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Author Topic: 4BTV Restoration Project  (Read 3333 times)
KK4AXX
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« on: June 25, 2012, 04:28:47 AM »

A friend of mine gave me a Hustler 4BTV, and the better part of another, that he had in his shop but had no use for.  They are weathered, but look like they can be made serviceable.  Now, my question is:

How can I best restore the antenna?

Clean it completely, perhaps buff it down, new connectors...  I get that.  How does one check the traps?  Also, it is in pieces, so which part goes where?  When cleaned, can it - or should it - be painted or sealed for weather protection? (I'm on the Gulf Coast...) Any and all useful info on these antennas would be greatly appreciated.

One other thing...  I have a home-brewed 17 meter vertical that is working like a top mounted on a 4x4.  Could this be mounted on the opposite side of the same post, use the same radial plate (with the necessary additions, of course) without screwing up my 17M effectiveness?  And how best to feed it?  Is it possible to feed both from the same coax?

Thanks guys!
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George U. Potter Lodge, #912, F. & A. M. of Alabama
A.A.S.R., S.J. - Valley of Mobile, Orient of Alabama
Dave Langham Chapter, #536, Order of the Eastern Star
Order of DeMolay, Mobile Chapter, Adult Advisory Council
K2DC
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2012, 05:21:38 AM »

Hello,

  The 4-BTV manual is available online at:

http://www.dxengineering.com/pdf/BTV-INSTALL-GUIDE-Rev0c.pdf

It may not be necessary to clean up the entire antenna, but you should clean the areas where the sections and traps join.  Deoxit should work, or just rub it down with some Scotchbrite.  Open the endcaps of the traps and clean them out as best possible (compressed air, maybe?).  The easiest way to check the traps with only an SWR meter is to build it from the bottom up, shcecking each band as you go starting with 10M and working your way down.

    You might be able to add the 17M antenna on the same feed line and radial system, although it may be impacted, or it may ineteract with the Hustler on either 15M or 20M.  The only way to find out is to give it a try.

73,

Don, K2DC
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K3VAT
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 05:35:46 AM »

A friend of mine gave me a Hustler 4BTV, and the better part of another, that he had in his shop but had no use for.  They are weathered, but look like they can be made serviceable.  Now, my question is:

How can I best restore the antenna? ... Thanks guys!

Mark,
Don, K2DC provides some good tips.  And as he pointed out you don't have to 'buff' the entire antenna; the critical area is between aluminum parts (tubes & traps).

One other thing...  I have a home-brewed 17 meter vertical that is working like a top mounted on a 4x4.  Could this be mounted on the opposite side of the same post, use the same radial plate (with the necessary additions, of course) without screwing up my 17M effectiveness?  And how best to feed it?  Is it possible to feed both from the same coax?

I won't recommend installing the HB 17M vertical adjacent to the 4BTV.  The 2 will definitely interact producing some unpredictable and degrading affects on the 4BTV's operation.  Keep them separate or get the 17M add-on kit from DXEngineering.

GL, 73, Rich K3VAT
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W9GB
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2012, 05:31:51 AM »

Quote
How can I best restore the antenna?

Clean it completely, perhaps buff it down, new connectors...  I get that.  How does one check the traps?  Also, it is in pieces, so which part goes where?  When cleaned, can it - or should it - be painted or sealed for weather protection? (I'm on the Gulf Coast...) Any and all useful info on these antennas would be greatly appreciated.
I restored a Hustler 4-BTV HF Trapped Multi-bnad Vertical from the 1960s a few years ago.
In the end it took about 16 hours of work ... and I had a QUART Plastic bag full of rusted bolts, nuts, clamps, etc. to show for the work.
In the first decade (1960s) of production, Hustler did not use Stainless Steel hardware!!

ALL OF THE INFORMAITON that you require is at the Hustler/Newtronics or DX Engineering web pages.

The TRAPS are L-C assemblies.  The Inductance (L) is the wire coiled on the insulated form.  
The Capacitance (C) is the traps outer shell [coaxial capacitor] with ONE attachment point (bottom of trap) to aluminum vertical radiator.  
The TOP Black or Gray Cap is for weathproofing and serves as an INSULATOR to keep that part of the capacitor from making contact with the aluminum vertical radiator.

There is a proper -- UP and DOWN Orientation to these traps.
If you CALL Hustomer, they will sell you the ID decals for these traps .. if you polish that informaiton off during cleaning.

