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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Verticals and Wire | DX Engineering MBVE-1 Help


Reviews Summary for DX Engineering MBVE-1
DX Engineering MBVE-1 Reviews: 38 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $$299.50
Description: The DX Engineering MBVE-1 is a fast taper, high performance 160 thru 10 meter vertical multi-band antenna that is tunable to operate with an SWR of 1.5:1 or less. Tuning is accomplished by using a DX Engineering 4:1 UN-43 UNUN with coax feed and your in- shack wide-range tuner - or by installing an automatic tuner at the base of the antenna.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.dxengineering.com/search?keyword=dxe-mbve-1&dds=1
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W3ATM Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2011 13:35 Send this review to a friend
Good All Around Vertical  Time owned: months
I have had this antenna almost a year. It works great on 40m and 15 meters. I used my MFJ antenna analyzer and came up with the following data below. By the way I measured from inside my shack not at the base of the antenna about 50' away. You can see that 40 and 17 meters show low SWR. Just the high end of 10m had a fairly low SWR. I have good luck communicating on all the bands and it has had the best number of contacts so far for me. My manual antenna tuner is a Palstar AT2K. I have good luck tuning SWR except 160m is tricky. It works but I have to really be careful with the tuner dials to get a decent SWR.

BAND FREQ (MHZ) R X SWR COAX LOSS (dB)
160 M 1.800 1 1 >25 0.0
160 M 1.900 1 2 >25 0.1
160 M 2.000 1 7 >25 0.1
80 M 3.500 257 461 >25 0.3
80 M 3.600 93 267 22.1 0.3
80 M 3.800 25 127 20.2 0.4
80 M 4.000 13 75 18.6 0.4
40 M 7.000 33 30 2.3 3.8
40 M 7.125 28 23 2.3 3.8
40 M 7.175 27 20 2.3 3.9
40 M 7.300 24 12 2.3 4.0
30 M 10.100 17 19 3.6 2.4
30 M 10.150 16 17 3.7 2.3
20 M 14.025 7 2 7.9 1.0
20 M 14.150 6 0 8.1 1.0
20 M 14.225 7 4 8.1 1.0
20 M 14.350 7 10 7.9 1.0
17 M 18.068 32 16 1.8 5.2
17 M 18.110 34 17 1.8 5.4
17 M 18.168 36 18 1.7 5.6
15 M 21.025 166 0 3.3 2.6
15 M 21.200 140 69 3.6 2.4
15 M 21.275 118 85 3.7 2.3
15 M 21.450 72 86 4.0 2.2
12 M 24.890 376 107 8.8 0.9
12 M 24.930 362 151 8.8 0.9
12 M 24.990 337 175 9.0 0.9
10 M 28.000 32 43 4.5 1.9
10 M 28.300 44 71 4.4 1.9
10 M 29.700 74 43 2.2 4.2

I have had this antenna in 50 mph gusts and I added 4 guys about 2/3 of the way up. It is mounted to a tilt over from DX Engineering and also has the Special 5 kW Multi-Band Vertical UNUN
at the base. I used Penetrox Electrical Joint Conductive Compound paste between all tubes.
Also I ran 24 radial wires on the ground. I mowed the lawn very thin and then used lawn staples to hold the wires down. Then I let the lawn grow! You can't even see the wires. I also used silicon/rubber paste to cover the wires at the end where they mount to the DX Engineering Stainless Steel radial mounting plate. I soldered automotive connectors and then covered the solder with the silicon/rubber paste. Use a plumbers torch and it gets the solder on real quick! Way better than a soldering iron. Also use anti-gall stainless steel paste on the SS nuts and bolts.

Overall this antenna does exactly what it is designed to do. That is an all around 10-160m antenna. It is NOT a mono-band antenna and was not designed for such. But for a general purpose antenna that helps me get DX due to low take off angle on some bands, stand up to severe winds, easy tilt over for maintenance, and ease of communication on all bands it is FANTASTIC and at a decent price.
73 W3ATM
Bill
 
N3WAK Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2010 05:34 Send this review to a friend
Great Product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one of these on sale...great price and free shipping. I use it as a monoband vertical. I recommend it!

Pros: Extremely well made, like all DXE products in my experience. I like the flexibility that the antenna gives me--by telescoping it up or down, which is easy, I can use it on multiple bands. The tilt base works great.

