Notes from new Elecraft AX1/AX2 owners

After posting my latest field reports using the Elecraft AX1 antenna, I’ve received a number of messages from new AX1 owners. All of the following have kindly allowed me to share them here with you.

AX1 Patio DXing

From Michael (K1ETA):


I am a subscriber and an avid follower. [L]ike you, I do a lot of portable ops with various antenna setups and radios. I was recently offered an AX1 and I was told it was basically a dummy load. Having seen your videos and proof of success I accepted it and I can’t say how much fun I have with it. Yesterday, I made 22 DX contacts throughout Europe in the ARRL World Wide CW contest from my patio in my back yard with 5 watts, the AX1 and my KX2.

I would never have tried that with the AX1 had I not seen your videos. You see it is even good enough for contests if you don’t try to compete with the big guns. Listen, search and call back the stations without pileups!

Many thank for all you do and for making me an AX1 believer.


Michael Kenney (K1ETA)

Pairing the AX2 and Emtech ZM-2

From Michael (N7CCD):

Hi Thomas,

I just finished your video comparing the AX1 and AX2 and thought you might appreciate a solution I came up with for making my travel more compact.

I purchased the AX2 during the February sale and found it pairs well with the ZM-2 ATU for my IC-705 (wow what a mouthful of acronyms. No wonder my wife and daughter call me a nerd…). I didn’t get the tripod adapter in the sale, but found the AX2 sits perfectly on the ZM-2 which acts as a very stable stand. There is some body capacitance when tuning, but not too much. I was even able to easily tune it on 17M. I need to try other higher bands sometime.

I set it up in our breakfast nook just for kicks and sent a few JS8 and FT8 transmissions to see where I was being heard (I’ll include a screenshot). Was able to successfully send an APRS text message, and I even made an SSB contact into a special event station in Nevada!

I found a hard sided case I can store the tuner and AX2 in, which also had enough room to put in a “speaker wire” antenna as an option. Why not?

I think this may replace the AlexLoop for air travel since it’s so compact and versatile.

Hope all is well on your side of the country!

Michael – N7CCD

P.S. +16 into Michigan!

AX1 DXing

From Kevin (KD8IE):

Hi Tom,

After video about the AX1 recently, I decided to order one and it came last week.

The weather’s been kind of chilly up here. As a matter of fact, it was 41 when I decided to go out and do an activation then at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Well, suffice to say I made contacts with the antenna a lot farther than I expected it would be. The bands were really long. First station I worked was in New Brunswick. The last two stations were Italy and Slovenia.


Many thanks to all of you for sharing your experience and tips using the AX series antennas!

As a reminder, Elecraft has a February promotion on an AX1 and AX2 packages that includes free shipping. There are a few days of this promotion left at time of posting.

11 thoughts on “Notes from new Elecraft AX1/AX2 owners”

  1. While we all love Elecraft I want to make sure that the QRP Guys DS1 gets a fair shake. I have nothing to do with QRP Guys but I’ve done equally as well as all of the comments that I’ve seen here on the AX1. Granted, you have to build the antenna yourself and it may not look as sexy as the AX1 but it’s a whole lot of fun.

    I’ve found that extended the counterpoise wire from 16.5’ to I believe mine is 32’ has helped the antenna be a little more wide banded and tune a little easier than the recommended counterpoise length.

    There is nothing magic about either of these antennas, they simply work. I have many DX contacts with the DS1 and also a couple of very long rag chews. Most memorable was between Pittsburgh and Florida where where the guy in Florida simply didn’t believe that I was on an antenna that was 54” and running 10W. I sent him a quick video of me talking to him showing the setup and how my S-7 signal was really coming from this minimal setup.

    So if the AX1 price is a little out of you budget and you’d like to have something similar. Take a look at the QRO Guys DS1. You can have some pride in yourself from building you own antenna and get in on the fun for just over $75.


    1. Hello, and thanks for the content Thomas! I also have purchased the AX-2 while awaiting my KX-3… (since early November of 2022….). I can say that it is truly amazing in performance for such a compromised antenna according to engineering specifications.
      Kudos to all who have jumped in head first and may we all keep learning the mystery that is ham radio!
      73 de KN6UIZ

  2. I guess I was a little late to comment on this topic but I also purchased myself an AX2 to try out. Over the past few days I have been using it with my Xiegu x6100 in a pedestrian mobile style to hunt various POTA activators and boy does it perform. I got a 55 from Ham Radio 2.0 KC5HWB from Colorado to Texas which was quite thrilling.
    On another note, I purchased a KX2 from another ham and it will be arriving in the mail in a few days. Really looking forward to taking that on POTA and SOTA activations!

  3. I have no reservations with the A x1. It does work. I even clipped two 7 1/2 inch pieces of wire to the top of the whip and the swr on 20 meter came down to 1 5:1 w .o. a tuner. Having said that the Comet 350M is a first rate contender in a crowded field of portable quick deployment antennas. I dont understand the poor reviews. Couple both antennas with a Gabil tripod and you have a no nonsense solution for a fast, portable, limited space easy set up qrp antenna. An analyzer sure helps!

  4. I am curious if anyone has used the AX1 with the AXE1 40 meter extender and tuned this antenna for 40 meters using the Emtech ZM-2 tuner?

      1. Thanks Thomas, I’ll be waiting for your report. At the present time, the Emtech ZM-2 is the only tuner that I have. The AX1 with AXE1 40-meter extender is interesting to me and if it can be tuned with the ZM-2 would fit my humble station perfectly.

        Thanks, and 73 de Gordon (KO4AYC)

        1. Hi, Gordon,

          Yesterday, I put your question to the test. They’ll be a full field report and video out in a few weeks, but (spoiler alert): I was able to load 40 and 30M with eh AXE coil and long counterpoise, and 20 and 17M with the short counterpoise. 40 and 30M weren’t terribly active mid-day, of course, but 20 and 17M were pretty productive. I think I got the match on 40M around 2:1 or 1.7:1–had I spent the time to properly tune and re-arrange the counterpoise, I’m certain I could have gotten a lower SWR.

          Here’s what the setup looked like:

          Yaesu FT-818 and AX1


          1. Wow, Thank you for doing this setup! I will certainly look forward to your video and reading your full field report here on

            All the very best and 73 de Gordon (KO4AYC)

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