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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Directional (Yagi, quad, etc.) | M2 2M9FM Help

Reviews Summary for M2 2M9FM
Reviews: 2 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $m2 2m9fm
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AB0RE Rating: 4/5 Aug 27, 2011 21:57 Send this review to a friend
Good Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've assembled four of these antennas now (two phased sets with vertical polarization for FM work). All antennas have worked very well after assembly.

The T-Match system is a dream compared to the flakey gamma match system some manufacturers utilize. With the T-match SWR is right where it's supposed to be without further adjustment needed. Also helping with the tuning is that the 2M9FM/SSB includes both sets of elements (one for FM, one for SSB) so the builder can utilize a perfectly-tuned set of elements for the desired frequency range - this was a nice touch by M2 as one doesn't need to settle for compromised performance on the band edges.

The stainless steel "keeper" systems for keeping the elements in place takes a little getting used to. I'd suggest ordering some extra keepers and having a stout drink before assembly to calm the nerves. :-) I've found that using a solid steel yard stick to "equalize the halves" of the elements on either side of the boom works much better than utilizing a tape measure. I typically equalize things on either side to +/- 1mm, leaving the keepers slightly loose, then tighten the side that needs a bit of extra length and the halves will come out perfectly. The extra work in assembling the antenna with the keepers is well worth it as they require no further attention in the future and will hold up to nearly anything mother nature throws at the antenna.

There are a few things I'd like to do differently with the M2 2M9FM:

1) Lose the narrower front section of the 3-piece boom and replace it with a section the same diameter of the rearward two pieces. The front section has too loose a fit with the middle section and the antenna develops a "kink" between the front and the middle section because of this loose fit (whereas the two rear sections fit together like a glove!). The loose front just looks Mickey Mouse. I asked M2 if they could make a front section of the same material of the two rear sections. They said it would require re-tooling at the factory and would be cost prohibitive. I still may go to my local machine shop and inquire about this some time as the antenna would be much, much, much better having three sections that fit together perfectly.

2) The last set of M2 I received had two sections that did not want to fit together well without a signficant amount of filing, etc. It appears that quality control at the factory could be a bit better.

3) I'd like to see more stout mounting hardware with this antenna series. I'm 100% fine with having galvanized hardware versus stainless steel, as stainless steel has the issue with galling. What I'd like to see are thicker boom-to-mast mounting plates. The ones they have now are so skimpy that they bend when the U-bolts are even moderately tightened, which creates a second bend in the boom of the antenna (the first one being from the overly-loose narrower front section). Just make sure when you assemble the antenna you go VERY light on the u-bolts or you'll make things look hideous.

4) M2 is a bit proud of the accessories / parts for their antenna line-up. A set of 50 extra keepers will run $14 vs. probably $4 at Lowes. A friend of mind had his FM elements bent on his 2M9 and we were quoted $85 for a replacement set of elements (we ended up trimming down the "extra" SSB elements with a Dremel tool). The phasing cables M2 offers are $125 for a total of 24' of cable and 4 N-connectors (maybe $40 worth of material). So whereas the antenna itself is a good value the accessories you need to complete the assembly and installation make the overall antenna system a bit pricey (keep in mind that a Diamond X510 will get you within 1 1/2 S-units of a phased pair of 2M9 antennas and will come in at about 1/3 the price of the M2 system, and a rotor is not required).

Despite the shortcomings above I'd strongly recommend the M2 line-up of antennas. Simply put, they just perform. If you look at the price of the M2 2M9 (the price recently increased to over $200/each), they are still an incredible bargain given what commercial radio antenna manufacturers are asking for their products. The folks at M2 have always been pleasant to chat with and very helpful when I've called them on the phone. I wish all ham manufacturers were like M2, who offers a no-nonsense product and the service to back it up.

Dan / ab0re

KJ4EOZ Rating: 5/5 Apr 11, 2010 11:46 Send this review to a friend
GREAT ANTENNA !!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
OK , Very easy to put together !
under 6 lbs Very easy to put up .
I also use a Diamond X50
with the X50 I can get into a repeater 30 miles away with a S-3 but with this M2 beam It takes it up to a S9 .
Not one bad thing to say about this Antenna .
A++++++++++++ At $180.00 Best beam you can buy
pay the money and get a real beam , and this is it ..

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