Friday, December 25, 2009

The MFJ-2990 HF Vertical Antenna

Back in late May, I installed the MFJ-2990 HF Vertical antenna in my yard. To say I am impressed would be an understatement! I am very much amazed at how well it receives and transmits! I am getting constant excellent reports on my signal on all modes. I have compared it to my Alpha-Delta DX-CC dipole and the dipole loses by quite a lot. It does do a fair job of receiving but the signal strengths are just not as large, and neither are the signal reports from the other stations.
The instructions for the antenna say that you need to put down 16 radials, but I just installed an 8 ft. ground rod next to the base and that was all. Our ground in IL has good conductivity even in the hot summertime. The base is in concrete measuring 14" wide by about 30" deep. We used 350 lb of concrete mix. The antenna will withstand winds of 40 mph without guy ropes, but I put two ropes on it to be safe. It is on the east side of the house so it is fairly protected from the SW and NW winds that get pretty strong here.
I recently added a Tokyo Hy-Power HL450B amplifier to my station. Using the MFJ-2990 with that amplifier really makes a whopping difference! I worked a guy in New Jersey on 20 meters SSB a couple of weeks ago. He had a Mosley TA-33 beam pointed away from me, and I was hitting him with an S-9 signal off the BACK of the beam! I shudder to think of what my signal report would have been if he had his beam pointed at me!
Today I worked an Australian station, VK2KM, near Sydney and got a 599 report using the PSK31 mode and 40 watts.
I would highly recommend this antenna to any ham who wants something with a small footprint, easy installation and great performance. If you have one of these antennas, I would be interested to know your opinion.


John, AA9UF

1 comment:

Prairie Surfers said...

Hi John, I recently bought this same antenna and was wanting your input on placing the 8ft copper rod. I just bought the rod. I was wondering if you drove the entire 8ft rod straight down into the ground? Did you connect the MFJ 2990 ground wire to the rod?