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Author Topic: HyGain HyTower JR (Junior)  (Read 989 times)
AC0DV
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« on: March 09, 2006, 05:58:51 PM »

I've been sending Hy-Gain an e-mail every 3 or 4 weeks for a LONG time... asking for more information about the HyTower Junior. THEY FINALLY SENT me a copy of the manual!!!

MAIN LAYOUT: It is basically exactly what it looks like in their pictures. (Funny that!)

It has a big central driven element... which is about 39' long... depending on 80M/75M CW or PHONE preference. It is heavy walled aluminum... and all hardware/metal parts are "iridite treated to Mil Specs for maximum resistance to rust and corrosion".

Attached to the driven element are 4 wire assemblies. The wire assemblies attach at 2 points... somewhere above the middle of the main radiator and close to the bottom of the radiator. Three of these wire assemblies are cut to various lengths to be "stubs" for 10/15/20  and have the appropriate insulators. The fourth wire assembly is for 80/75. The manual says the wires are plastic covered.

Close to the middle of the driven element is a set of 4 crossbraces. (There is also a set of 4 support crossbraces about a quarter of the way up from the bottom.)

LONG STORY SHORT: 3 of whe wires assemblies BELOW the BIG crossbrace create vertical radiators or "stubs" for 10/15/20.   The fourth wire going up from the bottom connects to the four wires ABOVE the BIG crossbrace... making a large "cage" for 80/75M.

There is a guy attachment just above the MAIN cross-brace. The manual says the warranty is void unless the guys are used.

For grounding they say that a single 8' ground rod can be driven in to the ground and that "radials can be used but are not necessary."

(NOTE: If you belive that... I have some land to sell you in south Florida.)

It says that the main mount point should be an eigth foot by 1.25" plumber's pipe hammered into the ground so only 20" sticks up. The bottom of the main driven element is supposed to be 8.5" from the ground.

=============================================

The assembly instructions are basically summarized as follows:
Put together the main driven element.
Add the crossbraces.
Add the wires based on CW/PHONE preference.
Mount to pipe and guy it.

============================================

They claim it will withstand 5KW of RF power.

They claim it is "fed" at a current point... thus maintaining a 52 Ohm input impedance over a wide bandwidth.

They claim it will withstand 40mph winds without guys.

===========================================

So it does in fact appear to be similar in principle to the original Hy-Tower... at least for 10/15/20. For 75/80... using the "cage" adds about 57' of wire assembly to the main element.

(Not sure how the original Hy-Tower does 80/75. Does it use ALL of the "stubs" together for that band? Or perhaps just the actual use of the tower itself allow for resonance?)

===========

Anyway... I am considering the possibility of one of these. However, I would like to mount it onto a mast about 20'-30' up and add 4 radials for each band. (I have a large backyard with a detached garage... next to a big hill. Getting this up 20'-30' will make it so the antenna is above the hill and other houses or powerlines. (i.e. sources of noise?)

====

Thought OTHERS might like to know some of this... I've been curious for a long while.


--Keith AC0DV
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NI0C
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2006, 04:23:17 AM »

Keith,

Many thanks for passing along this information!  I too have been interested in this antenna; however all I've seen so far have been the artists renderings of the antenna in the magazine ads.

Your reports on the details of the base mounting and guying are particularly useful.  Hopefully, HyGain will soon make the manual available for download from their website.  

This looks like it could be a really good performer.  Of course your comments concerning grounding are spot on.

73,
Chuck  NI0C
 

 
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2006, 08:05:04 AM »

Problem with elevated mounting is how to guy the thing well.  Withstanding 40 mph winds isn't very reassuring, since winds almost anywhere kick up a lot higher than that at times.  This antenna is a 100% sure-fire candidate for folding over in two in a 50 mph wind.

So, it must be guyed with something nonconductive (rope).  The guy attachment point must be determined, but if I "assume" that guying it midway up is a good place, that means the guy attachment point is about 20' up the antenna from the base.

If you install it 25' above ground (at the base), the guy attachment point is 45' above ground and the guy ropes can get pretty long.  Guying too close to the base, or with too much tension, can collapse the aluminum tubing.  Guying with too little tension may not be helpful.  So, there's a small design dilemma there.

I've been through this many times before with "elevated verticals."  The only reasonable solution I can ever come up with is to elevate the vertical by putting it on a roof tower or roof tripod with a lot of roof area around it in all directions, so the vertical can be guyed to hooks in the corners of the roof; that keeps them at about the right angle to work, and short enough to not require overtensioning which will damage the antenna.

If you can overcome this issue, then the elevated installation should be great.

WB2WIK/6
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AC0DV
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2006, 12:22:10 PM »

Additional Notes:

The LOWER part of the main radiator tube... about 18 feet long is insulated from the UPPER part of the main radiator "spike"... the tube attached on top. It appears that the upper spike is attached via the 80/75M wires... I'm not totally clear on how... because the instructions tell you how to hook up the wires... but it's not easy to visualize everything they are saying without the actual antenna.

ALSO: For elevating next to my garage... I was thinking of a push-up mast on one corner. I like the idea of being able to slowly push it up. Two guys could be mounted to the garage roof. Another 1 or 2 guys could go to a 6' fence I have opposite the mount point on the garage. (About 30-40' away.) This could alleviate some of the pressure/tension on the ropes guying the main vertical.

ALTERNATELY I was considering a roof tripod in the center of the garage... with a 5' mast... I could reach the bottom of the antenna. (And of course guying would be a lot simpler.)

