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Antron99 or SolarCon99 20m to 10m

Just thought i would let you guys know because I am sure most of you dont…
The 10m Vertical Fiberglass in 3 sections but Tunes and works great from 20 to 10m. I have also used this antenna on 6m and spoken to Itlay, spain ect ect but that was just 6m for ya…lol Dont care if you wish to pass silly comments about the antenna but it works. I have spoken to D2AK our own G7COD down in Angola, Africa twice on 17m and once on 20m with a 5/7 and 5/3 reports. The reason i am telleing all ye SOTA ppl is because its a simple but effective antenna if you use a small tuner… Great for SOTA if you dont want the High bands or all the messing about to set up. They do work no mater what your computers and analizers say. I have a MiniVNA all that tells me is its no good for anything but 10m… IT’S WRONG. I will start to take this with me on SOTA this year. Anyhow if you have one try it but not with the ground plane kit, mine dont have it on…

Anyhow Hi all and hope this helps…
Chris
M3XLG
2E0XLG
MB7IXL
Node 5505
EchoIRLP 452727

In reply to M3XLG:
It is a great, underrated antenna Chris. I have one mounted at about 22ft and use it on 17-10m and has SWR 2.0 and under all bands. Mine in particular really likes 15m. Cheers, keep rockin that Antron!

John
KI6NN

In reply to M3XLG:

Well Chris, the centre of a Antron 99 is just a bit of wire encapsulated in fibreglass. I have just started to use a Rybakov (when Hilltopping) which is also just a bit of wire taped to the outside of a Fishing Pole (and an UNUN)I have worked a number of American and European stations with it with some amazing signal reports given back to me. It’s surprised me just how simple a decent antenna can be. So I reckon you might get a few disagreements but not from me.

Put that engine in your old bus, pick me up and we can try them side by side on a hill!

Barry
2E0ZCL

Cheers for the replys guys it goes to show ppl are watching…hi hi
Glad to hear its not just me who uses one. I just happened to try it about 3 years ago and its been great since then. So I bought another for portable use.
Maybe in the next few weeks when the camper is back on the road with its new heart, we can get out and do some sota. Try it out on them there hills…

Chris

In reply to M3XLG:
My Dad has one at his shop brand new that he wants to sell if anyone is interested. £35 to a good home.

In reply to 2E0ZCL:
Barry, what rig and ATU do you use, and does your Rybakov require a counterpoise or radials?

73
Ken

In reply to M3XLG:

It’s an end fed half wave using a shunt feed to step the impedance down to 50Ohms. There’s no magic to this antenna, it works no better than any other similarly sized EFHA. If you want to believe there is something special about it then go right ahead.

In the real world, the modelling and analysers tell us about the physics that’s happening not the wishful thinking. It’s the physics that determines how well an antenna works not what we want to believe. If you find that such a design works well for you then that’s great. I’ll believe the physics, it’s served me well for many years! :wink:

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to M3XLG:
GM Chris,
This review might interest you.
http://www.dxzone.com/cgi-bin/dir/jump2.cgi?ID=7582
73,
Frank

In reply to M3XLG:

I have used plenty of expensive antennas over the years that people claim all sorts of things for but most of them are out performed by a resonant dipole made for two cheap bits of wire (beams etc apart). With the right tuner a piece of wet string will tune almost anywhere, it won’t transmit much of a signal but it will tune. When conditions are good anything will do I even worked Asiatic Russia using my aluminium greenhouse and a KW E-Zee match. I am pretty sure most of us did know about and have indeed tried the Antron 99 and most of us are no longer impressed having taken them apart and seeing what we were paying for.

The best SOTA antenna by far is the linked dipole. It costs next to nothing to make, it covers any bands you want, and you don’t need a tuner unless you want to do SSB and CW, in which case you could add more links.

73 Steve GW7AAV

In reply to GI4FLG:

Hello Ken,

First thing is, I am using the following for Hill topping in a Car not carrying it all on my back. I am using a Yaesu FT450 but I am sure any radio would do. The Tuner is an LDG Z11 Pro auto tuner (and a small Battery to power it)which will tune anything I have ever stuck into the back of it in a a second. Faster than that when it “learns”

The Rybakov 806 hears great without a counterpoise but the transmission is a bit down in my opinion. I still got 5/9 into all Europe and a couple of US stations though.

I am currently simply taping it to a Garden fork stuck into the ground which forms the post and I just clip an earth lead onto the metal. I appreciate a Garden Fork is better being carried in a Car and not on your back but I am sure you get the idea. I am now going to try concentric circles of wire (any kind of wire) attached to it. I think it would improve it but not as yet had chance to try it. Google Rybakov 806 and you will find a diagram on how to make the UNUN. Enjoy!

