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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories | Tarheel Antennas Help

Reviews Summary for Tarheel Antennas
Tarheel Antennas Reviews: 192 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $295.00
Description: Screwdriver Antennas,Stainless Steel mounts,Mobile and Base
Product is in production.
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KE5AKG Rating: 4/5 Jul 19, 2014 13:06 Send this review to a friend
Good signal, very difficult initial tuning  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This review is for the Tarheel 200A Antenna. I realize that every mobile installation is different, so other people might get quite different results. I mounted the antenna on a Tarheel-Antennas provided trailer hitch mount on a Mercedes GLK 250 Bluetec small SUV.
Overall, I am very happy with the installation. It seems I can work everything I can hear, and a station in Greece told me I was the strongest mobile station from NA he ever heard. The signal certainly seems to get out, and reception also appears excellent. This is a very large antenna, but the black paint looks really nice and matches my vehicle. I also like the fact that the whip and capacity hat are available in black, too. The mount is sturdy and it allows to flip the antenna back to open the liftgate. I definitely am happy with my purchase.
There are, however, some areas where improvement would be possible.
Initial tuning is done by stretching the supplied shunt coil. I quickly found out that it was very difficult and frustrating to try to get a good match both on 80m and 20m in my installation, at first it appeared to be just one or the other. It took me HOURS of fiddling with the coil and lowering and raising the antenna before I found the very narrow and touchy shunt coil length where both bands work. In my setup, the capacity hat was absolutely REQUIRED to get flat SWR on both 80m and 20m with one setting of the shunt coil; it was flat out impossible without it.
I had to park far away from any other cars and metal objects to find the proper setting, metal anywhere near really disturbs the SWR, especially on 80m. Now I have 1.2 or better SWR on 80-15m with the supplied whip and 40-10m with a shorter whip, both with the capacity hat, which is a MUST for my setup. I might order the Scorpion capacity hat to compare.
The SWR changes when the shunt coil gets even a little wet...actually for the better for me with some improvement in antenna bandwidth.
I was considering to order a variable inductor from to replace the annoying shunt coil, but since everything works now, I might hold off.
The bandwidth of the antenna is insanely narrow for me on 80m; I need to adjust the screwdriver if I only change frequency by 10 kHz, but it is possible to get a 1.2 or better SWR throughout the 75 and 80m band.
In summary, I feel that the capacity hat should be included with the antenna package since it was an absolute requirement at least in my setup; it would be better to include a variable inductor like the one from repdesign instead of the rather flimsy and touchy shunt coil (since it is enclosed, it also avoids the moisture-related SWR-changes); and the instruction manual should mention not to try to tune the coil with other cars or metal objects anywhere near, something I learned the hard way.
Nevertheless, despite those minor issues, this is a very good antenna and now I am very satisfied with it. With the minor changes mentioned, I feel it could be a GREAT antenna!
KD5NDU Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2013 16:07 Send this review to a friend
the tarheel 100  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I haven't had my 100 very long yet.
I started off with a 75meter mfj ham stick. And can tell big difference between the two on the 75 meters. when checking into the Mississippi net. with the mfj stick sometimes they could here me and some times they could. Now with the tarheel 100 in same place in the bed of the truck same grounding system. I been able to get though the the pal ups when they call for mobile stations. And be the first one they would hear. And fist contact on it was on 20 meters with a station in TX and I was in MS running 100 watts. And a 5 by 5 report. When the band was not doing very good. It looks like bluidet very good. And looks good on the truck.
KP4MLF Rating: 0/5 Jul 22, 2013 11:21 Send this review to a friend
Expensive and no support  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After 2 weeks trying to put a model 100 to work i send it back for a refund and the company just refund me a 60% of my total purchase. A bad experience that i can't explain here by the reviews policy.

I have a better experience with the Little Tarheel but anyway dont have the results expected for a pricey antenna.

I Dont recommend this
K4MMZ Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2013 14:27 Send this review to a friend
Tarheel Model 100 HP  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Mounted on an aluminun screen enclosure frame in a HOA. It is almost invisible and it works. The best part of my purchase was I got all the telephone help I needed from "Robert". At this point in time most other outfits help is done by e-mail or telephone prompts which is slow or ineffective. Tarheel really does it right!
73 Richard KK4F0A in S. Florida
KK4MC Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2013 18:53 Send this review to a friend
Solid, High Quality Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I live an in HOA antenna restricted neighborhood. One advantage I have is I back up to a forest preserve vs. having neighbors looking directly into my backyard. I installed a model 100A-HP as a ground mounted base with ground radials. I got the all black antenna option, with cap hat. The black blends in well with the forest preserve as the back ground. I had some trouble with getting 80 meter SWR below 2.0 at first, but with two extra long radials (beyond the 10 9' radials supplied with the ground radial kit), I've been able to get 80 meters SWR below 1.5. SWR is below 1.4 on all other bands and especially low on 40 meters (below 1.2) - all with no antenna tuner. I had to remove the shunt inductor completely to for the antenna to work in my particular configuration. Aside from the SWR, reactance jX has been adjustable to almost zero (+/- a 4 or 5 ohms). I used a Rig Expert Antenna Analyzer (a must these days) to take the guess work out of the install and adjustment. I'm running 1kW into the antenna. It performs great.

