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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | Outbacker Outreach and Alpha Delta Outpost tripod Help

Reviews Summary for Outbacker Outreach and Alpha Delta Outpost tripod
Outbacker Outreach  and Alpha Delta Outpost tripod Reviews: 13 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $656.95
Description: Portable antenna and tripod/ground coupler combination. <br> Covers 80-75-12-10-15-40-30-20-17-6 Metres (with taps in this combination). <br>
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Outbacker Outreach and Alpha Delta Outpost tripod.

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KK8ZZ Rating: 5/5 Aug 9, 2017 16:03 Send this review to a friend
Amazing Results  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Well, some folks consider this a "compromise" antenna. I found mine used at Dayton 2016 from a gentleman who had worked for the State Department for 20+ years. The airline stickers on the original triangular box were humbling. Post-Dayton, I unpacked everything and with a little No_Ox on each connector, was able to restore the antenna to its original condition. I've used this with the AD Outpost from several really REALLY remote camps in northern Ontario (we were flown in with Beaver aircraft) and I had many great contacts on the shores of Whitewater Lake with battery and solar charger... great fun ! (except for the curious Moose....) de KK8ZZ
W9OD Rating: 5/5 Apr 3, 2017 06:56 Send this review to a friend
Great portable antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this antenna for several years and really did not use it until a recent trip to Florida. I was totally amazed with its performance. Using my KX3 at 10 watts I worked Europe, Souh America, Canada and California. I do the QRP Fox Hunts, and 2 watts on 40 meters into Illinois! Again I am very impressed with this system. I was staying at a condo in Venice Beach, and was told I had to remove it, that reduced my operating time with it. If you can find one don't hesitate to buy it.
WD4ELG Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2012 21:42 Send this review to a friend
Stealthy, portable, and it does DX  Time owned: more than 12 months
ARRL testing/review of this antenna makes sense...of course we would expect something like this to work on 10, 12 and 15 meters for a whip of 12 feet. 17 and 20, less so, but it does work.

30 meters? Yep, 100 watts from FM06 and I am working into Pacific.

40 meters? Not likely. But yes, easily into Europe just this evening.

80 meters? Not tried yet, not expecting much, really too short.

It ain't cheap, but it does work and it's portable. The tripod is well built. Very happy with my purchase, and I will take it with me on vacation.
K5XS Rating: 5/5 Apr 11, 2012 10:50 Send this review to a friend
Love It!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been a ham 44 years. I have tried a bunch of different approaches to portable HF antennas. The "Outpost" tripod is far better than anything I have tried.

It is solidly built, and it works well. With 20 watts CW I have worked all over the world on several bands.

Mine is paired with an Outbacker "Split" antenna.

Set-up is easy and fast.

(As a tip, I struggled for something to transport the thing. I am also an astronomer, and happened to see a portable telescope case from Orion Telescopes. Their 43"x9"x11" Orion Padded Telescope Case works perfectly! The tripod, antenna, and coax fit nicely in it, and it has good padding and nice arm/shoulder straps!)

KB0XR Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2010 05:41 Send this review to a friend
Works for me  Time owned: more than 12 months
Previous review submitted under another heading.

I bought the 12 foot Outreach and tripod assembly from someone on EBay a couple of years ago. From the other items listed by the seller, I don't think they knew much about the antenna. I managed to score the entire thing for $200. The seller was slow in shipping it and when it finally showed up, it was a masterpiece of cardboard, foam, wood packing. UPS must have been totalled confused with this package.

Then it sat in my garage until last week.

I own a townhouse with nosy neighbors who complain about everything so I was using an indoor dipole constructed of zip cord on the second floor. Moving the shack downstairs pretty well demanded a new antenna system.

I have the tripod outside on my covered patio. Whe I want to operate, I just carry it out in the open, hide it behind a arbovitae bush and snap the whip onto a quick disconnect installed on the tripod. I punched a hole in the siding and fished a length of 8X thru the hole. My shack is on the inside wall so the coax run is less than 20 feet. MFJ analyzer quickly got the SWR down to reasonable level.

I worked over 100 stations on 40 meters this last weekend during the Illinois QSO party. Overnight, I worked another 20 assorted on 40 meters. It's not as good, obviously, as when I had an acre of land for various antennas at my last QTH but it'll do okay, I think.

At least, it got me back on the air.

I'm not sure I would have paid FULL price for it but I think I got an okay deal via EBay.
W2RS Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2010 08:42 Send this review to a friend
Not cheap but a great performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
In 2008-09, we rented a house in a no-antennas subdivision in the Texas hill country, so I purchased the Outreach/Outpost combination to use as a "portable" antenna. I set it up in the backyard, shielded from view by trees, and had no complaints from neighbors.

