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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | Pacific Antenna Help


Reviews Summary for Pacific Antenna
Pacific Antenna Reviews: 31 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $79
Description: Multi-band portable vertical HF antenna designed by KA5DVS
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.pacificantenna.com
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N5TGL Rating: 5/5 Sep 13, 2009 08:31 Send this review to a friend
The PAC-12 is a great portable HF antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Really a great portable antenna. The design is uncluttered and effective. If anything broke on it, I'm pretty sure I could come up with a fix from the local area to get me back on the air. Operating from Ohio, I made it into Corpus Christi, TX with 50w and got a signal report of 20 over. The other fellow was running short of time; I wish I could have seen how far down I could have backed the power down to. Operating out behind the hotel, I've made contacts into Slovakia and Poland on 20m using ~50w -- and that's with no aid from sunspots. This thing does great on 40m. I had a ragchew with several folks on there, and it is a real solid performer. I just can't get over how small it is, so easy to pack in a suitcase. I've also had no problem carrying it on board.
 
KC0YEF Rating: 5/5 Sep 2, 2009 11:58 Send this review to a friend
  Time owned: more than 12 months
Simple efficient design, easy to erect, inexpensive to own, light to carry, simple to repair if damaged and a great carry case I think James' Mom sewed my case!

I have had the PAC-12 since Dayton 2oo7. I wound my own coil for 75/80 it was patience and commitment to keep costs down that worked for me.. This is a fine QRP Antenna and I use it with my Yaesu FT-817 5 watts or less additionally I have used it with my Alinco DX-77 40-100watts and Kenwood TS-940 100-150watts with similar excellent results. I have since made several other coils for specific frequencies they really are so easy to make or buy here are the instructions www.njqrp.org/pac-12
 
AE4DT Rating: 5/5 Jun 26, 2009 12:12 Send this review to a friend
1st class qrp antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Put the pac-12 together and went to the yard and set it up. Made a contact with North Carolina using 2.5 watts. Conidering band conditions, that is DX for qrp. Great product and easy to build.
Jimmy, AE4DT
 
AF2Q Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2009 18:49 Send this review to a friend
PAC 12 & SWR  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi Gang,
I been reading the reviews on the PAC 12.
Working from TX to WA. With 100 watts is nothing to brag about.
About that same time I worked Germany with 2.5 watts from my SST 20 meter QRP rig.
If your using a tuner with the PAC 12 your doing something wrong.
When I made my 1st PAC 12 I had either added or removed turns and always had a flat SWR.
I also noticed in different locations I was still able to alter the SWR down to nothing by just moving the counterpoise wires around.
I saw many hams think that for 40 meters the whip needs to be extended out.
I pushed mine in about 5 inches.
I'm building another one up and have a factory made PAC 12 on the way.
It fits nice in my pack and I jump on the motorcycle and if I can fit between 2 trees I have a road that takes me away from all th eman made QRM:-)
BOB
AF2Q http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CW_QRP-Code-Warriors/
 
NV0U Rating: 5/5 Feb 9, 2009 02:36 Send this review to a friend
Fine antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased one of these shortly after Ozarkcon 2006. I had used it a few times off and on and always had good results with it.

Took it to FYBO 2009 this past weekend and gave it a workout on 40 and 20. Well, as the saying goes - if you can hear 'em you can work 'em!

I have also used it in the past with higher powered rigs. Again, the results were excellent - even DX wise.

This is one fine antenna. It fits the bill on many levels - it is cheap, easy to carry, and does not pretend to be something it isn't. All in all a great thing to put into your QRP arsenal!
 
K6WHP Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2008 18:37 Send this review to a friend
Grown-up Ham's Antenna Tinker Toy  Time owned: more than 12 months
The title of this review is not meant to connote anything derogatory; the system conceived, designed, and implemented by Mr Bennett is a wonder of simplicity and flexibility.

I first saw James' presentation at a Pacificon QRP talk some years ago in which he described how this antenna could be constructed of PVC, aluminum rods and threaded connectors. He gave freely of his ideas and concept and invited all of us to try it out. At the conclusion of his talk, he said that his basic kit was about $65 and offered the wonderful machined parts and precisely cut and drilled coil forms, radials, and other tidbits.

