Earlier this year (or maybe late last year its hard to tell these days!) I got myself the Slidewinder Coil from M1ECC antennas and after chatting with them I found out about the new Military Folding antenna they would be selling. I have had good results when operating portable with my superantenna MP1C and a longer whip such as the bud dipole mini shock cord whip so was very interested in getting something a bit more hard wearing.
So when it was available for sale yesterday I ordered one, the price looked good – certainly less expense than some of the other military type whips on the market, such as the Chameleon one, and coming from a UK supplier much lower postage rates.
The antenna arrived today and on opening the package I was not disappointed with it, in fact I was impressed. The quality is excellent it has a bit of weight to it without being too heavy so it feels robust and like it can take a bit of punishment.
The 7 sections are made from stainless steel and the connectors are brass and when unfolded supports its weight and does not bend much in the wind. It’s painted green and has a strap fixed to the bottom section that is used to keep the sections together when folded.
Unfolding the antenna from the top section and setting up on the Slidewinder coil went well and I then manually tuned it but adjusting the slider for max noise from the radio, before sending a carried to check the SWR using the IC-705’s on screen meter. I got it spot on first time, but in my defence I have done this before 😉
Conditions didn’t seem too good but I had time to try it out before the rain got here, so I connected my surface go 2 to the IC-705 WiFi to wirelessly run FT8 on 20, 30 and 40m to see how it would do.
The antenna is almost 3m/9ft long so tuning to 20m didn’t need much of the coil, on 40m was just over half way down – or just under half way up depending on your point of view 🙂
So did it work? Yes of course. I got results thats I expected given my location and position. The antenna is a similar length to my budipole mini shock cord whip so I had something to compare it to. Using 5W with JS8Call on 40m and FT8 on 20, 30 and 40m I was heard in Europe and had a couple of FT8 exchanges. I could also hear a few stations on SSB but didn’t have a QSO before the rain started.
I think this antenna will replace my existing whips when I want to use this configuration it seems like it will take a bit more punishment than the others and its thinner and has less weight (I think).
I have already planned some portable operations this weekend so I will take this with me and try and make a few POTA contacts again.
You can find out more about this antenna (and the Slidewinder coil) on M1ECC Antenna website – https://m1ecc-antennas.onlineweb.shop/Military_Folding_Antenna_Manpack_7_Sections/p7313406_21161932.aspx