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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: 215MSRP: 199.
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
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WD9CMD Rating: 2010-07-22
One Fine Portable Outfit Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Planning a trip to the Bahamas this summer, I looked at all the portable antenna options. Most are loaded verticals, which is not a bad option, but I wanted something more. I found Buddipole.

Setup is simple and not to worry, the manual gets you real close with only fine tuning necessary. Then, with the versatee you can set up the antenna as a "loaded versatee vertical" or,... on the higher bands, you may set up the antenna to resonate without loading. It don't stop there ! I used the buddipole deluxe kit with a few extra options offered by the Buddipole folks to make a two element 6m beam.

I used this beam with great sucess from Nassau this summer. I caught a great opening and worked over 100 stations in just a few hours. All with 20w out. The beam worked great. Later I switched to a 20m versatee vertical and also had great results.

One thing to understand,....these antennas are not permanent antennas. They are intended for portable use and can be damaged if left up in high winds. I knew this going in, so each night, I lowered the mast and collapsed the antenna elements.

Of all the portables, this one is affordable, extreemly flexible, and great service from the manufacturer.
Enjoy !!
G4BEE Rating: 2010-07-14
Absolutely delighted with results Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Got my Buddipole (mini version) last year - the guys at Buddipole were very accomodating in shipping it to my son on holiday in USA saving me lots in postage (and duty!) but I digress. I bought this for my trips to 9H, having used a variety of other aerials (ATX Walkabout, wire dipole, long wire & ATU) and been disappointed on previous trips. It's very well made, easily assembled and light enough for 'carry on' on the plane and hasn't attracted attention in the airport security scanners. On my last two trips with my FT817 I've made over 40+ SSB and CW QSOs each time on HF, operating in a non 'too serious' manner with best DX over to W1, and yes the 9H call probably helps but I've been really delighted with the performance. I don't have an analyser so it takes a bit of fiddling around when you first set up, but hey isn't this what amateur radio is all about ? Also used it as a vertical with good results too. Although you get some initial guidance on setting the taps etc, for the experimenters there's plenty of scope too. So all in all, yes a bit pricey but very well made and I'm delighted with it.. definately a keeper for me ! Great user group on Yahoo too where the Buddipole guys often respond & help out. 73s Ray (G4BEE/9H3BR)
N4LA Rating: 2010-07-12
Impressive !! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
All I can say is WOW !.... My first 5 SSB contacts on the new antenna were :

1. UT7UV ... Ukraine
2. YU1DW ... Serbia
3. ER4DX ... Moldova
4. MI0LLL ... N. Ireland
5. CT1FJZ ... Portugal

It took me about 15 minutes total to set the antenna up using a antenna analyzer ..... I have a big tower with a large Force 12 multi-band yagi in my backyard ... and work anything on the band... and NO the Buddipole is not in the same league as my 15 element multi-band yagi at 100ft ...and I don't expect it to be...
But this little Buddipole blew me away !! ....... NO, I'm usually not FIRST in the pile-ups either ... but so far, this thing really plays well for it's size .... and the fun factor is ... Off The Hook !!
The quality of the parts are outstanding ... the customer service is 5 star all the way .....and everything works as advertised.
Bottom line ... If you like experimenting with antennas or you like operating portable ... and want a quality antenna that gets the job done ... then order the Buddipole or Buddistick.
And YES ... I was VERY SURPRISED at the performance !!
Insiders Tip .... Get a Antenna Analyzer if you don't already have one .... It will make your Buddipole experience 100% better.
KC6YFR Rating: 2010-06-23
Works just as I had expected. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I'm just returning to radio after some years off. I live in a CC&R development. The BP is bungied to the railing around the deck.I bought the Standard Buddipole and used a painter's pole for the mast. We're high enough from the trail that the antenna is almost invisible. My neighbors are very supportive especially after explaining my emergency communications possibilities here in earthquake country, to say nothing of the potential for wildfires.
I find the tuner in my TS 2000 all I need to tune the antenna. Even though it's near vertical, my first contact was with a ham in Michigan. The second was with a ham in BC.
I plan on adding more taps, the devices that allow vertical configuration, more poles and longer radials. So far so good.
KB1PGH Rating: 2010-06-23
So far so good! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The premise starts that I live in a place where the electrical noise is unbelievaable so I am forced to go portable.After reading several reviews on Eham I decided to go for the Buddipole Deluxe Version with accesories.I`ll have to say by the time I was done I had spent quite a few bucks to get all the accesories that are needed to get the full potential out of this system.The Buddipole system comes shipped in a very nice storage bag.I got the 16 Ft mast long version so I got the long bag which is designed to stand up for the life of the Buddipole.The Buddipole comes well shipped with all parts in their own seperate plastic bags.All the parts are very high quality construction which thank God considering the amount of money I just spent.I bought the TSRB,The 6 METER Beam Kit,2 extra accesory arms and 4 Long whips.$$$$$$$!!!!!.Then again I will have many antenna options to choose from.The Tripod,mast and antenna arms are made with very light weight aircraft grade aluminum.I can see how some may think that they may not be able to handle the strain or last but that is not the case.The plastic molded Versatee and the plastic coils also seem heavy duty enough.I will say that I have only one chance to set it up and operate.I set up the Buddipole on 20 meters with all 4 accesory arms and extra long whips and with the help of the MJF Antenna analyzer in less than 10 minutes the SWR was 1.5.1 .With the mast only 16 FT off the ground we talked to Germany,Austria and Texas and I was a happy camper.The tripod worked great with it`s extendable legs and the 16 FT mast held up with it`s locking twist knobs.If I had any advice it would be for people considering buying a Buddipole please buy the long 9.5 Ft whips and the extra accessory arms to make life easier when tuning.If you take the simple time to read the directions and tune this antenna properly you shouldn`t need an antenna tuner.I did buy the MFJ analyzer and that helped greatly with the fine tuning and having not to back to the radio to tune up all the time.I also bought the Buddipole in the Field Handbook which was great read and learning tool before I bought the antenna.Ok,chucking a wire dipole in a tree would be just about the same thing and much cheaper but whereas I live in a city and trees and the room is scarce the Buddipole is for me.Plus with the rotating arm kit I can make inverted vees and L`s.I have not tried out the vertical antenna option yet but at least that another option I have with the Buddipole.Plus it is making me learn more about DX take off angles and other antenna theory.This antenna may not be exactly for the "Plug and Play" minded person but if you can`t handle setting the simple Buddipole antenna up and lack the 2 seconds of patience playing around with it and getting things right who knows if ham radio is the hobby for you.At least this antenna will get me to play ham outside in the nice weather.Oh by the way-guy down the mast at all times!!!
REMOVED_KB8UYZ Rating: 2010-06-20
Very happy with this antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Not normally a eHam user, but thought I should post a review of this antenna.

