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Author Topic: Hustler 4BTV Overhaul  (Read 3342 times)
KC6SLA
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Posts: 35




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« on: November 07, 2012, 09:56:31 AM »

I am overhauling a 4BTV vertical that I bought used several years ago. I know the traps are tuned and I am not sure how to retune them. What I am wondering is would it be a bad idea to remove the pipe that goes into the trap and clean them up and add grease. I was thinking I could put a hose clamp on the pipe to mark the spot so when I reassembled it, it would be right back at the same spot it was prior to dismantling.
Of course I was wondering if it is even nessessary to do it. I would think they would have put some sort of anti corrosion grease at the factory.
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KK5J
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 11:14:36 AM »

I would nix the idea of taking the trap apart. Clean tubing that is external to the trap-if required. Re-assemble according to Hustlers instructions and test. In short-if it aint broke dont fix it-is the approach I would recommend FWIW.
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W8JX
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 11:18:50 AM »

I would nix the idea of taking the trap apart. Clean tubing that is external to the trap-if required. Re-assemble according to Hustlers instructions and test. In short-if it aint broke dont fix it-is the approach I would recommend FWIW.

I agree. I have been using my 5BTV for close to 20 year and it was used when I got it and it never been taken apart at trap level.
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N8YB
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 01:28:05 PM »

DX Engineering has a great installation and tuning guide. You can download it from here: http://static.dxengineering.com/global/images/instructions/dxe-btv-inst-ins-rev0f.pdf
Tune the antenna AFTER you have all of your radials installed.

Jerry, N8YB
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KC6SLA
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Posts: 35




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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 06:19:13 PM »

So I think I will leave the traps alone. I just thought since I was cleaning up the antenna, I would ask. It was loading up well before I started to work on it. There was just a ton of rust on the terminals and all the hardware on the base was rusted. I replaced it all with stainless steel. I also had to redo the coax connections. I have it all ready to go back up so we will see tomorrow (as it is dark now) how it all goes back up. I hope the SWR will be like it was before. I can't wait to get back onto HF. It has been a long time.
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W9GB
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2012, 07:06:17 PM »

IF the trap caps are cracked (gray for early models, black later),
THEN purchase replacements from Hustler/Newtronics or DX Engineering.

You seal the top caps with PERMATEX  Ultra Black RTV silicon (no acetic acid curing).
Available at better hardware and automotive supply stores.
http://www.dxengineering.com/search/brand/permatex/product-line/permatex-ultra-black-rtv-silicone?autoview=SKU

I restored a 1960s mfg. 4-BTV antenna a few years ago.  I had a QUART freezer bag of rusted hardware.  
Stainless steel hardware and hose clamps were used for replacement.  
Use NOALOX on telescoping aluminum sections.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 07:10:22 PM by W9GB » Logged
NJ3U
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Posts: 124




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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2012, 04:11:40 AM »

I replaced the grey trap covers on my preowned 4btv w ones from dx engineering, I had to retune the antenna since I used about 500 feet of radial wire.  Great tuning instructions on their web site. 

My black trap covers fit extremely tight so I didn't use a rtv, however I did use never seize on connections as stainless and I have had bad experiences in the past with cold weld/galling.

Great antenna, only wish it had the WARC bands without add ons...
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KA1DBE
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 08:45:48 PM »

Would have to 2nd the DX Engineering guide.  Put my 6BTV back up and had a hard time tuning some of the bands.  After reading the guide and measuring my traps, 3 of them were off and one by 1/2"!  Once I adjusted them, the antenna tuned right up.  You shouldn't have to take apart the traps but I would measure them just to be sure they are right.  1/4" will swing the trap 500KC in some cases.  Good luck and 73s
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KK4AXX
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 12:26:18 AM »

I just recently completed just this job having been given two old 4BTVs, or rather one and the remains of a second.  I found some superficial corrosion on the rivets inside the traps, but I couldn't see risking damaging the trap for what was nothing more than an eye-sore that is covered anyways.

The rest of the aluminum tubing was a different matter.  All of it was cleaned, including inside the split portions so that a decent connection could be made.  On the capacitance hat I had to replace all of the screws and one length of aluminum tubing.  Stainless hardware was used throughout.  Every connection was coated with an anti-corrosion compound.

Please, save yourself a lot of trouble and use the set-up & tuning instructions from DX!  Life will be much easier.

