Time to think again. Whips with good performance have been around a while. Many NDB DX-ers have successfully used Roelof Bakker's "Mini-Whip", an excellent proof that size doesn't always matter. I've had the Mini-Whip myself a couple of years, and although it has never outperformed my beverages and QDFA, it is an excellent device.
For quite some time I have wondered about purchasing another whip. This summer I finally decided to go for it - not that I really needed it (and I don't think it will outperform my beverages and QDFA), but I was curious if it could perform even better than Roelof's mini antenna.
The Z1501 is sold with either a 1.5 m or a 3 m whip. I chose both, since it was only USD 16 extra.
The Z1501 is an electric field responding “active” antenna, employing a high impedance field effect transistor input stage to efficiently couple electromagnetic field from a physically short antenna to a low impedance (50 ohms) load. The most effective frequency range is 20 kHz to 30 MHz. The size of the weatherproof enclosure is 114x63x25 mm mounted on a larger mounting flange. It has a female BNC connector for 50 ohm coax feedline.
In-house is a DC coupler which delivers 9-24 VDC to the antenna. It can also be used with other active antennas - I have used the Mini-Whip with it with good results.
|Enclosure and mounting flange. BNC out to the left.|
|Telescoped whips, 1.5 and 3 meters|
|DC Coupler back panel|
|DC Coupler front panel with green LED|
The Z1501 is bought as a kit or assembled. Knowing how soldering limitations, I opted for the assembled version.
So how does it perform? We will soon find out.