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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | CHAMELEON V1 HF Multiband Antenna Help

Reviews Summary for CHAMELEON V1 HF Multiband Antenna
CHAMELEON V1 HF Multiband Antenna Reviews: 68 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $299
Description: The CHAMELEON V1 HF Multiband Antenna™ is a revolutionary antenna that stands at a mere 8.5 feet tall and contains a unique trap coil design. This antenna is ideally designed for mobile, portable or base station purposes were limited space is a concern. This antenna is a lightweight antenna system with 11 BANDS of capability including: 6m, 10m, 11m (Citizens Band), 12m, 15m, 17m, 20m, 30m, 40m, 60m & 80m. The CHAMELEON V1 HF Multiband Antenna™ can also operate on the 70cm, 1.25m & 2m BANDS (144Mhz to 500Mhz) but is primarily a HF antenna. Unlike other multiband antennas, the CHAMELEON V1 HF Multiband Antenna™ requires no changing of switches, jumpers, coils, etc. Our simple screw together two-part system makes the CHAMELEON V1 HF Multiband Antenna™ easy to manage and store. The CHAMELEON V1 HF Multiband Antenna™ is a Super-Flexible Whip. This advantage allows the antenna to withstand extreme shock from obstructions without breakage or failing. To function properly this antenna REQUIRES A TUNER (RECOMMENDED) OR A 9:1 BALUN.
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N9KSD Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2014 17:16 Send this review to a friend
awesome antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ive used this antenna since Ive had it with my alinco dx70 and have had no problems with it. been with me to scout cap for 2 week period, set up for JATO... and has been used in emergency situations with satern. my troop wants to get another antenna since this one is about to fade away but we cant afford to buy one. but I would get this one again or another one from the product line.
KC2PKB Rating: 5/5 Nov 5, 2014 03:58 Send this review to a friend
LOW SWR  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchases this antenna with the Hybrid to compliment my base station dipole. I am running 3 25 foot radials at around 45 degrees suspended from a mast that foots directly to a ground. I am a MARS Station as well running outside the normal Ham bands. The SWR is LOW no matter where I am on the dial, and my internal ICOM tuner is enough to fully tune this antenna. This quality was immediately recognized out of the box. All the construction was solid, decent diagrams included and well packaged for shipping. This will make an excellent travel/field antenna. Signal reports all good. Not as much of a long distance traveler as my dipole, but hey, I'm running 100 watts.
VA7IQ Rating: 5/5 Oct 19, 2014 17:16 Send this review to a friend
Portable Operation in a 5th Wheel  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Recently I obtained a V1 and V2 combo with an older/vintage dipole mount from a friend. The antenna went into operation very well.

In a vertical implementation, I use a quick release connector to a mirror mount on my RV ladder (which is grounded to the frame).

In a horizontal dipole implementation, I have two 1.75 inch military metal tent poles in homebrew ABS pipe mounts on the other side of the ladder for a mast. The aluminum dipole mount is attached using a muffler clamp to one, and I can push it up from below once the antennas are in place. The V1/V2 antennas spread horizontally, mostly behind the trailer, and are about 12' off the ground. The masts are tensioned with a 2-foot bungee cord wrapped around it to provide a braking effect and to steady the direction since it is rotatable.

While I did have initial problems, which is often the case when grabbing a bad feed line for the install, once remedied the dipole configuration sprang to life.

Signals were strong, and my first contact yielded a 59 response from W1AW/4 in Alabama (operating from Vancouver Canada) with the dipole pointed due east (along 49th parallel).

I am very pleased with the easily collapsible nature of the antenna, minimal storage (less than my fishing rod case with ham sticks!), and flexibility for both vertical and horizontal deployment. Being mobile, I can setup a vertical quickly for an overnight stay, and on longer stays the dipole offers great directivity.

It would be unfair to miss commenting that I am very impressed by the online support made available when I had questions, particularly when the feed line issue raised its head and my antenna analyzer was highlighting the issue.

The key reasons I am both impressed and pleased with the antenna are 1) size, 2) flexible deployment, 3) minimal storage space, and 4) it certainly seems to get out better than my mono-band ham sticks.
NC3Z Rating: 4/5 Oct 15, 2014 04:37 Send this review to a friend
Good Performer  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The quality and workmanship is top notch, a lot of engineering thought went into this antenna. My version was the V1L and I used it mobile. Chameleon antennas actually posted my install on their YouTube channel showing some of the DX I worked on 17 & 20M while mobile.

I did A/B testing of the V1L and Hamsticks and found that the V1L equaled the performance BUT each hamstick only worked on it's band, the V1L worked them all with a IT-100 tuner.