I bought the Buddipole for an offroad camping and Jeep trip in Arkansas a couple weeks ago. Assembly was quick and painless. I operated primarily on 20 meters, but this antenna tuned perfectly on 20, 15 and 10 meters with MFJ-969 tuner. Obviously, this is a portable antenna, so should not be compared to beams or other higher-gain antennas. But, for a portable antenna with quick setup and excellent portability, I would highly recommend the Buddipole. I used in horizontal dipole configuration.

I also was very happy with the level of customer service I received when purchasing this antenna.
KC2QBK Rating: 2010-06-20
Be prepared Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased a Buddipole Deluxe for Field Day.
The items are packed VERY well.
This Deluxe version has a nifty carrying case and
a 10 foot mast. Assembly of the hardware is easy
and the entire antenna can be put together in less than 15 minutes without rushing - very good.

Here is my unfair complaint. The directions do advise an antenna analyzer. I found it mandatory.
The taps do not coincide with the best band match.
Element extensions do not correlate either.
I am using a MFJ antenna analyzer and creating my own chart for coil taps & elements.

I see that the majority like this product - so far, so do i.

I plan to play with an auto tuner to see whether this helps.

I will post a follow-up after field day.

N5IVZ Rating: 2010-06-12
Durable! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Had my unit for almost 3 years... it is hanging in blown down last year but the elements were super easy to fix and continues to run effectively...
i live in a restricted antenna neigborhood so this is a life saver hidden in my lemon tree!

Earlier 5-star review posted by N5IVZ on 2009-12-28

If you are located in a non-friendly antenna neighborhood such as this ham, the buddipole has been invaluable in keeping me on the air...

And the service is tremendous!
Earlier 5-star review posted by N5IVZ on 2006-09-02

Easy to set up. My only problem was setting up the coil taps. I called W3FF and he cleared it up immediately.

I spent 15 years in the military and was impressed with the MILITARY Quality of the components. Solid Look and Feel. I ordered the black antenna since i live in an antenna restricted neighborhood.

My first test was with W3FF! Imagine that!! The CEO helps test the antenna!!

So far, it loads up easily with my Kenwood 850sat tuner. I have it set for 20 meters and it tunes easily for 17 and 20. It will need an adjustment for 10.

Strongley recommend this antenna! Big improvement over my dipole!
W3ULS Rating: 2010-06-12
Excellent Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My XYL placed the order and since we wanted black whips it took a little longer. But the Buddipole arrived as promised by Chris. It is beautifully engineered to fit in its own sturdy carry case.

What surprised me was the quality of the various parts. Machined, polished and ready to go. My XYL and I set it up last night on our condo balcony ten stories up from the street level and I quickly began hearing CW on 40 meters I have not heard before in this location. Portugal, Brazil (Leoncsis Island) and the UK for starters. Then I moved to 30 and heard Estonia and Israel.

It will be a while before I transmit, because I will have to figure out the best SWR for each band and the necessary counterpoise configurations. Suffice to say, it looks very promising.

My "4" rating is due to the fact that I am a little gunshy about the durability of the product. Its parts seem a little delicate. We will, of course, give it good care, but we also will be putting it up and taking it down frequently and I'm not sure how it will hold up over time.

Also, I would have appreciated a small printed owner's manual instead of the several separate printed pieces that accompany the Buddipole. A little more guidance would have been useful to get started.

Given these caveats, it's an excellent product and worth the money.
N1MIE Rating: 2010-03-26
Great Buy Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I purchased mine last year as I was putting together a portable station. I bought the deluxe and have since added several other pieces (long whips, low-band coils, longer mast, and more). This is a great product, well designed and functions as well or better than claimed. Some of the complaints about sturdiness are unfair. Sure, the whips will break if it tips over. But learn from someone elses mistakes and make sure you guy it as you erect it, or use sand/water bottles to add weight to the tripod. I love my Buddipole and sometimes even use it to make contacts from home in my yard.