Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Cushcraft MA-5B vs. TGM MQ-26 ???  (Read 5121 times)
KC2NYU
Member

Posts: 140




Ignore
« on: December 29, 2012, 10:35:02 AM »

I am dealing with some neighborhood restrictions but believe I can get away with a mini beam that is covered with a camouflaged paint scheme.

Have been looking at both the MA-5B and the MQ-26, and am wondering if anyone has any experience with both and could compare or recommend one over the other.  Pro s and con's of each?

73 Paul kc2nyu
Logged
KA7NIQ
Member

Posts: 267


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2012, 10:49:46 AM »

I am dealing with some neighborhood restrictions but believe I can get away with a mini beam that is covered with a camouflaged paint scheme.

Have been looking at both the MA-5B and the MQ-26, and am wondering if anyone has any experience with both and could compare or recommend one over the other.  Pro s and con's of each?

73 Paul kc2nyu
The Cush Craft will walk all over the MQ 26, but, it is bigger. The little MQ 26 works, but because it is so small, it pays the price.
No free lunch, I am sorry to say.
Check out the Q 52 from N6BT as well ? It is very small,
Logged
AJ0Z
Member

Posts: 43




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2012, 03:14:14 PM »

Just an FYI, I have had my MA5B up just over a year @ 32 ft. It has worked wonderfully for me. I have worked all over the world from Omaha, NE with it. On the bands it covers it is always a much better antenna than my 80 meter wire multi-banded at the same height.

Andy
Logged
KA7NIQ
Member

Posts: 267


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2012, 04:16:43 PM »

Just an FYI, I have had my MA5B up just over a year @ 32 ft. It has worked wonderfully for me. I have worked all over the world from Omaha, NE with it. On the bands it covers it is always a much better antenna than my 80 meter wire multi-banded at the same height.

Andy
I do not care for an 80 meter dipole, operated on all HF Bands. Sure, with open wire feeders or ladder line, it can be tuned to "work", if you want to call it that.
But the higher up in frequency you go, the more Lobes (and deep nulls) you get.
If a station happens to be in a gain lobe, all is well. But, more often then not, a station will be in one of the deep nulls.
If I wanted a single wire antenna to cover from 80 through 10 meters, give me an array of dipoles, even trap dipoles, vs a full size 80 meter dipole, or even a OCF Windom type of all band antenna.

The little CushCraft MA 5B was quite popular here in Florida, but the Hex Beams have hurt the sales of it some.


Logged
KC2NYU
Member

Posts: 140




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2012, 06:39:51 PM »

I haven't looked at Hex Beams- any particular models/  brands that would be recommended ?

73 Paul
Logged
N2CJ
Member

Posts: 205


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2012, 06:56:13 PM »

If you're thinking hex beam, KIO is the way to go. Cheapest, easiest assembly and works across almost all of the bands.

I like DX Engineering, but their hex beam has many more parts and requires much more assembly.

The Traffie is much more expensive and it doesn't work any better.

If a Hex beam is an option, I wouldn't even consider the MA5B.
Logged
WD4ELG
Member

Posts: 880




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2012, 07:31:53 PM »

As an owner of several of the Traffie hex beam products, I will say that they are quite rugged and truly plug-and-play.  I have been VERY happy with my 20 meter light weight model and then the 5 bander.  It got me to 307 worked currently.  VERY stealthy (strung between 2 trees).  Mike Traffie is a real gentleman and a pleasure to do business with.  He and his wife and son run the company.  Not the cheapest version on the market, but I believe it is the best.  I am 100% satisfied with mine.
Logged
W9FIB
Member

Posts: 959




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2012, 08:23:58 PM »

I have had my MA-5B up about 40 feet. Except for huge pileups with big gun stations, if I hear it, I can usually work it. Have worked 20 and 17 all over the world on 100 watts with it. But as others have said, it is a compromised antenna. A Mosley TA-33 would blow the MA-5B out of the water.

As far as durability, it has been up there since 2007 in Wisconsin's winters and winds! Only mechanical problem I had was the original boom to mast bolts came loose in about a year. I replaced them with good SS bolts and have not looked at them since. Accept for the times it had a minimum of 1/4" of ice on it, SWR has not changed.

I did learn the hard way to double check that the trap drains are pointed down. The first rain sent the SWR into LA LA land! But that was not the antenna's fault!
Logged
KA7NIQ
Member

Posts: 267


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2012, 09:08:42 PM »

I haven't looked at Hex Beams- any particular models/  brands that would be recommended ?

