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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Comet CHA250B Help


Reviews Summary for Comet CHA250B
Comet CHA250B Reviews: 105 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $469.00
Description: The Comet CHA250B broadband vertical antenna will amazingly cover 75/80 meters through 6 meters with no gaps! Transmit range is 3.5-57 MHz and receive range is 2-90 MHz. SWR <1.5:1. This 23.5 foot vertical requires no radials and weighs only 7.1 lbs. The antenna consists of five sections of aluminum tubing that slide into each other. The bottom section has the matching network built-in. Only two simple measurements are required during the easy assembly. It can handle 250 watts SSB and 125 watts FM. SO-239 input. Mounts on a 1 to 2 inch mast (not supplied). Rated for 67 MPH wind survival.

Product is in production.
More info: http://www.cometantenna.com/products.php?CatID=1&famID=5&childID=6
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N5PHT Rating: 2/5 Mar 13, 2013 20:10 Send this review to a friend
Poor  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was looking for an antenna to take with me on camping trips in my RV. We are sometimes gone for several months at a time and set up for a
week or more so I wanted something that was not too difficult to set up and take down. I wanted something that has auto band changing so I don't
have to move or reset anything. I had mostly been using my Tarheel screwdriver antenna. The Tarheel performance is fine for being on the road
but I was connecting a coax to the tow truck and would have to unconnect everytime we moved the truck. So, something I could use portable that is compatiable with a 40 foot 5th wheel RV with autoband switching was in order.

After reading the reviews on the CHA250 I was not decided and knew the CHA250 was indeed a compromise but felt it certainly should outperform a screwdriver antenna. The CHA250 has 24 feet of aluminum in the sky. (note: I was only mounting this antenna 20 feet into the air on a pole)

I assembled it very easily and could see how portable is very possible with this antenna. I then zipped around the bands and to my delight the SWR was great from 80 meters to 10 meters just as promised! However, the signals
were very, very low. I then drove my truck around to the base of my tower and set up so I could try A/B switching at the home station (I have a tower mounted coax switch). I was using three antennas: The CHA250, the Tarheel
Screwdriver on my truck and a 66 foot random wire (sloper for 80 meters).I switched around using different inputs on the antennas to rule out any problem with coax connections. The SWR being excellent probably means the antenna is assembled correctly and working per specs.

The Comet was at least 3 full S units lower always than the other two antennas on several bands that I tried including 15, 17, 20 and 30 meters. Much of the time the Comet was 5 to 7 S units lower. Really, the Comet would be S2 and
the Tarheel S9. Huge difference bewtween the antennas. I found one station that was about 1 S unit lower on the Comet than the Tarheel but other comparisons were terrible for the Comet.

Some suggested this antenna should be grounded and/or have radials. I did not try either because it was supposed to not need them. And I would not want to use radials at a campground - the purpose of purchasing this antenna. I was surprised to find a ring for attaching guy wires - but no mention in the one page instructions on guying or if it should need guying.

And I would not have purchased the antenna if I knew it needed guying (or does it?) Comet includes a guy ring so I suspect the answer is "yes."

So, this antenna arrived at about 1 pm and was in the box for shipment back to the distributor the next day. If you want an antenna that has great SWR and can work a station or two this antenna would probably be fine. But if you can put up even a mobile antenna that seems better in my limited experiments.

The autoband switching and the ease of assembly is a plus but the performance being lower than a few dollars worth of cooper wire really lost me in this deal. I can't always find a tree at the campground for that copper wire and the use
of the Tarheel on the truck with no autoband switching is difficult but so far my best solution for RV'ing seems to be to hope for the right trees or use the Tarheel. I may end up mounting a Tarheel to the RV with an electric arm or something...the search continues and CHA goes back for a refund.
 
KG7AVF Rating: 4/5 Mar 6, 2013 08:51 Send this review to a friend
60 day update  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having used the antenna solidly for 2 mos now, my impressions remain positive. The sweet spot for SSB at this QTH is 15-20. 40 and 80 have a lot of loss, but are workable. I still go to my bazooka dipole for 10m. An unanticipated surprise - the lower power requirements of digital modes like PSK31 have allowed me to fully utilize the lower 30-80 bands of the antenna. I've had solid DX QSOs from New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Hawaii and Alaska, Caribbean, and SA to Brazil and Argentina with this antenna. No, it won't outperform corresponding monoband dipoles. No, it won't come anywhere close to the performance of a directional 11 element HAARP Jr. at 90 feet. Given realistic expectations and awareness of the strengths and weaknesses, it's a good general use antenna that provides acceptable performance for someone running less than 250 watts who needs to get on the air and may have QTH limitations.
 
KF4LVC Rating: 4/5 Feb 26, 2013 14:08 Send this review to a friend
Great for get-on-the-air & go!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I did some horse-trading with a friend for this antenna. My goal was to use this antenna in the various "field" setups I operate each year, particularly working with the Boy Scouts in their radio merit badge courses. I was to understand that the CHA250B was considered a compromise antenna. As an RF Engineer, I would agree that any antenna which relies on a wide-banded matching scheme would not be expected to perform well.
However, the first time I deployed the antenna, I was pleasantly surprised.
The antenna's construction is rugged and lightweight. The sections nest within each other, except the very top section. Setting up the antenna takes 15 minutes or less.
During this occasion, I set up the antenna for the BSA Merit Badge University, held at a local community college. I had to mount the antenna at ground level. The location could not have been worse; it was in a small area (maybe 20 ft by 50 ft) between 3 campus buildings, several stories high. I did not have great expectations of making many contacts. Yet, when I fired up the radio, I found that the antenna did indeed work all bands with low SWR. Better yet was the very low noise level I experienced. But I reserved my judgement until after I made some contacts.
Well, if the CHA250B is considered a "compromise", then I became a lover of "compromise" antennas after a day of great contacts. I was able to work any station I could hear with very encouraging signal reports sent back to me. I worked plenty of US stations & the Caribbean. I also had no problem working some European DX on 20M & 17M in the middle of the day. The antenna made a perfect partner to my Icom IC-7000 that day!

