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Author Topic: Cushcraft R-9  (Read 6088 times)
N4BAM
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Posts: 13




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« on: July 22, 2013, 01:38:01 PM »

Right now this is the only antenna I can put up.  It will be installed on a 30' mast (total height mast/antenna will be 62-65 feet) and ground via 9' grounding rod at the base and tied to the bulkhead outside my window of my ham shack.  

I know the manufacture says no ground radios are needed but I was wondering if I should install them anyway.  I have the DX Engineering radio plate installed on my mast because I wasn't sure what I would be doing in the future.

I have plenty of copper cable from 6# to 14# just laying around so it's not any problem to add the radios.  Will it make a difference for the R-9 and is it worth the effort?

Also I can't seem to find any reviews on the R-9 so I was wondering how well it will perform.  I'm still putting everything together so I can get on the air.  My radio is a new FX-3000D.  Thanks in advance; I just passed my tech and am working on my general (testing in two weeks).  I have everything set up except for the antenna because I need to fabricate some guy rings to handle the 3/16" EHD guy wire since I live in Florida and the storms/hurricanes can get pretty bad where I live.

Thanks in advance ~ Gunner

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Best, Regards,

1SG Terry "Gunner" Peterson Jr. USA (Ret)
OIF  2003
KK4SKX
K5LXP
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Posts: 4474


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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2013, 02:52:33 PM »

Radials, not "radios".  No, do not add them.  I had an R8 and recall that you shouldn't deviate from the installation instructions or you can be in for (mis)tuning adventure. 

If optimized vertical performance is what you're after, then don't use an R9.  My R8 was "decent", within an S-unit or so of my Butternut vertical.  With that data point in mind I wouldn't mess with it until *after* you have it up and working.  It is quite capable as-is, especially when first getting your feet wet.  Don't add any more variables than you already have.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

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WX7G
Member

Posts: 5975




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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2013, 03:54:16 PM »

No radials are needed. Why are you mounting the antenna so high when 10' is plenty?
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W9GB
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Posts: 2616




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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2013, 04:19:50 PM »

Quote
I know the manufacture says no ground radios are needed but I was wondering if I should install them anyway.
FOLLOW MFG. INSTRUCTIONS, unless you are teaching radio antenna theory at the college level.
I do not understand the 30 foot mast, you only need 8 to 12 feet, to have counterpoise wires away from children, etc.

The Cushcraft R-9 multi-band vertical antenna is the latest model in their "R-x" 1/2-wavelength verticals (end-fed).

The 48" radials are MANDATORY (counterpoise wires).  You can read and learn about
END-FED HALF-WAVE ANTENNAS (EFHA), here:
http://www.aa5tb.com/efha.html

Vertical Antennas often suffer from Common-Mode (RF on coaxial cable shield entering radio shack). W8JI thoughts.
http://www.w8ji.com/verticals_and_baluns.htm

The BLACK BOX on the Cushcraft R9 contains a choke (coax wound on toroid core) to attempt to reduce this issue.
Quote
I have plenty of copper cable from #6 to #14 AWG, just laying around.
So it's not any problem to add the radios.
Use or a half-wavelength dipole !  That at 60 feet will challenge your vertical's performance.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 04:23:53 PM by W9GB » Logged
KD2CJJ
Member

Posts: 369




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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2013, 04:36:38 PM »

Like others have said..

No radials.. You will detune the antenna...

Too high ... 10 feet is ideal height though higher than 20 feet will raise the take off angle reducing dx performance.


Right now this is the only antenna I can put up.  It will be installed on a 30' mast (total height mast/antenna will be 62-65 feet) and ground via 9' grounding rod at the base and tied to the bulkhead outside my window of my ham shack.  

I know the manufacture says no ground radios are needed but I was wondering if I should install them anyway.  I have the DX Engineering radio plate installed on my mast because I wasn't sure what I would be doing in the future.

I have plenty of copper cable from 6# to 14# just laying around so it's not any problem to add the radios.  Will it make a difference for the R-9 and is it worth the effort?

Also I can't seem to find any reviews on the R-9 so I was wondering how well it will perform.  I'm still putting everything together so I can get on the air.  My radio is a new FX-3000D.  Thanks in advance; I just passed my tech and am working on my general (testing in two weeks).  I have everything set up except for the antenna because I need to fabricate some guy rings to handle the 3/16" EHD guy wire since I live in Florida and the storms/hurricanes can get pretty bad where I live.

Thanks in advance ~ Gunner


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73

Mike
KD2CJJ
WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 13147




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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2013, 04:42:26 PM »

I agree - I'd try mounting the antenna at 10' first to see how it works.  That should make
the mechanics of installing it and keeping it up easier.

