|All Band Vertical which ticks all the boxes
||Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
|I have been looking for an all band vertical to take with me on my frequent DX-peditions in and around the Pacific.|
I have tried the trapped "this and that" but all have failed in the harsh tropical climates of the Pacific Islands.
I stumbled across Calums YouTube channel and soon decided to try out the DX-Commander All Band Vertical. Calum very quickly responded and packed up a unit to send to New Zealand with no fuss at all.
I spent the time putting the initial build together slowly and methodically labelling everything as i went and was very peasantry surprised with the immediate results. Everything tuned as it should and it looked to be a winner.
With everything cut to length i dismantled the Antenna, packed it up and then took it off to Papua New Guinea (P29RR) on my next DX-pedition.
The results were astounding with a winning place in the CQWW CW contest and then a further 4000 QSO's on FT8 spread over 20, 30, 40 and 80mtrs.
Tick all the boxes? Sure did, thanks Calum.
Since, I now have the NEW DX-Commander Expedition. It too ticks all of the boxes with the added "tick box" of collapsing down sufficient to fit into my suitcase !! Now i don't have to check yet another item in a luggage on an Aircraft, it will fit into my suitcase or easily fit into the overhead locker.
If you are contemplating Antennas for DX-peditions the DX-Commander is the perfect solution.
Get two of them, erect them 1/4 wave apart and phase them for 40 mars...... works like dynamite !!
ZL1BQD, aka. FK0RR, 3D2RJ-Rotuma, 5W0RR, H44RR, E51RR, P29RR, 4W6RR, A35RR, ZK3RR. (ZL8BQD, ZL9BQD from way back)
|The best engineered all band 1/4 wavevertical on the market
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|The DX Commander ABV antenna is simply the easiest and cheapest way to get a fully resonant, 80-10m (SWR < 1.5) vertical antenna system in a small yard or garden. After all, any antenna is just a way of getting the requisite amount of wire into the air using engineering to achieve the desired effect. |
Callum (M0MCX) has thoroughly explored the easiest way of doing this and the result is impressive - no need for a ATU from 80 - 10m, small footprint, easily erected either portable or semi-permanent. I built mine in a few enjoyable hours guided by the comprehensive instructions and entertained by his excellent YouTube videos.
As for results - it's an impressive antenna and hears and transmits better than my 80m loop. You "canna change the laws of physics Captain" so why pay five or even ten times the price for any other commercial 1/4 wave vertical with the same performance? Yes I AM including the SteppIR and its like.
Modelling a 1/4 wave vertical with 16-25 radials gives the same results no matter how expensive the mechanism for raising the wire into the air.
In addition, Callum is a true ambassador for the hobby and is well known for his honest customer service.
If you want a neat antenna solution with good results without re-mortgaging the house, get one.
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|I was recently trying to find a source of 9m fibreglass poles to build my own vertical. I discovered someone had done it already! (But better than mine was going to be!)|
The DX Commander is a telescopic fibreglass pole, with all the hardware supplied to erect it and lock it into place.
The design - a multi-wire vertical - is so simple I'm surprised no 'mainstream' manufacturer is already selling one - but if they did it'd probably be far more costly and to be honest, couldn't be better engineered.
High quality stainless steel and nylon parts throughout mean that whether used for portable/temporary or permanent use, this antenna will last.
It took me about a day (thats only 8 hours of daylight here this time of year) to assemble, tune and test. I had to trim some of the wire elements a little, but with the advice given to not make anything permanent initially, this was easy.
Performance? It's a vertical on every band you want, so it performs like a quarter-wave vertical should - low angle of radiation, low in noise etc. Very well, in other words!
40m is achieved by folding a wire element back on itself a little, which seems to work just fine.
Counterpoise is via a set of radials that you cut yourself to DXC's recommendations, connected to a well-made ground plate.
I'm not a great fan of the wire supplied - in itself it's good wire but it's supplied as a loosely twisted pair (as it's intended for military telephony use) so you have to unwind it.
But that really only adds an hour onto the build. I got impatient.
One set of paracord guys are provided, which are fine for temp use or when there's no wind, but if it's up permanently or it's windy I'd want a second set - I've done that with mine - it was easy to attach them to a higher-up nylon spreader plate thats part of the kit.
The manufacturer, M0MCX, is a good guy and very responsive to questions. His YouTube channel contains a wealth of information too.
In all - excellent!
(I've just ordered a second one!)
|Easy to build and erect.
||Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
|I purchased the DX Commander for a holiday/vacation and needed something easy and quick to erect. It takes two people about 20 minutes to erect and to take town. Don't be fooled with the price, this is a serious antenna. It is resonant on all bands from 80m to 6m. When I plugged the antenna into the radio the radio sprung to life. We worked all of Europe and Asiatic Russia, some just using 5w with a Yaesu FT-817.|
The initial build of the antenna took a few hours but that was a one off. The parts fit in a knapsack and the pole unassembled is only a couple of feet long. The dimensions of the wires in the instructions are accurate, no further tuning was required.
I love this antenna because the performance is great, the price is low and because it's really easy to erect. And NO ATU REQUIRED!
