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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Verticals and Wire | Bilal Isotron Help


Reviews Summary for Bilal Isotron
Bilal Isotron Reviews: 74 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $59.95 to 179.95
Description: HF Antennas for SMALL Spaces
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.k1cra.com
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You can write your own review of the Bilal Isotron.

<— Page 2 of 8 —>

KC0ZPS Rating: 2/5 Jan 24, 2011 07:50 Send this review to a friend
Would not recommend it  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned the Isotron 40m and 80m antenna for three years now. While I've been able to make a few contacts on the 40m antenna, I was never able to make a single contact with the 80m antenna.

I never realized how bad the performance of the Isotron was until I replaced it with a Hustler 6BTV vertical. In the week I've owned it, I was able to make as many contacts with the vertical than a whole year of owning the Isotron.

In fact, I kept both antenna's plugged in so that I could switch between the two. The hustler picked up a signal and it sounded great. I'd switch over to the Isotron and only heard static. Whats funny is that my vertical isn't even completely tuned yet.

While I realize that I may not be comparing apples to apples -- a 24' vertical antenna vs. the compact nature of the Isotron, I don't think I would recommend this antenna to anyone who can get away with a larger antenna. The 80m Isotron was just pure trash being that I was never able to make a single contact with it.
 
KD8IGK Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2011 08:41 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna do not tell anyone else!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This review is for the 40 Meter Isotron.

Mounted - inside attic of an external garage, about 100 feet from shack, connected via RG-213u coax. Height only about 15 feet above ground. Antenna is grounded within the garage and this dramatically improved it's SWR. This ground connection in the garage is only temporary and I will properly correct this when the weather improves.

I read all the reviews and noticed some HAMS had disappointing results. I have to disagree with those reviews and I am sure with any antenna your mileage will vary.

I had great support from Ralph, WD0EJA. You probably do need a good antenna analyzer to tune this antenna. If you do not have one, borrow one from a fellow ham. Otherwise you will be guessing a lot on what works well.

Ralph WD0EJA did give me a good tip. you need to put the tunning bar on the opposite side of the antenna connector at about a 45 degree angle in the downward direction. Also rotating the position of the coil also affected the SWR.

I also have a OCF dipole inside the attic of the house for comparison at about a 25 feet above ground. I was talking on 40 Meter phone and CW. I switched antennas in the middle of transmission and my contact could not tell the difference between the antennas.

Here is the SWR curve I got after tunning. I used a Rig Expert AA-230-Pro Analyzer and this is the data report directly at the antenna point. I got a nice broad band SWR of about 2.0 across 40M. I tried to include that graph here in this review but eHam forum would not let me upload it to this review. If you want this send me an email.

By the way this antenna was also pretty good at 10M and 6M.

I do use a tuner to operate only to reduce strain on the radio.