Cons: (a) As it is "fast taper," it's not really rigid enough to form the vertical portion of an inverted-L antenna, which was in the back of my mind. (b) You'd better enjoy burying radials or stapling them on top of the grass. (c) Lowes and Home Depot didn't carry the 2" OD mounting pipe that's recommended, so I had to buy it at a specialty plumbing shop; (d) You'll need to install a choke at the feedpoint; (e) You'll need to buy some Penetrox and Anti-Seize to smear on the tubing and on the hardware; and (f) Did I mention radials? Once you get started putting in radials, it gets addictive.

Overall: A fantastic product.

73, Tony N3WAK
 
W4RIG Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2010 15:45 Send this review to a friend
Very good vertical performance  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This antenna has been operating with my FT=2000 for the past 6 months with 63 radials and great reception. My favorite experience was when I copied a QSO between a station in Bejing, China and La Paz, Bolivia and then contacted the Chinese station with PSK31 and 3 days later the Bolivian station with PSK31 - I have also contacted both Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean and New Caledonia on 20 M with PSK-31. My only complaint was that three of the pipe bands used in the assembly were not the right size, but I did obtain three replacements from the local hardware store that were of superior quality and the right size. The engineers and purchasing agents for DX Engineering need to get together so that the correct strap bands are part of the original equipment they send out - I have found alternative uses for the straps, so I lost nothing but the time to get the replacements - probably a new supplier of bands? Maybe China rather than US manufacture? Buy USA! - the few cents difference does not make up for customer dissatisfaction if they put the antenna together a great distance from a neighborhood hardware store. Hank - W4RIG
 
N5PU Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2010 08:03 Send this review to a friend
WOW! It works great!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this antenna in May of 2010, just got it put together and up Yesterday (July 18, 2010). All I can say is WOW! I only have 9-25ft radials down for now. I ran out of wire and staples! I couldn't wait to get the coax into PVC and buried, so laid the coax(LMR-400) across the ground (about 100ft) and got the MFJ analyzer out and made a chart for some of my favorite PSK freqs (using Palstar manual tuner) and then hooked up the Flex 5000A and made a CQ call on 30 meters this morning and VK3XQ came back to me! I am hearing stations on 20 meters that I couldn't hear on the vee @ 40 ft! The workmanship of this antenna is great. It went together so easy (for a 70 yr old man!) and the supplied tilt base makes it so easy to put it up! I have some other verticals in the past, but this one so far has really impressed me! Can't wait to get the rest of the 40 radials I plan to put under it! (Using DX Engineering radial plate) Would I buy it again, you bet. DX Engineering makes some of the best equipment out there! (Their hats ain't bad either hi-hi)
 
KD8EPA Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2010 15:09 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The first reason for this antenna is to talk on HF with some good results. Reason number 2 was: It's a local company. If I need a part, I just call on the phone and an hour later I can go pick it as it is only 12 miles away. The 3rd reason is the quality of their product, (Very Good). Also a few of the local hams work there. They believe in the product that they manufacture. I know that this sounds like a commercial for DX Engineering but I really like this antenna. The manual is well written and even someone like me can have the antenna up and working in short order. This speaks well for this antenna. The very first contact was made to Poland. Not bad, over 4000 miles on 100 watts out of my FT450. Next was Spain, Lithuania, and Maine, USA. WOW. I'm so glad I picked this antenna. Way to go DX Engineering.

I'll Gladly rate this @ 5 X 5. 73 everyone, Dan, KD8EPA.
 
W6LMP Rating: 5/5 May 21, 2010 16:27 Send this review to a friend
DXE-MBVE-1-3ATP works as advertised with the remote tuner  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
My grandson and I put up the 43' remote tune vertical with tilt option, radial plate, and radials in late October 2009. All parts were of good quality and it assembled per the instructions with no problems. We laid out 20 of the 32' and 20 of the 65' radials with ground staples. The coax run is just under 100' with the tuner mounted at the base. In a hurry to try it out I connected my old, dusty TenTec 509 xcvr and 405 linear for a total of 50 watts. That was the afternoon of 24 October and a contest weekend so contacts were easy. I worked an N4, a KH7, an LT1, a JA1, and a PJ2 in short order and could not have been more pleased. And, my 17 year-old grandson thought it looked like a "cool" hobby! A few weeks later I put a Kenwood TS-480HX (200 watt) on the desk to complete getting back on the HF bands after some years of HF inactivity. The TS-480HX gives a much better test of the remote tuner as it matches the 200W limit and allows quick tuning. Initial tuning on a new frequency took about two or three seconds of wavering until it settled down. Going back to a previous frequency or even close appears to take less than one second - or as fast as my finger gets on and off the "pf" button on the TS480HX. All SWRs are below 1.5:1 and most are more like 1.2:1 and those numbers hold on all bands 80 - 10 meters. I did wish it covered 160 during the winter and have seen a mod to extend the lower end. No problems with rain or weather on the remote tuner as it mounts with any openings to the bottom. The antenna hardly moved even in a 35-50 mph gusting day - unusual in the San Diego area. My experience with the antenna, remote tuner, and DX Engineering as been a good one. This antenna replaced a Hustler 5BTV that had been up since 1970 and provided 32 years of good performance .
 
