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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
N4SRQ Rating: 2010-03-24
Works indoors as well! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Like many I live in a deed restricted community. Fortunately, I have a two story home. I placed the antenna upstairs and was surprised at how well this worked out for us. I was very pleased with the results. Outside while on the mast I find it easy to tune (by ear or by the buddipole guide) and my tuner has very little work to do thereafter. Well engineered, well built, and easy to tote when you need to. I haven't set up for 160M so I cannot speak to that.
N2MHA Rating: 2010-01-11 antenna and customer service is next to none! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just received my "new to me" Buddipole antenna.

This antenna is a fantastic piece of equipment to go along nicely with my FT-817ND while QRPing from the trail.

Although I purchased this antenna from a private individual, the technical support I have received from Chris has been top notch!

Thanks for putting out a great product!

72 and 73!
N6ISL Rating: 2009-10-21
Amazing little package Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I recently moved for work and found ourselves in leased housing for a bit. So looking for options short of any permanent installations. After hearing some other recommendations I picked up the Buddipole Deluxe package with the tall mast.

Easy to erect out of the package. In my zest to get the antenna set up for Saturday morning of the recent BSA JOTA, I managed to topple the setup and broke one of the telescoping whips. Thinking I was DOA, I was pleasantly surprised to find a spare in the kit. So up she went with the guy lines securely out.

Running an old FT-900-AT @ 100 watts into the antenna I was able to make Japan (5-7) and heard the boomers across the country. Made a few other contacts for a good day.

Fired up after work last night and had a great QSO with an op at Elmendorf AFB EARS station.

Very pleased with my first contacts.
VA7ION Rating: 2009-10-17
Best portable antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought the Buddipole a few month ago. Working stations in middle Russia and Mexico with 25W PSK mode was always a breeze. What impressed me thou was that my first contact with my newly acquired FT-817, 5W SSB mode, working from middle of BC Canada was with a Japanese station, JO7CVU. Ken gave me a 55 RST report.
Way to go Buddipole!
W6RDG Rating: 2009-08-20
Let us gather to sing the praises of Budd and his Pole! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
ok... first things first... this is a portable multi-band antenna that will likely be mounted fairly close to the ground, in less than ideal conditions, and can not compete with a beam or band-cut half-wave dipole or just about anything stuck up 40-50 foot in the air.

with that understanding, this is an amazing piece of kit and budd and chris are wonderfully supportive, creative and great to do business with.

i picked up my BPDeluxe used and it came with the 8ft mast, versatee coupler and rotating arms, so i was able to start mucking around almost right away... after trying the antenna in the traditional horizontal dipole position, i quickly realized the take off angle was gonna do me 'bupkis'for any kind of DX work, and started to play with some of the other configurations... eventually i configured the antenna as a center fed tilted dipole (45 degrees) and almost immediately worked W1AW from my backyard in San Jose, CA using my K3/100... a little luck, some good band openings, and i continued to work all across the US and Canada, literally coast to coast, plus AK and HI, with lots of surprised reports of "a buddipole? wow, sounds great!"

ok... that would rate a solid 4, so here's where the 5 comes from... after playing with the antenna for about a week or so i decided i wanted to purchase some extra bits (extra clips, couple of mini banana plugs so i could build a different feed cable, etc) and got an email from Budd asking me if everything was okay with the system... i said it was, just getting extras, and he started to offer all kinds of suggestions on configuration, tuning, etc. one configuration included a single 40ft sloping radial (wire from the versatee to a point about 2 ft about ground)... i went out early one morning and started to string the wire... as i crossed the yard i gave the wire a bit of a tug to take up the slack and... TIMBER... down came the tripod, bending one of the elements and cracking one of the mast clamps... may mistake, my responsibility (heck, if you don't break something you ain't having fun) but when i sent some photos to budd he immediately offered to replace the busted parts, and has been with me every step of the way as i've rebuilt my antenna stronger, faster, smarter (we have the technology)

so my bottom line is this... if i can take a modern rig, running 100w, set it up on my kitchen table and run a wire out the back door to something temporarily stuck in the middle of my back yard, and work stations all across the US from my valley home in california during times of really crappy propagation, i am a happy little ham!

a full set up is a little expensive, and you can probably replicate the results with homebrew components... but if you're looking for a solid, reliable, flexible antenna you can set up, take down, and throw in the trunk of your car, and care about customer service for "stuff" that happens (even stupid stuff that shouldn't happen), please to consider a Buddipole!
KB1G Rating: 2009-08-10
$200.00 doesn't get you there Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Let me start by saying that Chris is a great guy and is very responsive. I just feel people need to know that the basic package doesn't get you there and some things need improvement.

I started off with the basic package and then got the tripod and set to work with my portable station. The first impression is that the antenna is far from easy to tune because you have to asymmetrically feed it to get a 50 ohm match, and the tap and tap positions chase each other a bit. It is also very reactive (like anything close to the ground), with it's environment, so a setup one place won't necessarily be right in another. It is a tinkerer's antenna for sure.

