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Author Topic: Tennadyne T11 vs SteppIR 3 element  (Read 3654 times)

Posts: 176

« on: January 23, 2009, 10:18:24 AM »

I am debating between the Tennadyne T11 vs SteppIR 3 element. I love the SteppIR, but am concerned about maintance. With the Tennadyne, I think I could put it up and not worry about it.

I am not a tower climber and do not have deep pockets to hire a lot of tower work.

What do I give up with the Tennadyne log periodic?

Posts: 107

« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2009, 11:08:03 AM »

I asked the same question of myself three years ago.  Mine was....Stepper or non-Stepper.  I don't climb anymore and I tried to determine what the failure rate of the Stepper would be.  Well, the failure rate is rather hard to determine when there is no baseline of information.  The Stepper was just to new.  Since, I did not want to climb anymore and not bother all by friends to climb for me (you end up not having any friends then), I just could not swallow the mechanical issues that could crop up with the Stepper.  If you have mechanics in the air, you will have issues.  At least, that was my thinking.  I loved the whole idea of the Stepper and through it was a great product, but not for me.  So, I went out looking for another alternative.  Right or wrong, I selected the Force 12 C3E/D.  I selected it on a lot of feed back from friends and articles.  I was replacing a TH6DXX which was over 40 years old and I did not want to do all the work of getting it rebuilt...again.  I looked at the Tennadyne also and it was a toss up to me.  I felt the Force-12 was a little more sturdy.  The only thing I did not like about the C3E is when the wind blows, the SWR moves around a lot on 15 and 10 meters.  Other than that, I like the antenna and it works well for me.  Lighter...less wind loading on the tower...and built pretty tough.

Your mileage may vary....

Lee - K0WA

Posts: 2280

« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 02:38:59 PM »

I think LPDAs are often chosen by op's who look upon them as a novel antenna to try. If you see beauty in antennas, like I do, a large LPDA certainly gets your attention.  But what do you get?  You get loads of unnecessary bandwidth, at the sacrifice of gain. I'd say if you have a reason to operate outside the ham bands (like MARS), LPDAs will allow you to do so without having to use an antenna tuner. LPDA's typically offer good rejection off the side, but then most other yagi's can do this too.

I replaced an A3 two years ago with a 3L SteppIR.  I've had no problems with the installation, but I doubt I'll ever have a greater MTBF than with a triditional aluminum, multi-band, trapped yagi.  There's a large number of moving parts on the SteppIR, fiberglass elements which are exposed to the affects of UV, and such.  I recognized that going into the purchase, and felt I could deal with the potential problems that could crop up with the SteppIR.  So far though, I've really liked it, and have no hesitations in recommending it.  In fact, I recently add a BigIR vertical and that is working well too.

Posts: 21764

« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2009, 12:00:03 PM »

The T11 is very trouble-free and its actual performance is very similar to the SteppIR 3L yagi.

Having said that (I have a T8 and have installed several SteppIRs), no antenna is unconditionally free of problems!  On the Tennadynes, the weak link (believe it or not)is the balun!  I make my own (it's just a "Collins" balun, or an RF choke current balun wound of coax) and I've never had the balun fail, but its "supporting" mechanism can indeed fail, since Tennadyne pretty much leaves that up to you.

I use black UV-resistant tie-wraps to bind the balun turns and also to "hang" the balun below the lower boom of the antenna, and sure enough, they fail!  I've had to replace the tie-wraps a couple of times now, over 8 years.  Darn.  I should investigate better materials...but always seem to resort back to the tie-wraps since they're easy, cheap, and I have hundreds of them.  I use the very big ones which can probably hold 200 lbs each...strength is not the issue, the UV radiation from the sun is.

In a more cloudy location, or up farther north, they last much longer.  Here in southern CA with 330+ sunny days a year and very high UV levels, the sun is tough on all sorts of plastics.


Posts: 793

« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2009, 12:35:33 PM »

The temptation for a MonstIR is great...40M, 30M plus 20-10M all in one. However, I would be too frustrated in October if the system went down here in upstate NY and my contest season and DX fun was over until April. I use a Tennadyne, on a modest tower, and it meets all my expectations. No problems, boom boom. BS7, VK9W, etc etc. I'm not the biggest gun in the contests, but my guess is with the Tennadyne at 120 feet instead of 53 feet, I'd be close.

Posts: 43

« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2009, 03:23:34 PM »

I chose a T8 over the SteppIR because I was worried about maintenance AND the cost of the replacement electronic parts. I am afraid that lighting will eat up the SteppIR. As was mentioned, the Tennadynes would be easy to repair. Repairing the choke or straightening or replacing bent elements is your only worry and you can buy aluminum tubing at Texas Towers and other stores.

Posts: 1

« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2009, 02:43:08 PM »

Not to hijack the thread but don't forget you can wrap a good plastic electrical tape over your ty-wraps and effectively shield them from the sunlight.

<<I use black UV-resistant tie-wraps to bind the balun turns and also to "hang" the balun below the lower boom of the antenna, and sure enough, they fail! I've had to replace the tie-wraps a couple of times now, over 8 years.>>
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