N3XRU Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2010 18:56 Send this review to a friend
If I could only have one antenna...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
...it would be this one. As it is I also have a Force 12 C-4 multi-band yagi and the DX Engineering 43' vertical runs circles around it. I can talk to people on the vertical that I can't even hear on the beam.

I dug the hole and poured the concrete for the support pipe at 4 o'clock in the afternoon and had the antenna erected by noon the next day. No problems at all. The instructions are clear and the parts were all there just as I expected.

With the antenna I purchased the radial plate, 4:1 UNUN and associated mounting hardware. Everything slipped together just as it should. I was so excited that I drove a ground stake, connected the antenna and went on the air with no radials. Got a 5/9 from Cuba, 10 over from Japan, 5/9 from Hawaii and 5/9 from Argentina on 17 meters. I could not believe how well it works. It is much quieter than my beam.

I had also ordered a 500' spool of wire so I laid down 17 radials before I ran out of wire. I ordered some more and pigged out on DX while I waited for the wire to arrive. It arrived today so I'll be able to put some more radials down before the CQ WW 160M contest on Friday.

I have a MFJ-998 auto tuner which is very happy with all bands on the antenna except for the lowest part of the 160M band. It doesn't quite have the range to tune there. I intend to add AD5X's matching circuit to solve that problem.

I have only had this antenna up for a month and am completely enamored. Years ago I had a Cushcraft R-7000 which was junk and soured me on verticals. I eventually took it down, leaned it against a tree and left it when we moved.

Some say that the antenna isn't so good on 10M. Hah! I got Antarctica on 10M from Nevada. I am sold.

So, if you want superior performance, quality parts and a company that will stand behind its products I suggest that you look at DX Engineering. You won't be disappointed.

 
W1AJT Rating: 5/5 Dec 11, 2009 05:27 Send this review to a friend
Beyond Expectations  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I put up my DX Engineering Vertical MBVE-1 November 6, 2009. I knew it was going to be a compromise antenna but I am in a heavily deed restricted area in North Carolina. The antenna is fully camouflaged and is not visible from 10 feet away in my patch of woods unless you know itís there. I used 200 sq ft of galvanized poultry wire for a ground system. I will let the results speak for themselves. From 11/6/2009 to 12/6/2009 with 100w (no activity in CQWW from here) and little operating time worked 76 DXCC / 43 states with 10 DXCC on 160m. My K3 antenna tuner tunes it on all bands with best SWR on 160m being 1.3:1 on the low portion. Wired up my amp on 12/7 and as of 12/11 worked 85 DXCC adding HI, I, LY, SM on 160m plus JA, and E51 on 80m. I am amazed that it works so well. It exceeds my expectations in quality and performance. Of course it is not a Yagi but a great antenna for a small space with a low profile.
 
WI5O Rating: 5/5 Nov 4, 2009 15:53 Send this review to a friend
DXE-MBVE-1-4UPR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Last month, I purchased DX Engineering's 43-foot antenna/radial plate/UNUN complete package that includes:

DXE-MBVE-1 43 foot 160m-10m premium multiband vertical with All Stainless Steel tilt base mount
DXE-UN-43 Special 5 kW Multi-Band Vertical UNUN
DXE-UN-BRKT UNUN Mounting Kit
DXE-TCB-UNFK Tinned Copper Braid UNUN Connection Kit
DXE-SSVC-2P Stainless Steel V-saddle clamps - not a muffler clamp!
DXE-RADP-1P All Stainless Steel Radial Plate with 20 sets of stainless steel radial hardware plus 40 sets more - a total of 60 sets - won't dissolve in the ground like aluminum.


Order/Shipping
==============

My original order was handled in s superb, professional and timely manner. I ordered on the web site (http://www.dxengineering.com) and within 12 hours, I had a confirmation that my order had been shipped. I was given complete UPS tracking information so I could check on the progress and status of my order shipment. My order arrived on time in two separate boxes that were well packed and were not damaged by the shipping process.

All of the antenna system parts were well labeled and sealed in heavy plastic packages and surrounded with either bubble-wrap and/or heavy paper sheeting wadded around the individual items. I checked off the parts list in the assembly manual and didn't find a single item missing. The quality of the parts was excellent with the exception of two stainless clamps, which I replaced from Home Depot.

