Alpha MOTO Mobile Antenna

In Mobile by K0PIRLeave a Comment

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I purchased my Alpha MOTO off of E-bay back in January of this year. It appealed to me because it was advertised as a 6 – 40 Meter mobile antenna. It requires an antenna tuner which I have for my Icom 7000 and the price was right for the antenna.

(You can see it here, Alpha MOTO. He is an excellent E-Bay’r and I’ve heard nothing but good things said about him and his customer service.)

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I also wanted something that I could use with a portable station and the Alpha MOTO has an available 13 ft whip which breaks down in sections. So, being able to use it mobile and then take it off and use it portable really appealed to me. I also liked the idea of just stopping in a turnout and attaching the 13 ft. whip.

I have had the antenna mounted in two different locations on my 2006 Hummer H3. The first position was on the roof basket. The small whip was pretty high for traveling, but I could go under a 13 ft bridge without hitting it. While parked I was also able to use the 13ft. whip.

First NPOTA Results

My first outing in January 2016 with the Alpha MOTO was on TR09, The Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail. Using just the supplied 5 ft whip mounted on the roof basket and parked in a great location, I made close to 160 contacts on 20 meter SSB. That was impressive! I contribute some of the success to the location I was at.

A month or two later I operated NPOTA in the Badlands and after buying the 13 ft. whip, at Mount Rushmore. Again, it worked great. I made hundreds of contacts on 20 meter SSB. This was a keeper.

Then The Bad

It wasn’t until I got down to Nebraska and I was operating on the Niobrara River when things started to go south using the antenna. In high wind (20+ mph) I realized the SWR fluctuated too much using the 13 ft whip and parked near the Niobrara the 5 ft whip was very ineffective. I suspected I was having  a ground and capacitance issue with it mounted on the roof basket. There was about 3 inches of space between the antenna base and the roof of the vehicle.

20160920_165816Moving It To The Brush Guard

I decided to move the antenna to the brush guard. My brush guard is bolted right into the frame, so no grounding problems. I should mention I have done only some bonding of doors, hood and exhaust. I will get to all of them eventually.

By this time it is late summer and the bands are very poor. The supplied 5 ft whip was not working very well mounted on the brush guard while driving around town.I had trouble checking into my favorite nets.

Sticking with it though, I made a counterpoise for it and used the antenna with 13 ft whip while operating more NPOTA in the western part of the state.

alpha motoAlpha MOTO Improvement

Things did get better when I operated at Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument. Between the two I made approx. 275 contacts and the signal reports were good, some even great. Again, the Alpha MOTO was attached to the brush guard and I had the 13 ft whip attached using a counterpoise. See the article NPOTA South Dakota.

Still not happy using this antenna mobile and the 5 ft. whip I broke down and bought a 102″ stainless steel whip made by Hustler. Wow! What a huge difference.

Alpha MOTO DX Contacts

Once again, while driving around town, I can check into nets on 20 meters. I don’t have any problems getting in now and my signal reports are 57 to 59.

I stopped by the Oahe Dam a week ago and made a contact in Mexico City and another one in Cuba on 15 meters. I was only running about 50 watts. So things are looking up.

Alpha MOTO Conclusion

So now with the 102″ whip, I’m pretty happy with 15, 17 and 20 meters. I’m sorry to say, but I never had much luck making contacts on 40 meters, even with the 13 ft whip and a counterpoise. It just doesn’t work very good for me. I mean I can make a few contacts here and there using the 13 ft whip, but it’s not very exciting. It takes a lot of calling and patience most of the time on 40 meters. I think my 40 meter Hustler worked better.

I’m working on a Texas Bugcatcher for my next project so I can operate on 40 and 80 meters comfortably.

I e-mailed another ham on YouTube about his experience and he led me to his QRZ page. I think he’s got a good idea for using the Alpha MOTO and a long wire. Search QRZ for KC1ELZ.

So there you go, that’s my experience with the Alpha MOTO. Do you have one? I would love to hear how you have it mounted and what you think, so please, comment below. I’ll also be happy to answer any questions I can.

Thanks for coming by, best wishes, 73 – Rich, K0PIR

Resources:
E-Bay – Alpha MOTO

Amazon – Hustler 102″ Stainless Steel Whip

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