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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Directional: Yagi, quad, rotary dipole, LPD, etc | N6BT Q51 Rotatable Dipole Help


Reviews Summary for N6BT Q51 Rotatable Dipole
N6BT Q51 Rotatable Dipole Reviews: 1 Average rating: 3.0/5 MSRP: $289
Description: Relay-switched 20-17-15-12-10 meter rotary dipole
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.n6bt.com
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NR9R Rating: 3/5 Apr 26, 2012 09:02 Send this review to a friend
Good idea but was not worth the hassle.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Although this is a unique product that would allow one to cover 10-20 meters on a compact antenna everything from the ordering process to tuning it has been a headache.

The first problem was that after the quoted ship date passed it took many emails and voice mails to get in touch with N6BT. When I finally did get an email back I had to start from the beginning and describe what I had initially ordered and paid for. This experience has been reported by a few others on the web.

Despite the difficulty in ordering my rating of 3/5 is based on the product itself. There are a few minor quirks, such as mixing zinc and stainless steel hardware, and a mast mounting bracket with a single set of holes when the manual depicts a universal bracket that accommodates many mast sizes. What has brought me to give up on the antenna is the tedious tuning process.

Tuning the antenna involves setting the radiator length for 10 m and then messing with the 8 coils to find resonance on the other bands. By messing with the coils I mean pulling them apart or squeezing them together. This process has not been straightforward because when one coil is expanded and becomes physically closer to a coil for another band it detunes it. After several attempts at tuning, my experience is that after adjusting the coils for 12-20 meters stray reactance brings the 10 meter SWR to 2:1. This is not that impressive. I can't imagine what the process must be like for tuning Q52 yagi version to achieve the advertised F/B and gain.

In all N6BT offers a one of a kind product that may be ideal for some situations but comes with some hassles. If I had to do it again I would have either built something similar or settled for a trapped tri-band rotatable dipole.
 


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