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Author Topic: Hex Beam as non directional  (Read 1391 times)
KD0LAV
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Posts: 78




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« on: September 02, 2012, 10:35:47 PM »

Have a vertical ground mounted since I have very little yard and also want to keep the wife happy as it is a new house.  I am thinking of putting up a hex beam approximately 30 ft high on one end of the house and eliminating the vertical.  The vertical is in such a position that should everything happen in the right (or wrong) sequence of events it could possibly end up in a power line that runs throught the back yard even though I have it guyed from 3 directions.

Would the hex beam be acceptable for receiving 360 degrees thereby eliminating the need for the vertical?
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LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 11:22:39 PM »

Can a hex beam be rotated? Yes
Is a hex beam non-directional? No, the pattern will depend on the frequency and the height you put it at, but the whole point of having a beam is for it to be directional. You'll still hear people on the sides and back, but you'll hear them better in the direction you're pointed.

If you want to recieve in all directions equally, you might try loading up the mast/tower of the hex beam as a vertical but I suspect without radials it would recieve worse than the back end of the hex beam.
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ZENKI
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Posts: 906




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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2012, 01:51:58 AM »

Hex beam is a great antenna however it does not meet your omnidirectional requirements. The cobweb antenna will meet your requirements.

I would suggest the CobWeb Antenna, mounted at a decent height it will outperform you vertical if mounted high enough. It looks neater than a hexbeam. I use one for portable operation from my camper van and it works great. When I have done shootouts with other friends of mine, using the cobweb  and comparing it too good verticals and things like the spiderbeams, the cobweb  was very close to being equal. Most stations could not tell the difference between me using the cobweb at 40ft and my friend who uses a hexbeam.  The station we used for the test had a calibrated S-meter and is a friend who was being honest. This means little because its a DX path with huge fading. Its just an anecdotal test to confirm that the cobweb at least works. Other stations reported difference which were ridiculous because most were using useless guess meters typically found on transceivers.

I suggest using this simple version of the cobweb antenna.

http://www.karinya.net/g3txq/cobweb/

There are many homebrew articles on the web for the cobweb. You can also buy a commercial version from the UK.

Good luck with keeping the XYL happy, I had to divorce my XXYL because she did not like my towers.  She knew I had my towers and ham radio when I met her, and I was unwilling to compromise. I have good
XYL now who seems to like the look of my towers and ham radio. She actually likes listening to  CW when she is cooking she says its relaxing like music. I was shocked but happy!


Have a vertical ground mounted since I have very little yard and also want to keep the wife happy as it is a new house.  I am thinking of putting up a hex beam approximately 30 ft high on one end of the house and eliminating the vertical.  The vertical is in such a position that should everything happen in the right (or wrong) sequence of events it could possibly end up in a power line that runs throught the back yard even though I have it guyed from 3 directions.

Would the hex beam be acceptable for receiving 360 degrees thereby eliminating the need for the vertical?
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AD5ZC
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Posts: 69




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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2012, 09:08:26 AM »

Another vote for the cobwebb.

The single wire version is getting a lot of love but if your like me, swimming in TV twinlead or 300-450 window line, don't overlook the folded dipole version.  You can cut it the same as the dipole (no stubs) and no building a balun (which isn't hard but you probably don't have the parts laying around).  It will have a slightly better bandwidth as well.

Either way, this antenna is your answer.
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G4AON
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Posts: 511




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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2012, 01:26:02 PM »

It baffles me why (a) you would want to install a Hexbeam and not rotate it, or (b) anyone would suggest a compromise omnidirectional antenna as an alternative (Cobweb).

Install a rotator and use a Hexbeam and have done with it, or for more gain install a Spiderbeam.

73 Dave
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NA0AA
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Posts: 1043




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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2012, 03:38:33 PM »

One tends to think of them as totally directional, but in the CO QSO party this weekend, I worked a bunch of eastern station on 20 with my beam pointed directly west.  I'm in central colorado, so go figure.

Yes, it matters, but I still had a couple of stations that were 10 db over 9 on the back of the beam.
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N7SMI
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Posts: 305




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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2012, 04:13:05 PM »

If you have room for the hexbeam, put one up and turn it with a light-duty rotator. You'll wonder why you ever even installed that vertical. It takes no extra room to rotate it than it does to have it sitting still. And yes, the hexbeam is directional, but mostly on transmit. You can hear stations from nearly every direction (and can often work them off the back and sides of the beam), but certainly get some nice gain if you point it toward the remote station.
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M6GOM
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Posts: 861




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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2012, 04:14:57 PM »

One tends to think of them as totally directional, but in the CO QSO party this weekend, I worked a bunch of eastern station on 20 with my beam pointed directly west.  I'm in central colorado, so go figure.


You will. All beams hear a bit off the side and back. Whilst working Stateside on 15m at the weekend during RSGB Field Day, we were working most of Europe as well off the back of the beam.

A beam doesn't completely eliminate all signals other than where its pointing, it just attenuates them heavily.
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KD0LAV
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Posts: 78




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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2012, 05:44:01 PM »

Sorry everyone, I guess I wasn't completely clear in what I wanted to say.  I would rotate the hexbeam when needed.  I know some signals will come in the backside of the beam.  I wanted to know if it would be enough where having the vertical was not necessary.  If I am getting some desired signals off the back then I can rotate to get the full benefit of the beam then. I am just trying to keep from having 2 antennas.  If I had the room it would be different.
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K3GC
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2012, 06:38:25 PM »

IMO the vertical will be completely unnecessary.  i have a steppir BigIR with my hex beam and I virtually never use it any more.  The only reason I haven't taken it down is 40m which the hex does not cover.  The bigIR is a great vertical but it doesn't even come close to the hex beam.
Gene KW4GC
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N7SMI
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Posts: 305




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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2012, 08:33:49 PM »

I thought my vertical would be better for initially hearing stations, then I could turn the Hexbeam to the station to make a contact. But the Hexbeam receives so well from every direction, and with the much higher noise level on the vertical, I rarely use the vertical at all.

In fact, my hexbeam has much better and quieter receive on 40m and sometimes even on 80m than my vertical due to local noise (2 blocks from a major power substation), so I often use the hexbeam for receive, then switch to the vertical to transmit.

You'll also find you get slightly different propagation (particularly ground wave and short skip) with the vertical.

Short story - I'd keep the vertical.
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