eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
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
About eHam.net


donate to eham
Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Bilal Isotron Help


Reviews Summary for Bilal Isotron
Bilal Isotron Reviews: 77 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
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Bilal Isotron.

<— Page 2 of 8 —>

WD8LIC Rating: 4/5 Jun 18, 2011 04:57 Send this review to a friend
Good Performer!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Isotron Antennas are for hams that have limited space for installing antennas. If you have the space, install something else. I did my first review in 2009 and am still amazed with these very small antennas. I was so impressed with these antennas I formed an Isotron Antenna User Group on Yahoo Groups to help other hams who were not having good performance with their isotron antenna installations.

Initially, I installed the 40/80 combo at an assisted living facility for my 90 year old Dad to operate from. The facility was very cooperative in allowing me to install the antenna as long as I "kept it out of sight". After installing it, they said: That's it? That's all there is to it? We've got residents with birdfeeders bigger and uglier than that".

Dad recently died and the antenna has come down. Had it not been for Isotron, my Dad would not have been on HF anymore. It made a wonderful difference to him. His biggest concern about going to "the home" was no antennas allowed. Well, Dad worked an awful lot of QSO's from his birdfeeder antenna.

These antennas do work, but they are not plug and play. You must follow the rules of assembly and installation, to include good grounding of the antenna. Personally, I recommend an aluminum mast, up about 20-25 ft., with stainless steel hardware with "battery terminal protectant spray on all connections". Antenna analyzer makes tuning simple.

If you are experiencing difficulty, visit IsotronUserGroup on Yahoo Groups or email me at bobdaney@arrl.net. I am in no way afilliated with Isotron. I just appreciate good ham gear that works.
 
K9FON Rating: 3/5 Mar 3, 2011 15:43 Send this review to a friend
ok  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got a used 80 meter Isotron just for kicks for next to nothing. Ive been playing around with it the past few days, and it seems to work ok. Tuning it is a bear and the antenna relies heavily on the coax as a sort of counterpoise. Even touching the coax can adversely detune the antenna. It works ok as a stealth antenna and is only a few DB down from my full lenth dipole up 45'. Granted its not the best thing on earth but for a restricted ham it will work A OK.
 
AA5L Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2011 22:15 Send this review to a friend
All things considered, great!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the 15- and 20-meter Isotrons inside my house. It took a while, but I've got WAS abd DXCC with them (149 entities confirmed). They would no doubt work better if outside and elevated, but I don't think any other setup would work any better inside my house. Now all I need is more sunspot activity!
 
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!
 
<— Page 2 of 8 —>


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