All Band Vertical (ABV) 9-bands (80m through 6m)
* Automatic link establishment (ALE) Compliant
- ALE Communications
- SSB, CW, JT65 / JT8 & other Digital inc ALE
- DXpedition use
- Single-antenna Contests
- Survival and Preparedness use
- SOTA operators
- Portable or Holiday use
- Permanent fixture in back yard
Designed to work *without* any outboard ATU on 9-bands: 80m, 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m, 10m and 6m bands. Minor SWR adjustment possibly required on 30m and 6m bands. Your radio’s ATU function will easily cope with an extremely slight mis-match) All other bands better than 1.5:1 SWR.
This is a fast-deploy multi-band antenna utilising multiple quarter-waves on every band. 80m band is designed as an inverted L with a 19.5m long element.
But you have a choice: You can either build your DX Commander ABV/ALE with the inverted L for 80m (and use 30m with an ATU), *or* dispense completely with the 80m element and build only for the 40m and upwards and incorporate the 30m element. If using the 80m element, you may find that 17m band can “drift” in tuning slightly but still under 2:1 SWR.
Works great on 80m though, so I recommend making this a 9-band antenna. If you make the 80m element slightly longer, say down at 3.60MHz (I cut mine at around 3.75MHz), you will find that 30m will come in to near-resonance and will give you a great far-field pattern too.
One user has dispensed with both the 80m & 30m element options and instead, fitted a 5Mhz (60m band) element as inverted L instead. Food for thought.
All parts included and full instruction manual supplied.
- DX Commander Pole
- Radial Plate with SO239 and fly-lead and 6 bolts and wing-nuts
- Radiating plate with 7 bolts and wing nuts
- Insulated Nylon Guy plate with paracord for guying
- Insulated Nylon Upper Spreader plate for connecting 20m, 17m, 12m and 10m elements (longer elements just pass straight through)
- UV stable thin element tension cord and shock cord for slight tension
- 5 x UV stable insulated mini carabiners for connecting elements to the tension shock cord
- Stainless Hose-clips with rubber tubing stay-up kit for extra long-life vertical stability
- Glue-Lined heat-shrink to create loops at the top of each element for tension purposes
- 200m (650 feet) of complimentary antenna wire FOC with every order*
*FOC Antenna wire is ex-military 3-steel and 4-copper conductors in a nylon outer sheath and a further polythene protective covering. You will get 2 x 50m (325 feet) runs. These will need untwisting. Use a battery drill to untwist, tying off one end to a tree for first-use. Feel free to use your own antenna wire. One connoisseur has purchased military Kevlar element wire for his DX Commander. Expensive but very nice.
Cut your element sizing as follows:
- 10m – 2.5m + 6 cms foldback (to make a loop with glue-lined heatshrink)
- 12m – 2.83 + 6 cm
- 17m – 3.83m + 6 cm
- 20m – 4.88m + 6 cm
- 30m – 6.74m + 6 cm
- 40m – 11.06m (foldback back down pole and cut to tune 15m perfectly [will not affect 40m tuning])
- 80m (OPTIONAL – and replaces 30m element) 19.5m (go up to where your 30m would have been (about 6.7m high) and then throw the remaining element over the nearest tree or through a window, using paracord and a small weight.
(Note: 15m is not required. Your 40m boomerang-match element will give you a perfect match on 15m band similar gain to a 5/8th)
Convert the remainder of the wire into radials. There is enough to make 30 x 5m (16.5 feet) radials. I personally only use 4m lengths these days. And you don’t need a complete circle of radials, you can place them in a 180 degree arc (for instance).
The DX Commander vertical system is based on the same technique as a fan dipole. Effectively it has a number of elements presenting themselves to your load and they self-select to achieve efficient quarter-wave performance on all bands, according to which quarter-wave elements are installed.
The 15m band is catered for by means of automatically resonating the 40m antenna and uses what we have called a “boomerang” foldback match to achieve a pseudo 5/8ths for 15m band. No tuner is required and the far field patterns are excellent for DX.
I run one of these in my back yard, sometimes with an amplifier but an ATU is NOT required unless I operate on 30m band, where the SWR is just under 3:1.
Here are some example QSO recordings using this antenna:
This antenna is designed to work perfectly with 30 or so small radials which may be deployed in moments. For optimum performance, I recommend 5 radial sets in bunches of 6 wires, only 4.5m (20 feet) in length. You are not limited to radial numbers though and you may increase the numbers and lengths of the radials for very slight efficiency gains if the desire takes you. Beware though, a substantial increase in radials will achieve very little, perhaps less than a single dB (if that) of extra gain. You will have enough wire to achieve this if you wish though.
My radials article explains more about this topic here: http://www.m0mcx.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/How-many-radials-do-I-need-for-a-vertical-antenna.pdf
And I don’t worry about making them perfectly concentric. I just scatter them on the ground as the desire takes me and unless for a permanent install, I do not peg the ends of the radials.
You will need to invest in a relaxed “build day” to make your first build and solder your fork connectors on and measure out your element lengths to make sure the antenna is repeatable so that in future, you can erect within 20 minutes and pack away in a similar time. Tip: Tape the ends of the radials together when you pack away so they unravel fast in a single easy run without tangles.
Alternatively, we offer a full build-service for £135. If you would like this option, get in touch and I’ll create an eBay product for you.
Once built, you’re build and tear-down time should be less than 20 minutes as in this film: https://youtu.be/0eqrmZMYV20.
The only thing you’ll need to supply yourself are some heavy-duty guy stakes.
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PS, as a request, we’ve started a user group over on Facebook. Search DX Commander on Facebook. You’ll track me down – or click the Contact button up top.