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Reviews For: DX Commander All-Band Vertical

Category: Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop

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Review Summary For : DX Commander All-Band Vertical
Reviews: 87MSRP: 150
A Multi-Band (40m - 6m) 1/4 wave vertical antenna system that makes use of the original DX Commander pole. Premium version includes everything needed to get up and running: - DX Commander Pole - 8x Stainless Steel hose clams - 75cm of 8mm tubing - 10cm heat-shrink sleeve - 45cm black shock cord - 100cm 3mm Heavy-duty cord for attaching elements at top - 6m 550 Paracord for guying the mast - 100m insulated wire (enough for all elements and 20x 4m radials) - Ground Plate with SO239 connector and fly-lead - Driven Element plate - 6mm Nylon guying plate - 3mm Upper spreader plate - Enough nuts, bolts and connectors for 6 elements and 11 radial connectors The DX Commander is based on the same technique / principle as a fan-dipole.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
M1TAP Rating: 2021-08-04
DX Commander Classic Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have only just finished building this antenna and must say it is awesome .It works exactly as advertised and i have resonance on all the elements.
My advice would be to make sure you cut all the elements to the supplied dimensions and it will work great.
All the supplied components are of high quality and even a few spares are included.
Callum has created a winner here and i wouldn't hesitate in recommending it.
KE4HGP Rating: 2021-08-03
Great Antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Awesome Antenna,and Customer Service and Shipping Top Notch.
M7BCN Rating: 2021-07-29
I’m totally in awe of this antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Passed my foundation license July 2020 after being interested in radio from the early 80s. My license only allows me to transmit at 10w.

My main interests are making different antennas and I’ve made various, from mono band dipoles, multi band end-fed, OCF dipoles, G7GEK and a good few more.

I was looking for something that I could easily pack away to use for portable operations and holidays. An antenna that could be carried on foot, didn’t need a tuner and catered for my favourite bands 40, 20, 17 and 15. After reading different reviews and watching YouTube I decided to try the DX Commander Classic.

Set it up in my back garden using 150m of wire for the radials. Added elements for 40, 20, 17. 15m comes into play from the 40m element. Wire lengths were practically spot on from the setup instructions.

The DX Commander has made it possible for me to get lots of contacts, if I can hear a station calling, I’ve got a good chance of many the contact. I’ve had QSOs with USA, Canada, and Brazil to name a few. I’ve even had a few mini pileups especially on 40 and 20m and that’s with only 10w

I’m totally in awe of this antenna and I can’t rate it highly enough. It’s inexpensive, robust, takes up very little space, doesn’t require a tuner. and more importantly, It’s performance is superb. Therefore, this has become my main Homebase antenna.

Next project is to order a couple of Commander poles and set this up as a parasitic array. 73 M7BCN
KZ4CW Rating: 2021-07-28
Perfect all around antenna! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Have had mine up and going for over two years and it has worked perfectly time after time. Have had to take it down because of bad weather a few times, made minor adjustments when putting it back up, and it has become my go to antenna.
Be patient when putting it all together, watch several of the videos on U-Tube, and you'll have no problems working the world with this antenna.
Dollar for dollar one of the best all around vertical antennas I've ever owned and operated. I just worked Japan, Russia, Most of Europe, several South American countries, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean within a few hours this past Sunday afternoon.
For a new Ham, can't suggest a better all around antenna than the DX Commander ABV!
K0INN Rating: 2021-06-24
High value proposition antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've just finalized the tuning my DX Commander Classic. I opted for putting on 6 bands (rather than 4). It took about 6 hours to tune the antenna, but, I was very particular about getting it tuned exactly the way I wanted it. I was then able to use the glue lined shrink on the wire elements and finalize the antenna rigging.

I had to read the instructions several times to understand how to assemble the antenna. The instructions are not in a step 1..2..3 fashion. This is an area that could be improved. I used the provided instructions in addition to watching several videos on YouTube.

The fiberglass pole provided is a squid fishing pole. It's a substantial and suitable pole.

All of the items provided are high quality and and up to the task of building a high quality antenna. Metal items are either aluminum or stainless steel. The wire provided is a "relaxed" wire and is easy to work with.

