Spoke with Allen Lowe the past few days. He has formally passed the baton of Arrow Antennas to fellow ham, Tim Chapman - KB7MDF, for the future of Arrow Antennas.
Allen needs more time to devote to the recovery of his lovely wife from her health problem of last year.
He will not disappear entirely - his "hand" will still be on the products for a few years.
My personal experience began with Arrow Antennas began as a mere consumer six or seven years ago, then quickly a "devotee" (OK, "groupie"), then one who exclusively uses my Arrow for scores of satellite presentations and demonstrations the past few years ...
(During my AMSAT presentations, I hold up my Arrow, and tell the audience a little story ...
"This is my setup. And this antenna, faded purple as it is."
(I have a six-year-old unit, but purchased a pair of new elements from Allen recently - to show what a new one looks like, versus my beloved faded purple unit)
"This antenna was actually sold to a client when I worked at Ham Radio Outlet a few years ago. The gentleman who I sold it to was waiting for me to open up the shop the next day. "This cannot possibly work," he declared. "It is engineered all wrong ... " "
Well, Tim, part of me wanted to pry into the guy's problem, and find out what his true problem was. BUT - the OTHER part of me thought: "I can purchase this returned item myself at a greatly reduced price ... "
And I did. I cheerfully refunded the client his money. Immediately bought it myself. And use it to this day for ALL my demos and presentations.
In my wanderings 'round the 'Net, detractors of Arrow Antennas' product line seem to fall into these categories -
1. Arrow doesn't give away products for us as raffle prizes at our ham fests.
My reply? SHAME ON THOSE who demean a small business owner's decision to produce a high-quality product at a reasonable price, and not give 'em away to all who ask.
I include this "shame" on many AMSAT members - I am an AMSAT area coordinator and benefactor myself - but have been irritated with fellow AMSAT members' attitude display towards Arrow the past few years on this point.
2. Arrow doesn't publish gain figures.
I absolutely love Allen's behind-the-scenes reply to these people. It boils down to, "They work. And I can sell every one I produce."
Yes, that may be interpreted as "arrogance" by some. And part of me smiles at that answer (my wife is a public relations professional ... and I have been on the 'Net for over 20 years - we bring our own online histories to the equation).
But part of me DOES want to know gain figures. And I KNOW what they are. I have tested them with calibrated, quality equipment. And if people dig enough on Google, they can find the info, too.
But should Arrow prominently post "gain figures" on their units?
Personally, I'd leave this topic alone as the new ownership of Arrow creates its new marketing / business plan for the company. A valid study would involve hiring an outside firm to conduct independent studies (otherwise, detractors would dismiss any results). And argumentative hams would argue the merits of ay such study, anyway.
Well, there you go. Un-solicited testimonial from an Arrow devotee - and one who owns most of the "alternatives" - acquired via money from my own wallet. And as you read "reviews" from others debating "Arrow versus the others" - I only ask that you make sure you determine where the "reviewers" are coming from. Make sure they actually own what they are "reviewing." And in these days of anyone being able to post anything at will, ask if the "reviewer" paid cash for the units, or had them "supplied" to them for review purposes. Sad to say, but some are not as "up front" with honesty and integrity as I would like 'em to be.
Thank you, Allen, for your support of the amateur radio community. You will be missed.
Clint Bradford, K6LCS 909-2410-7666 - cell http://www.work-sat.com