I did a little mental math and realized that while PVC and the materials may have been substantially cheaper, my time was worth more so I purchased the kit. For an hour of effort, I was rewarded with a handsome, effective portable antenna.

Over the course of the last several years, I have added several more resonators -- including the tapped inductor for Civil Air Patrol out-of-band HF work I do.

I have been using the antenna faithfully and am well pleased with the portability and performance it offers. The antenna has made my recent foray into the world of PSK31 a joy; in conjunction with with the NUE-PSK modem and my FT-817, I find that I can traipse most places with a very light station and small gel cell and have a bang-up morning or afternoon on 20 meters -- even with sunspots not in evidence.

A couple of recommendations: a resonator for all bands is NOT needed. For example, I can shorten the collapsible whip using the 20 meter coil so that it can cover 17m and 15m. Even 12m is reachable. Of course, 10m is attained by omitting a coil altogether and adding an extra 12-inch section as is 6m without the extra 12-inch section.

Also, when building the coils, I found them to be rugged, neatly wound and that they held together. However, to ensure no slipping of the windings and to further weather-proof them, I covered them with over-sized shrink-wrap.

A final note: Adding an extra section or two between the base and the coil tends to make the antenna more of a center-loaded vertical and increases its effectiveness without appreciably changing the resonance. You should just go ahead and wind the coils per the instructions and adjust the collapsible whip a smidge to compensate.

As I said, brilliant concept well brought off.
 
KA6GEM Rating: 5/5 Nov 24, 2008 10:35 Send this review to a friend
This is an excellent feather-weight antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Pacific Antennas Model PAC-12 is a study in “beauty through simplicity”… it’s an antenna that is very well made, goes together easily and performs even better than expected. I’ve owned one now for about two weeks and I’m very pleased with it and I recommend one to anyone looking for a feather-weight antenna ideally suited for traveling or back-packing.

It comes apart is one foot sections, and assembles in less than five minutes. The Pac-12 is made up of one 12 inch ground spike, 4 sets of eight foot wire radials, a feed-point insulator, 2 one-foot aluminum rods with a coupler to hold them together, a coil and a 72” telescoping antenna. It all weighs in at a scant 11.5 ounces on my postage scale. The various pieces fit together using the same thread standard used by cameras, 1/4-20, so the antenna mounts nicely on a standard tripod or camera clamp.

The assembled PAC-12 with its telescoping antenna at the top, fully extended, stands at about 8 feet. Four sets of 8 foot radials (two wires each… eight radials total) connect at the base. The coil that screws in on top of the two aluminum rods but below the telescoping antenna determines the operating band… switching bands is just a matter of changing coils… one coil per band. There is a multi-band coil available but I decided on having a set of single band coils. I found that if I substituted a 1/4-20 coupler that the antenna operates nicely in the 10 meter band without a coil.

The PAC-12 comes in kit form. The instructions are fairly straight forward and there are enough photos to keep you out of trouble. You’ll need a soldering iron, a Philips screwdriver, a wire stripper, and some basic tools like an adjustable wrench. The most time consuming part for me was assembling the coils. They come in either 6 inch (long) or 4 inch (short) sizes. I purchased both the optional 80 meter coil (145 turns of thin wire) and the 60 meter coil (93 turns of a heavier gauge wire). Support is good: I had one or two questions which James, KA5DVS, answered promptly by email. And I joined the Pacific Antennas user group on Yahoo and discovered a lot of interesting ideas.

Set-up is easy and performance is excellent. Tuning is a breeze: simply screw on the coil for the desired band and adjust the length of the top telescoping antenna section for the best SWR and that’s it! I tested each coil with my MFJ 269 Antenna Analyzer and found that they all worked as expected for each band and by adjusting the telescoping antenna’s length, the SWR came in at or below 1.5. By adjusting the length it is possible to work to the limits of every band. Removing the radials and installing just the telescoping antenna to the feed-point insulator at a length of about 15 inches made it possible to get on 2 meters. I added a 20” radial of my own and the SWR dropped to 1:1 and performance was super.

