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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Force 12 Flagpole Antenna Help


Reviews Summary for Force 12 Flagpole Antenna
Force 12 Flagpole Antenna Reviews: 18 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $$119.95
Description: A flagpole that's also a vertical antenna.
Product is in production.
More info: http://force12inc.com
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WH6WJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2017 13:51 Send this review to a friend
Update on my antenna  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
A few months ago in my review I had said that I would try to put the antenna at ground level as it should be and see the effects of it for swr and signal. The swr did not change much, maybe 1 or 2 units. As far as signal is concerened, I was unable to hear stations that I could hear when the antenna was at 10 feet above ground. My end fed antenna at 12 feet high did better than my flagpole at ground level. The comparison was just based on observation and nothing technical.

Living in a valley probably has alot to do with it too. So it was back up to 10 feet.
 
W1KE Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2017 12:25 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna for those with restrictions.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The flagpole antenna is more sensitive than the TW2010 on every band. But would it transmit as well? My first QSO was with Fidel in Havana, more than 1100 miles to the south. But would the metal roof block signals to the north? My second contact was with a ham in Illinois, a little over 1200 miles to the north.

I think the FPA-20F-OCF is the best performing stealth antenna you can buy. Getting approval for a flagpole is easy thanks to liberals set on proving that the American flag has no special significance in our society. Thatís not a political statement, itís an observation of reality.

Although they sell some of the best antennas in the market place, customer service is not Force12ís strength. No one ever answers the phone, but you can leave a message. Emails will be quickly answered in a matter of days. I never received the balun I ordered with the original order so I could add a 1200 watt amplifier later. I had assumed it was inside the tube. I noticed that the directions talked about 6 ferrite beads which were missing. Bill at Force12 sent me a message saying that I had ordered the Balun Designs 1161u balun which took the place of the ferrite beads. He also sent a link to a photo of this optional balun. I let them know I had not received it. After 2 months of waiting for the balun, I ordered it directly from Balun Designs and asked Force12 to cancel my order and give me a refund for the balun. I am still waiting for the refund, but I am not holding my breath. What we have here is the best stealth antenna ever combined with the worst customer service.
 
WH6WJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2017 22:46 Send this review to a friend
Good and simple antenna works how it should  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Force 12 Flagpole antenna works well. I have it mounted 10 feet above the ground and Iím using it with the LDG RT-600 remote tuner. My swr is 1.15:1 on 80, 40, and 20 meters, and 2.0:1 on 30, 17, 15, and 10 meters. I Have not yet tried it on 6 meters, and on 60 meters swr is high but Iím planning to set up a seperate antenna for 60 meters.

The only thing with the RT-600 with this antenna is it always has to re-tune when I go on to 17 meters from another band. Sometimes the tuner will do the same for 30, 15 and 10 meters.††The tuning on 17 meters takes about 35 seconds. The RT-600 manual states that if the antenna is far from the resonant frequency, the tuner will re-tune even if a match is in memory. I donít really mind the re-tuning.

I am wondering if having this antenna 10 feet above the ground is affecting the swr. One day Iíll drop it down to ground level and see.††Also part of my RG-213 is joined with a SO-239 coupler to reach the antenna.††Not sure if this partly contributes too.

I am very satisfied with this antenna. Last week we had a State emergency HF test and I heard othes much better than with my previous inverted L. Itís a simple antenna and does the job.

Sterling WH6WJ
 
KF5UOL Rating: 5/5 Sep 27, 2016 09:42 Send this review to a friend
Very Pleased  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I opted for the new flagpole antenna with NO radials. Unboxing to in the ground was about a 2 hour task. I had been using a 10 and 20 meter dipole setup (up aound 20 feet) and the new results are between night and day. All kinds of contacts on 20 meters. Although my primary interests are PSK31 and JT65, all in all, a very good, high quality antenna. I did not have to cement the flagpole in the ground. Down 3 feet with crushed gravel around the base and it is as solid as can be. I did use heat shrink tubing on the included ferrels and over the connection point just for moisture concerns. Using am MJF auto tuner and all bands are less that 1:5 to 1 accross the board. Highly recommended to anyone facing HOA restrictions like myself.
 
K1BOB Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2015 23:23 Send this review to a friend
8 Years Very Good Results  Time owned: more than 12 months
I installed this antenna over 8 years ago in mountain conditions in Idaho. Used just the 4 radials 3" below lawn and burial 400 cable at 10" below surface. Used 2 sacks of sacrete to anchor. No problems to date. I have the extension for an overall height of 24'. Tunes 40M thru 10M very well with IC-746 internal and external tuners. Added an AL-811 600 watt amp and works much better on transmit at 500 watts with LDG AT-600 PRO tuner. 59 + reports to anyone I can hear halfway decent. Pole will tend to get a bend in high winds, will self correct when the winds change 180 degrees, otherwise use the flag rope to bend to horizontal. Use a smaller american flag, some times called a "storm" flag used by navel ships, less windage and last much longer. I also run two long wires on ICOM AH-4 tuners, some times they have less back ground noise but don't have the long distance vertical take off angle and can't run power over what the radios put out i.e. 100 watts. I'm very happy with this antenna. And it looks great with Old Glory on it!
 
K3IMW Rating: 3/5 Dec 17, 2010 07:59 Send this review to a friend
Great stealth antenna but support could be improved  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second Force 12 flagpole antenna. The previous one I had powder coated and after 5 years this started to look ugly. In the meantime, Force 12 had changed hands. I contacted them to see whether the fixtures were the same, and was told that they were. This turned out not to be the case; big problem, since my mounting is embedded in many pounds of concrete. A different part was shipped to me (not free!). This didn't solve the mounting problem. Many months later, and with much help from a fellow ham, the flagpole is up and working.
For those of us with severe antenna regulations the flagpole is a great solution. But I am not thrilled with the level of customer support provided.
The base arrangement needs to be improved, especially if you are going to add a section, since there is a lot of force applied at the base, and it is difficult to avoid some 'lean'.
 
