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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | Q-TEK PENETRATOR Help

Reviews Summary for Q-TEK PENETRATOR
Reviews: 13 Average rating: 1.3/5 MSRP: $305
Description: 1.8 to 30MHz HF Vertical, 15 feet high, no ATU or ground radials required, 200W PEP
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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GB001 Rating: 0/5 Nov 9, 2008 02:50 Send this review to a friend
Expensive Dummy Load  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A definate contender for worst antenna of all time. At 200 new, this has to be the biggest
RIP-OFF of all time.

For such an expensive antenna it can only handle 200w. I thought I had a bargain at 40 secondhand. Well, this antenna is not worth 10 in my opinion.

After receiving a lot of poor reports & that being after I managed to make a contact, this antenna was scrapped. I could not bring it on myself to sell this dummy load to anyone else.

You can also buy an end fed wire version of this antenna for 170 . My advice, DON'T ! save your money.

A real bad experience here.
G8XLH Rating: 5/5 Nov 9, 2006 17:31 Send this review to a friend
Rebuild it  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Despite the bad reviews, I bought one of these 2nd hand to try for myself.If you need a broadband antenna (no ATU) and low profile, then it will get you on the air, but not very well. However I decided to rebuild mine,so I drilled out the rivets on the matching box, and removed the two resistors and the balun. I re-used the same core, and made up a 4:1 Balun. I also joined the two sections of the antenna using pop rivets rather than the original nut and bolt. The antenna is now fed via either a manual atu and my FT747 or the TS570 and its Auto ATU.It now works very well, and despite being mounted only 6 feet of the ground and hidden in a conifer tree (I have planning problems) I get some good results now.I know that you should not have to rebuild a new product, but if you see one being sold cheap and dont mind feeding it from an ATU there is a way forward.
G7TOK Rating: 0/5 Sep 17, 2005 13:42 Send this review to a friend
Terminated dipole in disguise ! BEWARE  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Yep, took the antenna to bits, the box at the bottom contains a 50 ohm load strapped across a small impedance matching circuit.
Its essentially a terminated folded dipole, just vertically wound and erected.
The premise is, you can take any wavelength of radiator, then create a folded dipole.
Usually, you would place a 50ohm non-inductive resistor on the other side of the dipole opposite the feed point, this way, the feed would pretty much see's 50 ohms all the time.
The problem is, the load is turning 95% of your RF into heat, as the radiating element will only ever produce the real 50 ohm load at one frequency, and actually radiate some power.
So, if you have managed to make a contact on this dog, its probably with about 3w of your 100w !!!
The manufacturers who make this and the shops that sell it are taking advantage of a new class of licensee that knows nothing about antennas, and taking their money gladly.
The last time somebody tried this, it was the Partridge Joystick, and that was laughed out of existence.
Sadly, the new licensees either have endless amounts of money are are just not willing to learn the necessary facts and believe the blurb on the advert, some have even talked themselves into believing the hype !!
Oh well.
M3AHE Rating: 4/5 Sep 17, 2005 01:46 Send this review to a friend
not a total waste of money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well guys , your reports do astound me, yes the build af the aerial doesnt reflect the price , more like a thirty quider, it does leave a lot to be desired in that department .Wot you must take into account when you look at this aerial is that it is just another compromise aerial and it just isnt going to work very well on 40/80 i used this aerial on the bands above with great results, maybe its because i have a great ground system, maybe its because i got mine for free, these aerials do seem to need a very good ground, you will get the same results with a solarcon A99 at afraction of the price , just have to use an atu, and the build is better , 2e1mpc mike
M0NKD Rating: 0/5 Aug 3, 2003 18:08 Send this review to a friend
Myth or Magic?  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Qtec Penetrator: Myth or Magic?

It has to be said that conditions were not of the best. But with hopeful hearts, M0NKD and I were determined that we'd give it a go for some decent DX contacts. Well, truth to tell, ANY contacts would be warmly welcome. The battery on the FT897 was fully charged and we confidently expected a full 20w, which, on a bright sunny Sunday was all we could expect or want in the garden at M0UXB, especially as we were not far from the aerial. Tests had indicated a bit of decent 40m band activity as NKD drove to the proving ground.

With no instructions, the borrowed Qtec Penetrator aerial did not seem too difficult a job to erect. After all, it has only three sections and the top whip screws into a thread. It's a graded helix, wound on each of the bottom two sections. Ex-CB enthusiasts may recall the FireStick, which works roughly the same way. A quick wipe of the aluminium contacts and the bottom joint was made. A flat response from 2-30MHz was expected, to judge by the advert. Then came the earth stake; a real one, hammered into the moist earth of the garden (it resembled a small lake for a while with the recent rain). A decent earth clip was soon attached and the coax feeder connected. Eyes bright with excitement, NKD switched on the set. With 40m selected, lots of noise erupted from the speaker.