I use my PAC-12 with my Yaesu FT-817 QRP transceiver as both are compact and ideally suited for traveling. My first contact was with Gordon West’s California Rescue Communications 40 Meter net at 7.250 in Southern California weekdays at 8:30 in the morning. I checked in from a hillside near my home here in the San Francisco Bay Area at got a “loud and clear” report… not bad for 5 watts at the bottom of the sun-cycle with an antenna that weighs less than a pound!

73,
Paul, KA6GEM
 
KC5NWS Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2008 07:35 Send this review to a friend
a fun project  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Finally put the pac-12 together this week.Set it up in the back yard .Wound a 20m coil for it and called cq, first contact was Washington state (from Texas).
Its light weight, easy to put together, all in all a rather nice looking vertical only about 8 ft tall.The radio was an icom718 at 90 watts.
K5jyd
 
N8FY Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2008 09:10 Send this review to a friend
Stationary Mobile  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I love this antenna, I have used this on occasion Stationary Mobile I had signal reports equal to the hamsticks. The best part is all in one antenna without changing it. just adjust the tap. And to the other YL's Out there if I can put one together so can you. Thank You Pacific Antenna for a great product. Kim N8FY
 
K7DAA Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2008 07:38 Send this review to a friend
Lots of bang for the buck  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After looking at a number of the "portable" hf antenna designs, I decided to try the cheapest one first--the PAC-12. I'm very pleased with it!

I'm in a "no antennas" neighborhood, and I bought a PAC-12 over two months ago to see if a small vertical might be better than my 22Ga stranded 50-foot long wire hanging out my second story window. It definitely beats the long wire every time.

I am as pleased as I can be with its performance as a low-visibility antenna, but I'm also surprised that it works as well as it does. It's easy to build, only stands about 8 feet tall (you can control that, depending on how many turns you put on the single-band coils, or where you tap the multiband coil). It is thin, and I am using the stock grounding method supplied with the kit, along with the supplied counterpoise wires, with are only 8 feet long. I have used it on 15-80 meters so far, with no matching problems. The antenna is simply pushed into the ground in the middle of my lawn. The soil is quite moist this time of year, by the way, so that certainly helps.

I'm VERY pleased at how efficient such a small antenna appears to be. I've worked anyone I can hear with 100 watts, even some DX. My record so far is Brazil on 20m SSB, and I haven't been trying very hard. I've also had similar good results on 40m.

I'm in the San Francisco area, and I left the antenna up with the 40m coil on it during the torrential rain and winds we had a couple of weeks ago. The antenna is completely unguyed--just the stock little ground stake holding it up. It just stood there, and continues to work fine, even though it wasn't specifically designed as an "all weather" permanent antenna. It's simple enough that there isn't much to be damaged by exposure.

If I leave it up all year, I'll seal a few spots to make sure, but that's all I expect it to need.

Downside? With ANY of these small verticals, you should expect some tradeoffs, obviously. Besides lower efficiency, you will also find lower bandwidth that decreases as you move to the lower bands. In the worst case, I'm getting about 20 khz 2:1 SWR bandwidth with the 80-meter coil on my PAC-12. That's also just about exactly what I get with a mobile Hamstick as well.

I'm getting about 100 khz BW on 40 meters, and about double that on 20 meters. Again, this is to be expected. If you've got a nice autotuner on your rig (I'm using a Z-11 Pro and loving it), then you're good for much wider chunks of those bands--or just go out and move the top telescoping whip up or down a bit.

The 80 meter bandwidth could be improved somewhat by using larger diameter wire for the coil, but you'd have to make your own coil form, since the 120-or-so turns just fit on the existing one. Good news is that it's easy enough to do.

What else can I say? It continues to impress me with its simplicity, ease of construction, and the bonus is that it is very friendly to any modifications I might want to make.

Oh, and it's cheap enough that I decided to order a second one for an emergency "go kit". I'm keeping my original one right where it is--planted in my (small) backyard lawn.
 
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