Height is important for VHF/UHF antennas where local communications are via the direct
wave from your antenna to the other station.  That's why CB antennas generally give
more coverage when they are higher in the air.  But for vertical antennas used with
ionospheric propagation there isn't as much difference with height.  In fact, getting
your antenna too high above ground can introduce nulls in the pattern at particular
vertical angles, leading to certain ranges of distances that become more difficult to
work.

(The situation is different for horizontally polarized antennas, however, where additional
height lowers the angle of radiation and makes it easier to work DX.)


Not that you can't put the antenna up at 30', of course, but I don't think there will be
enough improvement over mounting it at 10' (enough to keep the radials out of reach
of people on the ground) to justify the added effort to try to keep it up in a storm.
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K6AER
Member

Posts: 3501




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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2013, 08:38:54 PM »

The higher you mount a vertical the farther the antenna will be from home noise sources.
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N4BAM
Member

Posts: 13




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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2013, 07:46:17 AM »

Radials, not "radios".  No, do not add them.  I had an R8 and recall that you shouldn't deviate from the installation instructions or you can be in for (mis)tuning adventure.  

If optimized vertical performance is what you're after, then don't use an R9.  My R8 was "decent", within an S-unit or so of my Butternut vertical.  With that data point in mind I wouldn't mess with it until *after* you have it up and working.  It is quite capable as-is, especially when first getting your feet wet.  Don't add any more variables than you already have.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM




LOL, sorry about the misspelling; my meds from war were kicking in, thanks for the info from all.  I'm trying to get the bottom of the antenna above the top of the RV next to it; since the rv is metal I thought it may interfere with the performance.  Also with the mast at 30' that puts the antenna above most obstacles between my house and the Gulf of Mexico which is about 4 miles directly west from me.

I'm guess 20' would be just as good; the mast is 18' from the house and about 3-4' from the RV.  Again thanks for all the help. ~ Gunner
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 07:55:54 AM by GUNNEROIF2003 » Logged

Best, Regards,

1SG Terry "Gunner" Peterson Jr. USA (Ret)
OIF  2003
KK4SKX
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20567




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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2013, 11:39:35 AM »

If it's that tall a mast, I'd make sure it's a really strong mast.

The R9 is long and has weight at the top.  Normally, I'd "guy" the R9 itself, about midway up its length, using non-conductive (Dacron rope) guys to prevent it from becoming two R4-1/2s.

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N4BAM
Member

Posts: 13




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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2013, 12:15:10 PM »

If it's that tall a mast, I'd make sure it's a really strong mast.

The R9 is long and has weight at the top.  Normally, I'd "guy" the R9 itself, about midway up its length, using non-conductive (Dacron rope) guys to prevent it from becoming two R4-1/2s.



Thanks for the advice; I'm using the bottom part of a telescoping mast (galvanized steel) with 3/8" EHD wire guys on each mast section and a rope guy kit with heavy duty rope halfway up the R-9.  I'll be fabricating the guy rings for the wire because I can't find anything that will accept the size wire I'm using.  The guy rings that came with the mast (DX Engineering) have holes so small that I have no idea how someone would use them and with what type of guy wire.....

It's hurricane season for the next 5 months so I'm doing overkill on the guying as well as for lightening protection.

I just wish it would stop raining down here long enough so I can get this antenna up.....
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Best, Regards,

1SG Terry "Gunner" Peterson Jr. USA (Ret)
OIF  2003
KK4SKX
KB6HRT
Member

Posts: 101




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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2013, 08:17:06 PM »

Hello,
 Used an R8 for years it gave me very good results, heard the fellow that enginnered the R8 talking to another HAM about 7 years ago, he told the other HAM he designed the R8 to used from ground level to 18' to the bottom of the antenna! I have tested my R8 and an R6000 at both ground level and 18' and then interchanged them he was right no change in signal same on
20-17-15-12 and 10 meters. But did pirk up both antennas was putting radiales under them, that helped both antennas on receive and was worth doing, you do have to tweek the antenna a little after you do it to get the SWR where you want it a little. A R6000 does not need any guide lines to keep it standing stright up in high winds but did use them on my R8.
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K7KHZ
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2013, 06:35:49 AM »

Having read all these posts and having owned 3 R8's mounted at various locations and in various parts of the country through the last 20 years. I would like to offer the following;

The R8 is a terrific antenna in consideration of antenna and mounting costs.
DX results are exceptionally good for a vertical multiband.
10-15 feet off the ground is plenty if you want to work DX.
Use Dacron(or similar) as guy half the way up the antenna. Do not use wire and make sure you guy it or you will regret those 50+ MPH winds (past experience).

