Icom IC-705 Field Testing with JPC-12 Vertical antenna

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, Nov 15, 2022.

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  1. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page


    Logopit_1668425407508.jpg
     
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  2. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is a Chinese copy of a Buddipole product. I review this same antenna, although called the PAC-12 through AliExpress.com, in my column "Trials and Errors" on QRZ.com. It's available by other names as well, but all are the same. Unfortunately, my partner and I did not have the same luck with it as this reviewer did. I gave it a C-Minus, due to the fact that one of them (we had two) broke in half when it simply fell over, and due to the supplied spike that you are supposed to mount this with. It did better than a cMinus on the air, though -- perhaps a C+. I wouldn't recommend it. See my new column on QRZ, called "Trials and Errors - Ham Life with an Amateur" which begins this week on the front page of QRZ.
     
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  3. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The buddipole is a copy of the Super Antenna MP1. The JPC-12 is also a copy of the MP1. They are all essentially loaded quarter wave verticals. Even so, if you didn't test the exact version from Pileupdx.com I tested, your experience with the PAC-12 is moot in comparison. As you may have noticed in the video, the antenna was deployed in a wind storm. Deployed correctly, it stood up to the task and performed extremely well. I have no experience with the PAC-12 but it sounds like a counterfeit of a copy, not sure but seems like it.. The JPC-12 on the other hand, performed better than expected!
    I would suggest simply buying the super antenna mp1 if you're concerned about quality of your AliExpress purchase. The MP1 with a longer vertical whip has excellent performance. The JPC-12 wasn't perfect, but did perform extremely well and comes in at a lower price point. Results of the video are hard to argue with.
    73
    Julian oh8stn
     
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  4. WD4ELG

    WD4ELG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Another great video, Julian. Thanks for braving that cold wind to provide the details of this antenna.
     
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  5. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are very welcome! I'll do a follow up video on how the antenna holds up long term, during winter.
    Thanks for the kindness.
    73
    Julian oh8stn
     
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  6. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Julian, I don't want to be obstinate, but what the heck . . . it's a Chinese made antenna. We are both entitled to have our own opinions, right? And, while it's "possible" that they are somehow different, it appears (in both it's marketing, its photos and appearance to be the exact same factory. It has the same carry bag, exact same markings on each piece. The roll of radial wire is exactly the same, the whip and included parts and even the photos . . . all the same. Let's forget about who-copied-who for a moment, as the Chinese are great at copying everyone (and perhaps Buddipole people copied someone else with theirs, I don't know). The fact remains that you've overpaid dramatically for this antenna because you bought it from a dealer, and the dealer adds his huge markup. If someone wants this marginal antenna, perhaps they can save some money at least due to our exchange. Your video was great. In my video (if we had one!) you'd see my POTA partner Steve (W7DJ) dropping his on a clear, sunny Arizona day and having it sheer right in two. The people who market this antenna on Aliexpress (about $130 delivered to USA) reference the MPC-12 as well -- the name is almost interchangeable. I guess we should agree to disagree -- this is a C rated antenna in quality, but that's my opinion. In performance, yes, better than that. But I want to buy a product that lasts for a few outings.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
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  7. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Firstly my name is not Julius. Secondly, we have different experiences with this antenna, which was outlined in my video. Having actually no idea who you are, or what your field experience is, your "rating" has little value versus more than a dozen of my own deployments. My experience was supported by many other operators on YouTube. Check this playlist https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKMrdrsNkFA4gkcJP8P_l3aDnge6Og64F
    The reason why I buy from dealers is exactly the reason you point out in your original comment. I don't buy things directly from China because if they go wrong, if there is a quality issue, it's too expensive to return it. That's the fraud when buying directly from China. They know if it goes wrong you'll probably just buy another one. A local or Regional dealer costs more certainly, but your partner would have immediately received a replacement if purchased from a reputable dealer.
    73
    Julian oh8stn
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
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  8. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're right WD4ELG. It's tough to do a video in the circumstances that Julian had to deal with. Hard enough to do one in the comfort of your ham shack.
     
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  9. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    My goals in reviewing this antenna were offering an opinion on performance, deployment time, development simplicity and quality of parts. There was no ther agenda. In fact, it was all rather surprising how well the testing went. Is it my favorite liaded quarter wave vertical? No! Does it click many of the boxes? Absolutely!
    73
    Julian oh8stn
     
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  10. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    J,

    I've had antenna deployments since 1965-66 or so. It's a fine $130 product, but it's still only average in my opinion. Is it worth TWICE that by calling it another name? No way. I'm not disrespecting you, I'm just giving you my opinion.

    Yes, dealers will sometimes protect you from broken gear. But I seriously doubt that any dealer is going to replace something that simply breaks in two (with no ability to easily get it back into working condition). I'll have to ask our store manager at HRO, but it sure sounds to me like I'd be the one stuck with it if I tried to return it in that condition.
     
