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Author Topic: If Trapless Yagi's Were "Better" Don't You Think  (Read 5967 times)
KA7NIQ
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« on: December 31, 2012, 07:14:11 PM »

That Mosley, and other antenna makers using traps  in their multi band Yagi designs would make them ?
Before Hy Gain sold out to MFJ, they were out in Lincoln Nebraska, and had a full size antenna testing range.
I remember several phone conversations with several Hy Gain Engineers about the new, at that time, Force 12 trapless tribanders.

All of the Hy Gain engineers I talked to (many were fellow Hams), told me it was mandated by their bosses to buy any and all major competitive triband antenna designs, and put them through their paces, on the Antenna Range.

I was told they bought and tested trapless triband yagi designs, and on the antenna range, they did not have the better performance claimed by the makers of these antennas.

One Hy Gain antenna engineer asked me to "use my common sense".  He told me it was far easier(from a manufacturing standpoint) to make a trapless triband Yagi Antenna, then one with traps. He even said from an antenna warranty point of view, the elimination of Traps would result in less warranty claims as well!

Non Trap triband yagi antennas never "pop a trap" he said, when operated with excessive power, or into the high SWR condition that occurs when a Ham tries to operate a 10,15, and 20 meter only Yagi, on 17 and/or 12 meters!

I ALMOST had him all talked into sending me the antenna range measurements of a few of the Force 12 Yagi's! But, once he came to his senses, he said he could lose his job, if he did so.

This Hy Gain Antenna engineer, and fellow Ham, said he had a lot of respect for N6BT, both as a dx chaser, and an antenna engineer. But he assured me, that IF non trapped triband yagi's were as good as they were made out to be, that Hy Gain would build them!

He told me that the design of non trapped multi band yagi's was "a piece of cake" for any competent antenna engineer, even a "kid right out of school"

He also told me that Hy Gain wanted to "be the best", and was not "married to trapped antenna design"

You know what, in several conversation with this Ham, I honestly felt that antenna design at Hy Gain, was not "just a job to him"!

This Hy Gain antenna engineer told me that he was given one mandate in antenna design, and one mandate only. Too make the very best triband yagi antenna he possibly could. He also told me no limitations were imposed on him, in the electrical designs he created. He pointed with Pride to the Hy Gain Explorer 14 he designed, and all the computer and antenna range time he spent on it, to "get it right".

Now, let's go to Mosley, they too have an antenna range. Would not "common sense" tell you that IF traps were "so bad", they would have abandoned them a long time ago ?

Do not think for a minute that Mosley does not test trapless triband antenna designs.
Of course they do, and must have found out what Hy Gain did as well.

The very survival of these 2 antenna makers I mentioned could depend on it!

Yet, you still see Traps in all Mosley Triband antenna designs.

Hy Gain, when they were still around, and Mosley, were certainly able to attract and pay the very best antenna engineers. Many of whom were Hams, who cared very much about what products they made for us fellow Hams.

Some Hams it seems evidently want to believe that N6BT, who did the Force 12 trapless triband yagi designs, and the German Optibeam Guy are the only antenna engineers able to "create magic" in their antenna designs maybe ?

I think people might wish to consider it is FAR easier to make a trapless antenna. Besides less potential warranty claims, making precision Traps is not easy. The whole antenna design depends on the precision of these traps.
A whole manufacturing step can be done away with by eliminating the hard to make, and labor intensive traps. For a small aspiring antenna maker, as Force 12 was when they first came appeared, it makes it far easier to make a trapless triband yagi, then one with traps!

Seeing the sales success Force 12 had, fighting Mosley and Hy Gain with their no trap designs, other small antenna companies took notice, and copied them.

Us Hams will believe what we want to believe. But, I will never forget my conversations with the old Hy Gain Antenna Engineers, back when they were in Lincoln Nebraska.

I refuse to allow advertising hype, and other sales gimmicks, to get the best of my common sense, and what I was told by a fellow Ham, who took a great deal of pride, in the antenna designs he created at Hy Gain.

