How Well does a DX Commander Classic Antenna Perform on 40 Metres.

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by ZL4AI, Nov 20, 2021.

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  1. ZL4AI

    ZL4AI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Reviewed by Jeff King ZL4AI. Article is copyright to ZL4AI


    After hearing so much on YouTube about the DX Commander Classic Kitset which is very popular, I decided to investigate the likely performance from this antenna.

    The analysis (below) points out the many strong attributes and then compares the real output performance with some of the famous wire antennas on 40M which are known to give good receive and output power performance. The DX Commander Classic has the lowest output.

    The analysis includes a model for:

    Analysis is undertaken with an average ground because that is what most of us have at out QTH. The model can be adjusted and run to estimate variations for your setup.

    DX Commander 40M on the air Field Test outcome was ZERO contacts to VK / ZL at 19,000 Km distance from Cornwall.


    DX Commander Classic has very little DX output performance between 5 degrees to 10 degrees being only -3.7dBi to -7.5dBi

    Antennas below: have much more signal output above DX Commander Classic of:

    Vertical dipole +1.8dBi to +2.5dBi + 171%​

    1/4 wave vertical with raised radials +2.6dBi to +2.8dBi + 191%​

    horizontal dipole + 6.2dBi to +10.0dBi + 200% to 320%​

    DX Commander Classic DOES NOT Command DX signals.

    DX Commander Classic feed with 100W will only reliably put out:

    • an S1 signal 3,000 km to 5,500 km,

    • an S9 to a distance of 1,200 km,

    • via VOACAP Analysis has only a 3% probability of communicating with VK / ZL.

    • Could be significantly improved by writing an adequate construction manual which explains with the radial system you could put in with the soil system available at your operating location, how much DX performance out put you can actually expect to get.
  2. K2XT

    K2XT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It is a quarter wave vertical, I believe. It should perform exactly like quarter wave, ground mounted verticals perform.
    Why bash the brand? You could just as easily write about verticals vs dipoles, etc. Incidentally there have only been about 5000 similar antenna articles over the last 100 years. The only topic that is more popular than verticals vs dipoles and ground mounted radials vs raised radials is installation of PL259s.
    NG0L, KN6FWT, K2CD and 4 others like this.
  3. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, that does it! The world's foremost authority on antennas has spoken! :rolleyes:


    Callum; Please stop making these right now---all those glowing reviews on eham surely must have been in error. What was with all those "5 stars" anyway?

    If you don't, at least put a warning label on them that reads:

    CAUTION: This antenna may not be used for dx, especially to/from New Zealand. Attempting to work DX to or from there will VOID THE WARRANTY.

    AA8IA and K0UO like this.
  4. N1IPU

    N1IPU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, no hiding what was being slung for the walls.
  5. W4HMB

    W4HMB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Modify the DX Commander to 5/8 wave. All my verticals for 20 and up are 5/8. Ask Wes, ZL3TE what he was using on 7/31/2015 when he was on Rakitu Island at 28.385mhz. We swapped 5-6/5-5 reports.
    K0UO likes this.
  6. K2XT

    K2XT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Buy an antenna, THEN do your homework and learn how they work. Ok.
    Rate an antenna on how far it transmits...... Oooooookay.
    Bash the manufacturer; don't say what he ever did wrong, or how his product could be improved, just bash him.
    I hope Callum sells 1000 antennas before 2022.

    By the way, if anyone wants to bash an antenna they should bash the double bazooka.
    M0AGP, K0UO and AK5B like this.
  7. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The root cause of the OP's dissatisfaction with the DX C. is that it is a vertical!

    You cannot appreciate how bad vertical antennas actually are until you have other antennas (loop, dipoles, inverted-V, Yagi) and can do instantaneous A/B switching.
    W4HMB, K2XT and K0UO like this.
  9. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, I didn't appreciate how useful verticals were until I put one up for 80M and worked DXCC in just two months!
    Low angle radiation isn't quite as important on 80/160, as the MUF will often support high angle paths.

    The reviewed antenna has some useful custom hardware that may be hard to get elsewhere.

    Over my wet clay soil, I've used simple vertically polarized antennas to work rare DX, like Afghanistan on 30M.
    KR2C and AK5B like this.
  10. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Best Antenna is one that is "In the Air and On the Air

    The more antennas the better

    40 is a unique band compared to the higher bands, because of the daytime D layer absorption is so high. Then we have F2 Gray Line and nighttime conditions. Different antennas will work better for these different conditions.

    As any good antenna experimenter knows, the more antennas the better, that way you can test and see how they are really working. You won't know you have a good antenna if you can't compare it with others! With a variety of antennas available and using the antenna that is generally more optimum for the particular distance, direction, and time of day is better than using an amp.
    Also if you can't hear the station calling, you don't really know if your antenna is working or not. So you might want to think about some receiving antennas if you have high noise.

    I don't know anything about a DX Commander (Commander is a Navy term), I don't buy store-bought antennas. IF it's a vertical, and it's a quarter wave, and you're not living on saltwater.......... you better put in a good ground R system.

    73 from,
    The K0UO "Rhombic Antenna Farm" 2 miles of wire, I'm In the Air or On the Air daily
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
    ZL4AI, M0AGP, AK5B and 1 other person like this.

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