Author Topic: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40  (Read 16979 times)

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Tempstar

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Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« on: November 15, 2014, 07:06:38 AM »
I received this antenna two weeks ago and mounted it on my Bronco. It is paired with a Kenwood TS-480SAT.
Initial impressions: A PVC cap glued to a PVC cap contains the coil, antenna mount, SO239 connector and whip antenna. It seems like a lot to put on plastic but so far it has held up well. Unlike any antenna I have ever owned, the SO-239 and mounting stud are off center and both located on the bottom. This presents a problem with conventional mounts, so I had to manufacture one.
Once mounted, I was surprised at the performance. Receive was 1 S-unit below my vertical HY-Gain. Transmit was, as expected, not even close, but exceeded my original expectations. I was able to work Texas from South Carolina on 20, and a W1AW station in Kansas. 40 Meters was lacking a bit though.
Overall: A decent compromise antenna and priced at $125.00, it will get you on the air mobile for cheap. Don't expect a Tarheel or Hi-Q.

http://alphaantenna.com/

73
"Preparedness is a lot more than just buying stuff"

Lamewolf

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 03:33:50 PM »
I received this antenna two weeks ago and mounted it on my Bronco. It is paired with a Kenwood TS-480SAT.
Initial impressions: A PVC cap glued to a PVC cap contains the coil, antenna mount, SO239 connector and whip antenna. It seems like a lot to put on plastic but so far it has held up well. Unlike any antenna I have ever owned, the SO-239 and mounting stud are off center and both located on the bottom. This presents a problem with conventional mounts, so I had to manufacture one.
Once mounted, I was surprised at the performance. Receive was 1 S-unit below my vertical HY-Gain. Transmit was, as expected, not even close, but exceeded my original expectations. I was able to work Texas from South Carolina on 20, and a W1AW station in Kansas. 40 Meters was lacking a bit though.
Overall: A decent compromise antenna and priced at $125.00, it will get you on the air mobile for cheap. Don't expect a Tarheel or Hi-Q.

http://alphaantenna.com/

73

After looking at their website, the swr shows anywhere from 4.8:1 to 6.8:1 and it says its tuneable - so how - with a tuner ?  I just don't get it, lots of folks making multiband antennas these days but must use a tuner.  Why not just buy a $15 hamstick and use a tuner with that ?

spacecase0

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2014, 05:19:09 PM »
Why not just buy a $15 hamstick and use a tuner with that ?
my 2M hamstick tunes up quite well on 40M

Tevin

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2014, 05:50:42 PM »
Uhhmm, yeh. Lamewolf is right. With an SWR like that, I'm not sure what you're really getting for your $125. Even more concerning is that SWR results published by manufacturers are pulled from "best case scenario" lab conditions. I don't think I've ever owned any antenna that worked as we as the charts claim.

But what the heck...real world results are what really matter and you got some very respectable DX on it. I can't argue with that.

Good luck with your Alpha-MOTO  :)

 


Tempstar

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2014, 05:23:38 AM »
SWR ratings are high, but it's a compromise antenna to get me mobile. No funds for a Tarheel, and the related extra$ to make it work with my radio. Further use shows it working well in the 600 mile range.
"Preparedness is a lot more than just buying stuff"

Lamewolf

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2014, 12:01:41 PM »
SWR ratings are high, but it's a compromise antenna to get me mobile. No funds for a Tarheel, and the related extra$ to make it work with my radio. Further use shows it working well in the 600 mile range.

OK, so are you using a tuner with it or just straight to the radio without a tuner ?  Like I said, you could spend just 15 bucks for a Hamstick type antenna and use a tuner with that and probably get better performance to boot !  I know I've loaded up a 40 meter Hamstick 6 thru 160 meters using an SGC 237 tuner.  Doesn't work real well on 160, but does great 80 meters and up with 100 watts.

