Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: High Sierra HS-1500 Screwdriver

Category: Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : High Sierra HS-1500 Screwdriver
Reviews: 24MSRP: 200-$300 Used
Mobile HF+6m antenna
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
NJ6K Rating: 2014-04-24
still going Time Owned: more than 12 months.
HS-1500 just keeps on giving... replace the spring as recommended each year and its good to go, If you are fortunate to have one hold on to it
NE5C Rating: 2012-09-29
AWESOME Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I traded some equipment with a fine Ham for this antenna, and after installing it...All I can say is THIS IS INCRDIBLE...This antenna mounted on my Pick Up works like a Hose! I mean fantastic, I reccomend it hands down as a fine investment, Thanks and God Bless, 73 De N5JFJ - Jerry
KG4COQ Rating: 2011-12-28
Crappy factory service but Great antenna ! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought this antenna very used about 3 years ago.
Used this antenna as a base antenna for a year and it worked very well then put it in storage for a year and a half. 6 months ago I mounted it on the drivers side rear corner of my Ford Ranger metal topper. It works Great! Better than the hamsticks I used before this install. Besides working all over the states and europe I made a contact to New Zealand to ZL2OK on 12 meters a few weeks ago with a 5/5 signal using a original IC-706 at 100 watts.

As for factory service... It stinks. When I bought this antenna I had questions. Tried to call H.S. on the phone and they never answered. Tried to email and got no answers.After a week had to look further on the internet to find the answers. Now I understand that High Sierra is NOT making any of their motorized antennas anymore. This is a shame. I love this antenna and would buy another. Their webpage is still up but they are selling crap now.
If you find one in good shape... Buy it. Paid $250.00 for mine.
N2HUC Rating: 2011-11-23
Why is every signal S9+? Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I feel compelled to write a review of my High Sierra HS-1500 after experiencing something that is quite unbelievable, but confirmed time and time again. Something must be wrong. IT SHOULDN’T WORK THIS GOOD!

I have used this antenna since early 2000 and had it mounted on four different vehicles in four mounting locations. My first mount was on my work truck with a tow hitch mount. The truck had no cap, just a fiberglass cover. That first experience was grand and I worked the world with ease using my 100w FT-100. (S9 to Japan on 10m at night.) I was issued a new truck with a metal “Topper” cap, so to get above all that metal I put the mount to the top of the cap in the rear corner and grounded the cap on all four corners. Big signal drop on all bands below 12m…not good. I installed another mount on my mini-van with a right-angle bracket located behind the rear taillight. Good-looking installation and performance was OK, but not as good as the tow hitch on my first truck. Some years later lightning zapped my FT-100, and the bands were on the way down, so I took a break until recently.

Now that the bands are back I revisited my HF ops and purchased an IC-7000 to play with (fantastic radio with the AB5N mic mod). Built a fan dipole on 40-6 and started working DX from home again. Lots of fun and plenty of DX worked. I purchased a new Ford Escape that I basically live in (for work) five days a week, so of course I wanted to put all my radios in to help pass the long drive times I do all over the State of Florida. I pondered my HF mounting options and decided to resurrect the HS-1500. I couldn’t find the High Sierra 1.25” tilt tow hitch mount anywhere, so I got a tilting bike mount to do the job with the added benefit of being able to take some bikes with me if I decide to. The bike mount angles back a little, so the antenna does too, but something looked WRONG with all those S9 and +10 signals all the time (no ignition noise either). That can’t be! Lets see what signal reports I get with this thing when I QSO. I didn’t expect to be taken seriously with only 100 watts, especially on 40m and 75m.

Three months of operating in the house and in the SUV has given me a good idea of how this antenna is working on all bands. Instead of stations avoiding me (like they used to), now I get back to back calls and long QSO times every day on all bands. I keep getting stations commenting how my mobile sounds good and strong, like a home station. They can’t believe I’m only using 100 watts and that I’m mobile. In the car I ragchew for long periods and only lose stations when the band dramatically shifts or closes down. Most reports are steady S9 from all over the Americas to Europe on 10-20, and almost as strong as most barefoot home stations on 40 and 75. S8 to S9+10 on 40m from FL to West PA (dipole and 100w on the PA side) for an hour! My home station fan dipole is well tuned and mounted, but I see the majority of 100w signals on 10-20 around S5 to S8, and in the mobile S7 to S9+. I do fine in the QSO mix at home, but I have a better station in the mobile! That can’t be, but it is.

