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Reviews For: Chameleon Modular Portable Antenna System (MPAS) 2.0

Category: Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile)

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Review Summary For : Chameleon Modular Portable Antenna System (MPAS) 2.0
Reviews: 8MSRP: 550
The Modular Portable Antenna System (MPAS) 2.0 is a concept allowing the radio operator to configure and deploy the antenna system in a variety of configurations based on operational needs and field conditions. It will operate from 1.8 to 54.0 MHz and is ideal for ARES/RACES and hams that need a rugged and flexible portable antenna system. Some of the possible deployment configurations are: man-packable vertical, base camp vertical, Horizontal NVIS, Sloper, End-Fed Inverted "L" and "V", and more. The MPAS 2.0 is the one antenna for all portable HF operating requirements.
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NF6P Rating: 2023-07-24
Results that show up in your log! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
MPAS 2.0 Antenna System for the RV Operator

Recently, QST reviewed the Chameleon HF Modular Portable Antenna System (MPAS) version 2.0. I have owned this antenna since February 2022. All of my use has been from our RV. My wife and I live, work, and travel full-time in our 32-foot Newmar Bay Star Sport motorhome. The QST article explained that the MPAS 2.0 is a flexible system configured as a vertical or in several wire configurations, most all end fed. I have set up and used the antenna in configurations that vary from the RV sites we stay at.

Since the QST review included the details of this antenna system, I’ll focus on how it performs. The following numbers are from my logbook since using the MPAS exclusively. The log shows 148 DXCC countries, 33 zones, WAS, and six continents. Not to mention 1190 counties. That is 6,172 mostly casual QSOs since February 2022 from FL, OK, GA, TN, and AL. That demonstrates one heck of an antenna for portable operations. All of that at 100 watts or less with my Yaesu FT-891 radio in the RV and spread about on CW, SSB, and digital modes. It included DXCC CW and WAS CW, SSB, and digital. DXCC mixed was achieved on both 20 and 15 meters.

Because I have embraced Parks on the Air operations this year, my POTA contacts as an activator are 3251 QSOs, with me hunting 660 POTA operations. The MPAS is a performer for POTA, and the flexibility to set it up in so many ways is needed because each campsite is unique.

The MPAS is expensive, but I needed a quality setup to put up with many deployments at the more than 150 RV stops we’ve made. When I have no trees, we deploy the system in the vertical configuration. I will utilize six radials when we’re staying someplace longer than a few nights, and I believe the bulk of my DX has been in the vertical configuration. I use the capacitance hat with the vertical and the guying kit when staying in a location for a while. Otherwise, I’ll get the wire part of the MPAS kit up 40 feet plus when trees are available. Using an arborist throw and rope bag makes it a quick install, and I often have an inverted “L” when finished. This configuration of the MAPS works well on 30-40-80 meters. The vertical is just not as efficient on 40 and 80 meters.

The antenna does need a tuner to match the impedance to the radio. We’re using the LDG Z-11Pro 2 without issues, matching the MPAS wire on all bands. RF issues on USB cables in the setup were tamed with ferrite chokes. I use a 30-amp PS in the RV, but my 120-volt system is supplemented by solar, an inverter, and a generator if needed. We can also hook up the radio system to use 12 volts from our six 6-volt house batteries wired in series parallel.

Some discussion has been in the various forums and groups on the internet about antenna impedance matching to 50 ohms with end-fed transformers. The MPAS uses a 5:1 ratio transformer. It’s a compromise but allows this antenna to work on every band with an external trans match. The point is that even with losses, we have worked our share of stations, and the DX performance is proven. We don’t always break a pileup, but using proven operating techniques, we make the QSO.

I have the MPAS with the Chameleon Micro Hybrid transformer. I run between 75 and 100 watts SSB, 100 watts CW (usually 25+ WPM), and 35 watts in digital modes. The Micro does get warm to the touch after extended operating. This causes the SWR to increase rapidly at times. This mostly happens during POTA pileups I’ve observed. I’ve considered updating to the Hybrid Mini to handle the power, but it’s pretty expensive for an update. I’ve tried QRP in the past and frankly get frustrated with it. So 100 watts is my sweet spot.

