In late 1994, Ron, GW3YDX, (an active DX and contest operator) set up Vine Antenna Products, mainly to source antennas which were not available on the UK market, and to counter the very limited choice available to the UK amateur at that time. Since then, the product range has expanded to include valve amplifiers from Alpha Power (Formerly ETO) and ACOM Ltd, VHF transistor amplifiers from T E Systems in California, rotators from several manufacturers, and the excellent crystal and mechanical filters from INRAD. We have very recently taken another step forward, and started selling transceivers from TenTec.We are now UK and Eire main agents for several of the main USA antenna manufacturers such as Tennadyne, Force 12, M-squared, GAP Antennas, and SteppIR. We are also now the main UK retail outlet for Optibeam and the excellent Versatower range, and we also can supply Tennamast masts. We produce our own range of VHF yagis for 6 and 4m, too.
We have a simple rule when selecting products - "NO RUBBISH", even if it would produce a whopping margin. This is why you will not see certain products advertised on this site. and why the "Eagle" range of antennas we make here is not the cheapest. You get what you pay for.
We also have another rule. No bullshit.... This means that we WILL NOT add "ground gain" to our antenna specs, to kid you into thinking that our antennas are magical in any way. They are GOOD, we can guarantee you, but the field of antennas has been explored since the early 1900's. There are some good designs (We use them and sell them) but there are no magic bullets. Should we find a magic bullet, we will be the first to bring it to you! We will also not sell you what you do not need. In this case, WE actually mean it.
Unlike other some other Amateur Radio retailers you may find, we know our products in depth. We have used most of them, and if we haven't, we have read the manual! Please be most careful when you are using your hard-earned cash to buy items for your ham radio station. Ask yourself if the dealer has a good reputation for after-sales service as independently judged by others. Beware of excessive trumpet-blowing and those retailers who claim to have in-depth knowledge, but who have a product range so wide as to make that impossible. Check to see how long a retailer has a product before it mysteriously disappears as does support for it. We're still servicing amplifiers bought when we started up. We dont leave people in the lurch in the haste to shift another box.
Beware too of those supplying "magic" antennas six inches long that are supposed to have 20dB gain across the entire HF range and a 1:1 SWR. What are they after? Giving something you that works, or just your money and little else? If they are even willing to carry such a product, then ask yourself what their attitude is towards customers. Are they fellow radio hams, or wallets on legs to be milked regardless?
We provide, of course, fast service and back-up spares for all our products in the unlikely event that may be required.
As well as radio amateurs, our customers include professional communications companies such as Siemens, Marconi, and Plessey, Goverment departments including the MoD, RadioCommunications Agency, Met Office, and several major airlines. Our customer base has at least doubled every year, with the European Community now accounting for nearly half of our turnover. We can speak to customers in French if required. We have supplied customers further afield, and indeed are not far from a DXCC of countries we have supplied.
We have excellent trade arrangements with most of the major UK amateur equipment suppliers, and can obtain virtually anything that is on the market. Unlike the major traders though, our overheads are low, so we can usually provide anything they can offer at very attractive prices. Just contact us and give us an opportunity to quote! We are also skilled in handling insurance claims for antenna damage - just give us a call if you are in the process of making a claim.
We are always happy for customers to come and visit, but we are off the beaten track and it is best to phone beforehand for directions.
73 from Ron, and the team at Vine Antennas Ltd. Vine Antennas Ltd is a company registered in Wales, company number 0613 4684.
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Company Policies (This is a summary of the main points affecting customers. Our full conditions of trading are available on request):
We are delighted to accept orders for export anywhere in the world. Outside Europe we will normally only accept payment by bank transfer. We will accept credit card payments from some countries outside Europe. We will specifically NOT accept any credit card orders from Indonesia , Nigeria or Singapore, under any circumstances.
Value Added Tax
By law we must impose 20% Value added tax (sales tax) on all orders shipped to any private customer within the EC. When we ship to another EC country to a private customer the prices are inclusive of UK VAT, and there are no additional taxes or local VAT to pay. If the order is from a VAT-registered company outside the UK but inside the EC, by arrangement we can ship without VAT if we have your VAT registration number. Orders shipped out of the EC do not have VAT imposed. To calculate the VAT-free price, simply multiply the VAT-inclusive prices you see on our website and advertisements by 5/6.
For mail orders, we accept Debit cards, VISA and Mastercard credit cards, cheques and bank transfer payments. We do not charge your card until the item is shipped, unless it is a non-stock item obtained on special order. This is to protect us against cancellations of orders for items we would find difficult to sell again. Your order is usually shipped the same day we receive your payment. We do not offer deferred payment or hire-purchase terms at present.
Shipping charges are not included in the prices shown. Most orders are shipped by courier if size permits. Towers are shipped direct from our tower manufacturers and shipment is quoted specially dependent on the shipping address.
If you experience difficulty with any item purchased from us, then please call or email us. We have an extremely competent and experienced service engineer who is qualified and equipped to service all our products. We also have an extensive holding of parts. You may also contact the product manufacturer directly if you wish.
Unfortunately, we are not able to ship goods on an approval basis. Please make your selections carefully to ensure that you have chosen the item that is right for you. If the product is damaged or marked in any way, and it appears that the damage has not been caused when it was shipped from us, we reserve the right to raise repair charges to restore it to "as new" condition. See also "Exchanges" below. Our policy on returned antennas is different, as once an antenna has been in the air, the resale value is much reduced, similar to a new car that has been driven. If you wish to return an antenna, please contact us to discuss. Our policies are necessary in order to assure all of our customers that they will receive only absolutely brand new merchandise, or that if it used or a "return", it is sold as such.
Our products rarely develop faults and rarely suffer from transit damage. However, if an item is faulty or damaged on receipt we are happy to exchange it for another. Regrettably, we can no longer send out a replacement on the basis that the returned item is returned to us "later", or collected at the same time as delivery of the replacement item takes place. Unfortunately we have had too many cases of customers either taking weeks to return the exchanged item, or it will come back to us scratched or damaged, such damage being very obviously carelessly caused while in service. We therefore will only exchange products after they are returned to us for examination. We do not feel at all happy about maintaining such a policy, but as with many things, the selfish actions of a few result in the honest majority being disadvantaged.
Your privacy matters to us. We comply with the current legislation, and we do not hold customer address details on any database. We do not operate an on-line ordering system at present, and will not until security of those systems is shown to be adequate for your protection.
We have made an honest effort to represent all items as they actually are. Occasionally though, errors do occur, so we reserve the right to change prices and specifications without notice or obligation. Please notify us if you find any errors so that we can correct them immediately.