73 Paul
Yes, check out the NA4RR Hex Beams! He is selling them, for only 398.00 delivered!
They are based on Steve Hunt G3TXQ design, same as the KIO Hex Beams.
Most people here in Florida use the KIO Hex Beams, but since NA4RR has started making Hex Beams at such a reasonable cost, I would look at his design, as well.
The Traffie Hex Beam is smaller, and more expensive.
I was quite unaware of them, until I hear about them on QRZ.
I have read the EHAM reviews on the Traffie Hex Beams, and owners of it seem absolutely delighted as well.

It is my understanding that the G3TXQ Design is larger, but offers a broader SWR curve, and better front to back, in exchange for an increase in size.

I was on 12 meters recently, talking to an elderly Ham, who had a small Hybrid Products mini quad he was less then thrilled with.
That antenna is basically the TGM antenna you spoke of, at the start of this thread.

He wound up buying the Traffie Hex Beam, vs both the NA4RR or the K4KIO Hex Beam!
He messaged me by email, to thank me for all my on the air and email help, and to tell me of his decision.
He told me he went with the Traffie Hex Beam, because it was SMALLER !
He also said he felt it was better built, and reeked of Quality, vs the lower priced KIO and NA4RR versions.

I strongly felt ANY of the Hex Beams would smoke his Hybrid Products Company Mini Quad. TGM bought them out, BTW.

Interestingly enough, Steve Hunt, G3TXQ, actually owned the Cush Craft MA 5B !
While he says that it is a decent antenna, he knows his Hex Beam will outperform it, and I agree.

Happy Antenna Shopping, and hope you find the right Hex Beam, for you!




Logged
KA7NIQ
Member

Posts: 267


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2012, 10:08:02 PM »

As an owner of several of the Traffie hex beam products, I will say that they are quite rugged and truly plug-and-play.  I have been VERY happy with my 20 meter light weight model and then the 5 bander.  It got me to 307 worked currently.  VERY stealthy (strung between 2 trees).  Mike Traffie is a real gentleman and a pleasure to do business with.  He and his wife and son run the company.  Not the cheapest version on the market, but I believe it is the best.  I am 100% satisfied with mine.
Like I just said in this thread, I never knew about Traffie Hex Beams, until I was on QRZ.
Just for MY information, Ham to Ham, what made you buy the Traffie ?
Are you aware that Steve Hunt redesigned the Hex Beam, and was able to get better SWR Curve as well as better front to back, for a small increase in size vs the Traffie Hex Beam ?
The G3TXQ redesign being sold by K4KIO, and now NA4RR costs a lot less then the Traffie.
Unless the smaller size of the Traffie was an important consideration to you, OR the Traffie is vastly better built (and it may be), why would you pay more, for less apparent performance ?

Of course, I ASSUME the G3TXQ redesign is superior, because Steve Hunt says so.
And, one never sees this Traffie guy defending his design, or justifying it's nearly double the cost, vs his competitors here on EHAM, or on QRZ!

I am not in the market for a Hex Beam, nor do I have any financial interest in which Hex Beam a person buys. I am not W8JI, VK1OD, WB2WIK, Cecil, etc, etc, or an antenna elmer, by any stretch of the imagination. But if a fellow Ham asks me my opinion on what Hex Beam he should buy, I want my opinions to be grounded in fact.

It greatly puzzles me as to WHY this Mike Traffie does NOT come on the Internet Antenna Forums, in defense of his product!
IF he thinks he is "taking the high road", then IMHO he is mistaken.

Us Hams are a inquisitive and technical group of people, who will research an antenna design to death, before we buy it.

Other then slightly smaller size, and the opinions you just gave about how nice a guy Mike Traffie is, I have yet to be presented with a compelling argument to pay nearly twice as much for a Traffie Hex Beam vs a KIO or an NA4RR Hex Beam.

And IF I were in the market for any Hex Beam, I would seriously have to question WHY Mike Traffie does not fight back ?

Where are the computer models of the Traffie to rebut the claims of the G3TXQ design, and where is Mike Traffie, to defend his product.

Unless he CAN'T defend his product, and the claims of his competitors are true!

If Mike Traffie can show me his design does not have to take  a back seat to ANY Hex Beam, is better electrically, built better , and worth double the price, I will gladly, when asked, suggest his product to my fellow Hams.

But, as of 12/30/2012, I see absolutely see no reason for any Ham, to pay Mike Traffie more, for less antenna.

