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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Omnidirectional: verticals, mobile, etc | Slim Jim portable 2 meter antenna by N9TAX Help


Reviews Summary for Slim Jim portable 2 meter antenna by N9TAX
Slim Jim portable 2 meter antenna by N9TAX Reviews: 37 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $19.99
Description: Portable, efficient, high quality antenna for two meters
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.2wayelectronix.com
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You can write your own review of the Slim Jim portable 2 meter antenna by N9TAX.

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KX4O Rating: 4/5 Aug 23, 2016 10:25 Send this review to a friend
Erroneous specs aside, this is an exemplary vertical dipole  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Going beyond simple SWR tests, measurements of antenna patterns were made of the N9TAX single band 2m rollup 2BCX SlimJim style antenna plus other checks for stray currents that tell the real story of antenna performance.

Performance:
The N9TAX 2m antenna works pretty darn well yielding a free space H-plane gain a bit over 2 dBi plus or minus the usual small J antenna gain perturbations. This agrees well with models for J style antennas (traditional J, G2BCX SlimJim, whatever). I was suspicious of the ferrite choke working at VHF, but testing confirms it does mitigate current flow back down the feed line - a surprising and very happy finding. The conclusion of VHF performance is the N9TAX 2m antenna is as good as any standalone dipole in free space with inconsequential interactions with the feed line to spoil things. This is the best an antenna of this length can be and N9TAX nails it.

The single band model at its 3rd harmonic:
If you can deal with a bit higher SWR at the UHF frequency, this single band model will offer some capability at the 3rd harmonic for 440 operation with reduced broadside gain and significant energy both above and below the antenna’s waist. Not wonderful or optimal, but likely better than an HT’s rubber duck antenna.

Construction:
Fantastic. The attention to detail is obvious. The heatshink placement is logical, gives a polished look and makes his weather resistant claims 100% believable. The little built-in Velcro strap for holding the bundle together during stowage is functional and brilliant. Yes anyone can build one of these for much less money, but N9TAX’s value added improvements and features justify the price.

Custom tuning available:
The N9TAX web site states this single band model can be custom made for frequencies between 136 to 999 MHz. This is no doubt true as N9TAX has obvious experience tuning these models to perfection although we expect geometric realities will be problematic at the higher frequencies. Keep in mind our testing reveals the ferrite stops functioning as a choke somewhere between 160 MHz and 440 MHz therefore expect copious feed line radiation for anything other than VHF use.

Custom cable/connector choice:
Near the top of my favorite features of N9TAX antennas are the options available for cable lengths and connectors. My personal favorite is 16’ of RG58 with an SMA that when rolled up with the antenna portion isn’t much larger than my hand when stowed and deploys into a tree for an extremely effective aerial hence turning an HT into a much more capable communicator. This antenna and an HT can fit into the top flap pocket of a backpack making a portable solution that literally “packs” a punch.

Solid conductor limits use:
A ladder line with stranded conductors, such as DX Engineering’s DXE-LL450, would be more appropriate for antennas intended for frequent deployment - aka backpackers. I'd pay $10 more for this improvement if given the option.

Value:
For VHF this antenna shines and provides great value for the fair price.

SlimJim high gain myth:
While N9TAX obviously knows how to mechanically build an antenna exceptionally well, his "6db of gain" claim (note the lack of dBi or dBd or any statement of gain reference or conditions - i.e. freespace) on his sales web site www.2wayelectronix.com (retrieved August 16, 2016) and zero antenna patterns of any kind, simulated or measured is troubling. In his defense, the whole SlimJim 6 dB over something-or-other kerfuffle is a myth that just won't go away and he is just another victim of it with his parroting of the obviously nonsensical gain claim of what is essentially a form of folded dipole. Quelling that myth on the Internet is like playing whack-a-mole, but vendors such as N9TAX are not helping. If you are selling antennas, you really need to confirm their performance if you are making performance claims (aka promises) in your sales literature.

SlimJim low gain myth:
On the other hand, there is a loud and vocal consortium of so called “antenna experts” suggesting the J antenna and its variants can never better a 1/4 wave ground plane antenna despite crystal clear evidence to the contrary... provided there is, of course, containment of the well known and problematic RF currents on the feed line and conductive mounting structure.