However, comparing the V1L with a Hi-Q antenna performance of the V1L was measured to be 10-15dB down on 40M and 80M compared to the Hi-Q. And equal on 20M and up. Again this was an A/B with the V1L on one side of my pickup bed and the other antennas on the other side, both mounted to GeoTool stake bed pocket mounts.

For ease of tuning the V1L won, and it may have stayed on my mobile if it was not for trees on my street. The base height of my mobile point is 5' above the road, which put the V1L up to 13' in my case.Did not have issues anywhere else expect my street and they were low!
KE7RIP Rating: 5/5 Oct 15, 2014 03:16 Send this review to a friend
Physical review.  Time owned: more than 12 months
My other reviews were for signal. This one is for structural.

I've beaten this antenna all to hell and its managed to stay intact and functional. Its fallen off of roofs. Off the side of a car at 10 miles per hour. As well as been used as a rapier by my oldest kid. No peeling plastic body parts or cracking. The only issue i have found is that the antennas covering at the base will rotate but i think that is my fault for using it to rotate the antenna off its mount rather then use a wrench.
YV5OF Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2014 06:40 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna for Field Day  Time owned: more than 12 months

I'm using mobile antennas for over 10 years, I own several models, including the Chameleon series I have the V1 and V2 Original.

In my field or mountain operations, for reasons of speed work with the CHA-V1 model from my SUV. Installation is simple, efficient and without much work. Considering the basic details of location and transmission line to have been enough to operate QRP or 100W.

For bands of 6m to 30m SWR achievement levels of 2.0 - 1.3 with support from the antenna tunner sometimes. In the bands 40m - 80m using a pair of radial that help counteract SWR and reach levels between 2.5 - 1.8.

A steady operations from a mountain, I made a QSO with 10w from Venezuela with LU8HK station, working with batteries and my antenna CHA-1.
Video ->

Moving to daily operations, work with the V2 model, reaching 20m with good local contacts report 57 -59.

The diversity of antennas having, is easily adapted to the needs of amateur radio, from mobile operations (fixed or moving), QRP operations or fixed bases in apartment with restricted space. Excellent engineering work which has been developing the Chameleon team, I'm waiting for the new CHA-MLOOP for my QRP operations.


Severino - YV5OF
YL2GB Rating: 0/5 Nov 19, 2012 16:57 Send this review to a friend
high radiation resistor  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Sorry English second language for me. Me get antenna from cousin who get in refuse bin. Me now understand it need stay there. It lossy high radiation resistor! Me compare to what you say me think is 102 inch whip and 102 inch whip work 3-6db more better with tuner. So sorry bye bye Chameleon hi hi 102 inch whip use shunt wire coil. Must use viable counterpoise or metal roof like me. Ciao 73 Valery
KC9SXB Rating: 1/5 Nov 5, 2012 07:40 Send this review to a friend
Fake out or real thing?  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Not to say you can't have a QSO with a V1 antenna when band conditions are open, but consider this: I took off the 9:1 UNUN that comes with the V1 to see what SWR the V1 antenna has as it's most usable and resonant Frequency. Guess what? The UNUN is the antennas savior, as the antenna has no natural resonant frequency for amateur radio operators. After a couple of phone calls and emails, I found out why nobody makes 9:1 UNUN's. It's because they are so 'lossy'. The manual and guy who makes the Chameleon Antennas say that the 9:1 UNUN has to be put at the antenna, which I have learned is because the UNUN itself is part of the radiating system (i.e. lossy). All industry standards say that if you need a 9:1 UNUN then your impedance is too high and you should work to improve the antenna itself, at least till a 4:1 UNUN can be used. FYI - 4:1 UNUNs are a product that several manufacturers make. Now you know the reason nobody makes a 9:1 UNUN or why anyone has previously dared to make an antenna that requires a 9:1 UNUN. As for the V1 itself, I quickly found out that the wide band nature of the V1 & UNUN lowers the Q (Quality) of the antenna, which BTW the antenna must be grounded very well because the grounding is about all you have going for you on this antenna. This is not only because of the issues with using a 9:1 UNUN but also because the wire on the V1 is wrapped too closely to provide enough spacing for HF frequencies! So, was I able to make contacts? Yes, which is why I have given the antenna a 1 and not a 0. For signal comparison, I hooked up a $20 108 inch whip from Radio Shack on another mount on my car at the same time with a $30 4:1 UNUN and received much better signal reports than the V1 was giving me. So for $50 vs. $250, the stainless steel whip is a much better value and will last much longer. I only say that the stainless steel whip will last much longer because I've seen too many V1's at hamfests that have lost the support of the epoxy and bend/break over in the center, just as mine did after 5 months. Now I understand why coax lengths are so critical with all of the chameleon antenna models. From the manufacturers web site on the Zepp I see "WARNING: For maximum performance plug the 1' jumper cable directly into the external tuner and keep the coax cable as short as possible. Longer coax cable might create some attenuation and reduce RX and TX performances." What? Guess I'll just have to use LMR400 which has very low losses. Man, that'll get expensive. Are we supposed to throw out over a hundred years of knowledge and ignore what is really being said in that statement, or should we really be asking why the option of using 50 ohm coax (no matter what the length), which is built for HF really not an option?
VE7GNR Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2012 11:04 Send this review to a friend
Easy to use multiband vertical for portable/HOA setup!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Garnet Ryder, VE7GNR