This is a well built and well designed antenna. I suspect it would work just as well in a mobile install (after all that is what it was designed for!!!), but likely would require the shunt inductor in a mobile install. Robert at Tarheel was great to work with, always responsive by both phone and email as I tried to trouble shoot my matching issues (every install presents it's own set of unique circumstances a ham must troubleshoot and resolve). He even offered to customize the shunt inductor for me - fortunately I ended up not needing it. While it's in a base configuration, I have a well built, high performing antenna that I could just as easily dismantle and install on my truck at a later date if desired.

I highly recommend this product not just for the excellent design and build quality but for the friendly responsive technical support I received as well.
K6NJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2013 21:50 Send this review to a friend
Model 75 works awesome  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've had several mobile antennas and the little tarheel is the best! It puts out a great signal. The model 75 I use works so well that if I can hear a station 10 to 80 meters I can work them. Very satisfied!
K7JQ Rating: 5/5 Dec 4, 2012 05:30 Send this review to a friend
Quality product, great service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased model M200-HP to replace my ground-mounted High Sierra (no longer in production) HS-1800PRO screwdriver that was blown up by a direct lightning strike. So far, I'm very satisfied with its quality construction and performance. It's mounted 4" off the ground, with sixty 25 foot radials stapled to the ground. After cutting the whip and adjusting the base matching coil, The antenna maintains a less than 1.5:1 SWR across all frequencies from 10 through 80 meters, and performed to my satisfaction in the CQ WW CW contest. A few questions directed at Robert were answered by email and phone thoroughly and promptly. There are only three popular screwdriver companies left (Scorpion, Hi-Q, and Tarheel), and while the other two are also fine, quality made antennas, the Tarheel for its' price point (much less than the other two), in my opinion, is an excellent choice. Highly recommended for mobile or fixed location use.
M6GOM Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2012 14:46 Send this review to a friend
After 2 and a half years...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well I first reviewed my Little Tarheel II over two and a half years ago in April 2010. I can't believe I've had it that long.

It is still working absolutely great. It has been on the car now all that time come rain or shine, has hit a tree twice a day every time I go out and has covered well over 40,000 miles, much of that at speeds of 70MPH or more.

Highlights have been working the Falkland Islands from the UK on 10m with 100W busting a pileup, working VK on 20m for a distance just over 10,000 miles, getting 5/9+10 reports to NYC on 15 and 20m and being able to work many different countries over 5 continents.

Definitely one of the best purchases I've made in amateur radio and I've not regretted it for one single day.
VE2MAM Rating: 5/5 Oct 26, 2012 12:57 Send this review to a friend
great antenna !!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've purchase my Tarheel 100 HP december 2010. The installation was very easy to the point that I was surprise it worked the first time I tried it. Contacts have been made in JA land and ZL land. Good signal report. I often change bands because I chase counties and I go to the USA to put counties on the air. This antenna never failed me. What I can hear I can work. I've just ordered a Little Tarheel II because I'm going pedestrian mobile !!! I'm certain that I will also have a lot of fun with that small antenna. Go and see my mobile on QRZ
73 de VE2MAM
KD7DGK Rating: 0/5 Sep 27, 2012 15:32 Send this review to a friend
Not good  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased the Tarheel II to mount on my Chevy truck as I was preparing to move from southern Nevada to Texas and wanted the luxury HF communications for the trip. Iím using a Kenwood TS480SAT radio and feeding the Tarheel with RB8X coax. The radio tunes up a dummy load just fine but the Tarheel is junk. I checked and rechecked ground, re-ran ground to make sure that wasnít the problem and the antenna still doesnít work. In fact, the Tarheel hasnít worked since I purchased it. I checked the Tarheel website for contact information and sent an e-mail for tech assistance and got a reply indicating Ö. ďI'm on the road...I'll be away until Oct 1st....I'll reply to your email within a few days..Thanks, RobertĒ. Iím not sure if Robert knows that people pay a lot of money for their ham gear and donít want to be told that they arenít important enough to be spoken to. I guess Robert is the only one at Tarheel Antennas that can answer tech questions. I dislike dropping dimes on folks like this but I hate being treated like a second-rate person. If my potential future business and free word of mouth advertising isnít valued by Tarheel I will take my business elsewhere. If only those guys at High Sierra would answer their phoneÖ.
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