- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

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

Reviews Summary for Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical
Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical Reviews: 223 Average rating: 4.5/5 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:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical.

<— Page 3 of 23 —>

W4FJT Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2014 13:25 Send this review to a friend
High quality build  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my favorite camping solution. The laws of physics haven't changed. Buddipole simply works within those parameters. Easy to set up/take down and have had many nice DX contacts.

The Buddipole components are of high quality construction and worth the extra dollars over the long run. The documentation they provide (for free) would be useful even if you homebrew one. But I like the fit and finish of the product and don't hesitate to recommend it.

KF7VWN Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2014 10:22 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just picked one of these up. I am currently living in Germany (callsign DA1MH). I set up with an Icom IC-7000 running on a small generator on the top floor of an empty 5-story parking garage just outside of Munich. Set it up for 15m, read about a 1.1 SWR and within 2 mins after powering up made my first contact to Tim, K3LR, in Pittsburgh, PA and he gave me a 5/9. Absolutely fantastic product!!! Got a bit of RF noise (RX only) off the cheap generator but I will try to solve that with a ferrite choke clamp on the AC cord. A lot of people seem to complain about the manual changes needed to switch bands, but for portable ops this is an acceptable trade-off IMO. Sometimes a little trial and error is necessary; on 17 I found that 5 lengths on the black side instead of the 5.3 recommended in the pamphlet got me a nearly flat SWR. 5.3 had me at about 3.5. Patience is the key. Strongly recommended.
W8NLZ Rating: 4/5 Feb 23, 2014 17:58 Send this review to a friend
A good system on which to build  Time owned: more than 12 months
After several years of trial & usage, I almost exclusively use the Buddipole as a center-loaded vertical whip with 2 tuned radials.

Antenna Truism #1: The more wire you have out there, the better the "coupling" or radiation resistance with the world beyond. Thus, a short whip is not going to take the place of a 66' dipole on 40M. So if you use a vertical, you want to make it as long (tall) as possible.

Antenna Truism #2: With a dipole or Inverted Vee, unless you can get the wire at least a 1/4 wavelength above ground, most of your propogation will be NVIS (cloud warming). So, in the field there is room for compromise, particularly if you want to try for DX.

Enter the Buddipole Vertical. Often, there are no high tree branches around to string a wire. Here, the vertical - with no height constraints - can and does fill the bill.

Advantages of the vertical configuration include: no need for really tall supports or overhead tree branches; can be located close to the transceiver minimizing transmission line losses; quick to set up; lower angle of radiation for DX; easy to locate on the edge of a lake, river, or ocean for good propagation.

My configuration of choice: a 4' mast supporting the Buddipole Hub; thence two 22" extender tubes; thence the coil; all topped off with a 9' whip. 13' of radiating conductor. I use two pre-tuned radials connected to the Hub which go out to 3' garden stakes (an eleastic bands keeps them taut). To change bands, I change radials and move the tap on the coil. I also use the TRB balun in the 1:2 position to bring the feedpoint impedance up closer to 50 ohms. I never have to tune this rig in the field, the minor SWR imbalances being corrected by the ATU in the transceiver.

Results are pretty good. Operating QRP, I routinely work the USA, Caribbean, and Western Europe. Admittedly, 20M gives better DX, but 40M gives good rag chewing within the Eastern US. The rig is somewhat directional favoring the orientation of the radials.

As mentioned, Buddipole stuff is high quality and things work reliablly ... something really appreciated after you have hiked in with all this stuff on your back!

Several folks have mentioned the need to guy a tall antenna. That is true if you are using a tripod base. I usually look for a fence pole or pound my own 4' garden stake and use bungees to wrap my mast solidly to the support.
K5DHL Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2013 10:32 Send this review to a friend
Having a lot of fun with this antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just rec'd the mini version with the 8' mast. It wook me a little while to get 40m tuned in. I can get under 1.5 using a 1/4" whip length change for 2 settings to cover the lower & upper end of the band. But I plan to raise the antenna up another 4+ feet to see if one whip setting will cover the entire band at under 1.5.... The 20m band setup was quick and easy. From Oklahoma I made two contacts to KS & TX on a rather poor 40M band conditions. I am pretty happy with this little antenna & planning to take on vacation this November & Dec (of 2013). I am driving this antenna with new a FT-857D.
W9RRR Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2013 23:15 Send this review to a friend
Exceptionally Versatile  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I didn't buy the package but rather picked up pieces ala-carte. I wanted the low band coils for better 40/80 performance, long whips, etc. etc.