Icom 703 Plus (HF+6M 10W QRP transceiver)
Chameleon V1L base + MIL Whip + Hybrid base + 2 counterpoises/radials mounted on top of a 5ft aluminum pole.

Anyone looking for a simple, easy to use antenna system should consider the V1L + MIL whip + Hybrid base!

I live in a condo on the top floor (4th floor) with a rooftop deck. HOA rules prevent me from putting up a permanent antenna. I have the coax, mount & antenna on a 5ft painter's pole. When I want to use the antenna I simply connect the V1L base & MIL whip to the pole mount and clip into brackets on my deck for the evening/afternoon.

My Chameleon antenna operates as an elevated vertical. Radials are hanging over slanted roof & over the edge to hang. I'd like to have more radials, but can't because I don't have rooftop access or permission.

Weekend of 20-21 Oct 2012 on 10M SSB with 10W.
Spoke from Vancouver, BC, Canada to Chicago OH, St. Louis MO, Kansas City KS & Paris TX.
Signals were 59, loud & clear.

The best feature is that I don't have to do anything at the antenna when switching bands. I simply change bands on my radio & adjust the antenna tuner for the band.

I also love how portable this antenna is because it allows me to take to park in the summer, or hiking/camping, or setup at a friend's house during a contest.
KJ4ULB Rating: 0/5 Sep 14, 2012 11:45 Send this review to a friend
Very poor perfomance at any price!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought the antenna used but in good shape. The guy I bought it from originally made a mistake in the shipping cost estimate, but he was more than happy to eat the cost so long as he gets rid of the antenna. THAT WAS A MAJOR RED FLAG AND I SHOULD HAVE BACKED OUT WHEN I HAD A CHANCE!

I tried the V1 many times in different configurations (on the lawn, on concrete, with/without UNUN, more radials, less radials, etc, etc) with an AT100 tuner and an IC-7000 radio, but I just could not make any contacts. I would hear very well though. The only contact that I made said I was very weak and they receive strong calls from my location on their net regularly. I even raised it to the highest point of my roof, grounded it and installed the three radials and extended it to the ground (with much pain) but had similar results. I would switch to my G5RV and the performance was great, I would switch back to V1 and could not hardly make ANY contacts!

I contacted Carl and twisted his arm to replace the V1 because the quality control on the antenna and the UNUN was very poor (lower antenna connector would turn in place (a known problem) and the UNUN was as though a kid epoxied/built it). He tried to sell me another antenna but after many conversations he replaced the UNUN & antenna, but the performance did not change. I installed additional radials, even took it to a ball field and installed it on the chain link fence where the closest house was several hundred yards away but the performance did not change and I could not hardly make any contacts.
I have read technical reviews of the the V1 after the antennas poor field performance where he (electronics engineer) compare its performance to a ham stick (do a thorough Google search and you will find it). I am an electrical engineer and a business man with many years experience but I personally/formally did not test it in the lab. However I have no reason to not believe the independent technical test results I read, specially since my field tests confirm the results.

The techie in me says that I need to let people know and the business man in me says he's got a good scam. I have already sold my V1 so I have nothing to gain or loose and I am doing my best to provide an accurate experience and analysis.

How do I explain the many positive feedback: Chameleon has many biased dealers and a sexy but poor performing product (I only have experience with V1). He sells it at a very high price (for performance) and provides decent customer service. When you go to him with complaints he tries to sell you another antenna (and since most of his buyers are novices I imagine he is reasonably successful). In the end most of the accurate performance feedback do not end up on this forum because buyers blame themselves for their lack of experience rather than the antenna.

There is no magic antenna and physics does not lie! I knew that but I have now confirmed it.
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