candidate for use on a small antenna actuator,
3) it was affordable and adaptable to my use.

I bought the Alpha MOTO multibander, fully aware of the disdain with which some experts and operators hold it. For me, affordability, adaptability, and immediate use outweighed the more technically guarded opinions. I did NOT buy it blindfolded. I was aware of several of the technical or theoretical limitations that a short whip antenna over a transformer can encounter. Let's not try to compare or scramble eggs with apples, in the ham world. Similarity of construction, expected end results, and practical application requirements/capabilities must all be considered, and somehow balanced, before we can realistically compare one specific antenna, or antenna type, against another.

Based on my limited experience, this method of assessment is something that every new ham needs to get hold of, in order to avoid the traps set by those who run around hooping and hollering about how their dog is bigger and faster than someone else's dog. (Yes, I'm mixing my metaphors.) Based on construction, alone, or ultimate send/receive capability, no one can realistically compare the Alpha MOTO mobile-multibander, or any other short fixed length whip that is a multiband antenna, against more expensive antennas, screwdrivers, or even against a single band antenna. The real question is what does the operator want the antenna to do and under what conditions? as tested by the paradigm of whether any given antenna, in and of itself, satisfies all or most of the needs of a particular customer in a particular situation, and whether any other antenna can accomplish the same within the same customer-need parameters. It is the customer that should be driving the product, not the product driving the customer.

I had to stick to my parameters, in this build:
1) I could not afford screwdriver antennas, or their actuators. I stuck to my budget,
2) I wanted a fixed height for my antennas so that I could safely mount and operate them on my SUV roof brackets, and the antennas had to be actuated remotely. I did that.
3) I wanted to get on the air, and was willing to accept what compromises came with getting on the air sooner than if I had saved my money for another year or two. I did that.

It took some serious design and planning. I did my best to accomodate the most germane experience of other hams into my final build of this mobile. I got it done. Readers can check my videos, that I posted to YouTube, of my design and build process, if you like. Here's the link for my videos: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=up+the+constitution+santa+fe+hf+mobile+video+1

I got on the air with my mobile setup on May 6, 2016. My first QSO was with California. I'm on the air, erratically, yet, as of 2016-07-07, I've logged more than 50 QSOs on LOTW and QRZ. I have talked with operators around the USA, as well as in Bulgaria, Crete, the Czech Republic, and Italy. I'm not bragging about my rig or the antenna, nor my work. I'm just saying that, by the mercy of God, with some hard work, modest equipment, and moderate conditions, one can still talk around the USA, and DX, with what I have built. The Alpha MOTO antenna just happens to be a working part of my rig. If you watch my videos, you'll see that this mobile antenna and mobile build is NOT the average bolt-it-on-your-bumper, or car-door bracket. I'm not advertising for work, or for anyone. I'm just saying that those who take the time to view my build process videos are going to better understand the work and practical radio considerations that I've built into this mobile, including why I picked the Alpha MOTO.

Whether readers are willing to invest the time and effort, to accomplish what I've built, is their choice. I just hope that my experience will be of help to other hams. I think that my growing logbook proves that this is a modest, useable, first mobile, setup, irrespective of what other antennas and mobile setups can or cannot do. I did this for me to get on the air, not for some shootout, not for bragging rights for anyone.

In summary:
1) I wanted multiband HF/VHF/UHF mobile operations with remote lay-down antennas, using the most legal height possible, but within good safety margins. With my mobile rig, I can RX & TX, AND park in my garage, or public parking garages, with a simple push of a button for each antenna.
2) It took months for me to design and build my mobile system, which includes a used Yaesu FT100D, an LDG YT100 tuner, an Alpha MOTO mobile-multiband HF/6 antenna, a Larsen 2/70 antenna, dual Diamond K9000 antenna actuators, and two hand-crafted 304 stainless steel brackets that put my HF/VHF/UHF antennas over the mass of my vehicle. (BTW... don't be afraid to email/call manufacturers about your concerns about their products. Each of the companies provided all the information that I wanted, including great customer service response times from Alpha Antenna.
3) When I needed help, I asked for help, from hams and non-hams, including a couple of welders who welded the 304 stainless steel bracket pieces for me. I also got professional radio help, with the final internal wiring and testing, from Marcus Communications of Manchester, CT. Never be afraid to ask for help. You'll get the job done quicker, safer, and make new friends.
4) This mobile rig is a mobile rig. Period. It does NOT aspire to be or perform like a base station. This mobile is NOT a $5000 radio-antenna configuration. BUT, my mobile IS a carefully thought out MOBILE rig that works and gets loggable domestic and DX QSOs, including occasional special events pileups. Check my logbooks on QRZ and LOTW.