After getting everything together and playing with it, I am impressed as can be by the quality and the performance. Excellent construction. Excellent engineering. You get what you pay for and while this is not the cheapest antenna you can put together, it is an excellent value.
AK4NX Rating: 5/5 Aug 10, 2013 09:43 Send this review to a friend
Mini-buddipole  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Have had this antenna for about a month now and am totally satisfied with it's performance and the quality of the associated parts. No junk here and it works so well with my Yaesu FT-817ND. Purchased as extras the rotating arm kit, VersaTee, and extra color clips. The ease of set up and I use the SWR meter in the radio so I didn't need a 259B to tune. The antenna coils are well consrtucted and color codes are right on for top performance. I set this up in my back yard on an MFJ-1919 stand that I had 8 feet off the ground tuned for 20 meters and all went well using the Buddipole VersaTee and U-Bolts that were easily purchased at my local ACE Hardware. Four voice contacts in about 20 minutes of effort for a first time setup. I from Central Florida and they from PA(2),AL(1), LA(1). Follow the instruction sheet with color code and you will have no problems. Way to go Buddipole!!!
N5TSG Rating: 5/5 Jul 12, 2013 22:22 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Portable / Emergency Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I want to first say that this antenna has a little bit of a learning curve, this antenna is a Swiss Army Knife in your arsenal. I'd suggest that new users join the BUG yahoo group and download all the files and read them. I would also suggest that while this is an antenna that can be tuned for exact frequency that you consider running a tuner. It makes setup a snap, I can literally have my station up in 20 minutes.

I've owned my Buddipole for over 5 years now. I'm still impressed with its quality (95% American made) and ease of functionality. You simply will not find a better made product out there, nor will you find better support from a manufacturer/distributor than these guys. They know their product and they stand behind it. I can't tell you how many times I've been at Hamcom or Dayton at the booth and had someone come up and have an issue with the antenna by the time they leave Chris or Steve (ol Goat) will have them fixed up. Its usually something simple. I've also witnessed Chris taking care of out of warranty issues and just plain abuse of the antenna system without any issue. No one does that anymore! He's a stand-up kind of guy who uses and believes in his product.

If your on the fence about a good solid portable antenna look no further. This antenna is capable of multiple configurations and comes with excellent support from the manufacturer and other hams ... you can't go wrong with a Buddipole.
KE7UFP Rating: 5/5 Jul 6, 2013 17:00 Send this review to a friend
Great Portable Antenna System  Time owned: more than 12 months
I started with a Buddistick several years ago and have since built up a portable system that is a truly all band portable kit. It has functioned very well in some very difficult operating environments. It has been used on beaches, in parks, on mountains and in high desert. The only two times we had trouble was at a friend’s townhouse, and once during the WA State Salmon Run. The Salmon Run issue was on an 80 M Vertical that turned out to be a bad coax. We never got the BP to operate at the townhouse no matter what we tried.
I have seen some reviews that state that the system is unusable or poor performance. I would suggest trying the system in another area and take your time. Tuning has been difficult at times requiring us to touch up it up as the weather conditions change and the band conditions change.
But we have always been able to get an acceptable SWR, sometimes requiring a tuner. Not often.
It takes some work and patience to be proficient with the system, but well worth the effort.
W7SAG Rating: 5/5 Apr 23, 2013 14:38 Send this review to a friend
Great Portable Antenna!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I love operating portable and have used many varieties of antenna. I have used both the Buddipole and the Buddistick configurations and have had excellent results. When I first received the Buddipole, I had a difficult time getting it to tune up properly. After some frustration, I decided to check the continuity of the various components and found that I had a defective Versatee. After a call to JD at BP, I got a replacement Versatee and all is well. The service you get from BP is excellent and the product is well constructed, very high quality and works well. I alternate between the Buddipole and the Buddistick depending on what terrain I have to work with and what I want to carry. Few things in ham radio are as fun for me as working Japan on SSB from a portable location with 5 watts using my KX3 and the Buddipole. Read and follow the "Buddipole in the Field" book and you will enjoy these antennas.
AE5J Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2013 08:41 Send this review to a friend
Perfection in a Portable Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Let me begin by saying, (with no disrespect to previous posters) that the Buddipole is NOT for those wishing a plug and play antenna. It takes skill, an antenna analyzer, and a bit of experience to get really excellent performance from the Buddipole system.

Having said that, if you are looking for an antenna that can be carried in a bag, one that can be setup in an almost endless array of configurations, you can find none better.

True, it can be tuned without the analyzer (by ear), but I only do that with configurations I have previously gotten resonant with the analyzer. I can then re-create that configuration and tune it quickly by ear. It takes a bit of patience to utilize the Buddipole correctly. Once mastered, it is a stellar antenna system. Don't buy one thinking you can just connect parts together and get the performance you want. That performance comes with experience. Be patient.

I built and used a home brew "buddipole" from Bud's plans many years ago, so I had a large base of experience with the basic antenna. However, the Buddipole as sold today is worlds more polished than anything I could make at home. It is not inexpensive but, at least in my opinion, it is worth the expense. I simply cannot accomplish the vast array of configurations and band coverage with anything else. From 2 meters all the way down to 160 meters, (yes, you can create a full-sized 160m dipole if you add your own wire) it is a portable antenna builders dream.

I have tried other products and truthfully they will work also. I have found none to match the Buddipole for quality and engineering excellence.

Properly resonated, the Buddipole will amaze you at how well it works. It isn't a $5,000 beam/tower system, but it will work on top of a 10,000 foot mountain and can be easily carried by one person. Set up in the front yard or on a camping trip it delivers contacts around the world - even with very low power input.

My hat is off to the Buddipole team for a great product.
<— Page 3 of 23 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.