The Sirio 827 Groundplane Review
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The Sirio 827 Groundplane Review.

Welcome again to another Sirio Antenna review.

The SIRIO 827 Ground Plane.

   You know, I've said this about every other antenna that I've received from Sirio, and it may start sounding like a broken record, but it is simply the truth that every time I open a box from this company I am very impressed with how very well made the components are. Every piece that you take out of the box, you can just tell that Sirio purposefully designed it for the product at hand. It just feels like nothing was made as an afterthought. I have reviewed, played around with or used a lot of other antennas before and I cannot say the same for all of the other ones. There always seems to be some component or piece that the company figured out after the fact needed to be there and then huriedly or sloppily threw it together and threw it in the box. Well, that's simply not the case with Sirio.

   Fair warning to you all...this review is probably going to be a bit more colloquial then my previous reviews, simply because I think it will better convey the significance of my impressions thus far. Having said that, here it goes...

  Want a one word summary? How does UNBELIEVABLE sound? I think that's the word I used most often when I was going through the parts and assembling this antenna. I mean, it's just a low-priced, affordable value antenna right? Well, I even broke out the digital micrometers for this one just to see what it was all about. Every part...and I mean EVERY part looked and felt like it was specifically made for YOUR antenna...not just interchangeable, mass produced literally gave me the feeling that the parts in my box were specifically engineered and turned on a lathe by a salty old-timer metal-smith and put in the box for exactly that one antenna....UNBELIEVABLE. Seriously, think about other products you've purchased in the past that needed to be assembled. Didn't they all feel like they were just a little bit off...that the tolerances just aren't quite tight enough...that some long, shiny metal assembly line of machines was coldly "stamping" out a bunch of parts and dumping them into a box at the end of it? Well, Sirio figured out that that's exactly what NOT to do with their products. I just can't impress enough how good I feel about this little company from Italy.

  As for the parts, here is a little summary of what you'll receive. Upon opening the box you'll find a well packed and organized stack of Silicium Magnesium tubes and parts and a few individually sealed bags of smaller parts. I went through the bags to make sure nothing was missing and of course it was all there. I removed the pieces from the box, laid them all out on the ground and began assembling the tubes for the center element right away. As with the other antennas, they just slide into place from inside of itself and are locked down via set screws or well engineered clamps. (NOT just hose clamps, I mean purposefully designed, well made, unique clamps.) So far...easy as pie! Now it's time for the ground plane portion. This is where I broke out the digital mic's. The parts for and the design of the groundplane are very impressive...Eight very hearty aluminum tubes with very thick walls give you the feeling of invincibility when you grab ahold of them, you just know they're going to last. The hub that they are supposed to go into is just as impressive...someone took a solid block of metal and carved a hub out of it...that must be the way it's made right? UNBELIEVABLE. Anyway, let's assemble the groundplane.

  You don't simply stick the tubes into holes in the hub and lock them would be too easy...and cheap...and how most other manufacturers would have done it. Sirio just won't have that. So, they designed solid brass studs to go into the tubes first so that they have an even sturdier base on which to live forever on. I don't mean they took a brass rod and cut them into small pieces and stuck them into the bags...I mean they took solid brass, engineered them to a perfect design, turned them on a lathe to give the maximum amount of contact surface while providing bullet proof, set-screw notches and hub-to-tube contact and made them to fit PERFECTLY inside the hub on one end and the tubes on the other. Seriously...I mic'd them...they are PERFECT....Zero tolerance...Not one bit of wobble inside there...not one nanometer of play. They purposefully went out of their way and gave specific, purposeful thought to even these seemingly insignificant, little brass parts that you can't even see when assembly is completed. UNBELIEVABLE. So, insert these brass studs into the tubes and then install them into the hub and lock them down. Again, easy as pie. The hub by the way is complete...the coil and elevated coax connection is already tuned and ready to go right out of the box, nothing more to do here. Just install the center element into the assembled groundplane section, lock it all down and you're basically ready to go.

  This is a very easy antenna to assemble. Use the instructions if you need to, they are well written and laid out, but for the most part there's not much to be confused over. It's one of those things that's a pleasure to put together. Once your assembly is complete, you will need a sturdy mast on which to mount it, it is heavy duty and so has a bit of weight to it. This antenna was designed to mount "over" a mast, not on the side of one...although I suppose it can be done. Sirio provides another, unique, well engineered mast clamp for this antenna. Basically a couple of bolts driven in on an angle that lock the antenna to the mast inside of the bottom tube. It's a very sturdy mount.

  Once I got this thing in the air, I performed my usual clean-up routine in the yard, secured the coax to the mast, tightened down the guy wires, ran the coax under the house and up into the shack etc, etc. After everything was connected and secured I fired up the radio (An Icom IC706MKIIG by the way.) and checked my SWR. As with every other Sirio antenna, the instructions were near perfect. SWR right out of the box was 1.2:1 in the middle of 11 meters.

  As for performance, I'm not sure that I can distinguish any noticeable difference from the Vector 4000 on both receive and transmit. Very, very impressive. I just don't know what more to say in this regard. In theory it LOOKS like the Vector 4000 should be slightly better in output performance, but I'll be darned if I can notice it in reality. Everyone locally provided me with the same signal reports that I had with the Vector 4K and I honestly don't see any significant difference on the receive end. The only thing that is very different is the heartiness of the antenna. The Vector 4000 is HUGE and unwieldy and a little on the flimsy side, but boy does it perform! The 827 is solid, sturdy, "normal" sized except for the extra groundplane elements that makes it look a little larger then the 4 element antennas but boy does it perform!

  So, while my review of the Vector 4000 essentially touted it as the very best performing vertical out there, I think I just proved myself wrong in this review. If you want absolutely superior performance from a vertical omnidirectional antenna and want sturdy, solid metal in the air that you know will last, then here you go. You simply MUST own this antenna.

  Stay tuned for photos, I should have them posted within a week or two....

  This review will probably be the last of the 10 / 11 Meter antennas, there's simply no reason to think that any of their other antennas are anything less then wonderful so, I will be attempting to acquire some 2 Meter and 70 CM antennas in the future. Not everyone uses or likes 10 / 11 meters, so I think it high time to review their other HAM antennas. Thanks for reading and we'll see you on our next review!


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