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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical Help

Reviews Summary for Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical
Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical Reviews: 225 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $199.
Description: It's a dipole... It's a vertical... It fits in your travel bag!. The Buddipole™ is more than an antenna, it's a versatile system for launching your signal. Optimized for transmit power and proven for DX work, the Buddipole™ is the secret weapon used by HF portable operators all around the world. Precision engineered for maximum performance using ultra light composite materials and High-Q coils. Zero-loss balun with Quick-Connect feedpoint. This antenna can be used to cover any band from 40M to 2M
Product is in production.
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N0CSM Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2016 08:13 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After borrowing a Buddipole from a friend for testing purposes, I found that it worked well for me so I purchased my own. Luckily, it arrived on December 31st as I had planned to activate a local park in Northern Virginia for the opening day of the National Parks On The Air event. For the event, I set up my Buddipole on a fiberglass mast at about 25ft using a homebrew bracket to put the VersaTee on the mast. The Buddipole was configured with the rotating arm kit, long telescopic whips, a single “arm” and the loading coils on each side. Once mounted on the mast, I ran the antenna up to about 15ft and used my antenna analyzer to tune it to 14.150 and it showed an SWR under 1.4:1 almost all the way across the 20m band (lowest was at about 1.2:1 and just over 1.5:1 in the CW range). Once tuned, I ran it up to about 25ft and got to work.

Over the course of about 2 ˝ hours, another club member and I were able to make 174 SSB contacts on 20m, 1 PSK31 contact on 20m (only worked digital for a couple of minutes due to an uncharged battery) and 1 trans-equatorial contact into Brazil on 10m. We worked contacts from Virginia to California, to Utah, Maine, Southern Florida, and all over the mid-west with consistently good signal reports. All of this was at 100watts from an FT-897D. The size of the pileups was a sure indicator that we were being heard as we worked the crowd. In the end, we had an awesome day in the field and all of the credit must go to the folks at Buddipole.

I found that a little research made setting up this antenna very easy. The “Buddipole in the Field” book provides some excellent information for setting the Buddipole up at different heights and configurations and the set up sheets that accompany the long whips help as well. I will admit, I was a bit worried about this before trying it myself as some reviews suggest the antenna is difficult to tune but I just kept saying in my head “Shorter = Higher, Longer = Lower” as I adjusted the whips or coil settings. From the initial settings, it took two minor adjustments to move the resonant frequency to where I wanted it.

I won't bash any other suppliers here but I will say that I've tried a couple of different antenna systems that included these "rigid dipole setups" as well as a couple of end fed, center fed and OCF wire dipoles as well as my own wire designs. A good wire antenna will always be in my go kit but it's not going to be my primary any longer - there's a new "king of the box" for me now.

The quality of the components is top notch, the documentation doesn’t read like a cliffhanger and my personal experience with the folks at Buddipole is important but, at the end of the day, performance is what gets the job done. This antenna does what it is made to do.
W8NLZ Rating: 4/5 Nov 12, 2015 14:58 Send this review to a friend
Hints for successful use  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my 2nd review. I use Buddipole components exclusively for vertical antennas in the field. Perhaps the greatest attribute of Buddipole stuff is that it is well built and works in all conditions and seasons. Here are some of my maintenance tips:

Several of the Buddipole components use female threads in aluminum stock. Aluminum is subject to corrosion and the threads also catch dirt and sand. Most of the male threaded pieces are brass. Again, corrosion and dirt in the threads. I carry both a male bottom tap and a female die (3/8-24 fine). I clean my threads and apply a little WD-40 as I pack them away for the next usage. It doesn't hurt to wipe the telescoping antennas with a little WD-40 as well.

I have several short masts to position the Versatee about 8 ft above ground level. One is a trailer hitch mount. Another is two military tent poles topped with a 1/2" NPT adapter. But my favorite is the Mini-Buddipole tripod. But to make the tripod stable, one must guy it at the 4 ft level. I attach 3 D-rings to the mast using a velcro strap. I have a kit consisting of 3ea tensioners, 3 six foot nylon ropes, and 3ea tent pegs. Once guyed, the mast is stable in any wind.

I operate QRP portable on 40M, 20M, and 17M with the Buddipole Vertical and find no need for an amplifier.

K8QV Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2015 17:36 Send this review to a friend
Specific Solution  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just happened upon the Buddi reviews and felt compelled to chime in. Bottom line, it works very well for the job is was designed to do. It is a highly portable, lightweight and efficient (for its size) device for temporary use. I used an analyzer the first couple of outings, but now I get things close enough just by listening to the noise. I generally set up a Buddistick on a camera tripod, adjust the counterpoise and work QRP DX with it and an IC-703. If weight and mounting options aren't an issue you might do better with larger antennas. But then, you might not.
KB0EMP Rating: 2/5 Oct 29, 2015 12:19 Send this review to a friend
Kind of a pain  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Better plan on getting it high in the air to be effective. But when it needs adjusting (and it will) you have to bring it back down and fuss with the telescopic lengths. Back up and darn...still not right, back down and start again. This can go on for a long while. And yes, I use an antenna analyzer. Very fussy if anything is near it. Save up your money and buy a TransWorld antenna. 5 minute setup and you are on the air! For backpacking, bring an endfedZ.
KG7QYJ Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2015 06:32 Send this review to a friend
Here's the deal  Time owned: more than 12 months
Running 100W (optimistically) on a Buddipole dipole set up in my back yard, I have worked Europe, New Zealand and multiple US QTH's. We read claims like this all over the place for products that don't deliver. This one has for me. Plus, I've had to deal with their customer service and it's excellent. I haven't even started playing with all possible configurations. Highly recommended.
VE4MM Rating: 1/5 Dec 31, 2014 18:24 Send this review to a friend
Second Review  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this in 2008 for my trip to Mexico.

