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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories | DX Engineering Hot Rodz Help

Reviews Summary for DX Engineering Hot Rodz
DX Engineering Hot Rodz Reviews: 9 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $47.95
Description: Screwdriver Antennas can now use the extremely effective DX Engineering Hot Rodz™ technology for greatly increased efficiency for mobile or base use.
It's no secret that the addition of a capacity hat to a vertical antenna increases its feedpoint impedance and efficiency. The DX Engineering Fully-Adjustable Hot Rodz will also allow the screwdriver antennas to achieve lower frequencies and in many cases replace the 6-foot whip with a 24-inch mast and maintain or increase the efficiency of the antenna.
Product is in production.
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N4DBM Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2010 06:22 Send this review to a friend
Works as advertised  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
First of all to clear up the misconception that some folks have, DX Engineering didn't "invent" the top hat. I have heard conversation on HF about how they made this magic invention.. Top hats have been around since the 30's during the early AM broadcast days..

I purchased the bore/hub only for about $27 and used my own rods. The hub and set screws are machined very well and is of high quality.

I am currently using six 12" rods on my Hustler 40 meter resonator to work 60 meters. The efficiency is definitely better. The feedpoint impedance however went from 47 ohms (normal for a Hustler resonator) to about 25 ohms when adding the top hat, which is also normal. I used an MFJ-907 impedance transformer to take care of that. Everything working very well at the moment.

DX Engineering also makes an impedance transformer but only gives you 12.5 ohm or 25 ohm points and costs over $100. I like the MFJ-907 better because it has a rotary switch and multiple impedance taps and costs less.

73 N4DBM.
NI0C Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2007 04:50 Send this review to a friend
FB for backyard verticals  Time owned: more than 12 months
Last year, with the help of DXE's capable customer service, I installed their hub assembly and Hot Rodz to my Bencher/Butternut HF-2V 32 ft. vertical, covering 160-40m. I had already successfully tried top-loading wires, but wanted a more permanent and reliable way of top-loading. Top-loading makes the antenna more efficient, and also improves its bandwidth.

I tried a set of six four ft. rods and then a set of six six ft. rods. In both cases, I added some light guying (1/32 " dacron rope) to stabilize the antenna. With the six ft. rods, I found I needed assistance in putting up the antenna; also the rods sagged so much that the net additional loading effect was not much more than achieved with the four ft. rods. I worked zone 26 on 80m with this configuration, before it was time to take down the antenna for the Spring. (Since much of the backyard is occupied by a swimming pool and wildflower gardens, radials can only be used during the cold weather months).

This Fall, when it was time to redeploy the HF-2V, I experienced lackluster DX performance with it until I once again added the four ft. top-loading rods. What a difference it makes!
N2LRB Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2007 17:36 Send this review to a friend
Works Great!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I love my Hot Rodz Cap Hat. As soon as I installed it on my Tarheel 100A screwdriver antenna, I started to receive and transmit better. I love experimenting with adding different lengths whips and even a 20 foot speaker wire suspended from a fiberglass pole. The Hot Rodz is sturdy and works excellently. This is one antenna component that works as advertised. I tip my hat to DX Engineering for making such an excellent product.
N4MGR Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2007 20:11 Send this review to a friend
Great Product & Service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the Hot Rodz Cap Hat from DX Engineering recently and am absolutly thrilled by its performance. I am using the hat with the Hustler RS-20 standard resonator and two of DX's own 24" aircraft grade aluminum mast on 40 meters. This is a nice single band setup for the budget minded ham. I can't say enough about the service I recieved. The order shipped the same day, the technical advice was very helpful. The website is full of useful info (especially the tech articles). I will definately be shopping with these folks for years to come.
KB1GHH Rating: 5/5 Jan 30, 2007 09:23 Send this review to a friend
Works great!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I been using this Cap Hat for a couple of months now.....with a Tarheel Screwdriver AND the Turbo-tuner,and 706mk2g. AWESOME.....Love it. Very comfortable with total set-up. Thinking now of adding a second Cap Hat! I can do 75/80m with low antenna height. I am impressed at what I learned from this whole set-up. DX engineering has helped me all along the way. I know them on a first name basis now. I try NOT to call them too much....GO MOBILE. Live Large.
NE7X Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2006 20:49 Send this review to a friend
Using it on 60 meters  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I was able to successfully modify my two ICOM 706 mobile transceivers for 60 meter band. The modification required removing two micro surface mount diodes the size of a grain of salt. Under the microscope they look like large bricks, easy to remove when you have the right tools.