As the name implies, Outbacker antennas are made in Australia. They are of high quality manufacture. I decided to go with the top-of-the-line Outreach 500. This differs from the standard Outreach in that it is rated to handle 500 watts instead of the usual 100, but it only cost $30 more so I went for its heavier construction even though I only intended to run 100 watts or so.

The Outreach comes in two pieces, which screw together to form an insulated, rigid rod a little over 8 feet long. A pull-out stainless steel whip called the "stinger" is on top, adding a little over 3 feet when fully extended. The 8-foot rod incorporates a loading coil for most of its length, which includes a series of taps, one for each band: 75 through 6 meters. It comes with an insulated wire, called the "wander lead," having a banana plug at each end. To operate on any band other than 80 meters, you plug one end of the wander lead into the bottom of the antenna, coil it around the Outbacker on the way up the rod, and plug the other end into the appropriate coil tap.

However, this does not necessarily mean that you must go outside and re-set the wander lead every time you want to change bands. More about that later.

The bottom of the Outbacker terminates in a standard 3/8x24 fitting, which would mate with most mobile mounts in the unlikely event that you would want to put a 12-foot rigid antenna on your car. However, for my portable application I purchased the matching Outpost tripod. This is a rather ingenious aluminum device, about 2-1/2 feet high when assembled, that holds the Outreach securely. At the base of each tripod leg is an aluminum plate, 3 feet in length, with a hole through which you can drive a tent stake to hold the tripod in place. I did so, and with three tent stakes the Outbacker/Outpost combo has already survived winds up to 60 mph without budging.

The Outpost is held together with stainless wing nuts and washers. The entire assembly, antenna and tripod, took less than an hour and requires no tools.

The three aluminum plates are designed to rest on the ground, providing a capacitive grounding connection. While this worked fairly well on the higher-frequency bands, I decided to add three 30-foot wire radials, one on each leg of the tripod. These were strung out along the ground, each with a tent stake at the far end. They significantly improved the antenna's performance on 20, 30 and (especially) 40 meters. More radials would probably help even more, but so far I've gone with the three. As for 80 meters, the Outbacker loads up but about all that can be reasonably expected of an antenna this size on that band is local coverage.

On the other bands, however, I've been quite pleased with its performance. In about a year of operation, with 100 watts, the Outbacker worked 125 DXCC countries, with Worked All Continents achieved on each of the 40, 30, 20 and 17 meter bands. As a bonus, it's worked 26 states and 5 DXCC countries on 6 meters using sporadic-E propagation.

The Outbacker sits about 40 feet from the house, fed with a 50-foot roll of RG-8X. As with any antenna, the farther from houses and other obstructions it is, the better it will work.

Now, about changing bands: for general convenience, as well as to avoid having to go outside at night or in bad weather, I inserted an antenna tuner in the line between rig and Outbacker. I decided on the MFJ 962D, but any comparable manually operated tuner would work too. With the wander lead set for 20 meters, the antenna works well on that band without the tuner (i.e., with the tuner bypassed). With the tuner in, I get good performance on all bands from 10 MHz (30 meters) on up. To perform well on 40 meters, however, the wander lead still has to be set manually to provide optimal center loading of the antenna. I have not tried an auto-tuner, but would be somewhat skeptical about that due to the SWR levels involved.

The Outbacker Outreach/Outpost combination may not be for everyone, and I won't claim that it's cheap. It did, however, work for me in Texas. Depending upon the situation, it might work for you too.

NH7L Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2010 12:37 Send this review to a friend
A little bit of testing  Time owned: more than 12 months
In case this is relevant information for anybody: A couple years ago, I did a quickie and unscientific receive-only comparison of three common mobile antennas, each mounted on the Alpha Delta Outpost tripod, on rocky ground several hundred feet from seawater. Two of the antennas were Outbackers, the Tri-Split and the Outreach, 500-watt version. The third antenna(s) were Atoc Iron Horse 20- and 40-meter sticks, similar to Hamsticks. I tested receive only on 20 and 40 meters.

I emphasize receive-only because I did no comparison on transmit, although the reports I have gotten suggest the Outpost antenna has similar advantages on transmit as my receive findings listed below.

What I found was that my Outbacker Tri-Split and the two Iron Horse antennas, each of which is about 6 feet long, all performed very similarly on both bands.

The Outbacker Outreach 500, however, produced 1 to 1.5 more S-units of gain on both bands, as read on the meter of an IC-706 Mk IIG.

