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Show all reviews of the ELPA Eyring Low Profile Antenna
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of the ELPA Eyring Low Profile Antenna.
Jul 20, 2013 11:41
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Pros and Cons
Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have the model 301A and I gave it a 5 as it does what it is supposed to do within its limitations and it is a well made field deployable antenna (military antenna). I could not find a review on eHam when I started to research this antenna in deciding if I wanted to buy it, and now that I have some experience I will share it for those who might consider it in the future. This antenna has some limitations, but it also has some benefits and depending on your needs it may fit what you intend to do.
First the limitations:
Efficiency - this antenna lays on or near the ground, so you will have losses. Depending on the ground makeup and moisture it is near or on depends on how much. I've read that there is a loss of 5% to 15% in efficiency. Breaking through a pile-up will be difficult in my opinion, unless happen to catch some open space in the call spread, and in bad condx, it might be harder for you then others to DX QSO when using this antenna.
Real Estate- if you expand the antenna wire to its fullest extent, it is 300' in total length, and it needs to be in a straight line.
Tripping/tangling hazard-this length of wire at or near the ground is susceptible to tripping or getting tangled with people and wildlife.
Probably not QRP unless conditions are excellent, but 50 to 100 watts worked well for me.
Now for the Pros:
Traveling wave - since it is not a standing wave antenna, its properties are different then a dipole close to the ground for example. Adjusting the amount of wire in contact with the ground affects SWR, and having some portion elevated at a couple of feet for some distance from the feed unit give it some gain, according to some I have talked to.
Multiband - Low SWR 160 to 10. Does not need a tuner except perhaps on 160.
Quiet and excellent receive antenna. It probably has Beverage charecteristics because of its length and being low to the ground, has less QRN to contend with.
Directional - this is good and bad I suppose. It does have a broad width but does null to the sides. You need to decide which directions you want to focus on. I worked the Russian and Australian events and I had it running SW to NE and it did well. You could probably get pretty good all around coverage with two set up in a "X" fashion and switch between the two.
Multi-propagation. Skywave, ground wave, NVIS. I know most will see the NVIS and ground wave properties, but can hear the groans about DX, which is what I am interested in. Do some reading, it has a low angle of take off and you can work DX. I only worked a short while and netted 12 Russian/European and 3 New Zealand and Australian stations. (Condx were bad during the day, but the period from 10 MST to midnight, 20 meters was open and these contacts were not accidental.)
Set-up. Easy to set up and take down. You can have it up in about 5 minutes, and takes a bit longer to roll the wire to pick up, but really quick and fast overall.
Low profile - the vertical antenna, or mast for a dipole sticking up can be seen a long way away and that is exactly the reason the military was looking for an antenna to lay on the ground, or even in some cases, bury a few inches.
This antenna comes in a variety of configurations. These are no longer produced, and maybe that is a better indication of capability then my review. These were designed and produced for the military, yet I was an Army communications instructor and never saw one even though I retired after Desert Storm (I'd be the first to admit, I didn't see everything the Army was working on). It would be interesting to hear experience with this from military or others. I will tell you that I like this antenna, and will use it where I don't have many trees such as in the National Grasslands.
They are not easy to find. I got a new 301A off of eBay for $100 plus shipping. I've found them listed at government supply stores - but they rarely reply to individuals and they are very proud of them by the price they offer when they do. I found one place that offered the 302A (301A' bigger brother) for $625.
I've done a lot of looking and have manuals and test data, and my email address is good in QRZ if you would like to have copy of any of it.
73, John K0FTC
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