You will not be disappointed if you choose the DX Commander, a real quality antenna.
|Versatile & Great
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've had this antenna for a few months now.
I bought it after watching Callum's extensive videos and speaking with him personally.
I found him to be a very personable character, very generous with his time and also very knowledgeable about his creation.
Sorry to use a cliche but, "it does what it says on the tin".
As Callum explains in his videos, you'll need a little bit of time for faffing around with it, burying the radials and cutting the elements to length etc.
Once this has been done, you're good to go.
An antenna analyser is a distinct advantage (I didn't have one) to save a lot of jogging back and fore to the shack. But it can be achieved without one, it's just a bit frustrating.
I've ended up with a 4 element versions, 40m, 30m, 20m & 17m quarter waves. The 40m element of course works as a 5/8 wave on 15m.
I did try it with 10m and 12m elements also but I failed to get those to resonate.
However, with my onboard tuner on my old Icom 746 it selects one of the wires to work quite effectively on 12m, 10m & 6m.
I have used a SOTABeams guying ring over the third from top pole section to guy the pole at a top level also. This guying ring is effectively an inch square piece of plastic with 4 holes drilled in it, very lightweight.
However, using this antenna as a permanent fixture will require some monitoring of the weather forecast here in the UK as in high winds there is going to be some pole damage over time.
But Callum's simple design means that this antenna is very simple to lay down prior to a storm arriving; You simply unhook the 3 carabiners from the lower spreader, disconnect the red wire from SO239 to element plate and lay the pole down.
I have quite long paracord guy ropes for the top guying system which allows me to just slacken off so they don't even have to be disconnected.
Notwithstanding these limitations during high winds, the only negative I've had to deal with is to give the elements a bit of a shake when they've become snagged on the jubilee clips on occasion of twisted together during a bit of wind but this is only very occasional and not a hinderance to operating at all.
I'd previously had only a balanced fed doublet to use on all bands 80-6 and this antenna has been MUCH better. I regularly work into ZL on 40m and getting through to DX is a hell of a lot easier. Even allowing for the fact that it's a vertical with the associated noise level, I can hear stations on the DX Commander that I cannot hear at all when I switch back to the doublet.
All in all, this is a great antenna, for a great price. The quality of the engineered parts is excellent. The time and knowledge put into this project by Callum is exceptional.
I've enjoyed every element of learning about, purchasing, erecting and using this antenna. It's a fantastic concept, quite simple in it's design and best of all, it gets results.
I'm looking at buying another for /P use although it wouldn't take long to just disconnect the radials from the radial plate, slacken off the jubilee clips and just retract the antenna intact ready for re-erection in the field with a second set of radials.
|Great antenna, get one!
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|I bought this antenna mainly for portable use. Assembly was easy and fast. At first I was hesitant to add the 80m element but it actually was easy to do. Now I run it as an inverted L antenna with great results. I am using the antenna from 80 to 10m with 750w.|
As a matter of fact, it is up in the yard for over a month now because it performs so well! If you plan to spend money for a ground mounted vertical, don't be a fool and spend big bucks for a mayor brand name antenna, the DX Commander is all you need for a fraction of the cost.
BTW, top customer support by Callum, we had a really nice chat on the phone, awesome guy!
|Excellent Antenna system for home or portable use
||Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
|I live in a small town house with a small garden (5m x 5m) that does not lend itself to the installation of HF antenna equipment. I also have a somewhat challenging neighbour, and therefore opted to use portable antenna systems and accepting the compromise as a result.|
The DX Commander offered the an alternative. A collapsible 1/4 wave system which could be configured to operate on multiple bands (40m to 6m) without the need to reconfigure once it is deployed.
I opted to order the Premium kit via Callum's (M0MCX) website as a bit of a weekend project to put things together. It arrived within a couple of days of order in a well protected bundle - much to the bemusement of the XYL.
The biggest headache for me was separating the D10 twisted pair cable, and cutting the elements down to size. Why the headache.... the Cat felt the need to try and nick every length of wire cut.
Plan the cutting well and there is enough wire in the kit (100m in total) that'll given all the elements (40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 12m, 10m) with enough left over for 20 radials.
The pole is nice and solid and has withstood a bit of a battering from me during both initial assembly and also use in the field.
At home, I opt to tether the antenna with all of the elements installed to one of the benches in the garden. Easier to deploy at home by extending the pole fully and raising it off the ground using a few garden chairs.
Out on the Mountains of Sussex, UK... It takes me about 30 minutes to put all the hardware onto the pole, get things locked into place and then affix all the elements. I carry a load of cable-ties in with my portable kit, so make use of these to tether the pole to any substantial fence post or bollard.
QSO's have resulted in good reports from those I've worked using my Yaesu FT-817 on the 40m and 20m bands for both SSB and Data modes (I'm a PSK addict!)
Callum provided first-class support after ordering the kit and is incredibly responsive to email with any queries. He also shares updates and modifications on his website. A top-notch chap to do business with, and he's got a great website where he shares his knowledge.
As a newbie to the hobby; this Antenna solution has opened up my enjoyment of the hobby given the limitations of operating from home.