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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | Spr-Ro VS-53 Help

Reviews Summary for Spr-Ro VS-53
Spr-Ro VS-53 Reviews: 3 Average rating: 2.0/5 MSRP: $$94.95
Description: Factory Assembled, Ready to use!
Lightweight, Sealed, Weatherproof Traps, Handles 600 Watts.
Factory Assembled, Ready to use!
For All Transmitters, Receivers & Transceivers.
Can be used without radials or counterpoise line
Antenna Tuner usually never required.
Extra Strong 14 gauge Stranded CopperClad Antenna Wire.
Deluxe Feed connector, or Optional "Pro-Balun" both accept standard PL-259 coax connector.
Feed with 50 or 75 ohm coax cable.
For All class amateurs.
Covers 10-15-20-40-80 meters
Product is in production.
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N2KI Rating: 1/5 Feb 4, 2006 07:14 Send this review to a friend
Not Worth It - Buyer Beware  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you can scrape up more sheckles and buy a Mosley or a Steppir, do it. This antenna is poor at best out of the box. However, if you need something in a quick fix or portable in nature, this could(and I emphasize COULD - not WILL) do it for you.

These are the readings I measured with an analyzer.

80 Meters ---- 40 Meters ---- 20 Meters

3.784 2.5:1 |X| 7.000 9.6:1 |X| 14.000 3.4:1
3.900 1.3:1 |X| 7.260 1.5:1 |X| 14.225 2.7:1
4.000 1.9:1 |X| 7.300 1.8:1 |X| 14.350 2.8:1

15 Meters
21.000 2.5:1
21.225 2.0:1
21.685 1.2:1 Out of band resonance (Yikes!)

10 Meters Had no resonant point that was measurable.

80 and 40 are ok but whats the story with 15 meters being resonant out of band? The resonant point was brought into the band at the target frequency by adding 9" of wire in between the feed point and the first trap. Thats fine and dandy, but now lets look at 20 meters. Not a good match to begin with; so adding or subtracting wire would only move the best reonance point up or down the band. Not give you better resonance(personally I think a problematic trap is the issue here).
I have worked DX with the antenna to some degree or another however, I am disappointed with the out of box performance since they advertise 10-80 and rarely if ever a tuner is needed.Not the case. Be prepared to work a little to get this antenna to work for you, as little as it will be. Also, be advised that when this problem was brought up to the manufacturer via email, it went unanswered so it is unresolved as yet. This proves you get what you pay for.
KG6POG Rating: 3/5 Jun 6, 2005 02:33 Send this review to a friend
Ok but not what is promised.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am dissapointed in the VS-53, after having a few of Spi-Ro's dipoles I had high hopes for this antenna. I was expecting it to do at least as well as my G5RV jr, but the results on 10-20 meters have been poor at best. In fact 10 meters is useless, and 15 meters though the SWR is flat for most of the band it performs poorly to say the least. On 20 meters the SWR is flat acrossed the majority of the band, but my cheap G5RV Jr runs circles around it on 20 as well. So on 10 15 and 20 meters it hasn't been much more than a dummy load.

The good news is on 40 meters it does ok about the same as the G5RV Jr, but it isn't very broad banded, but I can cover the band easily with a tuner. On 80 meters it seems to do a decent job, and covers 3.600 through 39.999 at or below 2.1. Again over all I'm dissapointed with it's performance. It's not what Spi-Ro promises which is a great DX antenna by any stretch of the imagination. I've heard more DX on my 20 meter dipole or the G5RV Jr than I can on the VS-53. In fact there have been some stations booming into my area on the 20 meter dipole or the G5RV Jr, and when I switch to the VS-53 they dissapear or are barely readable.

I gave it a 3 because it does work reasonably well on 40 and 80 meters. But as I said I was expecting a lot more out of it than I got.
KG6AOH Rating: 2/5 Feb 8, 2005 14:10 Send this review to a friend
Great build quality, not so hot on the air.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After a less than pleasing result from the Alpha Delta DX-B sloper, I purchased the Spi-Ro VS-53. I had a nice phone conversation with a gentleman at Spi-Ro about my particular installation. I wanted to have low SWR across 80, 40, and 10m with QRO capability and I did not want to have to do any tuning or fiddling with the antenna at all. Plug and play, so to speak. I do not enjoy fiddling with antennas in my spare time like some of you. I get enough of that at work already.

I received the antenna in a really small box, and I was a little worried. However, upon opening the box, I found that it was just packed with great efficiency! I unrolled the antenna and checked everything over. The traps and balun are extremely well built and sealed. Also, the wire connections are very high quality!! This is not some junky backyard built wire antenna! I was told that the antenna will handle 1KW peak (SSB) so not to worry about burning it up with QRO.

My antenna was installed connected to the ground and the other end to the 35 foot level on my tower. Coax is 1/2 inch Andrew Heliax with LMR-400 jumpers. Ground system is a fan of buried copper wires (like an AM BCB station). Once I finished installing the antenna, I did some playing with it. I found NO resonance anywhere around the 10 meter band except for a slight drop in SWR around 29.5. Although, it was not out of the red on my MFJ antenna analyzer. There was a nice low SWR and wide bandwidth on 15 and 20m. On 40m, there was a super low 1:1 SWR, but the bandwidth was really narrow (20 kc. or so). I found no resonance anywhere on or near 80m except for a dip in SWR around 3.9 MHz., but still not out of the red).

Performance wise, I was unable to make any contacts! Weird, nothing. I did find that the receive signal strength was a lot lower than on my 160 longwire. For instance, I could copy stations with S-20 on the longwire that would barely make S-5 on the Spi-Ro. I thought I must have damaged cable, but the cable sweeps perfect to 1 GHz. I had to conclude that the Spi-Ro simply is not a great performer. Even when tuning around other bands like 10m, I can't hear much. Using the same cable and everything, except plugging in the end of a longwire, the radio comes to life. Weird, it is almost like the Spr-Ro is absorbing signal or something. I am not sure what is going on, but I do know that I don't want to fiddle with it.

I would NOT recommend the Spi-Ro VS-53 antenna. In my opinion, a longwire works MUCH better. Since there was no resonance on 80 or 10 meters, I might as well use an untuned wire anyway. The untuned wire certainly works better. At least I can make contacts on the untuned wire whereas the Spi-Ro is operating like a dummy load. I invite whoever makes these antennas to send me another in case this one is defective. However, I am not going to go out of my way. I'll just stick to the longwire and tuner. At least I know a longwire works. I would rather have a refund than take a chance on a replacement.

P.S. At the suggestion of a friend, I have ordered a B&W end fed V antenna and will install as a sloper per the B&W website. I'll let you know how that works.

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