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Reviews For: Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical

Category: Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile)

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Review Summary For : Buddipole Portable Dipole/Vertical
Reviews: 207MSRP: 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
More Info: http://www.buddipole.com
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
152074.5
KD5HUS Rating: 2019-10-29
Finally able to truly love using Buddipole Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned the Deluxe version with add-ons that I have purchased over the last 10 years. Yesterday was great as I was able to make contacts from Eastern Canada, Calgary Alberta Canada and then south to the Curacao islands. It made my day using my buddipole in a upward V configuration. Thanks guys, you made an old guy very happy.
KD6WKY Rating: 2018-02-13
Consistent Performer for over a Decade Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I operated a County Expedition in Del Norte County, CA in 2017 for the California QSO Party out of the Quality Inn and Suites in Crescent City, CA. My trusty Buddipole was what I used for my 40m and 80m contacts during the weekend contest. It's easy to use and set up. You must have an antenna analyzer to tune the antenna. The antenna is light weight and must be guyed securely. If possible, try and buddy up with someone that uses a Buddipole one time so you can see how it works. It's a must for portable HF operations.

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Earlier 5-star review posted by KD6WKY on 2012-12-24

I have used my Buddipole system for several years for both Field Day and the California QSO Party when I operate a County Expedition. I've found that this antenna system offers great reliable service in a kit that fits in a bag.

Taking time to learn how to use it makes all the difference. I highly recommend using a good antenna analyzer when setting up the Buddipole to speed the tuning of the antenna along.

This year I added the low band 80m coil with the 66' counterpoise kit. I had no difficulty setting it up or tuning it. Having never used it before I was able to set it up, adjust it, and get on the air, in the dark, in 15 minutes. This vertical antenna configuration using only 100 watts achieved excellent results across North America late in the evening.

Always guy the mast. Always guy the mast. Always guy the mast. If the antenna tips over, you will break a whip. This set up is well designed but it is light weight so respect it.

If you are able to set up the Buddipole with some elevation, all the better. I have used it on flat land and done well with it.

Spend the money, learn the system. You will be satisfied with the results.
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Earlier 5-star review posted by KD6WKY on 2012-10-20

I've used my Buddipole for several years as a portable HF antenna on Field Day and in the California QSO Party with great success. The system is easy to understand and set up.

In the 2012 CQP is used my BP on 15m, 40m, and 80m. On 15m and 40m I used the 9.5' whips for greater band width and less coil load as explained in the manual. It worked fine.

After dark I set up for 80m using the low band coil and counterpoise for the first time. I had to make two adjustments to the coil tap then achieved a 1.3:1 SWR with about a 70 KHz bandwidth at 2:1 SWR. Since I was using a run frequency I dialed up a quiet place and sent TEST de K6Y. I got a pile up going almost immediately with stations from as closed as 30 miles to stations across the country on the east coast. I was using 100w power.

I recommend BP for anyone wishing to work HF portable. It's quick to set up and get on the air, light weight enough to put in a carry bag, and strong enough to stay up in the wind with proper guying.

I'd buy it again. No regrets.

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Earlier 4-star review posted by KD6WKY on 2010-10-13

Used a standard Buddipole with about a 20' mast as my antenna for the California QSO Party this year. We set up in a prune orchard west of Winters, CA and tied down the assembly to the prune trees spaced very 18'.

We worked 211 contact, 45 states and two DX with 100w on both SSB and CW. We worked 40m, 20m, and 15m. 10m was not open.

Pretty easy to tune. Must be tied down. The antenna parts are not heavy duty. Treat the antenna with respect or you'll break something.

