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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Hy-Gain AV-680 Nine-Band Vertical Help


Reviews Summary for Hy-Gain AV-680 Nine-Band Vertical
Hy-Gain AV-680 Nine-Band Vertical Reviews: 10 Average rating: 3.1/5 MSRP: $549.95
Description: 9-band vertical covers 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10/6 Meters No radials, traps, ground or tuning Handles 1500 Watts
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.hy-gain.com/Product.php?productid=AV-680
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You can write your own review of the Hy-Gain AV-680 Nine-Band Vertical.

N8OBU Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2017 15:53 Send this review to a friend
whole day project!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
the hardest part of this antenna is the way the instructions are written you will need an very long place to build it i suspended it from the garage roof to build it and that was a great help! print off a 2nd manual so you don't need to flip to the figures you can lay them out count the parts i think it gets a bad rap over people thinking it would only take a hour to build spend a day do it right the first time don't rush pay attention to the wording it will take two people to handle this antenna and it will work as it should when built right mine was missing no parts i had put a few in wrong my fault not hy gain r&l has the best price pick up some no ax too you will need it
 
N4MIT Rating: 3/5 Oct 17, 2017 13:01 Send this review to a friend
Un-impressed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I does work but just not up to all the hype. My 125' endfed wire works better in most instances.


DX Engineering is #1 in customer serice. When the antenna arrived there were some incorrect parts. I contacted HyGain/MFJ and confirmed that they had a run of incorrect parts with this antenna. They said that they would ship out replacements. I contacted DX Engineering to see if they could get HyGain to expedite/overnight the replacements but HyGain would not comply so DX Engineering overnighted/saturday delivery a complete antenna on their nickle. Now that is customer service!

If a vertical is all you can have then I guess this one is as good as any, but it's no replacement for even a lowly dipole. I'm hoping when conditions improve I'll find more value in this antenna.

As always, your mileage may vary...
 
KG7MWW Rating: 4/5 Oct 3, 2017 17:42 Send this review to a friend
Takes some time to put together  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought mine from HRO in Portland. The box was fine and all the parts were in good shape with nothing missing. The box was structurally sound for protecting the parts.

The instructions have a few typos with the element support insulator IDs described in the instructions not matching the labels in the figures, but after reading the instructions 3 times before assembly, I was able to sort it out and make notes to get around that.

There are lots of parts, screws, nuts, and capacitive hat rods which take awhile to put together. Took me 2 days to build the antenna. I recommend pre-fabricating the element brackets and some sub-assemblies the night before to speed up the assembly outside. The antenna goes together rather easily once you understand the steps, and the assembly order could be streamlined some, but makes sense once you are done.

Once you mount a mast, coax, and all the counterpoise rods it can be a little ungainly to get up in the air. I recommend a hinged base to help in walking it up. Becareful not to hit the capacitive hat rods on roof eves or other objects as they bend easily.

I think there is a weakness in this antenna were the insulated wire coil section is. The insulated rod fits loosely in its aluminum mounting, and is held in with only one bolt. There is no way to clamp this down tightly. It causes a slight bend in the antenna once installed. I might have to go back and modify this later, but will keep an eye on it.

So far, performance is fine. It tunes up easily on all the bands, and I get good signal reports. So far it appears to be working just fine. The only area of concern is where that insulated rod with the wire coils attaches.
 
N4MIT Rating: 1/5 Aug 31, 2017 18:58 Send this review to a friend
Incorrect Parts  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well Hy-Gain/MFJ has done it again. I ordered the AV-680 with all intentions of putting it together on the holiday weekend, but...

2 pieces of tubing are the wrong size. They are supposed to be 3/8"od x 5/16"id x 44". What I got looks to be 1/2"od x 3/8"id x 47" with no slots to clamp it down. It just won't work. This is part of the Stub section a 5/16" x 6" rod is supposed to slide inside to join the 2 sections together. It fits like a BB in a boxcar. I contacted DX Engineering (vendor I purchased from)for help with MFJ. I'll be back to update when they get the right parts to me.
 