I "pick" on Mosley too, and slam their overpriced Verticals, when asked. They are nearly 3 TIMES the price of the proven Hustlers, yet offer no better performance.

They make a 3 element 5 band beam, the TA 53. But want to charge us Hams nearly 600 dollars, for an add on director element, and small piece of boom, to make it a 4 element beam!

IMHO, that is a blatant Rip Off!

I would be "all ears" to see Mike Traffie get his butt out here on the Internet, and defend what appears to be him selling a Hex Beam with Less performance then his competitors, for double the price.

I care not how nice a guy he is or isn't, or that he invented the Hex Beam either.

And IF he (or anyone else) can show me his Hex Beam is better then the competitive offerings, and worth twice the price, I will gladly "eat my words", and when asked, gladly suggest those who ask me, to buy a Traffie Hex Beam.
















Logged
K2MK
Member

Posts: 407




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 05:50:40 AM »

The Traffie Hex beam is very rugged. This is the likely reason for the higher price. And perhaps Mike Traffie is content with the lower sales volume that accompanies higher prices. Not every manufacturer is trying to get the entire market share.

The Traffie is smaller in diameter than the newer design and a tad lighter in weight. SWR curves are the same for the Traffie as for the newer design. The broadband results of the newer design has to do with front to back improvements over a broader bandwidth not SWR. I have the Traffie 5 band and the SWR is excellent band edge to band edge. When my first 30 foot mast buckled the Traffie slammed into the ground. Zero damage. I call that robust.

I am very impressed with the K4KIO package and I would have initially purchased it, however, for my first installation location it was necessary to reduce the overall diameter to clear the eave of my roof during mast push-up. I have no regrets with the Traffie and would not hesitate to purchase another.

73,
Mike K2MK
Logged
KC2NYU
Member

Posts: 140




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2012, 06:24:38 AM »

Wow-really appreciate all the great opinions received so far to my initial question. I originally was considering the TH3-JRS which has an  8db  gain, but it was just too big for my roof top mount location and neighborhood. So then I started looking at the  MA-5B which advertises  5 to 3.5 db gain on 10-15-20M. It seems the consensus of the replies to this thread so far are the Hex Beams far out perform the the mini-beams like the MA-5B, but I can not find any gain information on  the KIO Hex or the Traffie Hex. I am assuming they are better then the mini-beams. So...I have a few follow up questions:
1) Do the Hex Beams produce higher gain - better directivity Is there data on the Hex options gain for comparison?
2) In terms of stealthy-ness, I would plan to paint the Hex Beam flat black with Krylon non-metalic paint. Is that doable with the Hex Beams?
3) Is the popularity of Hex beams in Florida due to their applicability in Home Owner Restrictions/Small Lot applications??
4) I am sure this sounds like a dumb question but; in appearance, the Hex Beam seems to be uniform on all sides- is one of the six sides, the side that gets pointed where you want to make the contact or that provides the directivity??

73 Paul kc2nyu
Logged
M0TTB
Member

Posts: 255




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2012, 03:32:44 PM »

Wow-really appreciate all the great opinions received so far to my initial question. I originally was considering the TH3-JRS which has an  8db  gain, but it was just too big for my roof top mount location and neighborhood. So then I started looking at the  MA-5B which advertises  5 to 3.5 db gain on 10-15-20M. It seems the consensus of the replies to this thread so far are the Hex Beams far out perform the the mini-beams like the MA-5B, but I can not find any gain information on  the KIO Hex or the Traffie Hex. I am assuming they are better then the mini-beams. So...I have a few follow up questions:
1) Do the Hex Beams produce higher gain - better directivity Is there data on the Hex options gain for comparison?
2) In terms of stealthy-ness, I would plan to paint the Hex Beam flat black with Krylon non-metalic paint. Is that doable with the Hex Beams?
3) Is the popularity of Hex beams in Florida due to their applicability in Home Owner Restrictions/Small Lot applications??
4) I am sure this sounds like a dumb question but; in appearance, the Hex Beam seems to be uniform on all sides- is one of the six sides, the side that gets pointed where you want to make the contact or that provides the directivity??

73 Paul kc2nyu


Genuine gain figures for G3TXQ hexbeam design (which is what KIO's is based upon) with a comparison vs MA5B
http://www.karinya.net/g3txq/hexbeam/broadband/
These are not inflated 'smoke & mirrors' manufacturers figures. For 'smoke and mirrors' and hard sell hexbeam, go here
http://www.hexbeam.com/monobandperf.shtml

I sprayed my spreaders with Krylon drab matt olive green, absolutely fine after 18 months.

