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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Alpha Antenna 6-160 HF J-Pole Help

Reviews Summary for Alpha Antenna 6-160 HF J-Pole
Alpha Antenna 6-160 HF J-Pole Reviews: 39 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $149
Description: The Alpha J-Pole Jr & Sr Antenna systems achieve resonance on nearly all of the HF bands and presents an SWR on the remaining bands that are low enough for external tuners to achieve a perfect match.
Product is in production.
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WB2MSB Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2017 19:01 Send this review to a friend
Works well  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I strung up this end fed wire from the eve of the house at about 18 feet above ground to an eye screw in a tree at about 14 feet. Using an LDG IT-100 I was able to tune to better than 1.5:1 on all bands 80-6. I didn't try 160. First QSO was France on 20m and then Florida on 40 and Virginia on 80. I'm on Long Island (New York). It works. The wire is heavier then most end feds and dipoles but the supplied insulators are adequate and using a pulley to hoist it up allows ice to be shaken off if needed. I'm happy with it.
WB4MIO Rating: 5/5 Oct 31, 2016 14:43 Send this review to a friend
J-Pole Sr. Update  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

If you don’t want to read the whole story, the short version is the Alpha Antenna J-Pole Sr. is another very good antenna for many situations. I give it the same 5/5 rating as the J-Pole Jr.

The 34’ model of the Alpha Antenna J-Pole is now the J-Pole Jr. They have added a 60’ version which is now the J-Pole Sr. Because of my satisfaction with the 34’ model I decided to get one of the 60’ versions based on my thinking that the more wire you have in the air the better. That seems to hold true with this antenna.

My intention was to do a good A/B comparison with the same G5RV used in my review of the 34’ model. However, Japanese pine beetles killed the tree I had the G5RV hung from and it had to come down. The only tree I have left is a large oak tree which happens to be in a perfect position to hang the J-Pole Sr. but not a G5RV or any other “full size” antenna. The matching unit end of the antenna is hung at 32’ with the far end of the antenna at 5’. Since I now have only one “antenna tree” I can’t do an A/B comparison with the J-Pole Jr. either.

At least for the time being the J-Pole Sr. has now become my primary antenna and it is doing a great job for me. Most of my operation is on 40m, and my regular group hears me just as well or better than they did on the G5RV. In general it is outperforming the only other antenna I have, a HyGain 18-AVQ vertical.

The J-Pole does have one definite advantage over the now gone G5RV and the vertical; the J-Pole covers all the bands from 160m to 6m. My G5RV would not cover 160m or 30m, and the vertical does not cover 160m, 60m, 30m, 17m, 12m, or 6m. Of course the J-Pole is probably not very efficient on 160m, but I have made contacts with it out to 240 miles.

The bottom line is that if you need a good multi-band antenna and don’t have mounting options for full size resonant dipoles this antenna may be a good choice. It is certainly working for me.



I had the opportunity to use this antenna for portable operation from Destin, Florida for four days in mid-June. The only operating I did was participating in my regular 40m group in the morning. (We were with the family at the beach and ham radio time was limited….) Our group is mostly in west Tennessee with some stations in the northern half of Mississippi and one in central Florida.

The J-pole was set up with the feedpoint end at 24’ and the low end at 8’, about 150’ from the Gulf of Mexico.

I was able to hear everyone almost as well as with my home station in southeast Alabama. They were also able to hear me fine with me running 100 watts. Total setup time for the antenna was about 10 minutes. It took longer to pack everything back up only because I had to clean the salt film off everything.

Everything in the original review still stands. This is an excellent “field expedient” antenna which is easy to deploy for portable operation and well worth consideration for a permanent antenna if you don’t have the space for a full size dipole. I am well pleased with the performance I had with 40m at the beach. I still give it a 5/5 rating.


Yes, I like the antenna, yes I am glad I purchased it, and yes I would do it again. The Alpha J-pole Sr. meets my expectations and I give it a 5/5 rating. If your situation is such that you don’t have a 40’ mast (or tree limb) and a 120’ of horizontal space or CCR problems you should definitely have this antenna on your list of possibilities for getting on the air. If you don’t like long reviews you can stop here….

Making A/B comparisons on antennas is a little like comparing a motorcycle to a car. Both will get you where you want to go but the experience is different. There are so many variables in comparing antennas (height, orientation, surrounding objects, feedlines, etc.) that it is hard to make a valid comparison in the field. What follows is my best effort to give you a feel for what the Alpha J-pole Sr. can do.

For the numbers below I have the antenna deployed as a sloper with the high (feed point) end at 30’ and the low end at 10’. The feed line is 100’ of RG8/U. The comparisons are against a G5RV type antenna with the center at 40’ and the ends at 12’.

