Bandspringer Midi HF Longwire Antenna System , 10m-60m
At a glance
Bands 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30, 40, 60m with most tuners that are capable of tuning a random wire / long wire antenna (see details below)
Power rating 125 Watts
ATU needed? Yes
SSB, CW, data? Yes. Fine for all modes
A great antenna for operators who like to travel fast and light; the new Bandspringer weighs in at just 190g (6 1/2 Oz). It's the ideal antenna to use with a KX3 or KX2 which have an internal antenna tuner.
The current generation of HF portable radios offer great performance on the HF bands—but to get the best out of them, an efficient antenna is required. The Bandspringer is a multi-band long-wire antenna. The length has been carefully chosen to ensure that it will work with the internal antenna tuners in portable radios such as the K1*, KX1, KX2, KX3 and K2. It will also work well with LDG tuners and the Elecraft T1. Note that the Bandspringer must be used with an antenna tuner - it is fine for use with an FT817 or similar radio, as long as you have a suitable antenna tuner connected between the Bandspringer and radio.
Note that for some radios with an internal antenna tuner, the internal tuner might not have a large enough matching range to match the Bandspringer, so you would need to add a suitable external tuner.
Suitable tuners will usually be advertised as being able to tune a random wire / long wire antenna. Some tuners state in the small print that additional equipment is required for this, please check your tuner manual for details. For example, it might say "Optional external Balun allows tuning of random length, long wire or ladder line fed antennas", indicating that the tuner is likely to need a 4:1 balun connected between it and the Bandspringer.
The exact range of bands may vary depending on your tuner. The Bandspringer Midi should work on 40m, 30m and 20m with any tuner capable of tuning a random wire / long wire antenna. It will work effectively on all bands from 60-10m with most such tuners, but not necessarily all.
If you want to support your Bandspringer on a pole, we recommend our 7m SOTAPOLE. Any pole between 5m and 7m will be fine. Longer poles can be used by extending the nylon cord at the far end of the antenna.
How does it work?
The length is selected to give a moderate impedance at the end for easy matching. It is also designed to ensure that the current section (where much of the useful radiation comes from) is sufficiently elevated. This is the antenna that Richard (G3CWI) used on most of his SOTA activations to become the first activator to complete England, Wales and The Isle of Man.
You can read about the background to this type of antenna here:
NOTE: the antenna must always be connected directly to your tuner - not via a co-axial cable.
What do you get?
The Bandspringer Midi consists of two wire elements, both are made of high quality stranded wire, insulated with a yellow pvc. This wire type has proved a good compromise between flexibility and performance. The yellow insulating jacket makes it easy to spot on most surfaces which makes handling much easier. The elements for the Bandspringer Midi II version are approximately 42 ft (12.8 m). One element is the radiator the other acts as a counterpoise.
The wire elements are supplied wound on a Wirewinder to make deployment and recovery in the field as easy as possible. The radiating element has a braided nylon cord extension to make it easy to use. The extension is firmly attached to the wire at one end and has a pegging loop at the other end.
Each element is terminated in a good quality 4mm “banana plug".
The Bandspringer is also supplied with:
nylon carry bag
three insulators that can be used to attach the antenna to a pole and to our own pegs (supplied attached)
three cable ties - to give more attachment options
two aluminium pegs
one 4mm to BNC Adapter
Note that the colour of the Wire Winders and bag may vary from the picture.
Instructions are available HERE!
Also available from our international agent(s):
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Just tried setting the Bandspringer up indoors, using the QRP Xiagu x6100. I ran the counterpoise downstairs around the lounge, and the antenna up the stairs, around a door and a couple of pelmets. I was amazed. Tuned up very quickly on the advertised bands (and a couple of others...) The vSWR wasn't great, but the tuner had no problem matching. Only problem was noise, being indoors, but am looking forward to getting it out in the field. Very pleased. 73 de G4UXG
This is a really nifty antenna set-up. Light weight and easy to deploy. My KX2 will not tune up on most of the bands, so be forewarned. I also have an Elecraft AT1 tuner that WILL tune it up nicely (tested only on 20/30/40 for MTR-3b), however.
This is my second one for QRP operation, should be standard kit out in the field, does what it says, not expensive, perfect with my Xiegu G90 and ft817. well planned, built and delivered quickly.
Great antenna for use with my MTR3b. Tunes up easily with an Elecraft T1.
Amateur radio websites and YouTube channels are full of chatter about random-length wire antennas fed with a 9:1 impedance dropping transformer (aka 'unun'). However, I figured that with my Elecraft KX1 and KX3 QRP radios both having good internal ATUs, that they have no requirement for a 9:1 impedance drop. The internal ATUs have enough Z range on their own. For that reason I purchased a Sotabeams Bandspringer. It is a very simple antenna consisting of two lengths of light-weight wire 42 feet long each. One length serves as the antenna and the other acts as a counterpoise when laid out on the ground. Sotabeams packs up the solution nicely in a carry bag which comes with a handy plastic wire 'winder' and a BNC to dual-post adaptor. I have a 7m telescopic pole and the Bandspringer is ideal for this. The BNC adaptor connects directly to the side of my QRP radios. The KX3 internal ATU is reputed to have a wider tuning range than the KX1 internal ATU. In any case, both my KX1 and the KX3 internal ATUs have no problem tuning the Bandspringer to a low VSWR on each of their available bands. The Bandspringer gives me a quickly-deployed, multi-band HF portable radio for my QRP activities and with a radio equipped with a decent ATU, there is no requirement for the expense, complication and additional signal loss of a 9:1 unun IMHO.
Bought this primarily due to location restrictions on antenna space, I am extremely pleased with the simplicity of design and the results have been amazing, I operate QRP and at other times I use no more than 50W, the Wire tunes on all the stated bands with the Internal ATU, either the X5105 or the XPA125B... I will be buying another one so I can go out /P thank you for this great Product.... Rodger
Easy to set up and use; light weight to carry in your pack. Works well with my KX3 with inbuilt tuner. Great value.
Tuned up easily on my tuner. A very simple and easy antenna. Great companion to my sotapole.
Excellent Antenna great value for money it does everything it States on the advertisement *****
What a neat idea, skilfully done. The pack contains absolutely everything you need - apart from a tree! There is a very minor bit of setup before you first use the antenna, but after that it's plug and play.