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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | Solarcon A-99 Help


Reviews Summary for Solarcon A-99
Solarcon A-99 Reviews: 205 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $57.99
Description: 10-20M Vertical Antenna
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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Page 1 of 21 —>

G7NKS Rating: 5/5 Jun 9, 2018 16:11 Send this review to a friend
been up since 1994 and still going well  Time owned: more than 12 months
Excellent value for what it is. Mine has been up for 24 years and while it is now a dull green/grey it still works well on 10m to 17m. It will tune on 20m but clearly not well, but nor was it designed to do so. For the money they are hard to beat.
 
K7VNE Rating: 4/5 Jun 1, 2018 00:54 Send this review to a friend
Dont use high power  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Update to my original post from June 2017.
This is still an excellent antenna, I have worked stations from Europe, Antarctica, S. America, Asia, Australia etc etc and, have worked everything from 6m thru 20m with it however, I recently purchased an amplifier and while in the process of setting / tuning the A99 up for power, it failed and is now useless.

It worked fine at about 350w-400w but, on the last tune up I raised that level to 600w and that was it. I was reassured by the manufacturer on my initial purchase that the A99 would handle 2KW but unless mine was a lemon, I would not try anything higher than the 350-400w range.

Now again, with that being said, it is still a great antenna in fact, I ordered another one today but will keep the power low. I cannot begin to state how many qso I have had this <$100 gem but, just be careful if/when you try to push power through it or, you may wind up with a nice looking conversation piece like I have.

73
 
KD9GOL Rating: 5/5 Feb 9, 2018 13:55 Send this review to a friend
Great entry level 10-17 antenna  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Yes, the gain figures are exaggerated, but this antenna still works well. I have had mine outside since October and I couldn't be happier with it. I use it with my FT-450D and it tunes just fine from 17m up through 10m without cutting (as per the manual). Mine will not tune on 20m or 6m, but I only have the internal tuner on the 450D: a better tuner probably could. I have restrictions of antenna height, and mounted on a tripod at ground level it fits right in. It has gotten me into several states as well as Brazil, Costa Rica, and Canada using 30 watts on 17m. Prior to getting my 450D it was connected to a Realistic HTX-100 and got me several states on 25 watts on 10m during the small E skip peak in December. It does not have great receive sensitivity outside of its operating range, so if you're looking for an antenna you can also use for SWL it probably isn't for you: I live near a couple 50kW AM broadcast towers, both come in at an S5-S7 on the A99 and S9+30 or +40 on my 30' wire. I'm replacing it only because I'm getting a vertical that will also cover 20 and 40, but I'm definitely keeping it as a backup.
 
K7VNE Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2017 11:29 Send this review to a friend
Can't beat it for the $$$  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased this about a week ago for $85 including shipping charges. Cannot believe the performance
of this vertical on any band 6m thru 20m, I have
even had qso's on 30m JT65.

I am using the Palstar AT2K tuner with it and am able to get 0:0 SWR on all bands except
30m but, even that is right at 1:1.

The performance if this thing is amazing. I at first questioned its specs on being able to handle 2KW P.E.P. of power but, was reassured by the manufacturer that this is indeed the max power rating that they stand by.

I have worked Australia, S. Cook Islands on 17m, S. America and the Caribbean on 20m and 15m and several contacts within the US and Hawaii on the other bands. It is especially excellent on 10m.

I do not yet know how it will be over the long haul but, if other users around me can be believed, I am expecting decades of us out of it and, their tech support is great, any questions I had prior to purchase were answered courteously and professionally. Highly recommended.
 
W4KVW Rating: 5/5 May 16, 2017 21:21 Send this review to a friend
UPDATE:Still Great Plus  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well it's still working great an several HF bands from 10 thru 17 meters & I found that it has a Two Sweet Spots on 6 meters as well.At 50.200 & at 52.500 the SWR is around 1.3.1.I have not tested it on the air but the MFJ 259B says it's GREAT.For the money it's still a great buy no matter what folks say.It Just Works!
 
W2TMA Rating: 5/5 May 16, 2017 17:05 Send this review to a friend
25 years and still in one piece!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This antenna has been on my roof, in various spots, for more than 25 years now. It has survived multiple hurricanes, ice storms, and myriad other weather here at my location on the Northern Shore of Long Island that have destroyed other antennas. Granted, its not much, but It still works fine business and I'd say I have gotten my moneys worth out of it!
 
NT6S Rating: 4/5 Mar 20, 2017 10:24 Send this review to a friend
Inflated Gain Figure  Time owned: more than 12 months
This antenna works fine, and is ruggedly constructed. It is essentially the same antenna as the old Shakespeare Big Stick fiberglass CB vertical. Both antennas are essentially an end-fed coaxial dipole, so the claimed gain of 9.9 dBi is complete and utter nonsense. The gain of a dipole, whether it is horizontal or vertical, is 0 dBd, or 2.15 dBi. I have no idea where they get their fantasy 9.9 dBi in only a physical 1/2 wavelength. I have had equal success with a 102" steel whip and 4 ground radials mounted on a chimney during 10 meter contests.
 
