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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | Alpha Multiband Antenna Help


Reviews Summary for Alpha Multiband Antenna
Alpha Multiband Antenna Reviews: 47 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $249
Description: The Alpha Multiband Antenna deploys in 60 seconds and a perfect SWR match of 1:1 on all frequencies/bands above is easily achieved with your tuner. System and options include a Field Bag, Alpha Match, 13 foot aluminum Mil-Stick whip available in 26 or 13 inch sections, Tripod with Mast, Jaw Mount, Active wire elements, and Counterpoise.
Product is in production.
More info: http://AmateurRadioStore.com
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KE5YOW Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2016 17:42 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

This is a great antenna for use when my 5th-wheel trailer is parked. I've used wire antennas and Hustler Resonators sucessfully, but my wife does not like me climbing ladders anymore. Alpha Antenna is the solution. I set mine up in under 5 minutes, making sure I was doing things right. Now it's a shorter time period, and I expect 60 seconds soon. I didn't tie the antenna down, and a gust of wind knocked it down. Once weighted down, it stayed put. My first contact was from Friendswood, Texas, to Western PA on 15m. A week later I made a contact with a station in Northfield, MN from Friendswood, TX. How's that for a vertical antenna! I am looking forward to ordering some extra parts in the future to try different mounting locations.

I would highly recommmend Steve and Alpha Antennas. If you have a question, he will answer it. Also, the antenna tunes to 160m, and they have this same antenna on their website for $199.00 at this time, saving you $50.00. I don't believe you can go wrong with this antenna.

I called Steve, and I agree with others that Alpha Antenna customer service can't be beat. We miscommunicated on my initial order, and I received the antenna with the claw pole grip. A call to Steve corrected that, and he sent me the tripod version and a return mailing label. He also told me I needed to guy the antenna down using the tripod.
 
KC1ELZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 7, 2016 13:20 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

 
N4CPR Rating: 5/5 Jun 21, 2016 18:50 Send this review to a friend
Alpha Antenna Has Hit A Home Run With This Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had the alpha multiband antenna for the last 2 weeks and have been testing it from my condo in an HOA community.I have made several contacts in the northeast,central parts of the states and a dx contact to Uruguay S.A.with a report of 59 plus 20db. I also tested the antenna for signal strength and noise floor and found that this antenna rejects RFI very very well. Check out all this information by coping and pasting this link:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLks71j5Ag4Xxd1qfq_-ZMMDlgJk7qzkAm

 
KA5OXA Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2016 17:20 Send this review to a friend
EZ UP & Great Performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Received this antenna two days before Museum Ships Week End. Erected to the aft flag halyard of the Battleship USS TEXAS in a few minutes. Radio room on 2nd Deck and began working. We made over 150 contacts mostly 40 and 20 with many 59 plus reports using the 60 foot EMCOMM element. It was easy to reorient from WNW to NNE
Steve and the others at Alpha Antenna answered a number of questions in the two days before the contest. I definitely recommend the antenna. It is best to feed it from the upper end. Takes more coax but performance and portability is worth it. Operators were KA5OXA, N5KT & K9GEM.
 
KA6USA Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2016 10:23 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna in a small package  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I took the new Alpha Antenna 6-160 meter Multiband tactical system on my motorcycle with the Icom IC-7300 and a Bioenno LiFePO4 battery for some portable ops. Naturally, smaller is better and its 15" length in the case disappeared in my pannier. I also took a cheapie lighting tripod due to its small folded dimensions.

Setup was a snap and the jaw mount worked well on the tripod. The black coated MilStick had bare metal at each junction for positive electrical connections and each section fit together tightly and perfectly yet slipped together easily. The Alpha Match unit is solid and heavy stainless steel and screwed easily into the mount with one counterpoise connector slipped on before attachment. The MilStick followed easily, I attached the PL-259 connector and raised the tripod to six feet height. I ran out the counterpoise and used the attached and included stake to fasten it into the ground. Do tie down your tripod on windy days as the antenna, thin as it is, does catch some breeze.