I USED Colored Electrical Tape (3M, type 35) .. available at any Home Depot, Lowes or large electrical supply store ---
to ID the traps (which bands) ... YELLOW (10 meters); ORANGE (15 meters); GREEN (20 meters); BLUE (30 meters).
You can do this my a vertical stripe of tape or by a horizontal circle of tape on outer trap shell.
==
BTW -- Chester L. Buchanan, W3DZZ (SK) wrote the original March 1955 QST article established the baseline for
all major commercial tri-band beam and vertical trap antenan designs since the 1950s -- that you see today !!

Earlier QRZ and eHam.net discussions on Chester L. Buchanan, W3DZZ trap antenna
http://forums.qrz.com/archive/index.php/t-316601.html?

http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=83682.0

G4CFY / G2DYM aerials -- derived from W3DZZ published work
http://www.spectrumcomms.co.uk/G2DYM.htm

1. L-C Traps produce a Shorter PHYSICAL Length (or Height), BUT maintains the ELECTRICAL length of operation.
2. L-C traps can be found on a large variety of commercial vertical and beam antennas (Unadilla, HyGain, Hustler, Cushcraft, Mosley, Wilson, etc.).
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 05:41:52 AM by W9GB » Logged
K3VAT
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2012, 12:21:51 PM »

I restored a Hustler 4-BTV HF Trapped Multi-band Vertical from the 1960s a few years ago.
In the end it took about 16 hours of work ...
The TRAPS are L-C assemblies.  The Inductance (L) is the wire coiled on the insulated form.  The Capacitance (C) is the traps outer shell [coaxial capacitor] with ONE attachment point (bottom of trap) to aluminum vertical radiator.  ... There is a proper -- UP and DOWN Orientation to these traps.  If you CALL Hustomer, they will sell you the ID decals for these traps .. if you polish that information off during cleaning. 
==
BTW -- Chester L. Buchanan, W3DZZ (SK) wrote the original March 1955 QST article established the baseline for all major commercial tri-band beam and vertical trap antenan designs since the 1950s -- that you see today !! Earlier QRZ and eHam.net discussions on Chester L. Buchanan, W3DZZ trap antenna
http://forums.qrz.com/archive/index.php/t-316601.html?
http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=83682.0
G4CFY / G2DYM aerials -- derived from W3DZZ published work
http://www.spectrumcomms.co.uk/G2DYM.htm
1. L-C Traps produce a Shorter PHYSICAL Length (or Height), BUT maintains the ELECTRICAL length of operation.
2. L-C traps can be found on a large variety of commercial vertical and beam antennas (Unadilla, HyGain, Hustler, Cushcraft, Mosley, Wilson, etc.). 

Thanks Greg, good references and glad to see another believer in trap technology and implementation!  Traps sometimes get a bum wrap as being lossy, inefficient, etc. but in reality and as shown by W8JI and others, they really have a minimum loss if designed and constructed correctly.  I currently used a number of Unadilla traps on my dipoles and have found nothing but great performance.  A substantial portion of my 9 Band DXCC (all on 12, 17, 30, and 80) is with wire antennas utilizing traps.
One downside when compared to full size is a reduced bandwidth, but there are ways to get around that too Grin.  July QST article by Joe Halas on vertical antennas cites the use of traps to improve individual band performance. 73, Rich, K3VAT
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AC4RD
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2012, 02:51:33 PM »

    You might be able to add the 17M antenna on the same feed line and radial system, although it may be impacted, or it may ineteract with the Hustler on either 15M or 20M.  The only way to find out is to give it a try.

I've got to agree with Don on this one.  I saw your original post about the 17m vertical, and I got a smile because it sounded a lot like some of the homebrewed verticals I've been playing with for the last year.  Smiley

Right now I'm using a vertical with three different elements--one quarter wave each for 20m, 15m, and 12m.  Same feedline, same feedpoint, same radial field.  (Right now the radials are about 12 total, each one with one insulated element each for 20, 15, and 12m, loosely braided together.)  Feedpoint is 8-10 feet above ground.  This vertical often outperforms my doublet fed with twinlead, and I've been very pleased with its performance.

Easiest thing IMO is to do as Don suggests--try putting the 4BTV and your 17m homebrew together on the same feedpoint and radial feed, and see how it does.  I'm no expert, but my three-bander works very well--maybe your homebrew Frankentenna will, too!  Wink   73 GL!  --ken ac4rd
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KK4AXX
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2012, 03:32:32 PM »

I've been looking at the DX -> Hustler add-ons, and the postings here and elsewhere, concerning adding other bands to the 4BTV.  Seems like the thing to do it pout it up and try it out since the home-brewed versions are nothing more than a wire vertical literally 'stuck' to the side of the Hustler.  Since my 17M is completely adjustable and there is some adjustment room in the 4BTV I'm hoping that I can find a happy point in there somewhere.