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  11. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Any good at it?
    Ultimately your opinion carries very little weight. Field testing is the basis for my conclusion, not the whining of other Operators. If you have a different opinion, put a video on YouTube or write a blog post to show & tell us about it. Otherwise, you just look like a troll hijacking a thread to dump on a positive experience.
    73
    Julian oh8stn
     
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  12. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Julian, I'm not going to watch someone "pitch" a dealer-sold antenna that costs $250 plus shipping when it sells at $130, delivered And I don't think I must be on YouTube to do an antenna deployment! That's something that is the joy of 90% of ham operators -- we all love our antennas, and it's one of the favorite points of "polite discussion" in a ham club meeting (what others might call arguing) or just when you are at lunch with a buddy. Antennas are the most argued about ham gear! Down here we mount them on cactus and at 115 degrees F in the shade . . . ALL antenna experiences are relevant. I feel it's just plain mean to say that my opinion carries no weight. ALL opinions carry the same weight. That's why forums exist. We've both taken that antenna out on activations, in the desert and in the northlands, and that means that each opinion is valid. I've been reviewing antennas long enough to have an hour episode on the QSO Today podcast, which isn't something I did myself like a YouTube video. Please, just allow room for other opinions when you rave about something. I found out a long time ago that when I rave about a piece of ham gear, there's ALWAYS someone in the audience who comes in and has the exact opposite experience. Apologies to you if you feel I hijacked your thread, as that wasn't my intention. Dave
     
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  13. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dave, I'm not raving about this antenna, I'm sharing the results of my testing! Nothing more nothing less. I've taken it out to the field, beaten the heck out of it, then shared the results. I didn't get paid to do it, and the opinions from my field testing are my own. Other opinions are fine, discussions are even better. Just look in the comments of my video. There are lots of supporting and opposing opinions. The thing about your comments and this discussion is you haven't substantiated your claims. You haven't offered any pictures of the broken antenna, and I don't know what the end result was with AliExpress. You really haven't provided any evidence other than your word.

    The other thing is telling people to go and buy from aliexpress to save money, when that clearly didn't work out so well for you. No problem with this as long as they understand the risks. You clearly explained receiving an antenna which broke far too easily. This part we agree on, but was there some quality issue? I'm sure we all would love to see a picture of the broken antenna. If we have one, I can try and replicate and validate what you're saying. Not trying to discourage other opinions, just trying to understand why our experiences with this antenna, are so far apart. That's the red flag. Could you post a picture? Then we'd have something to discuss.
    Anyway Dave, thinking about what could have broken, it's probably the telescopic whip. The telescopic whip is the most fragile part of all of these antennas. In fact, once I find an adapter M10 to 3/8* 24 threads, I'll switch over to a collapsible whip. Not sure if this is the part of the antenna that broke for you, but in my experience, this is the most fragile part of this style of antenna.
    73
    Julian oh8stn
     
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  14. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Julian, no one accused you of being paid to review anything. I mention "pitch" because whenever we're super positive about something that's how it sounds to readers. I know that from CQ magazine reviews I've written, and I'm sure to experience it again when I rave about some item or another. There's always someone with the opposite story. Take the antenna you reviewed here as an example. You've used it many times and have "beaten the heck out of it." I have one as well (exact same antenna) and my experiences are different. It does it's job well, but it's just not a quality build. Steve had it clamped to a fence at a local park on one outing. He was taking it down to shorten the whip and it fell horizontally onto the ground, which is a distance of about 3 or 4 feet. The bottom of the whip has a metal piece which fits tightly into the antenna -- a metal part with threads on it. The whip itself broke off of the piece of metal which attaches it to the rest of the antenna. It was clearly due to poor build quality. It sheered off leaving about 1 /2 inch of metal attached to the whip. It is very thin and fragile so it doesn’t take much force to break it. At this point, Julian, if you bought it from a dealer you'd walk in there and they'd say "no way" that's damage. You'd be stuck, but in this case good old ham ingenuity took care of it. Steve (W7DJ) fixed it by putting the metal piece into a vice and using a dremmel to carefully cut through the remaining half-inch which remained on it. Once that was removed, he force fit the whip onto the antenna. It went on very tightly being jammed in there, so didn’t need any extra clamping or using of a screw to hold it in place. The result was that it tuned up fine and is still holding tightly, just a bit inconvenient now.. I hope this additional detail is helpful to you in pointing out that build quality is not that great on this antenna, and that is why I rate it a "C" purchase. Over here, a C grade means average. There's no way I would push Aliexpress on anyone, Julian. That's just the location that this factory uses to sell the antenna you reviewed direct to the public, while they sell to dealers as well. The cost is about $98 now, and if I were to buy another I'd also buy a spare whip, which they sell for $11. Plus shipping to the USA, that's about $125-$135. Neither of us got dinged for any federal taxes or customs duties.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
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  15. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would have led with this! All the telescopic whips from all manufacturers are fragile. Buddipole, Super Antenna, Chameleon, ... This is one of those field experience things Operators don't know until they experience it. I always have a spare whip regardless of which antenna is used. Also knowing how fragile they are, I'm extra careful when setting them up or tearing it down.
    Your rating is ridiculous, but only because this problem plagues every antenna with a telescopic whip. Even the MFJ large whip will break if dropped in that very unlucky way. Anyway, thanks for finally getting to the point.
    73
    Julian oh8stn
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2022

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