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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories | OPEK HVT-400 Help


Reviews Summary for OPEK HVT-400
OPEK HVT-400 Reviews: 52 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $60.00
Description: HF/VHF 8-band mobile antenna. 120 watt maxiumum power handling. Freq: 80/40/20/15/10/6/2 meter & "air band". Use jumper lead to change freq./band. PL-259 mount. Retractable telescopic whip for best TX/RX.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.opektech.com/
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VK2JCC Rating: 5/5 Aug 29, 2014 19:46 Send this review to a friend
Best HF Antenna for mobile USE!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased the antenna at the Gosford Field day about 3 years ago. After checking the swr and recording the measurements on a piece of paper, I used an automatic center punch to make two marks on the adjustable section of Stainless Steel. When I want to operate I slide out the section to one of the marks and lock up the screw. BTW I replaced the set screw with a hex head screw which avoids having to always having an "Allen key" with you.
Payed $75 for the antenna. Good value. If it were lost would I buy another the answer is yes.
 
AD7LY Rating: 5/5 Mar 6, 2014 09:29 Send this review to a friend
Love this Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own both the HVT-600 and HVT-400 and like the 400 better. I operate both 20m and 15m with a Kenwood TS-430 at 100W. You can tune the antenna to 1:1 SWR at 20m and still get respectable SWRs on 15m without changing the antenna length (simple plug-and-play band change). I have had this antenna mounted on both a sedan and an SUV - proper grounding is a MUST. Make sure everything is well-grounded and avoid using magnetic mounts for this reason. I am currently using a trunk-lip mount with a separate ground wire. I have made good contacts between Tampa and ZS and VK stations, I always get excellent reports back. Tuning and grounding are critical for best results.
 
KB8BMN Rating: 3/5 Jun 30, 2013 19:05 Send this review to a friend
Cannot get the SWR below 2.4:1  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have read this is a bear to tune, and evidently that is true. I have tried both a 3 magnet mount and have tried a trunk lip mount, same results. I have run a grounding strap from the braid side of the mount to the car body, no change. I added an insulator inside the PL259 mount, no change. The next thing I think I am going to try is to make up a few different length jumpers to change band. That is about all I have left to try.

On the upside, I HAVE made some contacts, but I usually get the same report, weak signal. The rig is an Icom 706 running 100 watts. I suppose I could use a tuner, but really don't want to have to carry another piece of equipment.
 
VK2FPHR Rating: 4/5 May 17, 2013 17:42 Send this review to a friend
excellent on the road  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have one of these attached to the rear of my caravan and have used it constantly especially on 40/80 meters.
It is easy to take down and put up and easy to measure to use.No dramas at all with this little beauty.Would recommend it to anyone who needs an antenna that will work anywhere
 
KC0UUT Rating: 4/5 Apr 3, 2013 05:59 Send this review to a friend
Good antenna value.   Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have used the HVT-400 for 10 months. It is mounted on my Van using a MFJ triple magnet mount.

Pros:
1) It works very well. I live in Minnesota and can routinely reach the east or west coast. When band conditions are good (solar flux > 110) I have made contact with Europe and South America.
2) Little wind loading. The triple mag mount has held it in place nicely, even when driving into strong headwinds on a freeway.
3) Low price.

Cons:
Workmanship- As another reviewer mentioned, the collar with the set screw that holds the whip in place was not crimped properly. The loose collar created a lot of static. I called the factory about this. They offered to give me a new antenna but mentioned that if I want, I could first try to fix this myself by soldering the collar in place. I did solder it using a 100 watt soldering iron. This eliminated the static and the repair is still holding 9 months later.

Other:
SWR - I recommend using a tuner so you don't have to readjust the whip. My rig has a tuner that can handle up to a 3:1 SWR mismatch and can tune the antenna nicely.

I would consider purchasing this antenna again.
 
W1BVV Rating: 4/5 Sep 16, 2012 18:01 Send this review to a friend
I Love and Hate this antenna  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have a love-hate relationship with this antenna.

Love - Performance. One of my first QSO's was Australia from eastern MA. Routinely work Europe and most of US on 20M. Low windage on the car. Relatively low geek factor on the car.

Hate - Finicky tuning, maybe its my grounding. PL239 connector shorts to ground with Opek's own mount. Need to add an insulating washer. Replace the adjusting set screw with the next size longer which has a deeper hex socket that doesn't strip as easily. Do Not cable tie the jumper to the coil, it will arc through. Replace the supplied allen wrench with a good quality hardened tool or it will strip with the third tuning. The Opek lip mount has an adjustment bolt which is not stainless and rusts immediately.
 
