Friday, January 25, 2013

A new antenna coming soon.........

I was going through my QST this week an had notice an add for a new antenna by SteppIR. In the past I would had just passed by the add but this antenna in the picture had an eye catching look to it. It's called the CrankIR vertical and can be used from 2m to 40m or another unit that goes from 2m to 20m (an 80m unit is in the works) The antenna is great for portable ops, field day, emergency and neighborhood restricted antenna areas...and the list goes on!! For me this antenna can easily fit into a nap-sack and carried out into
Mounted on bench
 the great outdoors, placed in the truck of my Scion IQ and hauled to a park and setup at a picnic bench were I have done many a mini contest from.
So lets look at the nitty gritty of the antenna first off it's made by SteppIR who has a GREAT reputation and has been the choice of many DXpeditions. The 20m version extends to 9 feet and when folded up is only 26 inches. The 40m version is 18 feet and reduces to 30 inches. As far as I am concerned both sizes are very manageable for transporting. I am not gong to high light evey detail as there is a link on this post to the SteppIR CrankIR page with limited info but more to come!!  This antenna is due to make its purchase date in the spring of this year. I did send an email to SteppIR with some questions about the antenna and Bart was very prompt to get back to me.

My Questions were........
1. I did not notice any radials are there any? (I asked this because for portable ops sometime radials can become a pain especially if you are in a park where the public is.)
Bart's answer was.....
The antenna will be designed to work with a single, elevated, tuned radial (included) 
Now what I get from this answer is the radial is the crank up wire that is surrounding the antenna I had thought this was for the cranking of the antenna up and down. 
 Note...see green section below for correct after the fact info.....
My next question was....
 2. Was the cable and crank up device part of the antenna or a separate piece?

Bart's answer was......
 The crank is for extending or retracting the element around the frame of the antenna. It does not raise/lower the antenna or support tube.
The 40 to 2m retracted

This is were I got the impression the cable was not to raise and lower the antenna element and was the elevated tuning radial he spoke of. As for the whether or not it was attached to the antenna  was not sure what his answer was...BUT the picture to the left seems to look like it is attached to the base of the antenna. There looks to be a bolt just below Mike's hand.

Bart's answer was........
Prices have not been set, but we do expect them to start at about $250.  
So there yo go just some tidbits of info about what seems to be a very nice antenna from a very reputable company!!

  THERE HAS BEEN SOME COMMUNICATION BETWEEN MYSELF AND STEPPIR SINCE THE POST.....IT WOULD SEEM I MISUNDERSTOOD  AN EMAIL. THE CABLE YOU SEE IN THE PICTURE DOES RAISE AND LOWER THE ANTENNA ELEMENT TO THE DESIRED BAND TO WHICH YOU WANT TO OPERATE IT'S NOT A COUNTER POISE. (MY MISTAKE) BART TOLD ME THERE IS A COUNTERPOISE THAT WILL (THIS IS THE PLAN) EXTEND AND RETRACT FROM THE BASE WITH ANTENNA AS YOU GO FROM BAND TO BAND.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Mike, I like new antenna designs. So I keep an eye on this particular antenna for the near future.
    Have a nice weekend, 73 Paul

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    1. Good afternoon Paul, yes this antenna caught my eye and seemed like it could really work for lots of folks who have small lots and or those who do portable ops.
      Mike
      73

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  2. Hello Mike, I knew about this antenna already for a couple of weeks. it looks interesting, but as always I think steppIR is way overprized :-( I think I'll stick at homemade antennas. 73, Bas

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    1. Hello Bas, there for sure is nothing at all wrong with the home brewed antennas for sure.
      Mike

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  3. Hi Mike, I will be looking for a new antenna to stick out the window of my USA apartment this Spring. I will give this one a look-over.
    73 Dick

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dick, this is a nice antenna in that it can become different sizes for each band you want to work on. It also can go up and come down in a snap as well. As more info comes out on this antenna you will be able to make a more informed decision about it.

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  4. Hello Mike,

    I'll be watching for this and looking forward to performance results from customers. Thanks for posting.

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    1. John good to hear from you and yes that will be the true test once the hams get their hands on it and start to use it.
      Mike
      Have a nice weekend.

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