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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | Alpha Antenna 6-80 Meter EzMilitary system Help


Reviews Summary for Alpha Antenna 6-80 Meter EzMilitary system
Alpha Antenna 6-80 Meter EzMilitary system Reviews: 43 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $249
Description: Rated for operations from QRP to 500 watts, the pencil thin 13' MilStick whip and associated components of the EzMilitary antenna enables you to achieve a SWR of 1.1:1 on 6-80 meters by pressing a single button on your broadband antenna tuner. Our design also allows 60 second deployment and is rated and TESTED to withstand an F1 tornado. Simply mount it closer to the ground to enhance NVIS performance or mount it higher to enhance DX type performance (minimum height is 18 inches and there is no maximum height).
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.amateurradiostore.com/
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You can write your own review of the Alpha Antenna 6-80 Meter EzMilitary system.

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N7XLR Rating: 0/5 Jul 22, 2016 06:46 Send this review to a friend
It broke!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is the worst antenna I have ever used. It did last a little over a year, and performed adequately, though not really any better than a Hamstick on my truck. Just a few weeks out of warranty, the whole top of the "alpha match" broke out. It is made out of cheap Schedule 40 PVC. In fact it is actually made out of common pipe fittings available at Home Depot for a few dollars. The whip, while very light when folded, puts a lot of stress on the cheap PVC base when extended. It tends to sway back and forth in even a slight breeze. I consider this both a bad design, and the materials are awful. A PVC cap was not designed to support a 13" mast swaying in the breeze. I live in an area where I cannot put up a permanent antenna. I am now considering the Chameleon antenna. If anyone has a better idea please let me know. 73s, Jerry, N7XLR
 
K9CIZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 4, 2016 11:05 Send this review to a friend
4.5/5 - Was good, then they did better  Time owned: more than 12 months
Back when I operated, I used electical grease on the elements inserts to ensure continuity. The MilStick whip and Counterpoise would connect to the Alpha Match that sits on the Jaw Mount, which all deployed quickly from the 16 inch bag, to form an ingeniously designed OCF dipole. Once deployed, it would consistently out perform other similar systems when compared on an A/B switch, which is likely because the 13 foot element is the longest ALUMINUM whip that is included as a standard configuration of any portable system. The whole antenna system even repackaged easily back into the 16 inch bag! I learned this system could even operate mobile with a 5 foot whip and that it could be an EndFed antenna that requires no antenna tuner be used. Overall, I experienced only fast/good technical support from Alpha, where never did I hear a negative word, even when given the opportunity. In the end, this system was a better performer than my G5RV, but it didn't out perform my 20 and 40 meter fan dipole between two trees at 30 feet. So, if you set your expectations appropriately, then you'll likely rate this antenna a 5/5, but the only affordable alternative that would likely exceed my 4.5/5 expectations/experience is the Alpha Multiband system. If you've not gotten a chance to see it, then it would serve you well to go to their web site and take a look at the well written technical manual.
 
WA7SGS Rating: 5/5 Jun 30, 2016 16:16 Send this review to a friend
FD 2016 showed how well the antenna would work  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Having bought the Alpha EZ Military with the NVIS wire and then adding the 80m 60' wire, I wondered how FD 2016 would go.

At 5:30 PM PT, with no one on 80m other than a casual state net with most members being in the Willamette Valley and me being in the Oregon Coast's biggest radio hole (Port Orford), I successfully completed a 5x8 QSO with an operator in Cottage Grove. Had I been set up for emcomm in my home QTH of North Bend, this result projects into a successful contact with the state EOC in Salem.

As funny as it sounds, my shortest QSO was the one that made me the happiest! The antenna system performed as well as I hoped. On 20m and 40m I also was able to make contact with Alaska, Alberta, Southern California and Ohio. The power being used was 50W with the radio being a Kenwood TS-50. Power came from an Aspect Solar 300 unit.
 