N9TAX SlimJim – a classic dipole where you want it:
The N9TAX single band antenna has no conductive mounting structure to worry about. The ferrite, for VHF at least, chokes the common mode feed line RF currents. This yields an end-fed vertical dipole with a freespace gain figure of just over 2 dBi wherever you can hang it. Nice!

Scoring:
One star off for not vetting or patterning your product. Another star off for making indefinite gain claims in your sales literature. One star back for producing a customizable, affordable and portable antenna that is an example of an exemplary VHF vertical dipole.
 
KH2QL Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2016 14:51 Send this review to a friend
It works despite the limited space.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have installed this antenna in my attic, the space is not even enough to lay out the whole length of the antenna. The clearance from the ceiling to the flooring inside the attic is only 40 inches so I have to bend slightly, 45 degrees, at the end where the coax is connected with the antenna. I was able to hit the local repeater about 20 miles away with only 5 watts. My signal report is good despite the compromise space. I just need to check the SWR later and make sure it is within the normal range but for now I think is in good working condition. I have to make some necessary revision if needed. With the price, quality, fast and easy installation, you won’t regret it. I highly recommend this antenna especially for a limited space.
 
AG4F Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2014 15:52 Send this review to a friend
VERY Impressed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This antenna replaced a Comet CX-333 ground plane and the performance is a HUGE improvement. Fast shipping, great quality construction.
 
N7IBC Rating: 5/5 Sep 22, 2014 19:19 Send this review to a friend
Very nice portable antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought an early one of these antennas and found it easy to deploy, and carried it in my backapack or on the off-road vehicle for emergency use. I recently bought an updated one and use that for public service events in the more remote areas. This last weekend, I was at a remote mountain top event, the IMTUFF100, and it worked great. I used a fiberglass snow stake as a back support for it, and attached that to a 20 piece of branch with electrical tape. Our local search and rescue folks are buying them now as well for thier backpacks. I can't recommend them enough!
 
N4GKS Rating: 5/5 Sep 22, 2014 12:27 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought the dual band slim. I don't know why some people have problems with this antenna, but I bought one for camping, and all I can say is wow. Works like a champ with repeaters coming in full scale from 40 miles away and I only had it up 5 feet in a tree. Customer service and delivery was top notch and I can't say enough good things about it. I have to admit I was skeptical at first, but believe me when I say it works. You can also roll it up and put it in a glove box for field day.
 
KG7GMO Rating: 1/5 Feb 23, 2014 16:20 Send this review to a friend
Poor Quality Control and Customer Service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The antenna is decent after I fixed it. Sent me one with a bad SMA plug. when I contacted him he spent SIX emails over several days making excuses and telling me how the problem was my brand new Yaesu radio. It was obviously the plug.Finally, since he was not interested in helping, I replaced the SMA myself and the antenna then worked find.
Worst customer service I have ever seen.
 
AA6ZE Rating: 2/5 Sep 21, 2013 10:50 Send this review to a friend
Didn't work for me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

Preformed worse on 440 then the ducky on my UV-5R. 2 meters only slightly better. Didn't matter where I mounted it, indoors or out, receive and transmit was poor. Was disappointed after reading all the positive reviews.
 
KB3JFA Rating: 5/5 Jun 17, 2013 11:43 Send this review to a friend
I just received my antenna and so far I have been very pleased.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
So far I have been quite pleased I moved to my mom and dads house and have not had any luck getting my comet antenna back up. It has been performing very well for me. I have it hanging on a plastic hanger that is hanging from a closet coat hook and as soon as I can I will take it outside. It is very well made and seems like it will last. Can't beat it for $35 dollars I got the extra 16 foot of coaxial cable.
 
W0JAW Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2013 10:59 Send this review to a friend
Suprised!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well I was needing a small portable dual-bander and thought the Slim Jim would fit the purpose. It arrived in a small package and I uncoiled it and hung it up in my closet to try it out and was surprised to realize it was outperforming my normal vertical mounted 10 feet higher! I doubled checked things and am very pleased to report on average a 2 db increase on signal strength on both uhf and vhf!!! What a well designed little antenna! Think I will buy an extra to use for a permanent install.
 
KF7ZYK Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2012 07:00 Send this review to a friend
WOW!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Unbelievable performance from such a simple antenna.
Hanging from the ceiling light in my office, first call I hit a distant repeater I'd never been able to reach with a clean signal.
Loud and clear now.
AND: Joe's service is simply incomparable!
 
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