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Reviews For: Outbacker Outreach Vertical

Category: Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop

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Review Summary For : Outbacker Outreach Vertical
Reviews: 14MSRP: 399.95
All bands - 160 through 10 meters - including WARC, 12 ft. tall
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K6USN Rating: 2008-11-01
Four years of excellent service Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have used various Outbacker models with good results in a variety of applications at home and in the field.
The Outreach/Outpost combination is my first choice for temporary setups accessable by vehicle.
It packs well, is easy to assemble, has a small footprint (ideal for condos, apartments, or vacation rentals). Setup time is around 5-10 minutes.
Like all Outbackers, it is extremely rugged and well made. I've seen them on bumpers of vehicles in the Australian Outback, attached to the Roo' Bar. Terlin (Makers of Outbackers) is a popular maker of commercial HF mobile antennas in Australia.
I work my share of DX with this antenna, and tuneup is easy. Like other reviewers, I frequently add 2-3 33' counterpoises for increased
efficiency, but it works well with just the Outpost base when ground mounted.

A solid investment that will last you for many years. You won't be disappointed.

KB0XR Rating: 2008-10-22
It works for me Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought the 12 foot Outreach and tripod assembly from someone on EBay a couple of years ago. From the other items listed by the seller, I don't think they knew much about the antenna. I managed to score the entire thing for $200. The seller was slow in shipping it and when it finally showed up, it was a masterpiece of cardboard, foam, wood packing. UPS must have been totalled confused with this package.

Then it sat in my garage until last week.

I own a townhouse with nosy neighbors who complain about everything so I was using an indoor dipole constructed of zip cord on the second floor. Moving the shack downstairs pretty well demanded a new antenna system.

I have the tripod outside on my covered patio. Whe I want to operate, I just carry it out in the open, hide it behind a arbovitae bush and snap the whip onto a quick disconnect installed on the tripod. I punched a hole in the siding and fished a length of 8X thru the hole. My shack is on the inside wall so the coax run is less than 20 feet. MFJ analyzer quickly got the SWR down to reasonable level.

I worked over 100 stations on 40 meters this last weekend during the Illinois QSO party. Overnight, I worked another 20 assorted on 40 meters. It's not as good, obviously, as when I had an acre of land for various antennas at my last QTH but it'll do okay, I think.

At least, it got me back on the air.

I'm not sure I would have paid FULL price for it but I think I got an okay deal via EBay.

I downloaded the instructions for the antenna from the internet. I would like to have a copy of the instruction sheet for the tripod but have been unable to locate one.
GW4JKR Rating: 2007-10-16
Excellent Product Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Excellent Quality made Antenna, All fittings in nickel plated brass and stainless steel, First outing last weekend stroke mobile on Anglesey Island, North Wales Outbacker mounted on a Tri-Mag on the car roof. 15 contacts into Japan within the first hour! with 5/9 reports including 1 into West Java also 5/9 with many more around Europe and the U.S.A. Pwr was 50 watts only all DX Contacts on 17 meters, But tried all bands with good results SWR 1:1 no atu, So look forward to trying the Outbacker outreach Backpacking with my FT-817 Qrp Rig, Have Just built a home brew portable copper base for the antenna. Recommended, Would like to hear from other outbacker users
Rgds 73 de Dave 2W0DAA / Full call GW4JKR
N4RAP Rating: 2005-07-24
Amazing Antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned one of these for about 2 years now. I was really pleasantly surprised, at it's performance. Mine is the Outreach 500. Rated at 500 to 600 Watts, but does not cover 160 meters, just 10 through 80. That's enough for me.
I use this as my traveling antenna, and it is truely amazing. i have compared it to my High Sierra 1500 scredrive antenna on my pickup truck. On 20 and 40 and 80 meters, the Outrach 500 and the Alpha Delta Outpost work wonders together. On all three of those bands and in all directions the portable antenna package outperformed my mobile antenna, which by the way, is grounded to the truck. I did not expect the folding tripod to be able to produce a good enough "ground" for an hf antenna, but I was wrong!
The next comparison...was to my base station antenna which is a Carolina Windom (CW 160). This antenna is almost 300 feet long, and is up at 40 to 50 feet in some trees. On 10, 12, 15, 17 and 20 meters...there was only 1 S-unit difference. So that means that the portable antenna came really close. On 40 and 80 meters, naturally the longer antenna wins by a much larger margin...but that's expected. It still worked on 40 and 80 and I was able to participate in conversations, both in day time and night time...with the static crashes. On 40 meters the Outbacker clearly worked better on stations that were OVER 1000 miles away. I guess this is the low angle take off pattern at work. On the other bands I couldn't notice a difference on stations that were close in or far away.