WB2MSB Rating: 5/5 May 31, 2016 17:21 Send this review to a friend
Fast set up and it works!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been using the alpha EZ military vertical for about a month now. On my deck, at the beach and in the woods. With and without the counterpoise. Set on a 5ft metal mast and just clamped to a wooden fence. With a Yeasu FT450d most bands are tunable with the internal tuner down to 1.2 or better. A few frequencies needed an external tuner but also got down to 1.1 or 1.3. The best idea I had (though it may be obvious to smarter Hams than me) is that I purchased some 3/8-24 wing nuts to use with the mounting bolt instead of the plain nut (which I kept dropping). I carry this antenna in my go box along with a 40m end fed Zep, but the Alpha EZ works better in most situations. They should make the bag a little bigger to allow easier packing and some room for a coax.
 
AJ4VC Rating: 5/5 May 22, 2016 08:54 Send this review to a friend
impressed by quality of materials, easy setup and performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was looking for an antenna system that is quick and easy to deploy, a good performer and made of quality materials. The Alpha 6-80M EzMilitary Gold system meets all requirements and more! I plan to use the antenna system primarily for camping trips as well as Field Day activities. I have just begun to use the antenna system and early results are most encouraging. I like the ability to configure multiple antenna systems from this one compact package. Also, I must mention that reception using this system is fantastic. I plan to add a follow-up review once I have used the system more. Finally, and importantly, you will not find better customer service than that found with Steve. He is readily available to answer any questions you may have and shipment is very timely via USPS Priority Mail.
 
K4OKI Rating: 5/5 May 11, 2016 12:47 Send this review to a friend
My 11 year old set it up and worked a DX PILE-UP  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This antenna system can be set up numerous ways depending on what you want to do, whether you want to work local HF, call DX or just get on the air and make contacts. The other plus to the antenna system is the versatility it offers depending on the environment you are operating in. It is easy to transport, set up, use and pack back up when you are done with it. Yes the components actually fit back in the bag. You don't need to fight with it, running the risk of damaging things.

My 11 year old daughter set the antenna up by herself in about 5 minutes and she was on the air (with me by her side). In moments she was working a mini pileup (it lasted a solid 15 minutes before she needed a break... She actually had to call her Grandpa to tell him all about "her pile-up"). She was beyond excited! Most of the stations coming back to her were Switzerland, Romania, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic as well as Argentina and Bonaire Island. The antenna performed as described and advertised.

My experience with customer service was top notch when I called and placed my order.
 
N7MHZ Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2016 07:20 Send this review to a friend
Update to previous review, better than I thought!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is an update to my previous review, even though I gave it 5 stars, wish I could give it 10! This thing just performs and does it VERY well. I've worked about 10 countries and several states, (lost count after 20) and just super fun. This has a very distinct purpose, to get you on the air and making contacts, FAST!!! I've gone to lengthening the provided counterpoise wire and boosted it up higher using a extension painters pole and just killer performance. Fantastic receive antenna and super quiet unlike the wires or slopers I've tried. Steve provides fantastic after sale care as well, very important in any business where the landscape is filled with businesses that sell a product and if issue, questions etc, you have to chase them. Not these guys, top notch.
 
W0MGA Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2016 05:25 Send this review to a friend
Easy, fast, fun, and it works!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am very pleased with the Alpha Antenna 6-80 Meter EzMilitary "system." Purchased the Gold version that includes the tripod.

The system is extremely easy to deploy: under 5 minutes on the tripod. I work only portable, so this system is awesome for me as I live in an HOA restricted neighborhood and a XYL restricted house.

Deployed the system using the vertical whip each day over the past couple of weekends in a couple of different locations with great results. I did add the 4 additional counterpoise kit to the standard set up which improved the performance for me.

Despite the poor band conditions in most of April, we were able to make great contacts both in Europe and US. I worked this weekend (Apr 30/May 1) over 12 hours Saturday and Sunday with awesome results: Spain, Wales, Scotland, Croatia, Slovenia, Catalina Island, Martinique, many US QSO etc.. Worked 10, 17, 20, and 40m.

Prior to purchasing the Alpha Antenna 6-80 Meter EzMilitary system, I communicated with Steve N0TES. Also, had questions after receiving the antenna and Steve was very prompt with his responses. I appreciate the prompt responses, many which occurred at odd hours.

The Alpha Antenna 6-80 Meter EzMilitary system is just what I have been looking for.
 
