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Author Topic: Save A Lot Of Money On A Hex Beam !  (Read 34643 times)
KA7NIQ
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« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2013, 07:07:02 PM »

This nonsense about Hexbeams and quads performing well at low heights is truly nonsense. This bit of falsehood has become a ham urban myth legend.
Hams just have to accept  the reasons why they install their antennas low. If they dont want to go through the trouble and expense of putting  them up higher, they should just say so, rather repeating old wives tales to make themselves feel better.

If this fact was true,  these  so called low height antennas would have proven themselves on 75 meters or 160 meters working DX. I have never heard a big  signal from anyone using a low beam  or quad antenna on 75 meters.

Maybe one day we will be able to control the takeoff angle electronically, that day is a long way off!

Height=signal might.


KA7NIQ, when you said "grandpa is in business" you described my setup exactly...including the height and 600 watt amp!

For low angles, the higher the better, agreed.

I had mine on a push-up pole at my last QTH, and decided it was easier and cheaper to just use "armstrong" method and turn it by hand.  A bit inconvenient, but it worked. 

Currently I have it suspended at 45 feet between two trees, with poly line to rotate it as needed.  Not a rotator, but it's simple and it does work.
Well, we have lot's of retired "Grandpa Type" Hams here in Florida, that are running Hex Beams with 600 watt Ameritron 811 amps!

No, they are not gonna be first in major pileups, but they sure beat a vertical or G5RV type of antenna!

Some Hams believe a Hex beam will work at low heights, where a conventional beam will not. This is not true. As with any beam, the higher the better, if chasing long distance DX.

My personal Beam is at 50 feet, plenty high enough for me, and what I want to do.



As usual Zenki, you are correct. This Myth about Hex Beams and Quads being able to perform at low heights, when a Yagi will not, is total and utter Bullchit!

ARRL started this crap in an old ARRL Antenna Book, with this statement  "Some operators feel that Quads and Delta Loops are effective DX Antennas at lower heights then a Yagi"

I was successful Zenki in getting a local Ham to get his Hex Beam up in the air (50 ft) from the 25 foot mast it was on.

He too went through all the excuses as to WHY his Hex Beam did not need to be any higher in the air. I then proceeded to smash his excuses, one by one. Finally, the real reason for having his antenna at such a low height came out. He was an elderly Ham Zenki, who just lost his XYL, then moved down here to Florida.
He was honest when he told me he did not know any Hams here locally who might help him erect a tower.

I told him my friends and I would help him, and we found him a used 50 ft TV Tower that a local Ham sells. This local Ham gets them for free, just for taking them down, and sells them very cheap!
WE were able to get him 60 feet of 10 ft tower sections cheap!
WE dug our hole,  buried 8 ft of the 60 ft tower, and filled it with concrete.
Now, Grandpa is up at about 52 ft with his KIO Hex Beam, and he is in heaven!

Not only did performance really increase on his Hex Beam, going for 25 to  52 feet Zenki, but front to back rejection really improved, as well.

Here in Florida, it is sometimes hard to talk to the northern parts of the US, with 1/2 of South America intruding from behind us.










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W1JKA
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« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2013, 06:24:36 AM »

     LMAO: Gotta love this BS about a hex antenna only working satisfactory if only higher than a certain x amount of feet. Maybe a little web research of hex users is in order.
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W8NSI
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« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2013, 09:01:33 AM »

Most important of all though... how many have bought a hex beam from any of the current available sources? Traffie, DX Engineering, K4KIO, NA4RR, etc.

I hear QRM from lots of mockingbirds. Lets go down the list of responders and see what they use.