Zplots file generated by AntScope
Frq MHz Rs Xs
6.908 20.8 -29.77
6.91184 21.06 -29.67
6.91568 21.31 -29.66
6.91952 21.56 -29.59
6.92336 21.81 -29.6
6.9272 22.1 -29.59
6.93104 22.35 -29.59
6.93488 22.63 -29.59
6.93872 22.91 -29.59
6.94256 23.19 -29.59
6.9464 23.49 -29.61
6.95024 23.81 -29.69
6.95408 24.15 -29.64
6.95792 24.37 -29.65
6.96176 24.72 -29.76
6.9656 24.99 -29.75
6.96944 25.3 -29.76
6.97328 25.63 -29.86
6.97712 25.96 -29.86
6.98096 26.29 -29.95
6.9848 26.63 -30
6.98864 26.94 -30.1
6.99248 27.27 -30.16
6.99632 27.61 -30.22
7.00016 27.99 -30.4
7.004 28.29 -30.44
7.00784 28.67 -30.55
7.01168 29.03 -30.68
7.01552 29.4 -30.83
7.01936 29.74 -30.96
7.0232 30.1 -31.11
7.02704 30.47 -31.32
7.03088 30.81 -31.44
7.03472 31.19 -31.7
7.03856 31.52 -31.89
7.0424 31.88 -32.02
7.04624 32.26 -32.29
7.05008 32.61 -32.57
7.05392 33.02 -32.9
7.05776 33.37 -33.07
7.0616 33.68 -33.32
7.06544 34.04 -33.56
7.06928 34.37 -33.88
7.07312 34.74 -34.2
7.07696 35.06 -34.56
7.0808 35.35 -34.87
7.08464 35.76 -35.22
7.08848 36.06 -35.61
7.09232 36.37 -35.98
7.09616 36.69 -36.34
7.1 36.99 -36.74
7.10384 37.22 -37.15
7.10768 37.52 -37.54
7.11152 37.8 -38
7.11536 38.04 -38.41
7.1192 38.26 -38.93
7.12304 38.58 -39.39
7.12688 38.77 -39.89
7.13072 38.98 -40.3
7.13456 39.15 -40.85
7.1384 39.37 -41.4
7.14224 39.53 -41.91
7.14608 39.71 -42.45
7.14992 39.79 -42.99
7.15376 39.91 -43.49
7.1576 39.97 -44.12
7.16144 40.16 -44.6
7.16528 40.22 -45.28
7.16912 40.23 -45.83
7.17296 40.23 -46.47
7.1768 40.3 -47.07
7.18064 40.37 -47.57
7.18448 40.19 -48.21
7.18832 40.22 -48.77
7.19216 40.06 -49.29
7.196 40.04 -49.88
7.19984 39.97 -50.56
7.20368 39.86 -51.14
7.20752 39.64 -51.72
7.21136 39.62 -52.27
7.2152 39.33 -52.9
7.21904 39.14 -53.4
7.22288 38.94 -54.12
7.22672 38.66 -54.36
7.23056 38.35 -55.24
7.2344 38.09 -55.61
7.23824 37.81 -56.31
7.24208 37.48 -56.64
7.24592 37.16 -57.35
7.24976 36.78 -57.59
7.2536 36.41 -58.37
7.25744 36.04 -58.62
7.26128 35.61 -59.23
7.26512 35.19 -59.42
7.26896 34.77 -60.15
7.2728 34.37 -60.51
7.27664 33.85 -60.87
7.28048 33.41 -61.17
7.28432 32.89 -61.75
7.28816 32.46 -62
7.292 32.46 -62

I live in a restricted community and erecting a 100 foot tower is out of the question for my shack. Given that situation my use of the ISOTRON has worked well.







 
XE1XNP Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2010 10:22 Send this review to a friend
Combo 40/80 Excellent antenna!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Tengo el combo 40/80 y me ha funcionado de maravilla en 80 metros el ancho de banda es de 55 khz @ 2:1 en el centro de la frecuencia quedó a 1:1 en 40 metros el ancho de banda es de 120 khz @ 2:1 y al centro de la banda quedó a 1:1.0
He hecho contactos a toda la republica Mexicana con excelentes resultados así como a Estados Unidos en 80 metros y mi señal siempre es muy buena , casí no creen que use estas antenas tan pequeñas.

100% recomendadas para espacios limitados o areas restringidas, casí se compara al performance de un Bipolo, pero claro 50 veces de menor tamaño así que no esperen maravillas en el DX de larga distancia.

Para aquellos que digan que no sirve les invito a ver unos videos en mi pagina de QRZ.com
busquen en http://www.qrz.com/db/XE1XNP

saludos y 73´s


 
K1CJS Rating: 1/5 Sep 25, 2010 08:55 Send this review to a friend
The co-ax is the antenna  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I had a twenty/forty meter combination setup I traded for, and the only good thing was I could say was I had a HF antenna system up. I tried an experiment--I placed a dummy load at the end of the co-ax and raised that into the air. It worked just as well as OR BETTER than the Isotrons.

