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Author Topic: Butternut HF9V  (Read 5472 times)

Posts: 11

« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2009, 05:31:00 PM »


Thanks for the information. I am in Massachusetts, about 45 minutes north of Boston. Having just passed the test I am still waiting on the FCC to issue the call sign.

Thanks again,


Posts: 5

« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2009, 06:11:10 PM »

I have used the Butternut both ways:  In concrete and on a mast.  You need to run as many radials as you can. Ground mounted, this is easy to do.  On the mast, my radial system was also in the air, much more probematic if you have lots of obstructions like trees.  As for tuning, you need to climb the ladder a lot, or take the antenna down and retune.  A little work, but worth it.  Great antenna for dx work.

Posts: 1316

« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2009, 08:34:30 PM »

If you use a metal ladder to work on the radials or do other tuning, make sure that ladder is not influencing the antenna's resonant properties.

Posts: 805

« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2009, 07:42:31 AM »

Taking a few of these issues in order:

A little difference in maker and dealer perspectives. Hustler wants to sell as many as they can, and that includes some strange applications. DXE knows hams and their frequent slight attention to instructions. There's no mounting you're likely to want that will require cutting the tubing. Unless an expert has looked at your situation and concluded that it must be trimmed, figure that you should be able to make all adjustments without cutting. It's easy to get lost along the way when you're new. If that happens, go back to step one. And do not mess blindly with traps. Do not conclude merely from any difficulties that you have to start cutting. I've had three BTV's over the years, in all sorts of installations, and have never had to cut on them.

An antenna tuner can't hurt, but it can't fix your mistakes or shortcuts. If properly installed and adjusted, this antenna will present a very acceptable load without a tuner. Remember - antenna tuners don't tune antennas. They merely present your transmitter with a workable impedance. This can be just fine with many antennas, but this is a trapped vertical. If you force a screwed up set of adjustments by using a tuner, you wasted money on the traps, and they might even be harmful. Use a tuner, if you want to, but only after you bring the antenna within specs first without it. Many tuners can allow you to load any old hunk of metal. If that's all you wanted, you could have just bought a versatile tuner and a metal pole or hung a wire in a tree and saved the cost of the Hustler.

Antennas of this class will "work" without radials and with inadequate radials. "Work" means you can usually  adjust it to be something your transmitter will load. Read the DXE papers on getting best vertical performance. They usually ship with the antenna, or they're on the DXE web site. Read it again.

There are two distinctly different installations, elevated and ground mounted. The radial requirements are very different for each.

Tuned radials, two per band cut to resonance (about the lengths given) are for elevated installation of this antenna, meaning a fair height above ground. When ground mounted, radial need not be tuned, since they will be grossly detuned by proximity to the ground. There's a different set of instructions for this mounting and different adjustments. Anything from 16 to 64 (more is better, but not that much better), as long as you can manage, on the ground or sewn just under the turf. In the elevated mounting, the radials become the ground image. In the ground mounting, the radials provide a return path without the losses from just the ground being the path. In both cases, the radials intercept the energy in the "near reactive field," which is more intense closer to the base of the antenna. So don't fret if your ground mounting radials can't be a quarter wave at the lowest operating frequency. Just do the best you can. Began with your antenna adjusted according the measures given in the instructions for your choice of mountings and finalize it with the radials in place. The ONLY installations that approach getting full benefit are elevated with tuned radials or ground mounted with a substantial number of radials. Other situations "work" but not nearly so well.

And never try to mix installations, such as mounting on a fence top and running a ground lead down to ground radials. Doesn't work. It just becomes a very perverted sort of poor antenna.

Exact metered tuning of elevated radials is a nicety. Cut to the numbers as provided, if you don't have instrumentation for exact tuning. Nothing bad will happen if they're not precisely tuned.

Driving a mounting rod gives you the firm support of the soil. So folks think fence post type mounting, with a dug hole and a bit of concrete in the bottom is good, but fence posts don't have the wind stresses of these antennas. Of course you can use concrete, but you would use it to fill a larger hole where it becomes the soil. Driving is easier, cheaper, and works fine in most soils.

There are alternate ways to accomplish decoupling. But know that it's a nicety, and many, many of these antennas are in service without it with no bad effects.

Crimp connectors exposed to the weather should be soldered. It's not a huge deal at RF, but it's a wise thing to do for the future.

The insulation Hustler talks about refers to the elevated tuned radials. They should be terminated in insulators. They need not be huge insulators. Odd pieces of plastic made up as insulators or plastic or ceramic egg insulators are fine. It's to keep them tuned, or rather, to insure that their electrical length is what you intended. Ground screen radials for ground mounted installations need no insulation and need not be insulated wire.

One of the things about answers here and elsewhere is that, in all good faith, knowledgeable folks reply with "best practice" advice. That's fine, but it can lead you to believe that anything short of that is disaster, and that isn't often the case. Do not assume that any difficulty you have is on account of you not doing something with great precision. These are very tolerant antennas, if you just stick to the recommended installation instructions.

Posts: 11

« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2009, 07:27:24 PM »


Thank you very much for the extremely informative and detailed reply. Such information as you and others have provided is invaluable to the novice such as myself. Not to mention that such a reply no doubt took a considerable amount of time. Thanks again.

Given that I will not be using an elevated antenna it's good to know that I do not have to tune the radials, deal with insulation, etc.

With respect to radials. DX has a base plate for connecting these and that was ordered as well. The wires are connected to this plate with 1/4" round terminals. These can be crimped, but would it be prudent to solder these either instead of just crimping or in addition to?

As far as the MFJ-259B HF/VHF SWR Analyzer goes, it is likely that I will return it given your adamancy for it's suitability for my purposes. I really do not want to fry a trap or otherwise negate the features of the antenna.

Thank you,


Posts: 805

« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2009, 01:22:13 PM »

I'd solder the crimp connectors. It's just one of those things that easy to do. But I doubt anything very bad will happen if you don't. These antennas normally have very long life spans, so you might as well do everything as if it will be there a while.

I confused myself and confused you. I don't know where I got the idea you planned using a tuner. Probably misread your reference to the analyzer. Analyzer good. Tuner unnecessary.

An antenna analyzer is a nice thing when you're messing with an antenna like this where it's kind of a pain to fold it over to adjust and put it back up. At least the analyzer saves you from dashing back and forth so much. If you fool with antennas much, it will probably become the one instrument you won't be without. Very nice, when something goes out of whack, to get a quick idea of what's gone wrong.

You're not likely to "fry" anything. The antenna's rated for pretty high power, which you wouldn't feed it during adjustment, anyway.

I'm still not sure if you have a Butternut or a Hustler. I suppose it's the Hustler, since that was the last one mentioned. Doesn't matter. All the comments pretty much apply to both.

Take it slow. Putting this up is a project where you can learn a lot along the way, especially with the analyzer in hand.

Posts: 108

« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2009, 03:45:35 PM »

Butternut instructions are HORRIBLE!!!!

In some they talk about diagrams that are in other
instructions and never put in the one you have.
And they have almost no diagrams.

Go to the site and get the instructions for all
of the HF v's antennas. Look at them, and the
few diagrams they have. It is clearer.

Then look at the Butternut site on yahoo, in the
photo section they have pictures of the antenna,
you can see what they are talking about in the
instructions. search the internet for more pics,
you will eventually see and understand what they
are talking about.

It is very simple once you see what is what.

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