Italian manufacturer of ECO antennas under product number 279 offers a tribander for 10m - 15m - 20m without the possibility of expanding to other bands. Trapped tribander is manufactured by several companies, perhaps the most famous tribander is the Cushcraft A3S. What makes ECO different?
ECO tribander is a two-element trapped antenna with curved elements (i Moxon beam). The manufacturer chooses the combination radiator - reflector, taking the antenna so designed, to have an impedance at the supply point 50 ohms. The dimensions are thus smaller than a classic yagi, the longest element has a span of 550cm and a boom of 350cm. The weight is less than 15kg.
Due to the limited space options on the roof, the ECO tribander fascinated me so much, that I bought one at the beginning of the year.
Properties declared by the manufacturer
|Performance:||2 kw P.E.P.|
|Pre-lateral ratio:||38 db|
|Front-to-rear ratio:||25 db|
|Boom length:||3,50 m|
|The longest element:||5,50 m|
|Antenna weight:||15000 g|
|Boom stainless steel|
|Resistance to wind speed:||130 km/h|
|Elements – AL tubes|
In the cardboard box you will find all the components of the antenna and a detailed procedure for assembling the antenna. Italian antenna companies "did not disappoint" so I added a few more washers and nuts to their material. Otherwise, the filling of the box was formed by a number of pages of Italian newspapers, hi.
Machining of parts is accurate and good. Assembling the antenna is easy, however, I recommend assembling the elements with traps first. There is a hole in the bottom of the traps, which the water is to drain away. If you mount the elements on a boom without traps, it can happen to you, that you will have to turn them after fitting the traps, so that the hole is at the bottom.
The ends of the elements face each other and there is an insulating line between them. Don't let him surprise you, that after their installation the elements are slightly bent (if onions). Balun 1:1 is caught above the boom. After connecting the coaxial cable, treat the joints against water ingress.
The antenna has no adjustment elements. The manufacturer states very good PSV waveforms in all bands, which is quite bold, because otherwise the antenna will behave a few meters above the ground and say on a mast at a height of 40m. In a small range, it is possible to change the spacing of the elements and thus correct the antenna settings.
The mast mount could be more massive. This is because the bracket begins to deform as the nuts are tightened.
In my case, the antenna is about 14m above the ground on a sloping eternit roof. A few tens of centimeters from the antenna is a high lightning rod and about three meters away is the end of a 5-band dipole. The antenna has PSV in the 20m and 15m excellent bands, the lowest is in the SSB segment. It is also very good in the telegraph segments. In the 10m band, the PSV is higher. The lowest value is 1,3 a to na 28,2 MHz. On 28,5 MHz i 1,7 a-N-A 28,6 MHz 1,9. Apparently, the proximity of surrounding objects is manifested in this band.
How the antenna behaves in sharp operation?
The antenna was checked mainly by the IARU HF Championship and occasional DX operation. The ten is mostly closed, so three dozen common DXCCs from Europe, Asia and Africa is not a decisive result. I tried to call with QRP and 100W. It took more patience at 5W and some stations couldn't even call. Conditions are conditions, you will not be deceived by any antenna…
The 15m band is open more often. For example, 5U was logged on for the first call, CN, CT3, LU, OH0, PY, T7, ZD8 and others. Tu som QRP neskúšal, I used 100 up to 300W.
The "Twenties" is probably the best open these months, so I focus mainly on this band. And it's recognizable. There are a number of stations from Asia in the logo (4S, 9K, 9M2, A4, A7, AP, BV, BY, H, HS, AND, S2, VR2, SEEN, COINS, YA,…), Africa (5X, 6W, 7X, 9Q, AND, J2, S7, ZD7, …). From the Pacific so far only close to 9M6. Probably the most valuable is VP8 / F, where there was a proper pile-up. Used power mostly 300W.
Despite only two elements, which are tempting to consider, that the radiation pattern is wide, It pays to point the antenna exactly. Comparison with 5-band dipole Diamond W-8010 is clearly in favor of the turn signal. The S-meter difference is +5 up to + 30dB. The dipole, of course, loses a lot, as it cannot be filmed as a turn signal.
The radio amateur's decision to lean towards this or that antenna is also a matter of feeling. Among the advantages of the antenna you can include the possibility of using a small rotator, AR-300XL, and wind resistance. One week after the assembly, a storm swept through the Tatras, which tore down several roofs and rolled out a few trees. However, it did not harm the antenna at all, even though the wind was leaning against her properly.
"Virtue out of necessity" – due to spatial possibilities I could not realize the intended spiderbeam, nieto classic trapped tribander. ECO 279 however, it goes well. If you are looking for a compact antenna for three bands, Consider whether this is not a good choice for you.