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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Omnidirectional: verticals, mobile, etc | Austin Pentenna Help


Reviews Summary for Austin Pentenna
Austin Pentenna Reviews: 3 Average rating: 2.3/5 MSRP: $89.95
Description: 6m through 23cm inclusive, or so they say. NMO mount.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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KD5VHZ Rating: 2/5 Apr 8, 2006 22:14 Send this review to a friend
Not impressed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased a Austin Pentenna hoping to find a one antenna solution for use with my Yaesu 8900 in my "company car". The Pentenna was mounted in the center of the trunk in a 3/4" hole NMO mount. The trunk is bonded to the body (as is the remainder of the vehicle including the exhaust).

The Pentenna is a rigid antenna and looks as though it wouldn't survive a tree limb strike, so it's good that it's short.

The Pentenna showed to have decent SWR >2:1 on 52.525, through the 2 meter band and the FM portion of the 70 cm band.

Tuning around the bands I found that some of the more distant 2 meter repeaters were received at lower levels than they had with the previously installed Larsen 2/70 dual band 1/4 wave. 70 cm repeaters came in even worse. I use the 8900 as a public safety scanner in the car and found the VHF high band signals (~155 Mhz) were good the UHF band (~465 Mhz)were poor. Forget about monitoring 800 Mhz comms, they didn't come through.

I didn't surprise me when I found that the Pentenna transmitted poorly on 2 meters and even worse on 70 cm. Mobile to mobile tests also showed that it barely gets out on that band.

My tests, although not scientific, were based on real life use in the area where I use my radio 5 nights a week on FM simplex and did show that 50 watts and the Pentenna were just about equal to 10 watts and my Larsen 1/4 wave. 6 meters worked just about as good as my 5 watt Icom T90A handheld with the stock antenna (and that's pretty poor).

I had expected the Pentenna's performance to be less than great on on 6 meters but there is no excuse for it's lack of 2 / 70 performance. I had hoped to thin out the antenna farm on the car's trunk lid but I'll be putting the Larsen back on along with a diplexer and a 6 meter hamstick.

Doug KD5VHZ



 
WW1LP Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2006 08:04 Send this review to a friend
Incredible  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I don't know how Mike had his installed, but this antenna is amazing. It worked great, even on simplex. I worked a guy 45 miles away on six meters. I tried all other multi-banders and could'nt adjust the s.w.r on six meters to get an acceptable match. I was able to get this antenna down to 1.4 to one on input repeater frequencies. I use a Yaesu FT-8900 and this antenna works perfect and it's very low profile. You won't be disapointed.
 
N7MSD Rating: 0/5 Sep 9, 2002 20:10 Send this review to a friend
Looks like a piece of garbage...and it is!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
An ultra-expensive piece of trash, and it even
looks it. It looks like something put together by
a ham in his garage, with shrink tubing and a bit
of glue. What can I say? It sucks.

It uses a funky NMO mount, which is probably the
most durable thing about the whole antenna. I
should point out that, because the center shaft
of the NMO is threaded, it should act as a choke
on 23cm and maybe even 70cm. This is confirmed
by it's non-performance on 23cm. However, on 70cm
a Bird 43 states it has no reflected power.
Doesn't mean there's not a dummy load in there
somewhere, though...

The antenna also is flat across the 2m band, while
it needs tuning (and it shows you how to do it)
on 6m. The bandwidth is narrow, but that's to be
expected.

Performance-wise, well, it's better than a duck.
But when compared to a better antenna it just
sucks. Bear in mind it's less than an 1/8th
wavelength on 6m, BTW, so you KNOW it's gonna
suck on that band!

Can you tell I hate this antenna? What makes me
hate it more is that I had to shell out $90 just
to find out how much I hate this antenna!! I'll
never buy anything made by Austin Antenna again,
and I advise you to do the same!!

Mike N7MSD
Reno, Nevada
 


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