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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Radio Works Carolina Windom 80 Special Help

Reviews Summary for Radio Works Carolina Windom 80 Special
Radio Works Carolina Windom 80 Special Reviews: 28 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $145
Description: Same size and specs as Carolina Windom 40 but will also cover 80 meters.
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Radio Works Carolina Windom 80 Special.

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W3NRL Rating: 5/5 Sep 29, 2007 06:46 Send this review to a friend
So far do good !!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After doing all my homework on this antenna and writing Jim at Radioworks, i bought the cw-80-special and yes just like the rest of the testimonies here this antenna works for me. i get 1:1:1 on all bands (tuner is Palstar AT1KM), first i noticed the s-3 or better increase on rx and i have a friend in Italy i talk to almost every day he asked if i have a beam now ( ya right !!! i have no room), he said my report came up from my everyday 5n3 to 5n5 to 5n9+. so i recommend this antenna. And for customer service all contacts to Jim and his staff was answered right away, Jim great customer service to you and your staff. Thanks again
de w3nrl
M0BJL Rating: 5/5 Aug 25, 2007 14:08 Send this review to a friend
Superb Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having trauled through the many reviews of various Windom antenna manufacturers I eventually opted for the Radio Works 80 Special, this was purely down the many 5/5 reviews listed. The antenna arrived, well packed witha superb manual, the wire, insulators, balun etc were all very well constructed. I have fed mine at around 50feet on a fibreglass spiderbeam mast, the antenna is in an Inv V configuration with the ends around 25ft high.
After erecting the antenna a quick spin across the bands showed that SWR on 20m and 40m were zero (without tuner), all of the other bands were easily tuned with my Linear Amp Uk Supertuner. The first band I tested the antenna was on 40m SSB, I found a huge pile up and after two calls managed to work A52AM in Bhutan with 5/8 reports both ways, I don't own an amplifier so with just 100watts I was very pleased. The 80m performance is ok, so far just working Europe with no long haul contacts but this is down to conditions.
I have been able to work everything I have heard on all bands, so for me this is a fantastic antenna.
NC2F Rating: 5/5 Oct 15, 2006 17:41 Send this review to a friend
My Favorite do it all Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
The higher up the better take off angle, but even at 20' when I had to put one up in a pinch, the Off Center Fed desgin of the Carolina Windom with the 4:1 ratio Balun is my favorite antenna. It's so good, I have even worked VK's on 5 watts with it. It's that good!
K6RIM Rating: 5/5 Oct 15, 2006 13:06 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Compared to my Hy-Gain Hy-Tower vertical on 80 meters, domestic signals are 1 to 4 S-units louder on the Carolina Windom 80. To be fair, radials need some work on the Hy-Tower. Nonetheless, I suspect that even if the radials were FB, the Carolina Windom 80 would still outperform the Hy-Tower on 80 for domestic contacts. SWR on 80 is 1.1:1; on 75, it's 1.5:1.
Bottom line: It works great! (The Carolina Windom is 60' high strung between tall trees).
N7GVV Rating: 0/5 Oct 15, 2006 11:36 Send this review to a friend
It did not perform  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Installed and worked for few contacts, but difficult to tune. Then it would not tune so sent e-mail asking for help.. Got no response.

Since then have removed antenna and put up a dipole using same tuner, feedline, etc and it works fine on 40 thru 10. I'll have to come up with an alternative for 80 in my limited space.
WB4TJH Rating: 5/5 Jun 28, 2006 20:46 Send this review to a friend
super wire antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have now had this antenna in the air just over two years and have yet to have any problems of any kind with it. I have had to replace the rope holding it in the pine trees a couple of times due to wear thru, but the antenna itself has survived torrential rain and winds up to 70 miles per hour. I live only three miles from salt water, and so far, it has held up just super. I was smart in having it made with 13 guage insulated wire...I had to pay a bit extra for that..but it has sure been worth it to have an extra heavy duty antenna. It performs very well and I can work anyone I can hear. I feed it with an SGC MAC-200 auto tuner. I even use it on 6 meters. I am thinking about replacing my 135 foot, balanced feed line dipole with a full sized Carolina Windom 80. That will give me TWO CW antennas at right angles to each other. I live in Sarasota, Florida, and the climate here is subtropical and we can get some heavy rain and wind. I have had two hurricanes pass within 25 miles of my qth, and the 70 mile per hour winds we got did not faze my Carolina Windom. I just dropped a few feet of slack in the end support ropes so the pine trees could sway and not put too much strain on the antenna. Just be sure you waterproof the baluns properly, and you will not have any trouble. If you have heavy weather, it is well worth the extra money to have Jim make up one for you with the heavier guage insulated wire for strength and corrosion resistance. I would not hesitate to buy this antenna again, and I hope to soon add the second one to my station. Radio Works is a fine company to work with, and I know you will be satisfied with their antennas.I have been on the air for 37 years now, and this is the best wire antenna I have used.
M1EZF Rating: 5/5 Sep 4, 2005 05:27 Send this review to a friend
Radioworks CW 80 S  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This antenna is very good for a small back garden at only 66'. My first impresion was it was well made and the instructions were easy to follow.

