Elecraft AX2 20M modifiable pocket antenna now shipping

AX2 illustration by Elecraft

Many thanks to Wayne (N6KR) at Elecraft who notes that the Elecraft AX2 20 meter pocket antenna is now shipping:

https://elecraft.com/collections/antennas/products/ax2-minature-20-meter-whip-antenna

Here’s the product description from Elecraft’s website:

The AX2 is small enough to take anywhere – just in time for lightweight field ops during the new solar cycle. Use it HT-style with a hand-held, like the KX2; on a picnic table with an AXB1 whip bipod; or with a tripod and AXT1 tripod adapter. The AX2’s rugged, nylon housing is water-resistant, with low wind resistance and our new anti-wobble design.

Illustration by Elecraft

Experimenters will love the AX2’s versatile design. A snap-off cover provides access to the high-Q inductor. Simply remove turns and re-solder one wire to cover your favorite band. Clip-off tabs are provided for band identification.

Elecraft also provides an AX1 and AX2 comparison chart on the AX2 product page:

COMPARISON CHART

The table below shows how the new AX2 20-meter mini-whip compares to our original AX1 multi-band whip. Both are designed for lightweight portable operation. The versatile AX1 covers multiple bands via a selector switch and can handle up to 30 W continuous TX power.

The ultra-compact AX2 has a new anti-tilt base design that minimizes BNC connector wobble – ideal for hand-held (HTstyle) use. While the AX2 covers 20 meters as shipped, it can be modified by the user to cover any single band from 17 through 6 meters. The base unit includes small tabs that can be clipped off to identify the target band.

NOTE: Both whips are intended to be used with an ATU to compensate for terrain, body capacitance, height, etc.

A reader recently asked if I’d be selling my AX1 after learning about the AX2, but that isn’t going to happen. The AX2 is a 20 meters and up antenna and I see it as being a brilliant SOTA companion since its lightweight, stable design should do well on windy summits.

For POTA and WWFF, however, I really rely on the 40 meter band for most of my contacts. The AX1 covers 40 meters brilliantly (and 20M and 17M) so I’ll still rely on it quite heavily.

Click here to check out the AX2 antenna on Elecraft’s website. The price is currently $79.99 US plus shipping.

7 thoughts on “Elecraft AX2 20M modifiable pocket antenna now shipping”

  1. It appears you can use the 40m extender with the AX2 as well (see their comparison chart). The biggest difference seems to be that the AX2 is smaller and you can fiddle with the inductor. The AX1 is a little larger and has a switch to go to 17m.

    I’m still leaning AX1.

  2. I just received the AX1, have not tried it yet, and at the advice of Ham on here just ordered the 40m attachment, should be here in a few days. I am very skeptal of short antennas for HF, really any band, but reports of the AX1 on 40 & 20m are good. I will be comparing to my 65 ft 40m OCF dipole and 20m HamSticks as dipole on short tripod.

    The AX1 is really the first vertical for HF I have used. I like wire antennas for HF, but anyone working HF CW know many use verticals.

    Thanks for the article on the AX2. I will not be using my AX1 attached to my IC705, will put on a tripod I( have the AXT-1 camera tripod attachment) so I can get the antenna out into the open. I will not get the AX2 for AX1 does all I will need for this operations, but guess AX2 would be ok for foot mobile.

    73, ron, n9ee/r

    1. Yesterday, Dec 18 at Anclote Park in mid/west Florida I tried my AX1 20m version on camera tripod along side my 40m OCF dipole on 20 ft portable flag pole and no comparison. The AX1 sucked big time, just on rcv was 6-8 S units below the OCF dipole.

      I kept trying the AX1 to call stations calling CQ, did one response, then swtich to the OCFD and quickly made contact.

      I’m really not surprised. Short vertical. SWR was high with AX1 alone on RG58 coax, had to use my T1 tuner.

      If responding to strong stations then might get good results, but that is not a good test of an antenna.

      Never take the AX1 into the field again. I like to send it back to EleCraft.

      73, ron, n9ee

      1. Thanks for your comment, Ron. You’re right: there’s no comparison between the AX1 and an OCF dipole, a resonant EFHW, or any other larger aperture wire antenna. At some point (when I can think about it in advance) I’ll take the AX1 and a wire antenna to the field and show how much they differ.

        For me? The AX1 is all about convenience and fun. I did an activation last week on 20 meters with the IC-705 paired with the AX1 and it was brilliant. Likely one of the fastest activation validations I’ve ever done to date. Yesterday, I was at Cape Hatteras National Seashore HQ and used the AX1 so I wouldn’t have to ask for permission to set up a big antenna. It performed beautifully on 40M.

        Think is, if I were doing pure chasing, it would be different because I might be fighting to be heard over other people. As an activator, they’re listening for my wee signal.

        This brings up a good point and I really need to talk about what the AX1 is and isn’t. I think I’ll start a post!

        Cheers,
        Thomas

  3. Read your article on 11/23 and ordered the AX2 with the 40 meter extender the same day. Just got a note that I’m #40 on the waitlist (2-3 more weeks)! My mid-Nov waitlist request for the DIY599 amp is showing an 18-month wait! I guess there is a HUGE demand for qualify QRP/portable products … interesting … THANKS for ALL the great posts and info!

    73, Bill, W4LTC

    1. This is a game of patience these days, isn’t it Bill? 🙂 You’ve made some solid choices, though, so “good things come to those who wait.”

      Thank you for the kind comment, sir!
      Cheers,
      Thomas

      1. We’ll, this evening, not 2-3 weeks, but 2-3 days later I got another email that my antenna has shipped! YAY! Frustrating to pay and then ave to wait a couple weeks, but really, the Elecraft communication was responsive, and, again, I’m so struck by the demand for quality, innovative QRP products! Thanks for keeping us so well informed from your work.

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