Products & Product Reviews

DX Engineering Antenna Tilt Base Solutions Part One—SAF-T-TILT™ Base on the MBVE-5A Series Antennas

There was a time when the thought of raising and lowering a vertical antenna to perform maintenance, protect it from storms, or stow it away for the winter was enough to send a chill down any Ham’s spine.

By removing or loosening the antenna’s fasteners, you risked injury and equipment damage from a falling antenna, not to mention dealing with the hassle of managing such a cumbersome task that likely required a second body to help with the heavy lifting. For those who liked to experiment with their ground-mounted antennas and others in areas prone to frequent lightning strikes, this presented even more unpleasant hurdles. And if you decided to climb a ladder to make adjustments, that just added to the possible dangers.

DX Engineering has been a leader in solving this common issue for Amateur Radio enthusiasts. About a decade ago they designed the patented SAF-T-TILT™ Base, still in use on its popular 160 through 10 meter MBVE-5A Series HF Multi-Band Vertical Antennas and 80 through 10 meter Auto Tune versions. The rugged base, made from 3/8 inch thick aluminum, allows users to safely tilt the antenna back for easier maintenance or storage without removing mounting hardware. Under optimum conditions, putting up the antenna with the SAF-T-TILT™ Base is a single-person, walk-up operation.

How simple is to raise and lower the 43 foot nominal-height MBVE antennas using the SAF-T-TILT™ base? Check out this DX Engineering video. And here’s a link to the DXE-MBVE-5A Series instruction manual for full details.

In addition to the convenience of the tilting base, MBVE-5A antennas are designed to help Hams work DX with an unobtrusive, low, horizontal dipole antenna. Choose from these MBVE-5A Antenna Kits:

* DXE-MBVE-5A 43 Foot Antenna Only
* DXE-MBVE-5A-4P Antenna Package with Radial Plate
* DXE-MBVE-5A-4UP Antenna Package with UN-43 UNUN
* DXE-MBVE-5A-4UPR Antenna Package with Radial Plate and UNUN
* Some MBVE-5A Auto-Tune models include an MFJ tuner and some include tuner mounting brackets and hardware only. All antenna packages include the antenna tuner mount, antenna element tubing with insulator, SAF-T-TILT™ Base Antenna Mount, stainless steel hardware, and clamps.

Also check out DX Engineering’s Tilt Base Antenna Mounting System and the popular OMNI-TILT™ Vertical Antenna Tilt Base.

What do Hams think of the MBVE Antenna with the SAF-T-TILT™ Base?

“Just got this up about a week ago. It took about one hour to assemble the antenna and about two hours to concrete in the base pole and mount the radial plate and the tilt. The radials were done over two days. I used 12-gauge, insulated wire, about 940 feet for 24 radials at about 40 feet each. Highest SWR is on 160 but I am okay with that. Every place else SWR is great. I have used it on all bands and received great reports, even on local talk.”

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