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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories | High Sierra HS-1800DX Screwdriver Help

Reviews Summary for High Sierra HS-1800DX Screwdriver
High Sierra HS-1800DX Screwdriver Reviews: 23 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $395
Description: Screwdriver antenna, replaces the HS-1500. Power rating 1000 watts. Tunes 3.5-30 Mhz with a 6' whip or 6.9-60 Mhz without a whip. 10.5' long when extended with 6' whip.
Product is in production.
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N5RTG Rating: 5/5 Nov 22, 2015 10:54 Send this review to a friend
Sturdy and EZ to Refurb  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my first and only screwdriver antenna. Bought new over eight years and 110K miles ago. Annually I tear it down per owner manual, clean up components, grease the threaded rod. Wax the powder coat and the lexan weather shield, dielectric grease on the quick-connect for the whip.

1.5 years ago I broke the top off (forgot to fold it down before traveling, broke off the whip and the coil's top brass fitting.) Jim Heath was very prompt and helpful, sold me a replacement brass top fitting.

I would buy one of these right now if I didn't have such a good one in hand. Unlike the statement at top of eHam page, this unit is NOT in production. Great product, though.
W7NYG Rating: 4/5 Nov 29, 2011 11:41 Send this review to a friend
works fine  Time owned: more than 12 months
The overall performance on all HF bands has been better then expected. My antenna is mounted on a Gap tilt assembly. It is seven feet off the desert floor. I have made contacts on 160 thru 10 meters. It is not designed for 160 meters.

Several months ago the HS 1800 pro developed a problem. It would stall a few seconds after I moved the remote controller rocker switch.

The most probable cause for that to happen was the special stainless contact spring.

I attempted to order 2 contact springs from HS using their web site. I never received the order or email why the springs were not shipped.

I found the contact spring listed on EBay. I ordered one spring. It took over a week to get here. Whoever shipped the spring just placed it inside a USPS box without any packing.

I assume that if they put packing material around the spring I might not have seen it.

I can not figure out why HS refused to answer my email regarding my order? One might think they have a bad attitude.

When the new spring I purchased from EBay arrived
it was compared visually to the old one. The old spring looks identical to the new one.

I had to bring the antenna inside my shack to troubleshoot the motor stall problem. After taking the motor out of the main body I discovered the problem.

The automotive type cable assembly had a broken wire about an 1/2 inch from the motor terminals.

The wire was broken inside the insulation. Not sure how the wire problem occurred. Once the cable was stripped and re-soldered the antenna works fine.

I am keeping he new spring as a spare if ever needed. What troubles me and a lot of other hams is the statement that finger stock can kill you.

I guess most screw driver antennas use finger stock material instead of stainless springs.

I did some research on the dangers of finger stock. There is no record of anyone handling finger stock dying.

One article I read tells readers there are no special handling requirements for finger stock material. Both methods of making loading coil contact work.

Since repairing the power cable to the motor my
antenna moves smoothly up and down.

The only problem with the antenna is the lack of polite customer service. We do not desire to hear negative things about the other manufacturers antennas.
W7NYG Rating: 2/5 Aug 13, 2010 18:48 Send this review to a friend
instruction manual  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased a 1800 pro. It might have been a store return. The rocker switch was broken and someone had loosen set screws.

My reason for buying this screw driver antenna was to keep a low profile.

My antenna did not come with the instruction manual. Jim insisted I buy one. That was $8. plus another seven dollars for postage.

The instruction manual has several things any users must know. However it does not have a break down of the parts or a drawing.

I made a suggestion a drawing of the antenna be included and part numbers.

What I discovered was the antenna requires an annual maintence. I had to hunt for the collar and spring assembly.

The manual did not explain where the part was. It only has loosen the three screws after removing the whip adapter assembly.

The spring assembly requires a allen wrench. No mention of that in the manual.

I found my antenna contact spring was distorted but could be used until I purchase a replacement.

One shorting spring is listed on the hs web site for $15 plus shipping. That equals $20. for a three once spring.

My advise to w6lg is include two spare springs, allen wrenches and a DVD to aid customers in maintenance and installation.

I managed to remove the three top collar counter sunk screws. The collar twisted and the top coil wire broke.

The end of the tuning coil has wire that looked stretched. It must be 20 ga size with a allen set screw in the top collar assembly.
I repaired the broken coil wire.

Any one that thinks this is a great antenna should take a close look inside the product.

I finally got it working on most of the HF bands.
It performs like a ham stick or Hustler mobile.
The advantage that the 1800 has over the single band antennas is the ability to qsy without stopping. It can handle mobile amplifiers as well.

Unless your an experienced installer I recommend not trying to make this antenna work.

