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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Verticals and Wire | Alpha Delta DXLB Plus Help


Reviews Summary for Alpha Delta DXLB Plus
Alpha Delta DXLB Plus Reviews: 26 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $149.00
Description: 160 through 10 meter "trapless" dipole
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.alphadeltacom.com
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KC9NCS Rating: 3/5 Apr 29, 2013 08:11 Send this review to a friend
Update from previous review   Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this antenna up for just over 3 years now and after reading the more recent reviews I thought an update was in order.

Overall I've been "satisfied" with the antenna's performance. I have over 100 countries (confirmed) with it. Up to recently I've had no issues with its performance which has degraded rapidly over the last few months. Upon lowering the antenna here's what I found:

- While hard to see from 50' below the apex of the antenna, the cause of my inability to tune 40/75/160 became readily apparent when I lowered the antenna. The 10M wire was just "hooked on" the bolts on both sides of the antenna. The terminal for the 20M wire used crappy terminal connectors that were crimped (not soldered) and had corroded to the point of breaking. This to me is just "crappy craftsmanship" by the manufacturer.

- 40/75/160 had stopped functioning because their terminal connectors had corroded through and broken off.

- The original Alpha-Delta balun had cracked allowing water to penetrate it and corroded the connections inside. This also allowed water to leak into the coax connector. As I swept the coax with an analyzer, it had lost its electrical properties showing 0 ohms. I'm still stumped as to how it even worked these last few months.

Rather than throw the antenna away I decided to fix it putting in some fixes I thought it should've had in the first place. Being I was a "new ham" and put the wire up in the winter three years ago, I should've done what I'm about to describe anyway. But then again, the excitement of being a "new ham" and not knowing what I didn't know then really didn't help the situation much.

- First order of business was to snip off the old connectors from each wire and put on stainless steel terminal connectors. All new connectors were crimped AND soldered, which is what they should've been in the first place.

- Replaced the bolts through the balun to be stainless steel also. Weather proofed the connections using liquid coax tape.

- Replaced the 1:1 balun which had corroded with a new 1:1 balun and weather proofed it inside the housing, Sealed the outer housing by pvc gluing it back together, also gluing the outside of the balun.

- Mounted the balun to a high quality, high density plastic cutting board which I stole from the wife's kitchen and quickly cut to the size I needed. In addition to mounting the balun to the cutting board, I drilled a few holes above and below the balun to create a path for a coax drip loop. This also took much of the weight off the coax and put it on the cutting board itself.

- Checked the 80/160 coils and finding corrosion on those, removed the minimum wire required to eliminate the corroded connection, replaced all screws with stainless steel, and weatherproofed all connections.

- Before putting back in the air, I took a large plastic milk jug and fashioned it as an "umbrella" over the balun and cutting board. Drilled a hole in the cap of the jug for the rope to go through, and slits on the sides for the wires to fit through. Placed the plastic jug over the board and balun, re-connected my rope and sealed the cap of the milk jug back up with hot wax. Once the glue was dried, I sprayed the top of the jug with a hose to confirm water wasn't leaking down the rope into the balun or getting the PL-259 wet. All good.

Once back in the air, re-swept the coax and antenna with an analyzer to get the following results:



10M 28.300 - 28.750 SWR 1.2:1 Slow arc up to 2:1 at 28.850

20M 14.150 - 14.275 SWR 1.1:1. SWR @ 14.350 1.6:1

40M 7.075 - 7.250 SWR 1.1:1. SWR never exceeds 1.3 across the entire 40M band.

75M 3.870 - 3.895 SWR 1.1:1 SWR rapidly reaches 1.5:1 +/- 5 beyond 3.870/3.895

160M SWR 1.1:1 @ 1.930. +/- 3, SWR rapidly exceeds 2:1 then 3:1.

Others comments about this antenna being very narrow banded on 75/80/160 are exactly correct. "It is what it is" given the wire this antenna uses, 14 ga solid. There's no substitute for a good antenna tuner (I use a Palstar AT2K) to tune the wire up/down band on 75/80/160.

I'm happy again now that it's back up in the air with new coax doing what it's supposed to do. I don't regret buying the product, rather I wish I'd had the experience then that I do now to put the fixes I described above in, in the first place.

My Alpha-Delta DX LB Plus is mounted as an Inverted V, 50' at the apex with each foot @ 20' above ground. Antenna analyzer shows 47-53 ohms, depending on which band I'm on.

If you're considering buying the Alpha-Delta DX LB Plus, consider the "fixes" I describe above to extend its life before you hoist it into the air. Especially if you live in the midwest like I do.

