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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories | Mel Woody Screwdriver Antenna Help


Reviews Summary for Mel Woody Screwdriver Antenna
Mel Woody Screwdriver Antenna Reviews: 14 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $245.00
Description: Complete antenna system & mounting hardware.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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KG6BIW Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2009 09:22 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This may be too little, too late. I have left comments on Mel's website in the past. Should have left it here as well. I am not sure if he is still making these.

My dad (ka7swi) had the older model when I got mine and is still using it. I've had this antenna for nine years now. Got it just as he came out with the model without the external matching device. The only time it failed was when I got rear ended by a van. I have to warn you, it does not make a good bumper. =) Mel did me a great service by restoring it from a boomerang shape for a more-than-fair fee.

I have used it mostly on 20, 40 and 80 meters. Have always gotten great reports, many thinking I am a base station. I run barefoot with an Icom 706mkiig. Tuning is a breeze once you get a method down. I just have to remember which direction to go when changing bands. I used a rocker switch to match the other switches on the dash and found it easier to operate while tuning one-handed. The SWR meter on the rig is more than enough to dial it in in AM mode.

It is mounted on the back of a Jeep Cherokee that sees a lot of off road miles. It handles the bouncing around very well. I try to remember to remove it on the rough stuff but am usually well into it before I decide to pull up and do so; it is not because it is that hard to do - only takes 5 seconds. I just can't imagine the fancier ones holding up to the punishment I have put this thru. I eventually replaced the whip connector because I wore it out removing the whip so often when having to drive under obstacles...no big deal.

Any worries about it being unsealed are un-necessary. It is bumper mounted and a lot of dirt and dust gets kicked up back there. I did put a strip of the loop side of velcro tape around the inside of the pvc sleeve at the bottom as a precautionary measure for off-roading. That was more than enough to isolate the insides.

I used a fiberglass whip which seem to work a bit better than the steel whip because it does not flex as much at higher speeds. The steel whip, which Dad has, can flex enough to need a fine tune.

God bless
73
jb
kg6biw
 
N1VU Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2007 11:04 Send this review to a friend
Mel Woody Update  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mel emailed me back (I know some haven't heard from him)today 7/28/07. He says he hasn't made any antennas in about a year--got out of the business. I know some have had problems with theirs but mine has been great for 5 years.

73/sean K4DBX (former N1VU)
 
N1VU Rating: 5/5 Jul 27, 2007 16:40 Send this review to a friend
Still Crankin' After 5+Years!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought one of Mel's original antennas in 1997, then sold it when I lapsed off-air. Bought another in 2000 and had it upgraded to 10-160 with no external match. I know some people on this board say they've had bad luck with his stuff, but mine's still doing the job quite well. Am trying to get in touch with Mel to get a new mounting kit, but the actual antenna is still a winner for me. EZ on and off; great mounting concept; very sturdy and seemingly very efficient. I would definitely recommend this to another ham.
 
M1BWM Rating: 5/5 Jul 29, 2005 07:55 Send this review to a friend
Good Antenna  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have used mine on my RV works all hf bands mine even works on 6 mtrs.Build is sturdy and simple to install,once installed YOU CAN MOUNT THE ANTENNA IN SECONDS.Reason for buying of mel a similer type of antenna would of cost twice if not three times as much in the uk.It did get damaged in transit,i sent it back all fixed and returned under warrenty.
 
N0VZ Rating: 2/5 Feb 13, 2003 21:24 Send this review to a friend
Disappointed  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Purchased one of these and used it with an Icom 706. The antenna never would tune on a couple of bands no matter what whip was used, changes to grounding system, different mounts. Tried any and all suggestions that Mel made. Antenna developed a mechanical problem, sent it back for repair. Developed same problem shortly after return. Construction is just not very sturdy. Finally gave up on the antenna. This antenna really gave me a bad impression of screwdriver antennas. It's been in the corner of the garage gathering dust for almost 2 years now.
 
