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eHam Forums => Antennas and Towers and more => Topic started by: ZS5WC on September 17, 2011, 07:58:33 AM



Title: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: ZS5WC on September 17, 2011, 07:58:33 AM
 :)
I am on a quest for find the best Bang for Buck, lightweight , trapped 3 to 4 element yagi, low SWR across the CW and Phone section, good gain--F/B is not that important.
Should cover 20 / 15 and 10m..And Handle about a KW.

Now I know what I am describing is an IDEAL antenna--but what are your experiences?..

I love CREATE antennas , but support for them in Africa is non-existent!..

73 de William
ZS4L /\ZS5WC


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: WB2WIK on September 17, 2011, 08:11:38 AM
You can probably get antennas from the US, EU and AUS (I would guess), don't know if anything's made in South Africa or not -- if so, they're not on the market here.

For 3-4 element "good bang for the buck" I've always liked the Cushcraft A4S.  It's 18' long and optimized for 10m better than most 3L tribanders could be due to compromised spacing attempting to cover three bands.  It's also quite strong, I've had two of them up over the years through horrendous storms without any problems at all.

A 3L or 4L SteppIR is better, but quite a lot more expensive.




Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: ZS5WC on September 17, 2011, 09:25:19 AM
 :) Hi Steve,

I have been looking at the A4S and it is of similar design to my Create 318JR--which has a parasitic element for 10, but still only has 3 active elements on 10m.
Some reviews on the A4S have been poor--some reported a daily change of in band SWR?..
Wonder if you found the Same.
No, we don't manufacture HF Beams in South Africa-I suspect we export the Aluminium so other manufacturers can build them elsewhere--Hi!..
Pity, maybe something I should look into..

My current antenna is the CREATE 318jr--GREAT antenna--I work DX with a 100w with ease, and bust pileups with the same wattage, BUT--IF I need trap covers, or other bits--what then?.
There are PLENTY suppliers in OZ that sell Create--BUT FLATLY REFUSE to ship overseas!..Great pity , because their prices are OK.
Maybe someone from VK can point me to a supplier that will ship to Africa..
For interest: here is a link to a nice TET-EMTRON TE-33 ant..
http://www.tet-emtron.com/TE-33-p/te-33.htm


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: ZS5WC on September 17, 2011, 09:33:17 AM
Further to my post above ..(Cont.)
Here is a link to the CREATE 318JR data:
http://www.houseofradio.gr/modules.php?name=catalog&file=popup_image&pID=974&image=0

I do fancy the STEPPIR !!--BUT Weight, Self supporting tower, light rotator and Budget are all limiting factors at this stage.

Pity Sommerbeam is out of business as I fancied that dual driven element design--flattening the SWR..

73 de William
ZS4L / ZS5WC


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: AA4PB on September 17, 2011, 09:51:27 AM
My only problem with an A3 (about 20 years ago) was SWR change with the 40M add-on. On cool mornings condensation would form on the big add-on traps and cause the SWR to be high on 40M. If I went key-down on 100W CW I could watch the SWR slowly drop as the traps heated up. Unkey and wait a few minutes then key up and the SWR would be high again because of more condensation on the traps. About noon the sun was hot enough that the traps dried out and SWR was good and constant. I never saw this problem on 10/15/20 meters - only 40M.

I then went to a Mosely TA33 with 40M add-on and never had that problem (maybe because of the larger traps and wider bandwidth). I understand that Mosleys are hard to get nowdays.


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: WB2WIK on September 17, 2011, 12:53:38 PM
I never had any problems of any kind with my A4S's (both of them).  SWR never changed, traps never failed, ran 1500W lots of times including high duty cycle operations in contests, and even RTTY.

I always suspect when people have problems there may have been a factory defect (anything's possible) but more likely they just did something wrong. :P

We had one of these up 80' above ground over a hilltop in northwestern NJ for many years and it worked great for many years.  Took it down and replaced it with a Force-12 C3 which actually did not work as well and regretted that change.  Took down the C3 and put the A4S back up. :D


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: AA4PB on September 17, 2011, 01:10:22 PM
Note that I said the problem was with the A3 40M add-on kit. Did you have a 40M add-on on your A4s and did you try to operate them during the cool early morning hours when there was condensation on everything? At the time I liked to work DX on 40 CW as the sun was comming up.

I'm sure lots of people use them with no issues. Its just that in my particular location in this particular Wx condition I had an issue with it. And yes, the water drip holes were on the bottom of the traps.  ;D



Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: WB2WIK on September 17, 2011, 06:40:41 PM
Note that I said the problem was with the A3 40M add-on kit. Did you have a 40M add-on on your A4s and did you try to operate them during the cool early morning hours when there was condensation on everything? At the time I liked to work DX on 40 CW as the sun was comming up.

