Standard Arrow vs. Alaskan Arrow Antenna

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by KN3O, May 29, 2016.

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  1. KN3O

    KN3O Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm looking at buying an Arrow Antenna as I want to get into working the LEO sats and also for SOTA purposes again. I do not have the cash to put out for a full duplex radio right now so I will be getting the non duplexed version and will carry two radios (an 8W Baofeng for Transmit and a nicer new purchase for receive).

    I see they have a newer version called the Alaskan Arrow that has an extra 2m element, and 3 extra 70cm elements for very little additional weight. I have a few questions.

    The extra 3 elements on 70cm should be particularly nice for SO-50 which is a weak downlink, right? Or does the difference between 7 and 10 elements fall in the category of limited returns.

    Would the extra elements narrow the beamwidth enough to make locking onto a bird while holding it in hand more difficult?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. N1EN

    N1EN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'd say that the biggest difference is that the Alaskan Arrow is heavier than a regular arrow. I don't know too many folks who'd want to hold an Alaskan Arrow through any but the shortest passes.
    WD9EWK likes this.
  3. W5PFG

    W5PFG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have had three styles of Arrow:

    1. Short (homebrew/shortened version of the Arrow II)
    2. Arrow II (7 ele 70cm, 3 ele 2m)
    3. Alaskan Arrow

    Personally, if you do not already have an Arrow I would not purchase the Alaskan Arrow. The extra weight and the additional aiming precision required doesn't jive with my style. That being said, it's a great antenna. I've seen quite a bit more Alaskan Arrow buyer's remorse lately.

    See my blog post about this at:

    99% of the time I use my short Arrow: and
    WD9EWK likes this.
  4. N4UFO

    N4UFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I copied Clayton's idea and created a short boom for my recent trip out west... the short Arrow worked great. I used it primarily where storage, easy access and quick assembly were paramount and the passes were fairly good. Once in Nevada, I used the regular Arrow, and even on lower elevation passes it was sufficient.

    Would the Alaskan Arrow add some dB on SO-50 downlink? Sure... Do I want to hold that thing up and do precision aiming for an entire overhead pass? Heck, no! It's called the 'Alaskan' Arrow for a reason... it was designed for hams in Alaska trying to work long distances, very low to the horizon. (usually short windows) Dave KG5CCI uses one to work low angle passes into Europe from a hilltop in Arkansas. (again narrow windows) In other words, it's a specialty item with a designated purpose... long haul, low angle contacts. I would liken it to a big honkin' pickup for pulling fifth wheel trailers. Something you use when it's called for, but not so much when you just want to cruise around town. (I suppose that makes the short Arrow a sports car.) :D

    As far as I can tell, compared to what some folks used to homebrew for FM sats, the regular Arrow is fairly good sized by comparison. Cheap Yagi for LEOs

    73, Kevin
    WD9EWK likes this.
  5. K6LCS

    K6LCS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    >> ... As far as I can tell, compared to what some folks used to homebrew for FM sats, the regular Arrow is fairly good sized by comparison ...

    I can always hear SO-50 well with my Arrow Sat Antenna. But I have "modded" mine to help holding it during those 12-minute passes. I added a handle (thanks, Stanley(tm) (grin)), as well as a tray to hold an HT. This combo "counterweights" the unit quite nicely. Photos of these mods at ...

    Clint K6LCS
    (909) 999-SATS (7287)
  6. KG5CCI

    KG5CCI Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. KI7QXQ

    KI7QXQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I split my Alaskan Arrow so there is 2 elements on 2meter, and 5 elements on 70cm, and I have hit S0 50 below 10° multiple times. I re-assemble it and put it on a mount for working long distance simplex contacts, and getting into distant repeters.

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