 
N7BPA Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2012 23:13 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a DXLB+ and put it up for 160 meter coverage. It works great! I had to shortwn it up to get it up to 1.838 for JT65. It was down around 1.795 stock. I had to add about a 19" stinger, on both sides, on the 80 meter wire to get it down to 3.576 JT65. It cound be a little longer on the 80 meter wire. I replaced a DXCC with the DXLB. When I took the DXCC down I noticed that the 80 meter coil was burnt and a few turns were loose on the coil form. I have been running a lot of RTTY, PSK, and JT65, at a higher power, but I never thought it woud burn up the coil. It just burnt one side. I called Alpha Delta and they want $40 for the coil. It worked when I took it down, so I think I will try it out at my other home in Utah before I buy another coil. It seems a little steep price wise.
Both antennas are great antennas, but it takes a little time to put it together. I wish they would have offered an update kit for the DXCC to the DXLB. Then it would have been easier to add the 160 meter coils and wire.
 
N2EAC Rating: 2/5 Feb 29, 2012 20:11 Send this review to a friend
Poor Performance on 160m  Time owned: more than 12 months
This antenna works fine as long as you do not expect good performance on 160m or 80m. It will drive the best antenna tuners crazy on 160m and give you marginal performance on 80m. Otherwise, I think it is relatively well constructed for use on the other bands. The antenna is what it is, a compromise antenna. It is expensive and candidly, I was very disappointed with its performance, finally got fed up and took it down replacing it with a Cobra Sr. (review written).

73, Ed, N2EAC
 
VE4TTH Rating: 5/5 Dec 8, 2011 13:13 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The reception on all bands is exceptional, 40 - 20 - 10 Meters is nearly flat with an SWR of under 1.2 for over 50 percent of the bands, and under 1.5/1.7 for the remainder of the three bands listed.

It does have a narrow bandwith on 80 and 160 meters, but that was expected and clearly stated in the sales literature. I was surprised that I could still use 18 - 15 - 12 and 6 meters? The SWR is up around 3.5 - 5.0, but with the antenna tuner built into my Kenwood TS-2000, it's well within its range. I made a contact a few days ago to the North West Territories on 18 meters, and my signal report was 59 plus 10db running only 100 watts.

I have the antenna mounted in an inverted V, the apex is 55 feet up with the ends at about 22 feet. Tuning it to the desired bands is easy, but follow the instructions and DO NOT CUT the antenna, just fold it back and twist it secure.

73
VE4TTH
 
WV4I Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2010 01:30 Send this review to a friend
Well made antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Alpha Deltas are very well made antennas, using heavy duty center connectors and #14 solid wire. They easily go together in about an hour.

The stated power limits are 600W CW/PEP for 80/160, and 1kw CW/PEP 40-10M. Attic/indoor, 100W. Outdoors, I suppose the limiting factor is the coils from reading other reviews?

I have mine up in a slightly inverted vee, with the apex at 30', ends at 10'. I do NOT have a coax choke at feed point yet...put up on Friday just in time for CQWW SSB :).

Rough measurements using SWR sweep function of IC-746Pro, 2:1 BW:

160M: 1.8-1.82
80M:3790-3840
40M: entire band, most <1.5:1
30M: >2:1
20M: entire band, most <1.5:1
17M: >2:1
15M: >2:1 entire band
12M: >2:1 entire band
10M: 28.050-28.550

Obviously something is happening on 15M, and getting some RF into shack on that band. As 15M on this model antenna is derived from 40M section, and 40M works so well, I probably have a feedline length problem, local interaction, something, on that band.

Overall, a very nice antenna, and no surprise that it played VERY well in CQWW SSB, on all non-WARC bands except 15M.

 
W9CPI Rating: 5/5 Jun 16, 2010 09:18 Send this review to a friend
Durable and gets out  Time owned: more than 12 months
It has worked great for me in Illinois for 1.5 years as my only antenna. It's up as an inverted vee, 40 ft at center. I made WAS and DXCC with 100w, and finished 5th in W9 area in WPX CW contest, all band low power. I run it on all bands 160 through 10 meters. Before moving back to Paraguay I finished with 144 countries: 63 on phone, 134 on CW, and 87 on RTTY. I had 36 states on 160m. I would buy this model again.
 
N2DTS Rating: 4/5 May 7, 2009 17:01 Send this review to a friend
watch the power  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I melted the 160 and 80 meter coils running 300 watts of AM.
I removed the 160 and 80 meter parts because the plastic the coils were wound on stretched much longer than they were and unwound the coils.