You will need Penetrox or Naolox to connect the antenna sections. None is provided but I think DX Engineering should provide a 2-ounce tube of either when you buy the complete system. I was able to get two one-ounce tubes of Naolox at my local Home Depot.

Assembly Instructions
=====================

The antenna system comes with several assembly manuals for the various items in the kit. The main assembly manual covered all the items I purchased. The manual was easy to read and provided me with all the information I needed to painlessly assemble the antenna, install the 2 inch galvanized pole (does not come with the kit but you can buy a six or eight foot length of 1 3/4 inside diameter pipe for around $38.00 plus tax at Home Depot) in the ground for the antenna mount and instructions on laying the ground radials.

The only question I ran across in the assembly manual related to the four fender washers in the kit. There was no verbal mention of them but if you look closely at the illustrations in the manual, you will find where they are installed.

Assembly
========

All of the parts assembled without any troubles. I did not have to debur any of the aluminum antenna sections. All the parts fit together well.

Ground Radials
==============

I did my own research, ever after sending an email to DX Engineering about how I should handle the radials. George at DX Engineering answered my questions very promptly and provided a ton of references and information on radials. In the end, I relied on several publications that described results with several lengths of radials. I laid down 60 radials, of 14 Gauge stranded Copper in PVC cover. Each radial was 52.49 feet long. Yes, I could have probably increased my signal 1 more decibel but doing so would cost a lot more and was definately not cost effective to me. You can buy 14 gauge stranded copper wire, covered in PVC for about $35.00 per 500 feet roll at Home Depot. I purchased 7 rolls. The physical layout of our property gave me plenty of room to lay out the radials pretty symmetrically. There were a couple of trees I had to bend around the base of the tree, but overall, the radials are lying pretty symmetrical.

Coax
====

I purchased 70 feet of Times LMR400UF from Associated Radio. Associated got that to me in three days time, complete with connectors on each end. I ran the coax underground through a one inch gray electrical PVC conduit.

I dug the eight to ten inch deep trench myself that ran about 60 feet. My wife helped me cover the trench after the coax was snaked through. I don't know many wives that would do that but mine did. Turns out, she wanted to go buy some shoes. :)

Operating
=========

I connected the DX Engineering vertical to my ICOM 718, Palstar Tuner (AT1500CV), Bencher Low Pass Filter (1.8 MHZ to 30 MHZ) and my Ameritron AL 80-A g-g amplifier. I could not believe the difference in signal strength over my 10 through 80-meter band homebrew dipole hanging at 70 feet above the ground. I did some testing and I see signal increases of two or more S-units. What I was hearing at 5/7 on the dipole, I am now hearing at 59 plus on the DX Vertical. Honestly I didn't hear much more noise on the vertical than the dipole. I listened closely and I know verticals are noisy because they pick up noise in 360 degrees. Maybe you could call that two-dimensional noise?

I was hearing distant DX on all bands I tested: 20, 40, 75 & 80 meters. I am quite surprised and excited about using the antenna. With my tuner on 20 meters for instance, it took me about ten seconds or less to tune out the SWR and at 14.250, my SWR was only 1.1:1. DX Engineering's claim at that frequency was 1.0:1 so it is pretty close. I found similar patterns on the different bands.

I have not operated it yet with the amp because I need to go buy a 9-volt battery for my external relay box (ERB-1).

So there you have it. If I run into more information, I'll update my review. Based upon my experience, I recommend this antenna because of its quality & workmanship, cost compared to other similar verticals and the great treatment I received from DX Engineering's staff. This is an awesome antenna at my location! I even received a free DX Engineering hat. The hat is quality made. When I made a subsequent purchase for radial staples and wire clamp terminals and a wall through connector, DX Engineering sent me another free hat. Your mileage with the DX Engineering vertical may vary but I am well pleased with my purchase.
 
KB3Z Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 2009 04:44 Send this review to a friend
Easy to Build  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the Antenna with Radial Plate and Balun last December 2008. It only took me 9 months to install the antenna. And then to boot they changed the balun to a unun. The balun switch was very easy. Dxengineering made that very nice. Installing the antenna was quite easy for one person. The directions are very specific and there are alot of pictures to help in the manual. The only complaint is that 160 meters is not that great even after using a KW on transmit. But I can finally hear VK's with no problem and I am in Eastern Pennsylvania. My only complaint is that the DX Engineering Unun has higher SWR's then a Balun Designs Unun. So I am using the Balun Design instead. Overall I am extremely happy with the antenna and DX Engineering.
 
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