VE7XEN's ham radio and electronics blog

Workman WEP2000 - killed!

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A couple posts ago I mentioned the WEP2000 I'd purchased to give mobile VHF a try, contrary to my original plan to just use it for APRS. For a while, I was reasonably happy with it; it was a pain to tune, but I was getting good signal reports and receive was good enough for my purposes. In the past week or two though I'd noticed that while it was working, the receive power was much lower than it should have been, so I went to check the tuning on the through-the-glass box on the rear window. What I found was unpleasant - the tuning slug's plastic threads had melted and it was completely seized and askew. No wonder the receive wasn't working very well - and transmit neither.

I guess I only have myself to blame - I had it hooked up to a 65W radio and it was only rated for 25W (though RadioWorld, who I bought it from, claims it's good for 50W - I think not!). Most of my channels had the radio turned down to its 25W setting though - certainly any that I was making my infrequent QSOs on, anyway; I'm not a wordy or outgoing one. So while the ultimate blame may lie with me, I still can't recommend this as a robust antenna. I'd expect that a lengthy QSO even with a 25W radio would roast this poor matching/coupling box.

Verdict: don't buy unless you're running true QRP, in which case it's decent value for money, being very cheap.