We've had many folks post comments about our HFp antennas on e-Ham.net, which has become a very popular site for Ham-Radio-related forums, articles, news and reviews, as well as information on contesting, propagation, classified ads and Ham Exams, just to name a few.
The HFpack "Antenna Shootout"
At Pacificon-2002, there was an event called the "Antenna Shootout", conducted by the HFpack group. HFpack is a loose-knit group of devotees of portable HF operation. Many of these folks think nothing of strapping on a backpack containing batteries, radio and antenna, and hiking off into the hills for low-power QSOs with their fellow HFpack Hams. They maintain a website full of interesting stuff at http://hfpack.com.
Anyway, back to the shootout. Basically, they first set up a vertical half-wave 20M dipole, connected to a small 20M transmitter, and a second vertical 20M dipole about 150 feet away, connected to a spectrum analyzer.
They then keyed up the transmitter, and measured the signal level seen on the spectrum analyzer. This level was recorded as a reference.
Then they replaced the transmitting reference dipole with various test antennas, keyed the transmitter, and recorded the difference between the reference antenna signal and the test antenna signal.
You can see the full explanation of the 2002 Shootout on the HFpack web page, by clicking HERE. Scroll down and select "Vertical Shootout". But, if you don't want to go through the whole thing, HERE is a copy of the first page of the report, showing the first rankings of the test antennas.
What you will notice in the listing is that the HFp came in just .88 dB below the full-size reference dipole, and that there were some other test antennas which came in the same or a bit higher.
First, let's discuss the .88 dB. A normal HF receiver's "S"-Meter is calibrated so that each "S" unit increment is 6 dB. This means that .88 dB is not even noticeable on the "S"-Meter. It is an insignificant amount of change in the signal.
Next, let's look at the antennas which came in the same or slightly better. None of them are shorter than 9.2 feet, while the HFp is only 6.5 feet tall for the same performance! This means that the efficiency of the HFp at 20 Meters is the same as an antenna which is 50% longer. Quite a testimonial to the HFp!
There is a special section for reviews of Portable HF Antennas (not mobile), and the HFp is listed there. To see the HFp reviews, click HERE.
If you would like to add your own review, there is a line just below the header which reads " You can write your own review of the Ventenna HFp portable vertical antenna". The words "write your own review" are a link to sign in to add a review (or register if you haven't already done so). Registration is required to add a review, but it's quick, easy and free, and they don't give your info out to spammers.
I put the HFp up yesterday.................The world has come to life with CW. In todays words the HFp ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!
The antenna coupled with my IC718 I am able nail ops on crowded bands. Thus far I am copying ops from Isreal, Italy, Turkey, Belarus, Sweden, Germany and of Russia and the Ukraine plus more. I am like a kid in a candy store. Tuning the weak signals and getting a callsign.
I have the HFp in the 40 meter configuration. What a wonderful antenna.
George Hupp - KE7MCL
[ Editor's note - at the time of this writing, George was in the military, on active duty in Iraq. Thanks for your service, George! We all apprecate the sacrifices that you and your fellow soldiers make on our behalf. ]
I am a proud owner of the HFp vertical antenna. It is unquestionably the finest portable HF antenna system made.
One of my favorite places to operate is the top floor of a parking garage in the evening when the garage is mostly unused. But driving stakes to anchor guy lines is clearly out of the question.
The antenna shaft seems sturdy enough even at 40 or 80 meters for unguyed operation even in a moderate breeze as long as the base is firmly weighted. Am I correct? Or am I courting
I understand the trade-offs involved between light weight and strength. I'm also a buddipole owner, and have replaced several parts damaged when the antenna was blown over.
But the HFp parts seem quite strong, and to have very low wind resistance. I can easily see how damage might occur if it blew over, or in mobile operation when the base could sway. But what about damage if there's no possibility of it going over? It seems quite strong...
Also, I'm asking advice based on probability and experience. I'm not expecting a guaranteed answer.
Thanks for your answer, and for a magnificent portable antenna.
Charles E. Coldwell, Jr - WB5CTQ
[ Editor's note - Our response to Charles' question - "A while back, I set up a 40-meter length of
the elements on one of our window clamps, and positioned it to 45 degrees. The elements bent alarmingly, but did not break or show any distortion, even at the bottom, where the force was greatest. So, I'm confident enough to say that, if you break an element in normal operation, let us know, and we'll replace it for free." ]
The antenna arrived today in time for me to test it in a couple of configurations.
I was impressed by the quality of the finished components and the instructions; no trouble at all using in in a couple of configurations - I am very impressed with the quality of the product - well worth the wait and the confusion, and its ease of use will add to my portable operations for sure.
Today I used it with my K2, picnic table portable; I expect to shortly try it with my PRC-319 as well.
Thanks for the clamp as well; that is handy indeed.
I was operating with the Ventenna dipole, first on 17 M (my favorite band when its popping) and than as an NVIS antenna on 4.011 MHz (NMCM MARS) - I am impressed continually with the performance, ease of use, and versatility. As my use of it increases, I just become more impressed.