Re: 23cm Antenna Issues

Paul Randall G3NJV

Hi Colin
I think I am still quite shocked by what I discovered Sunday; my expensive new antenna is junk. Two QSOs, outside less than 8 months, junk.
I'm a homebrewer, particularly antennas. A G3 wise enough not to take on homebrew projects my eyesight could not support, I researched widely for a modest but robust 23cm antenna for the 24/7/365 cluster on my house for use in all wx conditions.
All the sales material for this antenna promised a quality product. Lots of web publicity. The UK supplier is huge and I assumed, reliable. I am a retired professional, lots of experience in multi-million contracts for communications equipment. I did not take risks or cut corners but did not foresee this situation. 
Early days - the manufacturer seems to have one story for sales, another for service. Right now, on a different planet but I am hoping quality appears somewhere in the supply chain.  I will share the outcome here so others can benefit.
If all else fails I can cut my losses selling the remains on ebay. Some parts will be re-usable and the photos will tell the story, worldwide.
What bothers me is I purchased a 2m/70cm antenna at the same time, still in its box unused due to lockdown. If it corrodes just as badly, I won't find out before it is out of warranty - so a total loss. Whatever happened to quality products and trustworthy suppliers?

40 years ago I bought a rig from Ham Radio Outlet in USA whilst on a training course. My heart sank when one of the boxes arrived empty in my motel room. I was the perfect victim for a fraud but should not have worried because a quick phone call brought an immediate replacement, plus a $100 goodwill refund, plus an apology. Now that is service!

Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more, it seems dodgy antenna salesmen are still around.

From: <> on behalf of Colin Ranson <g8lbs@...>
Sent: 18 January 2021 22:47
To: <>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues

Sounds like a poor show Paul, can you at least tell us the make ?  and as its in warranty the supplier has ultimate responsibility to replace under the Sale of Goods Act ?





Colin de G8LBS.


Sent from Mail for Windows 10


From: Paul Randall G3NJV
Sent: 18 January 2021 22:29
Subject: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues


New to 23cm so bought an antenna from a well known manufacturer last April, supplied from a well known BIG ham outlet in the UK. This antenna looked solidly made and I was pleased with my purchase.
First used for the 23cm AC in May and taken down this weekend because bad SWR.
Shock, horror, the antenna is grossly corroded after less than 8 months outside. Still in warranty.
The boom is clean but all the element rods are deeply corroded, I mean this is DEEP corrosion, the sort you get with Mazac dinky toy metal.
The N connector is covered in brown rust from corroded mounting screws. The balun is so corroded the sealer weatherproofing the driven element box has detached.
The antenna was supplied assembled just needing the two halves to be mounted to the mast.
The factory assembled it without any protective compound (Duralac) between stainless steel and aluminium components - a recipe for rapid corrosion as any sailor will tell.
I've emailed the UK supplier, they referred me on to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer blind sided the complaint, saying their antennas were good, where I lived was bad. I need a specially made antenna. They suggested sandpapering the corrosion from the elements would make the antenna "good as new" as a temporary measure and I'm also offered a set of replacement elements - without any suggestion these will last longer.

Rebuiding the antenna is a lot of work; short rods held in plastic clips incredibly hard to line up properly without a factory jig. I don't trust my eyesight. I'm also questioning - should I be doing this on something still in warranty?

OK OK so I live in Cornwall with salt winds but my TV aerials, Jaybeam and Tonna ham aerials didn't corrode, just got blown apart. Hundreds of thousands of aluminium satellite TV dishes around here not "specially made" Even my home-made 2m "PVC yagi" using welding rod elements lasted over 5 years without corrosion, only dying recently due to metal fatigue (but not before working D4 on 2m and 70cm :-)

Am I out of touch or being told porkies? I would have thought if you needed "professional" software to design a good antenna, sandpapering the elements might not be ideal?



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