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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | P1 Portable Vertical System Help

Reviews Summary for P1 Portable Vertical System
P1 Portable Vertical System Reviews: 19 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $100.00
Description: P1 Portable Vertical System
Weighs in at just 1 LB 8 oz. But provides lots of radiating power QRP - 150 Watts.
Covers the entire Ham Band Public Service & Red Cross Frequencys 7 Mhz to 450 Mhz Covers 60 and 80 Meters With Optional Coil
Easily sets up in minutes! Easily tuned, NO TUNER REQUIRED!
Great for the: ARES Operator, Shelter Operations, Field Day, RV or Camper, Motel, Apartment or Condo Owner! SAR, Search and Rescue Covers Public Service Frequency's.
Deed Restricted!This May be your ultimate System!
It will mount to almost Any Object At Any Angle!
Tables, Deck Railings,Motel, Apartment or Condo Railings,
Fences, Wood, Chain link, Camera Tripods, BBQ Grills
Product is in production.
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WS5J Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2012 16:01 Send this review to a friend
Update from 2007  Time owned: more than 12 months
I "retired" my P-1 portable antenna system in late 2007 for regular use after about 337 contacts in 4 months on different HF bands. I am now using a home brew 2 element cubical quad for my main antenna which I put up along with an 80 foot tower in early 2008. I still use the P-1 for portable operations including mobile emergency communications exercises. It still works great and I seldom have any issue with set-up or making contact. I have also found that it works great at night on 80 meters over a 6 to 8 state wide area with my FT-857 mounted in my pick-up. If you are looking for a nice little portable system that is easy to set up, you cannot go wrong with this system. 73 - Gary
N4UED Rating: 5/5 May 11, 2012 10:42 Send this review to a friend
GOOD PORTABLE ANTENNA .  Time owned: more than 12 months
AG6EB Rating: 3/5 Dec 4, 2011 18:11 Send this review to a friend
works well, some build quality problems  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I haven't used any of the other portable vertical antennas with tapped loading coils, but electrically they are all more or less the same thing. This one is inexpensive, is able to tune a good range of frequencies, and packs up very small. With the clamp, stake, and tripod mounts, it should be usable most anywhere.

The downsides: I'd rate the build quality at a 1 or 2. The parts I got clearly had never been tested for operability; one UHF connector was damaged such that it was impossible to plug the mating cable into it; the mounting bracket had a screw hole drilled crooked such that you couldn't tighten it down, etc. If you are mechanically inclined and view this product as a selection of useful parts rather than as a polished system, you should be fine. This is especially true of the optional tripod base (i bought an adapter and the NMO version, which was held together with glue and unusable as received.) With a little thought and a few extra parts I was able to disassemble the whole thing and put it back together as a stable and usable system.

Radio-wise -- It comes with one radial wire; I found it better to use two. I was able to get it tuned up on 10, 17, 20, and 40M - easily with an antenna analyser, and with some fiddling but not too much trouble using just the noise level and SWR meter on the radio. I sent a bunch of PSK test messages using 40 watts from my tiny urban backyard and saw my call on from across the US with no effort. Receive performance was better than I'd expected as well.
KB5WMY Rating: 5/5 Aug 12, 2010 15:41 Send this review to a friend
Great Little Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was optomistic,but I set the P-1 on a small tri-pod,about 18 inches above the groung. I added 4 counterpoises that were 17 feet long,attached to the SO239-3/8"X24 mount. It tuned 10 meters through 40 meters ,and with the 60-80 meter coil ,tuned those bands ,though a bit touchy on 80. Note ,for 10 and 6 meters ,I folded the 17 foot counterpoises back on themselves to 8 1/2 feet.I have also had great success with PSK on 20 meters and found a 66 inch whip from BuddiPole to aide the 80 meter antenna with tuneing.
I have worked many HAMs with the little antenna and find it easy to errect and use.It favors a low to earth mount ,for me . I plan to head to the river ,once WX cools ,and have some TS-50 or IC-706 FUN.
KX6G Rating: 4/5 Aug 28, 2009 09:13 Send this review to a friend
P1 Delivers!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Constuction get a "4". Performance gets a "4" as well. It is used primarily on 75m and and can't really complain, as it is clamped to my outdoor air conditioner!

