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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical Help


Reviews Summary for Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical
Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical Reviews: 219 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $199.
Description: It's a dipole... It's a vertical... It fits in your travel bag!. The Buddipole™ is more than an antenna, it's a versatile system for launching your signal. Optimized for transmit power and proven for DX work, the Buddipole™ is the secret weapon used by HF portable operators all around the world. Precision engineered for maximum performance using ultra light composite materials and High-Q coils. Zero-loss balun with Quick-Connect feedpoint. This antenna can be used to cover any band from 40M to 2M
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.buddipole.com
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KA2NCD Rating: 1/5 Jun 30, 2016 22:14 Send this review to a friend
Poor Quality Bad Business Practice  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I want to preface the following regarding the Buddipole products. The long telescoping whips sold separately if dropped accidentally fall apart at the bottom by the connector thread. Try getting a replacement and you’re out of luck. I've lost several and the remainder will stay in the case. The HF low band coils are made of thin plastic while the ends are glued together. These coils have been used for approximately one year only on weekends and in suitable go box weather. While setting up using the rigid shock whip and the HF low band coil I noticed the capped end (where the coil screws into the whip or the VersaTee) was loose. It appeared to me at a first glance that the coil end is snapped together. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. The coil ends top and bottom are glued (poor design). I called Buddipole and explained the situation. I sent them a picture as requested and was accused of dropping the coil. However, they asked me to send the coil back for repair or replacement. As of this review the coil is still with the mold injector (over 2 weeks) with no response or customer follow up from Buddipole. I'm not sure I will be purchasing any other products from Buddipole especially with this poor customer service and attitude!
 
G0GBZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2016 11:55 Send this review to a friend
Excellent, Easy to use and carry..  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
After moving into a (temporary) ground floor apartment I was unable to have any outside antenna's, this led me into Portable working. I took my trusty 20 ft 4 section GRP telescopic mast and my home made wire for 40/80m. A bit of a bind to find a good site to erect it all and problems with space in my vehicle. The Buddipole system entered the equation, after much reading I took the plunge and purchased a Buddipole Deluxe kit, a TRSB balun, an 80m low band coil and the counterpoise kit. This counterpoise is without doubt one of the most important items to have and when used with my analyzer I get 1.2:1 swr in most set ups. Fantastic difference to setting up and space taken in the car. So far I have worked 40 and 80 m with excellent results in different locations, so much so that I bought another Deluxe package to set up in different configurations to evaluate one setup against the other (as well as a spares package in case of any field damage) The New multi-functional Versa Tee design is only what can be described as Superb, it allows so many configurations with Buddipole equipment and other systems, Wires, whips etc.. The TRSB switch is good and is easy to include in the set up, only downer is it is rated at 100 watts. Now retired I have decided to make the most of the Buddipole System so if you hear me on, give me a call...
73, Norm G0GBZ
 
KQ4YA Rating: 5/5 Jan 14, 2016 05:19 Send this review to a friend
Serves its purpose well  Time owned: more than 12 months
The advantages are these in my opinion:

Great support - both from the company and the Buddipole group on Yahoo. There's an old-fashioned feeling to the company because of the personal service. A lot of companies claim to offer great support - you would need to experience the support to understand just how good it is. You'll be impressed.

Excellent build quality - the system is well-engineered, sturdy and attractive.

Any of the undersized portable antenna systems I have used (including the Buddipole system) lag in performance compared to a full-sized wire antenna. I use the Buddipole when I don't have the time, inclination or the trees to put up a wire antenna while traveling. It's easy to assemble, easy to take down - often an important plus for quick stays in a cabin or rented home. And because it's over-engineered I don't have to worry whether it survived the trip.

The system easily rates a 5 when evaluated as a portable antenna system. I haven't used all the portable systems and can't say with any certainty that it's the best on-air performer of the group. But, to me, that's like trying to judge a dancing contest held among the clumsy. A wire dipole up high will beat any of these systems. They are special purpose antennas and, with that criteria, I feel comfortable recommending the Buddipole.
 
N6DMR Rating: 3/5 Jan 13, 2016 18:34 Send this review to a friend
Agree With KB0CMV   Time owned: more than 12 months
I agree with Kieth, KB0CMV, I tried a lot of portable dipoles including the Buddipole and MP1 and found that my TWA-2010 outperforms them all with no fussing around with fussy tuning and such.

This may not be a detailed review of the Buddipole, but it does go to putting out there some very efficient and in my opinion superior alternatives.

With the TWA as a portable I am setup with no tuning in 5 minutes and making DX QSO's in no time. It does not break down to a small kit though and it does take a 12V source to power the tuning matchbox.

On light portable operations I bring in home built single band End Fed Dipoles, usually for 20m and 40m, both antennas fit in a pack with little space. A throw line to a convenient tree works and I have even packed a light 30ft telescoping pole that works well as a support.

For my home station (a 40' motor home) I use a HyEndFed multiband up as an inverted "L" between two 40ft telescoping masts. Have worked over 4000 miles on 5 watts with this antenna.

While the Buddipole is a well built kit and of course works for many, my experience is that an end fed wire works better in most conditions.
 
