Is the Difona HF-P1 antenna something for you?

May 2017 - Updated Mars 2019

The Difona HF-P1 antenna is from a German company and similar to the Super Antenna. I was looking for a small vertical antenna that I could have indoors because there I lived before I couldn't have any outside antenna in the middle of the city.

I knew from the beginning that this is a big compromise solution. There is no antenna that works well indoors, and I have tried dipoles, end-fed etc. but nothing was good. So I thought to give this antenna a try. It's cost about 150 Euro (kit), and you get antenna, foot, bag etc. (when I order it). The company is Difona and you find them here.

So, is’t good?
I will put this in direct comparison with some other big antennas (outside), a 7/14MHz inverted vee dipole and a 20+10m end-fed antenna. And…  as you might guess, this antenna will have some problem to keep up with. I will also test it inside with other antennas (not so big because they are inside). You see the HF-P1 on the table and the inverted vee dipole and the end-fed in the background. The antenna tripod is to the right.

Is it good? Well.. you can’t compare it with a big antennas. They are better!
This antenna is about 2 to 4 S-units below the other. It receive more ground noise than the other antennas. It does not reach as far as the other. So short answer, this antenna are worse than all the other.

So..  Is this a bad antenna?
I will not say that. This antenna have a another use case than the other. It have some very strong points if we compare it. First of, it’s a small antenna that you can set up more or less everywhere, and it’s preform very well for it’s size! You only need a very small ground space (about 40cm in diameter) for this antenna and some space to pull out the counterpoise, four of them. Or you can use the bracket and jam it on something.

Another very strong point is that you don’t need any antenna tuner to this antenna. You tune it with the coil on the antenna (video bellow). And it work very well (for this kind of antenna) on 40 to 10 M, even if 40 M is the reach point. It’s just to small, but it work if you don’t have any other antenna options or cant set up any outside antenna etc. It will handled 80 M as well, but..  it’s not good.. so don't!

A view of the bracket mount.
As you can see on the image, you have very small counterpoise. They are to thin and you should replace them with some larger. Today I testing with 10 meters and 5 meter (x4) 0.8 to 1.5mm² thick wires. It’s the only thing I have to remark on this antenna, and..  it’s a very easy and cheap fix. Otherwise it’s well build and strong construction (even if is assemble in China).

The main reason I got this antenna (when I lived on my other location in the city) is to use it indoor in my apartment. I can’t have any antennas outside, so I have to find solutions. I have tried dipoles, end-feds etc, but no luck. To much noise and to bad antennas (inside).

And this antenna? This is the best antenna so far, and I have to say that I am happy with it! Of course, you can’t compare it to a big full size dipole outside. No no no!! I live in the city centre surrounded of neighbours TV, computer, about 120 WiFi spots etc. So I struggling with noise, and it’s about S9-10 normally.

But this antenna works, not good, but it work! It’s the best antenna so far, and it wins with horse lengths from all other antennas I have made and tested in my apartment. And, if I put the antenna in the window (outside), well, then it work even better! Of course, you get the same noise levels, but you also get better signals from other stations.

I don’t use the counterpoise that come with the antenna, instead I use 7 long wires in various lengths (between 5-12 meter) with 1.5mm² thick wire that I have drawn along walls  etc. You don’t see them. And it works well for my circumstances.

Here is a WSPR test:
PIC (upcoming)

And yes..  you may thing that this is bad comparing to you outside dipole, and yes..  it’s not good, but, a small indoor antenna with 5w. I am happy with it. It’s better than nothing!

One problem is that this antenna works better in TX than RX because of all noise. Many stations can hear me, but I can’t hear them. So you have to lower you power. The maximum power I use is 25 watt, but normally about 10-15w.

Here is a video there I show you how to tune it:

So the endpoint of this antenna is positive. It’s do the job, but it can’t win if we compare it to a big dipole (outside, it wins indoor) and just focus on S-level and audibility. But it wins of it’s small size, light weight, opportunities to put it up in all possible places (in SOTA, in apartment, in the hotel on holiday etc.). This is a great antenna that you have to compromise with. You can’t get everything, but you can get a lot!

But! I will also say that you can get a loot out of an end-fed as well, that you just put it up and hide it when you are in holiday or so. So there is options!

Updated Mars 2019

OK! Time for another test of the Difona antenna. Before, I was using this antenna inside my apartment in the middle of the city, as you now above, I could’t have any antenna outside so i struggled with it.

So why not test it with a big outside antenna? I did two test at the same day, one in the morning with no conditions at all, and on at the night with normal weather conditions. This is the results.

The morning test.

Morning at 40m with the Difona antenna.
You se some stations there, but it’s hard to here them.

Morning at 40m with the outside LW antenna.
All stations is loud and clear.

Morning at 20m with the Difona antenna.
Here you can see some CW, and yes.. you could hit that guy. You also see other weak data signals, but on top of that, you see a lot of interference on top of the data signal!

Morning at 20m with the outside LW antenna.
With the outside antenna, clear signals and no interference in the data signal above.

80 meter was no go for the Difona antenna.

The night test.

Night test at 80m with the Difona antenna.
You see and hear only some weak data signals. Very little nose.

Night test at 80m with the outside LW antenna.
All stations is loud and clear.

Night test at 40m with the Difona antenna.
You can here some of the CW stations, and you could run them as well.

Night test at 80m with the outside LW antenna.
All stations is loud and clear.

Night test at 80m with the Difona antenna.
You see and hear only some weak data signals. Very little nose.

Night test at 80m with the outside LW antenna.
All stations is loud and clear.

As we now before, Difona antenna is a small weak antenna. But! After two years, a still keep what i have said of tis antenna.
If you can’t put up an antenna outside, no dipole work’s inside etc. This may be an option. You will not get good results, but you will get some...

For me, i could hear strong signals and run some data and CW in the city with the antenna. Better than nothing.