Is there anyone here who has bought the currently lowest priced hex beam at less than $400? What is your review of the product?
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73 de w8nsi/nnn0uzw jim
W1JKA
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« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2013, 01:34:31 PM »

Re:W8NSI
               Good idea,so I'll jump right in.My hexs are all homebrew (a hex is a hex) and my building specs meet those of commercially made units.My comments and results of same(as some readers know)have been previously posted on this and other related forums. NEXT!
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KA7NIQ
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« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2013, 08:41:51 PM »

    LMAO: Gotta love this BS about a hex antenna only working satisfactory if only higher than a certain x amount of feet. Maybe a little web research of hex users is in order.
Unless you have changed the laws as they apply to antenna radiation patterns, as a function of height above ground, what you call "BS" can be clearly seen when the Hex Beam is Computer Modeled.
Hex Beams are no better, or worse, then any Yagi antenna, at the same height above ground.
Like any Yagi or Quad antenna, they will "work" at less then optimum heights. But like any Yagi antenna, they will always work even better, the higher you can get them in the air.

IMHO, we must be careful not to allow our ignorance to convince fellow Hams into believing the Hex Beam is some sort of "special antenna", that defies the laws of Physics.

Just because a Ham has a Hex Beam at 25 feet, that seriously outperforms your G5RV at 25 feet, does not mean 25 feet is the "optimum" height for a Hex Beam.

One of the many advantages of a Hex Beam is it is small and light, and easy to stick way up in the air, w/o resorting to Rohn 45 Tower.

One of the first "lessons" one  Elmer taught me is this. It is not unusual for a small Yagi that is higher in the air, to outperform a larger one, at a lower mounting height.

It is almost more accurate to say "The Tower here is 120 ft"  when we talk about our antennas.

For many times (depending on the path), it is the height of the Tower, not so much the antenna itself, doing the talking!




« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 09:13:03 PM by KA7NIQ » Logged
G3TXQ
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Posts: 1533




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« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2013, 01:37:28 AM »

The hexbeam's performance relates to height just the same as any low/medium gain beam - no "magic". It's something I've stressed many times, yet still the myth prevails. This sort of advertising doesn't help: "The HEX-BEAM works well at relatively low height." It may do, but that doesn't mean it wont perform better higher up.

Performance vs height figures are on my web site and they follow the same pattern as a dipole or any small HF beam:
http://www.karinya.net/g3txq/hexbeam/height_2/

Incidentally, the F/B doesn't necessarily improve with height; it tends to be cyclical! I achieved some of my best F/B results - about 40dB - with the antenna at just 15ft.

73,
Steve G3TXQ





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G7DIE
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« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2013, 02:09:40 AM »

There are a lot of Hexbeam super stations on the air. ------

-----The subject of antenna height is a interesting question. I heard a  VK3 station on talking to a  ZS3 station. The VK3 station had a 200 ft tower with 5 element stacked yagis on 20 meters. His comment was that a very long  haul path both long and short paths into Africa ZS3, his 50ft high antenna  worked better than any antenna  other antenna height. You take notice when a station running a 200 ft tower tells the honest truth and burst the bubble of very high antennas. You cant extrapolate this assumption to every path of course.

----------- so enjoy what you have!


I have spoken to VK3MO on many an occassion, in fact the last time was 08/Jan/13 using nothing more than 10W and a buddipole, Ian does indeed have an impressive array and I can speak of first hand experience at how big a difference his antenna at 200' compared to 50' makes.

I spend a lot of time, mobile, portable, backpack portable and almost always by the sea, this gives my signal a very low angle of take off, something that a 200' high 20m monobander has in common.

On one particular occasion I was working VK long path, anyone spending any time doing this will easily notice how the propogation changes from East to West Coast during the morning, I had already spoken to Ian this particular morning, but he didn't mention which antenna was in use, after some time, and when the propogation had moved to West Coast VK6, I received another call from Ian, similar signal as the previous time, around +30dB, however he told me he was on his upper antenna and I was still +10-20dB with him, but on his lower antenna I was only around 5/7-8, still a very respectable signal as he said he could hear very little from Europe and I was the strongest (75W and a vertical antenna), but a huge difference between upper and lower antennas, it was only because of the very low angle of radiation on his high antenna that we were so strong with each other, VK3 at 50' was about ready to disappear, but at 200' it was like any other morning.

