Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The trusty Antron 99 is a much-underestimated antenna

My Antron 99 is a wonder. It's a simple vertical, designed to operate on the citizens band, but has effective performance on the 17 metres, 12 metres and 10 metres amateur bands. I have used it for years for the higher bands, often as an alternative to the hexbeam. It has worked wonders for me. On 28 Mhz, when the sunspot numbers were really good, I worked DXCC and much more in about six weeks during the solar peak. Many of those contacts were made using the Antron.

The reach of my signal today on FT8 using between 15 watts and 75 watts and the Antron.

It is a half wave over quarter wave variable mutual transductance tuned antenna and is rated for 2,000 watts (I assume that's PEP). It doesn't claim to be anything special, and I have heard several hams saying that it isn't, and that by virtue of its design it shouldn't be anything special. But it works, and works well.

I have recently been enjoying using the Antron for some FT8 activity on 17 metres. A couple of days ago, while calling CQ with just 20 watts, I was answered by two Japanese (JA) stations and successfully logged them. Today, I decided to increase the power a bit and was delighted to see the great reach of my humble station. My signal has been decoded as far east as Japan and as far west as California. Not bad for a CB antenna!

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