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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Solarcon I-MAX 2000 Help


Reviews Summary for Solarcon I-MAX 2000
Solarcon I-MAX 2000 Reviews: 102 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $80 SHIPPED
Description: 3 piece, over 21 foot tall fiberglass 10 meter base antenna
Product is in production.
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<— Page 2 of 11 —>

W2YM Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2014 00:00 Send this review to a friend
GREAT Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
OK people, lets start by saying this is a 10 and 11 meter antenna. People state that the antenna is NO good on 15... unreal, what did I say? Antenna is good for 10 and 11 meters. Now I have a LDG200Pro tuner it tuned this antenna 80-10 NO Problem. Of course it did not have great receive on 80 but 40 thru 10 it was GREAT.. I can't say enough about this antenna. Works GREAT. Of course I use it on 10 meters and I have HF antenna's for the other HF bands.. This antenna is unreal.. for what it is, it works great. Thanks for reading this, Mark W2YM 73's.
 
K4DV Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2014 15:00 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got mine for under $100 shipped. Put together and spray painted it olive drab to keep it from blinding the neighbors (it is gloss white), made an rf choke in the coax (8 coils about 10 inches held together with zip ties)about a foot below antenna, mounted on tower at 40 feet. I had the 2 tuning rings turned up all the way to the top, never checked swr before mounting.
28.300 - 28.600 it is basically flat swr, maybe 1.2. At 29.000 it is 1.5. I have tuned on 12, 15, 17 with great results and the LDG will tune it at 20 meters but it is at a great disadvantage down that low, just way too short for that band.
They are very flexible, whippy antennas. The slightest wind and it really does bend, sort of wonder how it stands straight on its own, but it does, and at 24 feet long, there is a lot to whip around in a good wind, but they hold up well.
As far as performance goes, I couldn't be happier. Worked the world with 100 watts, great signal reports, great receive....if i can hear them I can work them and compared to a 143 foot Cobra multiband dipole up at 30 feet on a tuner, it has much better receive, of course the dipole is horizontal, but the Imax is much much better for DX work by far.
I almost got the Penetrator but went with this for low profile, no radials, ease of installation and I am glad I did.
It withstood some 80mph gusts the other day just fine and hasn't missed a lick.
Highly recommended for all the right reasons. Get one, you will like it, cant be beat for the money in my book. Two thumbs up here.
 
K2XLG Rating: 4/5 Feb 5, 2014 02:46 Send this review to a friend
Good vertical for upper HF bands  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I should have written this when I had the antenna, but after hearing and reading about several people using it,I wanted to put in my 2 cents.I used one for a few months and found it to be a very capable antenna (for a vertical)on several bands.I got it working on 17m,15m,12m, and 10m simply by adjusting the 2 rings all the way to the top of their limit.It will receive well on 20m,but just didn't seem to radiate well.The MFJ-259B showed that the SWR could be easily tuned out on those bands.In practice,that's how it turned out also.I used an LDG-AT100 Pro II at the time.So don't cut the top section! Use the tuning rings as they were intended.If an analyzer is available,by all means use it.Once the rings are set,wrap them tightly with electrical tape so that they don't move.Other than that,this antenna was pretty much plug-and-play.A couple of things that can be experimented with are radials-either home brewed wire or the kit...and some kind of isolation balun at the feedpoint.If you're looking for an antenna to work the upper HF bands that's easy to install,doesn't have much of a footprint,and is effective,give this one a look.I would buy another..in fact,I'm thinking about doing just that.Shouldn't have sold the one I had.
 
