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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | Van Gordon Shorty All-Bander dipole Help

Reviews Summary for Van Gordon Shorty All-Bander dipole
Van Gordon Shorty All-Bander dipole Reviews: 14 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $$44.95
Description: 70' dipole with loading coils and fed with 450 ohm ladderline.
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Van Gordon Shorty All-Bander dipole.

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KD8IIC Rating: 1/5 Jan 23, 2011 03:58 Send this review to a friend
Took It Down.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Got me on 75 in a pinch,months later the hardware was rusty and was not trash can.Build your own and learn..73 Lane
K8CPA Rating: 3/5 May 9, 2009 21:55 Send this review to a friend
Headed for the trash now, but worked good for 4 years  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned one and as I said before. I bought it back, originally in 2000, after the fast code for general class was dropped. It worked, for what it was. Finally, she winked the dashboard in 2004. First the feed like broke, and I got that fixed, then, a support rope broke and the RX in the radio would cut out. I thought it was the radio, but it wasn't, it was the antenna.

So, she's sitting out there, tied up against the tower and will be tossed in the garbage, when the new antenna goes up here in a few weeks.

The straight an honest truth, is this; if you want a good antenna, BUILD ONE! Don't buy these pre-fab wires inventions and expect miracles. I wish I'd done this in the first place. I would have saved myself a bunch of trouble and money.

Anyhow, it was a good "first antenna", but I've learned much sense that time.

73 and GOOD DX!

-Chuck K8CPA

W3DBJ Rating: 4/5 Feb 8, 2009 21:44 Send this review to a friend
Works as advertised, but needs minor modifications  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have used the "Shorty" on bands from 10 through 160 - It was impossible to tune on 160 as it came in the packaging, but a simple modification was all it took.

Ditching the ladder line completely, and using a 9:1 balun as the dipole center, feeding with RG213, not only does the 40m issue go away, but it "flattens" the VSWR curve some. I can tune the antenna on the voice frequencies on 80/40/20 and tune 50 kc's either way and still be 1.5:1 or under. On 160, it tunes fine, but is VERY sensitive so you have no room to manouver at all.

I am very active on the 3905 Century Club WAS nets on 160 and 80 and this is the only antenna I have at the QTH.

Right now though, I have a waterlogged balun, but that's no fault of Van Gordon's design, but the balun I made not being adequately waterproofed - my fault.

As always, your mileage may vary

NM2K Rating: 5/5 Nov 3, 2008 13:22 Send this review to a friend
Terrific - but Not for the feint of heart...  Time owned: more than 12 months
How this antenna is erected, which tuner you use, which 4:1 balun you use and how patient you are when tuning all play significant roles in how happy you will be with this, or any other antenna using a 450 twinlead feedline. If a beginner has patience and is willing to reconfigure the antenna until it works, it will work as advertised. However, like any other antenna, its surroundings can sometimes cause problems that cannot be overcome with a simple rearrangement of things. Being shorter, it will be even more sensitive than a larger, resonant antenna for a given band. By the way, my Shorty All Bander came assembled. When did they change to making the buyer assemble it? I'm now using the full size (102') All Bander and it works from DC to light. It even works exceptionally well on six meters. Good luck with your All Banders, both full size and the Shorty.
NM2K Rating: 5/5 Oct 9, 2007 22:32 Send this review to a friend
Great for small sites  Time owned: more than 12 months
I began using my Shorty All Bander in the mid nineties and used it right up until 1998 when I moved to GA and bought the larger brother without the loading coils.

When using the Shorty, I had the apex of the antenna up about 45' with the legs of the antenna sloping downward in an inverted vee with the ends of the antenna about 12' off the ground in my backyard. The vee of the antenna was pointed southeast.

I used an MFJ 989C roller inductor 3kw tuner and was able to tune from 160 meters continuously thru 10 meters and some portions of 6 meters without a problem. I used about 40' of the 450 ohm twinlead that came with the antenna.

I did not notice any attenuation of the 40 meter band as many have reported. I suspect that this has to do with the different configurations the antenna is mounted in.

While I am currently running the full size All Bander, I would like to pick up the Shorty All Bander in order to pirate its coils for my present antenna. Let me know if you want to sell your coils or your entire antenna. I'm buying.

Ed, NM2K (
KF4JSR Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2006 18:52 Send this review to a friend
Lots of DX  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Being new to HF, I have nothing to compare this to, but this will probably be my antenna for a long time, or until the weather destroys it...I live in Florida, after all.

It is weak on 40 meters, but everywhere else, no problem. I've made lots of DX contacts in my short, short HF career so far. I'm running only 100 watts from my Yaesu FT-857D, and I'm enjoying the whole experience, and the antenna seems to be a very strong part of the station.

I have a small lot, so a 'regular' size dipole wouldn't work. I'm also surrounded and covered by oak trees, so I had to manipulate the shorty over and under some limbs, but I still manage to be getting out fine. I have had not much difficulty breaking through DX pileups, even with this modest setup. That's part of the this day of kilowatt stations with directional beams, I'm more than happy to be one of the oddballs who get the job done with the simplest of stations.

