This review of the Challenger DX Antenna by GAP Antenna will not be a highly technical review, it will be performance based, using my existing antennas for comparisons First off, what is the GAP Challenger, and how does it work? You must be an ARRL member to get the QST article covering that, it is in the January 1995 issue. I would provide the article, but copyright forbids me from doing so. You will have to go to the ARRL’s web site and get it. Once you read that story, you will understand a bit more on the GAP. Basically it has a very limited number of radials, and still work well. Why so few radials? Because it is not the traditional 1/4 wave vertical, it is a vertical dipole, this gives it several advantages over a standard 1/4 wave vertical. Chiefly the reduced number of radials… I also have a 30 Meter Mono Gap, (see review here), and it has the same number of radials needed, three, and they are short.
My setup has the Challenger ground mounted, in the middle of a large field with a metal fence running along one side perhaps 30 feet away. Other than that, there is nothing within 50 feet of the antenna. It is on the side of a very gentle slope slightly sloping downwards towards the North maybe 20 feet down in the first 100 feet from the antenna, and sloping up perhaps 20 feet to the south at the 100 foot mark from the antenna. It is mounted in a small hole, using the insulating post supplied with the antenna. It is not on a tilt base, nor does it need a radial field, which is the number one reason I bought it. I primarily operate on 40 through 10 meters, so any discussion of 80 Meter operation is useless from my point of view. Continue reading