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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | DX Engineering MBVA-1P Vertical Antenna Help

Reviews Summary for DX Engineering MBVA-1P Vertical Antenna
DX Engineering MBVA-1P Vertical Antenna Reviews: 4 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $449.50
Description: The DX Engineering THUNDERBOLT™ MBVA-1P is a rugged 43 foot, high performance 160-10 meter vertical multi-band antenna that is tunable to operate with an SWR of 1.5:1 or less. The slow taper element provides the widest bandwidth. Designed with 6063 corrosion-resistant drawn aluminum tubing and stainless steel hardware, this antenna is very durable, attractive, and is an optimized height of only 43 feet!
Product is in production.
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K5DHL Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2014 20:14 Send this review to a friend
very, very nice antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
My SWR Readings from my 43' Antenna (via a Comet Antenna Analyzer). Easy to correct with my LDG Antenna Tuner.

Freq (in MHz) SWR Readings

1.800 off scale
2.000 off scale

3.500 >6.0
4.000 >6.0

7.000 2.8
7.150 2.8
7.300 2.6

10.100 3.7
10.150 3.9

14.000 5.8
14.350 5.8

18.068 2.0
18.168 1.8

21.000 2.2
21.200 3.0
21.400 3.1
21.450 3.2

24.890 5.0
24.990 5.1

28.000 4.0
29.000 3.6
29.700 2.6

50.000 4.1
52.000 3.9
53.000 4.5
54.000 4.0

KJ4SLP Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2011 18:27 Send this review to a friend
An excellent product  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I won't repeat facts recited by other reviewers but will just remark that this is the best vertical multiband antenna I've ever used. Construction quality is excellent throughout. The tilt base is bombproof although I think it could be reengineered for greater convenience and ease of use. The radial plate is heavy and extremely well made. And customer service from DX Engineering cannot be beat.

Radials. I cannot emphasize how important a good radial field is. They're a pain to put down, of course, but they payoff is great.
W3MV Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2009 14:34 Send this review to a friend
Simply outstanding!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First, my old callsign was W3MGY and my new is W3MV. With that said on the the review.

I looked long and hard for a vertical antenna that would allow me to work the lower bands and still keep peace with the neighbors. The Thunderbolt fit the bill perfectly.

With it's strong heavy base section of 2 1/8" it is hard to beat in terms of strength and overall construction. If you follow the well written directions assembly of this monster antenna is a breeze and took me just over two hours of careful assembly.

Using the radial plate and tilt-over section this antenna despite it's tall stature rose in place without difficulty. I strongly recomment anyone buying this antenna to buy the kit which includes the UNUN, the radial mounting plate and the tilt-over base. It's worth the extra dollars and makes the antenna assembly much easier. I'd also recommend that if you live in a high wind area you buy the guying kit as well. Guying is a small expense to help support this antenna even though I think it would take a heck of a blow to bring this baby down.

I live on a small lot 100' x 100' with my rear yard surrounded by an offset board fence (to contain my escape artist dog). The ground is probably the worst anyone will ever encounter consisting of about 2" of topsoil and shale underneath. Talk about poor ground conditions! The secret to great performance is radials! I have 32 cut to the same length as the antenna (43 feet) because of where I positioned it within the back yard (remember, I'm trying to keep a low profile). Longer radials for me would put them into the neighbors yards, but after reading many articles about verticals this was a good compromise.

Once assembled and in place I began testing the antenna with the MFJ-259B to get a feel for what the SWR would be like. Granted the 259B is not a precision piece of test equipment, but it is better than just the antenna tuner in the rig.

On the lower bands I found the SWR was very high requiring an outboard antenna tuner (in my case the Palstar AT2K), but from 40 meters and up three different rigs handled tuning with ease. The AT2K made short work of tuning 160 and 80 meters and the tuning circuits for the Yaesu FT-1000D, FT-1000MP Mark V and the Mark V Field had no trouble tuning 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, and 10 meters. 12 Meters took a little extra effort on the part of the AT2K, but no internal antenna tuner is perfect so 12 meters requires the outboard tuner as well.

My main goal was to work 160 meters and the Thunderbolt didn't dissapoint me. For the last three weeks I have been checking into an SSB net where most of the participants are in the great lakes region with me being 800 miles away in Virginia. I have consistantly received 5x8 to 5x9 reports and I anticipate as winter approaches my signal reports will continue to improve with the quieter winter conditions.

Support from DX Engineering couldn't be better with many, many questions answered before I plunked down my hard earned money.

Was it all worth it? You bet, DXing on the low bands and long distance rag chewing with this antenna is a blast and well worth the bucks. This vertical antenna has brought the fun back into DXing for me and I would recommend this antenna to anyone. 73!
KB8UUZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2008 13:09 Send this review to a friend
Works GREAT !!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Not being familiar with ground mounted verticals, I was hesitant in getting one. I read about verticals and looked at various models. Looking at the cost difference between a ground mounted vertical and a beam with tower and all the added expenses, the vertical seems the prudent way to go. Besides, I'm getting to old to go climbing towers anymore. DX Engineering's choices are pretty broad, and I settled on the slow taper 43 foot multiband model MBVA-1P which comes with the Antenna, Tilt Base, 4:1 Balun, and Balun Shelf. I installed this antenna as shown in the manual and added the DX Engineering Radial Plate. My radial system is 40 radials at 25 feet each symmetrically around the base made from 14 gage insulated copper wire from DX Engineering. The RG213/U coax cable run is 150 feet back to a MFJ-993B tuner, then to a Kenwood TS-690S (no amplifier). I've had a G5RV at 55 feet for years, so my comparison is with that. I tried different wire antennas, but always had good luck with the G5RV up that high. Using the new vertical, all the bands would tune up perfectly and I was pleasantly surprised that this new combination would tune up even on 160 meters at 1:1. Switching between the vertical and the G5RV consistently gave the vertical the edge on receiving, up to 2 to 3 s-units better, and my reports coming back were better using the vertical. Obviously the vertical is much better for DX since the low take off angle it provides. Installation of the vertical was in June of 08 and I waited until after a few contests to write this review. July brought the IARU HF Contest and I was real happy with my contacts even through I could not spend the time on the air that I wanted to. The CQ WW DX SSB in October was a ball and the vertical performed better then the G5RV ever did. I was able to get through more pile ups than ever before. During the ARRL November sweepstakes I made 431 contacts with the vertical mostly on 40 and 80 meters. As usual, contesters are always '59', but I was really surprised at the stations taking the time to tell me how great I was coming through. Also, we've had some real windy weather here in NE Ohio and the vertical is still as straight as day one. I'm using 4 guys as described in the antenna manual. I'm a very happy ham now and look forward to even more contacts with this DX Engineering MBVA-1P vertical as the sunspot cycle gets better again. I now find myself spreading the word that a DX Engineering vertical is a very good antenna to have.

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