KQ4Y Rating: 4/5 Apr 27, 2009 13:02 Send this review to a friend
Doing Fine So Far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently installed the antenna (20') along with about 40 radials and, so far, I'm impressed. Of course, I'm comparing it to an attic antenna but it loads on 80 through 6 and I've made some solid contacts on 40, 20, and 17 (SSB & CW) so far with pretty good reports.

It does sway quite a bit even after I added some extra rivets and other hardware but I guess that is normal. Having an antenna outside makes quite a difference!
 
GJTREK Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2008 16:55 Send this review to a friend
Better then expected Perfomance from Flagpole Vertical  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My Force 12 Flagpole antenna arrived in mid October and was installed by end of the month. I put up the 24' size and although I purchased the 40 meter coil, it was not needed. It does not work on 80 meters and I use it only on 40/30/20 meters. Higher bands dead for me in any event.

Before attaching the feed line I installed 27 radials onto DX Engineering radial plate, about half cut to 17.5', a few at 35' and others at various shorter lengths. After installation I put an rf choke in line.

I experienced less wobble
between the sections then described by the previous poster but there was some which was firmed up with use of rivets at each junction.

I agree the "rope " and hardware for flag installation could be better and, of course, no flag is supplied.

Now to the best part. I immediately started working Eu, South Pacific (VK & ZL), Oceania,Japan, South America even into South Africa, Eu and Asiatic Russia, Indonesia and Borneo with modest sig reports, usually 559/569 into Eu from N. California.

I am pleased with the performance to say the least. I continue to dream of antenna farms, quads, beverage antennas and the like, but in the meantime, for a stealth antenna on my small lot in a HOA controlled neighborhood..I am a new ham enjoying moderate success at the bottom of the Solar Cycle!!


Am I happy, absolutely; but my previous antenna was the Outreach vertucak mounted on an Outback tripod on the lawn in the rear yard . CCR's here cripple antenna choices and it is great to have this option.

100 watts out with Icom Pro3. If your options are few, check out this antenna. Also nice to fly Old Glory 24 ' up!!

Regards, Gary K6GRJ
 
N4RTD Rating: 5/5 Nov 28, 2008 12:08 Send this review to a friend
A great CCR option  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered the Force-12 FPA with the extra section along with the 80 meter coil. Folks at Force-12 were great to work with. I am pleased with the antenna's performance and happy to be flying the flag again!
 
K4CAV Rating: 3/5 Sep 14, 2008 21:16 Send this review to a friend
Build quality could be better  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Received my Force 12 Flagpole about four weeks ago. I was pretty excited about it since I live in an HOA and was looking forward to getting on the air. Prior to assembly I made sure that all the parts had been removed from the shipping box and started to examine the components. I did order an additional four foot section.

Each four foot section is furnished with a splice sleeve installed with two pop rivets each. As I started to assemble the sections which are numbered from the factory I noticed that the fit was not true. The joints did not butt together properly, they were not squared up to the adjoining section and with only four pop rivets to hold it in place there would have been play or wobble at each joint. This is not acceptable for a flagpole.

Be prepared to finish the job as well as purchase a pop rivet gun if you do not already have one. This is what you will need to do. Drill out the 5/32Ē pop rivets holding the sleeves in place. Remove the sleeve, if you have a chop saw (electric miter box) or a table saw with a carbide blade make sure it is set square at 90 degrees. Remove as little material as is necessary from each end to make them square about 1/16Ē to 1/8Ē. Then reinstall the sleeves using 3/16Ē pop rivets and adding four additional rivets per splice to insure rigidity. You will have a total of eight pop rivets per splice. If you do not have a chop saw and can live with the open joints I would strongly recommend replacing the 5/32Ē pop rivets with 3/16Ē pop rivets and adding the four extra pop rivets to each splice to make it rigid. Otherwise it will look like a fishing pole with one on versus a flagpole.
Note: The cleat was reinstalled with 2 ĹĒ 1/4 x 20 SS bolts.

If you want the flagpole to be true (straight) it will take some patience, time (about an hour or two), a good straight edge or a four foot level, a fairly level assembly surface, some shims, common sense, and a good eye. Shims are used under the flagpole on the assembly surface to help in straightening and squaring the splices.

I am sure there are some that will say this guy is a bit fussy or anal, that may be true. But if Iím going to fly the American Flag, the pole it flies from is going to look good.

Performance wise, I could not be happier. I laid out sixteen radials at twenty five foot each as space is limited. Driving the flagpole is a Yaesu 950 with an MFJ-962D tuner and an Ameritron AL-811. The antenna is exceptional from 10m through 40m. Made contacts in Spain, Italy, Poland, Greece, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, Canada, and many of the states including California from the east coast of Florida. Some at 100 watts some with a little help. Again I must say that I am impressed with the performance of a simple 20íx2Ē vertical element with 16 radials as are many of my contacts. I would not bother with the 40M coil you just donít need it and you can build a much better radial kit or system on your own.

One more thing. You will have to buy an American Flag as Force 12 does not furnish one. I would also recommend heavier line and better attachment hardware. If I had to do it again I would have gone with a ZERO FIVE flagpole. Cost more, but build quality looks outstanding.

Jim / K4CAV
 
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