I think the antenna makers of today are Far too passive, and allow claims to be made they can easily prove are not always true!

I am aware of the Champion Radio Triband Antenna Test, and the poor performance shown by a Mosley Triband Antenna Design.

If it were me, I would fight this, by using the Mosley antenna range to actually TEST the Mosley, against the very same antennas Champion Radio used. I would get impartial observers to document the test results. No way I would allow anyone to say my antenna had "negative gain"!

If Mike Ercolino of Telrex was still around, you can BET he would test these trapless tribanders on the Government Test Range they used back then, and he would publish the results!

Oh, I forgot to add that Francis Beckwith, a Mosley antenna engineer from way back when, did tell me he did not consider trapless triband yagi designs to be "all that, and a bag of Chips".  He also raised concerns about the increased windloading, from all those "unneeded extra elements" on the boom.

Unlike Hy Gain, who gave me the impression that they wanted to make electrically superior antennas, and would go to any lengths to do so, Francis Beckwith of Mosley seemed almost "anal" about making antennas to "survive Armageddon".

So, I know my position on trapless triband yagi antennas is probably not the current "politically correct" one.

Whatever .....
 


















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N2CJ
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2012, 10:50:41 PM »

Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel, Chris.
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WB7TXG
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 09:00:21 AM »

Have had two tribanders with traps.. They worked very well.. Switched to Tennydyne T8 four years ago.. Much more rugged with the constant high winds we get in S Idaho... works just fine for me.. No traps to ice up.. Antenna don't sway around as much as others...

To each his own...
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WA2TPU
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 11:25:15 AM »

Yes Indeed. To each their own.
I build all of my antennas- they're mostly wire types and seem to do just fine thus far . I do enjoy ALL of the postings herein this site. I honestly can tell you folks that I actually learn something new just about everyday from a posting. We hams have so many,many points of views and passions pertaining to our distinct hobby. Thanks for ALL your postings.
Happy New Year to ALL.
Best regards and many 72/73.
Don sr. --WA2TPU --
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KA7NIQ
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 07:31:46 AM »

Have had two tribanders with traps.. They worked very well.. Switched to Tennydyne T8 four years ago.. Much more rugged with the constant high winds we get in S Idaho... works just fine for me.. No traps to ice up.. Antenna don't sway around as much as others...

To each his own...

I like the Tennadyne antennas. For a 5 band antenna solution, you can do much worse.
Plus, once they are up in the air, they look like an overgrown TV antenna, LOL
I had a Cushcraft SL 2010 Log Periodic, but never put it up. The elements were too long, would have hit the trees!

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KB4QAA
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 05:46:16 PM »

.....more coffee?  Yada, yada, yada, yada.     Same old gossip.   Undecided
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N6AJR
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2013, 03:11:44 PM »

The ultimate no trapped multi band antenna, and I own it so I know what I speak of. 

I have a 3 element Steppir antenna.  I have also had a wilson SY-2, a mosely something or other and a MA5B  among others and the 3 element Steppir is the best.  it is a full sized  3 element bean on 10/12/15/17/20 m and a 4 ele beam on 6 m. ( I have the stinger) I is good on both the high end and low end of any band as it changes size to match the frequencies. Yes I tried to get a force 12 originally but could never gt  an a=answer to my call or email, optibeam was too expensive  so I got the steppir, used.  The company supports me with maintenance items just as if I bought it from them.  Nice folks, the antenna works and say hi to them if you see them at a ham convention.

Yea, they are that good, no more traps or fixed elements length's for me. The Steppir tunes continuously from  bottom of 6 meters to the top of 20 meters, including CAP and MARS frequencies, and now they make  all sorts of super antennas using the stepper technology.
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KA7NIQ
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2013, 08:28:55 AM »

The ultimate no trapped multi band antenna, and I own it so I know what I speak of. 