After setting up, as shown in the instructions, and tuning to 40m [Palstar ZM-30], I placed a telephone call to kd6anf in L.A. As requested, he tuned up his ic-703 to the call frequency [btw...his antenna was a home brew 20m dipole and we could not make contact on 20m], and while on the telephone, I gave him a call [Ten-Tec OmniVII ssb] from my Plesanton,Ca station [SF bay area]. What I heard was amazing to say the least! When I keyed the microphone, all the noise on his radio went dead quite. Then my call came booming in...he said "he thought I was outside his qth, pulling his leg!"
VE2YMM Rating: 2/5 Aug 28, 2009 07:40 Send this review to a friend
Works for 80,40,20m ...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Works great for 80m. Simple to install, flat TOS. Become more complex in 40m. and more in 20m. Really become a nightmare in other bands ... I've done the test with the excellent Antenna analyzer AA200. Problem is this antenna is like a dipole, and ground or resonant element has to be installed using tricks. Under 40m. I use real ground and setting is not useful. Perfect for 80m. good for 40 and 20m. Forget other bands and VHF and UHF with this antenna.
WB1HJS Rating: 4/5 Jul 9, 2009 16:18 Send this review to a friend
Works well if you know its limitations  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I'm giving it a 4 because the materials and workmanship are ok, but not great. For instance, there's quite a bit of play in the entire antenna when assembled, and the whip is easily damaged, but it's not terribly bad.

I bought this about 6 months ago to use as a backpacking antenna with my FT817, and as an emergency antenna QRO with my FT897 powered off a car battery. I was less than impressed with the performance until I made up a set of 4 16 foot radials on an alligator clip.This seemed to significantly "wake up" the antenna. I also made up a second set of the same, and that seems to make tuning on 40 meters much easier.

The whole system can be deployed in less than 10 minutes and tuned quickly. Not as good as a dipole in the trees, but the set-up time makes up for it.
KI4VFX Rating: 1/5 Jun 22, 2009 16:14 Send this review to a friend
Not What I had Expected  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I had been looking for a small portable antenna and have read all the reviews on eham which played a big part in my purchase of this antenna. It came packed well. Was built good. All parts were as promised. I had no problems assembling the antenna. I did get the 80 meter coil and extra length of rod. I set this up per instructions that came with the antenna. Could not get it to tune at all on 20 or 40 meters. I did get 80 meters to tune up. The band width is very narrow. I had a ham friend come over with his analyzer to help me tune it. We could not even tune it on 20 or 40 with an analyzer. On 80, the tuning ring on the coil had to be all the way to the bottom with the whip extended 29 inches or it would go off the charts anywhere else. If I moved it a fraction, it would be around 4.013 or down to 3.884. I spent a lot of time running back and forth to the antenna. Then it rained on it and I could not use it at all. If someone knows how to tune this antenna I would appreciate an email. I do not like this antenna at all. I made a few contacts on 80 meters. One into the Tennessee PHone Net and Jerry could not hear me. Had to be relayed in.
The guys in Alabama and Georgia told me to throw it away and get a wire dipole and hang it up 5 feet and I would beat what I was doing with this antenna. I would not waste my money on this antenna.
WA2ASQ Rating: 5/5 Jun 5, 2009 13:35 Send this review to a friend
Update on my review  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I thought I should update my last review and even though the mount still is floppy I felt I should give the P1 a five anyway. My latest work assignment has brought me to Atlanta, Ga and I had some time to work the CQWPX CW test and thought I would give the P1 a good work out. I placed it on a camera tripod on the deck in the rear of the home I am staying and worked the CW contest with 100 watts out as a single band op on 20 meters. I worked almost all states including KL7, KH6 west coast to east coast. In addition, looking at the log book I see: DL, I, C5, EA, SM, S5,PY5,LU,YV, G, VE, JA!, YV, J3, VP9, HA, HI, TI, ETC. ETC. Fantastic work from a little portable antenna. I have to say I was floored, and although I had to call many times to work JA from Ga on this little antenna was pretty cool. I am sure it is not a pile up buster but once more for me on the road to be able to pop this out in 5 minutes and work a contest is what I needed. Thanks Super antenna; neat little item!
KB0SFP Rating: 0/5 Jan 12, 2009 16:31 Send this review to a friend
Total JUNK!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just purchased one of these on Ebay. I was very lucky in that I got it unused for $63 from an individual rather than the normal $130 that
these are being sold for. I say lucky because I only got screwed for 60 bucks rather than the 130 that it could have been!! I purchased this set intending to use just the coil with some of my existing hardware & a military AT-271 whip antenna, that'll never happen!