Best regards
Barry

Looks like this has turned into a slagging match well nothing new there then.

The Antenna WORKS and works well. I dont care if ppl dont like the idea but it makes sence to ppl with limited space and for SOTA ppl to use if they want.

Thats all I was saying…

Shame when you offer help and all you get is shot down. OK CHEERS

2E0XLG
73s No longer watching this post so argue amongst yourselfs.

P.S.
Think Before You Post! Is your post appropriate, constructive, friendly and suitable for all ages?
Your post is open to the whole Internet and will be available from search engines and forever associated with you and your callsign!

In reply to M3XLG:

Looks like this has turned into a slagging match well nothing new there then.

Que? Did I miss something?

In reply to 2E0ZCL:

Yes indeed, Barry, there’s a lot of stuff online about the Rybakov antenna, although I didn’t find out how it got the exotic name.

They all talk about using a 4:1 balun which some have argued is really an un-un, but in fact in this application it is a broadband transformer which brings the widely-ranging impedance of the non-resonant antenna within the matching range of a typical ATU. The toroidal core of the transformer most often specified is a T200-2, which is a large one suitable for QRO operations. For SOTA we would like something a lot smaller and lighter and also suitable for QRP.

I turned the problem over to the backroom boys at the Oliver Heaviside Laboratory (family joke reference to my shack, consisting as it does of a table in our back bedroom, laden with what they think is junk. If you don’t know who Oliver Heaviside you really must look him up - every radio amateur should).

The boffins came back with this idea - a little autotransformer consisting of 30 turns of wire on a T68-2 toroid, tapped at 10 turns for a 9:1 impedance transformation ratio, and at 15 turns for a 4:1 ratio. With associated connectors, this should fit into a little box no bigger than a matchbox.

One of the design rules for broadband transformers is that they should present a load of at least 4 times the source impedance at the lowest frequency of use. I think this little transformer should work down to 7 MHz. The inductance of the winding is about 5uH, which will give a reactance of 220 ohms, which is in the right ballpark.

To go as low as 3.5 MHz you would need to double the inductance, which would require 42 turns, and the taps would then be at 14 and 21 turns. However, a 7.6 metre antenna would probably be very inefficient at this frequency.

I shall make one and try it out.

73
Ken

In reply to GI4FLG:

Allegedly Rybakov translates as ‘fisherman’ or ‘son of a fisherman’

I used ‘one’ on Sat to work two of the 5mhz Scottish activators.

Bobby

In reply to GM7GAX:
Oh, I get it: Rybakov - the fishing Pole!

73
Ken

In reply to G4OIG:

In reply to M3XLG:

Looks like this has turned into a slagging match well nothing new
there then.

Que? Did I miss something?

If he thinks this is a slagging match he should try posting his opinions on QRZ.

Tee Hee

In reply to M3XLG:

Hi Chris,

Don’t for one minute think that people are slagging you, or your choice of antenna off. I have followed this thread from the moment you posted it & have only just got the chance to reply.

Tha Antron 99 is indeed an end fed half wave which basically consists of a wire element with a matching section at the base. It peforms as well as an end fed half wave should perform on 10 Metres & will, with an ATU, work on other bands too. Away from resonance its performance will drop off significantly, although due to the type of matching circuit used, it does appear to tune easier on other bands (ie 20m & 15m) than other end fed half wave verticals would.

For SOTA use I think it would add quite a bit of weight to what is in my case already quite enough to carry, and for the parts that will actually be doing the work of radiating & receiving RF, it makes much more sense to build your own light weight version.

On my recent trips out,(Both SOTA & non-SOTA) I have been experimenting with some sort of vertical for use on the higher HF bands, which will soon be full of more VK’s & ZL’s than you could shake a stick at HI!

Exagerated claims of the merits of anything you have to pay for, made by the people you have to pay, are nothing new. Sometimes however, they can be so obviously wrong it’s a wonder that they could produce such good tackle in the first place if they really believe their own claims.

As I have said, The Antron 99 performs as well as an end fed half wave should do on 10m. It would perform better on this band with the ground plane kit fitted, which lowers the radiation angle, but it would not out perform a 5/8 antenna with radials when it comes to transmitting & receiving.

My opinions on this come not from advertising blurb,but from real-world experience, which generally tallies with accepted principles.

When I needed an antenna for CB use, I first built a few of my own, but when I wanted something to put permanently on top of my house I looked around at what others were using & came to the conclusion that although other larger aluminium models offered better performance, they did not have the same durability.

I wanted something that would last, & be suitable for use when I passed the RAE & eventually the 12wpm morse test. I do not think any other antenna would have lasted as long.