KD4UW Rating: 5/5 Aug 5, 2002 15:11 Send this review to a friend
PERFECTION IN MOBILE  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
W O W !!!!! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF ART THAT CAME IN THE FORM OF THIS ANTENNA. VERY EASY TO ASSEMBLE, EASY TO OPERATE, AND W O W WHAT A SIGNAL IT SENDS AROUND THE WORLD. I WORKED 160 METERS IN THE AFTERNOON AFTER PUTTING IT IN THE BED OF MY T-100 PICKUP. IT IS AWSOME !!!!WORKS FANTASTIC ON ALL BANDS FROM 160 DOWN TO 10 METERS. SIMPLY AMAZING TO TO USE AND TO OPERATE. MY ATAS 100 WENT BELLY UP AFTER A YEAR AND WAS RECCOMMENDED TO CALL MEL. HE IS SO GREAT TO HELP WITH GETTING THE ANTENNA TO YOU, A LOT SOONER THAN OTHERS THAT I HAVE TRIED. I WOULD RATE THIS AT A 6+ IF IT WERE POSSIBLE.
 
WA7QNE Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2001 14:56 Send this review to a friend
Very exelantfor moble, portable,and limited space antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am the commucation officer for the thurston country red cross and have been using the 80 thru 30 meg verison for more than 4 years. So when asked to provide a all band portable and stationary system for red cross I contacted Mel N7LYY and found that he had an new version that tuned 160 thru 30 megs.
We are using this antenna both as a base and portable in our shelter opperation and it's ease of operation and quickness of setup in all types of terrain makes this a truly valueable asset. We can set up and be on all bands in less than 15 minutes with excellent signal reports.
This would be an excelant fied day antenna,with it's size this is a very good moble antenna with a powerful punch. With all that is said about it what makes it the number one choice is mel's quick and excelent service that stands behind the product.

Dick WA7QNE
 
WB7QXU Rating: 4/5 May 17, 2001 05:16 Send this review to a friend
Great for the price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned mels antenna for 3yrs. It works great but I had some problems. At first Mel had to make some different matching coils for it. But after that it was fixed good. The stock whip made of fiberglass worked ok but did not tune 10m well, it would only go to 3.65mhz. To get it to work on 10 it had to use the harmonic of 75m tunning spot. I got ride of the fiberglass whip and got a Radio Shack 102" whip and it work great on 3.5 to 24.9mhz. would not work for 10m. I got another whip shorter about 60" or so to use it on 10m and it worked great. but would not tune below 3.8mhz. So I have to use two whips to cover the bands. I have run it at 500w and works fine. Added some capacitance to the base to get the impedance 52 ohms and it really improved the signal. The only complainted I have is the Motor is too noisy to tune it. I have to tune it a 5w until it is resonate. But otherwise It is well worth the Money for its price. overall well made.
 
WE8Q Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2000 23:54 Send this review to a friend
Great Mobile Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Installed Mel's antenna on my 2000 Chevy Silverado pick-up truck in about 3 hours start to finish. Only drilled two holes in the truck and neither can be seen unless you know where to look (underneath the truck). The antenna and mount are very strong and removal of the antenna takes about ten seconds. What a great change from the hamsticks that I was using. Now I can cover ALL of the HF bands with one antenna and tune it from inside the vehicle. Mel was great helping me with tips on how to mount the antenna. I recommend this antenna to anyone who wants great value in a screwdriver antenna. I use an Icom IC-706MKIIG with this antenna.
 
N1KK Rating: 4/5 Jul 9, 2000 12:32 Send this review to a friend
Good Antenna. Mel offers great support  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using his Screwdriver for almost 4 years now without a problem, well except for the time I tried driving into my garage without removing the top whip section. Mel helped me
out by repairing the damage.

Only 2 comments on the antenna. My experience has noticed I can not tune on 10 meters
with the 66 inch top whip. I had to use a smaller whip which just barely gets me to 10 meters
and allows me to tune down to about 3.885MHz.

A very high screwdriver motor noise. Mel told me he uses bypass caps across the motor
leads. I tried shielded cable for the dc to the motor and grounded the shield right at the base
of the antenna but no luck.
Tried installing some additional bypass caps and an RF choke at the dc wires right where
they exit the antenna but still no luck.

If the scredriver motor where quiter it would make it a lot easier tuning the antenna by
listenning for a pk in signal strenght. In my case signal have to be higher than S9 to hear
them about the motor noise.

I still rate this antenna as a 4 because it is light weight compared to others. This makes
mounting much easier. Mel has supported the antenna with a quick response.
I have worked a ton of stations with it.

Ken

N1KK
Ken
 
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