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Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | ZeroFive Antennas Multiband Vertical Help

Show all reviews of the ZeroFive Antennas Multiband Vertical

You can write your own review of the ZeroFive Antennas Multiband Vertical.

WD4ELG  Rating: 5/5 Oct 5, 2008 20:14  Send this review to a friend!
First 48 hours - outstanding  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
No surprise, though. Look at the reviews here. Read the website. Talk to Tom Leakakos (N9ZV) at Zero Five antennas. You get what you pay for!

Let me first talk about Tom, and my perspective. If you look on eham, you will see I have invested a LOT of time and money into antennas. My XYL thought I was insane to put $1K into this vertical, and she was not too thrilled that I was asking for birthday, Christmas, and anniversary gifts for this year AND next year all in one! But after I shared with her my experiences via email and over the phone with Tom, she understood what I saw as customer service that has NO EQUAL! Tom is extremely competent, responsive, courteous, and in our conversations over 3 weeks he was the final element of the sale!

My goals:
1. 160 meter presence for 9BDXCC
2. Improved performance over my Cushcraft MA8040V on 80.
3. Improved performance on 40 over my wires which work very well (Buckmaster OCF, Par End Fedz).
4. Ready for long distance DX on the higher bands when sunspots return (someday!)

My comparison: Wires for all bands at no height greater than 32 feet. A Hex Beam at 32 feet on 20 meters that is killer on that band.

My situation: Clay soil, small lot in neighborhood, lots of trees, restricted neighborhood.

My installation: nestled among the trees, the 43 foot vertical is wrapped in black electrical tape. 20 radials, 50 feet in lenght each. 100 watts. CG3000 remote tuner.

My first 48 hours, and the conditions are horrible: SSN = 0, SFI = 68. So I wanted to see what I could do with it in the first 2 days:

160 - too early in the season, band is dead. Nothing heard.

80 - this band is tough to predict. Using ON4UN's low band DXing as a reference, and my moderate results with the Cushcraft, I was not sure what to expect but I had high hopes. With solar flux rock bottom and no spots, 80 has interesting chacteristics. First night on 80 with this thing, I worked a bunch of European stations no problem. I worked the A25/DL7DF DXpedition on the first call, once his signal came up out of the noise about 0400 GMT. Only twice have I ever worked beyond 5000 miles on 80 meters, and under MUCH BETTER CONDITIONS. So here I am working the A25 DXPedition. THAT is impressive! Yep, it works on 80.

40 - lots of Europeans worked no problem. Busted through a big pileup on TA3D with the first call. NICE! Then busted through 6W1SJ pileup first call. SWEET! Worked E51NOU about 0500 UTC, first call. Then got NH7O first call. I have done the same with the wires, but NOT with PILEUPS and only when conditions were better. And DEFINITELY NOT ALL IN ONE NIGHT! Yep, it works on 40.

30 - just a few minutes on this band, worked EA5 easily. Yep, it works on 30.

20 - wide open. Worked into South America. Also snagged some nice ones on the first call: J28JA, D2NX. EXELLENT! Yep, it works on 20.

17 - just a few minutes on this band, worked LX1DL easily. Yep, it works on 17.

15 and up - heard some signals from South America, but was too focused on getting new ones on 20.

Things to remember (check the ARRL antenna book for more details):

1. This is a low angle radiator. It is designed for long distance DX. It stinks as a short-hop antenna under 1500 miles.
2. Vertical antennas are lossy beasts. You need radials. Tom recommends 40 at length 50 foot. I did 20 radials each 50 foot length as my best effort, bent at the end of my lot.
3. Verticals have no gain, no directivity. It is not a yagi, it is omnidirectional.
4. This antenna will have more noise pickup than a horizontal wire.
5. This antenna will not work without a tuner. Some rigs can handle the load with their internal tuner, others cannot. If the tuner is at the rig, some signal will be lost in the coax (depends on length, type of coax, and the SWR). Best performance with a remote tuner.
6. This antenna needs a balun at the base (unless using a remote tuner, as in my case).

So you're asking WHY DID I PUT DOWN $1K for this thing? Why did I get eaten by bugs and sweat a gallon with the radials? Why did I go through 6 rolls of electrical tape to make this baby stealth so the nosy neighbors won't complain? Why did I get blisters from a post-hole digger for the support mast? Because with only 100 watts, I need the BEST radiator available. This is an all-band, rugged, and well-designed unit. IT WORKS. I am going for 9BDXCC and Honor Roll. Will I do it with 100 watts? I am already at 250 worked. But I need something to take me to the next level. THIS ANTENNA IS WHAT WILL DO THAT. Already in 48 hours I am impressed. I can't wait for the CQ WW DX contests!

If you want more info, or are thinking of buying, I strongly recommend you chat with Tom. If you want to email me, I will be happy to share my thoughts and experiences.

73, and watch out you guys on Honor Roll!

Mark, WD4ELG
http://wd4elg.net
wd4elg@arrl.net 
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