Crappy Antenna?

I don’t know what to think anymore.  I know the antenna is the most important part of any station, but it shouldn’t be this bad.  There are too many good reviews of the Chameleon V2 to have such poor performance.

I completed this install over a month ago now and I’ve done quite a bit of testing and refining.  I added ground straps for better bonding, changed antenna locations, re-ran coax, tried with and without the duplexer both with and without the supplied UNUN.  I started wondering if I made a $1500 mistake, but my gut is telling me it’s the antenna.

Let’s get this out of the way. The antenna is WELL grounded.  I have low noise coming through and I can tune down to 80M without a problem.  I appreciate all suggestions, but I am tired of hearing the same.  Yes it’s grounded.  Yes the UNUN input is grounded.  Yes, I’m using 20ft length of RG-8X.  No, I did not make a coax choke, because I’m not having RFI issues. I was on the chameleon antenna forum and someone asked a question. The suggestions above are what were given.  I chimed in experiencing similar issues and got the same suggestions.  I explained how I’m going about it and I got the same suggestions.   That company is obviously scouring the internet looking for references to their antennas because one of their employees (same one from the forum) responded under this post by giving me the same damn suggestions.

You have to understand…I know that theoretically this is a “compromise” antenna.  I don’t want a huge antenna on my truck.  With the reviews I read, I thought I was getting a quality antenna for what it was…way to short to work the lower bands.  As it turns out, it works great on 2M/70cm and occasionally I can hit the 6M repeater in the area.  Below that, forget about it.  I will qualify that statement and say that I have made a few contacts 2 on 20M and 1 on 40M. I was told I was readable, but weak.  Band conditions were good those days, because I took note.  I was able to work a station one state away briefly on 40M and one station 2 states away on 20M.  All of those contacts were net controllers looking for check-ins.  No one has ever answered one of my CQ calls.  NO ONE!  Nobody has ever heard me break in and no one has ever heard me respond to their CQ call.  NOBODY!

If this thing is the greatest thing since sliced bread, someone has a very very sad life.  I think I just might have wasted $170 (not to mention the $170 on the tuner) when maybe I was better off going with a screwdriver antenna.  My God those are ugly, but I may have to go that route and throw this thing in the dumpster.

I really hope I’m wrong because I want this to work.  But, after all the testing, I don’t know what other conclusion I can come to.


4 thoughts on “Crappy Antenna?

  1. Carl Reply

    What about going on our forum and post some detail pictures of your installations? That might help everyone. We are offering a great customer service. Why not using it?

    If people can install and use the V2 with good results on their golf cart, boat, tripod, BMW or balcony I can’t imagine why you can’t do it on your car or truck!

    The following is what you should be able to do with your V2. As you can see nothing is “crappy” about the antenna in those videos:

    For unknown reasons it happened in the past that people were simply unable to install the V2 on their vehicle. If you can’t do it simply return the product for refund. Is that easy!


    • W4DVE Post authorReply

      I agree there doesn’t seem to be anything crappy about the antenna. That’s why I purchased it.

      Regarding the rest, did you read the post? I have posted in your forums. Get the same response.

      As with all projects of mine, they seem to need a little more “love” as there’s always something weird that must be done to get it to work like it should.

      I love trouble shooting, but my frustration is telling me to shoot the trouble.

  2. W4DVE Post authorReply

    I’m looking at grabbing some hamsticks as well. I had the V2 for a while and ended up selling it and trying the V2L. It was a big improvement especially with the hybrid. I usually don’t use the hybrid unless I’m set up at camp somewhere.

    The performance of the V2L is a lot better. I’ve had pretty good luck. Conditions have to be right, but I have made a contact with Portugal while mobile. It really is hit and miss in a mobile install, but I’m pretty happy with the performance. I just keep in mind that it is a compromise. The ability to have only one antenna and still be able to reach someone if needed gives me peace of mind.

    I’m not trying to sell you on it. They can be disappointing if you’re expecting to be able to chat up anyone at any time. I found it’s a good compromise for what I’m using it for.

    Good luck with everthing!

  3. george mayo Reply

    Way down here in New Zealand there are numbers of your Chameleon V1L’s an V2L’s in use. On the bands I hear nothing but credid for both the antennas performance as well as for the assistance freely given by someone at Chameleon named Carl. I have heard at least a dozen guys working into the States and Europe. Maybe we should blame Sunspot problems or at least chat up Carl. 73,s George.

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