Maximum SWR across each band as deployed:
160m - 5:1
80m – 2:1
60m – 2.5:1
40m - 1.7:1
30m – 1.4:1
20m – 2.2:1
17m – 1.4:1
15m – 1.5:1
12m – 2:1
10m – 2.7:1
6m – 3.3:1
The tuner in my TS-2000 will tune all the bands with no problem.

Receive comparisons listed are s-meter readings on my TS-2000. Yes, I know that isn’t worth much but it is all I have. There were actually a few cases where the J-pole had a stronger signal than the G5RV but the numbers below were what I encountered in most cases. It’s like I said above about motorcycles and cars and comparing antennas. Sometime the motorcycle wins but most of the time the car is more comfortable….

The numbers below are how many s-units the J-pole is below the G5RV:
160 – don’t know, my G5RV doesn’t cover 160
75 – 2 to 4
40 – 0 to 2
30 – don’t know, my G5RV doesn’t cover 30
20 – 0
17 – 0
15 – 0
12 – 0 to 1
10 – 0 to 2
6m – not tested

On transmit the numbers seem to be following the receive numbers fairly closely.
The numbers are how many s-units the J-pole is below the G5RV as received at the far end with stations who helped me with the A/B comparison:
75m – 3 to 4
40m – 2 to 3
30m – don’t know, my G5RV doesn’t cover 30
20m – 0 to 1
17m – not tested
15m – 0 to 2
12m – not tested
10m – 0 to 2
6m – not tested

My G5RV does not cover 160m so I can’t compare. I did make one contact at about 175 miles, but the other station who I could hear at S7 could just barely hear me at S2. That is not a surprise though. With a 34’ radiating element the J-pole has to have a very low efficiency on 160m. That being said you can load the antenna on 160 and I did make a contact.

I will be using it primarily as a portable antenna at two locations I visit a few times a year. Most of my operating is on 40m. At one location a full size dipole would be impossible to use and very difficult at the other. The J-pole is an excellent solution for me, and it will get me on the air from 80m to 10m rather than just 40m.

My testing is certainly not “lab grade” but it does indicate to me that the Alpha J-pole is a well designed antenna that does what it is supposed to do. Keep in mind that “your mileage will vary” depending on how you have it deployed.
N5STT Rating: 4/5 Oct 20, 2016 09:55 Send this review to a friend
Versatile antenna, great customer service  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is an edit of my previous review.

- Light, handy, small
- Very low feedpoint SWR when configured as a vertical or near-vertical sloper (<15 deg)
- Improved construction in the newer model makes it very sturdy and resistant to wear
- Quite inefficient when used as vertical (improves a lot as a sloper)
- Common mode RF, your feedline becomes part of the antenna, you need to choke it before entering the shack.

Most recent news:
After just over 1 year the antenna stopped working properly. Steve from AlphaAntenna promptly contacted me offering a replacement, this isn't something that happens every day! The older antenna had, in fact, some unexpected problem. The new antenna performs as expected and I could see some important technical improvements on the construction that probably makes it more mechanically resistant to everyday use and exceptional bad weather. Overall, excellent customer service that very few companies will provide nowadays.

My experience:
The best configuration I found is 45 deg sloper with the match box at the lower end at ~3m and close to the shack. Compared to vertical configuration, noise drops sensibly and I could hear many more stations and work some DX in SSB. SWR at feedpoint is manageable on all bands by my FT-450D internal tuner.
In all configurations, I experienced RF in the shack with flickering monitors and other people hearing me on their headphones. It takes some beefy chokes to eliminate RF completely.

The antenna tunes well on all bands, but working DX will become increasingly harder from 40 and up. 30 works particularly well, 20 to 10 work as expected for an end fed.

Final opinion:
As with every end-fed, this is a compromise antenna. I bought it right after getting my license to get on all bands and I still enjoy that aspect. Working DX on some bands will take some effort, but is feasible. This antenna probably works best for mobile use, because very little time and effort is needed to put it up and have it working.
The customer service is excellent with prompt response and solutions.
K4UX Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2016 10:07 Send this review to a friend
A little known gem of an antenna.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Did some research on this antenna before buying it as I was skeptical that it would really perform. Steve at Alpha responded promptly to my inquiries about the antenna both before and after the sale and patiently discussed the technical aspects of the product with me. So, 5 stars for customer service from this company.

I erected it per the instructions with the balun and feed point at 25' and the bitter end at 55' giving the wire an angle of about 35 degrees. Feeding it with about 45' of a good quality RG-8X coax. This is the Senior model and one observation is that the wire is heavy so there is more sag to the span as opposed to bare or stranded wire typically used in other wire antennas. However, it is a strong jacketed wire and should resist breakage and weathering.

