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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | Steppir SmallIR Vertical Help

Reviews Summary for Steppir SmallIR Vertical
Steppir SmallIR Vertical Reviews: 8 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $439.00
Description: 20m-6m 1/4 wave end fed vertical - no traps, coils or capacitors; 18 feet total length, radials required. 13.8 MHz to 54.000 MHz continuous coverage!
Product is in production.
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TF3JB Rating: 5/5 May 16, 2017 11:04 Send this review to a friend
SteppIR SmallIR; an excellent product.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I live in a residential neighborhood where it is not an option to put up large or visible antennas, including wire antennas. In order to be QRV on as many bands as possible, my solution was to purchase the SteppIR SmallIR vertical antenna with the SDA100 controller.

I also have the optional SmallIR 80 meter coil box for 30m, 40m, 60m and 80m and the optional SteppIR external current balun.

Radials are not needed, since it is mounted on an edge of a large metal roof (400 square meters) which gives an advantage towards the west and southwest. The height of the vertical is 8 meters above ground.

After 4.5 years in service, I needed to send the 80 meter coil box to the factory for repairs. That only took about 2 weeks in all, and the SteppIR charge was very reasonable.

The antenna has proven to be excellent. Taking into consideration an element length of only 5.5 meters, I have been amazed at what I can do even on 80 meters (and other bands). This judgement is based on my experience as a ham for over four decades.

The big plus is that I am able to be QRV on all bands. Also, it is not a very noticeable antenna (not that high) and the dark green color helps. Also, it does not need to be guyed despite the high wind conditions that we frequently experience in winter up here in the north.

I would highly recommend other hams to consider the SmallIR if in a similar situation as described above. I would most certainly not hesitate to buy it again.

73 de TF3JB.
W8OQ Rating: 5/5 Mar 25, 2017 19:26 Send this review to a friend
Very good performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Our winter home is a "park model" in an RV resort in Tucson. It has a large aluminum-roofed carport attached to the mobile home and sun room which have aluminum siding. For several years I used a mobile screwdriver antenna mounted on a pole with a short wire to the carport roof for the ground plane. It worked fairly well. I replaced it recently with the SmallIR with the 40/30 coil. I had to change the default lengths (some significantly) but managed to get < 1.5 to 1 on all bands 40 to 6.

Performance is very good, noticeably better than the screwdriver. I regularly break pileups and can work most any station heard. But it's audibly quite noisy, but the neighbors have yet or complain.

So if you have a large metal roof, this antenna will work very well without messing with radials.

It's pretty expensive, though - more than $1400 with the external coils and shipping. Eham GREATLY understates the actual cost. Great antenna, highly recommended.
Dave, W8OQ
K9DY Rating: 5/5 Jun 27, 2016 19:27 Send this review to a friend
Unique elevated location  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have a second home in a typical South Florida HOA community. I am fortunate that they allow radio antennas with approval. I was going for a small, low profile mobile antenna mounted to my pool cage, but the chairman of the committee told me to submit "what I want", so submitted the Small IR. I was very surprised that they approved it. I wasted no time getting the antenna ordered and erected before they could change their minds.

I mounted the antenna on an aluminum mast that reaches the top horizontal rail of my 60x25 ft. swimming pool / lanai cage. The antenna is grounded with short braid to the nearest support. I also wired about 200+ feet of gutters to the pool cage for more radial /counterpoise area. I did not install any typical radial wires at all. The cage is grounded with 2 driven 8 foot rods, one at each end (terminating in the water table, I suspect).

Before I attempted this, I called the guys at SteppIR and asked if they thought the antenna would work in this configuration. They told me that it should, but I was in "uncharted territory". I'm glad to report that the antenna in this configuration works GANGBUSTERS!! SWR is virtually flat on all HF bands 10-40(with 40m coil). With 100 watts I can work anything I hear. I tried it out during the last ARRL CW contest and worked nearly all DX stations on the first call. I was breaking pile ups with no more than a few calls.

I had tried to research mounting a mobile antenna on a pool cage, but found very little information. Now I find that it is fairly common in Florida to use mobile antennas mounted in this manner, but I know of no other Small IRs. I am hoping this information will help someone in a similar situation.

PHOTOS at my QRZ page K9DY/4
KA9P Rating: 5/5 Oct 26, 2014 18:34 Send this review to a friend
Unique bit of kit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After running some models and talking to a bunch of folks, I decided to give the Small IR vertical a try as a low profile antenna.