Lamewolf

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2014, 12:38:45 PM »
I just read the manual and it does say use a tuner.  WOW !  $125 and you still got to buy a tuner to make it work.  Unbelievable !  A good 102 inch CB whip and a tuner would do the same or even better because its longer thus more efficient.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 01:25:21 PM by Lamewolf »

ghrit

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2014, 01:37:46 PM »
I just read the manual and it does say use a tuner.  WOW !  $125 and you still got to buy a tuner to make it work.  Unbelievable !  A good 102 inch CB whip and a tuner would do the same or even better because its longer thus more efficient.
THAT is the answer this neophyte needed.
There are two kinds of ships.  Submarines and targets.
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Lamewolf

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2014, 03:13:11 PM »
THAT is the answer this neophyte needed.

Don't know if you meant that to be hard or not, but yes they do need to know.  It infuriates me when companies come out with a "miracle" product and sell it at a high price to the unsuspecting when t here are much cheaper alternatives that will do just as good or even better.  My intent is to educate the neophytes to check with folks with more experience before they throw their hard earned money away.  Only trying to save folks some money is all.

ghrit

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2014, 05:59:43 PM »
Don't know if you meant that to be hard or not, but yes they do need to know.  It infuriates me when companies come out with a "miracle" product and sell it at a high price to the unsuspecting when t here are much cheaper alternatives that will do just as good or even better.  My intent is to educate the neophytes to check with folks with more experience before they throw their hard earned money away.  Only trying to save folks some money is all.
I meant it as written, not a bit of snarkiness.  I read the ads and have been struck with all the necessary information that is left for the customer to dig out on his own.  I hate surprises, and so far, I've managed to avoid them and spending to learn the hard way.  I suppose that's one of the attractions of this hobby, at least to some, but I ain't one of them.  Rigging my pickup for mobile ops is going to take a lot more than I thought, and has caused me to revise "the plan" at least three times so far, with no end in sight.
There are two kinds of ships.  Submarines and targets.
KB3ZMF        FN21dy
Amateur Extra Class,  VE
www.survivalmonkey.com

BTPost

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2014, 07:29:20 PM »
I am working on getting all the Bits together to mount a Kenwood TS-450 in Momma's Red 4X4 Toyota Pickup, when we go down to the FlatLands, next spring.  I have an SEA1612B AutoTuner that I can Ground to the Bed, and then use Whatever kind of Antenna is available, for cheap. I already have a Kenwood TM-D710A DualBand Vhf/Uhf  Radio and AVMap6 APRS/GPS, with a nice DualBand Whip, for the back of the Extended Cab. Right now this Radio/GPS is mounted in our Yamaha RHINO 660, but since I will not be using that while in the FlatLands, I figured I would get second Mounting Setup, Power cord, and Antenna, to put in the 4X4. Then just pack the Radio, ControlHead, and AvMap6 in the Luggage, and be ready with Mobile Comms, and Mapping while tooling around the FlatLands. There is plenty of room behind the Seats, to mount the Radios and I am looking for an Aircraft Radio Comm Audio Panel to wire everything thru, so that One Mic, and all Audio, are routed to the front of the Truck Console. I sure wish someone would write an .APP for my iPad, so I could control the HF Rig using the iPad. then it could sit back behind the seats as well. The TS-450 has a Control Port, and I have a USB/Control Port cable, but the only APP I know of only runs on WinDoz, and I do not want to haul a Laptop around just to deal with HF. I till have 4 months to keep looking....
Bruce in alaska AL7AQ

Lamewolf

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2014, 02:22:49 PM »
I meant it as written, not a bit of snarkiness.  I read the ads and have been struck with all the necessary information that is left for the customer to dig out on his own.  I hate surprises, and so far, I've managed to avoid them and spending to learn the hard way.  I suppose that's one of the attractions of this hobby, at least to some, but I ain't one of them.  Rigging my pickup for mobile ops is going to take a lot more than I thought, and has caused me to revise "the plan" at least three times so far, with no end in sight.

