AR15.Com Archives
 M-400 "Starduster" Review
Speargun_  [Team Member]
5/24/2010 10:00:43 AM EST
I owned one of the original, Antenna Specialist, M-400 Starduster years ago when I was running a little CB shop and loved it. I sold hundreds of them until A.S. stopped making them. Soon after, the "made in Taiwan" knock-offs showed up and fell apart about as fast as you could put them together. About this time, I got out of the radio business and haven't seen a new one since.

A few months ago I began looking for a decent 10 meter antenna since I decided to get back into radios and discovered that the M-400 is now being made by
Sirio Antenne out of Italy. I figured I'd take a chance & try it out and here's what I found.

The original M-400 was smooth tubing, but this new one is ribbed. It probably makes it a little stronger, but I imagine it also makes it a bit heavier. Either way, it seems to be a sturdy antenna and is probably about as good of quality as the original.

The antenna is pre drilled so all that you have to do is slide the smaller tube into the larger and put a screw in.
Here is where you want to throw away the screws that come with the antenna and go get some stainless steel screws. You'll thank me if you ever have to take it apart one day.

Out of the box, the radials are pre drilled for 106 inches. I left it like that and as you can see that SWR curve in the picture below, this antenna will work on 12, 11, & 10 meters. It had a 1.7 SWR across the 12 meter band, 1.2 to 1.7 on CB channels 1 through 40, and hit 2.5 at 28.000 mhz.

The SWR's were a little higher than I like on 10 meters, so today I decided to shorten it up and see what I could get out of it. I decided that, since it covered such a broad bandwidth, 100 inch radials should get me the SWR's I wanted

The radials were a little tight coming out, smooth tubing would have been much easier, but after some twisting & pulling and a few blisters later, they were out. I smoothed down some of the worst galling and started re-assembly. The first lower radial was pretty easy. The second took more effort and the third had to be hammered back in. I think it might have been a little bent to start with.
The upper radial came apart and went back together pretty easy although I had to dump water out of it. (Note to self: Get some silicone RTV for this joint and plug the top.)

Once it was all back together and in the air, I checked the SWR's again and came up with this:
2.4 @ 26.000, a low of 1.6 @ 27.000, and a high of 2.7 @ 29.700

If you need a decent 10, 11, and/or 12 meter 1/4 wave ground plane antenna, the M-400 seems to be a pretty decent choice that is solid and has a decent bandwidth.

FULL size graph here

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F350PSD  [Team Member]
5/24/2010 5:55:57 PM EST
Nicely done.

I like the Sigma 5/8 base antenna.

Avanti used to make some great stuff. Moonraker, PDL II et al.
NAM  [Team Member]
5/25/2010 4:27:35 AM EST
I was thinking of picking up an A-99 for 10M, but this is half the price, and looks like it might have wider bandwidth. Especially with a tuner. Might go this route.
Bigred200e  [Team Member]
5/26/2010 4:51:32 AM EST
Looks awesome. Quick question: Where did you buy it?

I've tried looking on the usual vendors and can't find it. There's some listed on Ebay, just don't want to end up with Chinese junk.
NAM  [Team Member]
5/26/2010 4:52:12 AM EST
Copper Electronics has them, $74 i beleive.
Speargun_  [Team Member]
5/26/2010 9:03:01 AM EST
I bought mine on ebay, but that guy doesn't have any for sale right now.

Here's an active auction for an Sirio M-400 "Buy it now" for $75.95.

I didn't see it on Copper's website. If you buy one, just make sure that it's made by Sirio and you should be good.
NAM  [Team Member]
5/26/2010 10:09:43 AM EST
Originally Posted By Speargun_:
I bought mine on ebay, but that guy doesn't have any for sale right now.

Here's an active auction for an Sirio M-400 "Buy it now" for $75.95.

I didn't see it on Copper's website. If you buy one, just make sure that it's made by Sirio and you should be good.


http://www.copper.com/cart/product_info.php?cPath=32_33&products_id=232
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