HF antenna Outback 2000 – Full review
(tested with an Elecraft KX3 SDR Transceiver)
When I first thought of that I smiled. How you can associate a 79$, coiled, fiberglassed, vehicular antenna and a 1200$ SDR transceiver HF radio?
The outback 2000 is a “copy” of the most famous outbacker antenna (used in Australia to cover many miles in HF by doctors and normal users – to communicate important news). The outback antenna is a fiberglass mast (magnetic support NOT included) where performances are insured by the “wander lead” that is coiled around the “mast” of the antenna. There is a banana plug where you can easily tune to 40 meters (2nd hole) 30 meters (3rd hole) 20 meters (4th hole) 17 meters (5th hole) 15 meters (6th hole) 12 meters (7th hole) 10 meters (8th hole) and 6 meters (last hole). At the top there is also a short whip that allows you to fine tune the antenna for each band.
Total lenght is 1.75 meters. It covers every band and you are allowed to transmit up to 200 W.
I have an Audi A3 and during weekend I love to get outside my city (Bordeaux). I reached 110 km/h without no problems for my outback antenna.
I had a QSO while driving to Dordogne with an Italian friend IZ8FFC Giuseppe in Crotone (KR). He gave me a 59 report with excellent modulation. Frequency was 14.310 MhZ and my ROS was 1.6. I didn’t want to tune the OUTBACK 2000 with the KX3 autotuner. The result was excellent: I was able to cover 40 to 10 meters with max 1.8 ROS (on 40 meters band). The only issue as you can immagine was to get out of the car everytime to decide on which band to transmit. Simply plug and play.
Best resonance and performance was on 20 / 15/ 10 meters band.
The outback 2000 Falcon is definitely a good compromise. I would rate the antenna as 8.5 on 10! The price is excellent and you can get one used on eBay for few bucks. You will be on air 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/11/10/6/m in few seconds.
The only cons I can notice is the high QRM and this won’t let you to copy weak stations. Especially USB mode.
If youwant to increase the potentiality of this HF antenna, go closeby the sea. It would be much better.
After 1 month of test I had more than 80 QSOs. In my logbook I had chance to add Turkey, Ireland and Ukraine.
Click down here to see the video review!
73 de IZ0JOJ / F4VQW
Software defined radio LNR transceiver FX-4a *REVIEW*
I’ve tested for you the FX 4a transceiver. This is an excellent Software defined radio
Hereby a little review for you.
This new transceiver has been released few months ago and replaces the original Software defined radio FX-4 that was introduced in 2013. It’s quite impressive as transceiver because very light (345 gr) and tiny (dimensions: 4 in length x 2.8 width x 1.5 thickness).
Ah yes, it arrived to me fully assembled (what a shame! – I LOVE TO BUILD my TRANSCEIVER!) – so no kit! The radio was delivered in a double carton and extremely well packed. 1 week to arrive to Europe.
This Software defined radio covers HF but only 4 bands (40 meters , 30 meters , 20 meters and 17 meters band)
True QRP: only 5W. Modes are SSB and CW.
Selectivity is quite sharp while calibration is excellent.
In reception I found the LNR transceiver FX-4a as an excellent SDR receiver: audio is clean and pleasant but AGC action is of low authority. Compared to my Elecraft KX3 signals were loud and more clean. Consider that on my KX3 I have installed the roof one.
Specifications of this Software defined radio LX4
- Push to Talk Speaker Mic
- VFO A/VFO B
- LSB/USB/CWA/CWB Modes
- Input Voltage Monitoring
- RIT Functions
- Independent Side Tone
- Iambic Keyer
- CW Call Feature
- 5W Output
- 10 Memory Storage per band
- Microphone and Power Cord included!
- 90 Day Warranty
Comparison with the FT 817 ND
I found the FT 817 more silent and I have to say the LNR FX-4a as more sensitive.
Dimensions are clearly in favor of the LNR transceiver. Please see down here the comparison:
The Software defined radio SDR FX-4a is half size and also lighter than Yaesu FT 817. Also you may consider battery that are not included in the LNR precision transceiver. I suggest you to get a LIPO from RC model store like I did (3S 13.8V 2100 mAh for few bucks). I always like (and I will like) the audio from the speaker of my YAESU FT 817 ND because it’s louder than these two SDRs (Elecraft KX3 and LNR FX-4a). Reception : LNR FX-4a was clear and nice to hear but FT 817 was not so bad. I tried these two with a random wire antenna tossed into the tree in front of my house. I should maybe have tried this (LNR precision end-fed antenna)
Price is around 450$ (not so much).
Order can be done directly on the website LNR precision inc