The Antron 99 antenna review was easy because I have been using them for years. It gets out well and is easy to mount.
This antenna is versatile and reasonably priced, making it great for novices. Its performance has been keeping experienced operators buying it. Ham operators with big beams make use of this antenna for ten meters because it gets out and doesn’t break the bank.
The antenna comes in three six-foot fiberglass sections and it stands a little under 18 feet tall. Included in the box are two lock washers that lock the sections together. Do not forget to use these because they can affect SWR as well. This is a very light antenna weighing in at only one pound. The bottom 20 or so inches is aluminum for mounting purposes. This is also where you can ground the antenna.
There is a ground plane kit that is supposed to lower the angle of radiation giving it more range. I have never tried one because I heard there was minimal improvement. My close friend put one on an Imax 2000 and said he noticed a difference.
The installation was easy because of the antenna weight. This will be different for everyone depending on where you mount it. The low weight and short height make it easy to mount along the side of a house or on a chimney.
It’s a light-to-medium duty antenna that is great for novices and many experienced operators use it as well. I have had two of these antennas. I got seven years out of one and nine years out of the other.
This antenna surprises me often with the contacts I make. I have had 3000 mile contacts shooting skip. Locally, I make daily contacts up to 50 miles away and I have it at a good height. This antenna has a high radiation height so it can be set lower and still get out well.
Solarcon claims it has 9.9 dbi gain. I feel it is less, but other comparable antennas are around 2-3 dbi and it’s more than that. It is a half wave over quarter wave and designed for 11 meters. It works on 10 and 12 meters as well. Some hams have used it from 6 meters to 40 meters with a tuner, but I am sure the performance was lower.
It does not come close to a beam or 5/8 antenna, but they have limited mounting abilities because of their size, height, or weight.
This antenna was originally made and sold by Antron. Solarcon makes them today. They also sell an Imax 2000 that is 5/8 wave. This is a step up and the length and weight are an issue to consider.
This antenna will give you the “most bang for your buck” with its low price and high performance. I use it and make almost every contact I try for. I bought this antenna twice and would buy it again.
To read more about this antenna please go to Solarcon A-99CK 17′ Omni-Directional Fiberglass Base Station Antenna and Ground Plane Kit