Height with a horizontal yagi makes a big difference when conditions are marginal, the vertical by the sea doesn't need this height, but is not as easy to achieve in the middle of the country Grin
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 02:38:10 AM by G7DIE » Logged
ZENKI
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« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2013, 05:11:59 AM »

I have heard you and your other ham friends with their portable mobile setups work the world. Amazing how well you guys do.

For my location on 20 meters there is NO   high angle propagation into the Oceania/Pacific areas, its all low angle. I had a 3 high stack 5 over 5 over 5. Top antenna at 150 feet.
I have switched this combination to the point where I wore out a set of relays on the stackmatch. The end conclusion for me was that the 100 and 150 antennas were best bet 99% of the time.
The Antenna at 50 feet was not doing much for the stack performance. Thats what i run now and if I need low angle performance I switch to the 150 high antenna alone. This combination over
my terrain profile is as good as 200ft high stack.  You do have to analyze the elevation angle statistics before drawing any conclusions. On 20 meters higher is better.
Many people suggest that 1.5 wavelengths is the optimum height. This conclusion was drawn by W2PV for East Coast USA / Europe propagation. From my location this height is actually worst
performer than than an antenna up at 2 wavelengths. There is no one height that is perfect for ever location which is stating the obvious. Any practical  antenna chosen will always be a compromise when you
have a single antenna and tower.

I only raised the comments made by the VK3 station because he stated that  this phenomena occurred both on long and short paths. He stated  that the path was an  extremely difficult path because of the distance
involved  beaming through the auroral  zone.. In all my testing I have never found  a low antenna say at 50 feet beat a higher antenna except on short local skip paths. As you have found its the antennas that are high up that dominate the band.

In general the stations that keep the band open with the biggest signals are those with high stacked antennas or  are stations located on very favorable high mountain top locations.
If you cant afford a 200 ft tower find a high mountain top or do what you guys do and use verticals within 1 wavelength of the ocean.  Another good location for any antenna is on  plane up 10000ft in the air.
Its amazing how well aeronautical mobile stations get out with such low efficiency antennas up high.   





There are a lot of Hexbeam super stations on the air. ------

-----The subject of antenna height is a interesting question. I heard a  VK3 station on talking to a  ZS3 station. The VK3 station had a 200 ft tower with 5 element stacked yagis on 20 meters. His comment was that a very long  haul path both long and short paths into Africa ZS3, his 50ft high antenna  worked better than any antenna  other antenna height. You take notice when a station running a 200 ft tower tells the honest truth and burst the bubble of very high antennas. You cant extrapolate this assumption to every path of course.

----------- so enjoy what you have!


I have spoken to VK3MO on many an occassion, in fact the last time was 08/Jan/13 using nothing more than 10W and a buddipole, Ian does indeed have an impressive array and I can speak of first hand experience at how big a difference his antenna at 200' compared to 50' makes.

I spend a lot of time, mobile, portable, backpack portable and almost always by the sea, this gives my signal a very low angle of take off, something that a 200' high 20m monobander has in common.

On one particular occasion I was working VK long path, anyone spending any time doing this will easily notice how the propogation changes from East to West Coast during the morning, I had already spoken to Ian this particular morning, but he didn't mention which antenna was in use, after some time, and when the propogation had moved to West Coast VK6, I received another call from Ian, similar signal as the previous time, around +30dB, however he told me he was on his upper antenna and I was still +10-20dB with him, but on his lower antenna I was only around 5/7-8, still a very respectable signal as he said he could hear very little from Europe and I was the strongest (75W and a vertical antenna), but a huge difference between upper and lower antennas, it was only because of the very low angle of radiation on his high antenna that we were so strong with each other, VK3 at 50' was about ready to disappear, but at 200' it was like any other morning.

