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Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Jetstream JTV680 Multiband vertical Help

Show all reviews of the Jetstream JTV680 Multiband vertical

You can write your own review of the Jetstream JTV680 Multiband vertical.

KE5XV  Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2013 06:07  Send this review to a friend!
Meets my requirements  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
There's an article in the June, 2012 QST Magazine about the 43 foot vertical. At the top of the article, the author says 'All antennas are compromises'. This is certainly true. We only get to decide what compromises are acceptable to us, put up the antenna, and get on the air.

I'm not a contest operator, I don't run high power, I only operate from time to time, and I'd gladly trade ease-of-use for performance. I want an antenna that's convenient to deploy, works on multiple bands, has a reasonable cost, and won't require a lot of maintenance. The antenna I want is one that is, as the British would say, not very 'fiddly'.

After considering my options, I got the Jetstream JTV680, and I think it's the right choice for me. It's not for everyone.

I only recently got it set up, so this is an initial impression of the antenna.

Construction -- excellent. It uses aluminum tubing that seems to me to be robust enough to handle the weather conditions we normally get in southeast Texas. A hurricane? Maybe not.

Assembly -- Very easy with nice fittings to connect the pieces of the antenna together. There are four sections, so there are three connecting points. Some antennas use hose clamps to connect sections of the antenna. This one uses screws and attachment rings (easy to understand once you see it, but hard to describe). The piece positions are measured in millimeters, so I used a school ruler (with a metric scale) to do the job.

Installation -- The U bolts at the bottom of the antenna will fit around 1.25" pipe but not 1.5". My mast has 1.5" pipe at the top, so I bought a reducer fitting and a one foot piece of pipe at the hardware store to provide an attachment point. The assembly sheet that came with the antenna has no step-by-step instructions, but you don't need them. It's obvious how the pieces go together. The sheet shows a loop of coax below the antenna but there is no information about the size of this loop or the number of turns. I used one loop because that's what the drawing seems to show. At my site the antenna is at the top of a 40' mast.

SWR -- It's low everywhere. I used a MFJ SWR analyzer to determine the SWR on ham bands between 80 meters and 6 meters. I didn't record the data at every frequency but it was about 1.5 or so throughout the range. Looked good.

Performance -- Everything I say here will be subjective, since I have no capability of making any kind of meaningful measurements and I only had a little while to try the antenna out since I installed it. I worked a few stations on 20 meter PSK and made a SSB contest contact two states away on 75 meters. The 75 meter contact was fun for me; I don't think I've been on 75 meters since high school, and (trust me) that was a long time ago. I like having the ability to operate over a wide range of frequencies with one antenna. Performance seemed adequate and met my expectations.

How stealthy? -- This antenna, and other similar antennas, are sold on the basis that they're stealthy and can be installed inconspicuously. That depends -- it's pretty shiny, so if you want to hide it you may want to paint it or install it behind a tree.

Bottom line -- I'm giving the antenna a 5 rating because it does what I expected, it performs adequately, it was easy to set up, it is high bandwidth, and it shouldn't require much maintenance to keep it on the air. If those features are what you want, in a reasonably priced antenna, you should consider this one.
Product is in production.
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