I have a 3 element Steppir antenna.  I have also had a wilson SY-2, a mosely something or other and a MA5B  among others and the 3 element Steppir is the best.  it is a full sized  3 element bean on 10/12/15/17/20 m and a 4 ele beam on 6 m. ( I have the stinger) I is good on both the high end and low end of any band as it changes size to match the frequencies. Yes I tried to get a force 12 originally but could never gt  an a=answer to my call or email, optibeam was too expensive  so I got the steppir, used.  The company supports me with maintenance items just as if I bought it from them.  Nice folks, the antenna works and say hi to them if you see them at a ham convention.

Yea, they are that good, no more traps or fixed elements length's for me. The Steppir tunes continuously from  bottom of 6 meters to the top of 20 meters, including CAP and MARS frequencies, and now they make  all sorts of super antennas using the stepper technology.
LOL, The SteppIR is a totally different animal! Of course it is better, it changes all the rules!
That said, I will take the 3 element SteppIR vs the 4 element all day long!
I think it's element spacing is a better compromise. Thee 4 element is great on 20 meters, but spacing is a bit wide for the upper HF Bands.

If I EVER find a used 3 element SteppIR, I will grab it!


 
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W6GX
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2013, 11:56:17 AM »

The ultimate no trapped multi band antenna, and I own it so I know what I speak of. 

I have a 3 element Steppir antenna.  I have also had a wilson SY-2, a mosely something or other and a MA5B  among others and the 3 element Steppir is the best.  it is a full sized  3 element bean on 10/12/15/17/20 m and a 4 ele beam on 6 m. ( I have the stinger) I is good on both the high end and low end of any band as it changes size to match the frequencies. Yes I tried to get a force 12 originally but could never gt  an a=answer to my call or email, optibeam was too expensive  so I got the steppir, used.  The company supports me with maintenance items just as if I bought it from them.  Nice folks, the antenna works and say hi to them if you see them at a ham convention.

Yea, they are that good, no more traps or fixed elements length's for me. The Steppir tunes continuously from  bottom of 6 meters to the top of 20 meters, including CAP and MARS frequencies, and now they make  all sorts of super antennas using the stepper technology.
LOL, The SteppIR is a totally different animal! Of course it is better, it changes all the rules!
That said, I will take the 3 element SteppIR vs the 4 element all day long!
I think it's element spacing is a better compromise. Thee 4 element is great on 20 meters, but spacing is a bit wide for the upper HF Bands.

If I EVER find a used 3 element SteppIR, I will grab it!
 

Here's a link to the 'no compromise' antenna if one has enough dough.  Apart from the mechanical complexity I don't see any compromises in terms of electrical performance.

http://www.ultrabeam.it/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72&Itemid=72&lang=en

UB-1040 DX Features :

-       Frequency Range                                                                                                                      7 - 30 Mhz       
-       8 elements yagi    10–12-15 meters
-       6 elements yagi    17-20 meters
-       4 elements yagi    30-40 meters
-       Gain 10-12-15 (dBd)    10,9 – (dBi 13.15)
-       Gain 17-20 ( dBd)    9,3 – (dBi 11,45)
-       Gain 30-40 (dBd)    8 – (dBi 10,15)
-       F/B ratio (dB)    23-25
-       Power (PeP)    3500 watt
-       Longest elements    21,5 meter
-       Boom length    18 meter
-       Boom    trellis aluminum square  200x200 mm.
-       Max wind-area    4,3
-       Rotating radius        14,86 meters
-       Mast diameter     100 mm.
-       Weight    185 Kg.
-       Controller    Included

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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KA7NIQ
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2013, 05:03:40 PM »

The ultimate no trapped multi band antenna, and I own it so I know what I speak of.  

I have a 3 element Steppir antenna.  I have also had a wilson SY-2, a mosely something or other and a MA5B  among others and the 3 element Steppir is the best.  it is a full sized  3 element bean on 10/12/15/17/20 m and a 4 ele beam on 6 m. ( I have the stinger) I is good on both the high end and low end of any band as it changes size to match the frequencies. Yes I tried to get a force 12 originally but could never gt  an a=answer to my call or email, optibeam was too expensive  so I got the steppir, used.  The company supports me with maintenance items just as if I bought it from them.  Nice folks, the antenna works and say hi to them if you see them at a ham convention.