N0CSM Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2016 08:13 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After borrowing a Buddipole from a friend for testing purposes, I found that it worked well for me so I purchased my own. Luckily, it arrived on December 31st as I had planned to activate a local park in Northern Virginia for the opening day of the National Parks On The Air event. For the event, I set up my Buddipole on a fiberglass mast at about 25ft using a homebrew bracket to put the VersaTee on the mast. The Buddipole was configured with the rotating arm kit, long telescopic whips, a single “arm” and the loading coils on each side. Once mounted on the mast, I ran the antenna up to about 15ft and used my antenna analyzer to tune it to 14.150 and it showed an SWR under 1.4:1 almost all the way across the 20m band (lowest was at about 1.2:1 and just over 1.5:1 in the CW range). Once tuned, I ran it up to about 25ft and got to work.

Over the course of about 2 ½ hours, another club member and I were able to make 174 SSB contacts on 20m, 1 PSK31 contact on 20m (only worked digital for a couple of minutes due to an uncharged battery) and 1 trans-equatorial contact into Brazil on 10m. We worked contacts from Virginia to California, to Utah, Maine, Southern Florida, and all over the mid-west with consistently good signal reports. All of this was at 100watts from an FT-897D. The size of the pileups was a sure indicator that we were being heard as we worked the crowd. In the end, we had an awesome day in the field and all of the credit must go to the folks at Buddipole.

I found that a little research made setting up this antenna very easy. The “Buddipole in the Field” book provides some excellent information for setting the Buddipole up at different heights and configurations and the set up sheets that accompany the long whips help as well. I will admit, I was a bit worried about this before trying it myself as some reviews suggest the antenna is difficult to tune but I just kept saying in my head “Shorter = Higher, Longer = Lower” as I adjusted the whips or coil settings. From the initial settings, it took two minor adjustments to move the resonant frequency to where I wanted it.

I won't bash any other suppliers here but I will say that I've tried a couple of different antenna systems that included these "rigid dipole setups" as well as a couple of end fed, center fed and OCF wire dipoles as well as my own wire designs. A good wire antenna will always be in my go kit but it's not going to be my primary any longer - there's a new "king of the box" for me now.

The quality of the components is top notch, the documentation doesn’t read like a cliffhanger and my personal experience with the folks at Buddipole is important but, at the end of the day, performance is what gets the job done. This antenna does what it is made to do.
 
W8NLZ Rating: 4/5 Nov 12, 2015 14:58 Send this review to a friend
Hints for successful use  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my 2nd review. I use Buddipole components exclusively for vertical antennas in the field. Perhaps the greatest attribute of Buddipole stuff is that it is well built and works in all conditions and seasons. Here are some of my maintenance tips:

Several of the Buddipole components use female threads in aluminum stock. Aluminum is subject to corrosion and the threads also catch dirt and sand. Most of the male threaded pieces are brass. Again, corrosion and dirt in the threads. I carry both a male bottom tap and a female die (3/8-24 fine). I clean my threads and apply a little WD-40 as I pack them away for the next usage. It doesn't hurt to wipe the telescoping antennas with a little WD-40 as well.

I have several short masts to position the Versatee about 8 ft above ground level. One is a trailer hitch mount. Another is two military tent poles topped with a 1/2" NPT adapter. But my favorite is the Mini-Buddipole tripod. But to make the tripod stable, one must guy it at the 4 ft level. I attach 3 D-rings to the mast using a velcro strap. I have a kit consisting of 3ea tensioners, 3 six foot nylon ropes, and 3ea tent pegs. Once guyed, the mast is stable in any wind.

I operate QRP portable on 40M, 20M, and 17M with the Buddipole Vertical and find no need for an amplifier.

 
K8QV Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2015 17:36 Send this review to a friend
Specific Solution  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just happened upon the Buddi reviews and felt compelled to chime in. Bottom line, it works very well for the job is was designed to do. It is a highly portable, lightweight and efficient (for its size) device for temporary use. I used an analyzer the first couple of outings, but now I get things close enough just by listening to the noise. I generally set up a Buddistick on a camera tripod, adjust the counterpoise and work QRP DX with it and an IC-703. If weight and mounting options aren't an issue you might do better with larger antennas. But then, you might not.
 
KB0CMV Rating: 2/5 Oct 29, 2015 12:19 Send this review to a friend
Kind of a pain  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Better plan on getting it high in the air to be effective. But when it needs adjusting (and it will) you have to bring it back down and fuss with the telescopic lengths. Back up and darn...still not right, back down and start again. This can go on for a long while. And yes, I use an antenna analyzer. Very fussy if anything is near it. Save up your money and buy a TransWorld antenna. 5 minute setup and you are on the air! For backpacking, bring an endfedZ.
 
KG7QYJ Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2015 06:32 Send this review to a friend
Here's the deal  Time owned: more than 12 months
Running 100W (optimistically) on a Buddipole dipole set up in my back yard, I have worked Europe, New Zealand and multiple US QTH's. We read claims like this all over the place for products that don't deliver. This one has for me. Plus, I've had to deal with their customer service and it's excellent. I haven't even started playing with all possible configurations. Highly recommended.
 
VE4MM Rating: 1/5 Dec 31, 2014 18:24 Send this review to a friend
Second Review  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this in 2008 for my trip to Mexico.

It worked fine.

Off to Hawaii next week and I set it up on a 4th floor apartment I own and I could not get the SWR down. It was infinite. Using a MFJ Digital Antenna analyzer. (This antenna is hard to tune)

Looks like I will bring the Steppir Crank IR. Works perfect.

Will not be able to work the bands from my balcony now. Just the beach. Bummer.
 
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