Im using it 30' AGL and 150' ASL with good results. Comparing it to my endfed dipole at the same hight, the CW out proforms the dipole by at least 2 s points on RX and on TX even better.

I have heard some people try and use it inverted V with poor results, so I would recomend that its used flat top.

As for SWR my Yaesu MK V internal ATU wont tune it. So an external ATU was used and all worked as expected.

Im very please with the CW. I will be keeping an eye on the Balun as I have heard they are prone to filling up with water if not sealed corectly.

Maybe I will do another review after the winter.
N0AN Rating: 5/5 Jun 26, 2005 18:00 Send this review to a friend
Suprisingly Effective  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second CW-80. The first one I had for a couple years up in the trees, and it eventually had the coax fall out of the matching network. It was only up 20' in the center and about 8' at the ends. It worked, but not impressively. At the time at a new qth it got me on the air before I could do things right.

I received my 2nd CW-80 last Friday, just before field day. I hung it off a yard arm 5' away from my tower at a height of about 40'. It was fed with 90' of RG8/X. The long end is about 7' off the ground, the short end is about 10' off the ground. (Inverted V, you can figure the angle).

I bought it strictly to use on 80 and 40m, as I have a Tennadyne T-6 Log Periodic at 52'(13-30 Mhz), which is a very fine antenna.

My first interest was what impedance/vswr it showed from 3.5 to 30 Mhz in the ham bands. I wanted to know how much work the LDG AT-1000 autotuner was going to have to do. I made the measurements at the connection to the radio with an MFJ-269B antenna analyzer and a Kenwood SW-2000 dual meter vswr/watt meter. The results are posted below:

Freq MFJ-269B(SWR) Kenwood TS-2000(SWR)

3500 1.9 1.9
3600 2.0 2.0
3700 2.1 2.2
3800 2.6 2.6
3900 2.8 3.0
4000 3.6 3.5

7000 1.5 1.6
7100 1.8 1.8
7200 2.2 2.3
7300 2.6 2.4

10.130 3.4 2.5

14000 2.1 2.2
14100 2.0 2.0
14200 1.8 1.8
14300 1.7 1.6
14350 1.6 1.5

18130 3.1 2.8

21000 2.5 2.0
21100 2.4 1.9
21200 2.3 1.7
21300 2.2 1.6
21400 2.0 1.5

24960 1.7 1.7

28000 2.4
28500 2.5
29000 2.8
29500 2.8

It should be obvious that most rigs' internal tuners would have no problem with the swr presented by this antenna configuration. My LDG AT-1000, which has a very wide matching range had no problems at all, even running 600 W out with my Ameritron ALS-600 power mosFET amp.

OK, the match is acceptable, how does it work?

RF Setup:

Kenwood TS-2000
Ameritron ALS-600 (600w out)
LDG AT-1000 Auto-tuner

Carolina Windom CW-80, center 42', ends 7 to 10', center tower mounted, distance to tower about 5' (15' is recommended, but I was in a hurry for field day)

The measure of any antenna on FD can be evaluated two ways:

1. Do I get answered quickly if I call (or do I have to wait and wait and wait)?

2. Can I set up on a freq, calling CQ FD and make sustained runs, as well as hold the freq?

Saturday afternoon I sat on 7165 at about 2:00 pm and began calling CQ Field Day.

By 2:15 p.m., I had run off 49 stations that came back to my CQ or QRZ FD. I only called CQ twice in that time period. The slow rate was a function of my hand logging..still one every 15 seconds or so, is doing pretty well on a thunderstorm ridden band at solar zenith.

I'm in central Iowa, and this is 40m in the middle of the day. The following states/sections were worked in this 15 minute period:

South Texas
West Texas
North Texas

Many reports of "big signal" and "you're the only one I'm hearing that far away" (Wyoming/Louisiana)

Guests came for dinner so I did no more until Sunday morning (today, 06/26/05)

The following section contacts were made on 80m SSB, again, calling CQ and holding the freq starting at 6:00 a.m. going to about 7:30 a.m. Sunrise was at about 5:35 a.m.