N2SRK Rating: 5/5 Apr 28, 2016 20:58 Send this review to a friend
A "Must" for any backpacker/QRPer, E-Comms  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had the opportunity to deploy the EZ Military antenna this past weekend. After 22" of snow a week ago, the time was right to enjoy plenty of sunshine and 60F temps.

Band conditions last week were less than desirable. Nonetheless, the weather was a fair balance to the poor conditions. From Colorado, on 5W output, my first three contacts were to France, Spain, and Mexico. Not bad for 5W and poor band conditions.

Setup took less than 3 minutes to set up the whip, counterpoise, and jaw clamp. The construction of the product is solid. Can you throw it around and abuse it? No, but why would you? Will it withstand steady wind gusts? Sure will. Had a several 25mph gusts in the hour I was playing radio. No issue whatsoever.

The compact size and great carry bag makes this my "must" have for any outdoor excursion to the backyard, mountain-top, or the park. If you live in a HOA that has issues with antennas, this is the perfect option for a quick setup/takedown antenna that will appease the neighbors and HOA enforcers.

The name doesn't sell the product, the proof-in-pattern performance sells this product. Look at the other reviews and the huge majority of reviews echo the same sentiments. Steve, N0TES, and the team at Alpha Antenna are top notch and were very quick to respond to a basic question I had. They have a customer for life.
 
OH8STN Rating: 2/5 Apr 25, 2016 23:34 Send this review to a friend
Buzzwords sell products!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hello all
This is OH8STN from the YouTube channel SurvivalTech Nord. Ive been a licenced ham since 1999 and hold the US equivalent to an Extra class ticket.

Recently I had the opportunity to do a 4 part video series on YouTube comparing the Alpha EZ Military system and the Chameleon MPAS (Hybrid Micro, MIL Whip, Jaw Clamp) entitled "Alpha EZ Military vs Chameleon MPAS". The final part of the series is to post my findings for both antennas here on eham.net, to inure people get good, valid, objective information about each product.

First of all this is not my first antenna system of this kind. In addition to the Alpha EZ Military, I also own antenna systems from MFJ, Cross Country Wireless, Chameleon Antenna, SOTABeams, and many others. So I am well versed in rapid deployment shortened whip antennas such as this.

The Alpha EZ Military Gold package was the sent to me for review by Steve from Alpha Antennas. The promise was to compare quality, workmanship, materials, performance and value for money, against the Chameleon Hybrid Micro, and MIL Whip. Honestly I thought this would be an easy comparison since the two systems are almost exactly alike. I could not have been more wrong.

Lets go through the good things first.
This is a shortened whip antenna system. Essentially and endfed random wire antenna with collapsible whip antenna. Its main purpose is to be rapidily deployed in less than ideal location. It does this and it does this very well. The system is fast to deploy, and tear down is even easier. It comes packed in a small tripod bag, making storage and carrying simple. This is about the extent of the positive attributes of the system.

Starting with the Alpha MIlStick Whip. This is an anodised 12 section tent pole, with aluminum inserts between the sections, which are also anodised. There is also a 6 section tent pole alternative. The reason I mention the anodizing is using a simple multimeter, one can check the inserts between the pole sections for continuity, you will find that there is NONE! There are two place where you will find continuity other than the ferrule. The absolute edges of each section, and the pins holding those sections in. This is where Alpha will tell you to put your multimeter probes. The MilStick whip relies on the bungee cord to insure proper seating of the sections, and continuity between them, while all other antennas I’ve tested insure continuity on all contact surfaces!!! This is the reason you’re told to replace the bungee over time. Failing to do so could mean you’re not using the entire Whip, so take it seriously!

Continuing on with the MilStick. The ferrule is just a long 3/8-24 nut, tapped from the side to insert the setscrew. During my inspection of the MilStick whip, I found the set screw to be a poor way of insuring the pole section remains in the ferulle, since the setscrew itself can work itself loose. No lock tight or other means was applied to the set screw. It’s possible to over tighten and is sometimes delivered already stripped. Certainly a weak point for a system meant for field deployment.

