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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Maldol HVU-8 compact HF/VHF/UHF vertical Help

Reviews Summary for Maldol HVU-8 compact HF/VHF/UHF vertical
Maldol HVU-8 compact HF/VHF/UHF vertical Reviews: 12 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $$349.95
Description: Unique and ultra-compact HF, VHF, and UHF antenna developed for confined and restricted space installations like apartments and condominiums, or for temporary or portable use.
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Maldol HVU-8 compact HF/VHF/UHF vertical.

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K7VO Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2005 13:30 Send this review to a friend
Excellent antenna for restricted space & portable use  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I live in half of a beautifully modernized 1869 duplex up on a hill in the middle of a large city. My backyard is tiny, maybe 30' by 13' and is steeply sloped. I do have one tall tree way in the back but because of the way the land slopes down the top of this fairly large tree is actually lower than my third story ham shack. The very small space I have and keeping friendly relations with the neighbors does limit me to a small vertical. I had a Mini-Multi Antennas HT-3 up (10, 15, and 20 meter triband vertical, see my review) and it worked very well, and probably a bit better than the Maldol on 20. I still have it packed neatly away but the desire to work 40 and 80 is what motivated me to buy the HVU-8. No, I'm not joking. The radials are loaded and short so I could put this out on the deck.

I *DO* use the HVU-8 as my primary HF antenna and it is better than a mobile antenna on the upper bands (10, 15, and maybe 20). My *most* powerful radio on HF is a Ten Tec Argonaut V. I have no more than 20 watts on any band. I still get out pretty darned well on all bands. I do have a shortish random wire (perhaps 30-35') and counterpoise that I use with a tuner on the WARC bands. On the bands the Maldol is designed for it usually does a bit better than the wire.

The QST reviewer got some things slightly wrong and some things Maldol may have changed since then. First off, the original specs said 80m was limited to 3.5-3.575 and 40m limited to 7.0-7.1. Maybe that was once true, but the specs are now full band 3.5-4.0 and 7.0-7.3. Maldol even ships extra stingers so you can cut one for voice and one for CW.

Second, and perhaps most important, are that the bandwidths listed are for <1.5:1 SWR. Maldol makes clear that it is perfectly fine to run this antenna at 2:1 or to use a tuner. My radios don't complain at 2:1 and that, plus using a tuner to stretch, makes the bandwidth very acceptable.

I tuned for the bottom of 80 (CW) and 7.175 (SSB) on 40 because I have friends whom I sometimes meet on that frequency. Prior to putting up the Maldol I had no luck whatsoever on 80 and very little on 40 as my wire is just too short. Now I get out on both bands surprisingly well. That isn't to say that getting out on these bands isn't challenging -- it is, and performance on these bands is very much what you might expect from a mobile antenna. That is certainly better than nothing, which is what I had before.

The antenna, though made up of many pieces, is pretty solid in it's construction and I have no fear about it surviving the winter. It took me all of about 15 minutes to put it together and maybe as long again to get it tuned properly on all eight bands.

I am still trying to figure out the one guy who reviewed this antenna in the VHF/UHF vertical section and couldn't get a good SWR anywhere. Mine were close from the first try. You really only need to follow the directions rather precisely. Maybe he got a defective antenna. Mine was no problem at all to tune.

I did seem to lose a little bandwidth on 40m in getting everything just right but I am still well within Maldol's specs. The big shock is 20m where almost the entire band is 2:1 or less. Maldol only claims 52kHz of bandwidth at 1.5:1. I got a lot more that that and the SWR rises slowly outside that range to 2:1. On 80m the antenna is just to spec (22kHz 1.5:1 bandwidth) and the SWR rises very sharply. I think I have only about 26kHz of truly usable bandwidth between 3.501-3.527 without a tuner. That's the tradeoff: a very small antenna will be relatively inefficient and very narrow banded.

For those interested in using this antenna on VHF and UHF the only band you have to tune on is 6m and you do have to choose between FM at the top of the band or weak signal work at the bottom. The HVU-8 won't do both at once. On 2m and 70cm there is no tuning required and the antenna works across the entire bands. This antenna isn't small on 2m and 70cm where I use it for FM and repeaters. It does a very good job by any standard for that.

Folks, this is a compromise antenna designed for two things: people with severe space limitations and/or antenna restrictions or portable use. For those two things the Maldol HVU-8 is an outstanding antenna in every respect. It works, it works as well as one can expect for something so small (9' high), it's durable, and it's easy to assemble and disassemble. What more could you ask?

If you compare this antenna to bigger, full size antennas it will seem relatively poor. That goes without saying. A full sized 40m dipole will run circles around an HVU-8 for a fraction of the price. I don't have where to put a 20m dipole, let alone a 40m one. A much larger vetical will also easily outperform this antenna. I can't get away with that either. That, I think, is the point. Those who frequently knock this antenna in the forums section have the ability to run something bigger and better. If you don't, at $239 at R&L Electronics, you simply can't beat the HVU-8.
W1SWR Rating: 4/5 Dec 22, 2004 17:20 Send this review to a friend
Easy to Tune  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This 10 -- 15 -- 20 -- 40 -- 80 meter
6 Meters and 144 - 450
antenna works just fine.
Of course its not a 240 Ft wire Full wave loop.
But it does what it was intended to do.
I am happy with it and if you have restricted
area then this is the antenna for you.
No Tuner needed. Works well on My TS-2000.
Can even hear guys on 160 but they have to be local.
Can't tune 160 and that's understandable.

So if you have restricted space this will do the trick.

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