Band Hopper III Multiband Portable HF Dipole Antenna System
***IMPORTANT NOTE: if you are using a Band Hopper with our 10m Compact Travel Mast, attach the antenna with a cable tie to the top of section 11 (counted from the bottom). This is about 20ft up and is the perfect height for the antenna centre. Any higher and the antenna may not work properly and your Compact Travel Mast could be damaged.***
"The perfect match for your LNR MTR Mountain Topper"
At a glance
20m, 30m, 40m - the most popular portable bands! (covers 15 m using 40 m settings and ATU)
Weight: less than 500 g = 18 ounces (antenna+feeder+guying system+winders+pegs+bag)
Balun: Yes - current balun
Power: 125 Watts
ATU needed? No. Connects direct to your radio - pretuned.
SSB, CW, data? Yes. Fine for all modes
Length: About 28 metres end to end (both versions)
What do you get?
Band Hoppers are a complete system including:
- A resonant multi-band dipole antenna with Perspex link hardware
- A 10m feeder - high quality RG174 terminated in a BNC plug
- A high performance current balun
- A guying system for a lightweight telescopic pole (6 - 8 metres length recommended)
- Three Wire Winders to ensure tangle-free operating
- Three lightweight aluminium alloy pegs
- A set of instructions
- A nylon carry bag with peg pocket
- Our famous back-up for any questions that you have.
Band Hoppers work out of the packet - no messing, just fun!
Not sure which Band Hopper to choose? Click here for some ideas.
Instructions are available HERE!
The secret of most successful HF portable operators is not hard to find: it's an efficient antenna! No wonder that the linked dipole is the most popular portable HF antenna type used in Europe. The Band Hopper III is designed for the lightweight portable specialist; it also makes a great holiday antenna to have in your suitcase! Not sure what a linked dipole is? Click here.
The Band Hopper III covers three HF bands with a high efficiency full-size halfwave dipole on each band. It's not a compromise loaded antenna. It's also designed to allow you to get the feedpoint high - that's important for good performance. Band selection is by easy-to-use jumpers; quick to change!
Using the Band Hopper III could not be easier. The custom designed centrepiece fits on an tapered pole (such as our famous SOTA pole). It slides down to the optimum height (usually the junction between the top and second sections of the mast). If you don't have a tapering mast dont worry, the centrepiece has slots for cable ties too so you can attach it to most anything. Don't like masts? The centrepiece has an attachment point for a throwing line to use in the forest.
Unrolling the dipole elements is a breeze using the Wirewinders supplied. When you unroll the elements you will notice that the Wirewinders are attached to 4m (13ft) nylon braided extension cords. This not only means that you cannot lose them but also that in rocky areas you can guy your pole by putting the Wirewinder in a crack in the rocks or just by putting it under a rock. The Wirewinders also make great snow anchors too so guying your pole in the snow has never been easier! We also provide pegging loops for use with our high-quality pegs.
The feeder is a 10m (33ft) length of RG174 preterminated in a BNC plug. This is wound on a third Wirewinder. Also on the third Winder is a 10m (33ft) back guy for your mast. No need for any additional guys and the two dipole elements plus the back guy are all you need for a stable and robust system. The back guy is attached to the Wirewinder to give you the flexible guying options above.
This is super-light too! The whole package consisting of the antenna, the Wirewinders, the feeder and the back guy weighs in at 390g (20m/30/40m version); that's just 14oz! Just add a mast or use a nearby tree and you're good to go!
No need to adjust the Band Hopper III, it is supplied pre-tuned. We do the tricky stuff leaving you to have the fun. This is a fully assembled product that works out of the packet.
All Band Hopper antennas are supplied with a balun. This is a high performance ferrite-core balun; not just a few turns of co-axial cable! It's a real plus for using your antenna on;
- datamodes; or for
- power levels of 100 Watts (especially on SSB).
The Band Hopper III is a truly amazing package for a bargain price.
