Telex/Hy-Gain portable dipole

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From: Philip M Cloud (kr4it@juno.com)
Date: Sat Aug 17 1996 - 20:51:11 EDT


Hello fellow listees. I received the new Telex/Hy-Gain catalog today
along with a copy of the Model 19-PD instruction manual. As most of you
are probably aware from my previous posts, Hy-Gain stopped production at
least 5 years ago of the stainless steel tape measure antenna because of
supplier problems, specifically with the stainless steel tape. These are
really great antennas and generally treasured by their owners. When I
called Hy-Gain to check abt replacement elements they told me the above
very sad story. However the were just announcing a replacement 2-30 mhz
portable dipole using a synthetic cord with embedded conductors woven
into it. I think there has been a few messages posted about where you
could obtain the stuff. I am interested now, hi hi. Anyway from the
salesman/engineers description it seemed to be a modern update of the old
tape measure antenna. I expected some kind of reel mechanism, built-in
balun, all told kind of a neat package. The instruction manual I
received today is very descriptive and contains a number of pictures and
drawings. The new 19-PD is NOT as equal substitute for the tape-measure
dipole. A drawing or picture is worth a thousand words (no, ten thousand
the way I write). But the way I would describe it is that you have a
so-239 center-piece to which is attached to 116 1/2 ft runs on each side
of the embedded cord. These have attached at their ends manual
cable/rope winds (Hy-Gain calls them 'element bobbins'). I use these
myself ($1 each at the local Payless) to hold rope, rg58, electric
cords, all kinds of windable things. Actually these appear to very
pretty fancy 'bobbins' as they have an extension off of each each where
the end of the cable is attached and the frequency marker on the cable is
pushed thru a binding post with a knurled nut to tighten the assembly. I
am not an antenna expert but I have built a variety of increasingly
esoteric wire antennas and it appears to me that the unused element cord
still wound up on the bobbin probably provides a measure of capacitance
that widens the 1:1 band-width of the antenna. Something like a double
bazooka. To the ends and butting up against the element bobbins are
another bobbin at each end serving as storage for the 100' of dacron cord
used to hang it in the trees.
My impression: While I am sure this is a fine product, it is NOT what I
would call a suitable replacement for my tape-measure dipole. Actually
it looks a lot like a few portable dipoles I have put together. The
'bobbin' with the knurled nut hardware looks interesting but not
impossible to put together yourself. At the srp (suggested retail price)
of $263.95 this thing looks like a $1200 USAF toilet seat in my mind. I
dont believe I would be interested at 1/2 the price. Don't get me wrong
here. I think Hy-Gain makes some fine reasonably priced antennas. I
have a real case of the 'gotta have hots' for the 18HTS (thats the 10-80
vertical at 50' high) that Hy-Gain builds and the > $700 price Hy-Gain
wants for it doesn't seem totally ridiculous to me, given the expense I
had with my 55' tilt-over, crank-up tower, beam and rotor, hi hi. Given
my feelings, I am not going to pursue a group or individual purchase of
the antenna. I would encourage each of you that expressed an interest to
call Telex, ask for a catalog and draw your own opinion. Their amateur
division telephone number is (402)467-5321. Sorry guys, but I love my
antenna and I thought that maybe here was a chance for the group to
benefit. 73/72 cul de Mike, KR4IT


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