Now that the R9 is available I am extremely disappointed that there is no R8 to R9 conversion kit available. It's cheaper to buy the R9 than it is to buy the conversion parts from MFJ. An extremely bad marketing decision on their part. I hope they change their minds.
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KF7VXA
Member

Posts: 458




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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2013, 04:47:50 PM »

I have no experience with the R-9, but have read a couple of opinions on them that were not all that good, the R-8 got much better reviews. Problem is, it's new enough that there are not a whole lot of reviews out on it yet, everyone has different opinions.
It may work just fine, but do take the time to check before laying out your money as it's not the cheapest of the good verticals.

As the others said, if you do go with the R-9, no radials in the ground would be needed or desired for best performance.
What bands are you the most interested in? All verticals are a compromise, but some work much better on some bands than others.

Whatever antenna you choose, I hope it works great for you.

73's John KF7VXA
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 04:52:14 PM by KF7VXA » Logged
K2TTM
Member

Posts: 51




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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2013, 04:50:53 PM »

Gunner,

I recently put up an R9 and even more recently took it down.  It was the first time I've ever had a radial and in my case its performance was disappointing and it will be sold in the spring.  There were intermittent SWR problems on 40 & 80 meters and it just didn't compare to my Windom on the other bands. 

One thing to be aware of.  When I took mine down I opened the black box containing the choke and discovered that carpenter ants had taken up residence and built themselves a nice home inside.  Not sure if this contributed to the problems on 40 & 80 but if I ever put it back up I'd be careful to seal it against it happening again.

Mike
K2TTM
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99.9% of the time I'm on the air, I'll be on CW.
KF7VXA
Member

Posts: 458




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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2013, 06:38:31 PM »

Being new, I'd go with something such as the Gap Challenger. Nothing to adjust, no black boxes, no coils or traps or anything else to go wrong.
It sits right on the ground and just needs three 25' counterpoise type wires.
It's different than other verticals as it's a vertical dipole, so it will be quieter than other verticals. The connection is in the middle of the antenna, giving  52 ohm's at the connection point. No antenna tuner is needed, no balun, it stays lower than 2 to 1 on all bands.
Just switch bands and talk when clear.
I have recommended this antenna a few times and taken some flack over it as some don't care for it and that's fine.
I get very good DX with mine and have talked with all parts of the US including Alaska and Hawaii, it's strongest on 20 and 40 meters, 15 meters to 6 meters is not as strong, but during the last 15 meter opening, I had more DX on 12 and 15 meters than I could keep up with.
If you look at the reviews under Gap on this site, you will see it has a very good score and several pages of people very satisfied with it and a couple who were not. If you get a Gap, it can be put on the roof of your shack with the three wires laying on the roof and it will work fine there. I'd guy it at the middle where suggested and also put guy ropes approx. 3/4 of the way to the top.
I encourage others to give viewpoints on other antennas they have used for you as well. Most who have put down on the Challenger have never had one. There are other good verticals out there also. The Challenger is only about $350.00 which is a very good price.
The R-9 is a pretty complicated antenna for a new person, that is the only reason I posted about the gap.
Should you decide to keep the R-9, I sure would get an antenna analyzer. It will make it far easier to get it set up to work the best it can.
You might want to start with just a couple of dipole antennas until your knowledge increases, a dipole is a great antenna.
You have lots of options, no matter what you chose, I wish you the best. There is no rule that says you can only have one antenna as long as you have the room.
I also have inverted "V"s, and a couple dipoles. Some places the dipoles work best, most places the vertical works the best, but I'm really glad I made the dipoles also.
Your location will also have a bearing on what works best.
Study reviews, read opinions of others and try to figure out what is best for you. Something simpler to start with is many times best. Dipoles can easily be made.
I'd stay away from anything that needs a lot of adjustment to start with.
If you do this, you can quickly get on the air and get the experience you need. You might find that you really like one or two bands over the others and get an antenna that works best on those bands. It's hard to find out what you like the best until you have had some air time, get that with something simple and then you can make a good decision without spending too much money before you really have found your nitch. I've only herd a couple comments on the R-9 and they were not too good, but there were just two opinions, not a bunch. Maybe a dipole until more info comes in on the R-9 would be a good idea.
If you stay with the R-9, put it up at the recommended height, get an antenna analyzer so you can set up each band the best it can be. Guy it well, the guy ropes should just be snug at most, not pulled tight. Just follow the directions to the "T" and most of all, have fun !!! When new, it's easy to spend a lot of money that you don't need to, so slow down a little, it was not too long ago that I was in your position. The best advise I got was to go slow and start with something simpler. That's why I like the dipoles and the Gap or just dipoles to start with. I now know which way I'll be going when I upgrade and can do it based on real knowledge (not that I know it all, I don't)

73's John KF7VXA
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