KB7ZNV Rating: 5/5 Sep 7, 2014 06:41 Send this review to a friend
Excellent inexpensive antenna.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I put my first Antron 99 up in about 1989 in Washington state for 11 meters and it worked wonders for an inexpensive antenna. I have since purchased a 2nd Antron 99 with a ground plane kit that I now use here in Florida for 10-12-15 and 17 meters using my Yaesu FT 450 with a built in Tuner and it works great. The tuner has no problem tuning the antenna for these bands. I have my antron mounted on a 25 foot pole in the middle of two 50 foot pine trees because it keeps the wind from whipping the top of the antenna around too much. My first Antron 99 set through some severely cold (well below zero) winters with some pretty good winds and then the summers were brutal in July and August as well, and after a few years the fiberglass rod begins to splinter and if you unwittingly grab hold of that rod without using a pair of leather gloves you will get your hands full of fiberglass splinters. It's not a pleasant experience as I remember.
Anyway, if you want a really good inexpensive antenna to get your rig up and running the Antron 99 is a great antenna for the money.
 
KK4WEY Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2014 08:00 Send this review to a friend
Awesome!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my Antron for twenty years. I used it for CB, then moved onto Ham use. It's up thirty feet, and I've contacted 72 countries so far. It will work 20-10 meters with a tuner. Only been licensed for four months, and this antenna has been impressing me and all my local ham buddies. Save yourself some money and get one.
 
K2XLG Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2014 06:20 Send this review to a friend
Excellent on 10 meters  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After using this antenna for the last 4 days, Iím feeling pretty good about the decision to purchase it. But some background first. I had put the hobby down for a few years for several reasons, but got bitten by the bug a few months ago. I had sold all the important pieces, so was starting from scratch. Naturally, 2 meters was easiest and cheapest to get back to. Then I ran into a 20 watt mobile rig for 10 meters, so I had to quickly formulate an antenna plan. I needed a resonant antenna for 10 that hardly cost anything. Looking around, I had some of the structural parts to the loop antennas I had used previously on HF, including a good 4:1 balun. A few feet of wire later, I had a 90 degree delta loop that tuned very well over the whole 10 meter band using the balun. And it worked OK...but it had some issues that were hard to pinpoint. It never really had a sense of directionality. And after a few weeks, I just needed to try something different for the sake of trying something different. But I needed to be conservative and not blow a bunch of money on a wild goose chase. A few good homebrew ideas were investigated, but some were impractical for my limited space situation and some needed a tuner, which I had sold. I needed something that would work well out of the box. After hearing the reports of a 20 year old version of these, still out there and working better than it should, I said that does it...I ordered an A-99 from Amazon. Quick shipping got it here on Friday before the CQ WPX Contest. So the loop comes down and this one goes up and gets tuned in less than an hour. I had second thoughts about cutting, but without a tuner it was a no brainer...it had to be cut. With only a 10 meter rig, why not make the antenna resonant there? Why use a tuner if itís not needed? So my thinking is to get as much of those 20 watts into the antenna as possible. OK..so I look at the manual and the recommended lengths to cut and end up taking a stab (or hack) at taking off 12". This got me close...and then I went the rest of the way by using the tuning rings. About 2 Ĺ to 3 turns upward gave me 1:1.15 @ 28300 and at the other end of the curve, 1:1.35 @ 29000. Thankfully I still had the two Yaesu SWR/power meters...YS-60 and YS-500...that I had picked up years ago. So the whole process went well and Iím using it on Friday afternoon and into the evening when the contest starts. I can tell that this is working better than the loop because QSB doesnít seem to be as much an issue. Itís not a ton better, but still. So the contest starts...and I know that it isnít a good time to test stuff, cuz beams are swinging around and amps are humming, but in a sense, thatís a good time to test because youíre in the heat of battle. But after making my first JA contact, I was smiling. I had heard them on 10 before, but the signals never seemed workable. 120 contacts on 10 meters and 2 days later, I was fairly pleased. Not only does it work well, but I can also take it down and apart quickly,which is a necessity as I live in an apartment. Is it the ultimate 10 meter antenna? Probably not. But thereís no way I can use a beam. And for those of you that seem to have a thing about CB antennas...get over it. Just look at it as a 10 meter antenna that came out of the box too long. They give you some extra just so you can tune where you need it. If you need something that works and donít have much space, this an excellent way to go. Throw a tuner in line and get use of at least 2 or 3 more bands. Well worth it for less than $100 to your doorstep.
 
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