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53 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
It does what it says on the tin really, a solid performer on all 3 bands.
I've only done 2 alpine SOTA activations with it so far so it's still brand new, though I have done 6 general "field" deployments.
Some people love the winders, I personally find them a little slow and cumbersome to use compared with just hand coiling a homebrew dipole which gets an antenna deployed quicker (at least for me).
I also find the system is prone to tangles (specifically the feed line and stablilizing line, they tend to tangle up easily)
I also find the alligator clips a big old pain in the backside to use, the sheathing is incredibly slippery and its far harder than it should be to use the alligator clips. I generally depress the clip and then slip off a few times. It might seem like a weird complaint, but with cold hands in the middle of nowhere I do find them very fiddly. As the system ages I expect the plastic will become rougher and easier to operate so after it wears in it will likely come right!
The center connector design allowing the mast to stand tall without bending over is really quite nice indeed.
A few minor complaints there but nothing egregious - I would buy again and I'm sure the product will serve you well.
I purchased the high hopper to cover some of the bands not covered by my magnetic loop and it was a great choice. It is only up about 6m at the centre sloping down to about 3m at the wire ends. On 17m one of the first contacts was Australia using the FT8 digital mode. This was made using my Yaesu Ft DX1200 and about 70w. I’ve also managed ft8 contacts in North and South America. It is light weight and simple to put up using a fishing pole or one of the Sotabeams masts. A great antenna.
Performs well, easy to erect and ideal for portable use. Having left it up in my garden for a couple of weeks now my only criticism is the link clips rust quickly and a more durable method of band selection would make it a more permanent antenna.
[Admin: thank you for your review. I am pleased to hear that the antenna works well. All our antennas are primarily designed for portable use and not for permanent installation. The requirements for these two roles are different - as you have noticed.]
I've made my own antennas for decades. My home antennas are very successful, but my attempts to construct a portable antenna that gave reasonably reliable performance over multiple bands proved elusive. Recently getting involved in WWFF-KFF, I sought a solution, and looked at what others were using. It was this.
Just as pretty much all the reviews, and the maker, say, this antenna is practically perfect for this application. It's organized in a way that allows simple deployment in minutes, and is beautifully resonant, "right out of the packet." It has reliably outperformed other popular portable antennas, in my head-to-head tests. Coupled with a light, telescoping fiberglass pole (I am using the SOTAbeams Tactical Mini), you can be on the air in minutes, virtually anywhere.
Simple and elegant; highly recommended.
Easy to erect and it works very well.
It's simple, light weight and it works. Just as advertised.
Set up in my garden with 7M Sotapole working well with contacts over 1000miles on 20M. I have been testing it in the wind bit by bit. and has operated no problems with gusts ove 30mph. Great antenna if you wanrt a quick start.
Bought this along with a 7m Sotabeams pole and a speech processor for my FT817.
The antenna is well made, light,easy to put up and take down after a few practice runs and tuning is spot on across all three bands.
Today I did my first ever SOTA activation from Kisdon Hill G\NP-026 in Yorkshire. I had 3 contacts from Germany and 1 from Holland, all with excellent signal reports and also good audio mentioned. I also had a reply from an American callsign but the propogation faded before we could exchange details properly.
The antenna and pole stayed steady and upright in a fairly strong wind so I'm also happy with that.
Still, 4 good reports from Europe and reaching the States with 5 watts from a hill in Yorkshire leaves me very impressed with the set up from Sotabeams.
I heartily recommend this antenna, pole and speech processor.
I purchased this along with the telescoping mast. The first time I put it up I was absolutely stunned at what I could hear on my FT-817ND. I sat in the yard for hours just listening. Later I hooked up my SDRPlay and watched the waterfall and was delighted to see the bands lit up. FINALLY, I have a great antenna! It's so well thought out, too. I did bend a peg but the ground here in Michigan is still semi-frozen.