Yea, they are that good, no more traps or fixed elements length's for me. The Steppir tunes continuously from  bottom of 6 meters to the top of 20 meters, including CAP and MARS frequencies, and now they make  all sorts of super antennas using the stepper technology.
LOL, The SteppIR is a totally different animal! Of course it is better, it changes all the rules!
That said, I will take the 3 element SteppIR vs the 4 element all day long!
I think it's element spacing is a better compromise. Thee 4 element is great on 20 meters, but spacing is a bit wide for the upper HF Bands.

If I EVER find a used 3 element SteppIR, I will grab it!
 

Here's a link to the 'no compromise' antenna if one has enough dough.  Apart from the mechanical complexity I don't see any compromises in terms of electrical performance.

http://www.ultrabeam.it/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72&Itemid=72&lang=en

UB-1040 DX Features :

-       Frequency Range                                                                                                                      7 - 30 Mhz      
-       8 elements yagi    10–12-15 meters
-       6 elements yagi    17-20 meters
-       4 elements yagi    30-40 meters
-       Gain 10-12-15 (dBd)    10,9 – (dBi 13.15)
-       Gain 17-20 ( dBd)    9,3 – (dBi 11,45)
-       Gain 30-40 (dBd)    8 – (dBi 10,15)
-       F/B ratio (dB)    23-25
-       Power (PeP)    3500 watt
-       Longest elements    21,5 meter
-       Boom length    18 meter
-       Boom    trellis aluminum square  200x200 mm.
-       Max wind-area    4,3
-       Rotating radius        14,86 meters
-       Mast diameter     100 mm.
-       Weight    185 Kg.
-       Controller    Included

73,
Jonathan W6GX
OMFG Jonathan, WHAT an antenna! Of course, Ultra Beam copied the SteppIR's great idea of moving element lengths. It is just a shame that us Hams here in the US will have to pay through the Nose, if we want one.
However, it is  compromise, because the element spacing is fixed  Sad
The ability to adjust the element lengths "makes the best of a bad situation",  but it is still a compromise of sorts.

There is still nothing better than monobanders of course. Any multiband Yagi is always a compromise, but some designs (like this one for sure) come awfully close to monoband perfomance.

SteppIR have that technology protected in the US and Canada. Good for  them, and not so good for us Hams. Because SteppIR owns the Patents, there can be no other North American Company who can make a moving element Yagi. This means SteppIR will, in effect, be able to stop any competitor.
W/O competition, prices will remain high.

It will be very difficult for UltraBeam to compete with the SteppIR antenas, as far as price goes.
However, the German Optibeams seem to sell a good  amount of antennas here in the US, so hopefully, UltraBeam will too ?

Back to your AWESOME antenna Jonathan, tell us how you support that monster ?

 I am literally in awe of what the Italians seem to be doing Ham Radio wise lately.
Have you seen those cool as hell Italian No Tune kilowatt plus amps, with built in autotuners ?

And, now this monster!

Tell me Jonathan, HOW competitive is Ultrabeam for us Americans, if we wanted to buy their version of the SteppIR 2, 3, and 4 element Yagi's.









« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 05:24:53 PM by KA7NIQ » Logged
W6GX
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2013, 06:22:37 PM »

I can't answer your questions.  Perhaps someone else here could.  One thing that separates this antenna to the Steppir is that there are ten elements.  So the antenna is optimized with proper element spacing for each band.  I don't know if you picked that up.  AND there would be no interactions between the elements as all the inactive elements could be fully retracted.  So in theory this design would perform better than a monobander since a monobander is only resonant at one frequency.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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KA7NIQ
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2013, 08:18:35 PM »

I can't answer your questions.  Perhaps someone else here could.  One thing that separates this antenna to the Steppir is that there are ten elements.  So the antenna is optimized with proper element spacing for each band.  I don't know if you picked that up.  AND there would be no interactions between the elements as all the inactive elements could be fully retracted.  So in theory this design would perform better than a monobander since a monobander is only resonant at one frequency.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
Wow, I kind of thought it was more like a SteppIR, in that element spacings were a compromise for all the bands.
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WB3CQM
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 08:35:31 AM »

Hi Chris ,

I would like to suggest to you and every one reading this thread. go and purchase "Array of Light" Third Edition , Straight talk about antennas and related subjects By Tom Schiller, N6BT

This book was written by former owner of Force 12 as most know .

