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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: 206 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $57.99
Description: 10-20M Vertical Antenna
Product is in production.
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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 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. 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.
K8WPJ Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2014 11:12 Send this review to a friend
outstanding  Time owned: more than 12 months
easily assembled, and is up at about 35 ft on a rooftop tripod mount.. this antenna works well with my LDG AT100Pro ATU, on 10/12/15/17/20m and with 100w on SSB I have been able to work all 50 states, and at least 30 countries.. has been up about 18 months now, and has been trouble free.. always gets good signal reports, and has even surprised me on 29.60 Mhz 10m FM... well worth the $100 investment..

Installation note-

1) If you are interested in only working 10m then tune this antenna for mid band when you install it... if you are using it across the entire working range with a ATU, then leave the tuning rings as they are out of the box..

2) use a dab of lok tite red on the joints when you put it together, and give the radials an extra gentle 'nudge' with a wrench.. that's all you need to do.. it will be trouble free from then on..
M0ODV Rating: 5/5 Dec 11, 2013 16:11 Send this review to a friend
Good Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Excellent multi-band antenna for around £60 GBP.
Only had mine in the air a few months worked all around the world running a measly 100 watts from TS850SAT on 10/12/15/17. However its a bit deaf on 20mtrs.

Only today i wondered why i was working so very well on 15mtrs with 59 reports into asia and N&S America,I found my A-99 Without tuner= SWR on 21mhz was to my delight 1.1 to 1.2 !! broadband too.Tuning rings half way,40ft RG8X grey coaxial.
If your reading this and dont have a Antron,Buy one.
W5LZ Rating: 3/5 Nov 16, 2013 06:45 Send this review to a friend
Good if used as designed  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had several of these at various times and they do work. Keep in mind that as it's designed any use on bands other than 10 - 11 meters is a compromise so don't expect miracles. If all you go by is SWR then a good tuner will 'skootch' this thing to a lot of bands. SWR alone does NOT mean any antenna is 'good' though.
If it suits your needs then it's common enough to be 'cheap'.
- Paul
KB5ZSM Rating: 5/5 Nov 15, 2013 22:23 Send this review to a friend
Great for the money  Time owned: more than 12 months
Pleased!!! Have mine up on a 30ft pole here in windy New Mexico for more then ten years and never a problem. My Kenwood 940 and MFJ tuner along with the A-99 (no radials) have talked all over the world with great signal reports. Would I buy another one? Heck yeah! Already put one up at my other home and it works just as well. No TVI problems at all, even at 100 Watts. Great starter antenna and for the seasoned operator also.
KG7AV Rating: 5/5 Nov 15, 2013 19:01 Send this review to a friend
Good Value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked up an A-99 with the GP kit to replace a 10m dipole and to fill the 12-15 gap, since my 75m skywire will only load up well through 17. Unit arrived, installed during lunch break w/o GP kit, on roof peak end about 20' AGL. Same evening, MUF Boulder at 20.37, immediately ran up a half dozen JT65 contacts in Hawaii and Japan from OR QTH. So far so good. SWR out of the box 10-12-15 very good at default ring setting. When I have some time, will install the GP kit and see what that does. Bottom line, for around $100, it performs well and satisfies my expectations.
EI4KE Rating: 1/5 Sep 16, 2013 10:34 Send this review to a friend
tvi  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
tvi tvi tvi
So I put up a Sirio Gainmaster and no tvi.
Sold the Solarcon to another ham and guess what? tvi tvi tvi,,,,,
I am licensed 30 years and my dipole, windom and portable h/b vertical cause no TVI,,,,,
KD8TFG Rating: 5/5 Aug 23, 2013 17:47 Send this review to a friend
Great Product  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This was my first antenna as a Tech and worked New Zeland with 25w from a HTX-10, since upgrading to General it has worked great on 12,15, 17 with no tuner and a Icom 730

Tonight added a mfj-949 tuner and got the antenna to tune 20m to 1.1 and made a contact in Italy with a 59 am very impressed with this antenna and it is only 15ft off the ground
AF5FJ Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2013 21:12 Send this review to a friend
Works for DX...what's not to like?  Time owned: more than 12 months
Originally purchased mine in 1997 for use with CB base station (original Antron A-99, no ground-plane kit). Put in storage in 2001 and not touched until revived in 2013 and trimmed for 10m.

Set on a temporary mount approx. 7 feet off the ground (still with no radials) and fed by a 25W Radio Shack HTX-10 mobile, I have had QSOs with Brazil (multiple), Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, U.S. Virgin Is., and Puerto Rico. Even with half the antenna masked to the west by my house, I have received Australia with strong 55 signal and had a solid QSO with California. [My QTH is Texas.]

I don't have any other antennas to compare it to, but I am extremely happy with the results I'm achieving. I can't wait to get it up on a mast with a counterpoise! Who knows what it will do then!
AC5RM Rating: 5/5 Jun 22, 2013 09:53 Send this review to a friend
Good, cheap antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned this antenna since the late 90's, when I purchased it for 11 meter use. After it being used for years,I got out of cb and the A99 was thrown up in the attic of the shop.
After getting my ham license, I remembered the old antenna and decided I would see how it performed on ten meters. I bolted it on a 15 foot section of pipe and was suprised by how much better it performed than my G5RV...when I tried it, I was also surprised to find that with the assistance of the internal tuner on my Icom 746,it worked great on 10,12,15, and 17 meters.
I've worked stations all over the world with it. I'm sure there are better antennas,but for the money and longevity, it can't be beat!
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