West Virginia
North Texas
South Dakota
Los Angeles CA
San Diego, CA (1.5 hours after sunrise!)

Back to 40 meters:

West Virginia
British Columbia
North Texas
West Texas
West Pennsylvania
North Florida
West New York
Orange County California
Rhode Island
East Pennsylvania
West Texas
North New Jersey

This antenna is working VERY well on 80/40m for Field Day.

Now, just for giggles, I thought I would see what the CW-80 would do compared to my Log Periodic on 20m. First of all the CW-80 was much quieter, which concerned me. Obviously it was not going to do as well as the LP, but the noise level was way down. What the heck, I thought I would try it anyway and see if I could do runs and hold the freq on 20 like I had been able to do on 80 and 40.

I sat on 14.170 and started calling CQ FD at about 9:00 a.m. My hand got so sore from writing as fast as I could for two straight hours, that I had to take a break. Sections worked included:

East Mass
West PA
South Texas
East PA
British Columbia
Sacramento Valley CA
West Washington State
North Carolina
West New York
East Washington State
North Texas
New Hampshire
North New Jersey
East New York
Santa Clara Valley, CA
Orange County, CA
Rhode Island
Long Island
Long Island, NY
South New Jersey

Later that morning I returned to 40 meters for another run of 118 stations until both my hand and my voice gave out. (I must get that DRU-3a installed in my TS-2000, if I'm going to keep using this CW-80 during contests!)


This data does not represent dx performance. However, using the criteria I started with (calling and getting answered quickly, and being able to do sustained runs on a frequency), I would rate the performance as OUTSTANDING. I'll write another review when I start chasing dx on 40m early in the morning. It did do a super job on both 80 and 40, with a surprsing effectiveness on 20m (although the LP was vastly superior, as it should be). I was certainly getting decent low antle performance on 80m as I had S9+ signals into California, even after sunrise. Similar low angle results were evident on 40m.

The swr presented to the radio/tuner was VERY reasonable, and should insure low losses, and very minimal coax heating. Also, because the antenna shows such a reasonable impedance to the tuner, it should make life much easier on the tuner at high power levels.

Even at a sustained output power level of 600 watts, I had NO RFI problems in the shack whatsoever! (80/40/20 only bands tested).

Uncoiling, weather-proofing and erecting the antenna was quite easy, and the instructions were VERY good. Be sure to pay special attention to the water-proofing instructions and make rigorous use of the supplied coax-seal.

Am I a happy camper? You bet. Now let's see how it does for chasing low band dx, and how it holds up mechanically.

If this antenna would perform for you, like it has for me, I would not hesitate to order one. The service was excellent. I ordered the antenna on Monday, told them I wanted it by Friday for Field Day setup, and I received it on Thursday.

Highly Recommended.


hasan, N0AN

K7CRM Rating: 5/5 Apr 5, 2005 13:59 Send this review to a friend
Better Than Expected  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
So far I have experienced every thing that I had hoped would occur with this antenna. Being located in Southwestern Illinois, running 200 watts, and having the antenna apex only at 30 feet I was expecting to hear very little dx. What a surprise..... Russia, Slovenia, Italy, England, Ireland, etc., most all of Central and South America. As long as you follow the suggestions supplied by Radio Works regarding the installaion, and also use some common sense this 66 foot antenna will more than outperform a dipole of comparable length.
W5JAW Rating: 5/5 Jun 28, 2004 12:02 Send this review to a friend
Impressive wire antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got back on the air last summer after 30 years off. My qth is not suitable for big antennas, so I decided to try this one. I mounted it on 3 masts across the back of my house, keeping it flat as possible at about 30 feet high. The results beat my expectations by a huge margin. I consistently cracked big pile-ups on all bands.

Running 100 watts, in the first 12 months of operation I worked the following band-countries:

80m 65
40m 165
30m 143
20m 193
17m 136
15m 151
12m 105
10m 130

for a total of 1089. My total country count was 236. WAZ was completed in 5 months, and in 6 months on 20m and 7 months on 40m.

I use the folded configuration, with the ends dropped vertically at the attached extra insulators. This makes the antenna only 42 feet across. The earlier post complaining about poor performance mentioned using the antenna in a inverted vee configuration. Radio Works does not recommend this arrangement. I had a 40m inv-vee up temporarily while constructing this antenna. I compared them on 40 and 15 before removing the inv-vee. No contest-- the windom was always better by at least an s-unit, except for very short skip paths.
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