If it doesn't work I will have just added more radials to an already great 17M vertical.  I can't lose!  Grin

What about 'sealing' the 4BTV surface, or painting for camo purposes?
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George U. Potter Lodge, #912, F. & A. M. of Alabama
A.A.S.R., S.J. - Valley of Mobile, Orient of Alabama
Dave Langham Chapter, #536, Order of the Eastern Star
Order of DeMolay, Mobile Chapter, Adult Advisory Council
W0FM
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2012, 11:04:03 AM »

Sealing the antenna is not necessary, Mark.  I did camo paint a couple of my previously-owned 4BTV's and 5BTV's in an initial attempt to hide them from the condo cops.  I used flat green, brown and tan Krylon spray.  Wait until AFTER you have all your tuning done or you just might have to sand off some paint to make adjustments for resonance.  The paint had no negative effect.  For that matter, it had no positive effect either as the condo's "Headmaster" spotted my vertical within a few weeks.  I ended up encasing it in PVC and making it a flagpole.  Have fun with your antenna experiments.

73,

Terry, WØFM
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KK4AXX
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« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2012, 04:46:17 PM »

Well, the thing is cleaned, together, and ready to mount.  Now we are in another of the famous Gulf Coast storm cycles and I'll just have to wait for a clear day to continue to avoid getting crispy on my lawn from a lightning strike.  (And, friend, we've had some MAJOR lightning lately!)

I will be setting it up with my home-brewed 17M.  The test will then begin.
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George U. Potter Lodge, #912, F. & A. M. of Alabama
A.A.S.R., S.J. - Valley of Mobile, Orient of Alabama
Dave Langham Chapter, #536, Order of the Eastern Star
Order of DeMolay, Mobile Chapter, Adult Advisory Council
KK4AXX
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 02:08:06 PM »

EUREKA!  Grin

The 4BTV is up and running! The question of if it could be mounted next to my home-brewed 17M copper pipe vertical and have both be functional has, in part, been answered.  The answer is YES.

It is mounted on the same 4x4 as my 17M vertical with a measured 10 inch physical separation.  They are fed from the same point, though I did add several more, (and longer), radials to the mix.  When I connected the antenna analyzer it showed a 1.2 to 1 match on 10M, 1.7 to 1 on 15M & 17M. This is worse than it was on the 17M alone, but usable.  40M is reading 2.3 to 1, but 20M is at nearly 4 to 1.  With the current storms I have not attempted to make any tuning adjustments to the antenna at all.  With the 10M where it is, I'll start with a slight tweak on the 15M trap.

Here's a question for you:  After tweaking the 15M trap per the manufacturer's instructions, should I then adjust my 17M antenna before moving on the the 4BTV's 20M trap?  Or tune the complete 4BTV and then go to the separate antenna?

Thanks!
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George U. Potter Lodge, #912, F. & A. M. of Alabama
A.A.S.R., S.J. - Valley of Mobile, Orient of Alabama
Dave Langham Chapter, #536, Order of the Eastern Star
Order of DeMolay, Mobile Chapter, Adult Advisory Council
K2DC
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 02:32:14 AM »

You will probably have to work back and forth between the two to find a sweet spot (if there is a real sweet one!).  I would start be fixing both 15M and 20M on the 4 BTV first and then go to the 17M.  Be careful to record all of your measurements for each band on each try - both electrical and mechanical, so you can intelligently decide whether to retrace any steps (it's hard to go back if you dont keep track of where "back" is).

73,

Don, K2DC
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KK4AXX
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 11:33:56 AM »

Be careful to record all of your measurements for each band on each try - both electrical and mechanical, so you can intelligently decide whether to retrace any steps (it's hard to go back if you dont keep track of where "back" is).

That's just good practice, and besides, my memory requires me to carry a pen & a pad everywhere I go!  Wink
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George U. Potter Lodge, #912, F. & A. M. of Alabama
A.A.S.R., S.J. - Valley of Mobile, Orient of Alabama
Dave Langham Chapter, #536, Order of the Eastern Star
Order of DeMolay, Mobile Chapter, Adult Advisory Council
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