I finally had a chance to work on my antenna. I received a new telescopic pole from them, and I had to disassemble to old one and completely rebuild it. It took me the better part of a day, and it was a bit above freezing with no snow on the ground. Unfortunately I was unable to finish before dark.
Then we got 2-3 inches of snow that night with some mixed precipitation mixed in. The antenna was laying on the ground, with the guys ropes loose and only attached to the antenna, and they were a bit frozen in the snow.
After a day or two, I figured it may not get any better for weeks, so I went out and tried to finish the task. One thing I wanted to change was the fact that I was using a DX Engineering radial plate that was designed for Hustler type verticals and others. It interfered with the radial plate on the bottom of the DX Commander, and I didn’t want to remove the DX Engineering one, as all the radial wires wouldn’t reach the new one. Plus, the DX Commander depends on the three guy ropes to hold it in place.
So I noticed in the instructions that if one removed the bottom cover insert from the telescopic pole, it will fit over a 1 3/4 support pole. Since I already had a hole from another support pipe, I decided to use a section of schedule 40 PVC. It basically is just holding the bottom of the telescopic pole in place, and I could put a stop on it to keep the DX Commander radial plate up above the other radial plate. It helps with putting the antenna up if you are doing it alone.
Since the original installation broke with cold temperatures (18 F or -8C) and winds 35-45 mph., I didn’t want to take any chances. So I added the 2nd set of guy ropes higher up, about 1/2 way. Without them, the pole wants to bend at the point just above the lower guys, and with the winds and low temps, it just snapped. I did have 3 guys ropes before, but they were not as high, and I didn’t have them tensioned as well, thinking they were just there to prevent drastic movement, as they are not considered necessary in a normal installation.
Being cold, windy, and snow on the ground, I did enough that I feel it should be OK until spring, when I will take another look and re-do the guys ropes to make it a bit easier to keep them tensioned.
So I am back on the air with the DX Commander. With the guys I have on now, I certainly hope I don’t have any more issues. If I do, I suspect it will be just above where I have the higher guys ropes.
On the DX Commander YouTube channel, Callum, the owner indicated he was working on a version of the 9.5 meter Classic that uses a heavier duty telescopic pole. I don’t believe it is available as of Jan. 2023. Even so, I’m not sure I would trust it unguyed. I’d have to see it first I suppose.
I like this antenna because you can get a good match on all bands using the cut chart in the instructions. You might be able to get your resonant frequencies adjusted slightly to your favorite part of the band, but not worth it to me. Less than 2:1 at all band edges, and well under most everywhere else. No tuner needed. It seems to perform as well as or better than my Hustler 5-BTV. The Hustler did not work on 30 or 12 meters, and I had added a 17 meter coil to mine. I think a 30 meter coil was an option, but the 17 meter coil already had added weight and wind resistance.
The version of DX Commander I have had an option to substitute an 80 meter inverted L in place of 30 meters (part of kit), but I didn’t want to do that option. They have smaller and longer poles with various band options, including one that is almost the double height, around 60 feet.
But this one meets my needs, and hopefully the pole will hold up this time.