It will enable you to work most any station you can hear with 100 watts. I basically had good contacts with mine at seven feet above the desert floor in Nevada.
VK2KC Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2009 20:11 Send this review to a friend
Bought it 4 years ago, Looked too hard to mount it on my car.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this the HS 1800 Pro 4 years ago, and as I was going to replace my vehicle, I opted out to wait until I did so. Well it wasn't easy to mout in it my 2008 GM sedan, locally called a Commodore.
First of all the mount proved a hard on and decided to mount it on the tow bar which proved to create more problems, wiht the reversing sensors!
The other problems were with the electronics of the vehicle, toroids on every cable and the coax at each end stopped the RF from creating havoc.
I recently drove from my home QTH west to Perth in Western Australia a distance of 4,150 kilometres, took me 4 dasy of sold driving,and had good contacts on 40 and 20m each day, I received excellant RX reports, and as I was using the N2VZ Turbo Tuner, changing frequencies and bands was a dream.
I paid attention to the installation instructions and really earthed the antenna to the body well, I added an earth strap from the battery which is mounted in the boot (trunk?) to the earth point of the antenna. A lot of work to fit the antenna properly, but well worth it!
DJ0RD Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2008 09:22 Send this review to a friend
The Best Compromise for Restricted Antennas  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the High Sierra Platinmum package ground mounted (read stealth) with the standard radial set as I have only about 144 sq.ft. of yard in a condominium. Customer service is fast and the boss answers :) My previous antenna was a G5RV mounted as a leaning inverted vee, and the HS-1800 is worlds better

I got VP6DX at 0751Z on 14 CW this morning, they were booming into Germany.
I was using my FT-1000MP MkV and an ICOM IC-2KL running 500 watts into my ground mounted High Sierra HS-1800. I got them on the second call :)

Vy 73, Bob DJ0MBC/WU5T
WA5TEF Rating: 3/5 Jan 22, 2008 17:42 Send this review to a friend
Works great but parts are expensive  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this antenna for 5 years or more. I have damaged two plastic shields that required replacing. Also I bent the quick disconnect for the whip and replaced it with the screw on type that was new at the time. This one kept working loose until I threaded teflon tape on the threads. Also, the spring that makes the connection to the coil needs replacing every year or so. While the parts are shipped quickly, I feel that they are over priced and I have spent almost $200 to keep the antenna on the air. This is my second High Sierra antenna and I will not buy another.

When it is working, it is probably the best performer I have used.
W9QX Rating: 5/5 Jan 8, 2006 07:52 Send this review to a friend
THE BEST  Time owned: more than 12 months
I drive truck for a living. The High Sierra screwdriver is mounted with the base 6 feet off the ground out on the mirror bracket. This is so that I get it as far from the body as I can and the exposed coil above the roof line. I have tried it back further on the drive's side, but the truck was in the way. Perfect spot would be the front bumper to a lay back receiver so I could open the hood. But the company would not allow that and that would make the antenna more susceptible to damage, especially from deer. Now we have the problem of being over height, 15'1" on 40 meters. So what I did was Jim, the owner of High Sierra, sent me at no charge to try when he first made them, a whip hinge which allows for the whip to be put at any angle and then locked in. I did replace the screw he uses with a case hardened 1 because of salt and weather. I have the whip angled forward at about 45 degrees. Just have to make sure all connections are tight and I put a c clamp near the bottom of the brass rail the outside tube rides on to take the pressure off of the rail. This setup has worked for 750,000 miles till had to rebuild the antenna. Only problem doing this is I cannot tune 75 meters with the whip angled forward, so I run a Hustler 75 meter super resonator on a 22" mast on the other side. It is also angle forward at 45 degrees. I use an antenna switch to go to 75. This setup allows me to run an Ameritron ALS 500 M amp. As to High Sierra, some may balk at the price, BUT you get what you pay for and they supply the whole package to install the antenna, mount, coax, motor wiring and ground cable. The manual is very clear on how to install. Most important is grounding. Anytime I have had questions, they have been very helpful. Recently I was doing regular cleaning on the antenna while sitting in the truck, had the window open and it slipped out of my hands, fell 6 feet to concrete. No visible damage, but it would not work after that. So I took it apart and found that the motor casing was all broke up in side, a resistor and a link fuse broken and who knows what else, rather then try to fix it, called them and had them ship me a new motor complete at a very reasonable price, cheaper then what a repair would have been.
I check into several nets a day and people are always asking me if I am mobile or at home. So if you want to get serious about being mobile, High Sierra is the way to go.
M1AZZ Rating: 4/5 Aug 28, 2005 11:32 Send this review to a friend
TRYING IT FOR THE FIRST TIME  Time owned: months
WA4EX Rating: 5/5 May 24, 2005 02:23 Send this review to a friend
2 Yrs and still going  Time owned: more than 12 months
My first High Sierra antenna was the 1500 with good results. However I did have a contact spring go bad(got hot from als500 amp), replaced it with new parts and is still going today.
I received the 1800 2 yrs ago and have had no problems.
Hams always ask what are you running in your van Sonny , wow what a signal.
I am still running the Icom 706 , als500 amp and the 1800DX antenna.
If you have been looking for a good antenna for you mobile you owe to yourself to try this great antenna.
Keep up the good work High Sierra.
VE3HI Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2004 05:12 Send this review to a friend
The Best. Period.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Simply the best. I could write volumes but what can I say that has not already been said? After 35 years on the air and mobiling - 20 years in the ham radio business - I have found nothing that works better than the High Sierra HS1500 and now the 1800. Period. Takes a hell of a beating. Takes Canadian winters with road slush and salt brine. I have worked 150 countries mobile. Pileups. Am often asked "Are you sure you're mobile?". If I didn't actually see it myself I would have trouble believing the performance. We have a TH7DXX at 80 Feet on top of the hill in Richmond Hill, so we are spoiled rotten. The 706 works beautifully in the house on the TH7 and in the car on the High Sierra HS1800. One thing I can guarantee.... you will NOT be disappointed. Guaranteed. You can go cheap or you can go quality. THIS is quality. And performance second to none. (I am rambling... 'nuff said) de VE3HI
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