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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | TransWorld Antennas TW2010L Backpacker Portable HF Antenna Help

Reviews Summary for TransWorld Antennas TW2010L Backpacker Portable HF Antenna
TransWorld Antennas TW2010L Backpacker Portable HF Antenna Reviews: 14 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $399.95
Description: The TransWorld TW2010L Backpacker 5 band antenna is the little brother of the famous Transworld TW2010 Adventurer. It is especially suited for the amateur operator who loves backpacking, cycling, camping, or otherwise being on the go with his station.

The Backpacker features manual switching for 10, 12, 15, 17, and 20 meters directly on the switching array box without the need for a controller or power source. Bands are changed by moving two banana style plugs into pre-set holes that activate the the appropriate band / frequency.

The sturdy, lightweight quadra-stand provides quick and easy mounting place for the Backpacker. It comes with its own heavily padded carrying bag designed especially for TransWorld antennas.

Product is in production.
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N4KC Rating: 4/5 Jul 7, 2010 14:38 Send this review to a friend
I felt guilty, but...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been using a dipole for my go-station but wanted something more sturdy and that did not necessarily require supports...that may or may not be available. I looked at the Buddipole and this antenna. Could I really pay that much money for a portable antenna? I build my own when I can...proudly and because I enjoy it.

First, I know I could not build anything as substantial as the Buddipole or the TW2010. They do offer multiband capability in something I would not be afraid to deploy on a beach or in a campground, allowing me to leave my auto-tuner at home. I could even use it in the backyard if I wanted to operate from the deck for an afternoon. Both seemed to be easily transported, won't get tangled up (like my wire dipole), a breeze to deploy, and were not really all that exotic in how they worked. Neither manufacturer makes wild and crazy claims. I chose the TW2010 after talking with a couple of friends who had them and who I trust not to exaggerate. I chose the Backpacker because I am not so lazy I can't go move a couple of jumpers to change bands, and the remote unit on the deluxe (and more expensive) model seems like just one more thing to go haywire.

Now, on the negative side: since I had a beach trip planned in June, I called before ordering and asked about delivery dates, as suggested on the web site. The nice gentleman told me "4 to 5 weeks." OK, the trip was still 8 weeks away so I went ahead and ordered online. PayPal hit my credit card immediately. Ouch!

In the sixth week, with no word from the company, I called back and left several messages. No return calls. Finally, I emailed them and got a reply a couple of days later. They said they had not received their order of parts yet and would still have to send them out for powder coating then. Delivery in time for my trip was now shaky. I waited another week and called back, getting a live person this time. Nope, not a chance, he told me. It could be several more weeks yet.

This was five days before the trip so I built a new 20M dipole and left for the beach on Saturday. I had to drape it along the balcony and out to a palm tree, but it worked okay. I made a few contacts, and listened some, but line noise from all the nearby condos was a nuisance. I kept eyeing that nice patch of grass about 50 feet away where my Backpacker would have stood tall and in the open.

On the Monday after we arrived at the beach, I got an email from TransWorld that the antenna had shipped. It arrived on the Tuesday after we left for the beach on Saturday. UPS left it outside and it got soaked in a rainstorm. To their credit, TW had packed it well, everything inside wrapped securely in plastic, so the canvas bag (very nice!) and antenna were not even wet, but the cardboard box was pretty much a total loss.

Technically, the antenna seems to work fine and as expected. It compares to my vertical and G5RV on 20 and 10, the only two bands on which I have so far gotten serious signal comparisons. SWR was within specs from the factory except for 20, where it is centered at the far high end of the band. I'm a CW guy, too, and will play with it when I have time to bring it below 2:1 at 14.001. It is a tad more noisy than the G5RV and, of course, not even close to the hexbeam at 50 feet, but for what it is, it seems to perform very well.

It is sturdy when deployed as directed, very well built, and remarkably easy to transport and erect. It even looks kind of sexy. I don't know if this is the answer to folks who need a stealth antenna, but it sure appears to be an option.

I look forward to many long years using this guy, just so I won't feel so guilty about paying so much for a factory-built antenna. Please don't tell my antenna-homebrewin' buddies!
KJ1D Rating: 5/5 Dec 6, 2009 17:53 Send this review to a friend
Great Portable Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had this antenna now for a couple of months and it is great. I have worked stations all over the U.S. and several foreign stations. If you are looking for a portable...consider this one.
WY3X Rating: 5/5 Sep 4, 2009 17:06 Send this review to a friend
Thumbs up!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've always shied away from compact antennas, but Transworld has proven my fears were misdirected! I bought it from them off eBay for substantially less than the retail price (it seems that they discount the antenna there). It is a pricey antenna, but when you see how well it's constructed, you'll know why. I'll venture speculation that it would meet mil-spec requirements. It arrived packed in a very nice and useful carrying bag that was easily worth half the price of the antenna! There was a very minor QC issue which I corrected myself, a mis-drilled hole. It wasn't a problem that kept the antenna from working, it just looked funny, as the tuning box did not properly align with the mast. The "quadropod" mount I received was materially different from the photos on their website which showed that the legs fold out. I suppose the one I received is a "new design", and consists of four separate legs and a little latch piece. If you're careless, you might lose the latch piece because it's pretty small, but because of the overall design, it's loss won't keep you off the air. I used the antenna indoors (high ceilings) to listen a few evenings and was quite satisfied with the results, but did not transmit because the antenna was too close to my operating position. Today, I took it outdoors at a temporary location, and set it up on the back deck with my Elecraft K-2/100, and on 20M, immediately made contact from Fort Mill, South Carolina to Lake Havasu, AZ. Band conditions were lousy, but the station I worked was still able to copy me quite well. Instructions recommend 65 feet of coax, but I only had a 20 foot piece. I ran it off the antenna at the recommended 45 degree angle, and SWR was only 1.5:1, so no issue. I hooked up a 100 watt rated Z100 autotuner as an extra (but unnecessary) protective measure. About halfway through the contact, mosquitoes began to attack, so I bid the Arizona station 73, and packed everything back in the house in less than 5 minutes, and that included antenna disassembly time. Only 5 minutes to put away the antenna, radio, power supply, and all connecting cables, and this includes packing everything back into it's respective container! I've been hamming since 1991. If there's any compact portable antenna that is as easy to deploy and pick back up, and performs better than this, I'd be quite surprised!
WB2SSB Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2009 09:14 Send this review to a friend
Very Pleased!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just received the Backpacker Portable antenna, and after only a few days of usage, am quite pleased. I am using the antenna inside of a wood framed home, basically only 10 feet away from my Transceiver (using > 65 ft coax, as required by antenna design). Compared to my hamstick, I have found the noise level to be about 2-2.5 S-Units lower, and am hearing (and seeing on the PSK-31 waterfall) stations that are just not there with the Hamstick. I haven't really tried it extensively on any other bands yet (using my antenna tuner, it DOES tune up adequately on 30 meters, even though it is designed for only 10m through 20m) as they are pretty dead, as far as I can determine. I am here for the weekend in Montauk NY, way out at the tip of Long Island, and my first QSO was with the Caltech Ham Radio station in Pasadena CA (PSK-31) running 40 watts. I can't remember the last time I heard CA from out here with the Hamstick.

Dennis / N4ECW, whom I presume to be the principal of the company, is responsive and extremely knowledgable. Based on this, I suspect that support will be excellent, although I confess that I haven't had any significant problems needing any.

I am indeed pleased and looking forward to purchasing additional antennas from Trans World ... rumor has it that an 80m through 30m version is imminent. Hope so!
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