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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Alpha Delta DX-LB (shorty) dipole for 160-80-4 Help

Reviews Summary for Alpha Delta DX-LB (shorty) dipole for 160-80-4
Alpha Delta DX-LB (shorty) dipole  for 160-80-4 Reviews: 18 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $$119.95
Description: 100 ft long dipole for 160-80-40M
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Alpha Delta DX-LB (shorty) dipole for 160-80-4.

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KB0LSG Rating: 3/5 Nov 21, 2006 12:30 Send this review to a friend
40 good 80 OK and 160 :-(  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I can't give this antenna a great review or a poor review. Lets face the facts here. I had a SWL friend who owned one that used it to listen on low bands. He had the antenna a couple of years before passing away and said that it always worked well for him. I got the antenna along with some other radios from his wife and decided to give the DXLB a try. Sure the antenna is not a trapped antenna but it is still very narrow band width on 80 and 160 meters because of the loading coils for those bands. The 40 meter portion performs as a full size dipole. Initially I fed the antenna with RG213 and it worked well at 600 watts on 40 and 80. If you were not within the 20KC bandwidth on 160 you can forget running the amp. My arched 2060A Heathkit Tuner would tell you the story. The voltage and feed line loss was very high on 160 with SWR in excess of 3 to 1.

My recommendations are simple. If you have a 120 bucks plus burning a hole in your pocket, and live on a small lot, and you are going to use this without an amp on 160... go for it. If you get an amp later and want to use it on 160 feed the antenna with 450ohm ladder line. You will gain much more band width with the ladder line and your tuner will thank you for it.

For the about the same amount of room and much less money I recommend you build yourself a stagger tuned dipole antenna with the top element for 160. The 160 dipole can be linier loaded or bent around to get the full 130' needed to fit your lot. Feel free to contact me for details on the ones I have built. They can be fed with good quality 50 ohm coax and will run full legal limit with good bandwidth. For much less money, and about the same amount of space, the stagger tuned antenna will outperform the DXLB any day. Put the extra cash in you pocket and take the wife and kids out for dinner. You will be much happier while at the helm and the wife and kids will thank you for the meal. Please look me up in QRZ. I will be glad to share my antenna design with you for FREE. 73 OM DE KB0LSG Trent
KN7T Rating: 4/5 Sep 26, 2006 13:28 Send this review to a friend
Good Choice For Small Properties  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my DX-LB for a number of years and it has always performed fine. No issues, not even with the traps although I did notice that the clearcoat on the trap cores is starting to peel off but that's no big deal - easy enough to re-apply and I consider that part of normal antenna maintenance anyway. My biggest problem is that I just couldn't get it mounted high enough to let it really perform - with the center at 30 feet and the ends at around 12 feet. The 2:1 SWR bandwidth on 160 is very small so be aware of that. The heavy duty construction of this antenna is one of it's strongpoints and the center insulator assembly is very durable. When I first bought this antenna, the center insulator had a small crack in the plastic near the SO-239 connector and even after being exposed to the elements for a number of years, the crack hadn't grown. The outer coating on the wire insulation is starting to come off due to UV exposure but the underlying jacket is not cracked or otherwise damaged.
WA8EBM Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2006 20:13 Send this review to a friend
Works as Advertised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Live on a small city lot. Have been running 102 foot dipole with open wire feeders. Wanted to get on 160. Hung the LB at 40 foot apex with ends at 25 feet. Fed it with 213 coax. Per the specs, out of the box it resonated fine 1800 to 1825khz. Tried using the autotuner in the PW-1 KW amp and it would tune for about 50 khz with full output. 80 and 40 also resonated per the specs. Tried using the Heath 2060 tuner and it arc'd at about 500 watts when leaving the cut frequency range. Since I wanted more flexibility I Removed the arc-plug in the center insulator and feed it with 450 ohm open wire feeders. Using my Heath tuner or my new Palstar AT5K I can now run a KW on all bands 160-10 meters as long as the SWR is flat- without arc's.
The height is not optimum and I am sure the pattern is strange on 160 but I get extremely good signal reports throughout the Midwest.
I looked at all the options and this, to me, was the most efficient. Until I can talk the wife into moving to the country, this is probably the best you can do for low bands on a small lot.
It is a little expensive but copper wire prices have become outrageous.
Also, sent emails to customer support ref my options and received immediate responses.
If the coating holds up on the loading coils, I would say this is a very well built antenna and easy way to get on top band for the winter months.
N2DWS Rating: 4/5 Sep 6, 2006 11:31 Send this review to a friend
nice alternative  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
SWMBO has made it quite clear that multiple wires hanging in her back yard are no longer allowed (we just got a new house) so, a bit of negotiation got me permission to run one wire. I have a tower for 10,15 & 20 so a trapped dipole seemed like an option for the low bands.
The alpha delta went up easy, hides well coming off the tower and loads like a dream. 40 mtrs resonates most of the band without a tuner. Most of my operating on 75 is near the top of the band and I can load up with just the auto tuner in the IC-746. 160 almost always seems to need a tuner and that holds true with this wire also.
By and large,despite the price, this is a good value. Solid construction and open traps that won't collect bugs and water make me very pleased with this unit. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 was the cost. It just seems pricey for the components involved.
N8BHB Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2006 18:01 Send this review to a friend
Worth the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was skeptical about shelling out more than $100 bucks on a wire antenna, but it's well worth the price. I was impressed with heavy-duty construction and quality parts.

