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Reviews Categories | Antenna Switching, Phasing, Controllers | Comtek PVS-2 Help

Reviews Summary for Comtek PVS-2
Comtek PVS-2 Reviews: 11 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $$291.95
Description: Two Element Phased Vertical Switch Box
Product is in production.
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VE9AA Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2016 09:02 Send this review to a friend
Quiet, slightly directional, FB F/B  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got part of a used COM-PVS-2-A 160m array (COM-PVS-160-A) for 160m last year
(Tnx Bob!) and only yesterday @ sunset did I finally finish it off in the
pouring rain.

I had to make a controller for it. (I used lime green LED's and 3 toggle

Played in the Pre-Stew with it and am quite pleased with it.

Today in the daylight I made these measurements using my AA-230pro as a
signal source, but I was only about 150' away from the antenna, so I am very
much in the near field, but they jive

with what I saw on the air last night.

Like my recent 20-40-80 4-square measurements I made, even though response
was less than underwhelming I thought I would share my results so here they
are. Got a slight break in the rain.

So, with a signal source to the SW (only 150' from the antenna and very much
in the near field)

Freq 1.833MHz .radio IC-7410...antennas both wire inverted L's.oriented
NE-SW...I used a Belden 75Ohm RG6 type coax, NOT the 50Ohm as recommended
(It's what I had)

The antennas are not similar at all, except they both resonate about
1.833MHz (1.5:1 SWR)..SWR did rise slightly on original antenna once antenna
#2 was put into place.

One inv L has a >km of radials under it and only rises 35-40' vertically
(perhaps 55' of wire as it's sloped)

The other Inv L rises sharply 45-50' with nearly 65' of wire "vertically"
but only has 2 raised radials roughly 8-10AGL.

They are not "symmetrical" to each other with respect to the horizontal
portions of the wire.


Aimed at the source to the SW, the S meter is on S8

In SE/NW mode (Nearly Omni) the S-meter is on S7

Aimed away from signal to the NE the S-meter is on S4

I think I am really too close to say with certainty how much gain, F/B, F/S
any of these arrays have, I won't make any conclusions as
to gain or F/B except to say it's moving the pattern as intended...using
very compromised antennas. Wires in the trees !

Wouldn't it be nice to own a real antenna range a few thousand feet in
diameter and trees 150' tall?

For now, I am pleased. It's not quite as sharp as my 4 squares, but at
1.8MHz, I am nearly on top of it only 150' away.

For the 20-40-80m arrays all antennas are close to being identical (except
two of the 80m ones differ slightly)

YMMV but if you only have a thin slice of North-South trees like me, I
endorse this/these product(s) !

Best thing about them is reduced local noise. (especially nulling the
e-fence noise to my NE, when I am aimed Stateside. I could actually hear
more of the QRPers that called in last night.

dit dit

Mike VE9AA aka 4-square boy (one of the locals called me this after the 2nd
or 3rd one went up a couple weeks ago...hi)

KQ0C Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2009 09:34 Send this review to a friend
Works FB  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I live in a restricted antenna environment, so anything I use needs to be pretty invisible. I have the PVS-2 array set up for 20-meters using wire ground plane antennas set in among a group of scrub oak. It took a bit of tuning to get the SWR right (in particular the "radials" of the GP need to work at 90-degrees to the vertical , not the normal downward slope to give the necessary 37 ohm resistance for each antenna). But once I got it working I get at least 2.5 s-units of Front-to-Back, and very strong signal reports. Pointing at DX stations I can get a good report and be unreadable when I point away. I had a number of e-mails back and forth with Comtek Support... George Proudfoot K3GP was very helpful getting me up and running.
W7WZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2009 19:28 Send this review to a friend
40 meter works fine  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Performs as advertised. Force12 Sigma40 dipoles spaced 49 feet apart are showing one s unit on transmitt and 10 to 20 db front to back on receive. The broadside #2 setting helps a lot in qrm to weaken strong signals like foreign broadcast. These vertical dipoles are just 3 feet above ground and have no radials. Very satisfied with the Comtek box.
OH5JJL Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2008 01:02 Send this review to a friend
Very good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have mine for 30m. My system is made of 2 full size vertical dipoles supported by tall trees. This system works great. There is an awesome F/B ratio in DX signals. My first plan was to install a 4-SQR for 30m but now I have such an array for 20m. For limited space available this 2 element system is just what I needed to improve my station on my favorite 30m band. One point to mention: if you use vertical dipoles, you don't need to play with radials but remember to use current baluns on your feedlines.

By the way, Comtek is now hosted by DX Engineering so I wish they will continue these K4SQR's great products.

73 Tuomas OH5JJL
AA4NN Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2007 15:51 Send this review to a friend
PVS-2 on DXpedition  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
At VU7RG Kadmat Island 2007 we used three PVS-2 systems for phasing verticals on 80m, 40m and 30m. Looking straight down the beach parallel to the ocean was the 80m pair, then in the distance the 30m pair and yet a bit further down was the 40m pair and on beyond that was a single vertical for 160m. All in a row. The 160m vertical was a Titanex. The others were homemade using bamboo poles with wire taped to the sides. Using individual bandpass filters proved no interference with stations running these bands. It was interesting to see a ground wave signal on 30m from Agatti Island almost wiped out when end-firing in the opposite direction. On DX signals however the front-to-back was not so pronounced due to the high angle of the received signal. Nevertheless the PVS-2 works. We easily heard and worked east coast stations SP on 40m. Around 2330Z to 0130Z we would switch end-fire to work west coast stations on long path. Just remarkable. I think the RTTY guy at N8S will use PVS-2s on 40m and 30m, so listen out.
NE2I Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2006 17:10 Send this review to a friend
works with elevated radials!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have an elevated radial installation using 2 butternut hf6v's and I get excellent fb for a
phased array. Absolutely great for those of us that have no room for a 4 square.
N8BI Rating: 5/5 Aug 12, 2006 18:06 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Performance  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have been receiving excellent reports with my Comtek PVS-2. Depending on conditions the Front to Back reports meet and exceed specifications. DX reports using phased 80 meter wires @ 50-60 feet are always less than the verticals and the PVS-2. The quality of the components and construction is excellent. Looking forward to the contest season.
8P6SH Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2006 16:02 Send this review to a friend
Breathes New Life into Verticals  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
During the 8P9R operation, Krassy - K1LZ introduced me to four-square antennas. I was amazed at his results on 40 and 80 with 1/4 wave verticals. I then decided that I should add verticals to my contest arsenal.