Don't give up my friend, mobile ops can be fun but with a poorly designed antenna it can be frustrating too.  When it comes to antennas, especially mobile antennas, bigger is always better.  So always try to use an antenna that is physically as long as possible.  The Hamstick type antennas are cheap and about 8 feet long or 2.4 meters for you folks across the pond.  I have used them as single band resonant antennas with great success, and I have also used the 30 and 40 meter version with a tuner (SGC237 auto tuner) for 10 thru 80 meter operation.  The best way to do it if you want to use a tuner is to put a tuner like the SGC237 right at the feed point of the antenna to eliminate feed line losses and make sure you have a good mobile ground connection to the body and frame of the vehicle and get the antenna up as high on the vehicle as possible within reason but low enough to be safe and keep from doing damage to it by hitting overhead objects.  Any antenna will work when the bands are in good shape, but it takes a good one to work well when conditions are poor.  As a side note, I've used the Hamsticks successfully on their resonant bands with as little as 10 watts while mobile.  But at that power level, I always try to stay on 40 meters and above as the lower bands are much too noisy to hear a 10 watt mobile signal most of the time especially from an antenna that is 8 times shorter than a quarter wave !  But with a 100 watt rig and a $15 Hamstick I have worked all over the country on 80 meters while mobile without too much trouble.

Tempstar

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2014, 06:42:36 AM »
Lame has a good point. If ya wanna run one band then get a hamstick. If you have plenty of cash for radios, then don't use a tuner either.
 I have a stack of Hamsticks collecting dust and even though they were resonant on a given band, they were not on the whole band. I would tune them to center freq only to find them up to 2.1 off at the band edges. I also personally helped a ham friend determine what burned out his radio: He tuned his 40 meter Hamstick in the yard before putting it on the vehicle. All the metal had it de-tuned and he didn't run a tuner.
 Neat thing about the hobby is you can buy whatever or build whatever, and everyone can have their favorite band and mode. The not so neat part is that short of a carefully tuned dipole, any antenna is a compromise when used anywhere but where it is specifically tuned. Just for the record, I have wayyy more invested in test gear (Spectrum Analyzers. service monitors, TDRs, etc) than I do in radios because I enjoy making it work just as much as squeezing the mic button.
 I'll also address "having to dig for information about....." . Anything you hook to your expensive radio you should know every detail about. Not researching an antenna, new mic, feedline, or whatever puts you in the category of "Appliance Operator" more than a true amateur radio operator.
 With my rant over, I'll say your mileage may vary, offer cannot be combined with other offers, and the opinions here may not be those of PreparedHam.com.

73
"Preparedness is a lot more than just buying stuff"

spacecase0

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2014, 10:56:03 AM »
that is a pretty good rant, I totally agree and like it quite a bit
Lame has a good point. If ya wanna run one band then get a hamstick. If you have plenty of cash for radios, then don't use a tuner either.
 I have a stack of Hamsticks collecting dust and even though they were resonant on a given band, they were not on the whole band. I would tune them to center freq only to find them up to 2.1 off at the band edges. I also personally helped a ham friend determine what burned out his radio: He tuned his 40 meter Hamstick in the yard before putting it on the vehicle. All the metal had it de-tuned and he didn't run a tuner.
 Neat thing about the hobby is you can buy whatever or build whatever, and everyone can have their favorite band and mode. The not so neat part is that short of a carefully tuned dipole, any antenna is a compromise when used anywhere but where it is specifically tuned. Just for the record, I have wayyy more invested in test gear (Spectrum Analyzers. service monitors, TDRs, etc) than I do in radios because I enjoy making it work just as much as squeezing the mic button.
 I'll also address "having to dig for information about....." . Anything you hook to your expensive radio you should know every detail about. Not researching an antenna, new mic, feedline, or whatever puts you in the category of "Appliance Operator" more than a true amateur radio operator.
 With my rant over, I'll say your mileage may vary, offer cannot be combined with other offers, and the opinions here may not be those of PreparedHam.com.

73

AD

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Re: Alpha Antenna MOTO 6-40
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2014, 12:11:40 PM »
With my rant over, I'll say your mileage may vary, offer cannot be combined with other offers, and the opinions here may not be those of PreparedHam.com.

73

Made my day.  Could not have said it better. 
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