Transworld TW4040 and TW2010 - Compact vertical dipole - 40 meters
I have a Transworld TW2010 antenna with both the 2010 multiband center section and the 40 meter center section. These are roughly 6 foot high capacitively hatted vertical dipoles - a sideways H in appearance. Mine is mounted 6 feet off the ground at its base.
The antenna is assembled in minutes, snapping together without tools, yet very solid once locked in place. Mechanically, the antennas are a work of art. Very well designed for compact installation, storage, portability. I don't know about backpacking with it, but I don't really backpack...
I'd been using the 2010 for some time and recently switched to the 40 meter center section. I purchased the 40M section mainly thinking it could be helpful as a portable some day, not thinking it could really be effective (read on).
In parallel with this antenna, I've tried a few of makeshift dipoles (using an antenna tuner) and a rain gutter which serve as constrained comparisons. All of the makeshift antennas were good enough for a few contacts at least.
The Transworld 2010 - mostly on 20 meters - has been very impressive. Running at 100 watts, I've had a fair number of good signal reports. It outperforms all of my other antenna experiments by at least 6 db and sometimes more -- even antennas several times its size. It also picks up less noise. The rain gutter has a weird pattern, but the best signals were still at least 6 db down from the TW - and I don't dare run QRO with the rain gutter (or I'd buy a higher power tuner).
Recently, I put the 40 meter section in place. I didn't expect much. However, running about 800 watts, I've been astonished at the performance. With a fairly noisy band, I've had QSOs (from south Florida) to mobiles in LA and many other places around the country. On my other antennas, 40M was adjacent states only -- I ignored the band. After several QSOs, I've had people calling out to me for follow on contacts.
I know this isn't a 40M beam or even a dipole at 1/2 L in height, but having a credible presence on 40 meters from such a small antenna is very impressive to me. The fact that it supports 1200 W (SSB PEP) lets you dig partly out of the compact antenna hole.
Before choosing ( or even finding ) Transworld, after extensive reading, I had decided that capacitively hatted verticals were probably my best bet. Magnetic loops sounded interesting (for their size), but I don't like the power limitations.
This is not a miracle antenna, but it is a well built and well engineered antenna, performing exceedingly well for its size. I don't think you can do better in a similarly sized antenna.
Great job Transworld.
73... W4LI - Dan Hoogterp
I've been using the Transworld Backpacker for the past three months in what is not an ideal ham location: urban environment, about a mile from the Empire State Building. It's thirty feet up, but surrounded by much larger NY buildings. Nonetheless, it gets out: Latin America/Europe, on less than 100 watts. It has a low profile, a necessity in NY coop buildings, with the antenna police at the ready. I have found it to outperform virtually any other antenna I have used in my circumstances.
I can recommend this antenna to anyone who finds himself limited by location, as I am.