VK2FSTU Rating: 4/5 Aug 31, 2012 00:17 Send this review to a friend
Some pointers!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this thinking it was going to let me on any frequency I wanted but was I ever wrong to think that. Being a 4x4 driver, having it mounted on the Bull Bar was the fault. I found out that some simple steps would get me what I wanted. So, braid (copper) found in coax cable should be from Bull Bar to just under the bonnet, this has made a huge difference already. But the most important thing for those like me, no ground plane is present on the Bull Bar, so a round metal plate under the antenna is the answer, and I'm sure (what the technician told me) will work as it's the next step when made.
 
VE3EGA Rating: 3/5 May 29, 2012 18:28 Send this review to a friend
Check the whip B4 you buy!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months

I picked up my antenna from Maple Leaf Communications at a Hamfest in Canada, intending to use it this Summer as a /P Antenna with a tripod or GP.

When I got it home I noticed that where the top adjustable whip slides into a crimped-ferrule on the lower stainless section, this whole thing was not crimped properly, consequently the top section was free to rotate, making a poor electrical contact!

At the next Hamfest, I made a bee-line for Bob Morton's table (Maple Leaf Communications) I tried to get his attention more than once and he eventually said that 'HE WAS ONLY INTERESTED IN SALES DURING THIS FIRST HOUR AND TO COME BACK LATER!' - I eventually went back and told him the problem but he had no interest to replace or refund only to suggest I contact OPEK!!!!

Pity Bob doesn't like CUSTOMER SERVICE BECAUSE HE JUST LOST A CUSTOMER!

As far as the antenna is concerned OPEK need to QA their items before releasing to dealers/agents or shipping!

I have no doubt that given the corrections to the crimping of the ferrule, then it will perform as advertised!

73

Terry
 
K5TTE Rating: 4/5 May 27, 2012 01:13 Send this review to a friend
Get a tripod,use counterpoise  Time owned: more than 12 months
My initial disappointment with this compromise antenna kept
me from giving a thumbs-up on eHam reviews.

But I was persistent and didn't want to have my cash go to waste. I reapplied my efforts to make this thing work, with the goal of NOT having to use an ATU or other LC network:
I was determined to use only 50 ohm coax between my rig and the antenna. So I started then with a stable portable tripod, modified for mobile antennas. I then experimented with various lengths of counterpoises, starting with the usual quarter-wave length wire, and trying others.

What I learned:
1- My best matches were on 40 and 20. I can't explain why.
2-Whatever counterpoise length you use, you must move it
around----high or low, stretched out or not, with varying
positions in relation to the coax.
3-Keep moving the coax around as well.
4-Realize that when you get a really good match ( close to
1.2 to 1) you must leave the whole situation undisturbed.
Moving any part of this arrangement can make the SWR
take off wildly. So don't move a thing!
4- For me, I must use an antenna analyzer continuously.
You need to know immediately if your whip length or
counterpoise orientation or coax position (stretched out?
or somewhat coiled? ) alters the match.
5- Of course it may be easier to simply add a Transmatch to
this situation and get a quicker match. But for me, I was
determined to "go bare" no matter what.
6- Messing around with this tweaking may seem more
trouble than it's worth for a ham who just wants to get
" on the air" quickly. But for me it's just fun. I now know
that in a portable situation you gotta mess around with
wires a bit and allow for the extra time
7- The same method was used for my MFJ apartment
antenna, which I also like a lot. Both antennas bring
QSOs with my QRP rigs.
 
VE3VDX Rating: 5/5 May 23, 2012 12:28 Send this review to a friend
Works great!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
As I returnee to our beloved hobby after 8 years of silence I decided to try mobile. HVT400B has been purchased at local hamfest few years ago, but collected the dust in the basement. As I was set for a Dayton trip this year I thought I might just throw the radio and the antenna in the car and at least hear what was going on the bands. It took me about an hour to complete the installation, however no adjustments to antenna has been made, I just did whatever was described in the chart. My mobile radio is a tiny SGC 2020 which I set for 10W output in order not to burn the finals in case of high SWR. Well, I wish I could ground the radio properly as the alternator noise was certainly present. I used the cigarette lighter plug for power. As I hit the road I could only hear US stations but the fun began later on when I heard A71AM, JY4CI and 9K2UU just like local stations!!
Without much hope I called Barrak 9K2UU and was surprised when he returned my call with 57 report.
He could not believe I ran 10W at the time!!! I happened to work a number of stations after that including VE6,IK4,CS8 in Azores, S58 in Slovenia and CO6 in Cuba. I am very impressed with this little performer!! Will play with length adjustments and see how it works! 73!!
 
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