The EHU is installed in the attic with the radials, and the whip extends thru a small hole in a metal roof vent.

The base is at 35 feet. I've exercised it on all bands at high power and find it to be reliable and to get out well.

I will say the attic install is a challenge to get low VSWR on all bands. I have near perfect matches on 3 bands, and 17 and 15 are hovering around 2:1. There's lots of interaction between radials and local metallic objects to contend with. I'd say don't try an elevated install in that kind of environment without first having all the radials attached, and having an antenna analyzer handy to help dial it in.

The instructions could be better. I was able to find most of what I needed by carefully reading the manuals, but sometimes what I needed was buried in text and not that easy to find. Additionally, I ordered the 80 thru 30 meter coil, but apparently there is no instruction manual for this specific coil yet, so they ship a Big IR coil manual and let you sort it, even though the Big IR manual is mostly about modifying older units to use that coil. And the documentation sometimes references the older style controller, which can be confusing. I'll post again when the coil is sorted.

But customer service is great, and the performance as well, and it's barely noticeable unless you know where to look.

Well worth the effort.
G3KEC Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2011 03:09 Send this review to a friend
superb  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Small Garden. mounted it elevated at 7 foot on scaffold pole. 5 radials each side along fence. results beyond expectations. swr at 1:1 .can be serviced by one person. had other vertical that had lots of rods etc attached, impossible to service without help, this is dead easy.No hesitation in recommending.
first qso was VP5
K5YLT Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2007 06:57 Send this review to a friend
Just Perfect  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Living in a heavily antenna restricted development, I needed an antenna that I could camouflage but that still had a chance of working better than a slinky. The Smallir was a perfect choice.

Installed in my postage stamp backyard with 40 14' radials, this vertical is the answer to my prayers. First I added a plastic Christmas ornament sprayed silver to the top and then a small pulley with some synthetic rope and voila, instant flag pole. I used a fake rock to cover the motor controller and the landscape police never even blinked. Email me if you would like to see some pictures.

To date at the lowest of the low sunspots, I have worked an amazing amount of DX especially being in Texas the middle of DX no mans land. Every thing from Japan to Crete and most everything in between. I would recommend this antenna in a heart beat.
KE7EAP Rating: 5/5 Feb 7, 2006 18:43 Send this review to a friend
It follows me like a puppy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My CC&R's don't allow amateur antennas in the front yard, on the roof, or attached to the house. The SteppIR "small" vertical was installed in the back yard. It's at ground level using eight 16 foot radials, equally spaced except for a 70 degree gap. Three of them stairstep down a terraced garden. I used a post level to set the stub post and the antenna sits perfectly vertical near a stand of bamboo. Few have even noticed it. The available Icom interface is used with the factory settings for general mode.

My location is Renton WA. After installation I soon had solid 100w ssb qso's with Japan on both 20 and 15. I'm a new ham with a background in tv channel surfing, and the SteppIR suits my style perfectly. It tracks my every move on 20, 17, 15, and 10. My transceiver doesn't operate on 6 so I haven't been there.

I have no other antennas to compare it with, but I am completely satisfied.
VE3BTI Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2005 13:20 Send this review to a friend
Excellent - must have  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am using this in a limited space yard, approx 45ft x 35ft ( W x D ) backyard. Ground mounted approx 5ft from a 10x10 raised wooden deck and 15 ft from a brick/siding raised ranch house.

The antenna was easy to setup with just one person. Making sure it was level, and installing the ground radials was the hardest part.

* minor adjustment to the length of the antenna (via Controller Setup Menu) in order to get sub 1.5 SWR. Repeated for all bands
** got to love the ability to fine tune the length of the antenna for each freq. without resorting to cutters!.

* medium winds of 60-65 kph did cause a bit of swing in the vertical, but nothing else. Unit is not guyed at this time.

* the ability to retract the element during bad weather ( lightning storms ) is a bonus. Have to protect the investment! *grin*

* did not purchase the interface fom the radio to the controller (allows for automatic band tuning) since I am using a TenTec 516. Manual tuning is not a problem, bandwidth is wider than I would have thought.

Have been able to work stations on both coasts and of course the southern states on just 15 watts.

The call to Fluidmotion for the purchase of the antenna was handled very well by the staff. They indicated there was a backlog and was able to give an eta (antenna was delivered before the eta) and they also helped with the needed customs / shipping to my QTH (Canada).

Would not hesitate recommending the company or product to anyone.

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