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Author Topic: SteppIR vs other yagis  (Read 5033 times)
KB9CRY
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2009, 04:18:12 PM »

All that I know love it and have had no major problems.
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W4VR
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« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2009, 01:58:12 PM »

A friend of mine has the SteppIR Monster.  He's having problems with very high SWR and will have to spend lots of dough to bring it back down to ground level and figure out what's wrong with it.  Another friend had the smaller version (20 through 6) and developed some problems with the copper strapping spindles...and I would not doubt if the Monster described above has similar problems.  If I had a choice I would put up an old-fashioned aluminum yagi and give up a few bands in exchange for reliability.
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NE5C
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« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2009, 03:43:52 AM »

One thing about it that I find honestly funny, Tom?
One may read some of the most "inflamed remarks" from someone... who honestly does NOT operate, or even own a steppir!

I can tell you that I purchased mine because I also love to chase and work ...DX stations and IOTA.
So when I do dive into, the "DX PILE-UP" and they come back to my call sign - using the words like "Big Big Signal?" Each time that happens (and that honestly happens alot) I think to myself, "Wow these SteppIR Yagi Beams don't really work - Do they?"

(Funny Pun) "Of course you know that SteppIR owner's pay those DX guys in advance to say such things, so that just can't be true!

Of course that "Big Signal remark" is always followed with a "Belly Laugh" and the words "Well Alright!"

Plus, I have to mention that with the "Reverse 180 Degree Operation Button" on the SteppIR Control?
I can go from due North to Due South in just a moment, without having added work on my tower Rotator and shorter wait time.

With the "Bi-Directional button" on the Control? If I desire to - I can Open the Beam Bi-Directional and ragchew several operators - East and West or North and South - IF I CHOOSE -at the same time!

Wow...where is the SteppIR Owner's NET when, we need it? Hahahahahahaha???

God Bless, 73 - Gud DX
De Jerry - N5JFJ
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N3ZC
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« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2009, 04:20:33 AM »

Thanks for the comments..
..I had positive signal comments when I was using the SteppIR BigIR...I'm looking forward to my new toy..supposedly in November...

     73'..Tom N3ZC
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WB5JEO
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« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2009, 08:32:22 AM »

It's a mystery to me why there's any argument about the SteppIR. It just is what it is. It ought to perform well. It's a Yagi with element length optimized for every point in the bands. Spacing is always a trade-off with every Yagi. It's not a miracle antenna. It's just a resonant everywhere monobander in a world where tribanders are the norm. And I would make a wild guess that, given the cost, a lot of SteppIR users have, before they got to the point of spending that much, been in it long enough to be reasonably experienced and probably operate well.

The miracle part is that they got it to work well enough mechanically to not become known as a problem antenna to maintain. I played for a long time with all sorts of ideas to control element length and spacing dynamically. I had some ideas that would work, but I'd wouldn't pretend that they were all that robust.

In spite of my hesitation to put all that mechanical stuff up on the air, I'm kind of coming around to the realizing the economics of the thing, which is beginning to look to me like a good deal compared to the other schemes for multiple bands with lesser compromise. But I recognize that there's a lot more that can go wrong, and if I go that way, it will surely be mounted on a crank-up or fold-over, since I'm well out of the tower climbing age-confidence window.
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N3OX
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« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2009, 09:35:21 AM »

"It's just a resonant everywhere monobander in a world where tribanders are the norm. "

It's a resonant-everywhere monobander in an environment where people have been hoodwinked into thinking traps typically have 0.5dB or 1dB loss per trap, where people think linear loading is better than "lossy coils" and where people aren't very quantitative in general when they talk about how lossy a thing is.  No doubt, a SteppIR is a good antenna electrically.  I think it's even a GREAT antenna electrically.  It does remove many design constraints for a five bander.  It lets you do all sorts of neat stunts.

But what it doesn't do is change the fact that there are a lot of good trapped and untrapped multiband designs out there that perform very well.  Does a SteppIR beat them?  Sure, for a given boom length, etc.  But I think the biggest popularity advantage is that the IDEA of an adjustable monobander is what really resonates with people.  It's obvious to you, me, and the rest of the world that a continuously adjustable monobander, even with fixed element spacing, probably is going to outperform everything that came before it of the same size.  Taking away the bandwidth constraint is useful.

However, what is not obvious is exactly *how much* it will outperform a well-designed fixed-tuned multiband yagi over the range of frequencies of interest, and the fact of the matter is, a lot of people just do not care about this.  

It's got "full size elements," "1:1 SWR on every frequency," "no lossy traps or coils," "is perfectly tuned for every frequency" and all sorts of other buzzwords.  And again, I'm not saying it's not an excellent multiband beam.  No doubt about that.

It's just that with an honest claim to all those *qualitative* things that people look for when they buy antennas, it doesn't really matter to the sales of the thing if it would only beat some particular fixed-tuned competition by a dB at the band edges and less midband...

It just doesn't matter how many dB better it is.

All that matters is that it's better.

For the ham who just really wants a SteppIR, I say go for it.   You won't be *disappointed* in it.  But for someone who's looking for the optimum way to spread their money around, what you want to know is not that the SteppIR is better, but rather how much better it is than the competition.

The way people talk about this, you'd think they expect it to be several dB better everywhere, and that's very unlikely compared to a well designed fixed-tuned multiband beam of the same size.

