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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | ATX Walkabout Portable Antenna Help

Reviews Summary for ATX Walkabout Portable Antenna
ATX Walkabout Portable Antenna Reviews: 27 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $59.99 British Pounds
Description: A portable telescopic antenna covering 80-6M
Product is in production.
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AC7WL Rating: 4/5 Jan 2, 2005 22:39 Send this review to a friend
Great for portable operation!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Picked mine up about 4 months ago and a great little antenna when you are on the go. Without a counterpoise it works great on receive, shortwave listening as well. I put together a camera tripod stand as well as some radials. Tuning this with my Z-11 to take out the "slack" gives me a decent performer for the field. Working 40 meters with such a small antenna can be a bear, forget 75/80. Working anything 20 or above is fine, and I get decent reports. Not a bad investment and complements my Yo Yo Tenna deluxe quite well.
DF2DD Rating: 0/5 Sep 26, 2004 06:54 Send this review to a friend
Unusable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I used this antenna in order to do some nice QSOs during the contest last week with my 817. Nearly impossible to get an accurate SWR with this antenna. And the BNC-Connector is a real pain. Very unstabil on the 817. So I quickly selled this antenna. I cannot recommend this Antenna to anyone.
WB1BPV Rating: 1/5 Feb 12, 2004 16:11 Send this review to a friend
Makes the Miracle Whip look like a beam!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Not sure where to start.I purchased an FT-817 on EBAY last year and the ATX came with it.This antenna(and I use the term loosely)is great for receiveing, but it is nearly impossible to get a decent swr on tx.I've tried all different formulas for counterpoises and nothing works.My miracle whip and 20 watts without a counterpoise puts the ATX to shame.Good workmanship gives it a 1, but thats about it.Don't waste your money.
PE1RLN Rating: 5/5 Feb 8, 2004 08:53 Send this review to a friend
Good for it's size  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have used this antenna quite a few times and every time it works great for what it is intended for. Do not expect great DX but for reception on close talks it works fine.

Ik use it on my FT817 (like anyone else) and it works only with counterpoise. I use 100m of installation-wire in a box. Always enough!
ON4MGY Rating: 0/5 Apr 21, 2003 05:37 Send this review to a friend
Waste of money  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought my ATX Walkabout to have a quick antenna for working on hf when in a hotel-room, on a camping trip or just portable for the fun. It just is the worst thing I ever bought for my hamradio hobby. On rx its more or less ok, but on transmit it's worth nothing.
For about the same price of this piece of rubbish, you can buy the MIZUHO KX-QRP tuner which tunes coax-fed or end-fed wire antennas. With this tuner and a piece of wire you can have great fun and some dx. 5 Watts in use here from the FT-817 and no problem with KP4, VP2 ,VO1 and 8P6 on one afternoon in SSB. You just won't do that with the walkabout!! It's a nice concept but thats all.
73 de ON4MGY Nic
NE2I Rating: 5/5 Mar 25, 2003 21:43 Send this review to a friend
So far so good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Works great with my 817 and my VR500
needs a groundplane as you can really hear
the difference when you put hand on the rig.
we'll see about its robustness.

CT5GSI Rating: 5/5 Sep 16, 2002 05:58 Send this review to a friend
Wonderfull antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the SO-239 right angle version, so no stress on the BNC plug. First time I use it, it was inside my living room with FT-817 (5W) on 10m band adding only a ground wire to the radio according to antenna instructions. Good reception and them I pressed the PTT... Wonderfull, not only I could hear but they hear me too. Im in Portugal and in this conditions I worked USA, Canada, Italy, Yoguslavia and South Africa in an hour. What could I ask more. I was inside home making DX from the sofa in a rainy day. I worked also in 2m band, but couldn't take out some SWR, tought I could work all repeaters. No experience in other bands. Please, try this antenna!!! It fits the spirit of the FT-817. I waiting for my second FT-817, Z-11 ATU (for dipoles) and of course, my second ATX Walkabout.

Nuno B. (Portugal)
EA1BP Rating: 4/5 Aug 25, 2002 12:14 Send this review to a friend
Good antenna for FT-817  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Easy antenna. Its very easy to use. Maybe the worse thing is that its tooo heavy for the BNC conector (Anyway there is the traditional conector to put it in a magnetic antenna or somwhere).
First QSO on 21 Mhz with TF (But in my room, over my bed) and then...TA0, UA9,...
What do you expect for an antenna with this size???

I bought mine in England ( About 45 pounds. New one is 89 pounds.

K4ZAU Rating: 1/5 Mar 20, 2002 19:57 Send this review to a friend
Yuck.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got the MFJ version of this antenna. Bad idea. I bought it for use with my FT-817... wait a minute, that's what everyone buys it for. Nevermind that, then. Annnnyway I tried it both through an extension hooked up to the rear SO-239 and directly on the front panel. I used the recommended counterpoise as well. It received well on all bands when in either jack, but I called CQ several times under various conditions/locations and did not make any contacts whatsoever. I tried changing the counterpoise, length of whip, etc. but nothing worked. I took this thing back to MFJ and used the money to get a tuner and mobile antenna. Overall, a 1 of 5, because it is a cool idea, and did great for receiving, but is overpriced, flimsy, and useless for transmitting.

73 de Jake k4zau/5
N3CS Rating: 4/5 Mar 11, 2002 14:25 Send this review to a friend
First Impression, Good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First, what is it? The ATX Walkabout is a small, low power (5-25W), base-loaded, telescopic antenna with taps for 80 through 6. (see Has BNC, Coax or 3/8" stud mount options. Intended as a very portable HF antenna. As a receiving antenna, it's excellent and isn't a fuss at all. Just plug in to your radio and select the right tap with whip extended. As transmitter, it's a little more fuss and compromised (nothing in radio/life comes free). Aside from like low TX power rating and inefficiency of small coils, a counterpoise wire is essential for matching and transmitting! Just over $100, shipped, from England.

I first "characterized" the antenna with my MFJ antenna analyer. I found I could get less than 2:1 SWR on the 5 HF bands (I did not fool with WARC bands, but suspect it's OK there) using the suggested counterpoise wires (a little less than 1/4 wave each). HOWEVER, the supplied whip (just 4') was 12-18" too short to match two of the bands, so I had to make a longer whip from junk box parts. I recorded the whip lengths for each band to have a closer starting point later to fune tune for best SWR. On 80 and even 40, you'll even need to adjust a few times across the band.

I then tried it on the roof of my car without the counterpoise and found this arrangement OK as well. I used a mag mount with a BNC jack and coaxed to the radio. Again, 2:1 SWR or less possible on all 5 HF bands with the longer whip length again needed on same 2 bands. With 20W, I quickly worked Ukraine and France on phone (15 and 20 meters) from the East Coast just fine.

I think this is a decent product if not a little pricey and perhaps in need of a 6' whip design. It's really misnamed "Walkabout" as the BNC would not likely survive the stresses of moving while in use nor would dragging a 50' counterpoise for 80 meters be too smart! Maybe "Campabout" is a better name?
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