Bought it used for $100. It is worth what I paid for it.
K1OYQ Rating: 2018-01-30
Great Portable Antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is perhaps the best portable antenna on the market. I have homebrewed these and used a commercial Buddipole antennas for over 15 years. I think I own at least one of everything Buddipole makes (in most cases more). I can make various antennas from 80 meters to 2 meters. I use them extensively on trips, in my backyard, for training purposes, demonstrations, special events, experimenting, and on field day type operations. The various configurations for this antenna are a real plus. You can make various types of dipoles, various verticals, inverted vees, NVIS, beams (yes beams), and more. I have experimented with every type of antenna you can imagine, which adds to my working knowledge of antenna theory and field performance. Some configurations are more work to tune than others, and your mileage may differ depending on your setup. What is best about this antenna is that you can make a workable antenna in just about any setting. If one configuration doesn't perform well try another. I use the whips and coils as well as wire in various combinations. Now, this is a portable antenna system, not a permanent installation system. It will not stand up to constant use in harsh conditions. Keep that in mind when making the choice to purchase this antenna. One main point is that if it topples over, something is going to break --- always, always,--- repeat, always guy it or support it so it can't fall over! The variations of this antenna are virtually limitless. You don't need a tuner because you can create tuned antennas with it (tuners can be a plus though). An antenna analyzer is more than useful when setting up a Buddipole in any configuration. I've tried other types of portable antennas such as magnetic loops, end-feds, double bazookas, OCF dipoles, etc., but I always come back to the Buddipole. If you like to experiment and enjoy portable operations then this is the antenna for you. Oh yes, It is also great for weekend use in HOA restricted areas.

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Earlier 5-star review posted by K1OYQ on 2013-03-09

I started out with a homebrew version and liked it so much I bought the full monte. Over the past ten years I have purchased everything that Budd makes. I have used them on Field Day and trips with great success. Yes they take a little tweaking but there is a configuration for vertually every band. You have to know what your doing and you have to understand antenna basics to get the most out of the system. I've worked countries all over the world with the Buddipole system. It is also my goto antenna system for emergency communication and works great for this application. I can build beams, verticals, NVIS dipoles, OCF dipoles, slopers, end fed, dipoles, and directional beams using all the components I have. To me the fun is in setting up an antenna, tuning it for the conditions at hand, and working the DX. Those who give it a low rating may not understand antenna basics very well and have unreasonable expectations. BTW, Budd and Chris and company provide some of the best service in the industry. Thanks for a great antenna system Budd.
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Earlier 5-star review posted by K1OYQ on 2008-08-13

I've been using W3FF's Buddipole system for 6 years now. I started out with homebrew Buddipoles and eventually bought the commercial version. The antenna is versatile and work great. The support is outstanding and the product is top quality. The Buddipole Users Group is friendly and full of very useful information. The best part about this antenna system is the fun you have tinkering with different setups. I've built beams, colinear arrays, stacked dipoles, vees and more. I use them every field day. This one is definitely worth the money.
KN7AT Rating: 2017-04-03
Works well -- but --- Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned the buddipole Deluxe for about two years. It has been my main antenna, hidden behind some oleander bushes at the rear of my home in an HOA neighborhood. I've had good results with the antenna as long as I don't have to change bands. In the 2016 Field Day, working CW-Low Power on 20 meters, I was able to work the entire northern tier of states from WA to NY; not bad for a dipole at 12ft. My only complaint is the time it takes to change bands and adjust element lengths for lowest SWR. In my case 15 minutes is not untypical to get the job done; too much time for my liking.

Construction and materials is first rate. There's a very active users group to help with any questions or issues you may have. All in all, I recommend this antenna as long as quick band changes are not essential.
K7ER Rating: 2017-03-04
Works Great Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have a good friend that has the full kit. Also my Son just bought one too. I feel that the build quality is awesome. It is not fair to have some old crotchety folks complaining about it. Some people are just animals and expect everything to withstand abuse. Like all products take care of them and they will last.. Have used one in different configurations it is amazing for what it is. Portability is great also fit and finish. This is a purfect setup for HOA, Apt or just hill topping.Being able to adjust the antenna from a dipole to a vertical in minutes is a plus..
Be nice all 73 de K7ER
DL4AC Rating: 2016-09-11
Poor quality; high price Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Works quite well but the cable, the little connectors and one coil are now defect. Price is much to high for this quality!
KG7QYJ Rating: 2016-07-27
Quality issues Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have what you would consider the full range of Buddipole products. The initial purchase process was ok, there were some serious issues with the folding mast requiring 2 replacements. One of the wing nut adjusters on the telescoping pole fell off. They replaced it. Now the bolts on the telescoping pole are rusting after a year or so of VERY light use....in Arizona where we don't get much rain. The Red/Black connector cable doesn't hold up in the sun very well - fades and gets loose too....as do the coil tap wires.