Outbackers are not inexpensive. But given how durably they are built, a used one is a pretty safe buy. The smaller sizes don't seem to perform better than less-expensive monoband mobile antennas. But given the performance advantage, a used Outreach is not bad value for money. For me, its 12-foot length makes it unsuitable for mobile use, but I use it a lot for parked or stationary mobile, with a mag mount on the roof of my pickup truck.
K6USN Rating: 5/5 Jun 10, 2008 09:28 Send this review to a friend
The right solution for me  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using Outbacker antennas in all their models for nearly 10 years. I have a yagi at the home QTH, so have high expectations on what an antenna should do. When traveling, I have two mainstay antennas for HF (20-10M) For short duration ((overnight) stays in hotels, I use the
Buddistick. Light, easy to set up and fits on a balcony. For a few days or a week, I prefer the Outbacker Outreach and the Outpost base. The Outreach/Outpost is more rugged, handles saltwater and wind, and is easy to install and take down, although at 15 lbs, one is not likely trek into the wilderness with it. Short vertical antennas are of course a compromise, but I find that they outperform horizontal antennas at low elevations for DX. For convenience, quality of construction, and acceptable performance, I give the Outreach/Outpost combo a solid 5.
KC7YTK Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2008 13:54 Send this review to a friend
The answer to my problem.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I live in an apartment. Not supposed to have antennas outside, so that just means no PERMANENT antennas (I read what wasn't there between the lines) and wire antennas are a no go. Time consuming to put up and a LOT more noticeable to the neighbors and management. So, I decided to go with a small verticle. I decided to go with the OUTREACH because A)it would cost almost as much to buy mono-banders for each band and require a lot more storage space B)I wanted the 160M option the Perth models lacked, and it was physically longer than the Perths-bigger=better mentality.

My balcony has a steel rail that wraps around my and my neighbors deck (close to 30 ft in all) so I used a CB type 3/8 X 24 mirror mount. I also use an antenna tuner to save me the hassle of fine tuning the antenna, up 3 stories, rain gutter in the way, I tune across the bands, I'm lazy, ect...The only down side is having to take it down to change the wander lead for band changes-if I am doing it a lot, I am doing this often.

Over all performance with this set up is fantastic. Before, I was unable to get on HF, now I can enjoy HF and even some DX when the bands permit. It has literally solved a very vexing problem of mine and I couldn't be more pleased. Yes, it is a pricey antenna, but the quality of construction is superb and most all-in-one solutions generally command a little premium. Besides, I'm back on the air and isn't that all that matters?

73's de KC7YTK
K3XT Rating: 4/5 Jul 8, 2006 11:55 Send this review to a friend
Outreach 500  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Outbacker Outreach 500 antenna review without the Outpost tripod for portable operations. First, the antenna works as advertised from 80m through 6 meters (minus 60m), but requires a lot of massaging to get there. After looking at many other portable antenna setups that could be checked as baggage, work on 80m, and not require any antenna supports at a temporary site, invisible as possible, this antenna fit the requirements. Until I understood how the antenna tunes it took me many hours setting up all the bands for a low SWR. For a base support I used the Buddistick vertical tripod. There are four variables that effect the SWR and frequency. You have your ground radials (number & length), the nature of the ground the antenna is over, the Wander Lead (67 inches), and then the adjustable whip at the top. After many hours of cause and effect, this is what works with the least amount of hassle. First, move whip to recommended length and then leave it alone. Second, put at least two 33 foot radials (I use five) at the antenna base. You can go crazy here with many different radial lengths, all this adds is more complexity to the portable setup. Third, how the Wander Lead is wrapped around the antenna (20m and above) can make a difference in the SWR. It can not be too tight or too loose. Forth, the nature of the ground the antenna is over. One of my locations was essentially a granite rock, no ground. I needed a Radio Works line isolator to keep the RF off the coax so the FT897 would not stop transmitting on 80m (coax coil trick did not work). I also needed a longer wander lead (119 inches) to work 40m CW. Over normal soil ground I did not need the line isolator nor the longer wander lead for 40m CW. For 6m the antenna tunes around 53 Mhz. If you want to work SSB at 50.1 Mhz, cut another wander lead to 95 inches, that will get the SWR down to 1.2 (the whip is not long enough to cover that portion of 6m). I did have a minor physical failure with a whip clamp that broke off. Jim Burns stood by the warrantee and finally came through with a replacement antenna. This antenna gets you on and off the air quickly. It works just as well as a full sized screwdriver antenna without the complexity and weight of control cables and a larger tripod support system. If you can put up any type of wire antenna at the portable location then use it, you will have a stronger signal, etc…
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