DX Commander

I'm trying a new antenna for HF: A DX Commander all-band vertical.

I've tinkered with many antennas over the years, mostly of the wire variety, and almost all horizontal: Doublets mostly, with a few long-wires and one horizontal loop. I've never for some reason had a chance to work with verticals, so this is a new area for me.

The characteristics of a vertical, though, are pretty desirable for some purposes: long-distance (DX) especially - the low angle of radiation is hard to beat unless your horizontal antenna is up pretty high, and being up high also means the price is high, so some degree.

I also have a need of an antenna that's not too hard to take down and transport, so the DX Commander fills the bill nicely on both counts.

I'm part-way through my build now. The antenna arrived on the 24th of July, in pretty good shape considering it's long journey, but I haven't had a lot of time to tinker with it so far. Today I was able to finish adding all the hose clamps (jubilee clips!) and start stringing the elements themselves - in a tentative manner so far, until final tuning.

Given the locations I'm planning to use the antenna are known for pretty windy conditions, I have taken the precaution of allowing for guy lines at all three of the "spreader" plates, not just the bottom one. I'm quite sure this is massive over-engineering, but given that I quite enjoy massive over-engineering, it's spot on for me.

I also have made up 5 nice bundles of radials, including one longer radial in each bundle to keep the 80m element happy, at least that's the plan. We'll see how it tunes soon.