It works very well if you keep the power (and duty cycle) down.
 
KC8QMF Rating: 5/5 Apr 17, 2009 18:29 Send this review to a friend
Great for small city lots.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Purchased this antenna about six months ago.
I have been very happy with the performance so far. It is narrow in the 160 band (20kz) but was very easy to assemble. It performs well on all bands with a wide ranging tuner. I have it installed in the inverted v position at 40ft. in the apex and 15ft. on the ends.
My first time with 160 capability's. So far have worked out to 1800 miles from western Ohio.
We only run 100 watts and do mostly CW.
All in all alot better than G5RV that was installed before.
This antenna is very well made and is built to last in harsh weather conditions.
If your looking for a REAL all band antenna, this could be the one for you. It will not have the signal of a 2 wave length wire but you will be heard on 160. Also just a little high in price,but Hey, I'm on the air!!!

Mike/KC8QMF
 
VE3FDT Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2009 00:07 Send this review to a friend
Excellent!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just over 3 years ago I decided to get back to Ham radio after a more than 20 years break. For the first 2 years I operated without an amplifier and with a "simple" DX-LB+ dipole. Am I happy with the results? Unequivocally: yes! I honestly believe that DX-LB+ was a major contributor to my 200+ DXCC entities in the first 6 months and 250+ DXCC entities in the first 2 years.

The DXLB+ works well on the 6 bands from 160m (very narrow on 1.8 MHz!) to 10m. Somewhat worse on the WARC bands (30, 17, 12). Total overall length is 100ft (50ft per leg). This was a major reason for my choice, since I am on a "postage stamp size" city lot.

Assembly is really straightforward. I was able to assemble the antenna in about 30 minutes. Instructions are simple and, in fact, the antenna is simple enough to put together without instructions.

I installed the DX-LB+ in a truly strange inverted V configuration. (Due to my “city lot” it is hanged active arm horizontally NNE-SSW at 25 feet, some 6 feet below my roof line, on one side of my house and grounded arm sloping down 60 degrees and 120 degrees in vertical projection toward NS just to hit the corner of my lot). Trust me, it is weird: nothing short of miracle that it works at all. I run high quality RG8X into the shack.

Performance: with just this antenna and never exceeding 100 Watts I clocked 207 worked DXCC entities in 6 months, 209 in 7, 212 in 10 months aand then started reaching saturation and decided to move on to something with directivity and gain. My "lower bands" (160 - 40 meters) antenna is still DX-LB+ exclusively and I am pretty hasppy to be at my current (after 3 years): 41 worked (all continents) on 160 meters, 95 worked on 80 and 174 worked on 40 meters. It is really narrow on 160 and I am thinking about putting in a vertical for TX on this band, also it magically tunes either on the CW or on the SSB end of the 80 meters (but never on both at the same time). Yet, it is a perfect example of a "thingy" that fits the proverbial "if you don't have what you'd like, you have to like what you have". And I like it!

With it, I am able to get on the lower bands!

With the tuner, I have had no problems tuning any portions of any band (including WARC bands), with the exception of 160 meters. I am limited to the lower 40kHz of the 160 meters, even with the tuner.
 
N2DTS Rating: 4/5 Feb 4, 2009 19:18 Send this review to a friend
not bad  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I put one up today.
Its made ok, it could be made better, out of real antenna wire, but overall, its not bad.

After assembly, up at 45 feet, in a flat top (slight V due to weight), I get the following swr's...
1841 1.2-1
3824 1.2-1
7137 1.1-1
14000 1.5-1
21000 2.2-1
29.144 1.1-1

I need to shorten the antenna a bit to bring the swr within where I mostly operate. On 20 and 15, minimum swr is below the band limit.


SWR bandwidth on 160 is quite narrow, nothing you can do about that with such a short antenna, 80 meters is also somewhat narrow, the other bands are fine.
I took down the G5RV to put up the dx-lb-plus, so cant compare, but the dx-lb-plus seems quieter.
Its as good or better on 40 meters then the 40 meter dipole I have up.
The butternut verticle is about 6 or more db down on receive.

I can actualy hear signals on 160 now, even with such a short antenna, W1AW was 50 over!, and I was hearing stations all over the country.
On the G5RV, all I ever heard was static on 160.

Its very handy on receive to have an antenna you dont have to tune to listen, from 160 to 10 meters, it seems to work well as a receive antenna, I dislike tuners, so will try to get the minimum swr close to where I operate.

Brett
N2DTS



 
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