So how many dB better is it?  And is that worth it for everyone?  These are the questions I would like to know the answers to.

73
Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
LU2DFM
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Posts: 91




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« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2009, 06:45:07 PM »

I love that I don't need an antenna tuner... err, wait...
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N3ZC
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« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2009, 07:15:32 PM »

You can buy a SteppIR..AND go out & get the nicest, most expensive tuner you can find..and when you're not using the SteppIR you can twirl the knobs, plus, it'll look great in your shack...When I had the BigIR..I never had one, but wish I did as it would've looked great among the other equipment, and made a nice addition to equipment that I didn't use...maybe one of those nice roller-inductor types..that would look cool..(along with the little button on it that goes "ding" when it's pushed!)

Now I have a plan!

         ;-)    73'..Tom  N3ZC
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WB5JEO
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« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2009, 07:30:26 AM »

OX:
"The way people talk about this, you'd think they expect it to be several dB better everywhere, and that's very unlikely compared to a well designed fixed-tuned multiband beam of the same size."

That's pretty much the clue when someone recounts an experience that implies that's happening. Yagi's are Yagi's. Absent various defects in design or adjustment, we pretty well know the range of performance differences between, for instance, full-size elements and loaded elements of the same number and spacing. Or between two otherwise similar arrays with different spacing. Or the same sort of spacing scheme but different element count (which is going to have to be a big difference for "several dB). Or different spacings of the same elements. Unless one is highly compromised and the other highly optimized or some very different combinations of boom length and element count, the numbers just don't rise to "several dB."

When one is S-7 and the other is reported as 20 dB over 9, it is just not the difference between two reasonable Yagi's designed with gain in mind. Given equal power, the most likely suspect for that kind of reporting difference is simply that one is in the sweet spot for the pattern over that path, likely the elevation pattern, that's responsible, and/or local geography. It's just human nature to remember the times when one or another reported antenna was booming over all the other signals.

What's the value of a dB? Two? Three? Six? It's worth it to some to mount full-size long Yagi's at various heights up a 200 foot tower and do a tower for each band. Just wait until I have my ultimate Yagi with five adjustable elements and adjustable spacing on a long boom, on a mount that runs up and down an enormous tower. I will squash them all like bugs. Bwa-ha-ha-hah.

(Until someone comes along and mounts three of those in a dynamic staking array.)
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KA7NIQ
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« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2013, 10:21:32 PM »

Times getting rough and I ain't got enough,
To buy me a 3-Element SteppIR....

73'..Tom N3ZC  
.................................................

I never got enuff even in good times....

Think T8, T10 or T11 - Steppir performance without Steppir $$$ or complexity. You wont get that Steppir Ego tho.

http://www.tennadyne.com/specs&prices.htm

Stan K9IUQ
LOL Stan, are you not aware that the best a Log Periodic can do is equal a 2 element Yagi ?
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WALTERB
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Posts: 528




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« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2013, 07:02:21 AM »


Cmon, that is like going to church and asking the choir how they like God.

Stan K9IUQ

I love that quote!  Grin

With permission, I'm going to plagiarize it!  Cheesy
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N6AJR
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« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2013, 10:21:14 AM »

I have a 3 element steppir  6 to 20 meter beam.  I bought it used 8 or 10 years ago.  It is currently up about 45 feet on a rohn 25 tower on a glen martin hazer so I can run it up and down when needed. 

The nice thing about a steppir is that it is movable.  so I am working some 20 meter CW In a contest I set the antenna at about 14.050 and work CW from the bottom of the band to 14.100 or so.   later if I want to work phone, I push the buttons and now my antenna is set for 14.250 so I work from about 14.200 to 14.300. It comes in real handy for a band like 15 meters.

 I also like it when I set it up for follow the radio ( through a serial to usb converter) so it auto changes when I switch bands or frequencies.

 It has worked flawlessly for all the time its been up.  I had the rotor cable pull out of the connector ( my fault , not secured well.) and a lightning strike near by sent a surge that took out the control box, but it was repaired, for under $150, and is working nicely still.  I found it as my best radio related investment ever. 

Yea they are really that good and the service is great.  I love my steppir.
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KB6HRT
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Posts: 125




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« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2013, 02:05:32 PM »

SteppIRs are good so are Yagis, what important is the installation because going this direction is a big commitment which means everything in the station is important, coax, amplifier, radio, grounding the tower ect ect height of the antennas everything to get your best results for needs intended!  Live in Sun City AZ myself and stations that use SteppIRS here need to have good maintenance because of the heat an UV rays on plastic parts an the high winds in the spring, a good installation results in long trouble free radio time no mater where one lives..................kb6hrt
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W4KVW
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Posts: 508




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« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2013, 01:15:43 PM »

Having a good SWR does not make it talk better than another antenna.Element spacing is much more important for a better talking & hearing antenna than SWR.I saw a video once on the web where a fellow tuned an Oak Tree & a watermelon both to below 1.5.1 & NEITHER would talk to the road in front of his home even with the SWR that low.Some things about SteppIR yagis I've never understood is why they never published E & H plane numbers for ANY of their antennas so that they can be compared head to head with other antennas? I know they must have them after all of the testing they have done but if they do they are TOP SECRET I'm guessing.  Wink   Huh

Clayton
W4KVW
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