In conclusion I can’t be happier with this mobile antenna. I believe the angle of radiation must be low to get this overwhelmingly positive result when mounted in the tow hitch (low to the ground) and somewhat away from the metal of the vehicle. This has been personally confirmed twice. Maybe that choke coil also has some benefit to produce low angle radiation in the tow hitch. A friend mounted one on a toolbox in the back of his pickup and it did NOT work well there. Looked nice there, but is it looks or performance we are after? The tow hitch works! Now I’m looking for a multi-band home antenna that will work as well as this mobile antenna. Not so easy, as takeoff angle on most multi-band verticals is whacko, and pretty much hit or miss depending on skip distance and unpublished pattern lobes. The search continues!

I realize these are no longer produced, and that is a shame. Jim was very good to his customers in the early days, so I’m not sure where things went wrong. Some hams just like to complain about the stupid things to the point of testing the patience of any manufacturer. The product was good! Yes, maybe some little improvements could have been made (like an in-line fuse), but I can do those myself. Sorry to see these are gone. At least I can get some extra spare parts…for now. If you see one for sale, BUY IT!

Phil - N2HUC
N3LJS Rating: 2004-04-29
$13.00 for a sring Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Everything is good except for the spring. Replace one a year, $13.00. They need a better way to support the top so it does not smash the spring. Overall the screwdriver design for mobile use can not be beat.

Rob, N3LJS
NE5EE Rating: 2004-04-29
Outstanding Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Only antenna I have ever used. Have over 200 countries worked, all on SSB. Working now on Challenge award, too old to make honor roll.

This antenna is great, and the customer service is outstanding. Nothing more to add, worth every penny.
WA2TTP Rating: 2003-12-28
4 years and still going strong Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had this antenna in use for 4 years on the back of my pickup truck used in upstate New York. It's been covered in snow, ice and salt and it has held up very good. The only problems I've had were the failure of the decoupling contact spring after about 2 years and crack in the clear plastic loading coil cover where it connects to the lower collar. The later was really my fault because I tried to tune the antenna when it had a coating of ice on it. Both parts were replaced with no problem by me and the parts price was fair. The antenna performance is fantastic. I've worked allot of DX on 75 the best being a VK early in the morning on the way home from work! I'll give some credit to my Alinco DX70TH that has great transmit audio.
KG9Z Rating: 2003-05-13
Not a beam but GREAT! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
With the excellant technical help from the High Sierra people, I was able to do maintance on my HS-1500 and have it back on the air.

The antenna tunes 80 thru 6 meters. I have not tried it on 80 or 6 but the other bands it works like gang busters!

My first experience with the HS-1500 was having it mounted at gound level and a 12 foot ground rod. This was on the side of my home and I wasn't pleased with the results at all. I added a few radials but little improvements

Looking at some RV installations and some research I decided to mount my antenna at roof level. I added three 24 foor radials in a typical ground plane type of installation. What a difference! I know its not a beam and I only run 100 watts but I hear great! It is amazing on 40 meters!

The latest Dx to work was the TX4PG at FO/M. I know it wasn't a rare P5 but it had its sure of pile-ups and propogation problems. I was able to work them on 40M, 30M, 20M, 17M and 15M all with the same antenna!

Initial price may seem steep but the perfromance is excellant and if you can't use a beam....this is a great choice.
W3IZ Rating: 2003-04-27
Superior mobile antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been HF mobile for over 15 years and have used all kinds of antennas from mono-band hamsticks and Hustler coil systems to trunk mounted auto tuners with 102” whips. Out of all the antennas that I have used the High Sierra beats them all. Hands down. Besides being a great radiator, this antenna is built tough. No PVC plastic or weak cordless tool motors here. This thing is constructed to be used in any environment and will last a long, long time. You truly get what you pay for. Installation does require some planning and a good solid ground will ensure super performance. The large Hi-Q coil makes it easy to tune anywhere on the band that you want to including MARS frequencies. I have had this antenna for over five years on three vehicles. I have also helped others install this antenna on their vehicles and they too have similar results. Again, the secret is to get a good solid ground to the vehicle. Besides a great product, Jim is a super fellow to deal with and will answer any question that you e-mail him within a few hours.
See my installs on these sites:

Norm Fusaro, W3IZ
Bucks County, PA
KL7FH Rating: 2003-02-18
Great! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought mine used and it works great! Does anyone have a pdf or jpg of the manual they can e-mail me? Or a copy? I didn't get the manual... I added a capacity hat and made a big improvement on bandwith and feed point impedance. 73 Frank KL7FH