After I put the 706 back into the car, running 100 watts, the SideKick antenna tuned up flat, 1:1 on 60 meters. I broke into a QSO on channel 4 (60 meters, not 11 meters) (5.371.5 MHz) USB and talked with KW6J/7 in Prescott Arizona and AD7DU in Tucson Arizona.

KW6J/7 gave me S8 and AD7DU gave me S9, I received all stations about the same as they were hearing me.

The band was very quite, no QRN, QSB or QRM. 60 meters is a clear channel.

I then added my DX Eng capacity "HotRodz" hat to the SideKick antenna.
KW6J/7 now gave me S9 and AD7DU gave me 5dB over nine.

I was quite amazed the capacity hat made that much of a difference. I wanted to see if it really was working, so I removed the capacity hat and my reports were back to where they were before.

Summary, this Capacity hat WORKS and 60 meter mobile is fun !!!

If you have not already, visit my HF mobile site for pictures.

73s, Tom NE7X...
N7QT Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2004 03:13 Send this review to a friend
A GREAT addtion to all HF mobile setups  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My mobile setup is a Kenwood TS-480 and a High Sierra SideKick screwdriver mounted on an Iron Horse 4 magnet mount. The SideKick came with a 3 foot stinger which I used for several months but really wasn't very pleased with my signal reports. A friend of mine suggested that I look at the DX capacity hat to improve the antenna performance. I ended up ordering it a few weeks later.

I can't tell you how thrilled I've been with the result. My final setup from bottom to top is: the Iron Horse 4 magnet mount, Hustler large Spring, Hustler QD2 quick disconnect, the DX Engineering capacity hat, another QD2 and the 3 foot stinger on top of the capacity hat. I've got great signal reports now running mobile, including many comments like, "Great signal for a mobile setup!". I really can't believe I waited so long to run HF mobile!! This mobile setup doesn't compare to my 40m dipole up at 65ft but does allow me to work HF with solid results while driving around town or while sitting in traffic. The quick disconnects allow removal or reconfiguration of the antenna in literally seconds. I chose to install the 24 inch rods which came with the capacity hat...

As an added bonus, when stationary I pull out the MFJ telescoping 12ft whip and mount it directly over the capacity hat. I typically get excellent signal reports on 30m and 40m with this setup. Last week I worked the East coast on 30m in the middle of the day when conditions were far from optimal.

I have since added a 3 inch ground strap connecting the Iron Horse to the car chassis. This has helped to reduce my SWR to 1.2 or less across all the bands 10m - 80m.

The only negative of adding the capacity hat is that it draws attention of many!!! I've had many stares, laughs, questions and frowns as to what in the world is that "thing" on the back of your car!!!!

I'd highly recommend this product.

-rob N7QT
WB2EWB Rating: 4/5 Apr 28, 2004 18:11 Send this review to a friend
well done  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Only a 4 because need more time with it to give it a 5...
- well constructed, easy to assemble with clear instructions. (met expectation) A bit confusing it I retune the anntenna (coil turns) or tune the rods... (I retuned the anteanna: only way makes sense!)
- Delivery on time (in fact they were FANTANTASTIC: calling me to make sure delivery options were ok.. Way Above Expectation (will order from them again. )
- Installation: very easy, still confused why they have two lengths of screws. (Above norm of other vendors!)
- Operation: I was able to drop my coil from count of 306 to 146 (Tarheel model 100) with 3 12" rods (so doesnt extend past side of vehicle. Can tune 80m when couldnt before... above expectation

I had a homebrew "cap hat" and this was to be a more reliable/constructed unit: it mets that requirement...

Stay tuned! (I will be making field strength measuerments over next few weeks: with and without)
WV1K Rating: 5/5 Mar 26, 2004 18:02 Send this review to a friend
As advertised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received this product right on time. No backorders from DX Engineering unlike lots of other ham companies in the recent past (what is going on ? Port security I hope...).

Anyway, I first tried the Hot Rodz with all the 12 inch rods in use. I found that on 40, the signals were the same switching back and forth with my 6 ft Tarheel whip. The coil setting was the same but much lower profile for the same effect as I was not using the 6 foot whip. Same on 75m. On 75m the signal was down about 5 db, but that's no big deal when you consider you are not going to be attacked by Cape Cod tree huggers' life work; the branches really need to be cut.

I guess until a fire engine catches it in the windshield on the way to a tree hugger fire...

I recommend this to anyone looking for a lower profile.

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