I have traveled with this antenna, several times and have used ith with my Ameritron AL 80A, my Yaesu FL 2100B and my SGC Smartcube amplifiers, at full power, with no far. Naturally, I tune the antenna on 100 Watts and then turn the amplifier on for SSB QSO's.
In summary this antenna, and folding tripod by Alpha Delta, is a dynamite package!
KY7F Rating: 2003-06-07
Well Pleased!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned my Outbacker Outreach, plus the mounting tripod, for 4 years now. (The guy that owned it before me took it with him in his 18-wheeler and set it up when he stopped at nite.) So, mine was just a tad "beaten-up" when I got it. My opinion of this antenna: I'm very pleased with it! I rent, so I really can't put anything else up. With this restriction, the Outreach does a great job. I've worked WAS QRP CW twice with it, and am about halfway to DXCC now even though I'm not a "dx-freak". Usually, if I can hear 'em I can work 'em! Most of my operating is on CW, and most of the time, I run 20 watts or less. One thing I would highly recommend to anyone who is choosing an Outbacker is to consider using a good ground radial system on it. Here in SW Wyoming, ground conductivity is pretty sad. After a lot experimenting, I installed sixteen 12' radials on mine, and it significantly helped the antenna performance on 40m. With the radials, the swr (without a tuner) is 2.5:1 on 40m, and a 1.1:1 on both 30m and 20m. The ground coupling effect of the aluminum mounting tripod is enough for 15m thru 10m, without the radials. (So, it's important to investigate your local ground conductivity condx!!) Mine works ok on 75m, with the help of the tuner, but forget about trying to work 80m or 160m. (I mean, honestly, can you really expect this antenna to be a "pile-up buster" on 80-160m anyway? No.) If you have an antenna analyzer, it helps a bunch in finding the resonant locations on each band when you're adjusting the stinger. I have no regrets with this antenna, as long as you recognize what its strengths and limitations are, and I would recommend it! 73's! Doug KY7F
N0NRZ Rating: 2002-03-08
Pricey, but well worth it! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Received the Outreach and ground-coupling tripod for Christmas 2001. Setup was a snap, and performance has been surprisingly good. I have worked 55 DXCC countries on 10M working 2-3 hours per weekend since Xmas. It's performance on 10M is every bit as good as single-bad verticals of much longer length. The antenna also seems to be more quiet than other verticals. Of great importance in my particular situation, the antenna is very unobtrusive. I live in a covenant-controlled development that tends to be very sensitive to even minor violations of the covenants, but no one has complained about the outbacker sitting in my back yard. While it is not a log periodic at 55 feet, it keeps me on the air in difficult circumstances. I am very pleased and would buy it again.
W3JJH Rating: 2001-05-30
Great Backpacking Antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought the Outreach and an Alpha Delta stand to use with my FT-817 while camping. The first trip was on a Boy Scout Camporee. We were able to work stations throughout the eastern half of the US and European stations from England to Russia during the first evening on 20 m.

Before putting the antenna away after the camping trip, I set it up just outside the window of my shack. I found that it worked better than the assortment of wire verticals in the backyard. The antenna is now "stored" in the backyard and all the other verticals have been removed. The Outbacker is only taken down for camping trips.
VE7JWO Rating: 2001-05-28
A Winner! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I needed a stealty antenna for condo use, so I purchased an Outbacker Outreach vertical along with the Outpost Ground Mount tripod. Set up in the yard, it is hardly visible. When not in use, the antenna can easily be lowered simply by removing one wingnut and bolt and tipping it over.The first time I used this antenna I made contacts including DX on 15 and 20. None on 80 as it was daytime and I didnt try.
I recently took the antenna and ground mount tripod to my cabin at a lake, along with the Kenwood 440 mobile rig, connected to a solar charged battery supply. It took five minutes to set up the antenna on the tripod, the tripod legs allow you to level the antenna in the vertical if set up on an uneven slope. I installed it just above the shore line, and connected the antenna to the radio with 100 feet of coax and proceeded to make a great many contacts on 20. I tried 80 in the evening and had many contacts within a 600-700 mile radius. You have to move to a different tap on the antenna to change bands, but the short 100 foot walk to the antenna and back after dinner was good prior to resumption of operating.

