Consider that with the Buddipole you get (in essence) two vertical masts, two coils, three taps, a 'T' connector, two expandable whips, various plugs and connectors, high quality custom-terminated coax with strain relief, a great light weight carrying case and protective bag for only $45 more than ...competitor antenna x... (edited).
...you can see why I feel that it is a great deal...
Just to add a little bit of personal experience to this, I have the commercial Buddipole with the rotating arms that allow it to be configured in a variety of ways. Last week the XYL and I set out on our 30 Ft. Bayliner power cruiser for a 3 day two night trip over to one of our favorite Marina's in Virginia (I live in Maryland). I set up the Buddipole as a vertical. Supported the base of the telescoping mast in a fishing rod holder, and used the other 1/2 of the Buddipole as a horizontal counterpoise extended out over water.
In just a few hours of operating on Thursday and Friday Evenings with my FT-817 at 5 watts, on 15 and 20 meters I made 28 contacts in 18 countries and several solid rag chews. I'd say it works! And light and very portable it is indeed.
73, RICH - W3ZJ
Hello Budd and Chris,
Recently, I purchased and took delivery of "the works"...Buddipole antenna, mast and tripod. I want express my appreciation for a great product. First, I was impressed with the durable quality and physical robustness of the antenna, mast and tripod.
Everything works very well. I can set up any part or all of it within 15 min and using my MFJ259, I can set dimensions to my frequency of operation. I can easily adjust to low SWR and very close to 50 ohms. I use an FT-817 for portable operation.
This weekend, during portable operation in the mountains of WA, I had the most interesting 17M QSO: Yukon, FT817/Buddipole and AZ, FT817/Buddipole - all THREE of us with the same setup all running 5W and portable. I also picked up a new country: HJ0QGL in San Andres Isl. on 10M SSB! Then, I reached to the mast and twisted it to the south and worked Hawaii.
In every respect, the antenna, mast and tripod WORK! Aside from my FT-817 and my old FT-102, it is the best ham radio investment I've made in many years.
Should you have need for any testimony from me on the quality, usability and value of the Buddipole system, don't hesitate to ask. I would be happy to talk to them.
LARRY RYAN, W7DGP
Wow. That is all I can say...
I put the antenna on a 12 ft. painters pole while waiting for your tripod and mast, and tuned it up on 17, 20 and 40 meters. I was amazed how close it tuned up using the info that came with the antenna. I used my Autek RF-1 and tweaked the sections slightly, probably due to height above ground, and connected it to my FT-817 and all looks good.
It is terrific when something you purchase works with out of the box without any problems especially something like a multiband antenna which is affected by height above ground and surrounding objects which you, the designer, have no control over.
I can't wait to complete the buddipole antenna system with your mast and tripod...
73'S, JOHN K2GVP
I ordered and received a Commercial BuddiPole antenna last week. If you are interested in camping, hiking or just generally like operating in the great outdoors or live in motel rooms quite often, then you should check out www.buddipole.com This is a really nice antenna. Check it out, if you are like me... basically a skeptic, then you are in for a surprise.
I have been playing around with it and my K2 all weekend and it works really well. Surprised the daylights outa me!
Standard disclaimer applies, no financial interest, yadda, yadda, yadda.
I originally built a homebrew Buddipole and enjoyed it a lot. Recently, I purchased the commercial version and it has met my expectations in every way. The quality of construction and the materials used are first rate. The instructions are clear and easy to understand and the system is light weight so carrying it a distance would be no big deal. The system comes with the antenna, feedline, instructions, and a carrying case.
How does it perform? In a word--great! The antenna covers 40M - 2M and may be configured as a dipole, V, or a vertical. Most of my operating has been in the dipole configuration on 40M, 20M, and 17M. I use a 10 ft tall collapsable painter's pole as a mast and have been very pleased with the antenna in conjunction with my Yaesu FT-817 radio.
Budd, W3FF, provides great customer service. They have a users group forum online as well as email and phone support if needed. If you are in the market for a portable antenna system that works well with a minimum of fuss then you should give this antenna serious consideration.