Nothing by way of a signal was heard. Then we heard it; a lone DL in German, talking to his pal, whom we could not hear. A bit further up the band was a Club station; we both heard it clearly. But attempts to respond to his CQ calls met with complete inactivity from that end. Other bands were tried, with similar results, although it should be noted that the VSWR display on the 897 showed nothing amiss. It was just soaking it all up and not doing much by way of radiation. Any danger of RF radiation was not likely; any passing butterfly would be quite safe, as would the UXB Cat. A lead jacket, as approved by the Health & Safety Department, was not required

I thought seriously about getting out my Field Strength Meter, but reckoned it wasn't worth the effort. There are a few classes of equipment whose description matches the reality. Damned good, pretty good, useful for something else and junk; I leave it to you to guess which we reckoned was appropriate for this thing.

NKD wanted a portable HF thing to take on holiday and a kindly friend who reckoned he had "made several good contacts" on it loaned it out. It's a good job we borrowed this aerial; I'd be horrified if I'd just paid out lots of money for it. Frankly the view from the garden was that it was time to put it back and get a cold glass of something as a restorative. So, with our sincere thanks to the kindly Ham who has saved us both a lot of money, we raised our glasses in a quiet toast.


M5ALA Rating: 0/5 Apr 24, 2003 12:29 Send this review to a friend
Very poor  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased one of these aerials when I became M5ALA in 2000. After reading the sales literature I felt it would be an ideal aerial for my location. An ideal size and performance to match.
I now have to say I was very disapointed with this aerial. Prior to this aerial I used a half size g5rv.

The receive performance was a good 4 to 5 'S'points lower than the 1/2 G5RV. Transmitting the aerial was difficult to match and after some time the matching box became warm. Both the 1/2 G5RV and the penertrator aerials were set up and just switched over with a coax switch. I live in the north west of england, and to be fair to the aerial we tried the same test setup in a second location in the south east of england, only to find the same results.

After a couple of months of storage in the garage, I decided to talk to the supplier of the aerial and told them of my results. The shop could not offer any further advice to increase the performance of the aerial, so agreed to refund me the purchase price. This was a good move by the shop as I now still use the shop for my radio requirments. So the shop gets a 5/5 score, but the aerial gets 0/5

M0PRO Rating: 0/5 Nov 21, 2002 16:19 Send this review to a friend
This antenna is a joke!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A friend recently bought one of these antennas against my advice and it was terrible!

We mounted this antenna at 20ft and connected 4 25ft radials (Q-Tek suggest just an Earth rod!) and performance was terrible. For reference we errected a 50ft long piece of wire, and it was generally 4 's' points better than the Q-Tek Penetrator, but most of the time signals being recieved on the wire were not even present using the Penetrator! VSWR was 1.1:1 on all bands, but so is a dummy load.

Build quaility is poor, a monkey could build a better quality antenna. My friend took the antenna back the next day and demanded a full refund.

It is my personal opinion that Q-Tek should not be selling this junk, as they just appear to be ripping off newcomers who have not yet gained much knowledge of antennas.

My advice? Save yourself the time, effort and money and plug some wet string into an ATU, it will probably work better than the Penetrator and cost a lot less!

73, Jack M0PRO
M3SKF Rating: 0/5 Nov 3, 2002 11:10 Send this review to a friend
CRAP  Time owned: months
M3CRT Rating: 0/5 Nov 1, 2002 17:06 Send this review to a friend
Take Advice Don't bother  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
My experience with this antenna ,is having spent hours trying to get the performance to match the sales hype ( to no avail ), it is totally useless.
Its build quality is appalling, flimsey construction, no secure joints and poor quality alloy. Tried and tested in two separate locations, 220 feet asl and 720 asl, not the 20 feet as in the instructions, and not even made a European contact! Would you buy this? All for the sum of 179! NEVER AGAIN.
DL6MDG Rating: 3/5 Aug 28, 2002 00:11 Send this review to a friend
Satisfied  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use it for a longer time as station antenna. With good earth: no problems, with bad earth: forget it. I worked with this antenna and ICOM IC706MKIIG all continents!!!
I need the address of the producing company, because the isolation is defective. Please send the address to me if You know it:
Thanks, Heinz, DL6MDG
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