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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | Aerial-51 Model 404-UL Help


Reviews Summary for Aerial-51 Model 404-UL
Aerial-51 Model 404-UL Reviews: 8 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $$125.00
Description: Ultra Lightweight Multiband Asymmetrical Inverted-V Antenna,
covering 40/20/17/15/12/10/6m @ 200w, and 30m @ 50w. The
antenna weighs just 400g (14 oz.) including 40' of thin coax.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.spiderbeam.com/index.php?cat=c22_Wire%20Antennas.html
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AA8TK Rating: 5/5 Jul 4, 2016 16:41 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the National Park Activation Kit, which includes the OCF antenna, a fiberglass mast, guys, stakes and Dacron line. I took it on vacation with me to Michigan's upper peninsula. After seeing it up (securing the mast to the deck of the cottage where I was staying), I started making contacts and didn't stop. Granted, I had no antenna to compare it to, but after four days of operation with propagation declining, I made contacts in almost 30 countries. If you need an antenna system that is self supporting, this one fits the bill.
 
OE3GEA Rating: 4/5 Mar 30, 2016 07:03 Send this review to a friend
Excellent for holiday type portable  Time owned: more than 12 months
Since I got hold of one of the first ones manufactured. I used it at several occasions on holiday type operations, and surely will continue to. (My bigger activities were FP/OE3GEA, HI3/OE3GEA, most recent one was S5/OE3GEA.)

First of all, as (being 64) I try to travel with little luggage, I like the small weight and the transport size.
Power: it works well with my power requirements (100 W CW shortwave)
Bands: I use it on all bands 30-10m with nice results, 40 was difficult. Good reports, and fine even with DX QRP stations calling me in pileups with 5 Watts and less.
ATU: I use a small MFJ tuner which in some cases would not be needed.
Height and building/mast conditions: Seems uncomplicated. Centerpiece hanging on a rope from windows and balconies, just a bit off the wall, often not higher than 6-8m, with ends fixed on trees or even with some extra rope by a stick in the ground.
Mechanical stability: no problems yet, although particularly FP was a bit windy.

My alternative: If there is just a roftop with no space for a wire, I in addition to the 404-UL I carry a small version of the Outbacker antenna. With one of those 2 I usually get on the air, without attracting too much interest by other people living in the same place, and as it all fits well into a travel bag there are normally no questions at all from customs people. (I always do have a proper license, but still ...)
 
DD5LP Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2016 23:23 Send this review to a friend
Good quality light portable HF antenna.  Time owned: more than 12 months
One of the main requirements of a HF antenna for use portable, especially when some hiking to a portable site is involved (such as with the Summits on the Air "SOTA" scheme), is low weight.

While there exist some very good commercial and home brew antennas using resonant wire lengths with links to cover more than one band, these have the limitation of requiring the antenna to be lowered to allow a band change.

One alternative for a multi-band antenna is an off-centre fed dipole antenna. Unfortunately most of the commercial variants of these have a large heavy Balun and thick wire so that they are capable of handling 1KW or so. These antennas therefore create extra weight to be carried to site and weight that the mast has to support.

The Aerial-51 404-UL is an asymmetric dipole allowing multi-band operation on bands between 40m and 6m however what Rick has been able to do by limiting the power allowed is to create a lighter antenna through the use of thinner wire and lighter components in the balun. (He still allows 200W PEP which should be far more than a portable operation needs).

So how does it perform? I have used this antenna on nearly all of my SOTA activations over the last two years. It took over from my linked dipole because of the convenience of not having to lower the antenna to change bands (and it also covers more bands). I have seen no noticeable difference in performance over the linked dipole. I have used the antenna in Inverted-V format with the centre at both 9m and 5m above ground on lightweight telescopic fibreglass poles, it works fine in both configurations.

Would I recommend this antenna YES.
Would I recommend it over other wire antennas? It depends. If you only operate on one band a simple cheap resonant dipole will perform as well as anything and be the lightest option. If you need the flexibility of an antenna that is capable of multiple bands without having to take it down to change bands, the 404-UL does what it says it does. The 404-UL is a professionally built antenna using good quality components.

I look forward to seeing the 807-UL when released which has 80 metre capabilities.