Height with a horizontal yagi makes a big difference when conditions are marginal, the vertical by the sea doesn't need this height, but is not as easy to achieve in the middle of the country Grin
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2013, 02:19:58 PM »

ZENKI, I am DROOLING with antenna envy

G3TXQ, it all depends upon the definition of "relatively low."  If low = half wavelength on 20 meters, that's relatively low compared to ideal (full wavelength and higher).  It's all relative, though, right?  Cheesy
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G3TXQ
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« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2013, 02:40:34 PM »

G3TXQ, it all depends upon the definition of "relatively low."  If low = half wavelength on 20 meters, that's relatively low compared to ideal (full wavelength and higher).  It's all relative, though, right?  Cheesy

Yes, "The HEX-BEAM works well at relatively low height" is a meaningless statement unless you define "works well" and "relatively low height"!

If you say in your advertising something like "Performs well at 30ft", there are always likely to be some folk who believe it means 30ft is the optimum height. The same folk are also likely to think that the antenna has some "magic" that other similar antennas don't have  Roll Eyes

Steve G3TXQ
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 02:44:30 PM by G3TXQ » Logged
ND6P
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Posts: 100




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« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2013, 07:10:43 PM »

Re:KF6ABU
                Other than the boy version which is generally hung lower than the girl version is there any noticeable performance difference between the two?   

The girl version has more gain at higher frequencies.
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KC4MOP
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« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2013, 03:29:30 AM »

Seems we are in HEXBEAM fever. It's an amazing antenna that really works. Not a miracle antenna that does wonderful things at low heights. Maybe it tolerates lower height above ground than your typical Yagi. When Mike Traffie contacted me, to persuade me to try one of his original HEX in the middle 90's, he told me that there were no real tests done on the antenna to prove why it works so good. Almost same gain as a aluminum antenna and very good F/B. The ARRL wanted some tech sheets, what engineering brought this antenna into existence? He could not answer them. Like a revelation of an antenna design came from ancient scrolls.
Has any organization or individual ever test this antenna on an antenna farm?? Is there a NEC program for this design so that it is finally verified what it can do?
Fred
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2013, 05:17:49 AM »

G3TXQ has a ton of fact-based information on his website, include NEC data.

http://karinya.net/g3txq/hexbeam/

There have been similar antenna fevers in the past.  Some have been as a result of over-hype by vendors, when common sense and a little bit of research would have debunked the wild claims. 

Not saying the antennas did not work, but the marketing spin was never aligned with reality:

* The magical 43 foot vertical, that could beat the yagis
* The scientific performance specification known as : "If I can hear 'em, I can work 'em"
* The mysterious off-center-fed dipole that worked better than yagis
* The concept that a 1:1 SWR is nirvana, and this condition will allow the antenna to outperform all others
* The quarter wave vertical that works without radials (and is really just a 50 ohm resistance inside of it)
* And not to be forgotten, the incredible gotham vertical

The best way to shine the light on the truth is for us to share knowledge with each other, educate and discuss concepts and actual results, and call out these misleading (or false) claims with data.  In a few cases, deception is the intent.  In most, I believe it is simply lack of knowledge or misunderstanding of concepts.  Either way, we hams must collaborate on message boards like this one so that we are better-informed consumers.
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KC4MOP
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« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2013, 07:59:52 AM »

4ELG
Thanks for the link. Someone took the trouble to dissect it and now I see the driven element and reflector.
And his theory proves what Mike Traffie always told me during the mystery days of his invention, that the F/B was better near the 2:1 SWR. And the link shows this.
Very nice read.
Fred
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K4RVN
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« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2013, 08:09:50 AM »

Reply # 3 how do you spell antenna in the plural form? What he wrote is entirely correct , antennas or antennae. It is not uncommon to see misspelled words on this forum every day, however he got it right on antennas. Thanks for the link, I have the K4KIO and happy with it but would have tried this one for less money. Looks like a good value to me.

Frank
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