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Show all reviews of the DX Engineering MBVE-1
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of the DX Engineering MBVE-1.
Jun 23, 2014 09:23
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A Lot of Work but Worth It
Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the MBVE-1 with the Balun Kit, the Radial Plate and Hardware Kits and the prescribed 150' of RG213 as well as all of the radial wire, radial staples, anti-seize, conduction paste and etc. from DX Engineering. In other words, I followed all of their recommendations for the proper installation and performance of this antenna, with only one exception: I don't have the space for the optimal 32 65-foot radials.
I have 40 16-32 footers and four 75 footers in four separate directions including one that goes 60' into the lake we live on, for a total of 1300 feet of radials in the grass. I also have an 8' copper-plated ground rod next to the antenna with a tinned copper strap to the radial plate for added grounding and partial lightning protection.
The antenna was not hard to put together and the support DXE provides is excellent if you are patient.
I run the antenna with an LDG AT1000 ProII Autotuner and an Ameritron ALS-600 Amp. See my QRZ log since May 11 and you can see my results. Stateside my dipole does a little better but for DX this antenna definitely gives me a boost and it (surprisingly) is quieter on receive too. If I can hear them, I can work them and usually I get a better report than I can give them.
I can tune it better than 1.7 almost everywhere now; 17M the tuner isn't even required. I am doubtful that this can be considered a great 160M antenna as tuning it there is tough on some parts of the band.
The required 150' is a drawback as you need it whether the antenna is that far away or not, and you can't coil up the excess coax either, so you need to be able to lay it out somehow which is a hassle.
This is a high-SWR design so don't buy this antenna if you can't follow all of the requirements in detail and don't have a very robust antenna tuner.
I bought it as a backup to my 200' NI4L dipole in case the winter ice and snow took it down but now I use the MBVE-1 vertical as my primary antenna - at least until I put up a tower and a beam.
Check out my QRZ site for some pictures of the antenna. It's an impressive, gleaming and elegant antenna design that can also easily be disguised for those of you with stealth requirements.
Email me if you have any questions.
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