Yes there is a side of the hexbeam where you point it for maximum forward gain.

73
Andy
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 03:47:51 PM by M0TTB » Logged

Andy
London'ish
KC2NYU
Member

Posts: 140




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2012, 04:48:30 PM »

Andy - thanks for the explanation. Glad to hear other shave tried the camo paint.

73 Paul
Logged
WD4ELG
Member

Posts: 880




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2012, 08:04:56 PM »

KA7NIQ, great questions.  Any purchase should be made based upon facts and not rumor/speculation/here-say. 

I don't know why Mike does not participate in these discussions.  I don't know if he does email (maybe does not have the time, since he's building these things himself).  I do know that he goes to some of the trade shows (or did as recently as 2010).  The other comment about market share may be valid as well.  And perhaps he has all the business he can handle.  These are all just speculations.

He does provide a "defense" of his design in general terms http://hexbeam.com/ttechdesk.shtml

Performance specs are here: http://hexbeam.com/performance.shtml

I guess I can best answer why I purchased Traffie is by giving a comparison of why I would buy one particular type of car over another.  It comes down to personal preference.

I cannot comment on K4KIO, DX Engineering, or any of the other hex beams from personal hands-on experience...I have only owned Traffie.  I do know that G3TXQ knows what he is talking about...he and I have corresponded many times over the years and have shared technical notes, EZ NEC files, etc. His website is simply awesome.

I like Traffie's customer service.  He helped convince me to buy the lightweight 20 meter version, especially when I was hesitant.  His assistance was limitless, it seemed, and he never pushed me.  Even when I had my doubts after putting the thing together (I was in CCR neighborhood), he asked me to just give it a try.  If somebody saw it and complained, Mike said he would refund my purchase without any questions.  I figured I could not say no to this offer.  And I put up the 20 meter lightweight version with the 32 foot mast he supplied, and I was hooked.  That was July 2006 (no other suppliers at that time, as I recall).  (I also had the 6 meter version mounted above the 20 meter, and did some weak signal meteor scatter work with it.)

I have since spoken with Mike many times over the years; he is a gentleman and always goes the extra mile for customer service.  He and his wife Kathy and their son run the operation as a family business.  Mike has been so helpful with guidance, especially after I moved three years ago to my new QTH.  (I have heard that the other suppliers are also excellent, and I can say DX Engineering overall is simply superb to deal with).

In terms of quality - when I relocated in 2009, I made the plunge and bought the 5 bander from Traffie...and it is small, lightweight, and SERIOUSLY RUGGED.  The lightweight 20 meter never had an issue except when a branch became entangled with it during a hurricane.  But it survived, as I did some emergency surgery to it with Mike's guidance over the phone.  Now the 5 bander, suspended between two oak trees at 40 feet and painted black and basically invisible, has fallen and hit a fence...become entangled between two pines in an earlier installation here...been snared in a low sweetgum when raising it in its first location here...struck with large falling branches during windstorms and especially the late June 2012 derecho...covered in snow and ice...it has ALWAYS worked flawlessly.

So it is about personal preference, brand loyalty, and confidence/certainty in the satisfaction with purchase.  (Plus it's a family run business, which I like). 

I can give a similar example (although not exactly apples to apples, it proves the point).  When buying an HF amplifier, I chose the Tokyo High Power 1.2 kFx with 750 watts, at $2500.  Why not just get the Ameritron 811 for $800?  I wanted a no-tune amp.  Why not get the Ameritron solid state device for $1300?  Because I wanted to KNOW that my purchase would satisfy me, without any doubts.  And the THP amp has done that in spades. (Not saying K4KIO or DX Engineering = Ameritron here, just showing my thought process.)

I hope I have answered your excellent post/question about why I bought Traffie, although I fear I have expanded outside of the original question.  I realize that my purchase as described above was not based upon pure performance data.  If we look at a decibels of gain per dollar spent, that metric would go to one of the less expensive models.  For me there are other intangible elements involved.

KC2NYU, the 12 and 17 meter segments of the MA5B are single elements, like a rotating dipole.  These will not have the same performance as the other bands.  That (and the size) are what steered me away from the MA5B.

The arms of the Traffie are fiberglass...painted over with black or camo they are pretty much invisible except against the clear sky.  There is one side that you point for maximum directivity....take a look at Mike Traffie's website http://www.hexbeam.com/
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!