Arrow VHF antenna evaluation-Notes, by Karl Shoemaker, AK2O
The Author has been building yagi antennas for decades. For this project it was decided to try some of the commercially made ones. This evaluation is for the Arrow VHF yagi for the Amateur 1 1/4 meter band.
Ordering was made by US mail which arrived within a few days in good condition. The instructions are very good, simple, to the point. It was easy to interpret what was needed to do, which is a refreshing change from those "instructions" for domestic items, such as furniture and other Chinese crap we buy with "translated" so-called assembly instructions. It's nice that these antennas are made in the USA.
The design is conventional with a gamma match and 5 elements on a boom. Most of the hardware is aluminum with the nuts and bolts, etc S Steel. You only need a couple of 7/16" wrenches and a #1 phillups screwdriver to get started.
All components seem to go together well without hang-ups or other "snags". The Author took about 20 minutes to complete the setup since he's an experienced antenna builder, but even for the novice this should take less than an hour.
A quick, simple check for return loss was with a Bird thru-line. Even though it's calibrated in a linear scale first readings were very good. Most likely RL > 20 db. A line sweeper, next will show it better.
Mounting it on the test tripod with front and side views.
The bracket is very good. Clever the way the reflector goes through it for no impact.
Close up of the match and connector. This is one of the very few manufactures that provide the (better) type N connector for amateur use. Most of the other commercial yagis are way higher in cost.
Conclusions: This antenna is well built with a good match. The Author recommends this for any Amateur project around the house. However, this antenna is not suited for harsh winter conditions on high mountain tops. For that you will have to spend a lot more money. The last thought is the nice feeling that it appears this product is made in the U.S.A. and not dependent on some Chinese sweat shop cranking them out.
Manual in PDF; will open a new browser window.