Test report on the MC-750 antenna by Marco, DD6FM
Marco, DD6FM from OV Landau, K14 was kind enough to test a new antenna for us. Here is his report on the MC-750 portable antenna from Chelegance.
Today I will test a new portable antenna: The MC-750. At the moment it's winter and I can't work from home because I don't have a garden and I don't have any other way to set up an antenna, so I do almost everything portable or mobile.
Fortunately, the thermometer is rising to just under 20° today on 31 December 2022. So I set off for the “Kleine Kalmit” near Landau, which also has a Parks on the Air reference.
Today I will test the MC-750 antenna from Chelegance. It supports the bands 40 - 6 m and can handle up to 100 watts. A SO-239 socket is attached to the base of the antenna. You do not need guy wires for the antenna. Everything is neatly packed in a well-made carrier bag.
I already have a lot of experience with similar antennas and I am curious how fast I can be on the air on the corresponding band without having to struggle with setting the SWR for a long time.
Let's go, I unpack the antenna and first examine the contents.
A ground peg with radiator and antenna connection, a coil for 40 m , 4 radials and the telescopic antenna. Everything is very clearly laid out and the workmanship feels of high quality. The assembly is quite simple and almost self-explanatory. The peg goes into the ground, the radials are connected via banana plugs at the bottom of the peg.
Then the telescopic antenna is mounted on, they use 3/8-16” threads. 40 m operation requires the additional coil. This is simply installed in between the lower radiator and the telescopic antenna.
The great thing about this antenna is that the telescopic antenna radiator has markings for the respective bands; with another antenna I have, I had to put them on myself with a sharpie.
This definitely saves a lot of time when setting up somewhere on site. Of course, it is always advisable to have an analyser with such antennas. But if you can rely on the markings, you can also do the fine-tuning via the SWR meter on the radio. Push the telescopic antenna out or in a little ...
I am amazed at how exactly this actually works in practice with the MC-750. I did not expect that. At first I started with the 20 m band and connected my antenna analyser. I had perfect SWR over the entire band. And that was straight away, without tuning. I had much worse experiences with other antennas where I needed almost 30 minutes until everything was right.
Of course, it always depends somewhat on the environmental conditions. But here everything seemed to fit perfectly right away. Then I plugged in my Yaesu and did a bit of Parks on the Air. Reception was good, the reports were also consistently very good.
So, then it went on to 40 m. I unscrewed the telescopic antenna, put the coil on the lower radiator, put the telescopic antenna on it and set the marker for 7 MHz. Here I was at 7.140 MHz.
That also fits surprisingly well. Since I tend to work at the edge of the band, I shortened the telescopic antenna a little. I estimate 3 cm and was then in the upper end of the band with a good SWR.
Then we went "on the air" to 40 m. Again, after a short time and my spot in the cluster, I had a small pile up. Unfortunately, it was very windy that day, so I could not work very long. But after 40 minutes I had 26 QSOs in the logbook, which is absolutely satisfying for an activation.
My conclusion as a portable radio operator is that the antenna is absolutely recommendable if you want to get on the air somewhere quickly and without much effort. I have rarely tuned the antenna in the right band as quickly as with this antenna. With my other antennas, I always had to install a choke at the base, because otherwise the SWR jumped back and forth extremely with slight changes to the feed line. That was not the case here either. Probably something is already built into the base.
Apart from that, all that remains for me to say is that I am pleased that there is an increasing range of portable antennas that you can set up somewhere quickly and without great effort. You don't need a lot of power and you don't need super good antennas to make good connections within Europe. In fact, I do most of my portable activity with only 5 W and very simple antennas.
I can only recommend everyone to go out into nature and give it a try. It's great fun. 73 and maybe we'll hear each other again. Marco, DD6FM