I'm sure lots of people use them with no issues. Its just that in my particular location in this particular Wx condition I had an issue with it. And yes, the water drip holes were on the bottom of the traps.  ;D



Can't say that I did that.  I had the 40m add-on kit here in L.A. and it never had any problems, but we have close to no humidity and also close to no rain.  Back east when I had an A4S in NJ,, I did not have the 40m extender elements and 20m traps at all.


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: N6EY on September 17, 2011, 10:55:50 PM
It's not trapped - actually, it's linear loaded - but you might want to check out the M2 (M-squared) KT-34M2.


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: ZS5WC on September 18, 2011, 12:15:17 AM
 :)

Thanks for the replies / suggestions so far--seems the A4S is pretty good in all--one just has to be careful with the add on kit.. I have often wondered how one could keep the antenna WARMER than the surrounding air , to prevent condensation..--perhaps heat tracing along the boom--hopefully the heat will reach the outer extremities of the antenna..
Believe it or not , last winter we had 3 heavy snowfalls here in Africa--no moisture issues though.

I do like the KT34 as well, the linear loading is really neat, and I speak to K6MYC on occasion via 40m using his antennas--so I know his products do work!.. The Gain figures are lower than expected, but I guess all the other antenna manufacturer figures could be slightly inflated..

73 de William
ZS4L / ZS5WC


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: VK4SP on September 18, 2011, 03:02:34 PM
:) Hi Steve,

I have been looking at the A4S and it is of similar design to my Create 318JR--which has a parasitic element for 10, but still only has 3 active elements on 10m.
Some reviews on the A4S have been poor--some reported a daily change of in band SWR?..
Wonder if you found the Same.
No, we don't manufacture HF Beams in South Africa-I suspect we export the Aluminium so other manufacturers can build them elsewhere--Hi!..
Pity, maybe something I should look into..

My current antenna is the CREATE 318jr--GREAT antenna--I work DX with a 100w with ease, and bust pileups with the same wattage, BUT--IF I need trap covers, or other bits--what then?.
There are PLENTY suppliers in OZ that sell Create--BUT FLATLY REFUSE to ship overseas!..Great pity , because their prices are OK.
Maybe someone from VK can point me to a supplier that will ship to Africa..
For interest: here is a link to a nice TET-EMTRON TE-33 ant..
http://www.tet-emtron.com/TE-33-p/te-33.htm

you could try Les at Amateur Transceiver Radio centre www.atrc.com.au
He should be able to help you out


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: ZS5WC on September 19, 2011, 10:53:01 AM
Hi David, ;)
Thanks for honouring me with your very first post on e-ham.net!..

I will certainly check out the ATRC website, perhaps we will be lucky.
I am out and about at the moment, in a months' time I will be at the QTH again, hope to work some VK's again long path on 20m!..

73 de William
ZS4L / ZS5WC


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: NN4F on September 19, 2011, 02:09:23 PM
Take a look at the Mosley TA-63M  6 band 6 element, 4 large trapped elements and two small 6m elements, it performs real well and gives you gain on 12/17 also compared to many that have a dipole on 12/17..FB is a little low, but that can be an advantage, at least you can hear signals off the back, albeit a little lower..

I get some great signal reports since i started using it even running 100w...


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: KF7CG on September 19, 2011, 02:54:57 PM
I second the Mosley brand. I have to get my ancient TA33 back up. It has been moved all over the US was bought second hand in the late 70's and until I took it down for the ?? time to move was still performing well.

Only three bands but good gain and a very nice f/b ratio.

KF7CG


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: KA7NIQ on January 18, 2013, 11:56:20 PM
I think the Hy Gain Explorer 14 is a great Triband Yagi, and also has the 40 meter add on kit option.
It is the only tribander I know of on a 14 ft boom, that has a separate, full size, 10 meter reflector. It also has dual non trapped 10 meter driven elements, so on 10 meters, the only traps are in the director.
The dual 10 meter driven elements mean there is only a 15 meter trap in the 20 meter driven element.
And because of the separate and full size 10 meter reflector, it allowed Hy Gain to better optimize 15 and 20, since they no longer had to worry as much about 10.

Built like a tank, the Hy Gain Explorer 14 has no real competition IMHO, for a triband Yagi on a 14 ft boom.

FWIW, It has a 4.9 review rating out of 5 on the EHAM Reviews.





Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: ZENKI on January 19, 2013, 12:43:18 AM
The Optibeam 9-5 is a very good antenna. Its just very expensive and overpriced in my opinion.