Initially tested all bands, 6-160m, for ability to load and SWR without the use of a transmatch. On all bands except three, the SWR was 2:1 or less and on the other three bands it was 3:1 or less. The autotuner in my rig did little to improve the SWR on most bands; but, when I put my wide range manual tuner in line the antenna easily achieved 1.1:1 on all bands without much tweaking.

The antenna manual clearly indicates the power limitations and at 100 to 200 watts CW there is no problem. I decided to push the envelope to 300w CW and that caused the SWR to start climbing. I suspect the balun gets saturated at higher power so that lesson was learned without frying the coil.

Conditions are pretty poor right now with high noise levels and fast QSB so assessing performance at this time is difficult. Nevertheless I have been able to work CONUS and some DX on 30, 40, and 20m. Will have to wait until conditions improve before I will be able to tell.

A recent move somewhat forced me to explore antenna options to fit the new premises. This antenna seems to be a good alternative.

Bottom line, it is what it is advertised to be and is reasonably priced.
KA5OXA Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2016 11:41 Send this review to a friend
EZ UP & Great Performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Received this antenna two days before Museum Ships Week End. Erected to the aft flag halyard of the Battleship USS TEXAS in a few minutes. Radio room on 2nd Deck and began working. We made over 150 contacts mostly 40 and 20 with many 59 plus reports using the 60 foot Senior. It was easy to reorient from WNW to NNE
Steve and the others at Alpha Antenna answered a number of questions in the two days before the contest. I definitely recommend the antenna. It is best to feed it from the upper end. Takes more coax but performance and portability is worth it. Operators were KA5OXA, N5KT & K9GEM
KE4GRP Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2015 12:37 Send this review to a friend
Remarkable1  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Received the Sr. a couple of days ago, and in between rain showers, I was able to get it up.I hung the connector end to a Sun Setter flag pole about 20' up and the other slopping down to a tree about 8' up.

I have a MFJ annalyzer and found that the antenna was under 3:1 on all bands. I have never had antenna that handle all bands at that low swr. Ok, it won't work on 80 meters, I thought. Well I was wrong. It tunes perfectly with the antenna tuner in my SPE 1k FA amp. I keep the power at about 600 watts and the antenna handles it well. The only slight down side is that it doesn't handle full legal limit and I am down about 2 s units on transmit compared with the Carolina Windom that I have on the same pole. That just might be the location of the Sr.

This is a great antenna for the new ham or any ham in a restricted area.

KA0VXR Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2015 09:44 Send this review to a friend
Plug & Play 6 to 160 !   Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have used several popular ground mounted verticals , inverted V's , random long wires , homebrue delta-loops . This Alpha Antenna is the cream of the crop at only 34 ft long , I was skeptical of its all band performance & low SWR on all the bands seems like 85% of the swr with out the tuner is around 1.1 to 1.7 . Its kinda nice to be able to talk to every one you hear , some stations cant tell that I was only on 5 watts wen I called or checked in , then I would turn up the wick for the ones with lessor receive ability !
I took my Delta loop down out of the tree & replaced it with the Alpha 34 ft. J-pole antenna , ( not to be confused with Alpha Delta antennas )and or ( not the Alpha Amplifiers ) with the feed point approx 30 to 35 ft above ground sloping to a wooden fence pole to approx 6 to 8ft off the ground , I will have other antennas later for specific Bands , but I will always want this antenna in my arsenal of antennas , watch out field day hear comes the Alpha 34ft. J-pole !!!
PS, I can take it down & back up in less than 5 minuets .

KA3CBD Rating: 5/5 Jan 5, 2015 11:07 Send this review to a friend
update  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
just turned radio to 14240.9 pileup for YT1A got through with a 5/9 great antenna
KB3YXS Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2014 17:17 Send this review to a friend
2 years + 48 deployments portable and still going strong.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is followup to review I did in August 2012.
I use two AA 6-160s with great success. One is a spare and has been used to check its performance twice a year. My primary 6-160 Jpole has been used handling continuous packing and deployment for all my fishing and camping trips these last 28 months.
I have never raised it more than 28 ft for a sloper and use it NVIS at 16 feet flat most of the time across old military poles. I fish the Jackson and Maury rivers and a couple lakes along Skyline Drive, Virginia regularly and use the NVIS to radiate from 100ft down in the river gorges. Baluns are holding up just fine. I use this antenna with a W4RT Ultra 100 tuner and 706MKIIG typically at 50 watts. These antennas are keepers.

La Plata, Md.
KM4EKZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2014 19:17 Send this review to a friend
Awesome Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having a backyard of only 24'x24', I needed a high quality HF antenna that could provide full performance from 6M to 160M. I am happy to say that this 34' almost invisible antenna gets the job done. I have been able to DX all around the world with great results. Steve at Alpha Antenna provided me expert technical advice to help optimize my sloper configuration. For any new hams looking for a solid, great performing antenna to start out with, look no further. Well built, I look forward to years of solid operation from this antenna.
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