For an antenna I bought second hand, that had already been on someone elses chimney for several years, I think I have done rather well in getting 18 Years use out of it. It has survived the worst the weather can throw at it & out lasted any “Silver rods” put up around the same time. It works well on 10m, will work almost as well on 12m & it gives surprisingly good results on 15m. Performance on 17m is about the same as my 80m loop while on 20m my 80m loop is about 35% better.

Obviously resonant antennas for each band woul be better, but as you say, not everybody has the space.

I have experimented with it on 6m & found it to be very poor, although still useable with strong stations, or good spordic E.

It’s main strong point in my opinion is it’s durability, & for that reason I think it is a good antenna.

18 years + & still going strong :slight_smile:

73,

Mark G0VOF

Well OK then. I give in and had to come back to look. Right its a poor do when you are trying to give out help and all you get is shot down for it.
We all know that back in the Citizen Band days the Antron99 / Solarcon99 was claimed to have 9.9bd gain… We also know that its a load of bleep. Be lucky if it has 1db but thats not the point. I have brought this antenna up so ppl who still have one and are trying to use say a G5RV from 20 up to Ten would probably be able to dust off the cobwebs and have a better coverage of the bands. My G5RV was not so good from 20m up so i used the Antron…Great had all the bands covered. Think the G5RV was no good due to only being able to get it about 15m off the ground. i now have a 80Windom and its ok but brings in alot of QRM from local cr*p equipment. If i use the A99 its not so bad and have worked D2AK in Angola 3 times 18m and 20m as I probably said on my last posts. ( HI GEOFF I KNOW YA WATCHIN…lol ) I tell you what if anybody wants to have a go at a Antenna lets have a look at the G5IJ…lmao NVIS…he he. I am sick of hearing about it. Some ppl rave about it up here…WT.
Hi Mark nice to catch you again if not on the hills… yes you may be right about the weight but for simplicity its easy to use and like you say…Durable… my A99 is abt 12years old and the other portable one is 10years… Some ppl cant get a G5RV or Windom up in a City house with there 6ft by 12ft yard but they can have a A99 up for cheep pennys. I have a EVX600 bought it second hand and needed repair…because its not the best quality antenna. The Antron kicks butt on 10m to 20m. Also its simple no silly huge ground planes or capacity hats… Like we all say at the end of the day what is NOT a compromise Antenna.
BTW 10m was open last night at Midnight and I bagged 14 contacts all over 5/7 minimum report.S56SD , DL1PR , S54KM , DL1HWO , DM3MR , OM5MO , PD0AG , SP2QOT , DO1WHU , DG5SDQ , DL1SAJ , LA8QRA , DL1BHK , PD1TON on the Antron…he he.
Must admit I do like the idea about the Link dipole. Not made one as yet but i have plans. Anyhow Camper will be back on the road soon so I will be up them there hills with the GP15 and Antron99 so keep your ears open…

Chris
2E0XLG

In reply to M3XLG:
Chris
Develop a thick skin, read the comments, give one or two a try if you have time and location (and money!). If you make comments here - people will comment back. Don’t take it personally. (<<–the most important bit) but do think about what people say. (they can be shot down in flames by others too!).

Very few people have the optimum QTH for an antenna, comparing a G5RV with an Antron needs remembering that other things are involved - a G5RV that’s not high enough to work properly, may be outperformed by the Antron which might be at just right a hight and clearance. Aerials are effected by lots of things. You’ll still hear lots on the g5rv but not much RF will get out.

Dipoles…
My favourite antenna hasn’t been the best - but a simple dipole made from coax soldered to speaker wire from the pound-shop cut to 20m dipole length - with a balun made by wrapping it around a discarded 50CDR case. This has been along on many holidays black-taped to a fishing rod in dipole (inverted V) style (tied with string to anything close) and has given me lots of time on-air and some great QRP contacts off the end of an FT817. I can send a link to my write-up for it on Google-Docs if you want to have a go.

73s Dave H
G0CER

In reply to G0CER: Hi Dave cheers for the heads up… Yes I know I maybe did jump and still have a valid point tho… hi hi.
I think mybe some ppl think I am a 16 year old with attitude! probably my spelling…lol. well no not at all… 37y so only just out of my nappies but have played around with antennas for some years. Check my site out loads of pics on there…

www.2e0xlg.co.uk

I sort of keep the antennas I like… The Antron has proved to be a good compromise. As you can see on my site I have some nice toys…the MBM88 for 70cms is a great antenna. The gain is fantastic on 70. Its won me alot of contests that beam…Also the 18ele Jaybeam…its 22foot long… not the sort of thing you take up pen’y’gent but I will do one day…for all the sota ppl who struggle to get there…lol OOOPSS! Got to go kids from school…

Chris