80 & 40 meters tune up effortlessly with my LDG 200 auto tuner giving full band coverage. 160 meter bandwidth is somewhat restricted, even with tuner, but not unexpected considering short length.

Maximum height above ground and a good grounding system are essential for proper operation. Mine's currently at 30', but I'm trying to raise it another 10' in hopes of even better performance. I've been able to work most of North America and Carribbean with 100w or less.

When I called for advice about tuning 160m and use of a current balun, I was referred to the antenna's designer, Don, who was extremely helpful. No overseas call centers with reps you can't understand!!
AC0DV Rating: 5/5 Apr 12, 2006 23:19 Send this review to a friend
It works on 160... I'm happy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got a DX-LB to replace a 135' dipole fed with ladder-line. I was getting some RFI I could NOT get rid of.. even with careful ladder-line feeding... a low-pass filter.. upgrading the station ground... using a Link-coupled tuner... nothing worked.

I feed the DX-LB with RG-213... and some ferrite beads at the feed point. (Perhaps a 1:1 current balun to replace the Alpha-Delta's center would be a better solution?)

I can say it works on 160. I got out and got heard. (Never got out on 160 with the old 80M dipole. Ever. But then I never expected the old antenna to work on 160M.)

Both 80 and 40 appear to work at least as well as the 80M dipole... and perhaps even better. The first night I had it up... the bands were noisy. Murphy's law. The last couple of nights... it appears this antenna might pick up a lot less noise than the 80M dipole.

With the 80M I always had 3-7 "S" units of noise on 80 and usually 3-4 on 40M. NOW.. I've seen nights with NO (ZERO) "S" units of noise.. but I still get signals at +10/+20 over 9.

NOTE: I have a Cushcraft MA8040V that I can compare this antenna to... and I knew how the 80M worked in comparison to the vertical also... so I can say with certainty that this is not just "band" conditions.

I've not tried it on 20/15/10M yet... and if it doesn't work well.. I'll add a few wires to turn it into a fan dipole. (Homemade DX-LB "plus")

COMMENT: I use a tuner.. so was not really concerned about resonance.. but after a week with this puppy... I've decided I like having resonance. I tune the band... hear something... and in many cases I don't have to do any tuning. So I'm changing my mind about resonance. I like it. Which is why I'll probably add the 20M/10M wires and turn it into the DX-LB "plus".

(When I bought it I didn't buy the DX-LB "plus" because: 1. HRO-Denver didn't have it in stock. 2. Those bands aren't real active right now. and lastly 3. I can add a few wires and save the $30.00 price difference.)