AC5RM Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2013 12:21 Send this review to a friend
Great!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one a couple, three months ago to replace the 20+ year old A99 I dropped and broke. I'd owned one over twenty years ago, but not long enough to have much of an opinion on it. I wondered if it would truely be worth the difference in price from the A99...
Wonder no more. While the A99 was awesome in its own right, the Imax has far surpassed it. With it just 20-25 feet up, I have made contacts all over Europe, plus South Korea, Antartica, and south America- all with just 100 watts on my Icom 746.
Noise-wise, I can't tell alot of difference from the A99, and truthfully, I don't know if it receives any better than the A99 as I don't have an A99 functional to compare to. But I have had more success contacting hard to get dx with the Imax.
The flexibility concerned me- in a windstorm the top section in particular really moves around. But we just went through a storm with winds in excess of 30 mph and it had no issues at all. While definately not a beam, I'm very pleased for the price here.
 
KC3BER Rating: 5/5 Nov 16, 2013 21:23 Send this review to a friend
Awesome!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I am a pretty new ham I was licensed in August of 2013 so I'm def not a pro by any means. But if you're like me and just getting into this hobby, don't hesitate to buy this antenna. It's beyond easy to assemble and install, and it works absolutely amazing! I've worked the world on 10 meters with it. It also works great on 12, 15, 17, and does ok on 20. I was using it with a ranger RCI 2970, then a 2970N2 with a MFJ-993 intellituner. Now I have been using it with an Icom IC-756 for a few months and I love it. I have it mounted to the side of my second story house on two radio shack 10 foot masts joined together. I read that I should have used guy wires on masts over 10 feet, but I didn't and the antenna is still up there, even after some pretty bad storms. I did however just buy some guy wires and plan to install them ASAP because I don't want to press my luck. I bought the ground plane kit for it but I haven't installed that yet either. I was just so excited to get on the air, as soon as I got the antenna, it was up and I was on the air in a few hours. I may never even install the ground plane kit because It works great the way it is. I get 59 reports from just about everyone I work. And I've worked almost every country. Like I said, I'm not a ham radio expert, and I'm sure it's not the most efficient antenna (especially on 20, 17 and 15 meters) but it works so who cares?! Buy one and work the world and have some fun! Isn't that what it's all about? 73 and good DX! de KC3BER
 
VA3MLV Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2013 11:38 Send this review to a friend
Update   Time owned: more than 12 months
Have had this specific vertical which is a 5/8 wave on 10M with a total of 24ft in length. It's been a the very top of my tower at about the 50ft mark for a few yrs now out here in the open country land through winter after winter bending like a fishing rod at high winds and its still to fail. I don't want to gynx myself but there it is. 4 yrs out in the country in open area where winds get really bad and cold icy winters. I use this omnidirectional vertical on 10M, 12M, 15M and the furthest 17M but vary rarely. I personally think anything below 15M will not be very efficient and not a good performer.
 
VA3GNX Rating: 5/5 Oct 13, 2013 14:34 Send this review to a friend
Great multi band antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I originally bought this because of the low cost hoping I could use it on 10m by shortening it. But I decided to try it using an LDG pro600II tuner before I cut it so it is still 24ft. long It has been a pleasant surprise I have made numerous contacts across N.America on 10m and as far as the Canary Islands on 17m and recently to Argentina on 12m using 300watts.
It has the ground plane kit which I am not sure I even need and sits on a 1.5" pipe 16 feet off the ground at the feed point.
It has stood up to wind gusts above 100km/hr even thought the top section was bending to almost 90*.
 
AA2HA Rating: 4/5 Jun 27, 2013 20:12 Send this review to a friend
Not bad  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I previously owned an A-99 that had nothing but issues (see my review) so I thought I'd give the I-MAX a try. I have the antenna about 50 feet up with the radial kit. The SWR was as advertised and seemed to work well on 10 and 12 meters. The antenna whips around like a fishing poll in high winds, but didn't fail. I did A-B tests with the I-MAX and the Hy-gain SPT 500. Not only was the Hy-Gain much quieter, the received signals averaged 1 S-unit or higher and the tx was the same. There were signals I could not hear on the I-MAX that were perfectly workable on the 500 antenna. Although I have no ax to grind with the I-MAX,I would recommend spending the extra $40 bucks and get a much better antenna.
 