Of course the choice is mainly... HEIGHT. The push up mast could allow it to easily go 10'-15' higher than the garage. The tripod mount would be only about 5' above the peak of the garage. Perhaps not enough height to bother with the push-up mast. (And I already have a roof tripod... would have to go buy a push-up mast. Decisions... decisions.)

BTW: The guy/rope attachment on the radiator is in fact close to the point that the lower main radiator attaches to the upper radiator. (Near the insulator.)

ALTERNATIVE NOTE: I would probably put this antenna together and test it by ground mounting it where my Cushcraft MA-8040V is currently located. (26x33' and 6x66' radials.) Of course if it worked perfectly well there... I might just leave it there. BUT... it is blocked by my garage and 2 hills... ergo my idea for elevation... and much simpler radials. BTW: regular guys would be used for the tower and rope for the radiator... but wouldn't/couldn't the radials ALSO allow a little bit of guying if you used big enough wire?

YET ANOTHER NOTE: Someone in a previous post said something about not trusting this antenna... versus the "real" Hytower... since the original was designed by Hy-Gain years ago.. and this was designed by MFJ.. etc. etc. HOWEVER: I have read that Hy-Gain introduced this antenna in the early 60's for about one year... then stopped selling it. Perhaps because it sold badly... or perhaps because the design is so simple people were just making their own?

Yet ANOTHER Nother NOTE: I was considering elevating my Cushcraft MA-8040V vertical for now.. just to "test" the elevation location... and I probably might do that before purchasing the Hytower JR.

BTW: I would really prefer a "regular" Hy-Gain... but the shipping costs (and the price) are just extreme. I could probably get over the price of the antenna... but still... the shipping is EXPENSIVE. (I was quoted $600.00 but others have said I could find cheaper shipping... perhaps $300.00? But that's STILL a bit much. They should redesign the HyTower implementation a little so that none of the pieces are longer than 7' and can be shipped via UPS in several packages. After all it's only 114 lbs total... so perhaps instead of 8'x3 for the main tower portion it would be 6'x4. Heck even if they just cut off 1' from each tower portion.. and you lose 3' of height... but could ship it UPS for  about $70.00...)

Anyway.. I always ramble on and on. Sorry for my small novel.

--Keith - AC0DV
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VE3IOS
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2006, 12:22:53 PM »

When I first was licensed I had a Hygain Hytower. Bought it off a guy for $100.00. At the time the licensing structure here in Canada was if you had the "Basic" qualifications and 5 WPM code you could transmit on 75/80 meters. So the Hytower was used for only that band. You adjusted the resonant frequency by tilting the tower over and adjusting the vertical radiator that came out the top of the tower. I had about 100 radials under it. That antenna was an absoulutely the best antenna on 75/80 meters I have ever owned. I worked the world with 100 watts as no linear at the time due also to the licensing structure. Great antenna and I to would have another in a heart beat if it were not for the cost.
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AC0DV
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2006, 12:37:20 AM »

Thanks! I too would prefer the "real" tower... but I think I can be happy with the JR... especially if it works even 80% as well as the normal HyTower.

WELL... this weekend I bit the bullet and mounted my Cushcraft MA8040V on top of my garage... so it's no longer blocked on 2 sides. I put up 8 radials.. 4 for 40 and 4 for 80.

WOW. What a difference! I was concerned... having it ground mounted with 32 radials didn't work well... probably because of being blocked by the garage on one side and a hill on the other.

On top of the garage... BOOM... it was a miracle. I could hear European stations in the 75M "window" that I  couldn't hear at ALL on the Loop Skywire... (and I got to talk to the UK and Ireland with no problems... with 100 watts.)

Now to work some ZL and VK's.. and perhaps some more JA's.

As expected... the vertical is ok for local traffic... but most of the time the Loop is better... but you know sometimes... the vertical is better... it's all about angles.

I'll give it a month or so.. and if I remain impressed... I'll bite the bullet and get the HyTower JR and replace the Cushcraft. If the HyTower works as well as the Cushcraft... I'll be happy... but I suspect it will work even BETTER. (No lossy coils... and it's full 1/4 wave for 10/15/20/40... so at the LEAST I'll get the added bands.) I might even put up a couple of more radials for each band. (Perhaps 8 radials for each band? I've read so many things that say 4 tuned elevated radials are almost as good as 120 ground mounted radials... but other things you read say that between 4 and 8 radials is as good as 120 ground radials... so who knows... better to just throw them up and get even a few percentages of efficiency...

BTW a humorous note: The PDF manual Hy-Gain sent me had a pricelist for replacement parts... it took me awhile to realize that the prices are definately early 1960's prices. To me this does show that the rumour that they introduced this antenna in the early 1960's is confirmed.

For the prices they list... you could build 5 or 6 of these from parts for the price of a single new one. Too bad I'm sure that they wouldn't sell those parts for those prices. <cry>

Who knows? If things keep going as they are... I might be the first to post a review of this antenna. I've not HEARD of anyone that has one of these yet... I've asked Hy-Gain if they are actually producing and selling this antenna at this time... but they have never answered... perhaps they just "plan" on selling them and are just seeing if people are interested? (Seeing if maybe they should drop the price $100.00??? I could hope.)

Keith -- AC0DV
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VE3IOS
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2006, 11:15:44 AM »

Keith if you ever get the jr up I would love to see some pictures. As far as delivery date, maybe they make them as they are ordered?
c u in the dx window on 75
Jeff
VA3XQ
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