Product Reviews

Product Review: Chelegance MC-750 Portable HF Vertical Antenna

I got interested in Parks on the Air (POTA) earlier this year and have had an opportunity to use several different antennas in various parks. The antennas I used were great, but I really wanted something smaller to carry around. Also, I prefer to use a resonant antenna whenever possible. When I saw the Chelegance MC-750 Portable HF Vertical Antenna, I knew that I had to try one. Priced at $249.99, this antenna covers 40 meters up to 6 meters and is rated at 100 watts PEP. (There is also an optional 80-meter tuning coil.)

A feature that attracted me to this antenna is that the 17-foot whip has markings on it for most of the HF bands except for 30 and 6 meters. This makes it easy to ballpark the antenna when you are setting it up or changing bands. Since I carry an antenna analyzer with me, it is simple to adjust the antenna for the lowest SWR.

The supplied carrying case is very well made and contains ground spike, 40-meter coil, antenna arm, whip, and radials. There are four 11.48-foot (3.5 meter) radials that have 3mm banana plugs installed on one end. This makes it simple to plug the radials into the base of the antenna. Also, the radials are yellow, so they tend to stand out against the green grass. This should make them conspicuous to anyone who passes by your antenna and help eliminate a tripping hazard.

Setting up the antenna is easy. The antenna is a neat package that is very quick and easy to deploy. I found that the antenna can be deployed in five minutes or less including tuning. Band changes can be made even quicker.

One thing to note is that this antenna is metric and uses M10 threads for the whip. So, if you wanted to substitute your 3/8-24 whip, you will need an adapter.

I also purchased the Chelegance CH0030002 Lightweight Tripod (below). This is a great solution when you are in a park that does not allow you to drive the spike into the ground. The tripod also includes a ¼-inch to 3/8-inch adapter as well as a 3/8-inch to M10 adapter, which makes the tripod even more versatile for other antennas.

First Activation

I had an opportunity to do a POTA activation between rainstorms at a local park near me, so I grabbed my gear (FT-891) and headed out the door.

I found that setting up the MC-750 was quick and easy. I pushed the spike into the ground and proceeded to screw the pieces of the antenna together. Since the whip is marked for most of the bands, I extended it to the 20-meter mark, hooked up the coax to the antenna analyzer, and checked the SWR: 1.2:1—close enough! I spotted myself on the POTA website and called CQ on CW. It wasn’t long before I had a pileup. After 25 Qs, including three Europeans, the rain returned and drove me away. Unfortunately, I still had a number of stations trying to work me.


As stated earlier, the collapsible whip has reference markings for most of the bands. This means that as you adjust the length of the whip, you will find marks for 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, and 40 meters. Note that 6 and 30 meters are not marked. I did find that pulling out the topmost section of the whip will put you in the 6-meter band. Pulling out the top four sections along with using the 40-meter coil will put you close to the 30-meter band. You may still need to do some additional adjustments to achieve the lowest SWR. However, I found that on almost every band that the marked settings gave me an SWR of 1.5 or less.

Power Handling

The antenna is rated at 100 watts PEP. I tested the antenna on a POTA activation that I made on 40 meters to see if there was any heating of the 40-meter coil. I ran 100 watts on CW with a pileup and did not detect any rise in temperature. For digital modes, it is recommended that you run about 25 watts maximum.

Final Thoughts

This antenna is reasonably rugged and well thought out. From the grip on the antenna base to the band marks on the whip to the yellow radials, Chelegance has done a great job working through the design and construction of this antenna. Even the wire winder for the radials is well thought out. This lightweight package makes it easy to transport, and it even includes a shoulder strap to make it easy to hike up a SOTA summit. In short, it is quick and simple to set up and repeatable. If you are looking for a portable antenna for POTA, SOTA, or your favorite vacation spot, this might be the antenna you are looking for.

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