73 Ed DD5LP (ex VK2ARE).
 
DK3PZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2016 03:45 Send this review to a friend
perfect for portable use  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi, using Aerial-51 since autumn 2014 for portable and holiday operation togeather with a 12-m-spiderbeam pool. It is easy to erect,has nearly no windload and works great. Compared it with a fullsize-40-m-dipole and a triple leg on 15m and got no significant difference. Rig is IC706 and MFJ 971 Tuner.
 
DL8JJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 22, 2016 04:58 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Aerial-51 404-UL is an amazing antenna. I have owned this one since 2015 and would never consider parting ways with it as long as I am into /P QRP operations. Iím extreme climber, mountain guide since 17 years (Hauser Exkursionen Germany) and love SOTA activations.

The point of this antenna is to have a small size antenna which can be used man-portable. I call this antenna "no go out" antenna. I do long activations from summits at any time and any place, using a small tent for overnights on the summits and reach SOTA QSO sores of over 600. I done some SOTA marathons with up to 11 summitís activationís within 24 h. Iím excited!

I must no go out to tuning the antenna, when I switch to other band. I love this! I have 12 mtrs best and lightest coax for that. SWR are very well on all bands (except 30/17/12M, but here my KX3 tuner, T1 Tuner and Z-817 tuner have had no problems at all with it)

I use this antenna on different configurations depend on summit place, portable tower, high above the ground and shapes, but this antenna always just did their job perfect.

I regularly make contacts to overseas. Storage size and carrying weight are simply the best for extreme hiking, reaching summits, or the back country explorer who cares about weight!

The antenna is fully assembled and waterproof. No funny SWR change, regardless of the weather.

For the operator who drives to his outdoor activation, or want to do fieldday contest, or IOTA activation, or the neighbors at home QTH are a bit weird and the antenna should be invisible, or you want to do a wild activations during long trekking, or you go in holiday etc. you should buy this antenna. Compact, light, uncomplicated, assembly and disassembly is simple and the mechanical construction is perfect.

200 watts - it can be nothing more to be desired. The price is right!

When I go into the mountains, I never do a compromise with my climbing equipment and the same attitude I have to my Ham Radio gear- really no compromise!

I feel comfortable recommending the Aerial-51.

Best 73, Emil, de DL8JJ
 
ZF1DM Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2016 15:09 Send this review to a friend
Inverted V Permanent Setup  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I use this antenna as a permanent fixture on the spiderpole at 40ft AGL, coupled with the YT-100 tuner and a Yaesu FT-857, now from the very first day of using it which was over 3 months ago, it has been outstanding.

Using both QRP and barefoot power I constantly get fantastic reports from all around the world both on phone and data modes, from Australia, Mauritius, Japan, South America, North America, Europe, Russian Countries, Middle East and into the Arctic. It's a fantastic antenna and I would imagine if I could get a lot more height it would kick more of a punch.

Certainly does an outstanding job for me.
 
N1EU Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2016 10:26 Send this review to a friend
Works fb  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I deployed a 404-UL antenna from a firetower on a mountaintop for the 2015 QRP To The Field event, using it with my Elecraft KX3. The antenna wire, coax and connections all seemed surprisingly strong. I operated on 40, 20 and 15M CW since the event was restricted to non-WARC bands. The SWR was below 1.5:1 on 40 and 15M but was 2.5-3:1 on 20M so the KX3 auto-tuner was used on 20M only. The antenna performed quite well and subjectively the receiver sounded lively with good signal strength and relatively low noise. I finished the event in first place. I couldn't ask for anything more in terms of a multi-band wire antenna.
 
DJ0IP Rating: 5/5 Mar 14, 2016 04:34 Send this review to a friend
Great portable multiband antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Because it is so light, this antenna may be mounted near the top of thin lightweight telescoping fiberglass poles. HEIGHT IS MIGHT, and I get excellent signal reports when operating portable with this antenna. It will work 40/20/15/10m with my Ten-Tec Eagle without the need for the ATU. The Eagle's ATU is switched on for 30/17/12m. With my Ten-Tec Scout it even works 17/12m without the ATU. It is small enough to fit in a sandwich bag; perfect for backpacking. I used it for SOTA on "Sodenberg" (mountain) and liked the auto band switching. No more dropping the pole to change bands.
 


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