When I finally got room for a simple dipole system, I could NOT believe the difference between these 'antennas' and the dipole! It made no difference that you could tune them for minimum SWR. In my experience a simple dipole system blew these fancy 'birdcages' out of the water!

Unless you have absolutely NO choice in the matter, save your money and put up a dipole or a long wire. You'll probably be much happier.
 
AB8BC Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2010 04:46 Send this review to a friend
80 meter works very well!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Knowing the restrictions of where I was putting this antenna, it works exceptionally well! I didn't expect much from it, but WOW!!! It's installed in a very tight space, surrounded by boxes and stuff in the attic over the garage. Approx. 20 feet off the ground. I can now connect with my friends on 80 to the north and south.

I live in a restricted area, so it going outside is a possibility, but not on a pole. So I contacted the manufaturer for suggestions and found immediate help. I would recommend this to anyone who can't put up a dipole or just wants to add something simply.

Went togetheir very quickly and easily. I am impressed and would not hesitate to suggest to anyone.
 
K6JB Rating: 4/5 Sep 18, 2010 19:30 Send this review to a friend
Will Work Fine if Patient  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my 40 meter Isotron for seven years now. I know I'm not putting out a big sound, but I am making decent contacts. I usually get 57 reports on SSB and 579 on CW. From San Francisco, I've made solid contacts to Manitoba, Florida, Eastern Tennessee--all during the bottom of the sunspot cycle. I don't seem to have a problem finding resonance between 7.025 and 7.125. I used to leave the capacitor hat on, but found that I had a better SWR leaving it off and I didn't need to use any tuner either. This antenna will be a good choice for a new ham with limited space in the backyard. It's easy to assemble, doesn't cost very much (under $100), and will provide you a much easier way to get an antenna up and on the air (just put it on a telescopic mast about 20 feet in the air). Neighbors won't complain, either, because it really does look like a bird feeder to the non-ham.
 
I0HUB Rating: 0/5 Jul 6, 2010 13:39 Send this review to a friend
Don't waste your money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought combo 40/80 doen't work at all I could never get it to tune. Even the hardware is very poor, a good advice keep your money, this is just trash!
 
KC0GSB Rating: 0/5 Mar 27, 2010 20:37 Send this review to a friend
Remote Dummy Load  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the 20M, 40M, and 80M models. They have never worked worth a darn. I followed the instructions carefully. I checked and rechecked grounds, used every configuration of the tuning plates, checked the resonance with a grid dip meter, tried every pico farad cap I could find, and etc..etc..etc.. I actually talked to Texas from Nebraska on my Cantenna one time by accident. With the Isotrons I couldn't talk across the street. I remember when I took them down and put up some homemade dipoles. I turned on the Yaesu and 40M came alive. So did 20M, 80M, and everything in between. They may work for some, but myself and two other Hams here refer to them as remote dummy loads. They now sit in my shed. Maybe someday I will make a bird feeder out of them.
 
K0KS Rating: 3/5 Jan 19, 2010 21:15 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna for limited size  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've used the 80-40 model and it rarely outperforms my dipoles or vertical. But there are times when it will. The Isotron does not work off resonance as well as a dipole when matched with a tuner. IMPORTANT: Resonance was difficult to find until I added a ferrite isolator 3' down on the coax. This made a huge difference for these pole-mounted Isotrons up 20' in the open. Ideal for apartments and RVs but I can do better on 2 acres.
 
KF4RDF Rating: 5/5 Dec 19, 2009 14:27 Send this review to a friend
80 meter works great.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I talk to my friends and they say that this antenna will not work all the while I am talking to them on it. It does work. Just don't tell anyone that you are talking on the Isotron and they will say your dipole is working great.
If you have a postage stamp yard, I think this is a great solution to the antenna problem of space.
I am going to get the 40-20 meter combo and maybe the 10 meter later.
An old CB friend has the 11 meter version and he talks just as if he had a big base antenna.
Hey they are not expensive, buy one I am sure you will be suprised. KF4RDF
 
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