Here we are. We finally review the AX-1 Antenna, the latest product by Elecraft INC. The AX1 is a two-piece telescoping whip antenna covering 20, 17, and 15 meters. It is targeted at pedestrian mobile, “stealth,” emergency, and ultralight backpacking applications. An ATU (automatic antenna tuner) is
required for 17 and 15 meter matching. (The company’s KX2 and KX3 transceivers both feature internal ATU options that meet the AX1’s requirements).
The AX-1 Antenna by Elecraft is perfect for QRP use. This is a collapsible whip antenna coupled with your QRP radio that would be perfect for your travel radio and for fun trips outdoors like mountain-topping. Closest thing is the Super Antenna MP1 which works well for CW but is a not as portable as we would like. Realize there is no getting around the laws of physics, but hope springs eternal.
Elecraft makes excellent products and the support is outstanding. If you have the Elecraft KX2 or KX3 you can pair with this antenna. The reports on 20 and 17 meters band, SSB mode, were very impressive. There are rumours that Elecraft may be coming out with a unit that also does 10 to 40m.
The nice thing about this antenna is its not just for the KX series of radios but any radio like the Icom 703 or Yaesu FT-817/818. Let see the characteristics in detail together:
|Supplied Radial Wire||13 feet (4.0 m) long. Wire has pre-installed lug for attachment to the transceiver’s ground screw.|
|Max. Power||30 Watts max|
|Construction||Corrosion-resistant whip and hardware; Lexan outer tube; high-Q inductors wound with 20 AWG, high-temp enamel wire.|
|Dimensions||Whip: 6” (15 cm) collapsed, 45” (115 cm) extended. Base: 6” (15 cm) long x 0.75” (19 mm) diameter.|
|Weight||Antenna: 3.2 oz. (90 g); supplied radial wire: 0.6 oz. (17 g).|
How much the Elecraft AX-1 Antenna cost?
The Elecraft states a cost of 99$. Not too bad I would say. There is a 40 M antenna extender if you plan to transmit on the 40 meters band. There are many other accessories available on the website www.elecraft.com.
We’re aware of other version of the AX 1 Antenna – like this one below from aliexpress.com. It looks more expensive at first sight. We cannot provide a full review of this antenna but for sure seem interesting. The cost is 225$ at the time of this writing.
Finally thoughts about this review the AX-1 Antenna
Our conclusions are that this antenna is an excellent compromise for the weekend with friends / family. Do not expect to make some DX. You must think local. Using the AX1 with an ATU eliminates tedious length adjustments. Just select a band, tap the antenna tune switch, and go for it. The AX1 is resonant on 20 meters in one switch position, while the other is designed for efficient 17 and 15 meter matching using an ATU. Whether you use the AX1 as a ‘stealth’ field antenna, for pedestrian mobile, or as a versatile backup, it’ll be ready when you are.
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