The Alpha match.
Upon receiving the system, there was a strong chemical smell coming from the kit. I later realised this was the paint used on the Alpha match to paint it black. The system had to stand outside for 12 days before the smell was soft enough to store the system in the house. Never mind that for now. The Alpha match is made from Schedule 40 plumbing cap (Top cover) and schedule 40 plumbing plug (bottom cover). These two schedule 40 fittings are press fit and sealed together using PVC cement used in plumbing.
Inside the Alpha Match is a 5:1 unun for matching purposes. The unun is made from stranded outdoor electrical wire, split apart from its moulded pair. The wire ends are crimped (Not Soldered). The transformer was made from ½ inch copper plumbing pipe, with 6 ferrites held in place with hot glue. There is a copper cross bar holding the Transformer in place. The transformer is not insulated, and can short out with a heavy hit or repeated rough handling of the unit. Top and bottom bolts are stainless steel with the top bolt being held into place with locking washer. The SO239 is a zinc plated standard type found everywhere.

The EMCOMM and NVIS elements.
These wires are made of the same outdoor gardening wire as used inside the Alpha match. During my tests I found them unable to handle extreme cold, becoming brittle and cracking. The cable is also very heavy! The cable seems to stretch when strung out for longer periods. The ends of the cables are done using zip ties and shrink tubed. I informed Alpha about the poor quality cable. Steve said they would update the cable in the future. He would not provide a data sheet for the currently used cable, or the cable Alpha plans to upgrade to. Another issue with the cable is memory. The cable wants to curl up on itself. This happens because it was split from its pair and delivered as a rolled coil, with no wire winder. I would suggest not buying the wires and making the Emcomm, NVIS and counterpose kit yourself with quality wire, on wire winders.
With the similarities in the system, we were trying to figure out why there was a lack of intermediate range stations during my testing. Steve and I concluded that the counterpoise system is inadequate for the Alpha Match MilStick combination. Back to that in a moment. The counterpoise kit which came with the kit has 3x counterpoise wires, each fitted with a cheap tent stake. This counterpoise was not sufficient to maximise performance with the system.

The counterpoise system is too short with too few elements. I tested the Milstick and Alpha match with the Chameleon counterpoise kit 25ft x4 elements which significantly improved SNR of receiving stations during my WSPR testing. Like the EMCOMM and NVIS elements, cable ends are done using heat shrink and zip ties. My recommendation is make your own 4x 25ft counterpoise kit using quality wire on wire winders.

Performance
Performance wasn't bad for this type of antenna. The goal for an antenna of this design is rapid deployment and portability. So we are not comparing to full size antenna systems taking up enormous amounts of earth. Best performance was achieved using the “Emcomm” element as the radiator, and the “NVIS” element as the counterpoise to create a somewhat balanced system which doesn't use the coax as the counterpoise. In fact I had some very reasonable results with that configuration mounted horizontally between two birch trees. More wire, better performance, its that simple.

All too often it seems like eham reviews are done by people who say things like, “Ive only tried it on 10 meters”, or “I just got it and it looks great”or “Thanks for making a great kit, I haven't tried it yet, but I think its going to be excellent”. I'm really wondering if any one actually inspects these systems before reviewing!? The simple truth is, this is almost the worst built system I have ever seen. Design goals for this system were “cheap and easy to manufacture”. The buzzwords Military, EMComm, NVIS, have actually nothing to do with the materials, quality, ruggedness of this product.

The bottom line is. The Alpha EZ Military is a gimmick! Certainly it does work, but quality, craftsmanship, manufacturing pride were not things considered important during the design and manufacturing of this system. The system has a distinct homebrew look and feel and rightfully so, as it is actually possible to make the alpha match in your garage with a few bucks worth of screws, bolts, wires, copper, end caps, and a UHF connector.
Should you buy it? That depends on your requirements. As someone who routinely operates in the back country, I would not take this system too far off the beaten path. What about the YouTube videos? Ask yourself why the comments are disabled!

I've documented all of my findings. If you'd like to view my video series and detailed information to support my findings, please watch my Alpha EZ Military vs Chameleon MPAS series on YouTube here. Alpha EZ Military vs Chameleon MPAS [Complete Series]: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKMrdrsNkFA75xg_f37tc96pqYA_VRH8h
I really enjoy eHam, but it should not be a replacement for good product research!
73 de OH8STN
 
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