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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Next Generation Antennas Q52 Help

Reviews Summary for Next Generation Antennas Q52
Next Generation Antennas Q52 Reviews: 4 Average rating: 2.8/5 MSRP: $549
Description: 5-band Remote Switched 2 element Yagi
Product is in production.
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AC6BW Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2016 21:58 Send this review to a friend
Excellent 2 el Yagi  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased the Q52 2 el yagi from Tom, N6BT as an upgrade from my multiband vertical, plus to add 17 and 12 mtr capability. So far, it has met all of my expectations.

The Q52 is a 2 el yagi, which uses relay switched loading coils on a hairpin match. The antenna covers 20-10m, including 17 and 12 mtrs. It comes with a manual switch box, which resides in the shack, and is used to switch the relays in the antenna.

The Q52 is very well made, and is of solid construction. All the elements were pre-tuned and labeled. The element lengths are well marked. Assembly is easy, and only takes a short time. Tom, N6BT, will pretune the antenna at any height you specify. Mine was pretuned for 35 ft height. It has a short 9 ft boom, and a turning radius of 9 ft, so it fits well into the limited space that I have in my suburban lot.

This paragraph is an update to my first review: I would like to point out that this antenna was entirely plug and play. I didn't have to do any tuning. As mentioned above, all the elements and the loading coils were pre-tuned to a height of 35 ft above ground. If you install the antenna at the specified height, you should not have to do any tuning. The SWR on all bands is less than 2:1 across the band, and 1.5:1 or less where I typically operate. The 20m band has the highest Q loading coils, so the 20m band is split into 2 sub-bands, with separate switch settings, 20m LO and 20m HI.

I installed the Q52 on a 35' Rohn 9H50 push-up mast, with a Yaesu G-450A rotator. The Q52 is light, only 16 lbs, so this made it relatively easy to raise on a push-up mast. This is much lighter than a Spiderbeam or Hex beam, which weigh almost twice as much, at about 25 lbs, for versions with equivalent band coverage. Check out my QRZ page for pictures of the Q52 installed.

The Q52 has to be mounted at height of about 35' feet or more above ground to realize good performance. And it should clear any roofline by at least 20 ft, or there WILL be coupling to the roof, which will affect the pattern. I suspect that other reviewers did not follow these guidelines.

Compared to my multi-band vertical, the Q52 consistently provides signal strengths of 1-2 S-Units more, and noise levels of 1-2 S-Units less. That equates to up to a 4 S-Unit (24 dB) increase in SNR compared to my vertical. The Front to back ratio is not the best, maybe 10 dB or less. The reason for this is because the Q52 is tuned for maximum forward gain and best SWR, which sacrifices some FBR. Some of the other reviewers don't seem to understand this tradeoff. The side nulls are very deep.

In the 9 months that I have had the Q52, I have worked numerous stations on very difficult paths from the West Coast USA to the Middle East, Indian Ocean and Southeast Africa. Working into these areas with my vertical was very difficult, and actually impossible most times. I've also significantly increased my DXCC totals on RTTY and SSB, which are difficult modes on the vertical due to low gain. I am very pleased with the Q52 performance.

The antenna is rated at 700 W CW, 1000 W PEP. I typically drive it with 500 W on CW and SSB. RTTY power is not rated in the manual, but Tom suggested that I run about 350 - 400 W. After owning the antenna for about 3 months, I did burn up the 12m driven element relay. This was entirely my fault, since I had the switch box set to 12 mtrs while driving the antenna with high power at a different frequency (very high SWR was present on the 12 coil). I called Tom N6BT, and he agreed to let me visit his shop to perform the free repair. It is only a 2.5 hr drive from my home. So the support has been excellent.
I have since replaced the manual switch box with a homebrew relay box that interfaces to the LPT port of my PC, and is automatically switched by my Ham Radio Deluxe logging program. Now I don't have to worry about incorrect band settings.

How well does it work? Well, let's see. Most recently, I worked K5P and VP8STI on all bands....easily....through large pileups, from the West Coast, and in poor band conditions.

The Q52 has been a great upgrade for me, and has met all my expectations.
W7WRJ Rating: 1/5 Jan 5, 2016 18:32 Send this review to a friend
Never Again  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used this antenna for my 1st 2 1/2 years in Korea. The antenna was mounted about 60 feet up from ground level, and 18 feet about the top of the elevator shaft. For the entire time this antenna was up, I could never really get the SWR below 2.5 to 1 on any band, no matter how much adjusting was done.

The front to back on this antenna is very poor, most time you did not see any difference in receive signal if you were shooting short path or long path.

I also could not see much difference when running the antenna as a dipole or a 2 element yagi in the receive signal.

After 2 1/2 years the antenna stopped working on 20 - 17 -15 meters. I guess something went bad in one of the relay boxes.

I've replaced the antenna with a 15 - 17 - 20 meter Spider Beam with 3 elements on each band, and about the same weight and can't believe the difference. For 10 meters I put a separate 3 element yagi. I may strip off the control boxes from the boom and use the aluminum to build a single band 12 meter yagi.

Although built extremely well mechanically, the performance was not there for the price. You would be much better off with a Hex or Spider beam if was want to cover all 5 bands with a singal yagi.
G0MGX Rating: 0/5 Oct 22, 2015 23:00 Send this review to a friend
Poor performer  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've had mine a few months and find the antenna has no or very little front to back when configured as a 2 element antenna. There is a switch option to "remove" the reflector electrically which is supposed to alter the directivity and convert the two elements into a rotary dipole. My experience is that this switch alters the SWR slightly but makes no difference to the signals from the front or the rear of the antenna.

Mechanically well constructed but 500W of CW has caused one of the antenna mounted relay boxes to fail, investigation shows signs of arking at the element connections.

I hoped this antenna would offer me an improvement over my Cushcraft MA5B and give me some front to back on 12 and 17M but it hasn't.

Trying to contact Tom for customer support is impossible - my emails go completely ignored - so for me there has been no customer support whatsoever.

Overall this is now turning into a very disappointing and expensive mistake.

K9RS Rating: 5/5 Jan 18, 2013 11:37 Send this review to a friend
Great small antenna   Time owned: more than 12 months
A nice set of trade offs results in an antenna that is small but gives real performance across the 20 through 10 Meter bands. I have had this up in 3 different locations now and while re-tuning was required depending on the height above ground and other local conditions it has been useful when most other antennas were not an option. I am using it now with a chimney mount and while not a match for the stacked antennas in my last QTH it does let me have some gain and directivity when I wouldn't otherwise have any. It's easy to put together and Tom and Natan provide great follow up as well in case of any issues.

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