DX Commander Classic Review

The DX Commander is a ~ 33 foot vertical fiberglass pole. I have three guy lines keeping it in place which are about ~4 feet from the base and attach at ~4 feet up the pole. There are 6 wires cut for specific bands which also give you a few others. I have wires for 40-30-20-17-12-10 and due to harmonics I also have 15-6-2. 6 meters is pretty close to 3:1 at the 50-51 MHz area, so a nudge from the tuner helps there. All the other bands are tuned for 1.0:1 to 1.3:1 in the portion of the bands I currently use. The instructions tell you what length to cut for each band and to fine tune it, there is a handy Excel calculator that assists you with finding the precise length. Give it its current resonant frequency and your desired resonant spot and the it’ll tell you to cut or add a specific length from that wire. Pretty easy to get it exactly where you want it.

I purchased the DX Commander Classic with the 80m option. This option adds a second 100m roll of wire to the kit, beautiful memory free wire. When you add the 80m as an inverted L you remove the 30m wire but I believe you still get 30m due to harmonics, but just might need help from the tuner. I have not added the 80m inverted L yet, but may this summer. The price was close to $400 which includes FedEx shipping from the UK which isn’t cheap these days. They do have other options including the Nebula which is an 60 foot pole that gives you quarter wave on 80m plus a lot of other bands.

The setup took two enjoyable afternoons to cut, solder, shrink wrap, etc all of the wires needed for the verticals and radials. My daughter was a big help on the build with measuring all of this. I decided to do 21 radials at ~10 feet. Initially when I set the antenna up the yard, the ground was still frozen so I placed the radials on the grass. Now that spring is here, I have the radials buried an inch or two under the grass so I can mow around it all.

The fiberglass pole telescopes out to the 33 feet. Currently using the nice zip ties included with the kit, the sections are kept extended or you can go with hose clamps tightened just enough to not damage the fiberglass. I have had to adjust a few times due to the section slipping, but I “think” I have it all figured out now. During the storm we had last week, I did lay the pole over for the day but I suspect that it’ll survive most moderate storms/winds we get here. I recorded gusts to low 30s yesterday and had no issues/concerns with the antenna nor its guying. It is virtually a very large fishing pole and it does flex as such. I do plan on placing a 1.5″ pvc pipe in the ground and slipping the antenna over this just to keep the bottom from kicking out in higher winds. The pipe will stick out of the ground only a few inches, this will allow me the security while still making it very easy to lower the antenna to tinker with it or for a strong storm.

Prior to this antenna I was using the Wolf Creek Coil and as soon as I changed, even when feed with my IC-705, the difference was impressive. Now that I have a FTdx10, I can work 95%+ of all those I can hear. So far the only issue I have noticed was today with the moderate winds. The wind was blowing the pole around and as the wires go around the pole, they flex/move with it. With this flex the wires start to play (inductance?) with each other differently and making my SWR fluctuate more than desired. The winds have since calmed down and my SWR has stabilized. I do suspect this antenna will serve me well until I get to start working on a tower in late ’23 or early ’24. After that time, it will be an amazing POTA antenna. Speaking of, they do sell a few smaller versions as well that can be easily used for POTAs.

There is a great community on Discord for the DXC, they provide lots of help and insight. The customer service from Cal and Loki are also top notch.

David Trotz, W7DCT, also recently purchased the antenna and has too been pleased with its performance.

More specific antenna information can been seen here: https://www.m0mcx.co.uk/