You can build antennas like this yourself. But you’ll need quality parts. Chameleon uses real-quality wire and parts for this system. It packs nicely into the included bag with plenty of space for the extra items I’ve included. This antenna has been satisfying as an operator and our lifestyle as full-time RVers.
OH3CBT Rating: 2022-10-09
Great antenna for portable operation Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
At first, have to tell that i didn't bought this kit as complete set.
First i bought Hybrid Micro with 18m wire. I was really happy about its performance.
Bought spike and both verticals, MIL + EXT.
Made 4xradials 7.62m each. Also got backpack.
So basicly i have same setup as whole kit.
I have used the official kit before, since my friend bought it and got chance to test it. I was impressed about it and wanted

Antenna is fast to put together, spike is excellent. Had some small problems with the threads, but added some lubrication and been working well since. Also used antiseize paste as instructed.
Performance is great, been using a lot with digital modes. Got contacts to Asia area and also to south america with 15W. Using Xiegu G90.
Unfortunately i lost antenna top cap, asked replacement and was shocked about 40$ shipping for such a small part. So i made replacement from bike valve hat.
Kit includes backpack, but have to say, it is not well desing
1. It is great that you can get straps inside the flap, but when it is open...the small velcro doesn't hold it for long time. Mine came off many times in short time. I rather turn it to the bottom part and it would be better if it can tuck inside. Nice idea but this is not working.
2. One of the sewed sholder strap parts ripped of when carrying radio gear first time.
3. Access only from side which makes packing difficult.
4. Vertical antenna doesn't fit fully inside, only if its corner to corner. Also zipper is too short so have to put other end inside first to back coner, then antenna goes inside.
So my opnion isnthat backpack is not well design.
It feels good in the back, good pockets. But if you can buy this kit without backpack, i recommend to do so.
I only reviewed antenna, but left that backpack out from this review.
73 de OG3E/OH3CBT
EI3IBB Rating: 2021-07-24
Superb Antenna! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Update 24 July 2021

Experimenting with more radials, just 4 in total, last weekend I got from Ireland to Oman on 40m, A41NN, 4000 miles, 6,300 Kms that was indeed quite a surprise, did just 3 extra radials make a difference ? no idea but definitely it changed the SWR from around 1.8 - 2.8 and I read that if connecting more radials changes SWR it's probably reducing ground losses, I use the MFJ-939 to keep the radio happy. More testing on 40m over the weekend.

On the 4th June 21 I managed to get VK3TJK on 20m, I was beside myself......MPAS 2.0 is a really super antenna, no it's not a yagi but for a portable 17 foot vertical it really is quite impressive.

I have the CAP HAT too.


Still making great DX with this antenna from Ireland, I have great fun hitting South America and North America, I won't be booming in but I can be heard with 100 Watts, just last night made contact with KP4DZ in Puerto Rico on 20m, he was using 100w and G5RV and I 100W.

I don't usually be on at the right times for DX in the Middle East, Asia or Oceania but a couple of nights ago I could hear a station in Australia and he was talking to a station for a good while in Northern Ireland but he went for breakfast after that QSO, I could hardly hear him on my EFHW but clear as a bell on the MPAS 2.0 it's a really quiet antenna on RX and also makes an excellent SWL antenna.

I still have it set up on the front lawn since I got it over a year ago and I use the NOALOX anti seize compound which is essential on the Aluminium bits. It's survived the battering of an Irish Stormy and very wet Winter without any issue, it's still as good as new.

Expensive antenna but in my opinion worth every cent. I know some QRZ folk are critical of EHAM reviews but my experience with the MPAS 2.0 has been nothing but positive and if you get it you will not be disappointed but get the CAP HAT and maybe the extra radial kit, I intend to get this soon, still using the single radial.

I intended to use the MPAS 2.0 for portable use only but use it now as a base antenna because it works so well, that says a lot.

Original Review 2020-07-26

I received the MPAS 2.0 around the 24th of May and I have made several contacts to South America from Ireland on 20 meters which blew me away the first time I contacted South America with this portable antenna, in fact, I am so impressed with it that I am leaving it permanently installed on the front lawn and will take it down only for portable use. I can set it up and take it down in 5 mins.

I got the CAP HAT which is not part of the kit and it allows several bands to be used with no tuner, see below at the end my SWR readings taken via the Rig Expert analyser. It certainly seems to work because most of the youtube videos I've seen without the CAP HAT seem to have much higher SWR than I do and I use only the single supplied counterpoise.

I use the MPAS with the FT-891 and MFJ-939Y for the bands I need a tuner, 160, 80m and the higher portion of 10m. The MFJ-939 and FT-891 are a great match, once set up properly in order to tune you simply press PTT and up on the hand mic and it sets a carrier and reduced power automatically, that's pretty cool. The FT-891 is a fantastic compact 100 Watt radio with really great audio via headphones that is better than the 7300!

I've made contacts around Europe on 40m, I haven't tried DX on 40 yet, I've made contacts to the U.K on 80m but not spent much time on 80m with it. The Supplied wire antenna will be much better for 160 and 80m NVIS, I haven't used the wire much either because I have been having so much fun chasing DX on 20m.

