Wolf River Coil vs Buddipole Shootout
For Field Day 2021, I got together with other AmRRon members to compare the Wolf River Coil antenna to the Buddipole.
I have always been impressed with the Buddipole and was interested in buying one until I discovered the Wolf River Coil which looked even more portable and lower cost. The Buddipole was compact, seemed easy to deploy, and was highly configurable. So, when I got my Wolf River Coil TIA I was excited to compare it with the Buddipole.
Although our comparison was not really the best and wouldn’t pass “scientific” muster, it was good enough for me to compare ease of setup and performance of the two antennas.
The Wolf River Coil is a vertically polarized antenna, for example, and the Buddipole was horizontally polarized. So, I anticipated some differences in their performance in regards to propagation.
Both antennas went up and were ready to transmit in about 10 minutes. Comparing them in their bags, the Wolf River Coil was smaller. but strangely, their weight seemed pretty comparable.
For our comparison, we used my Icom 7300 radio connected to a two way switch that would switch between the Wolf River Coil and Buddipole. This setup worked great for comparing signals on the radio. When I made contact with a station on one antenna, it was quick and easy to attempt another contact using the other antenna. You could also switch between antennas and compare signal strengths on the radio.
My results of this comparison showed the Wolf River Coil to be very similar to the Buddipole. Many times I could not see any difference between the antennas while other times it was more noticeable. I suspect those with more of a difference was due to their location and the propagation angles of the vertical vs horizontal antennas.
Bottom line, in my opinion, both antennas performed equally well. The only major difference was price of the antenna with the Wolf River Coil being hundreds of dollars less than the Buddipole.
I would recommend either antenna for emergency deployment. The Wolf River Coils TIA is now my goto portable antenna compared to my previous one built for Field Day 2019.