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Reviews For: DK3 Screwdriver antenna

Category: Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories

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Review Summary For : DK3 Screwdriver antenna
Reviews: 9MSRP: $175.00
6-80 meter screwdriver antenna
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W8DP Rating: 2010-05-02
Serious HF mobile antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Back about 94 after playing with several HF antennas I contacted Don and bought a DK-3. I made several contacts (via landline)with Don and he gave made lots of good advice. When I traded for a new van and had trouble getting my DK-3 to tune properly Don helped me again with excellant advice. I learned a lot from Don and the amatuer radio community owes a debt of grattitude to Don Johnson for his great contribution to our hobby.
BTW I put over 400,000 miles on my DK-3 before selling it to go to a smaller antenna and have not enjoyed HF mobile since selling my DK-3. Hats off to Don, he will be greatly missed.
N6AJR Rating: 2009-02-13
The best Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have several and have given several to friends. I use one on my pickup. I bought them from Mr. Don Johnson him self. HE and his wife are a real kick in the pants, nice folks. Don was the first and still the best.
W4KVW Rating: 2008-06-25
WORKS GREAT Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I had a DK3 for about 6 months & it was a KILLER on the bands with just 100 watts.I traded my HF mobile setup & the DK3 for an HF amplifier for my shack.Since then I have another HF mobile setup with Hustler antennas & I must say the DK3 is MUCH better on ALL bands as it is over the Hamsticks & Atas 120A I have used.I did NOT like the size(large)of the antenna but it really puts out a signal that I really enjoyed.For what Don sells these for they are a STEAL when he has them for purchase.This of course is the "ORIGINAL" screwdiver antenna & NOT a COPY like ALL of the rest!If a large HF mobile antenna is NOT an issue give the DK3 a try & you'll be "SO HAPPY"! }:>)
K3JJC Rating: 2007-11-15
Great antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Almost 4 years and 1000 QSOs later and I still love this antenna. Has been in service mounted to the rear bumper of a 98 Ford Explorer and driven by an Icom IC-706IIG. On 75 meters everyday and often on 20 and 40. Very reliable and never had any problem contacting anyone I could hear. The remote tuning was great to have because swr would be very different on a rainy day than on a dry day. SWR also varied with the proximity of large buildings, speed of vehicle, dense slow moving traffic and to some extent wide swings in temperature. Always easy to touch up.
The mount has never failed even at speeds of 70 miles per hour operating on 75 meters. Painted the antenna black with no effect on performance. This is a great antenna from a fun designer who I hope is doing very well. Thanks Don.
K1ARL Rating: 2007-07-07
Best Buy Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had a full set of hamstick style mobile whips, a full set of the Hustler mast mounts w/ spiders and one of those big - 5" - coil screwdrivers. The 'sticks were OK. Likewise the Hustler system - tho I did have to guy these for safety purposes. The other screwdriver worked fine but was simply too top-heavy for secure mounting.

The heavy-duty mounting stud for the DK convinced me that this was the one I wanted to install. (Now tested at 100 mph without any guys.) Already having a trailer hitch on my Durango I welded up some 2" sq. tube to put the DK base at 27" above the hitch in order to have the bottom of the coil above sheet metal.

This antenna is much better - and safer - than any of my previous mobile installations. I do hope that they are still available for if you want the challenge of mobile ops this is really the best antenna you can buy.

Karl, K1ARL
NA7SV Rating: 2006-08-28
Works as advertised - great performer! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I replaced my ATAS-120 with the DK3, and I've had it mounted on my VW Jetta for about a year now. The price was very reasonable, compared to some of the other antennas of its type. Of course, you need to purchase mount for it and a whip to go on top of the thing, and Radio Shack didn't have it (they don't seem to have much anymore...). I purchased a Antenna Specialists low-band whip, with the mounting ball, spring and 8' whip. I cut the whip size down to the 66" recommended length, tossed the spring and installed it.

I'm happy with how well the antenna works, how simple it is to use, and the fact that I haven't ripped it off the side of my car (yet) going underneath low bridges. It works exactly as advertised and the matching coil tap was already positioned perfectly - I did not need to make any changes after installation. I'm able to work 60 meters and 80 meters now, which the ATAS couldn't do - and it hears and talks better that the ATAS 120 ever did - but that's as it should be, since this is a much larger (and wider, at the base) antenna, with a coil made of larger wire. It is mounted on the left rear quarter panel, about 2 1/2' off the ground (you can see a picture of the antenna on my car by looking at my listing on, so it is about 10'7" fully retracted, and around 12' extended. I am *very* aware of low overpasses now, and here in New England we have a lot of them! But, even though I've "whumped" a couple of them, nothing bad has happened. I *did* purchase a "quick disconnect" for the top whip portion, though, so that I can get it into the garage when I need to . It barely clears the garage door with the top part off, but it makes it!

This is a worthwhile, excellent performing antenna for your mobile (at a great price) as long as you don't mind doing a little of the assembling.
WW5AA Rating: 2006-01-30
Best buy! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Great antenna! I have had a chance to play with a lot of screwdriver antennas and this is the best. I use an old MFJ analyzer and switch to tune up perfectly without transmitting (a lot easier on the finals). At half the cost of the others, this is a great deal.
KI6LO Rating: 2005-12-12
Well worth the money! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
First let me say it beats the pants off of the ATAS-100 I did have on my car. Having said that, installing this wasn't really for the faint of heart or hardcore applicance operator.

The DK3 screwdriver antenna built by Don Johnson, W6AAQ and sold by Doug Huston, KC6FRY at is a very effective antenna for the price. As Don puts it, it is part of a 'Heathkit antenna system' meaning the antenna you buy, although ready to install and use, is only a partial system. You have to provide a top whip (I use a cut down fiberglas CB whip), some sort of mount and a method to control (or tune) antenna by suppling 12V to the screwdriver motor leads.

Having only just installed the DK3 and made a few QSOs, I am very impressed with its performance. Tuning it is rather easy although not as simple as the ATAS-100 with my FT-100D. In that system, set the frequency between 40-6M or 2/440 and press a button. With the DK3, first stage tuning is done by RX only. When the signal peaks, throw in a small AM carrier and tweak for lowest SWR on FT-100D SWR meter. That's all there is to it.

The only problem I currently am experiencing is motor brush noise when tuning. This seems to cause a reverse in my tuning process. Instead of actually listening for a peak in RX audio, I have found that I get a dip in motor brush noise at resonance. Once 'dipped' I check the SWR with a shot of AM and tweak and it good to go. It works but I still need to figure this one out?

If you would like to see my setup, please visit my website and take a look. Right now the pictures are not linked to the HTML pages but you can see them at I have pixs of the mount, the controller and the full antenna there.

Good Luck. Look for me on 40 and 20M HF mobiling.

Gene KI6LO
KI4CXZ Rating: 2005-11-26
Great antenna Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have used this antenna with my 706MKIIG on my GMC pick-up. If I hear them I can work them. Don Johnson in CA makes these as a hobby. Nothing fancy about it. Can beat the price and works better than my friends High Sierra. He was made because mine talked better and cost $200 less.