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Author Topic: Photos of my new Hex Beam installation  (Read 5853 times)
W6UX
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« on: January 16, 2012, 03:13:43 PM »

Hi all,

In the interest of helping others come up with antenna installation ideas for their own QTH, I documented the construction of my rotating mast system and Hex beam antenna.

The photo gallery is posted here: https://picasaweb.google.com/107624273163048625393/HexBeam?authuser=0&feat=directlink

I've added comments on most photos to help the viewer understand what is being shown.

In a nutshell:

- Traffie 5-band hex beam @ ~40'
- Guyed, rotating mast (Spiderbeam aluminum type raised to 37')
- Ground-mounted G-800DXA rotator
- House bracketed thrust bearing for added rigidity

In a few weeks, I'll be adding ground rods and lightning protection, and will post additional photos.

73, Jeff
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N4JTE
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Posts: 1158




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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 04:04:20 PM »

Jeff great luck with new antenna, really appreciate your special note of the previous holder of that callsign on your qrz page.
Take care and have fun,
Bob
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WA4FNG
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Posts: 162




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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 04:05:10 PM »

Jeff,
Nice job with the photos. So, how does it work?
-Milt
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W6UX
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 05:31:10 PM »

So, how does it work?

It's like being a new ham all over again! I was +20 into AK yesterday with 100 watts.  +10 into VP8.  VE6AO had me +15 (compared to 57 last time we QSO'd).  I now have a usable shack several hours earlier in the morning compared to my inverted-v doublet.  No comparison!

It's a whole new world for me, especially now that I have to incorporate using a rotator.  Contesting is going to be at a whole new level for me now, as will DXing.  Hopefully I get to 200 DXCC this year (need 97 new ones to make that).

20 meters is actually FUN now! Before, it was harsh on my ears!

-Jeff
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WA8FOZ
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Posts: 192




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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 08:08:42 PM »

Congratulations, on the installation and the pictures. Your first beam is like starting all over again. Isn't this fun?!

73,
Bill WA8FOZ
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W0FM
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Posts: 2056




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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2012, 11:08:46 AM »

Great job, Jeff.  This post with its quality photos and your descriptions of the events should be a model for those of us who intend to present something like this on eHam in the future.

Bravo!

Terry, WØFM
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KK4GER
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 09:38:05 AM »

Nice job!  Sounds like you have as much fun doing the build as using it; I know I do.

Gerry, KK4GER
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KG6YV
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2012, 10:50:26 AM »

Where did you get a mast that can be guyed and rotated from the bottom?Huh

Neet installation, I like the low visibility aspect of it.

Greg
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K2MK
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2012, 11:43:19 AM »

Hi Greg,

If you think about it, most masts are just telescoping sections of steel, aluminum, or fiberglass. They can all be rotated if the guy rings are free floating and if the various sections are secured together so that they don't independently rotate. The Rohn H30 is an inexpensive 30 foot steel mast that is pretty popular with hex beam users. Definitely lighter duty than Jeff's choice but when guyed at 3 levels and with the rotator at the bottom it seems adequate for the task.

73,
Mike K2MK
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W6UX
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2012, 12:46:38 PM »

Where did you get a mast that can be guyed and rotated from the bottom?Huh

Greg

Hi Greg,

The mast is made by Spiderbeam (spiderbeam.us).  It is the 15m model.  While that mast will extend to 50 feet, it cannot support a 20 lb antenna at that height safely.  The top two sections are not used, leaving you with about a ~38' mast if fully raised.  The hex beam itself is almost 4' tall, so your 20m element is going to be in that desired 40' range.  I plan to use the discarded tubes to mount an HD antenna on my chimney.

So, you are left with a top section that accepts a 1" water pipe very nicely.  This is exactly the diameter pipe needed to mate a Traffie hex beam antenna.

To make this mast work with most rotators, you also need Spiderbeam's rotator adapter.  This is inserted into the bottom section of the mast and has a stub tube that will fit most rotators.

The guy plates consist of a plate and an aluminum bushing.  The bushing sits on top of the section below it and loosely rotates around the mast.  Even tension on the guy lines allows the mast to rotate freely inside the bushing.

-Jeff
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KF7IPW
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2012, 03:11:06 PM »

I hate being so jealous..... OH MAN!
Thanks for all the effort.
That is the antenna I'm seriously considering when my wife gets used to my other two antennas.
Do you think I could do this all at night so she wouldn't notice?  HIHI

Stan
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W6UX
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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2012, 04:16:15 PM »

Quick followup...712 QSOs on 3 bands in under 10 hours in the NAQP SSB.  It's a 100 watt contest, but it sure didn't sound like it.  Could not believe how strong signals were from every corner of the country.  Worked 49 states, 6 Canadian provinces, and DX (Columbia, for example) was calling ME!

What a dream antenna this is for me.  Highly recommended to anyone with a small lot, tower restrictions, etc.  If the price is objectionable, then homebrew your own hex.  Talked to someone on a homebrew and he sounded great.  It's a terrific design!

-Jeff
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K3VAT
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2012, 04:24:05 PM »

Great job Jeff and FB on NAQP!!  looks like all your planning, construction, fine tuning, and attention to detail really  paid off  Grin 73, Rich, K3VAT (using wires Wink )
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2012, 04:54:12 PM »

Looks super, Jeff.

Definitely picked up some good tips!  Thanks for the great slideshow.

bill
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WB4LCN
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2012, 05:08:24 PM »

Very nice, Jeff. I live down the road in San Diego. I'd like to ride my motorcycle up and take a look. I've been thinking about a hex beam. Do you mind?

dave Wink
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First, make it work, then make it pretty.
Yaesu Rigs: Kenwood TS-480HX, FT-8900R, FTM-350AR (Bluetooth motorcycle mobile), VX-8DR, SB-102 boat anchor (built one as a kid)

Moderate Spock: "Live for a reasonable amount of time and scrape by."
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