First let me say that while the original design is perfectly viable, the actual manufacture of this antenna set appears to have been done in a very poorly outfitted & incompetently supervised junior high school shop class.

I'll just list some of the finer points.
#1, the coil form has been lathe turned so as to provide grooves for the coil wire to lay in. These groves are too big for the wire, & the wire was so loosely wrapped that the coil actually would rattle!
Beside the fact that the wire size & type are both wrong for this application. If this LITTLE thing had been made twice as long it would still have been the same length as the mast sections thus still storable in the same amount of space, but then it would have also covered the 75 & 60 meters bands without the need to buy another coil
(or was that the point all along)!

#2, The ends of the coil form were cut off crooked, then the threaded aluminium end caps affixed to allow attachment of the mast & telescoping resonator. Needless to say, these too were crooked.

#3, The 3/8 x 24 threading done on one of the coil end caps was done wrong & I had to chase the threads myself.

#4, The two mast sections supplied are threaded 3/8 x 24 on both ends. This threading too was done crooked.

#5, The telescoping antenna(resonator) is of extremely poor construction. The first time it was extended it pulled apart at the third section. It too is absolute JUNK!

The materials used in this antenna's construction are of the poorest quality, & the workmanship involved displays absolutely no pride
whatsoever!! !

This antenna when assemble vaguely resembles a sprung cork screw do to its shoddy manufacture.

The antenna is total JUNK, do not buy one. Any other product produced or marketed by this company must also be suspect.

My apologies for posting my previous message on this subject prematurely. I should have maybe actually tried to use the antenna before condemning it for it's shoddy construction.

As I spent $60 plus I thought I'd try to see if I could get a little of my moneys worth. Well, I might get some use, but not as it was supplied, nor using the materials it was supplied with!

The first thing I did was attach the mast & coil to my tripod. I could only get the supplied resonator(telescoping whip) to go in a couple threads even after I clean up(chased) the 3/8 x 24 threads of the top of the coil. Seems that oriental 3/8 x 24 is not the same as US 3/8 x 24. Anyway, I got it in far enough to test. As it tuned out, even if the resonator had been perfect(remember it pulled apart the first time it was extended) it would not have worked. Not on 40mtrs anyway. The lowest usable frequency that this coil/resonator combo would make is 7.98mc. I have a VERY good stock of antenna building materials so I went in I got one of my own telescoping antenna just to see how long the resonator would need be. A 56" resonator is required to get this coil into a the TOP end of the 40mtr band. The supplied resonator is only 43 3/4" long. Remember, this antenna is supposed to work 7 to FIVE HUNDRED Mc! Plus 75 & 60mtrs with the optional coil added(more money pissed away).

I wanted to be fair, so even though I knew that it wouldn't make any difference, I decided to hook up the counterpoise wire. This took another 30 minutes because this was the most neatly rolled up knot I have ever seen in my life! Guess what, it made no difference! I'm not just hooking an MFJ analyzer up & taking it's work(though I do which I could afford one). Testing was done with my FT-817, it's built in SWR meter, & very short length of RG-715 coax. I have many times tested & used whip antenna using this same arrangement.

As far as know you will not find a web site that contains any more information that what is presented on their Ebay sales page. The only place they are sold is on Ebay. I'm told they have a representative that has put on at least one presentation at a hamfest(in Arkansas).

I will say one almost nice thing about this antenna. The counterpoise wire is equipped with a female push on spade connector on it's end. The universal antenna mount supplied with the set has a mating male connector. I'd like to think that this arrangement was used because it provided a nice connection yet would also allow a break-away feature in the event that someone tripped over the counterpoise wire. But, I'd sooner believe that it was used simply because it was the cheapest thing they could come up with.

I say again, the Blue Star P1 Multi-Band Portable Antenna is TOTAL JUNK!

Dennis Starks
Military Radio Guy
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