I recently purchased an antenna on Ebay. The seller, Nelson Antennas, has several offerings available and based on a recommendation from someone in my CWOps Basic Course class, I purchased the UJM-EFHW-40-10 along with the 75/80 meter resonant kit.
The antenna is rated for 200w and from 10-40m (75/80 with the add-on as well), or more specifically for 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters in most installations. The seller does indicate that 12m is often usable depending on how you’ve installed it, with 30m and 17m usable with a tuner.
There are two things that I highly value from a seller (corporate, private, etc.); quality craftsmanship and good communication.
In this case I got both.
Overview and Construction
The antenna (40-10m portion) itself is 65 feet of 18 gauge marine wire, with a matchbox containing the unun and SO-239 connector. There is also an eyelet for various mounting options.
A short way up the wire from the matchbox is a loading coil, which then continues on towards where the add-on resonant kit is attached. That add-on kit adds another 6 feet or so of length. That is still about half the length of a full sized EFHW for 80m, and given my lack of backyard space, made this the best choice for my use.
Every antenna is some form of compromise, and there are multiple ways that compromises present themselves. From the construction of this antenna, quality is not an area where the seller compromised.
All metal parts are stainless steel. The wire is attached at various points using steel connections instead of nylon tie-wraps as I’ve seen from other vendors.
The matchbox base is gray, and the cover is transparent allowing you to see the components. All solder points look solid and nothing moves or rattles.
This antenna just feels solid in the hand.
The below is a quick analysis showing what I got with one end about 25 feet up in a maple tree, with the feedline end hung at about 8 feet atop a post, resulting in a sloper deployment.
With the 75/80 resonator add-on attached, 3.5m is sitting about 1.4:1, with 40m, 20m, 15m, and 10m about the same or lower in SWR.
In addition, 17m has a fairly low SWR of 2.04:1, 12m is at 1.92:1, and 30m could certainly be tuned into something that would be usable (if not as efficient as a resonant antenna would be).
This afternoon as 20m was starting to become more usable, I quickly checked VOACAP via my Hamclock running on a RPI4 and ran a test using WSPR.
It definitely performed as expected based on propagation predictions. All in all, 30 stations picked up the 100mW WSPR transmission at about 1pm Central (18:00 UTC) on this late September day in Minnesota.
I waited a few hours and retried the WSPR experiment above. Conditions had improved and at the same output of 100mW, I saw the following:
Similar to what I got before (VOACAP is still showing a doughnut around my QTH), but with the added bonuses of Spain (Islas Canarias off of Morocco) and Belgium.
The day after posting this review I did a more “real world” test in between meetings as I work from home. Below is 20w on 20 meters at about 11:30am Central (16:30 UTC) on RBN.
I also made one quick contact on CW about an hour earlier than this, and had a nice QSO with N0ZB in Kansas.
Now I just need to log some contacts and stop playing with it. 😉
I made my purchase fairly late in the evening as I was lying in bed and on my phone. To my surprise, I quickly received a message from the seller asking if I’d like him to attach the 75/80m kit before shipping. I responded in the affirmative and the next day got a shipping notification.
How is that for fast service and good comms?
With over 10,000 reviews on Ebay and a 100% customer feedback rating (myself included), I feel highly confident in recommending this antenna to anyone looking for a shortened 80m capable antenna.
While I haven’t had the antenna in the air for very long, I have found it to capture less noise than my 5 band vertical, and blend into the neighborhood landscaping (trees) much easier as well.
Great quality and craftsmanship, and good comms.
I will definitely be looking at his online store again for future purchases.