I mounted mine on the same 4x4 that golds my homegrown 17M copper pipe vertical giving a 12 inch separation.  As crazy simple as it sounds, (and even after I was told it wouldn't work), I split the feed after the balun to each.  Following the DX instructions I started at the 10M trap and tuned each in turn and simply inserted my existing 17M into the rotation. AFTER adding more radials to my ground, that is.
 
Dog-gone if the entire rig doesn't run like a top!

Clean it, lay radials, tune and run the thing!  You are going to LOVE it!
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N8CMQ
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Posts: 373




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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012, 08:08:43 PM »

Kyle, I have to ask, what style traps do you have?
If they are the tapered style, I am not sure.
I have rebuilt my traps, but mine are the old tube in a tube style.
I have even used 3/4 inch plexiglass to replace the internal insulators.
When I did mine, I used aluminum screws and stainless hose clamps.
Buy the hose clamps that say ALL STAINLESS because the others will
rust at the screw.

My antenna has been in operation off and on from the late 60's
or early 70's, and I rebuilt it once before, but I didn't have access
to stainless or aluminum hardware. Hopefully, this antenna will
out live me, as it outlived it's original owner!
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KC6SLA
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Posts: 35




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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2012, 07:43:41 AM »

Ok, I took down the Hustler 4BTV antenna, dismantaled the antenna, minus the trap covers as I didn't want to mess up the tuning of the traps, cleaned all the tubing and reassembled the antenna. I also cleaned all the coax connections. I am still getting a lot of noise, s7 to s9, on 20m and 40m that is worse on 40m. I then shut down all the power in my house and ran the radio off a battery and still heard the noise. I took an AM radio and walked around the neighborhood and didn't pick up anything. When I put up a simple 20m dipole, I get very little to no noise. I even ran a different coax to the vertical and it didn't help. When I use the attenuator on my Icom IC-735, most of the noise goes away (and so does the weak signals from distant stations). I would really like to get this vertical working better on 20 and 40 so I am looking for ideas. Could there be something wrong with the 20m trap? It has great SWR. BTW, this is an old antenna I bought years ago from a guy who was selling off his dad's gear since he had passed away.
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W5WSS
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2012, 08:51:19 AM »

 The station ground connection found at the electrical mains equipment is your electrical safety ground point of connection at the ground rod there.and your station.

I suspect noise ingress.
The cause is usually found in a different voltage around the station as compared to   the counterpoise out at the antenna vs the mains ground connection..consider a problematic loop via the two systems interacting and making noise.

Try disconnecting the shield of your feedline from the ground contact counterpoise
and listen while a helper makes and breaks the connection on all the bands presented by the btv. you will hear the reconnect noise but listen for a noise floor increase following the connection.

When the mains connection is properly maintained and sound electrical connection to Earthing is assured then the possible problem is in inadequate isolation of the feedline via the counterpoise not isolated enough and common mode drives ingress noise into the receiver as a function of voltage difference between the systems.

The dipole you mentioned is a self contained antenna and the noise you hear is not occurring in that system not as a function relative to polarity horizontal vs vertical but relative to ingress via the different voltage potentials between the ground points and the area around the station and the dependence of a vertical radiator to a counterpoise for completion.

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KC6SLA
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Posts: 35




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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2012, 09:53:33 AM »

If that is the case, how do I fix it?
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W5WSS
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Posts: 1744




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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2012, 10:16:32 AM »

isolating the counterpoise from earth contact can done with insulated radial wires or slightly elevated above contact with earth surface this is not as hard as it sounds move the ring up slightly and terminate the radials ends with small plastic or Teflon anchors instead of nails into the ground.

Remove a ground lead to a ground rod that is problematic for example the mains connection should be the station ground.
If you have another ground rod driven the two will interact use the mains ground and not an additional rod and wire.

Isolate the counterpoise and make the mains ground as good as possible.

When the counterpoise system is proven adequate along with assurances previously described you should not be able to effect noise with connection or disconnection of the RF and DC grounds systems. 73
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N4NYY
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Posts: 4799




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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2012, 10:45:23 AM »

I am overhauling a 4BTV vertical that I bought used several years ago. I know the traps are tuned and I am not sure how to retune them. What I am wondering is would it be a bad idea to remove the pipe that goes into the trap and clean them up and add grease. I was thinking I could put a hose clamp on the pipe to mark the spot so when I reassembled it, it would be right back at the same spot it was prior to dismantling.
Of course I was wondering if it is even nessessary to do it. I would think they would have put some sort of anti corrosion grease at the factory.

The only overhaul it would need is maybe a cleaning where the tubing joints meet and contact. I would not even clean the oxide off of the exterior.
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