When you read and study the material in this book  you  should be soon convinced that trapped antenna are NOT superior to trap less beams.

My other point to readers here is this . What do contest stations use for beams ? If trapped beams were so good . Every contest stations would use them instead of mono band beams and mono band  beam stacks. Just think , they could have just one tower and save a lot of money!

On the new rage of of dxing , I will point out go and look at  DX Leaderboards , What beams and antennas are the top leaders using at their stations ?

 Gain is Gain bottom line . No one here will convince me that a wide spaced optimized tri band  yagi beam as my C-31XR with 14.5 dbi gain will be beat out by some little old  trapped beams, Steppir beams , or Quads for that matter. I have tested many many antenna. Talked to many contest station owners as well as professional installer. Have done many on the air test against Quads , trapped beams , motorized beams. And owned some.

Chris , Why do you think I own a Force 12 C-31XR ?

Gain is Gain and trapless beam  is less worry and less lots of troubles.

Buy what you can afford and use what is best for your location . But don't believe a trapped beam is better than a Force 12 !

73 JIM

 

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N6AJR
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 11:24:37 AM »

the biggest advantage of the Steppir over the fixed monobander is the adjustibility.  Steppir has many other designs up to and including multielement  beams to 80 m and also verticals to 80 m with a loading coil on 80 verts.


But with a steppir if you are working CW you can tune the antenna for 14.025 and have a great signal. same as a fixed  no trapped monobander.  now lets slide up to 14. 2685 for a phone net . you can adjust the Steppir to be a monobander on this freq as well. but your fixed  multielement is still tuned at the cw end and has a poor match her on the high end of the band. The spacing between elements is not perfect, I agree, but even on a long boomer fixed antenna the element spacing is still a compromise. so not much difference there.

I'm just sayin...
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KA7NIQ
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 12:41:12 PM »

Hi Chris ,

I would like to suggest to you and every one reading this thread. go and purchase "Array of Light" Third Edition , Straight talk about antennas and related subjects By Tom Schiller, N6BT

This book was written by former owner of Force 12 as most know .

When you read and study the material in this book  you  should be soon convinced that trapped antenna are NOT superior to trap less beams.

My other point to readers here is this . What do contest stations use for beams ? If trapped beams were so good . Every contest stations would use them instead of mono band beams and mono band  beam stacks. Just think , they could have just one tower and save a lot of money!

On the new rage of of dxing , I will point out go and look at  DX Leaderboards , What beams and antennas are the top leaders using at their stations ?

 Gain is Gain bottom line . No one here will convince me that a wide spaced optimized tri band  yagi beam as my C-31XR with 14.5 dbi gain will be beat out by some little old  trapped beams, Steppir beams , or Quads for that matter. I have tested many many antenna. Talked to many contest station owners as well as professional installer. Have done many on the air test against Quads , trapped beams , motorized beams. And owned some.

Chris , Why do you think I own a Force 12 C-31XR ?

Gain is Gain and trapless beam  is less worry and less lots of troubles.

Buy what you can afford and use what is best for your location . But don't believe a trapped beam is better than a Force 12 !

73 JIM

 


Whoa Buddy  Smiley No one is saying a trapped antenna is superior to a non trapped monobander! Full sized is always best, with no traps.
Here is what I am saying, I am not convinced full sized non trapped triband yagi's are "always better" then their trapped alternatives.

Anytime you have a bunch of Yagis on a single boom, there is going to be degrading interaction. Computer Model all you want. The more you look at poop, the more it stinks  Grin

I know for a FACT some of these full size non trap multiband  Yagi's were tested by Hy Gain, back in the day, on their huge antenna range, by engineers who knew how to use it.






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