I've been through a number of horizontal antenna's this last year. 1. G5RV with ladder-line/coax. 2. G5RV with only ladder line. 3. 80' full wave horizontal loop. 4. 80M dipole. 5. This new DX-LB.

I can say that the DX-LB rates as one of the top two antenna in this line-up... even though it's weight pulls the center down perhaps 5' at the center of the horizontal run.

(BTW: I think the 80 Loop Skywire is the other top choice... but it was too much work keeping it up... and ran too close to some service line feeds for power... so for sake of safety.. and also the noise it picked up... I took it down.)

I'm happy. I'd buy it again.
KY6R Rating: 5/5 Jul 27, 2005 15:02 Send this review to a friend
Surprising  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have not found inverted vee's to be very good DX antennas, but then again - not all DX is low angle. My main low angle low band antenna is a Cushcraft MA-8040V with 32 elevated, sloping and tuned radials. TO angle is 20 degrees with this config.

I have the DX-LB configured as an inverted vee, at about 50' up, and sloping downhill so that the ends are at least 20' up, and the sloping ends are in the NW and SW directions.

I almost think that there is some (beneficial) coupling going on so that while configured as an inverted vee, it also is behaving somewhat like a set of slopers. Mainly because any Asia or Oceania DX station is the same on my vertical as with this antenna. A big (good) surprise.

The construction and tuning of this antenna is exactly as advertised and documented - which means Alpha Delta is very realistic and straightforward in their ads and specs. That alone is a big plus for this company. And while I usually build all of my own wire antennas - these guys do a really good job and give you a lot of value for the money. Very much worth the price.

Much better than I had expected!
W3HKK Rating: 4/5 Dec 16, 2003 18:21 Send this review to a friend
Quality limited space antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Winter was a'comin and I wanted something SMALL for 160M that put out a decent signal. A tall order, I know!

I had already tried assorted antennas for other bands fed thru a tuner on 160, with marginal success.

Antenna length was the major factor for me. I couldnt put up a full sized 160M dipole on my lot. The Shorty antenna, at 50 ft per leg barely fit into my lot, with the center at 45' and the ends at 20 ft. It was a good match for my needs. I liked its appearance and quality of construction. I've come to appreciate the helpfulness of Don at the alpha delta website in answering any questions. He's super! AD's SWR and bandwidth specifications all checked out during my on-site testing.

But would it work?

On 40M, the answer is a whole hearted YES. It surprisingly outperforms my horizontal loop at any distance on both receive and transmit. Early reports were 1-3 S units in favor of the DX-LB. Impressive!! And it loads nicely across the entire band- without a tuner. But this is to be expected for a full size dipole.

Moving to 80M: I found the 2:1 bandwidth to be about 50 khz, as advertised. And performance to date has been quite satisfactory for a shortened dipole ( some 27 ft less that a full sized dipole.) It appears close to full size performance. Im happy! And using a tuner gives me full band coverage with fine results.

The Big Test: 160M: Here I was very disappointed -- at first. With the ends of my dipole initially at 7 ft off the ground, early reports were well down from other less than optimum antennas. Then I raised the ends up to 20 ft and found much improved receive signals and started making contacts even while "testing." And now the 3905 Net on 1892 was finally hearing me. I was working stations around the east, midwest, south and southwestern USA! Early indications after just a few days of operating is the antenna is probably within 1.5 S units of a full sized dipole at the same height. Not bad. I can live with that. Even with 100 watts. Yes, the bandwidth is 30 khz or so, but, again, with my tuner I get full band coverage with decent results.

160 is fun. Im chasing WAS. To me, 80 and 40 are bonus bands, where I am very competitive on stateside rag chewing. But I can see this as the main antenna for many folks like me with space limitations, effective on all three of the lower bands. It does a nice job!

So after just 3 days on the air with the DX-LB, I am a satisfied customer. Its built to last. And if you can get it up at least 20 ft high, it works quite well. (I suspect the large wire inductors located near the end of the antenna are adversly affected by the earths proximity if its installed much below 20 ft high. )

One final point. I have 8 other wire antennas between 3-25 ft away from the DB-LB. Interaction has been noted but I dont find it a serious problem.

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