This took about five minutes total. Once it had my rig operating I turned off the tuner and tested SWR. I got the following results during this one test. Mind you I could probably experiment with placement, height and counterpoise position but got SWRs as follows: 6=2.3, 10=1.6, 12=1.1, 15=2.3, 17=2.7, 20=1.7, 40=2.7 and 80=2.2. The internal tuner on the 7300 allows up to 3:1 and matched every band tuned to 1:1. I had my MFJ-939 antenna tuner with me as a backup but did not need to use it.

20-80 meters was good this day from Temecula, CA and my first two QSOs with Texas and Michigan received 59 reports. Local stations were booming in and I found the antenna worked for local and DX. One note, I was on a small hill facing west with higher hills to my east. That did not seem to make a difference and my signal got out well in every direction. I could not be happier with the performance or build quality.
 
KC8J Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2015 21:54 Send this review to a friend
Can't Be Beat!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had the Alpha Vertical Antenna for 5 months, and I am completely satisfied. Not only does this antenna work set up in only a couple of minutes, but it works great. as you can see in the following video, https://youtu.be/FZCGNy_3KSs contacting Australia from south of Los Angeles was no problem! With the optional jaw mount there is no limit to where you can deploy this antenna!
 
K1EAR Rating: 4/5 Aug 22, 2015 09:40 Send this review to a friend
Update of previous review  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have used the Alpha Senior for two years now, at various qths and all bands, I feel I have to temper slightly my previous enthusiastic review. If I were to characterize performance on each band in one word, I'd say 80M and 6M poor, 40M fair, 30M good, and 20M through 10M still excellent. The counterpoises help slightly on the lower bands, but it's still disconcerting when someone you just worked easily on 20M, and is coming in S9 plus on 80M, can't hear you at all. Most of the power on that band gets eaten up in the Alpha Match (which gets warm to the touch). Still, that's the nature of the antenna, and on the whole, still satisfied...
 
VK3HOT Rating: 5/5 Aug 21, 2015 23:26 Send this review to a friend
Another Apha triumph!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased second hand from a fellow VK, set up took minutes and I added two counterpointed wires. First call on 20 SSB to a ZL with virtually unreadable copy from his end, second call a while later this afternoon netted a UA4 with a 5/5 report. Running a barefoot Icom 736 into this antenna, so far happy with the results. Nice workmanship as expected from Steve' s products, this is my second Alpha antenna and would recommend to anyone.
 
KB3RX Rating: 5/5 Jul 17, 2015 10:02 Send this review to a friend
Works as advertised  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Set up and teardown is quick and easy. Great for mountain topping. 'Saves the day' when the soil is so hard it's next to impossible to drive a big stake for an antenna pole. I use three 5 lb. ankle weights on the tripod legs and the counterpoise kit, and it hasn't blown over yet even in a stiff breeze. I like the mil-stick better than telescoping verticals.
With the counterpoise kit, I can tune 80-10M with the exception of 17M with my rig's built-in tuner.
Heck, I even use it when I could drive a stake and erect a pole for my G5RV jr dipole, because it's so easy to set up.
I've worked Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa on 20 thru 10 from eastern PA when the bands are open. Not bad for a 13' vertical radiator on a 6 1/2' mast.
Great value for the money when compared to other portable antenna options such as the 'stick' dipoles and others. No need to get out of the chair and fuss with coils to QSY between bands.
Yes, it won't pick up very weak stations as well as a portable wire antenna. But, 'if you can hear them, you can work them' with 100W.
Satisfied customer of a Made in the USA product.

 
W4RAA Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2015 00:39 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had been looking for a portable antenna system to use for field day and to take with me when I travel. I purchased the 6-80 meter vertical system along with the counterpoise and NVIS.
The other day in preparation for field day I setup my equipment out in the yard under FD operating conditions. The bands have not been in the greatest condition lately and I wasn't expecting too much. I had the complete vertical system setup to include the counterpoise and NVIS.
To my surprise I made multiple QSOs on 17 and 20 meters to Italy, Puerto Rico, Arkansas, Texas, Netherlands and Mexico running 35 to 55 watts. I was no less then S5 all the up to S10+5 on their end and I had no problem at all on the my end hearing them. This is one great portable antenna system. I can't wait for Field Day to give it a workout.
 
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