Another antenna that I know  that  works as well as the Optibeam 9-5 is  the   Mosley TA 54XL.

I couple of hams that I know who are both DX'ers and both live in the same suburb,  about 2 blocks apart. One has the OB9-5 and one has the Mosley TA54XL. They are both at the same
height and seem to be about equal. One 20meters there is a slight edge to the Mosly antenna because of the longer boom. The Front To back ratio  on the Mosley is better than the Optibeam 9-5 on 1 or 2 bands.

These antennas would certainly be more reliable than the motorized contraptions that are so popular.

Either one of these antenna will serve you well.


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: KC4MOP on January 19, 2013, 03:40:31 AM
Note that I said the problem was with the A3 40M add-on kit. Did you have a 40M add-on on your A4s and did you try to operate them during the cool early morning hours when there was condensation on everything? At the time I liked to work DX on 40 CW as the sun was comming up.

I'm sure lots of people use them with no issues. Its just that in my particular location in this particular Wx condition I had an issue with it. And yes, the water drip holes were on the bottom of the traps.  ;D


I have the A3S Add-on for 40M and I have been trying to track down a continual problem with this antenna. The SWR 2:1 points moved up on all of the bands. Basically un-usable without an antenna tuner.
We had a close encounter with a tornado, with 90mph winds. Not a direct hit. After it passed the A3S was perfect as the day I installed it. All the bands were where I set them. That was middle August 2012
Oct 2012 it's back to its old ways and all of the 2:1 SWR points went up in frequency. Like the entire antenna was shortened. One example..20M is now 14.400-14.700.
So there may be some issues with A3S's made recently.
A lot of Hams do like the Mosley's
fred


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: N6AJR on January 23, 2013, 10:59:41 AM
I like one of 2 antennas I have had great success with.  one is the hustler MA5B , a nice little beam for 10/12/15/17/20/ and actually loads on 6m here and there.  The other is  my 3 element steppir.  I think they have sales set up in several over seas countries and they work gang busters.

the ma5b works much better than you would expect, and the steppit can be configured to work fro 6, to 20m or add on the40 m  loop.  you can also use 40 and 80 meter "guys " to support the mast and  have lots of options. 

good luck and remember there is always the fan dipole.


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: KH6DC on January 23, 2013, 05:16:47 PM
Mosley.  Stay away from Hy Gain, Cushcraft, MFJ since they're all owned by MFJ and quality control is lacking.  Several friends here had hardware missing or parts that didn't fit correctly (holes not drilled in the exact location).


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: KH6DC on January 23, 2013, 05:18:09 PM
I like one of 2 antennas I have had great success with.  one is the hustler MA5B , a nice little beam for 10/12/15/17/20/ and actually loads on 6m here and there.  The other is  my 3 element steppir.  I think they have sales set up in several over seas countries and they work gang busters.

the ma5b works much better than you would expect, and the steppit can be configured to work fro 6, to 20m or add on the40 m  loop.  you can also use 40 and 80 meter "guys " to support the mast and  have lots of options. 

good luck and remember there is always the fan dipole.

Hustler only makes verticals.  MA5B is a Cushcraft aka MFJ product.


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: KA7NIQ on January 23, 2013, 08:24:28 PM
I like one of 2 antennas I have had great success with.  one is the hustler MA5B , a nice little beam for 10/12/15/17/20/ and actually loads on 6m here and there.  The other is  my 3 element steppir.  I think they have sales set up in several over seas countries and they work gang busters.

the ma5b works much better than you would expect, and the steppit can be configured to work fro 6, to 20m or add on the40 m  loop.  you can also use 40 and 80 meter "guys " to support the mast and  have lots of options. 

good luck and remember there is always the fan dipole.
The MA5B is a Cush Craft product, and was actually owned for several years by "Hex Beam Steve Hunt G3TXQ"
IMHO, the MA5B is about as small as you can shorten/bend a Yagi, and not have a bloody dummy load.
Steve Hunts computer redesign of the Hex Beam IMHO will beat the performance of the MA5B


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: W4RS on February 22, 2013, 11:54:45 AM
just get a mosley 67c and be done with everthing 10 thru 40
jim w4rs


Title: RE: Best Triband 3 to 4 element trapped Yagi?.
Post by: KA7NIQ on February 22, 2013, 11:58:53 AM
just get a mosley 67c and be done with everthing 10 thru 40
jim w4rs
I would LOVE to have a Mosley Pro 67C  :)
IF I had the room, and a tower big enough for it.
A Guy on 40 meters has one in Texas, and always is loud here into Tampa.