Wizz Whip

Fri, 5 Jul 2024

Whizz Whip Experiences

As per my last email…

My wife lovingly allowe me to pick out a gift recently, which wound up being a Whizz Whip.
I’d contemplated getting one of those in this post.

Whizz Whip Activation In Progress

I had low expectations going into this, but given the dearth of applicable reviews I wanted to share my own. Everyone who has tried one of these seems to do one of three things: 1. Try QRP SSB. On a compromised whip antenna. Indoors.
* These people, obviously, hate the antenna (though never seem to sell them used on eBay). 2. Operate CW from some exotic location. * These people think it’s fantastic 3. Live in the United Kingom. * I don’t really understand this one, but it might explain production shifting from the previous US-based Miracle brand to the current Whizz version. * As best I can tell, they’re identical other than the Whizz having a slightly beefier tuning knob.

By way of background

My goal is a portable, vertical antenna which can be easily packed witht the 817. I always carry an EFHW and / or a dipole, but sometimes there’s just not a convenient branch to toss it over.
Yes, almost any other vertical (or wire antenna) would out perform this thing. That’s not the point. The point is you can forget this is in the bag with an 817 until you’re SOTA or in a park where rope in trees is frowned upon.

Do not use this for SSB


I do enjoy voice, but most of my POTA contacts are FT4/FT8. I know it’s not as efficient as CW, but hopefully ‘any anntenna will do’ when you’re calling CQ POTA, as the stations with power and beams are looking for you.

First Light

The whip conveniently arrived in time for a family weekend away. I had the perfect opportunity to test it after everyone went to sleep.
Results that night were meh. CQ on 20 went nowhere, thought I was seeing spots on pskreporter. They were all in the low -teens. That’s fine for my purposes, but not great for hunting or general operating.
I did get a contact on 17 and another on 15 when I answered a CQ.
Of note: I was able to get the SWR low enough to not worry about the 817’s finals, but noticed on 20 in particualr that moving my hands around the radio impacted SWR quite a lot. That made tuning a chore.

Side Notes

Matching Unit Blocking the CAT Port

POTA Activation

This is why I wanted this antenna.
I activated using this antenna at US-9161 on 20m FT4/8. Sitting across the table was Luke, AE5AU, who was using a QDX with an EFHW. This was a great setup not only to see if the antenna would work for its intended purpose, but for hastily comparing signal reports between the whip and the EFHW.
I did add a 17’ counterpoise to the ground lug of the 817 for this activation. Doing so made for even lower SWR and zero changes in SWR as I moved around the radio.
Luke did, as expected, make contacts faster than I did. The stations who worked both of us invariably gave him better signal reports and he absolutely was decoding more stations on the band. None of that was unexpected, but I was pleaed to bag an acivation with no real trouble.
We wound up with a similar (maybe the same?) number of contacts because I was able to keep transmitting while he was winding up his EFHW.
I’ve done POTA QRP with ham sticks on top of the truck a few times. This felt pretty similar to that.
Laptop running WSJT-X with the 817 / Whip Combo


No, this antenna is not a Miracle in any way. Physics matter, and there’s just no way a 55" whip can compete with a wire.
BUT, if you can’t put up a wire for whatever reason and are doing digital modes, this will work just fine.

I think it’s actually rated for 20ish watts, so really this is a great companion for an 857 or 891 too.
The price is a bit steep, particularly knowing that the older Miracle version used to go for a good bit less.
I still want to try one of the $50 no-name ebay versions, just to see if there’s a difference. I don’t think there’d be much between them, but it’s also frustrating to spend money on junk.

So there’s my take on the Whizz Whip.