The aluminum and nylon collars are precisely machined to fit the points on the pole exactly. No frustrations in trying to fit pieces that don't quite fit. There are spare nuts, bolts, washers provided in the kit. There is more than you need of the various items required to build the antenna.

The plastic carabiners provided weren't quite up to the task of guying the antenna. If I stressed the guy line at all, "pop" and the plastic carabiner came apart. I purchased replacement stainless steel carabiners on Amazon for $8. The provided plastic carabiners, however, worked fine for keeping the antenna wires taut on the pole.

You are using shock cord and parachute cord for the antenna rigging. The instructions refer to using a fisherman knot to tie them together. I used a bow line knot to tie the cords to the carabiners and ground stakes. There is some info on YouTube under "DX Commander" showing how to do this. Using the correct knots ensures that the antenna does not come apart inadvertently.

So, the most important thing, how does the antenna perform? In a word, great. Operating from the park on CW with 50 watts, it seems that I get a response every time I call CQ. It also seems like I get better signal reports than I give. One ham remarked that I was the loudest station on the 30 meter band. Almost all Reverse Beacon Network reports are double digit DBs on all bands.

I've been using the antenna so far as a portable antenna. If there is any negative, it is that it takes about 30 minutes or so to set up the antenna moving at a leisurely pace. It's an antenna for permanent installation or for when you are going to be operating for some hours as the set up time is not trivial.

Many things in ham radio are more expensive than they should be. There are a few things that are effective and priced the way they should be. This antenna is one of the latter items. I'm glad that I purchased this antenna.
KQ9I Rating: 2021-06-13
Great antenna w/ some minor quirks Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Agree with the other reviews, with a few caveats:

Biggest complaint: The instructions are not step-by-step, easy to follow IKEA-like documentation. It allows you to build the antenna, but you have to puzzle out quite a bit for yourself. It appears Callum wrote them, and he knew the antenna inside and out, so wrote them that way, rather than with someone who's never seen the antenna before in mind. They would be better off written for a newbie ham who has never built an antenna, in a simplified, step by step fashion, as that's who is most likely to need detailed instructions/help.

The antenna has "legs" about 20% better than my EFHW vertical. However, at times the reception lags behind the transmission: i.e. stations in Europe are picking my signal up like crazy from Chicago, but I'm hearing almost no EU stations. That may be due to my QTH, and not the antenna.

I live in a rental house, so when the yard guys come, I have to take the antenna down every week so they can mow. This has taught me that the antenna can be a bit quirky: things change between taking it down and putting it back up. Different SWR readings, mainly. Sometimes, a band will start having issues. I attribute this to minor changes in orientation/location relative to structures nearby. Also, the antenna itself seems to perform much better when it is "clean" in the sense that the wires are fairly taut, they're equidistant from each other, and there's no slack or bending. Even a rain can effect the SWR. As a result of this, I have never applied the heat shrink tubing and instead everything is held with electrical tape, so I can make adjustments easier. Still, the antenna behaves itself quite well- you just might find that your SWR is 3:1 in a portion of the band where it was previously less than 2:1 after you take it down and put it up again, especially if it's in a different location.

Once you've tweaked the antenna and got it up and running, it's great. Probably the best vertical multiband wire antenna available. To do any better, you're going to have to step up to a directional gain antenna.

VA6TVA Rating: 2021-06-02
Incredible antenna for a new operator Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have only be licensed (in Canada) since the beginning of April, and I have only been operating for three weeks. In that time I have made contacts in the USA and Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Portugal, Italy and Spitzbergen (Longyearbyen, Svalbard archipelago), all on 100w SSB. This evening I was trying to bust into several pileups run by Russian stations, but no luck this time. I have made numerous contacts at even greater distances on FT8.

The shipping was incredibly quick; the very significant package arrived in 5 days from the UK (which included a delay in Nashville!) and the shipping was about $50CAD. There was another $20 or so to pay in customs (you are welcome, Revenue Canada). All in all, the cost of the antenna including shipping and gouging was very, very reasonable compared to almost anything else that offers the same flexibility.

I spent a couple of days measuring, cutting and soldering things, and used a NanoVNA to check my work. On the first attempt, following (mostly) the instructions provided, it just worked. I haven't fiddled with it since, and I probably won't. I went for the 80m configuration, which means I don't have 30 or 6, but that's ok. I tried to run a dedicated 6m element up to pole but it seemed to be swamped by the other elements, so I gave up. I can get 6m another way some day. I might try again though, as well.

