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[TowerTalk] Sommer Antennas - Warning: contains strong language

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Sommer Antennas - Warning: contains strong language
From: (
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 11:03:17 -0500 (EST)
In a message dated 97-03-26 09:53:22 EST, (Steve Sacco
KC2X) writes:

> I'd have to disagree with you here - I'd say the KLM KT-34XA is the most
>  unnecessarily complicated antenna around.

Steve --

      No argument that the KT34XA is also complicated and has many parts.  I
don't know what the parts counts are for each antenna.  Can anyone answer
this one?

     A topic of occasional discussion on TowerTalk is antenna connection
ohmic losses.  While there seems to be a dearth of academic research, there
has been much speculation and anecdotal references about the total cumulative
effective of all of those connections on the efficiency and performance of an
HF tribander.  In general I think you'll agree that the more connections you
have, the more ohmic losses you have.

>  The Sommer antennas may have a lot of parts, but the are beautifully
>  constructed.
>  I have read at least one review of the Sommer antenna, and it was quite
   There is some aesthetic elegance to a beautiful piece of machinery,
equipment, etc. for sure.   

>  What scientific measurements do you base your inference that they are not
>  good antennas?
>  Surely you are not slamming them based solely on the logic that "more
>  would be using it".  Surely you are more responsible than that!

     All I know is what competitive contesters are using.  They have the
biggest interest in performance and are quick to see what works and what
doesn't.  Show me contest results of stations that win consistently with
Sommer antennas.  The KT34XA has 2 US CQWW records (W0ZV on 10M and W7WA on
15M); the TH6/TH7 is also highly regarded on its performance and results.  

     There AREN'T any scientific measurements that exist (at this time) for
ANY HF triband antennas.  The only criteria is on-the-air results.  No one
believes what the manufacturer's say so what else can you go by?

     Of course I'm saying that the marketplace has determined the worth and
value of all kinds of pieces of equipment.  If the Sommer (or any other
antenna, coax, etc.) provided a discernible improvement and advantage over
other competing products, people would buy it.       
>  They are EXPENSIVE antennas, and that is one reason which could easily
>  explain why they are not in widespread use.
     Have you seen the amount of money invested in current competitve contest
stations lately?  It's mind boggling (two computers or more, two radios,
TopTen switchers, Dunestar bandpass filters, Apha 87's, towers, aluminum,
etc.).  And that's just the single operator stations.  Spending a couple of
hundred dollars more for a superior antenna is not only a drop in the bucket
but it's also NECESSARY.

>  You should also include a disclaimer that you sell Force12 antennas.
       Disclaimer:  TOWER TECH is a Force 12 dealer.  I was also the National
Sales Manager for Hy-Gain for awhile.  I've worked on over 100 amateur tower
and antenna systems in the past 12 years.  I talk to lots of hams and antenna
designers on an almost daily basis.  I kneel before antenna gurus whose
experience and insight I value highly.  I feel that my opinions are a result
of ALL of this cumulative experience.  

     BTW, I'm not afraid to admit I'm wrong.  If someone can make a strong
case for the Sommer or anything else that they take exception with, I will be
happy to change my mind.  In the absence of this information, I will stand by
my statements.

     BTW again, I never did say that the Sommer was a crappy antenna, I just
said that it was unnecessarily complicated and that, if it was a screamer of
an antenna, more people would be using them.  But, hey, it's just my opinion.

73,  Steve   K7LXC

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