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Reviews For: Snowdonia Radio Company, SRC X80. Vertical, HF, Multiband Antenn

Category: Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop

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Review Summary For : Snowdonia Radio Company, SRC X80. Vertical, HF, Multiband Antenn
Reviews: 13MSRP: £45.00 - UK Pounds
The X80 is an end fed aluminium vertical antenna, capable of allowing the user to work 80 meters through 10 meter bands using an ATU, also not requiring any counterpoise and can be fed using coax cable. The antenna can be pole mounted at ground level or elevated depending on the users personel requirements. The antenna is rated at 150 watts pep but will handle up to 200 watts sideband. The antenna comes complete with all fixings and fixtures and full installation guide.
How it works: The antenna is fed using coax via an SO239 socket at the base of the unit. A tried and tested SRC 9:1 UNUN transformer is located in a weather sealed box at the bottom of the 21 foot telescoping aluminium element. The transformer reduces the high impedances generated to a more acceptable level making the antenna much more efficient and allowing proper and easy tuning via a manual and most automatic ATU's. The antenna can be grounded if the user experiences excessive local static noise, but as the UNUN is DC grounded grounding will not effect the tuning ratio.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
M0NYW Rating: 2021-10-29
Great for size and price Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I had one of these many years ago and passed it on. Knew it was a mistake!

Wanted something to place on the back of the house.

Put out a advert on forum's for a 2nd hand one and people emailed me saying don't bother and try something else.
I was lucky enough to pick one up 2nd hand and its been up for a few weeks (Late 2021) at 5M AGL.

It needs a tuner but the IC-703 internal one handles all the bands fine.

So far have worked USA and most of Europe on 20M/17M/15M/12M on SSB with 10watts. Even on FT8 was able to work 7P8RU Lesotho DXpedition on 12M (again 10watts)

80M/40M aren't great due to its size but to be expected but it still gives me QSO's to UK and parts of Europe.

If I saw another 2nd SRC version would buy it without a second thought!
VK2FMJP Rating: 2020-10-15
Good vertical antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have recently moved into a very small unit with a small backyard. I want to try vertical, bought this SE X80 from UK. I installed it one meter above ground, also grounding it to copper water supply pipe underground with a 10mm thick ground wires. I also tied two 6 meters long wires as radials. I then adjust the radials, end up with both wires rolling into 200mm rings , placed right under the antenna. SWR without tuner 80m 1.6, 40m 1.4, 30m to 10m SWR is nearly flat, 20m 1.2 I don't know what happy with the results. noise is much lower than without grounding to water pipe. Recommend this antenna.
G4REK Rating: 2016-05-23
Nice aerial Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bought the original Sigma version of this aerial
80---10 meters up okay an the bands..
to work top band 160 meters i connect a wire to the top jubilee clip which is 80 feet in length..
how do i do this ..i use a small powerful magnet with the wire connected to it to latch onto the top jubilee clip using a long pole remove it just give it a tug then its back to 80 to 10 meters...
AB7FS Rating: 2013-01-20
Inexpensive but value for money Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have used this antenna on and off for the last 4 years operating from the Cook Islands (E51). A short vertical with an UNUN is inherently inefficient BUT for portable operation it does quite well. It survived a full gale bolted to the rail of a 39ft Sloop in the South Pacific, and the last time I used it was during an impromptu activation of Palmerston Atoll (OC-124) after we were marooned there. Using a Yaesu FT 857D running about 60watts PEP output into the SRC X80 I worked over 1,000 stations in 90+ counties. Can't complain at that!
GW6ITJ Rating: 2012-04-04
Cheap and gets you out there Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Unfortunately the Snowdonia Radio Company have ceased trading as they offered very good value products.

I bought the X80 a number of years ago but it seemed far too flimsy to put up so it was put away for another day.

I eventually figured that if I packed the end of the smaller elements with electrical tape so they were a tight fit into the larger elements the movement would be a lot less when I tightened the clamps (no electrical tape at the clamps!).

This done (I purchased better stainless clamps) the X80 was more like one solid aerial. It went up and has survived hefty winds and storms. I doubt it would have as supplied.

The antenna can be tuned on 80m to 10m and gets your signal out. It is inherently inefficient but with a few radials it is better.

It will not get you good DX but at least you will be on all bands and having QSOs.

If anything it will make you appreciate the effectiveness of wire dipoles etc.

