Many thanks to Barry (KU3X) for sharing the following guest post originally posted on his website:
Product Review: PAC-12 Portable Multi Band Vertical Antenna
by Barry G. Kery, KU3X
I am always on the hunt for a better mouse trap. Dave, NB3R came across a great multi band vertical antenna for portable operating. It’s a, “ PAC-12 7-50MHz Shortwave Antenna “ found on AliExpress.com.
The PAC-12 antenna is designed to operate on any frequency from 6 meters down to 40 meters.
Numerous manufactures make multi band vertical antennas designed to be used for portable operating. Some have quality issues and others may have performance issues, or both? Any hunk of wire or aluminum will radiate if RF is applied to it, but how much will be radiated is the question.
When it comes to ground mounted vertical antennas, one major factor that effects performance is the ground radial field. The PAC-12 comes with a long ribbon cable that you will have to separate each wire and cut to a quarter wave length per band of operation. There are ten wires within the ribbon cable. The length of the ribbon cable is 18 feet. This is too short for 40 meters but perfect for 20 meters. I made four 35 foot long radials out of some wire I had laying around the shack. This will increase the performance on the 40 meter band as well as making a better match. Spread the radial wires out equally around the base of the antenna. Since the radials are not elevated, they do not have to be tuned but it does make for a better match.
The stake is strong enough to support the entire antenna, even on windy days. The feed insulator has an SO-239 for connecting your coax. The feed insulator must be attached to the ground stake correctly. Make sure the writing on the insulator is on top of the SO-239 and the black portion of the insulator is attached to the ground stake.
Most manufactures, not all, use a tapped base loading coil to make the antenna resonant on numerous bands. On a quarter wave antenna, the wire or aluminum closest to the feed point of the antenna is the current portion of the antenna and the current portion does the most radiating. Continue reading Barry reviews the PAC-12 portable antenna