I decided that my first efforts would be using a 20m PVS-2 and a pair of F12 Sigma 40XK's, configured for 20m as centre-fed vertical dipoles.

The set-up took the best part of Saturday and I quickly tuned on 20m to see what activity there was. The IOTA contest was on, so I tuned a few stations and switched rapidly back and forth to get a sense of the array's front to back. Suddenly I came across a 6Y1V and called him -- it turned out to be Krassy K1LZ... first in the log with the vertical array.

Currently I think the front to Back ratio is around 12 to 15db somewhat off the Comtek spec., but this is because I have it spaced incorrectly.

At the moment the verticals are about 20ft apart because they were convenient mounting points available. I will soon adjust the spacing to a true 1/4 wave and re-orient the array so the axis of the verticals is NE-SW which will be EU and VK/ZL rather than the current N-S orientation. I'll give another review after I've done this work.

Bottomline: This array is a great alternative to my installed yaggi array and now I'm very keen to install similar arrays for 40m and 80m. I may even swing for a 40m 4-square!!!

Dean - 8P6SH / 8P2K
N3KS Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2006 18:39 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently installed the PVS-2 controller and phase box with my 2 element 40m vertical array. I had originally been switching them using the W7EL design of coax switches and appropriate lengths of coax - but my implementation of that required switching two controllers simultaneously, so I thought I would give the PVS2 a try.

The bottom line is that the PVS-2 system works excellently. I believe that Comtek specifies 18dB of F/B, but I think it is higher - on the order of 20-25 dB is what I seem to get.

I noticed that the required length of the 1/4 wave 40m verticals needs to be longer for this implementation than for my prior W7EL approach. This caused me to make a couple of "false alarm" phone calls to Comtek when my SWR seemed way out of whack using the original vertical element lengths. However, I can now state from direct experience that Comtek customer service is excellent.

An interesting sidenote is that I recently replaced the 1/4wave 40m verticals with BigIR SteppIR verticals (which I had taken to KP5 with me and brought back). So, I tried the system on 30 meters and I get about 10dB of F/B on that band. It seems to me that I get out pretty well on 30m using the two BigIRs and PVS-2.

The BigIR verticals don't quite have enough length in their maxed out position to give quite as low an SWR as I would like to see at the bottom of 40 meters - the SWR at 7.01MHz is about 1.8:1, and SWR is about 1.3:1 across most of the phone portion of the band.

F/B performance is excellent through-out the entire 40m band - 20-25dB across. Very nice broadband design.

I also believe in the "more ground radials is better" philosophy and have about 60 (35 foot length) radials under each vertical element.
NI1N Rating: 5/5 Nov 14, 2005 22:42 Send this review to a friend
Works great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this unit as a replacement for a Comtek 4 square controller I was using to phase 2 verticals on 80 meters. The 4 square controller works great on 2 verticals (using only the 90 degree phasing output), but I wanted to try the PVS-2 because it adds the broadside pattern.

My two 80m verticals are full size, made from standard 6' lengths of aluminum tubing telescoping from 2.125" at the base to 1.25" at the top (the first several sizes are doubled up). They are supported by 5 levels of Phillystran guys every 12' and were assembled with the help of a 60' bucket truck.

I have 130 radials under each vertical, each at least 1/2-wave long. Thats on the excessive side, but don't skimp out too much on the radial system. You won't know what you are missing! Personally, I find installing radials therapeutic, hence the 40,000 feet of wire below my 2 element 80m array!

It seems the only people who say its a waste of time are the ones who don't do it. I've yet to meet anyone who has at least 60 1/4-wave radials under each vertical that does anything but rave about it. It really makes the difference.

My first contact with the PVS-2 was VK9CG. That's a haul from southwestern Virginia on 80 meters! I joined the pileup after his 1st QSO that evening, and I was the second one called after that. There were a lot of big boys in the pileup so I was pleasantly surprised to hear my callsign coming back. Only a handful of stations managed to get through.

The front-to-back in the endfire positions is excellent (about 25dB, the same as I had when using the 4 square controller on the two verticals). Thats nice for DX contests and pileups, and I am sure the broadside position will prove nice in contests like SS and WPX where they may be calling from all directions. It offers a nice tradeoff in gain, and it is easy enough to flip to one position or the other if you need a little extra boost in a particular direction to work a weak one.

This is my 4th system from Comtek. On the low bands where verticals are often the best option for DX it is an obviously good choice. On the higher bands, the instant direction changing is hard to give up once you're used it. It makes a nice complement to the yagi(s) there, especially in contests where they may be coming at you from any direction or when used from a multiplier station.

A few other notes:
1. I'm usually chasing DX or contesting, so I usually run 1500 watts. The Comtek units have no problem with that.
2. It sure is nice to be able to work on the antennas without going up the tower!
3. They make nice field day antennas. It's easy to set up 2 temporary verticals and have a gain antenna going in a short amount of time.
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