MM0LUP Rating: 2011-04-25
Good service Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Folks I wrote earlier about the Snowdonia Radio Co. I should now say that the owners sent me the broken section free of charge which was great service for my vertical. It is now up and running again, well guyed against the strong winds in this location with good DX results, its a great antenna for the price. SRC must maitain the family company spirit unlike the main manufacturers who sometimes let us down. I have added 10 radials at 1/4 wave 20m band whether they are required or not, who knows, Thanks Liz
M0MDA Rating: 2011-04-20
WORKS GREAT BUT POOR BUILD QUALITY Time Owned: more than 12 months.
the src x80 works great for what it is. i have had contacts worldwide with mine.
the problem is the poor build quality, the aluminium used is a very thin gauge and bends very easily even with very little wind. i put the antenna up and within a few weeks there was a bend in the second section from the top. we didn't even have any high winds. i took the antenna down and gave it to a friend of mine he put it up and after a few months the antenna snapped and fell to the ground. i know of quite a few people who bought this antenna and they all say they bend far too easily.

a cheap £20 gp cb antenna will outlast a x80. i have seen gp's up over 20 years and they are still not bent.

apart from that they do work and i still use one when i go portable with very good results. it tunes on every band 80-6 meters. i have worked vk,zl and ja with no problem at all. but i wouldn't use it if there was any wind.

if they made a better quality version i would buy another but as they are now and with the recent price increase i think i would rather buy a 5/8 wave cb antenna and an external unun (prowhip £20 posted). you can do it a lot chaeper and it will last a lot longer.
G1HQK Rating: 2011-04-06
Updated Review Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Further review.

I have dropped this down a rating now because having spent out for an external LDG tuner to help, I find it makes no difference whatsoever, £140 well spent.

The customer service from SRC has also been poor, there has been no suggestions or advice or indeed interest in any of my messages, nor was a phone call returned. I will not be buying from them again.

I can only surmise that this antenna must be grounded despite what the hype from the company says, I suffer from a lot of stray RF causing a bit of interference even on just 10 watts.

Oh and another thing it really bends in even a slight wind!

I will probably keep it up as my other antenna does not cover 17m, this does tunes ok and puts out a reasonable signal.
G7IGB Rating: 2010-10-06
A compromise, but good value for money Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I recently bought one of these X80 verticals second hand but after cleaning it up and replacing two 'Jubilee' clips; I found that the quality of construction is quite good. I got the X80 rigged up on a short pole mounted about 2m above ground and fed it with 10m of Westlake 'Mini 8' coax, as apparently they work better close to ground level. I immediately noticed that the RX noise floor was much higher on all the HF bands, but this is always going to be a problem with verticals and typical of others which I’ve tested. However I was pleased to see that the SWR was reasonably good on most of the HF bands, with only 10m and 40m requiring ATU matching. Here are my test results with the X80:

10m - SWR 2.5:1 / S0 noise on RX
15m - SWR 1.7:1 / S6 noise on RX
17m - SWR 1.3:1 / S9 noise on RX
20m - SWR 1.8:1 / S7 noise on RX
40m - SWR 6:1 / S6 noise on RX
80m - SWR 1.3:1 / S9 noise on RX

I also found that varying the length and position of the coax cable affects the SWR seen in shack, especially when it was lying along the wet ground for example. The counterpoise / RF ground which I installed also made little or no improvement to noise levels, signals and SWR readings. This seemed rather strange, but according to the SRC web site the 9:1 UNUN at the feed point is DC grounded, which may explain why my wire counterpoise had little or no effect. Also on the site, a 15m length of coaxial cable is recommended and I used around 10m, so this clearly had some effect on the antenna tuning.

The increased noise levels are my only real complaint with the SRC X80 compared to my other HF aerials, but this is always going to be a problem with verticals and Omni directional pickup. I also noticed that the SWR had risen slightly from my initial measurements, possibly due to the antenna drying out following the heavy showers when it was first installed. All in all, a cost effective solution and although it's a compromise, it did the job of the three wire aerials which I normally use to cover 80m-10m.
G7RHF Rating: 2010-08-29
very good Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
src x80 mounted at ground level worked south america no problems ,zl on 40 this morning ,i have earthed the x80 to a barbed wire fence ,but that is all very pleased for money ,small price for such a great antenna well done Simon ,heard or worked in last week ,vk,zl,ja ,usa ,tf ,south america ,falklands ,all on 100 watts on x80 the doggys