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Author Topic: Cushcraft R8 in backyard  (Read 1832 times)

Posts: 123

« on: April 11, 2004, 04:11:33 AM »

Hello all,

I will get right to the point.  I am thinking of purchasing the Cushcraft R8 for HF work.  I have limited space in my yard, and can not attach things to the chimney, nor do I have tree's to put up a dipole.

I need to go vertical  

From what I have read, people are fairly happy with the Cushcraft R8, and from what I understand, you don't need ground radials.

I am planning on installing it in the yard near the ground, attaching it to a mast.  One thought is I could cement the mast into the ground, then attach the R8 to the mast.

Any thoughts?



Posts: 1

« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2004, 05:24:31 AM »

After having used four element monoband yagis for the ten years prior to moving to my current qth I was pretty leary of using just a vertical.  Four years ago I mounted an R7 in my backyard and have had great dx results with it...over 200 countries on each of the WARC bands as well as numerous contacts on the regular bands.  Outstanding results on 40M.  So, if you're interested in DX, I would say go for it.  Verticals with their low angle of radiation are very effective long distance antennas but will generally lose on the close in stuff to the dipoles.  By the way, my R7 is mounted on a pipe driven straight into the ground and is only a couple of feet off the ground at the base.   Best of luck with your decision.  73,  Roger

Posts: 330

« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2004, 06:03:46 AM »

I have no detailed knowledge of the R8 but most (maybe all?) verticals of this type should be mounted on a pipe driven into the soil to get a reasonable ground connection. Using concrete would be a bad idea unless you run several radial wires at or just below ground level. The radials are desirable in any case but I used a Hustler 4BTV without any and it worked OK.

73, Paul G4IJE.

Posts: 3585

« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2004, 09:19:48 AM »

I have had very good luck with Cushcraft's verticals. I am currently using one of my R7's, the R8's predecessor, here to check out the bands and often work the DX with it while the quad is turning to the DX' direction.

From experience they will work just above ground, and will work better if you can get the feedpoint up above any nearby obstructions. And radials don't seem to help the performance at all.

Also from experience I have a problem with any antenna within reach of children and pets. No children at this QTH but I was working the 160 M contest a few years ago when the SWR on the GAP Voyager went nuts. A quick investigation turned up a very dead possum. (The GAP is ground mounted inside a wooden fence to keep the pets away.)

So if you can, mount it at least high enough to keep everyone else safe; and if you cannot think about fencing it off beyond the reach of prying fingers and leg raising pups.

73  Pete Allen  AC5E

Posts: 73

« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2004, 10:37:14 AM »

I have an R-8 with the feed point up about 19 feet. I put a treated 4"x4"x8'post into the ground about 4 feet with about three 80 pound sacks of Sacrete around the post. Before putting the post into the ground, I used some heavy duty staples to attach some 0 gague ground wire to one side and bottom of the post with about 4 feet of the wire extending off the bottom of the post to form an additional grounding surface.

I then attached the antenna to a 20 foot mast and used lag bolts to attach the mast to the 4"x4" resulting in the feed point of the antenna being about 19 feet above ground level. (This is more than a one person job) I Then attached the 0 gauge ground wire to the mast. I also ran an underground 0 gauge wire to the Electric companys ground rod.

The water table where I live is only 2 to 3 feet deep, so the antenna is grounded into the water below ground level via the mast and ground wire. Performance is super!!! At this heighth, it's not stealthy but performs very good.

Cushcraft also sells a guying kit for this antenna. It attaches about half way up the antenna. After observing this antenna sway in a slight breeze, I bought this guying kit which turned out to be nothing more than three hose clamps, three brackets to fit under the hose clamps, three thimbles to protect the very small rope supplied and three tent pegs for anchor points at the other end of the rope.

The antenna certanly needs guying, but if I had known how much a rip-off the kit was, I would have made my own guying kit. I never did use the tent pegs. As from their looks, they would not hold into the ground even in the slightest breeze.  

Based on my use of this antenna, I don't think you will be disappointed. The cost is pretty high but this one antenna covers 6 through 40 meters.

Posts: 518

« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2004, 11:39:53 AM »

I am using the R7000 and have been very happy with it. This morning I worked the T33C on Banaba Island on 17 meter CW with it.
 Mine is mounted on a pipe mast about five feet off of the ground.  No radials are required. The antenna must be grounded for lightning and static buildup. A coaxial lightning arrestor is recommended also.

A current type balun should be used to keep RF from the coax shield.

I believe that you will be pleased with the R8.

Ole man JEAN

Posts: 6252

« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2004, 11:47:57 AM »

The use of concrete would not be a bad idea--it (the concrete base) will give you extra stability a pipe driven into the ground never will.  For a ground point, use a regular grounding rod driven into the soil next to the concrete pad and clamp a heavy grounding wire to the pipe section and the ground rod.

I would get the antenna base above the reach of anyone around, ten feet of mast will do this nicely, but the higher you can get the antenna the better your results may be.  It depends on what you're able and willing to do.  Good Luck!

Posts: 298

« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2004, 02:29:17 PM »

I used a Gap Eagle DX VI for 8 years in Cleveland, Ohio.  I can't say enough good about it.  I ran a 21 foot piece of water pipe up to the peak of my roof and mounted the antenna to the pipe.  It worked great.  I feel the Gap is a better buy than the Cushcraft.  The Eagle worked 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, and 40.  The Titan includes 100 Khz on 80M and 30m.  

Posts: 9930

« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2004, 09:09:29 PM »

I use a hustler 5bvt ($159 at hro) and it works good for dx  and I also had good luck with it on the HHH net and CC late net.  good low angle radiation.. mine is groubd mounted , no radials and 200 or so dx contacts.  for instance   last week I was trying to work T33C on 80 and could not hear or hit them with any of my 3 wire dipoles (40m, 80, 160m) even with 500 watts  but I fired up the 5btv and got a 59 / 59 on the vert with 600 watts.  go figure.  during contest I use it as a spotter antenna, and swing the beam if I can get them on the vert//

Posts: 1789

« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2004, 01:54:59 AM »

A good ham friend of mine has one and is pretty happy with it. He mounted it high enough (10 feet) that there is no chance of anyone hitting or contacting any part of it while transmitting. You could use a 4X4 or steel pipe mounted in concrete. If you have lightning in your area, be sure to put in a ground rod or two and protect your rig from lightning. Use good, full size coax to minimize transmission line losses; no
RG-58 or other "small stuff". I would think that getting the base of the antenna 10' to 15'off the ground would help the efficiency slightly, especially on 30 and 40 meters.

73,   K0ZN

Posts: 52

« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2004, 10:08:40 AM »

Concrete makes a lovely ground, do a web search on "Ufer ground".  In any case, I would add grounds, bonded to the electric service safety ground, just to be sure.

Russ - kf4wxd
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