You will also need more clips. I like to preset the clips for several bands . You also really need the rotating arm kit to make this antenna useful because in a dipole configuration, it is an NVIS antenna on 30 and 40 unless you get it into a vertical position. I LOVE the rotating arm kit! It is by far the most robust part of the package. Rock solid and very versatile.

Now for the non-robust part. The whips are not sturdy at all. They will not survive a tip over, and loosen over time. Get the commercial shock cord whips. They are a dream! I use the 4 section version. I keep the standard whips for 6 and 2 meters only.

The clips for the coil taps and coax into the versa tee are another weakness. The loosen over time and make poor contact after a respectable amount of disconnects. I solved the issue with the feed point by crimping ring terminals on the coax and attacking directly to the ends of the tee where the arms come in. Much better connection. Still haven't solved the connection on the coils yet, but the new pins Chris has are better.

The 12 foot mast is a real pain. They use nylon compression gaskets on each section, and they are forever slipping or binding. Find another mast alternative to this one and you will be happier.

I just used this antenna for a lighthouse event and had great results. You just need to come to an understanding of the antenna, and realize that the laws of RF still apply. It is an excellent choice for 20-6 meters, and a pretty decent compromise on 40/30. I would recommend it with the aforementioned configuration.

One last word. Get the TRSB balun! Makes symmetrical feeding possible, and is a big tuning improvement. The mount is goofy, but we are hams. We need to tinker. Good for the soul.

Bill KB1G
K7RBW Rating: 2009-07-14
Amazing piece of equipment Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've only had it for a day, but I'm very impressed. Within 20 minutes of receiving the box from the USP courier, I was on the air with it. It would have been 10 minutes if I'd read the directions more carefully!

I bought the mini-Buddipole which comes in a very compact bag. The quality of construction is first-rate. This is a professional-quality piece of equipment. There's nothing home-brew about it.

I had no problem tuning the dipole antenna for each of the Ham bands from 40m to 2-meters. I was only able to get the top-half of 40m to tune for some reason, however. I'll need to look into that some more. For most bands, the downloadable tuning guide was right on. For a couple, I needed to tweak them so I just made some notes that will travel with the antenna kit.

One advantage of the dipole kit is that you can also make a vertical out of it. The trick to the vertical, I found, is tuning the counterpoise. Again, this worked pretty much as described in the documentation.

Before buying this, I thought that I'd need an analyzer to tune the antenna, but it turns out that tweaking the antenna without one is very straightforward. I was able to tune the dipole on the first try for most of the bands and it never took more than 3-trips back to the antenna to dial it in. Tuning the vertical was a little tricker but only because I forgot to tune the counterpoise wire (and make sure it was well connected to the Versatee).

Overall, this is a great piece of gear and perfect for portable and limited-space operations. At home, mine goes on top of a 10-foot tripod mounted mast that sits on my back deck. It goes from stored to transmitting in about 10-minutes. Can't wait to take it out into the field!

Bob, K7RBW
NT9M Rating: 2009-07-13
Will never part with it Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had my Buddipole for three and a half years now.

I took it with me to Field Day again this year expecting to set it up for 6 meters, but another club member had already set up a 6 meter antenna. So I decided to set up a dedicated 10 meter station. The BP was quickly deployed in a horizontal dipole configuration, with the tripod bungeed to the roof rack on my Jeep Liberty. With 10 meter E-skip working on Saturday I stayed busy working tons of 10 meter qso's from the opening bell until I pulled the plug around 8:30 p-m.

Last year when I was without my usual tower mounted 6 meter yagi because of a recent move, the BP was pressed into 6 meter service and I worked many a state with the BP on my second story deck and 10 watts from a Kenwood TS600.

It's this flexibility and versatility that will forever keep my faithful BP as part of my ham radio experience. Don't know how anyone could dislike this little antenna system!
W8PMR Rating: 2009-07-13
exceeded expectations Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I am a new ham. I purchased my Buddipole during Hamfest. It was delivered just prior to Field Day. As I set up I heard comments like "Is that a Tinkertoy?", and "when you get ready for a REAL antenna.." Then I started operating on 15M. My first contact was within 15 minutes. During Field day I worked CT, NY, OH, VA, SC, NC, MO AK, IA, CO, NM, AZ, NV, CA and OR. A 13 year old new ham made 13 conacts in 1 hour. I am so pleased that I just ordered the coil to allow 80M operation. This is perfect for portable and emergency operations!
W2KLS Rating: 2009-06-18
Great portable antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased the Buddipole and set it up in my backyard using a 5ft roof tripod and an 11ft painters extension pole (you will need to buy the screw on attachment from the company to do that). The directions were easy to understand, and the SWR on 20m was almost flat. My first contact with this antenna was with the Maritime net on 14.300 using 100w. My signal was 5/5. I plan mostly to use the Buddipole for QRP and portable use with my FT-897. Good job Bud!