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Sirio new Top One short review...

Discussion in 'CB Antennas' started by IrishDX, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. IrishDX

    IrishDX Member

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    I've been meaning to put up a short review of my experience with this antenna for a few weeks so here goes... this is a very non technical review ... So I picked up a brand new in the box one of these for €40 here in Ireland (about $55 bucks US)... guy just wanted to get rid of it as he had no time for radio.... anyway I couldnt resist so I bought it and put it together... as with any of my previous Sirio antennas (827 5/8 vertical and SY-4 Yagi) the quality is pretty good, the antenna is a very unusual design compared with the majority of other verticals on the market, but it is basically a quarter wave ground plane which radiates from the top and is only 12ft in length...

    I'll jump straight along... I mounted the antenna on top of a 20ft steel pole which is on the gable end of my house, and after pushing it up as far as it would go in the brackets the top of the antenna is now about 38 ft from the ground but the bottom hoop which connects the ground planes is only about 3ft from my roof tiles... so not an ideal installation by any means... it is however all I have to work with at my location... For coax I ran roughly 50ft of RG213 down to the radio... the antenna has a gamma match which has a recommended length on the instruction leaflet... I think its 590mm (Italian) anyway I shortened that by about an inch and it left me with an incredibly usable flat SWR right across the 11m band which only starts to rise over 1.2 when I go below 26.000 or above about 28.300... so WIDE banded antenna!



    Performance... seems pretty good to me, I have owned a Sirio 827 5/8 vertical which was an excellent vertical and an A99 which was also a decent antenna... the new Top One so far seems to be on a par with these, but remember its only 12ft long compared to the 22ft long 827 or the 18ft A99.. and both of these antennas would have been much higher at my previous location (like 35ft to the base compared to the Top One which is only 38ft to the top)... I like long distance DX and so far I have made contacts all over Europe ( Sweden, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Russia etc etc) from my qth here on the west coast of Ireland with good signal reports on rx and tx... and several contacts across the pond into the US and Canada with reports of 5/5 to 5/7 with 100w from my old Yaesu FT990. For local rag chewing my buddy who lives 7 miles away is receiving me at an S9 +10db which is the same as the 5/8 GP I had up before... but he tells me my audio is Louder and Punchier with the Top One!!

    Another nice thing about the new Top One is that it is pretty quiet on recieve and most stations sound clear and very audable so it makes it a nice listening antenna too... So thats about it guys, sorry its a pretty low tech review but I'm not very technical I'm afraid... the Top One has been a nice surprise to me, I probably wouldnt have bought it except that I lucked in and got it really cheap, but for anyone considering one of these but slightly worried by the unusual design... hopefully this might help you make up your mind and go for something a bit different!!:D
     
    autotuner, S&W357, Marconi and 5 others like this.

  2. BammBamm

    BammBamm Instigators ...173 on the southside.

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    Maybe not technical but honest and truthful in what you did and what you have found. Thanks for sharing.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. Needle Bender

    Needle Bender ...he thinks it's funny that I stepped in it

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    I've heard of this before but have never understood how an unchanged audio signal of the same signal strength could be louder if you haven't increased your compression or in some way increased your audio / mic gain between those two tests.
    The way I see it, an antenna simply couples the already modulated RF to the air, where it goes through the air to the receiving station, but cannot reprocess the modulated characteristics of that RF. :unsure:
    In the field of high-end home audio they refer to this as psycho-acoustics, when someone claims they can hear the difference between speaker wire.
    Not to be cornfused with the highly questionable Jo Gunn "Audio Gain" claims which could have some slight basis in reality, if the receiving station has AGC issues which allow more AF gain on stronger signals, like my Midland 79-893 does.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. IrishDX

    IrishDX Member

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    yeah I dunno... thats what he said anyway... maybe he was just being nice about my new antenna...;) All I can say from my end is that it does seem to have a quieter receive than either of my previous verticals, less of the normal background hiss etc... for this reason when you do come across a station the perception is that it sounds nice and clear even with a low signal. I dont know if this is to do with the design or mechanical properties of the Top One, as I said before I am a very low tech guy but the proof is in the pudding... I guess all I am trying to say is that for a 12ft long slightly wierd looking antenna it has surprised me with its really wide SWR bandwidth and performance on par with the tried and trused A99 and the well respected Sirio 827 5/8 wave groundplane... and at only 38ft to the tip... not bad!!:D
     
    Marconi likes this.
  5. Marconi

    Marconi Usually if I can hear em' I can talk to em'.

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    Hey IrishDX, I have a New Top One too, and I've had similar experiences. Any difference I noticed using my NTO vs. my A99, Wolf .64, Imax, AstroPlane, I-10K, Starduster, or Sigma4 only showed a modest difference of less than 1 Sunit, 7.2 average S-unit per signal vs. the high of 7.8 Sunits for my Wolf .64 and my Starduster.

    I set mine up as close to specs as possible, but frankly the only thing that is adjustable on this one would be the rod part of the gamma, which I set at 22 7/8" exposed length. The rest of the antenna is fixed as set per instructions.

    I have not tried changing frequency yet, the gamma rod is all one can do without modifying the antenna.

    Attached are my bandwidth curves on the three installs I've done with this antenna.

    View attachment New Top One Bandwidth curves..pdf

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  6. IrishDX

    IrishDX Member

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    Hey Marconi... I agree, there aint a whole pile you can change on the Top One except for fooling with the gamma length... I was just experimenting with the length of the exposed section and that one move I made to shorten it by about an inch hit the sweet spot for sure... so I left well enough alone after that... If you like DX'ing this is a neat little antenna, some of those contacts I made like Russia and Turkey are a 2-3 thousand miles distance from Ireland and the USA/Canada are even further... I know guys use the more popular A99, Imax, Gainmaster etc for DX'ing and get great results... the reason I decided to write about the Top One is that it doesnt seem to have that many reviews that I could find and it is one quirky little antenna!
     
    Marconi likes this.
  7. Needle Bender

    Needle Bender ...he thinks it's funny that I stepped in it

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    Hey Marconi, How do you think the NTO performs compared to the original AP?
    Almost seems like a step backwards to go to a gamma from a direct feed. :confused:
     
  8. Slowmover

    Slowmover Sr. Member

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    Any other experience?
     

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