Lord Callum replied very quickly to the couple of emails I sent him asking question and sending feedback. He is a pleasure to do business with.

I didn't know what to expect, since I am a brand new operator, and I was surprised by how tall 10m actually is. The top is a very long way up! And it's pretty thin up there too. I chose to brace the antenna with an additional guy line attached to the top spreader where the 80m element heads off to the horizon, and that stops the top from moving around a great deal. It probably isn't necessary, but it makes me feel better about the antenna.

The kit comes with everything (and a bit more) needed to complete the project, and it was well packaged and feels like a product that comes from a company that cares about the customer.

I plan to leave the antenna up permanently. I have to deal with mowing around the guy lines, but that's much less work that digging a 2m hole and filling it with concrete for a free standing antenna.

I recommend the product, and the company to anyone that wants an affordable antenna that actually works and has a day to two to spend getting it upright.
GM4JKZ Rating: 2021-05-07
Great for home/portable operation and an Excellent performer Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had this antenna for 3 years now, purchased just before moving to Scotland so it has only been used up here in the Cheviot Hills region of the Borders.

I was concerned that new neighbours would not be too happy once erected as the views from our group of barn conversions are stunning, however I had no problems at all as I think a black pole and black wire allows it to easily blend into the background. (My Cushcraft R8 on the other hand would stick out like a sore thumb!). I am also using black 2mm Kevlar cord for the upper guys, something I strongly recommend for windy areas.

Operationally I have had many contacts, the ones that stand out were into Hawaii, New Zealand and the Russian Antarctic Base (RI01ANT), the latter on FT8 earlier this year.

In my situation we do have very strong winds blowing down the valley so occasionally I have to lay the antenna down to protect it. This takes me about 15 seconds to disconnect the feed to the driven plate, release one of the upper guy ropes, one of the lower guys and lay the mast down taking care not to snag the tip as it touches down first.
My installation has the ground plate screwed to a wooden plate that is then pinned to the ground; the bottom screw cap is not used therefore the pole is free to be lifted and lowered leaving the coax feed, radials and ground plate in situ.

I have also found that the element wire is as good as the day installed, part of this I believe is that I ensured that the spade connector solder joints were coated with hot glue and covered with heat-shrink, before bending at right angles. (I do have a second set cut but not used as yet). The wire itself is very robust with the steel/copper strands.

So ... to sum-up my experiences with the DX Commander Classic is all good and has provided many hours of enjoyment, sanity and satisfaction in making contacts around the world. Callum continues to provide an excellent support service and his related videos are very informative.

HB9VQQ Rating: 2021-04-23
Great AllBandVertical Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I am using the DXCommander ABV for more than two years mostly for contesting and field days. Great Antenna. I recently compared the DXC with my EFHW here is the comparison

Maybe you find it helpful
K4SRF Rating: 2021-04-17
Great Solution for HOA Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I replaced another traditional fan diapole with the DX Commander Classic after watching multiple YouTube videos and reading nothing but positive feedback about this antenna.

I live in an HOA with a small back yard. Add to this, I have three trees that branch out covering most of the yard. I had found it a challenge to erect my traditional dipole and thought, for the price, I would give this antenna a shot. I haven't regretted this decision.

I have only had it up for about three weeks, but so far it has proven very effective. The ONLY challenge I face is how to run the 32 radials in my limited space and around obstacles. I found a way and though I cannot achieve a perfect 360 degree radius around the antenna, it does not seem to affect the performance of this antenna at all.

As will all dipoles, you have to tune the antenna. Though, using Callum's instructions when cutting the elements for the bands, the frequencies were pretty close to resonant where I wanted them, some tweaking may be in order to achieve your desired resonant frequency on the band of your choice. Fortunately, this antenna is very easy to take down and erect due to it's lightweight construction. I made this step even easier by taking the ground plate off of the mast and then sitting the mast on top of the plate. The only thing I have to disconnect is the SO-239 when I want to do maintenance on the mast; it is also a breeze to take down should you have a bad storm coming your way.

Callum even encourages his buyers to experiment and find ways to make this antenna work better for them.

I fully recommend this antenna and plan on making further purchases from DX Commander in the future.