Type:Amateur HF vertical antenna
Band(s):10 / 15 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 80 m
Beamwidth (-3 dB):Omni
Wind area:0.15 m² (1.5 ft²)
Max power:1.5 KW PEP (400 W PEP on 30 m band)
Impedance / connector:50 ohms / SO-239
Dimensions:Height: 7.9 m (26 ft)
Other:Ground radial kit, capacitive counterpoise kit or roof mounting kit required.
Related documents:User manual (132 KB)
LA2Z Hortengruppen av NRRL
I managed to purchase my antenna used from a local ham almost four years ago but set it aside for future use. Since then, I got a set of fourteen 33' counterpoise wires that a previous Butternut owner used on his antenna (thrown in with a transceiver that I purchased from him), followed several months ago by the purchase of an antenna tripod for portable or roof use. During the 2019 Christmas season I finally had some down time to devote towards setting up and experimenting with the antenna, which has had over three months of regular use.
First of all, I have to admit that aside from reassembling and testing the antenna with an analyzer I cannot comment on how easy or challenging it might be to bring down the SWR levels across several bands. The previous owner appeared to have set 75m to tune around 3.735, close to several local/regional Ontario nets that I was usually able to check into with ease. I found that the external auto-tuner for a Kenwood TS440S managed to tune to the 3.920 region where several Michigan nets regularly operate, providing decent service across 75m. Two other transceivers/tuners however were a bit narrower in their workable range.
The SWR was relatively flat on 40m, where the antenna got decent reports checking into ECARS and other daytime stations a few hundred miles away from me. Recently I managed three European contacts on 40m, a decent feat at 100W for an antenna set up within very limited space, even if the receiving stations were running power and directional antennas. While SWR on 20m was set at about 3:1, it also works fairly well on that band, and can be heard by some European stations under decent conditions. Much of the 10m band sat at a bit over 2:1 SWR, but with few openings this winter I hadn't spent much time or made contacts on that band.
I took down the antenna a few days ago, as it was set up with guys in a portable configuration with counterpoises all across the ground. As a renter, I knew that the landlord was looking forward to using the backyard, especially as we are essentially stuck in our homes during the coronavirus outbreak, and it didn't seem right to abuse his generosity towards my hobby and wait for him to ask for its removal. I could probably set it up again with about twenty to thirty minutes work for temporary use, at least until I either mount it on the roof with several matching radials, or back in the yard once the cooler weather returns in Autumn.
The antenna might take some work to fine tune on all of the higher bands, but there seemed to be little action above 20m this winter, probably on account of the current phase of the solar cycle. As a vertical it is a bit noisier than some of my other antennas, but I am still impressed given the many wires and objects nearby, not to mention increased local noise as most residents are still sheltering in place in nearby homes. It is of rugged make, and I trust that it will give me years of additional service, assuming the continued use of guys and perhaps lowering it in advance of extreme weather events.
Currently, the price for a new antenna is somewhat high in Canadian dollars, even before adding any radials, counterpoises and mounting equipment, that would probably exceed $1000 CDN in total, but as a used rig purchased at a decent price, I cannot complain. Hopefully I will be able to report in the future about its performance roof mounted with radials, and on whether or not I can achieve low SWR across all six of the bands that it was designed to work for.
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