COMMERCIAL PRODUCT REVIEWS
I have used a lot of Commercial Ham Radio products here
as I need a high level of reliability, and I need it to work first time with no
problems and I need the products to be high performance.
Some manufacturers recently have been noted as giving false information about certain products and there are many false rumors and other information online that is not correct.
This page is to give all other Hams my experience, views, opinions and performance of products I use here at the VK2KRR station.
The VK2KRR station is quite a demanding site for radio products, mostly for tower mounted items in regards to reliability and strength in the windy environment here. If a product is deemed to be an excellent product for this station, you can rest assured that it will be good virtually anywhere (except maybe if you have ICE issues, which I dont).
Leigh by email at vk2krr (@) bigpond dot com.
VK2KRR CERTIFIED HAM RADIO EQUIPMENT
THIS IS A LIST OF MANUFACTURERS & PRODUCTS I HIGHLY
|COMPANY / PRODUCT||BRIEF COMMENTS|
|ACOM AMPLIFIERS||Excellent, does what they are supposed to do. Was supplied by Array Solutions, USA.|
|ANTENNAS/AMPLIFIERS - YAGI ANTENNAS||Excellent antennas, service and advice. Prompt construction and delivery.|
|144 MHz - 4 x 13 Element, 8m booms||Excellent|
|432 MHz - 4 x 30 Element, 8m booms||Excellent|
|162 MHz AIS - 4 x 11 Element, 5m booms||Excellent. Due to the vertical mounting the yagis can oscillate end to end with a light wind at 90deg to the boom. I think this is cause in part by the V shaped U bolts supplied. These bolts tend to crack at the bend points and fail. I have replaced them with normal round end U bolts and it seems much better. But other than this these antennas are excellent.|
|162 MHz Pre-amp/bandpass||Excellent|
|ARRAY SOLUTIONS AMATEUR RADIO EQUIPMENT||Customer service is excellent, the staff will go out of their way to help and provide very professional service. When you purchase something you receive it very quickly.|
|-Power Master 2 SWR Power meter||Excellent.|
|-160m Beverage Antenna Kit||Excellent.|
|DAVIS WEATHER STATIONS||Excellent, currently over 12 years and still going. Highly recommend.|
|GREEN HERON ENGINEERING ROTATOR CONTROLLERS||Very fast & knowledgeable service. Very fast shipping.|
|-RT21 Rotator Controller||Excellent. A fantastic product with digital read out for many rotators. Able to be controlled remotely.|
|ICOM HAM RADIO EQUIPMENT||Overall good radios. They do require a new rig for weak signal VHF UHF modes with appropriate features to fit the modern ham operator.|
|-IC910 radio||Overall a good radio. Requires GPS locking for stability and accuracy on weak signal digital modes.|
|-IC7200 radio||Excellent, does what its supposed to do. Great for digital modes on HF/6m|
|KENWOOD AMATEUR RADIO EQUIPMENT|
|-TS990s||Excellent. Built in provisions for running VHF UHF Transverters.|
|-TM281 2m FM mobile||Excellent mobile rig|
|KUHNE ELECTRONIC - HAM RADIO EQUIPMENT||Excellent customer service. Excellent products. Language barrier an issue at times, but good.|
|OPTIBEAM AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNAS||Excellent service. I found their freight arrangements to be a bit frustrating though.|
|-OB17-4||Amazing antennas. Extremely heavy duty, high performance antennas. Impressive.|
|-OB10-6||Awesome 10m yagi, very heavy duty construction.|
|-OB6-6||A good solid antenna. Good performance. Do not tighten the element platform U bolts too tight or they may crack in the corners over time.|
|YAESU ROTATORS||Excellent, does what its supposed to do.|
PRODUCT OR EQUIPMENT
BLACK LIST- Fairly
major problems with business/products listed below.
Be aware, I would not recommend these at all at this point in time.
|INNOVANTENNAS / G0KSC||Numerous problems with antennas supplied to me
for 2m band. In particular mechanical construction issues, and overall
antenna performance issues not matching what is claimed via their website,
particularly in relation to forward gain, side lobes, rear lobes and
overall pattern. As I run 2m WSPR 24 hours a day which gives me SNR Signal
to noise ratio results from all stations, I am well aware of if there is
improvement or degradation to antenna gain and side lobes etc.
No instructions were supplied, as they had never even built the antennas before and I was supplied instructions from a different antenna.
There was no offer to replace or refund money. When you pay extreme amounts for supposed 'the best' antennas, you expect them to work with no problems.
Companies like this really highlight to me that most Amateur Radio antenna manufacturers really are just that - Amateur.
|M2 ANTENNAS USA||Issues with a number of yagi antennas supplied
Construction and mechanical stability poor on some antennas.
Antennas provided were not correctly tuned and elements, in particular with the 162 MHz yagis I had, I had to CUT some of the elements myself to get it close to the desired frequency. In 162 MHz case, nearly an inch off each side of driven elements!
When you contact them and explain there is a problem, they do not respond or do not attempt to resolve, replace or refund money.
When you pay extreme amounts for supposed 'the best' antennas, you expect them to work with no problems. Sadly on a number of attempts, these antennas have FAILED.