If you get the MPAS 2.0 then make sure to get the CAP HAT, it will make it more efficient by lowering the SWR and widen the bandwidth of the antenna, it does limit portability and it's not designed to disassemble so once the HAT is assembled leave it assembled you can take it off if you go portable and don't have the room for the HAT and pit it back on when you need or for home use.

If you intend to leave it up all year round then use of the NOALOX or similar is essential on the joints of the Aluminium extension.

I am 100% satisfied with the MPAS 2.0, it has greatly exceeded my expectations for a portable antenna, build quality is superb.

Here's my SWR readings using the Spike, Hybrid Micro, Whip + aluminium extension, single supplied counterpoise and the CAP HAT. ( not supplied )

160m 3.1
80m 2.6
40m 1.87
20m 1.4
17m 1.18
15m 1.4
12m 2.1
10m 1.9 -2.4 for the higher part, use the wipe without extension for 10m ?
K0LEF Rating: 2021-04-21
Great product! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have had the MPAS 2.0 for a bit over six months. I really am impressed with the build quality and the versatility. The verticals works really well. If the wind is blowing over 50 mph I can set up a sloper. I am happy that I bought it. Normal 30-40mph wind and the verticals are fine.
K5YAC Rating: 2021-02-02
Fantastic Field Antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Received my MPAS 2.0 on Jan 29, just in time for Winter Field Day. Band conditions weren't the greatest but my portable field kit performed well with the MPAS 2.0 in the vertical long whip configuration. Operating from Oklahoma I was working coast to coast and up into VE-land fairly effectively. Even worked Belgium on 20m early Saturday and heard several European stations over the last few days.

Conducted testing with the MFJ-259B, a Daiwa CN-901HP, an LDG 100ProII and the rig, an FT-450D. SWR is
W5HRH Rating: 2019-07-21
This is an Outstanding portable antenna! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've had my CHA MPAS 2.0 kit for almost a month now and here are some of my preliminary findings. Thus far I've used only the CHA Hybrid-Micro, CHA MIL 2.0, CHA MIL EXT 2.0, 25ft counterpoise wire and mounting spike. It took me 10-15 minutes to set it all up, but now that I've done it, I know I can get it all up and operational in less than 5 minutes! The antenna is ground-mounted. I first paired the antenna with a Xiegu G90, 20-watt transceiver. I have worked stations on both the east coast and west coast of the U.S. and several stations in between. I then paired the MPAS with my Yaesu FT-891 and, that's the sweet spot duo. I run the 891 at 80 watts. For the most part, if I can hear it, I can talk to it. I'm not a Dx'er! On many occasions the MPAS rivals my 27-foot ZERO-Five verticle. SWR's on 20, 17, 15 and 12 meters are less than 2:1. SWR's on 40 and 10 meters 3.2:1 (the LDG 100 Plus gets that down to 1.5:1). On 75 meters at 3.900 MHz, the SWR is 2.9:1. The Xiegu G90 has its own built-in wide-range tuner and cleans up any SWR associated with this antenna as does the LDG. Bottom line, this is an outstanding antenna system and I would definitely recommend it to any ham radio operator who works portable, has HOA restrictions or just want to play with antennas. My hat goes off to the folks at Chameleon Antenna. Oh, I forgot to mention that Chameleon has a 25-page instruction .pdf manual for the CHA MPAS 2.0 at their website that contains a wealth of information about this system and antennas in general. Well done Chameleon! 73's, Rudy W5HRH
KB5GP Rating: 2019-07-19
Flexible Antenna System Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have used this system in several different configurations for portable QRP operations with good results despite less than nominal band conditions. The Mil Whip and Mil Extension worked very well with both the clamp and Cha Spike. I took the MPAS 2.0 to Field Day and set it up as a NVIS antenna. Operators were very impressed with the results on 40 and 75 meters and we will use this part of the system with our new EmComm trailer that we are building for use in a small coastal city. The NVIS using the clamp, Cha Mini and 60' wire at 12 ft was perfect for short to mid range contacts that will be required for an area wide emergency. Although the price is a bit high, all components are well made and should hold up well for many portable operations.
KV4AN Rating: 2019-06-30
All the portable antenna you need in one bag Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The MPAS 2.0 is very flexible as you can use it as a vertical whip antenna when setting up in a clear area or as a horizontal wire antenna when you have trees or even as a man-packable whip antenna when hiking. You get everything you need for portable HF in one olive-green backpack. It is easy to setup in either the whip or wire configuration and works all bands 160-6 and works perfect with my Yaesu FT-817 and Elecraft T1 tuner.