N2UJN Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2013 04:33 Send this review to a friend
Low Cost, Solo Install, Good Performance, 10m-17m  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
QUALITY and SURVIVABILITY: I purchased and installed this antenna last September, 2012. Antenna up during hurricane Sandy, and, several other fronts with sustained winds above 60mph. QTH is in Rochester, NY with snow, ice and temps below 20F on a normal winter basis. Antenna has no cracks in any joint after high winds, tough winter. Looks new. See picture of install at my qrz page link below.

SWR PERFORMANCE: I did not cut my Max 2000 or modify it in any way. When the base is mounted 6 feet from the ground, without the GPK ground plane, and rings set to the bottom of their range with a coax RF Choke, no ground radials. (w/ Bird Wattmeter)

Freq (MHz)....SWR.....Band
28.400.............1.2........10m
27.205.............1.8........11m
24.940.............2.9........12m
21.300.............2.6........15m
18.110.............2.2........17m
14.130.............11.9......20m

I added 6 ground radials 1/4 wave on each side of the mast, for 10m, 12m and 17m. This lowered 17m SWR to 1:1.8 but increased 12m and 15m slightly. Improves receive 1S unit. Antenna is not usable on 20m for transmit, but, receives OK.

I use the antenna on 12m, 15m, 17m with an MFJ-901B manual tuner at the radio. Lowers SWR to 1:1.1 for radio impedance matching needs. Homebuilt coax RF choke helps the antenna perform better on 15m, 17m. Data and results can be seen at below link.

http://www.qrz.com/db/N2UJN

CONTACTS: You can see my LOTW recent confirmed contacts at the above link. QSO's with 54 DXCC countries since December 6, 2012, on 10m - 17m using only the Max 2000. I even generated my own "pile up" on Jan. 13, 24.940 MHz, 13:41:00 UTC when a rare opening occurred on early Sunday morn EST to Europe. I called CQ and managed the resultant pile up without any other US stations. There were no spots showing the opening.

Total QSO's since HF entry on December 6, 2012 - 168 with very casual operating.

INSTALL: The total combined purchase and install cost, including coax, galvanized pipe, 2 ground rods, post hole digger to sink the pipe, and PL-259s, for me, was around $240. I can maneuver it on a no wind day by myself up an 8ft ladder. One person working solo can complete the install. Low visibility means fairly neighbor friendly.

BRAGGING RIGHTS: None, zero bragging rights for this one. During QSO you cannot say "Force 12" or "Mosley" or "stacked". I will someday, but, not yet.
 
PA5COR Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2013 04:17 Send this review to a friend
Good  Time owned: months
Still on the roof where i put it 10 years back, survived some serious storms as well.
Using it for 10-12-15-17 i made worldwide contacts on every band using just 25 to 100 watts but can put in 1 Kw on each of those bands without the antenna failing.
It is an older original Imax 2000 the later ones are Max 2000.
Not seen one of them, but i don't think the quallity went down that fast.
Mounting the 3 parts i didn't use the washer, i filed the top of each section flat because the soldered wire was protruding and cause a small bump in the flat surface and might cause uneven pressure and cause the windings stud to break.
After putting it together each section that screwed together was fixed with selfamalgamating tape to prevent loosening.
Dont over pressure the fixing, just a gentle turn with your hands will fix the sections, no tools needed which might cause overfixing and breakingg the studs off.

Preparing an antenna on the roof here is mandatory, take the few extra steps to make it last longer.
Climate here is near the sea, salty, lots of wind and rain.
I got the Ground radial kit on it, and 4 wires of 17 feet laying on the roof, that way it worked beter at 17.
Could even tune it to 20 but there the limits of the antenna are reached, less reception and serious tuning.
17 and above all are within 1:2
73,
Cor
 
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