Special thanks to K0BG, KA0NEB, KA1KNW, N0TES, N1EBQ, & NE6R.

Your constructive comments and observation are welcome here or below.

Craig
KC1ELZ by way of the arrl.net
 
WM3M Rating: 5/5 Apr 19, 2016 13:34 Send this review to a friend
It works  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been trying, experimenting with HF mobile for many years and I have tried several different antennas.
I recently bought this Alpha Moto HF antenna from Alpha antenna. I use it with my IC-7000 and a LDG tuner. The antenna is mounted in the center of my folding, aluminum tonneau cover, near the back window of my truck, not the best spot but it is ok. This antenna works. I have never really had much luck with 20 meters mobile. I installed the antenna and parked in my driveway I made several contacts on 20 meters across the USA and some DX. This antenna hears pretty well, it will not bust any pile ups but it is short, 5 feet, fairly easy to install, plus I can park my truck in the garage, whip is very flexible and it has a spring. This antenna covers 40 thru 6 meters using a tuner. Other base loaded antennas I have tried did not work well but this one does. Lately upper bands have not been open when I am in the truck but it should work ok.
 
KD8KOR Rating: 2/5 Apr 10, 2016 14:10 Send this review to a friend
failed after 1 1/2 years  Time owned: more than 12 months
the antenna worked fine for a year and a half and just went quite , cant tune it with ldg tuner on any frequency , base is a 2 inch pvc tee and cant open it to find out what happened with it without destroying it I suspect it got corroded inside but I cant confirm it, it worked well until it died , I would of thought a 175.00 antenna should of lasted longer, I would not buy another one , but it did work well for 1.5 years , and was convenient to use , just really wished it would of lasted longer.......
 
KG4UHV Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2016 15:49 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

I had a contact on 20M few minutes ago from Kansas City, KS to Puerto Rico. With a 57 report. I'm Very Happy With This Antenna. Don't hesitate to purchase one from Alpha Antenna 73.
 
VE7TOL Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2016 16:54 Send this review to a friend
Awesome Mobile Magic  Time owned: more than 12 months
Worked China, Russia, Falkland Islands and more from my car. I added a 102" whip and man this thing works well.

I own 3 Alpha Antennas now and love them all: MOTO, J-Pole Senior and EZ-Military.

The owner of the company (Steve) is awesome. After I bought my 2nd or 3rd Alpha, the man sent me a handwritten letter by snail mail to thank me for supporting his small business and his employees. Who does that? This company does. They are passionate about building GREAT antennas and they love the Ham Community. Steve's letter made me buy more and recommend Alpha to all my friends. Make sure you GROUND this antenna properly and you will be impressed.
 
W8WDR Rating: 5/5 Feb 15, 2016 03:59 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

I am flat out impressed with my Alpha Moto. This weekend while traveling from my home in West Branch, MI to Traverse City MI I worked Belgium, Spain and The Netherlands on 17m, Nausaa Bahamas on 20, Florida andTexas on 40m. Not to mention VT, MN and ND on 20m. The antenna is mounted on a custom SS mount, essentially a trunk lip on my 2008 Ford Focus. Several of the old guard in my club were big doubters soon be be slain by my eQSL and LOTW confirms. Could not be happier. Mobile HF has added another thrill to the hobby. 73 W8WDR
 
N3TUQ Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2016 13:54 Send this review to a friend
Great low profile mobile antenna  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have been using this antenna for a few months on my car. I am using it with an FT-857d running into an LDG Z11pro tuner. All I can say is that this antenna is amazing. I have made many DX contacts and have had long conversations state-side.
 
KF7OM Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2015 13:37 Send this review to a friend
You wont be disappointed !  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
After retiring about 10 years ago and selling the homestead, all we had was our RV So we moved on it and traveled around the Southwest. I had been using my trusty old Spider mobile If you remember them, a good antenna but had its drawbacks.One day I saw an ad about the 6-40 Moto and decided to give it a try, after getting it and setting it up, which is very simple I might add,I mounted it on a pipe mount that will swivel and lower the whole thing so I can reach it. then I swing it back up into position and tie it off. the mount is also grounded to the frame of my RV giving me a 40 ft, counter-poise. this worked pretty good for the Spider but I never knew a mobile antenna like the 6-40 could work so well and be so effective. I use a tuner and I can get a flat swr even on the low end of 80 mtrs. It may not be as effective as a full or half wave wire but just knowing I can use it on all my favorite bands is more than enough to satisfy my operating styles.
Take my advice, I'm 80 and have seen a few mobile antennas but my money is on the 6-40 Moto, a well made and well worth the money antenna.
Thanks, John KF7OM
 
Page 1 of 4 —>


If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.