The MP-1 is a small, light-weight vertical antenna intended for portable use. The antenna consists of a base rod, a tuning coil and a telescopic whip. The coil is used for band change, while the telescopic whip can be used to fine tune the SWR on the desired frequency.
40-6 meter (continuous)
Documentation is very sparse, although adequate. The antenna comes with a 1:1 drawing showing the starting positions for the coil for each band. From then on, it should be rather simple to fine-tune on the desired frequency.
On the Air
For reception the antenna is quite good. I have not done any side by side comparisons to other antennas yet, but anytime I mount the antenna outside or just close to a window, signals come in without problems. The AGC does not choke but the S-meter is actually moving.
I have also done some transmission tests on the antenna. As you can read in this article, I have mounted the antenna on a tripod so that both the feedpoint and the radials were more than 1 meters above the ground. The performance was more than satisfying! Using powers in the range 10-100 watts I worked everything that you can normally work including North American stations on 20 and 17 meters. From time to time it felt like I was using the DX-88. The only peculiar thing was that the reports I received were notoriously better than the reports I gave. Maybe the performance on the receiver side is not particularly good.
Band switching with this antenna is rather cumbersome. This is due to the continously tuneable coil. On the one hand it is very nice that you can tune the antenna anywhere between 40 and 6 meters, on the other hand adjusting the coil for minimum SWR on a given frequency can take several attempts. It is no problem if you are sitting close to the antenna, but it becomes rather boring if you have to run back and forth between the radio and the antenna. I believe an automatic tuning motor is available from the manufacturer and I understand why…
The MP-1 antenna performs surprisingly well on both the amateur bands and the SWL sections of HF, although performance could be even more improved with a longer whip. A clear advantage of this antenna compared to many other portable antennas like the ATX-1080 and Miracle Whip is the ability to cope with powers up to 150 watts. This makes the antenna well suited as a quick replacement in case your permanent antenna gets damaged.
The mechanical mount of the antenna is quite satisfying as well. It can be mounted on the ground, on a table or anything else with a flat surface. FT-817 owners can even get a special mounting bracket from Wimo, which can be used to mount the MP-1 directly on the side of the FT-817.
I will have to investigate the issue about receiving better RST than sending.