Choosing between the Chameloeon MPAS Lite and Chelegance MC-750 vertical antennas

The Chameleon MPAS Lite

Over the past few months I’ve been asked by a number of readers and subscribers about the differences between the Chameleon MPAS Lite and the Chelegance MC-750.

More specifically, folks who are looking for this type of portable HF antenna want to know which one they should buy. I have difficulty answering questions like this in an email or comment because I need to understand the operator first.

At the end of the day, both of these antennas are excellent choices; the decision has more to do with your own personal preferences and how you see yourself using the antenna.

Why buy a vertical?

The Chelegance MC-750

I believe every serious field operator ought to have at least one vertical antenna option available. Depending on where you’re operating, verticals might not be the highest-performing antenna you could deploy, but they may be the most convenient and rapid to deploy. Then again, if you’re sitting on the beach at the ocean or sea, a vertical can be a phenomenal DX antenna.

Verticals aren’t terribly difficult to build. In fact, one of the first field antennas I built many years ago was a 20 meter vertical, albeit with wires instead of telescoping whips.  That said, it’s difficult for some of us to build something as high quality and as durable as a commercially-produced vertical antenna system.

Both the MC-750 and MPAS Lite antennas are high-quality and very quick to deploy. I reach for them frequently because I often have only a short time on the air and any time saved setting up the antenna usually leads to more SOTA and POTA contacts.

MC-750 / MPAS Lite Comparison

Instead of writing a full article about the differences, I made a video where I discuss these two antennas at length. My focus and goal being to help those who are trying to make a purchase decision.

At the end of the day, I don’t think you could go wrong with either antenna system, but I do do think one may suit you slightly better based on your operating style and goals.



Click here to view on YouTube.

Below, I’ve also listed some key features and specs of both antennas along with links that you might find helpful:

Chelegance MC-750

  • Price: $179 + $50 shipping (via Chelegance)
  • Whip length: 5.2 Meters/17.06 Feet
  • Counterpoise: Quantity of four 11.48 foot counterpoises
  • Frequency range: 40M – 6M
  • Resonance markings: Yes (save 30M and 6M on current version)
  • Carry case: Yes, padded case included with purchases
  • Product manual (PDF)
  • Product Link

Chameleon MPAS Lite

  • Price: $360.00 (via Chameleon)
  • Whip length: 5.18 Meters/17 Feet
  • Counterpoise: 60 feet of tinned copper KEVLAR PTFE
  • Frequency range: 160M – 6M
  • Resonance markings: No
  • Carry case: No (Optional large backpack from Chameloen)
  • Includes 50 feet of high-quality coax with inline RF choke
  • Product manual (PDF)
  • Product Link

POTA/SOTA Activation Video Playlists:

14 thoughts on “Choosing between the Chameloeon MPAS Lite and Chelegance MC-750 vertical antennas”

  1. Thomas, have you tried a large alligator clip for the radial on the MPAS? I use three on my WRC. Very quick to deploy. Just clamp on the leg.

    1. I did something similar for my WRC. I built a set of jumpers with a 3/8″ ring terminal on one end and a power pole on the other. The 3/8″ terminals are “permanently” mounted between two nuts on each leg of the WRC tripod and a zip-tied the jumper to the leg to keep it secure.

      I also built a set of 18-16ft long counterpoise wires for the WRC as six-in-one units terminated with a power pole. I throws these out and connect the power pole to that mounted on each leg and have an improved ground field for the WRC.

      The MPAS matching unit will mount to the WRC tripod, but will be isolated from the base so another jumper is required for the ground field. I use this system when the spike cannot be driven into the ground and I want to use the MPAS.

  2. I have both antennas and the CHA Balun offers some additional flexibility with a longer wire in 0kace of the whip. Tuner required of course. So, My pick is get the Chelegance then get a Chameleon. Credit Card operators will call up DX Engineering and buy both.

  3. I understand that most if not all portable vertical users have one or both of the mentioned antennas. But has any one tried an MFJ-2286? 40 to 6M and handles 1kw!! Probably not because of “MFJ”. Alex K5UNY

    1. I’m sure someone here has used that antenna. I’d certainly welcome the opportunity. I like MFJ antennas.

    2. I got a ground stake on eBay from bd7-maple to use with a MFJ 17 foot whip and also the Wolf River coil.
      73s John N4HNO

  4. Thomas, great video ! I really like that the whip is pre-marked on the Chelegance antenna.

    I have the Chinese JPC-12 (PAC-12 clone) antenna that HB9GUR posted a link to in his first comment and I can also recommend this antenna. I have used mine for portable operation for two years and it is holding up well.

    It is a bit more compact than either of two comparison antennas (fully deployed it is about 12 feet tall) and it makes use of a coil with a sliding tap system for 40m, 30m and 20m, On higher bands you can either omit the coil or just move the slider to the very top. I am a long time Buddipole/Buddistick user and I feel that the build quality on the JPC-12 is quite comparable.
    I would guess that due to the shorter length the JPC-12 is probably less efficient on 40m that either the Chelegance or MPAS Lite but the plus side is that it is much more compact. It fits into a supplies small-laptop-sized nylon zipped case and also deploys in <5 minutes. The antenna and case will easily fit into a backpack or bicycle pannier. The only down-side of Chinese-made vertical antennas IMHO is that they use metric threading. It is very close to the standard 3/8-24 threading that you normally see on CB and Ham mobile antennas but not compatible. So, that rules out adding on additional antenna pieces or replacement whips from Buddipole etc.

    Michael VE3WMB

    P.S. The sliding tap system on the JPC-12 works well and it seems quite reliable. The taps for 20m and 40m are marked on the coil. Using an antenna analyzer I was able to find the correct position for 30m and marked that coil turn with a sharpie.

  5. Thanks for the comparison video – well done. Two comments:
    1) I don’t use the red knob for anything. My counterpoises are terminated in automotive ring fittings that fit perfectly between the ground spike and the transformer. I can add up to four CP’s easily that way.
    2) I reached out to Chameleon about a chart or table that would depict what lengths of the whip would get better resonance , much like the MC-170 has markings. I got a funny reply in that they said that they thought that that information was already out there , but they’d dig into it for me. I did due diligence and could not find any such table searching the internet. I will go out and run a test to see if I can come up with some dimensions.
    Again – thanks.

    1. I have the MPAS Lite and I have found its unadjusted 17’ whip SWR consistent with the graph on page 10 of the user guide. SWR for 40 and above is 2:1 or better; I never operate on 80 and 60 on POTA, so the higher SWR doesn’t matter to me. If they do for you, the inverted V configuration provides acceptable SWR on 160, 80 and 60.
      I should try additional radials and the ideas in the comments are helpful.

  6. I have the MPAS Lite and it’s an awesome antenna. I can operate on 40m and up with it without a tuner. Playing around with the wire a little will also give you good results on 80 and 60m too. Set up in sloper configurations it’s a perfect match on 60m. It’s pricey compared to some others on the market and that was a little hard to stomach for me, but the craftsmanship and quality is second to none. Aside from playing around building resonant dipoles I’ll probably never buy another portable KO4DNI

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