I really like this antenna. I know it cannot compete with large verticals or full-sized yagis. But don't let anyone tell you that you cannot use this great little antenna for some fun DX!
 
K0DQN Rating: 4/5 Jan 2, 2013 16:00 Send this review to a friend
Solid performance, low profile  Time owned: more than 12 months
General:
I've had the CHA-250B for over a year. I do a lot of listening, maybe two to three QSO's a month. 95% of the time it operates about 10 feet (3m) AGL on a Rohn 30' telescoping mast (see my QRZ page for photos). After dark, I can run up another section of the mast due to HOA restrictions. This is a relatively "invisible" vertical, and my HOA association has told me that if they don't receive any complaints, they won't push the issue.

Here in Kansas City, we get our share of "wind events" usually from thunderstorm/squall line gust fronts, and the odd tornado that strays close by. My antenna has held fast during confirmed 50kt gusts, and it just bends as reed in the wind and appears no worse for wear.

Performance:
I have a simple setup: A Yaesu FT-450D and the Comet. RX appears to me to be wonderful, but I have no basis for comparisons either rig or antenna. I have had QSO's from stations in New Zealand and Italy, hear plenty of stations calling. Limited to no more than 100 watts from my rig, and even if I could push out the 250w limit for the Comet, I can't compete with full power, BeamSmasher 6000's, so it is condition dependent.

If you need a portable vertical, or one that generally "disappears" to keep a low profile, I would definitely consider this antenna.
 
VE7DLC Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2012 20:35 Send this review to a friend
Excellent stealth antenna!  Time owned: more than 12 months
For what it claims to be, and is, it works very well. I've used it in residential neighborhoods for years, and have worked all over North America and into Japan (from the west coast of Canada). I've had the best results on 20 meters (even QRP), but also use it on 40 and 80 meter nets. Currently I have it mounted approximately 25 feet in the air. If you need an antenna that takes up little space and is unobtrusive, then this could be the one for you.
 
JH1OQW Rating: 5/5 Nov 28, 2012 21:55 Send this review to a friend
Great ant for me.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have projected to get WAS. From 2012 3-18.
I confirmed 39/50 state on LoTW.
I have operated digital mode JT 65HF on14-18-21-24-28Mhz.
I confirmed peruto Rico station about 13000km away.
Please see to QRZ.com.
73's. Good DX!
 
KT8DX Rating: 4/5 Nov 22, 2012 17:19 Send this review to a friend
Update on previous review  Time owned: more than 12 months
Update. Still like antenna and it is performing as expected. It survived some very serious wind this year without any problems. I am on air every night and of course have my choice of whatever band is open. Quite a luxury at this QTH.

Would purchase again.
 
PU2NBU Rating: 4/5 Nov 19, 2012 11:36 Send this review to a friend
Fair Enough  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Easy installation (im my case, 33 feet high)

Got me on the air

Excellent RX

Windproof (fortunately, no tornados neither hurricanes in my brazilian region)

Gets good or reasonable signal reports

It is a keeper!

As a Class C 100w operator, my next step will be also to install a Dual Beam Pro with an Yaesu rotor to chase DX on 10 meters. I will report about this later on, after the first 6 months from this future installation.

 
W4AFK Rating: 3/5 Nov 18, 2012 07:30 Send this review to a friend
Good buy if you know what to expect  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I needed a broadband HF antenna not limited to ham radio frequencies (non-ham experimental, FH & wide band High Speed data). It needed to be ALE friendly and cover the entire HF spectrum. So I bought this CHA250Bx and it "does the job". It's ~30 feet up and compared to dipoles, it's just as "good" (definitely not better).

- Is it a DX antenna? No.
- Is it super efficient on 40/80? No.
- Is it relatively flat across the HF bands? Yes.
- Does it work? Yes!

If you have limited space and want to get on the air, this antenna should be considered. However, just remember that it is NOT as good as dedicated ham radio verticals or to well installed wire antennas. BUT, it gets you on the air and works also on non-ham frequencies with no tuner (SWL, Utilities, etc.)
 
W2NJU Rating: 3/5 Sep 15, 2012 11:37 Send this review to a friend
Realistic Expectations  Time owned: months
What were hoping to accomplish with the CHA-250B. It does what it is advertised to do which is get you on the air with an swr under 1.6 from 6 meters thru 80 meters. It is a highly compromised antenna which puts SOME signal on the air while wasting more as heat. It's the trade off with a broadband antenna. For some operators this is the only way to get on the air. By their own admission, Comet tells you this is NOT a DX antenna although many have successfully worked DX with it. It's a decent antenna for the operator who wants to make contacts, rag-chew and not deal with grounds and radials. If you can put up a simple wire antenna or 43 vertical with some buried counterpoise wires you're better off.
 
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