I'd highly recommend this antenna for those who are spacially challenged. As a sidenote, for 40 meters I use a slinky dipole....the 2-40 model, which is usually available on Ebay. I'll put a review on that antenna as I use it more.


KC0GLA Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2005 22:41 Send this review to a friend
Good shortened Flat Top  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I put this antenna up this fall. I have had no filures due to wind even at 70MPH. I have one major gripe which is expected for this antenna which is 40M is weak since the signal is right in the loading coils.

I have this antenna in a inverted V at the 35 ft level and performs like most flat tops. The signals heard on 80M are great. The only band that is weak is 40 which could be fixed if the antenna was configured as a Marconi.

I use a LDG AT-100 tuner and am able to tune the antenna on all the bands except 160. I am shure if I set the antenna up as a Marconi it would work.

Also to make this antenna work with a coax tuner you need a 4:1 balun and to leave at least 50ft of ladder.
N1YZ Rating: 4/5 Aug 10, 2004 08:21 Send this review to a friend
A very useful antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
My Shorty has been up for over two years in an inverted V. The apex is now up 33 feet, with one end about 15 feet off the ground and the other end about 12 feet high.

At first it was tricky to get it to load. I used the entire 100' of 450 ohm ladder line, and actually added about 7 more feet to enable the antenna to load on all bands from 80m - 10m. This took a bit of experimentation and time, but once adjusted the antenna has been a dream.

This is the only HF antenna at this site and I've given it a work out. I've worked over 90 countries, all 50 states, and continue to have a lot of fun on this antenna. I join a local 10 meter net regularly, and check in to the 80m traffic nets weekly.

The only tweaking I have to do is with my MFJ 962-D tuner. If the feed line gets moved in the yard (due to mowing the grass, etc), the inductance setting, antenna setting, and the transmitter setting all have to be fine tuned.


Rod, N1YZ
K8SWD Rating: 3/5 Oct 15, 2003 14:49 Send this review to a friend
OK antenna for what it is!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this little antenna several years ago for portable/deer camp use. The instructions were pretty easy to follow and all parts were well packaged and went together well. It is basically a 44' W4RNL ladder line fed dipole, with some loading coils and a bit of wire get 80 meters as well, without going to 88' total length, thus keeping the total length to 70'. I hate working with the hard drawn "antenna" wire as it is too "springy" and does not pack well for portable use, but this antenna has manageable lengths.

The first time I used this antenna it was up a 35' fiberglass mast inverted V with the ends about 20' off the ground. I had a heck of a time tuning it with my MFJ-969 tuner. This tuner uses 2 capacitors and a roller inductor. It was really finicky as to the setting, and even though I wrote them down, I still had to spend cosiderable time tweaking the settings. I swapped out this tuner for an MFJ-986 which has a much larger roller inductor and only one large cap. Tuning was much more easier and quicker to accomplish. I had a good time at deer camp that year. I used the supplied 100' of ladder line both years.

The antenna sat idle for about a year or so and then I saw an email looking for instructions/dimensions which reminded me I had this antenna. I dug it out and hooked it up to a tower in a sloping configurations, one end at 40' and the other about 10' off the ground. I cut the ladder line to about 30' or so and hooked it to a W9INN remote balun box, then ran coax to the shack where I had an FT817 and an LDG-Z11 hooked to it. The LDG autotuner would easily find a match on any frequency within its specs (but not on 160--the antenna was not designed for 160). The antenna worked OK--but was directional and significantly down from a 160 meter ladder line fed dipole I have at 100 feet. This was expected however, so I was not disappointed.

I would buy this antenna again over a G5RV (which I have never owned) IF I had limited space and needed 80 meters. If I could go flat top at least 66' feet up and had 90' of horizontal room, then I would skip this antenna and simply put up an 88' foot dipole fed with 300 or 450 ohm line. I would not buy a G5RV unless 20 meters was my main objective.

I need to think up a quick disconnect function to shed the coils and extra wire so I can simply use the antenna 10 thru 40 on day-time portable adventures when I have the time and space to put up a decent antenna and want a better signal than I can get with my W3FF Buddipole.

For 160 meter band use, this antenna can be used as a top loaded T over station ground or radials by simply shorting the 450 ohm line at the tuner. It is a waste of time if you don't have a decent radial system under it IMHO and you are dreaming if you thought you could use a tuner to use this antenna on 160 meters and not short the feed line. Stretching a G5RV to 80 meters with a tuner is one thing, but expecting this antenna to work on 160 meters is a dream that won't come true!
KC9CGF Rating: 1/5 May 5, 2003 12:06 Send this review to a friend
Van Gorden no bander  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I think the Van Gorden shorty all bander is the worst antenna I have ever seen. I have tried everything everybody else has and some of my own and I can't get it to load decent on half the bands and not at all on 160 and 10 meters. I would never buy another product from Van Gorden because of the experience with this antenna.
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