It worked fine.

Off to Hawaii next week and I set it up on a 4th floor apartment I own and I could not get the SWR down. It was infinite. Using a MFJ Digital Antenna analyzer. (This antenna is hard to tune)

Looks like I will bring the Steppir Crank IR. Works perfect.

Will not be able to work the bands from my balcony now. Just the beach. Bummer.
AC2JB Rating: 3/5 Nov 24, 2014 08:24 Send this review to a friend
Not at all corrosion resistant!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have enjoyed my buddipole portable antenna kit and used it to quickly set up antennas on many bands.
I made one mistake though and this is something
that is not covered in the manual....
If you think you want to use a buddipole on the seashore you
will likely be disapointed in the degree of deteriorarion
of the whip antennas.
Salty air near the sea corrodes the copper slider
inserts inside the whip antennas.
I setup a buddipole on a beach cabin in Cape Hatteras
and left it up for 6 days in clear weather.
After disassembling and returning home , upon next setup I discovered that the whip elements were basically throw away material.
So my advice: Use the buddiple only for short times on the beach and clean the antenna parts afterward. Better yet, don't use the Buddipole extentable whip parts near the ocean .
The Buddipole manual should also warn users of this issue and provide cleaning agent recomendations and directions.
K7MVT Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2014 13:06 Send this review to a friend
Love it! Certainly beats my indoor dipole.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I am currently living in a community that doesn't permit much in the way of outdoor antennas. That being the case, I have been using an indoor dipole cut for 20 meters at a height of about 10 feet. Needless to say, this isn't exactly a DX magnet.

Not having many options, I purchased a Buddipole deluxe package a few months ago. In spite of the fact that my house is in a valley surrounded by moderately tall hills, I have made many contacts with the antenna. This includes a few DX contacts (Canary Islands, Venezuela, Panama, Wales, Japan, Sweden, South Cook Islands, New Zealand).

Definitely worth every penny I paid for it.

To the previous reviewer: How one breaks, or more interestingly bends a VersaTee is beyond me. Maybe you ran over it with a tank or something.
W5EXJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2014 12:56 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Antenna System  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased a Buddipole Deluxe Package (short) in August 2012. I travel some for work and started taking it and my FT-857D on these trips. I have set it up in hotels, out on balconies, etc., and it has worked very well. I took it on a sailing trip through the Stockholm Archipelago. After docking for the evening, I either set it up on the deck of the boat or on doc in a vertical configuration next to the saltwater. I made many contacts all over the world. Wherever I go I generally take my radio and the Buddipole.

The first week in December 2013 I was part of the St. Lucia/J6 Buddipole DXpedition. There were 7 of us in the group, including Budd and Chris. We had a fantastic time. In 8 days, using only Buddipole configurations of antennas, we made over 13,000 contacts. Fun was had by all and we are all meeting in Dayton this year to say hello. If you ever get an opportunity to do one, you should jump at it, it was so much fun and I learned a great deal and made life long memories and friendships. By the way, everyone pays their own way on these trips and the cost is a small fraction compared to the bigger DXpeditions.

Since buying my first Buddipole Deluxe package I have purchased the extra parts to build 2 element Yagi antennas. Last Saturday, April 26th, our radio club met for radio in the park and I set the Buddipole up as a 10 & 15 meter 2 element Yagi and made many DX contacts.

The Buddipole system is the erector set of antennas, it is high quality and a very reliable product. There is tons of documentation on how to configure this system for just about any antenna you can imagine. It is fun to use and setup, which is one of the great aspects of Amateur Radio. My hat is off to the team at Buddipole for creating such a fantastic antenna system. I’m holding up a 10 card, but unfortunately this site only allows for 5.


PS. I’d like to make a comment about the review made on March 29th from "AA2NH". The call sign used has been expired for over a year; so hope you are either not using your call sign or all the work that you seem to have done with the Buddipole system was done over a year ago as well. Also, I checked and there is no validity to the banana plugs/jack issue you mention and I’m not sure how one can break a VersaTee ... that's puzzling. I have never had an issue with mine.
AA2NH Rating: 1/5 Mar 29, 2014 16:45 Send this review to a friend
Incompatibility alert, and an opinion  Time owned: more than 12 months
I thought it was just me, but another guy from Lakeside CA who is using a commercial Buddipole just discovered that Buddipole Antenna has gone from a 2.70 mm diameter mini banana plug to a 2.92 mm diameter banana plug. This change affects the Versatee, the coil clips, the banana plug leads (including leads for coaxial cable and the triple balun switch). So, my parts that don't actually work together are by design?!? Oh joy, what I bought is already obsolete. Why couldn't BP do what HiQ, Alpha Antenna, and even MFJ does, and use industry standard SO239 connectors? My plastic Versatee broke, and can't be bent back, it's plastic! Good thing they sell them as a part, oh wait, now I have to replace everything they even sell the Versatee with the clip holes I need? Too many questions. If I cant fix it in a field emergency setting, then bye bye Buddipole. Time to reevaluate whether I'd bet my life on this antenna. Maybe I'll look at the EzMilitary Antenna or even a not so random 40 meter wire dipole that I can use on harmonic frequencies. Sorry I rambled, but wow; the more I thought about it, the more holes I keep finding in my own BP system...and someone had to say it. Anyone had to replace those Extremely light duty whips from BP yet? Yeah, I did with a "Mil-Stick whip". Just google that if you need a better and less expensive replacement whip than what BP makes available from oversees. And while I'm at it, does it bother anyone else that BP takes 7 or more people on extravagant vacations and puts proof of that on YouTube? I'm for making a good living, but just saying, maybe they're too big for their britches from making big profits when extravagant trips are shown off.
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