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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Radio Works Carolina Windom 80 Help

Reviews Summary for Radio Works Carolina Windom 80
Radio Works  Carolina Windom 80 Reviews: 86 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $89.95
Description: Multi-band wire antenna with increasing gain vs frequency
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Radio Works Carolina Windom 80.

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KE5WCE Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2010 19:19 Send this review to a friend
Works Great!!!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had my Carolina Windom 80 up at 35ft going on over a year now with no troubles at all. works great QRP or QRO just make sure its weather sealed and put up right and you will have a excellent multi-band antenna that preforms very well.
GM0VPG Rating: 0/5 Jan 10, 2010 07:56 Send this review to a friend
Awful engineering build with no support  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am not the only amateur who has experienced water ingress with Jim's products. A waste of time emailing. Its as if he doesn't want to improve the engineering quality of his products. Following is the extract I sent to him for his input.... no replies were forthcoming.

The windom has been working fine however over the past two months it has been deteriorating until it got to the point with an unacceptable swr. Further investigations revealed the line isolator was full of water even though the PL259's were well sealed with self amalgamating tape and Scotchkote.
With both ends cemented in place with plastic cement I drilled holes down the side to remove the water. I then decided to crack one end open to get more hot air in to dry it out. As you can see from the photograph the water ingress has come in via the so239 socket which wasn't covered by your water seal of Araldite or suchlike. You can see the bare side of the so239 and self tapping screw not covered.
As an observation the sealing medium does not adhere to the plastic cap and no gasket is fitted between the so239 face and the plastic mounting face either. Being held in place by two self tapping screws is not good engineering practice either and should be fitted with stainless nuts and bolts on all four holes. Whilst I accept you may have hundreds, if not thousands of these products out in the amateur world quality issues have been identified here which basically is an 'own' goal and can be easily remedied.

I would defintely investigate other options. Any problems you are on your own.
W8DMC Rating: 0/5 Jan 2, 2010 19:51 Send this review to a friend
Never Again  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had two...Said I'd not have another, Given one as a gift, it too fell apart, and broke down under mild cross wind. Way too many quality and well built wire antennas to use this HYPE system. Have a 43 foot ZeroFive Antennas, which blows this Antenna out of the water. Heck a 32' S9 Vertical works better and lasts longer. Check them out, they stand after years of wind and use.
W8MJM Rating: 2/5 Nov 19, 2009 10:20 Send this review to a friend
needs help on 75  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I installed a Carolina Windom 80 as an inverted vwith the apex at 50 ft and the ends at 20 ft. On 75 meters it was consistantly 3 to 5 s units below my G5RV on receive and with a a/b test it was about the same as the G5RV on transmit. On 20 meters it was very good, often only a couple s units below my beam. On 75 meters it was disapointing. I took it down and put up a homebrew bazooka. Too much money for a wire antenna.
KD7OED Rating: 5/5 Oct 11, 2009 18:56 Send this review to a friend
As Good As Your Installation  Time owned: more than 12 months
Has been up for almost 4 years with no problems. Survived 75+ MPH windstorms that blew down two fences in my yard, caused severe wind damage to my roof (and many others in the area), and even knocked down a commercial cell phone tower a few miles down the road. Is used every day for 75M traffic net and on weekends for ragchewing, digital experiments and contesting on multiple bands. Inverted V configuration with one end at 14', the other end at 8' and the peak at 23'. Primary use is NVIS for state/regional nets, but have used it to work Oceana, Asia, Europe, Carribean, and Central/South America on upper bands with no problem (although Australia/NZ are a challenge) when my beam was down. Would I buy another one? Yes, without question or reservation. Cannot understand how the previous reviewer could possibly rate the ANTENNA at less than five when the problem was with his INSTALLATION. Folks, if your antenna is not installed properly - don't blame the antenna!
AA1OV Rating: 4/5 Jul 19, 2009 08:55 Send this review to a friend
Good under circumstances  Time owned: more than 12 months
Let me start by saying I could NOT install the antenna high enough as I have no tower, no trees, and extreme winds in the winter here on Cape Breton where I installed the antenna. When I called Radio Works and explained my situation they agreed the antenna would work, but not as advertised due to the installed height. I used my roof line at 22' for one end, and the guy wire brace on a telephone pole at 21' for the other end.

I then used a 24' fiberglass pole to support the center at the balun. that left the bottom transformer laying on the ground so I ended up supporting it off the ground but the coax was not straight from the flat top to the transformer. Hey I had to do what I had to do.....

I had a miserable time maintaining a usable SWR on 80m (go figure) but was able to tune with the tuner in my Quadra amp everything else down to 6m.

The antenna performed like a dipole and I was able to make contacts all over the US, Canada and Western Europe. I'm sure if I was able to get it higher the 80m SWR would have come in line and performance would have improved.

The problem I had was the wire kept breaking in the winds here. I ended up repairing it every summer when I returned to our summer home. The transformer and balun however hung in there with no problems in the 5 years it was up. I replaced the antenna today with the Buckmaster OCF 3000w 7 bander so time will tell.

Would I recommend the antenna. Sure in a better environment and more correct installation I would probably have rated it a 5.
KG8JF Rating: 5/5 May 11, 2009 05:27 Send this review to a friend
great antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my Carolina Windom up for about 2 years and I cannot say enough good about it. That 22 feet of vertical radiator really enhances the dx capability of the antenna. Even during this crummy sunspot nadir, I manage to work my share of dx. I realize that I am not going to beat a yagi and 1500 watts, but I do get my share. I have a bunch of live oaks from which to hang my wire. I have to say it is a bit of a chore to get that monofiliment lead up and down through those intertwined limbs, but when you do it works and works great......
W4WFB Rating: 0/5 Apr 18, 2009 11:39 Send this review to a friend
Won't Last  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had previously given this antenna a 5/5. It worked great for two years, but gave up the ghost when the line isolator broke down. The antenna would not tune and became useless. I do not think the components are built well enough to handle high power over time.
K7TCE Rating: 3/5 Apr 18, 2009 08:07 Send this review to a friend
Does not live up to the hype  Time owned: more than 12 months
This antenna is a halfwave, and I'm not qualified to discuss what the vertical component does or does not do. The components are very susceptable to water damage, and, it is very heavy because of the weight of the radiator, coax, balun, and line isolator. When I took mine down, and saw the the amount of water in the balun and isolator, I chose to throw them away. Feeding the antenna with 300 ohm twinlead with a 4:1 balun near the shack worked just as well for me, and with the reduced weight-induced sag, it brought the feedpoint up about 10-15'. Their customer service was terrible.
W3ULS Rating: 5/5 Apr 18, 2009 05:40 Send this review to a friend
Tunes Easily on All Bands  Time owned: more than 12 months
I give the RadioWorks CW 80 a "5" because it tunes easily with the built-in tuners of various radios I've owned on all bands, 80-10. In fact, I've had an OMNI VI connected directly without an antenna tuner with very acceptable SWRs on all but the WARC bands.

It's true, as folks are saying, that quality is questionable, and Jim seems not to care about that, because nothing's changed in the nine years that I've used them. (Two needed replacing, including one I personally handed to him at the Richmond Frostfest.)

But the thing works very well at DXing, and you can't beat the ease of use. Just keep the power under 1 kw and make sure everything is waterproofed. In all, a remarkable backyard antenna. (Now that I'm living in a city, I'm working on setting up a remote location that will host a CW-80 as the main antenna.)

(This supplements an earlier review.)
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