View Full Version : Hamstick vs. ProComm vs. Workman ???
03-23-2009, 01:48 AM
I'm considering a single band mobile antenna for mounting on top of the cab of my pickup truck. Three manufacturers all claim to have similar type monoband "stick" type antennas. Hamstick seems to be the most popular, but is also twice the price of either ProComm or Workman. Does anyone have experience with either of them, and are you pleased with their performance, durability, construction, etc.
Jim - W3JKD
03-23-2009, 06:30 AM
hi jim. i have procomm sticks for 12 thru 80, and the construction is very good. i find them very durable, having used them since 1998. for 10m, i use a ham stick, and they all work very well. the main thing, as you know, is to ensure they are resonant. for 20m and up, i found they adjusted very well, with good bandwidth. you will need a matching network for 40/80m though, and the bandwidth will be narrow.
for the price, you cant go wrong !
vy 73 de bob. ve3ptc/gm0ley
04-01-2009, 11:14 PM
I've used "generic" hamsticks (branded "HF Power Rods") on 75, 40, and 20, and they've done a really good job. The get out fine and are almost trivial to install. I used a Diamond K400 truck/deck lid mount and that's all you really need. Resonating them, even the 75m stick, was just fine...about on the order of the Hustlers I've used in the past. 'Course, an antenna analyzer sure makes that much quicker and easier!
I also just picked up, but haven't tried yet, Workman antennas for 15 & 17. By eye, the two different types of "generic" hamsticks look identical. I've heard that the generic hamsticks are pretty much the same thing, except they're significantly less money than an "official" Hamstick, and their performance sure seems to confirm that information. There's no reason to spend the extra $$$$ for the "official" model.
The only minus I can see about these antennas (that I'm trying to figure out a solution to) is organizing and storing them. I've now got 6 of them (I've got two for 75m - someday I'm going to try them as a dipole), and it gets difficult keeping the top parts with the proper bottom parts and to store them well.
04-02-2009, 01:47 AM
I too am in the market for a few Hamstick (or eqv.) for a mobile installation. My research so far has shown that the differences are thus...
Max Power Rating
Hamstick -- 600W
Procomm -- 500W
Workman -- 250W
Shark ----- 250W
..... Procomm .... Hamstick ..... Shark
6m - 1000 KHz ..... 2000 KHz ........ 1000 KHz
10m - 550 KHz ..... 1000 KHz ........ 500 KHz
12m - 300 KHz ..... BAND ............. 300 KHz
15m - 210 KHz ..... 350 KHz .......... 200 KHz
17m - 175 KHz ..... BAND ............. 175 KHz
20m - 150 KHz ..... 175 KHz ......... 150 KHz
30m - 100 KHz ..... BAND ............. 500 KHz
40m - 75 KHz ....... 60 KHz ........... 60 KHz
60m - 50 KHz ....... 60 KHz ........... ----------
75m - 40 KHz ....... 10 KHz ........... 36KHz
No bandwidth data is listed for the Workman models...
Workman and Shark models have no 60m version.
The Shark models also come in a 'mini' version with the same power levels, but narrower bandwidths.
The above specs were pulled from Hamstick's (http://www.hamstick.com/9106.htm) official site, Universal Radio's (http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamantm/2521.html) site, and K1CRA's Radio Store (https://www.k1cra.com/catalog/product.aspx?productID=1371).
Also, the whip ferrule on the Procomm and Workman models unscrews, so you can leave the whip locked in its tuned position when disassembling them for transport. The Universal Radio and Hamstick sites do not include enough detail to know if they work the same way.
There is almost no difference in prices between the Procomm and Workman models, while the Shark's are about $4 more, and -true- Hamsticks are $10 to $15 more depending on frequency.
04-05-2009, 01:36 AM
Great data table. Thanks.
And here's a recent performance report. I was driving down on the New Jersey Turnpike yesterday with my 40m hamstick installed, and listening on an FT-817. I was mostly just listening (I mean...5w mobile...well...), but couldn't resist getting a signal report. I hooked up with someone down in N.C. The report he gave me was 43. So...it got me out there. I was pretty surprised when he answered my call. Had I had the 857 hooked up, it would have been a solid QSO.
One thing about running a hamstick at speed. They cause noticeable wind noise inside the car. It wasn't all that objectionable, but it's going to take some getting used to. But then, that was the first time I'd had it on the interstate at speed and I was also being very alert to making sure I'd installed it securely enough & it didn't wind getting dragged along the turnpike. Everything turned out OK.
04-20-2009, 03:19 PM
I noticed a difference between my "HF Power Rods" and my Workman hamstick this weekend. The Workman has a tapered rod for the adjustable top part, while the "HF Power Rods" have a simple straight rod. I don't really call this a significant difference, or maybe it bends less from wind?
Also, while all of my HF Power Rods tuned easily, on the Workman the top part was too long. The highest I could get it to tune was about 16 MHz. No big deal, really, all I have to do is cut it down (and this is in the instructions). The pity was that I didn't have the proper tool, so I had to wait to work 17m. Also, this was a case of being very glad to have an analyzer. This could have been pretty frustrating without one.
04-21-2009, 04:15 AM
Hamstick has ceased operations?
04-21-2009, 11:27 AM
According to their website, they will be taking e-mail orders soon. I've got a 75m, 40m, & 15m Hamstick and have never had any success with them. :mad:
Now, with my Hustler's on the MO-2 mast, I get great signal reports out of my Icom 706MkII-G. :D Both antennas are mounted on a pipe, ladder rack/antenna platform on my Ford F-150 that runs from bumper to bumper. No, I can't go through the drive-thru, LOL!
Grid Square: EM-32
03-11-2010, 05:36 PM
75M --- very very questionable. I have had good results on 20M and 40M with a bumper mount - not optimal - but necessary when mobile. When I'm working "fixed mobile" the stick goes on the roof with a large magnetic mount. Centering the 1/4 wave above the ground plane (your vehicle) with a large tri-magnetic mount (for more coupling --- capacitance) actually works. Benefits are no tuner required....from the top, car as ground plan actually "looks like" descending radials. Cons are - bandwidth (has to be limited necessarily by design of the antenna, but you can still do well condition dependent)- and not good to drive around with an 8' plus antenna on the auto roof. 73
FYI, if anyone has a Dodge RAM Truck or Durango, then I highly recommend the Firestik 3/8 mount kit. It's specifically designed to use a pre-existing fender bolt so there's no drilling required. The hood covers part of the bracket so it's very clean and professional looking. It works great! I can post a picture of it if anyone is interested. Best of all, it's only like $25.
PS. Hamstick is definitely still in business. I just got a spare whip and their 40m version last week.