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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Steppir yagi DB18 Help


Reviews Summary for Steppir yagi DB18
Steppir yagi DB18 Reviews: 3 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $2550
Description: The Dreambeam series of yagis featuring 40m elements.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.steppir.com
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KN1Q Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2013 11:11 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna & Great Customer Service  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I ordered my DB18 back in May just before the price change. I rationalized that I would be saving money as opposed to spending money. Hi hi.
The antenna arrived sometime in late August. I inventoried all of the parts and got my workshop space organize so that I would be able to work uninterrupted.
The quality of materials is excellent and the packaging was great. Nothing was missing and in the case of some nuts and bolts there were extra pieces. Prior to beginning I reviewed some youtube videos and read the assembly manual several times. It is not difficult to assemble but you do have to pay attention. I assembled the antenna slowly, by myself, in the evenings over the course of several weeks. Other than tools everything that you need is in the box. I did buy some extra anti seize, electrical tape and coax seal but only because I wanted to.
Everything fit nicely and as I mentioned the instruction manual is excellent.
At one point(ok maybe more than one) I was having a little bit of anxiety because I started to realize that I was about to put a fairly complex piece of equipment up on my tower and I was hoping and praying that I was doing things properly. I checked and double checked torque specs, level, wiring and weather seals.
I did one final SWR check prior to the final installation. I had the antenna on saw horses a mere 3 feet off of the gournd and was amazed at the SWR readings I got from my MFJ 259. Everything looked good!
I have a crank-up tilt over tower so installation wasn't all that difficult. My son and I were able to jockey the antenna into place and get things bolted up. Again, we took our time to be sure that everything was as perfect as it could be.
On the first day I played around and thought the antenna was ok. A day or two later things weren't looking good. SWR was all over the map. I proceeded to do some troubleshooting on my own but wasn't able to figure it out. I called Steppir tech support and he walked me through a bunch of diagnostics. Things were acting funny and we couldn't pin point the problem. Over the course of several days I had what can only be described as excellent experience with tech support. Promptly returned phone calls, pleasant conversation and good troubleshooting help. We replaced the board in my controller but alas that was not it. With the knowledge that my controller was good I started thinking that I may have a problem on the tower. Ugh. Fortunately my problem was a bad connector at the base of the tower. An easy fix and all was well.
This antenna replaced two cushcraft antennas. An A4S and an A3ws. The performance has been excellent. Running between 500 and 1000 watts I routinely am able to break pileups and am getting good signal reports.
 
ND5T Rating: 5/5 Dec 17, 2011 13:25 Send this review to a friend
Great all band Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this antenna for a little over a year, the reasons I choose this antenna are as follows.
1. I have only one tower for HF and wanted only 1 antenna to cover as much of the amateur bands as possible

2. The tower is 50' no guys, with a home built Hazer, so the 18' boom was very attractive for my needs. I did not want the tower being twisted in our normal winds here in Texas

3. The fact that it also did 6m was a big plus

The installation is time consuming; I also spent about 20 Hours putting the antenna together at night after work. You can do this by yourself as I did, but with a friend over the weekend would have been a lot easier. The instructions were fairly decent although I did have to call into SteppIR with a couple of questions as they had upgraded items in the Kit and did not change the installation manual. I will say that as I was on the phone he was at his computer changing everything that we discussed. So the correct information was available for download the next day on their website

How does it work?
Well having a resonate antenna on everything from 6-40m is a dream come true, being able to work both ends of the band is huge. Most other antennas only tune to a small portion of the limited bands that they can work. Mine tuned to 1.1 or less, from top to bottom on every band, except 30M where I have only been able to get 1.3.
What else can I say? If I can hear them, they will be in the log shortly. I use an amp with the antenna but even with 100w you will not be disappointed.

If you cant have multiple monobanders, this is the answer
 
W4VKU Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2011 08:42 Send this review to a friend
Excellent performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Let me start by saying that i have owned steppir yagis since 2006. Right from a 2Ele+40m for the VU7 expedition to the 3element 20-6m that i have
on a tree, i love the antenna.

Decision points:
I decided to install a DB18 on my 75ft Aluma tower in a HOA subdivision. Due to the constraints of the load on the tower and the regulation, i had to settle for one antenna. I had a force12 C4SXL on hand, but sold it since
the tuning of the older style linear loading
elements from the roof of a 2 storey home will
be an issue. I was going to use this setup only
for nabbing those hard ones and on 40m.
For other times, the 3ele 6-20m on the tree at
50ft will be the workhorse.

Installation:
Putting together the DB18 took 20 hours. One
will need to read every bit of documentation
and ensure that all parts are present and intact,
prior to embarking on the installation. I had
trouble levelling the EHU plates on the boom, but
used a C-clamp and mounted the boom against the
deck railing (by clamping the mast plate
installed). Lot of things to be done to put it
all together.
We had the installers get on a ladder to the top
of the aluma & install the boom. Then they went
up the roof and installed the elements. I made
the element truss myself and it looks nice. We
spray painted the antenna pieces with camo paint
while it was on the ground. I found that the
wrong EHU was shipped and also a pcb in the SDA100 did not function. It was used to power
the relays in the EHU. Not a big deal. Steppir
was great in their level of service and shipped
me replacements right away. I run LMR400 to the
antenna. The antenna is heavy at 91 lbs, but with
all band coverage, i would not complain.

Performance:
The tower is cranked up by an electric winch
and all i need
to do is crank it up to 66ft or so, aim the
antenna at EU. I have found that the signals are
a good 2-3 S units higher on the yagi as compared
to a 80m G5RV at 65ft. I could run DX for 4 to
5 hours and work stations in EU with attic
dipoles, inv-Vs, verticals and could hear them
when they run 40w. I switch them to the G5RV
and they are buried in the noise. The noise
level on 40m was around S7. I also have a flag
antenna for Rx and will one of these days
install the K9AY and see how it plays and if it
is even needed on 40m with the yagi.
I run around 400W to the yagi and i could hold
the frequency for hours and inspite of jamming
from some stations, i could continue to work the
peanut whistles.

I have found that, with the yagi, the stations
within the US are down and are heard better
on the G5RV. I think it is because of the low
take off angle of the yagi at a height of 1/2 wavelength.

The front to back is not so great, since the
antenna has a driven and reflector, but is
expected with a 2Element. I love the 180 degree
switch feature. My signals into EU at 400w
has been a good 10-15db over S9.

I have not used it on 6m as yet, but
out of the box, the SWR was great on all bands.
I have the 6m passive installed as well and will
need to adjust the element lengths when i plan
to use it on that band. I personally dislike to
use the calibrate option, since it stresses the
tape. The SDA100 has this single button feature
to retract the tapes and turn the unit off and
am loving it.

I will post a follow on review over time about
my experience with the yagi. But by far we are
loving it.

Conclusion:
The yagi is not cheap, but to get 2 elements on
40m, 1 ele on 30m, 3 ele on 20-10m and 4ele on
6m and the ability to do 180 degree or bi-directional mode all from the convenience of the
shack is great. Will there be maintenance over
time, absolutely yes. My installation guys are
here every year atleast twice to check out the
steppir on the tree and if need be, will replace
boots or paint parts. I can work a station if i
can hear em. I try barefoot and if it is a no go,
then switch on the TL922. If you are in the
Raleigh area and would like to play with the
antenna and check it out, please drop me a note.

73s
krish
w4vku
vu2vku
 


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