I can't imagine these products getting the kind of heavy use they portray in their promotional material and holding up. Otherwise they work well. I've made contacts in Europe and New Zealand with the simple dipole setup.

Kind of expensive for how they hold up.

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Earlier 5-star review posted by KG7QYJ on 2015-06-23

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.
KA2NCD Rating: 2016-06-30
Poor Quality Bad Business Practice Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I want to preface the following regarding the Buddipole products. The long telescoping whips sold separately if dropped accidentally fall apart at the bottom by the connector thread. Try getting a replacement and you’re out of luck. I've lost several and the remainder will stay in the case. The HF low band coils are made of thin plastic while the ends are glued together. These coils have been used for approximately one year only on weekends and in suitable go box weather. While setting up using the rigid shock whip and the HF low band coil I noticed the capped end (where the coil screws into the whip or the VersaTee) was loose. It appeared to me at a first glance that the coil end is snapped together. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. The coil ends top and bottom are glued (poor design). I called Buddipole and explained the situation. I sent them a picture as requested and was accused of dropping the coil. However, they asked me to send the coil back for repair or replacement. As of this review the coil is still with the mold injector (over 2 weeks) with no response or customer follow up from Buddipole. I'm not sure I will be purchasing any other products from Buddipole especially with this poor customer service and attitude!
G0GBZ Rating: 2016-03-30
Excellent, Easy to use and carry.. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
After moving into a (temporary) ground floor apartment I was unable to have any outside antenna's, this led me into Portable working. I took my trusty 20 ft 4 section GRP telescopic mast and my home made wire for 40/80m. A bit of a bind to find a good site to erect it all and problems with space in my vehicle. The Buddipole system entered the equation, after much reading I took the plunge and purchased a Buddipole Deluxe kit, a TRSB balun, an 80m low band coil and the counterpoise kit. This counterpoise is without doubt one of the most important items to have and when used with my analyzer I get 1.2:1 swr in most set ups. Fantastic difference to setting up and space taken in the car. So far I have worked 40 and 80 m with excellent results in different locations, so much so that I bought another Deluxe package to set up in different configurations to evaluate one setup against the other (as well as a spares package in case of any field damage) The New multi-functional Versa Tee design is only what can be described as Superb, it allows so many configurations with Buddipole equipment and other systems, Wires, whips etc.. The TRSB switch is good and is easy to include in the set up, only downer is it is rated at 100 watts. Now retired I have decided to make the most of the Buddipole System so if you hear me on, give me a call...
73, Norm G0GBZ
KQ4YA Rating: 2016-01-14
Serves its purpose well Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The advantages are these in my opinion:

Great support - both from the company and the Buddipole group on Yahoo. There's an old-fashioned feeling to the company because of the personal service. A lot of companies claim to offer great support - you would need to experience the support to understand just how good it is. You'll be impressed.

Excellent build quality - the system is well-engineered, sturdy and attractive.

Any of the undersized portable antenna systems I have used (including the Buddipole system) lag in performance compared to a full-sized wire antenna. I use the Buddipole when I don't have the time, inclination or the trees to put up a wire antenna while traveling. It's easy to assemble, easy to take down - often an important plus for quick stays in a cabin or rented home. And because it's over-engineered I don't have to worry whether it survived the trip.

The system easily rates a 5 when evaluated as a portable antenna system. I haven't used all the portable systems and can't say with any certainty that it's the best on-air performer of the group. But, to me, that's like trying to judge a dancing contest held among the clumsy. A wire dipole up high will beat any of these systems. They are special purpose antennas and, with that criteria, I feel comfortable recommending the Buddipole.