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The Buddipole Deluxe Antenna

The Buddipole Deluxe long version.

The Buddipole antenna is a very compact lightweight antenna that covers from 40 meters to 2 meters as standard and can be homebrewed to work on 80m and 160m or larger coils can be bought for 80m operation.

It is used by QRP hilltop operators, DXpeditions,  Backpackers/Hikers and hams all over the world as well as the US military and search & rescue teams. Its power Rating is rated at 250Watts.

Whats in the Bag.

1. The Versatee center.
2. 2x antenna arms 22 inches in length.
3. 3x longer antenna whips (1 Spare).
4. 50 feet of coax assembled with Zero-loss balun at feed point (25 feet is standard).
5. 16 feet mast (8 feet is standard).
6. A sturdy tripod with expendable legs.
7. 2x High-Q coils, one black one red.
8. Extra coil clips in case you loose any out in the field.
9. 3 guy ropes with pegs and a Velcro strap to attach them to the mast.
9. A pouch to keep the buddipole in.
10. A quality made padded bag to keep all of the above safe.

First thoughts out of the box
Excellent craftsmanship and precise engineering make it a top quality piece of equipment that is visible from the start.
The machine work on the rotating arm kit and use of excellent materials on all parts is also apparent.
Even the bag is stitch perfect and is perfectly designed for the job in hand with space for extras
Its like the meccano/lego set of the antenna world with many more uses than it was designed for.
K2GW - Gary Wilson posted on this site  and shows how the Buddipole could easily be used on 80meters with some simple wire elements this could be extended for use on 160m.

It can be a horizontal dipole, a J pole on 2m, a vertical, an L , a V or a sloper with the rotating arm kit (RAK) its very versatile/adaptable to conditions and locations. The latest offerings from Buddipole can make this into a 2 element yagi for 6 meters with a few extra parts.
I opted for the longer 16 feet version of the telescopic mast with the longer 9.5 feet long telescopic whips, the 50 feet coax assembly and the counterpoise kit for vertical use.
This antenna is defiantly an antenna for the fiddler type of ham who likes gadgets and experimenting which suits me right down to the ground.
I was told before I bought this antenna that an analyzer would be a good investment and would make tuning this antenna a doddle, I took my chances and followed the instructions set by Budd & Chris at Buddipole as I couldn't wait...
The first trial.
I wanted operate with this antenna on 20 meters so these are the steps I took to get it up and operational.
1. I attached the coil clip on the black coil at the 4th turn.
2. I attached the coil clip on the red coil at the 9th turn.
3. I extracted the black side whip all the way, I extracted the red side whip 5.5 sections as a rough start.
4. I attached the Velcro guy strap and the guy ropes just under the versatee
5. I attached the coax assembly to the versatee, added the strain relief and extended the mast up to 18 (2 feet is added with the tripod) feet.
I dialed to 14.240mhz on the ft-817nd and found the frequency was clear, selected FM and 2.5watts and transmitted a carrier while watching the SWR on the FT817. It displayed 3 bars on the scale so adjustment was needed.
I dropped the telescopic mast down so the antenna was a workable height and lengthened the red side whip by about 4 inches.
Raised the Versatee back up to 18 feet and tried again, this time no bars were lit on the display of the FT-817nd.
It was resonant.. 1 adjustment was all that was needed, I didn't expect that to happen!
I raised the power up to 5 watts and had a quick browse through the band, I immediately heard Fred W4KRT running a DX net on 14.244mhz, I waited for him to call for more stations check in and gave it a try.
Fred heard me first call and gave me a 5 by 5 which to be honest was mind blowing for the first attempt.
This is a 4,298.8 mile contact which works out to 859.78 miles per watt, I know this is no record but for a first attempt I'm over the moon.
As a summary.
I bought this antenna to use in its intended function i.e:- A small lightweight multiband HF antenna for use while out portable at hilltops and at the beach, maybe sometimes to use while on holiday etc.
I didn't buy it to have setup in the back garden permanent as it could be out performed by a half wave dipole at a greater height, this antenna isn't designed for that.
Its also not going to out perform huge yagi antennas on huge towers.. again its not designed to.
It fits the bill.
It does everything it says it can do and more.
No corners were cut in the design and manufacture of this antenna.
Its quite expensive to buy in the U.K. so I decided to skip the middle man and deal direct with the Budd and Chris at Buddipole for a massive saving. There is a huge support base a the Buddipole Yahoo Group as well as email and direct phone support if you get stuck.


The M0VST Score

Cost - 6/10 in the UK 8/10 from the USA
Build quality - 10/10 I can't fault it, beautifully designed and built to last.

Ease of use - 8/10 I could see how without an analyzer or a cheat sheet with the coil settings it could be difficult to start off with.
Performance - 9.5/10 for its weight, size and the versatility it packs a big punch in a small package.

All the best

And good DX in 2010

Mark - M0VST - KD8MGW

To add after nearly a year of using it portable it still amazes me

update 1/1/11


14 Oct 2010, 04:06
7 Oct 2010, 08:22