This antenna loads up very well on 15, 20, 40 and 80. I havent tried the other bands yet. It is very well crafted and I am sure it will give me many years of reliable use. Due to the ease of set-up and tear down, I know I will often be using it in a portable/mobile configuration. In short, I am extremely pleased with the performance and ease of use of this antenna and tripod. It's well worth the price.
KG7RS Rating: 2001-04-16
Pricey - But consistent with performance and convenience Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I've long been interested in operating portable in remote places, especially with lightweight, simple equipment and QRP power levels. It's great fun for the operator, and most people worked seem to be interested and enthusiastic communicating with somebody operating under these conditions. Almost has a DXpedition appeal. I've tried various portable antenna designs, all of which had various virtues and disadvantages. One of the most important considerations for the portable operator is having an antenna that may be deployed independent of existing antenna supports, such as trees, poles, etc. Here in the SW, it's not usually easy to find a pair of high trees at any given location. This eliminates most wire antennas. I've found the best antennas are mounted on a small tripod, and can be deployed nearly anywhere with little setup time/effort. In the past I've always depended on "Hamstick" type mobile whips installed as a dipole, mounted on an 8-10' lightweight telescoping pole, using a lightweight tripod for support. This arrangement offers quick easy setup and good performance for 20-10 meter operating, but requires carrying two mobile whips for each band!

Enter the Outbacker Outreach. I have found this antenna to be the best compromise for portable operating under most conditions usually encountered in the field. The Outreach consists of 8-feet of fiberglass shaft, and another 3-feet or so of stainless whip. The whip telescopes into the top shaft, and the fiberglass shaft itself breaks down into two pieces, so the entire antenna broken-down is only 4' long. It even comes with a nice cloth carrying bag for storage. For backpacking applications, the Outreach offers good performance when used with 2-3 4' strips of 3" wide copper strip as a counterpoise. I mostly use mine along with the companion Outpost tripod mount offered by Alpha-Delta Communications. This tripod is a bit heavy (15lbs), but offers plenty of ground-plane with its three 3' fold-out "ground-coupler" plates. The tripod folds quickly into a fairly small (12" diameter x 36" long) package. One great improvement is to install strips of Velcro on the ground coupler plates to fasten them in place during folded transport. The single wing-nut attaching each coupler plate is insufficient to keep them secured while folded, and pose a hazard of falling open. Overall, this package is very easy to deploy nearly anywere, but is far too heavy for transporting by foot for other than short distances. It's better suited for car-camping.

How does it perform? In a word, excellent! Keep in mind this is a very short vertical, so it would be unreasonable to expect great performance on 160 and 80/75 meters. 40/30 meter performance is reasonably good, but this antenna really shines on 20-10 meters. QRP is a great indicator of antenna performance, and I was pleasantly surprised with the Outreach. I can tell no difference from a typical low-mounted dipole on the higher wavelenths, and certainly as good or better than any "full-size" vertical I have used. Overall, amazing performance vs size and convenience. The antenna is tapped for North American band centers, and I observed very low SWR on all bands when using the Outreach tripod. Bandwidth is slightly better than may be expected of a very short radiator, decreasing dramatically on the lower frequency bands. On-Air performance has far exceeded my expectations. Operating PSK-31 on 20 meters with 3 watts has yielded excellent results. 10/15 meter DX is easy at the 100-watt level, and thrilling at QRP.

Workmanship and fit/finish of the Outreach is outstanding. This is a somewhat complicated antenna to produce, and is made mostly by hand. Combined with the fact it is imported from Australia, the seemingly steep price is understandable. Factoring in performance, it seems reasonable in my opinion. I would like to see a much lighter weight version of the Outpost tripod from Alpha-Delta. Such a design is achievable and would add greatly to the enjoyment and convenience of those that want to take along their hobby on backpacking trips. It shouldn't be a big problem for an accomplished homebrewer to devise something better and lighter!

I've always wondered how two Outreach antennas would perform as a horizontal dipole? Certainly a way to eliminate the heavy tripod, but an expensive proposition indeed!

73, John KG7RS
KC2GBS Rating: 2000-08-05
Well Made/Great Perf.. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought this antenna from HRO. Before I purchased it, I had a bunch of questions about it. I emailed them to Alpha Delta and I got all the answers the following day. I needed an HF antenna system for apartment use. The people at Alpha Delta told me exactly how to hook it up. It has a real "stealth" look and is very simple to adjust. The performance is great as well. I would recommend it for anyone in a tight situation like myself. They pack a lot of features in a small package. Well worth the money..