KK4UDN Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2017 18:23 Send this review to a friend
Very Happy With Results  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I'm new to ham radio and was aware of the current sun cycle, so I knew propagation could be a real challenge. That's why I decided on the AV-680 9 band vertical. I wanted the option of moving around the bands as the conditions vary. I read the previous reviews, but took a chance on this antenna, and I'm very happy with the results. When you first get the antenna, it might look a little overwhelming to build. However, if you read over, then read again, and understand the instructions, it's not so difficult. Additionally, you should take a complete inventory of all pieces and parts in the package. Separate the hardware and label accordingly. Also note that you will have some extra spokes, nuts, screws, and washers after the build. And you should also purchase a tilt-base system to help raise and lower the antenna for maintenance. I purchased an R9 tilt-base from DX Engineering which works well. I also purchased a MFJ-259c antenna analyzer. Tuning is fun when you have the right equipment. However, I can't imagine tuning 9 bands without it. Concerning the antenna's performance, my rigs internal antenna tuner can handle the entire spectrum on 6, 15, 17, 20, and 30 meters. I tuned 10 and 12 meters, but I just don't use them. My only real complaint is on 40 meters, where the window for tuning is fairly narrow. So, I just tuned it for SSB around 7.255 Mhz. Was listening to a Dave Cassler video, and he commented that 40 meters on his Butternut vertical also had a narrow tune window, and he pointed out that this was an inherent problem on verticals. So, I won't deduct any points off the antenna rating for that gripe. Again, really happy with this product.
 
W4ABW Rating: 3/5 Jan 5, 2016 12:29 Send this review to a friend
I want to increase my rating  Time owned: more than 12 months
Since I posted my initial review of this vertical I have had some very good experiences with the antenna.

The parts shortages keep me from giving it a 4 as that hasn't changed.

I now have 39 Qs on 30m and 14 Qs on 40M. That's not a lot but all but 1 qso was with DX stations.
I do have a LP for the other many, many contacts I have made along with the vertical. I could have made lots more but I already have a lot of DX confirmed on 30m and 40m.

Tom at MFJ has been excellent too. Tom always says "what do you need, its free, and how can I help you". Always fast delivery too.

Al, W4ABW #1 DXCC Honor Roll

 
NK2W Rating: 0/5 May 15, 2015 10:21 Send this review to a friend
A Disaster!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Never have I regretted any ham radio purchase more than this antenna. EVERYTHING about this antenna was a negative experience.

The matching unit arrived with cold solder joints and broken wires, discovered only because I opened it due to ‘rattling noises’ inside it. The noises turned out to be broken ty-wraps used to hold the baluns which broke loose I imagine during shipment. Hy-gain replaced the unit after two weeks after I sent it to them at my expense.

The construction was at best difficult, at worst nearly impossible due to the absurdly high degree of errors and misprints in the manual. Parts were called out incorrectly, diagrams labeled incorrectly, references made incorrectly… Had I not had 50 years of experience I might have given up.

Erection of this monstrous web of spider-like ‘radials’ is in my view near impossible without a few strongmen, a gin pole, and ingenuity. And don’t forget that after you finally raise the antenna you’ll likely have to lower it and raise it again… and again… to tune it.

That’s if you can tune it at all.

I couldn’t, because the matching unit hy-gain sent me as a replacement DIDN’T WORK! When I connected my antenna analyzer I got a flat response (no curve) because the matching unit was OPEN!

I gave up and junked the antenna.

I used to swear by hy-gain. Now I swear AT it.
 
NC3Z Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2014 15:02 Send this review to a friend
Pleasantly Surprised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
May 2014

We are retiring and moving from the DC area to eastern NC in early 2015. So in preparation I sold my tower and beams early, but I wanted to stay on the air but wanted something that was not going to take a long time to install or remove so I decided on dipoles and a vertical. The dipoles are fan dipoles up in the trees and the vertical was the AV-680 mounted on a 14' mast out by the old tower base since I still had the underground coax runs. I made the mast tilt over to facilitate tuning.

I ordered the AV-680 from DXEnginnering as I have always had good support from them. Fortunately I had to use them once the AV-680 arrived. Upon unboxing the interior cardboard box that held the Matching Unit box rattled. The box was as the far end of the main box and directly inline with all the aluminum tubing with no additional protection. Somewhere in shipping the main box was probably dropped on that end causing the weight of all the tubing to drive into the Matching Unit, even though there was no external sign of being dropped it broke the matching unit. A quick contact to DXE and they took are of contacting HyGain on my behalf and had a new Matching Unit dropped shipped to me in a few days.

Other than that the assembly was easy, instructions were clear enough and all the parts were there. Using a AIM 4170 antenna analyzer made short work of tuning all the bands. Some took a lot more tuning than the manual indicated but they all finally tuned up fine.

So far the performance has been acceptable. Switching back and for between the dipoles (flat top at 45')and the AV-680 shows some interesting results. Sometimes both are equal, sometimes the dipoles are better, sometimes the AV-680 is better. On a few occasions I have been able to copy stations that the dipoles cant here, and sometimes the dipoles hear stations the AV-680 cant. Good reason to have both types of antennas.

I did make my own guy ring and guyed the AV-680 just for some peace of mind. Also after tuning up 80M I modified the 80M cap hat to work on 60M. Simply replace the 8 80M rods with 4 16" rods made from the spare rods Hygain sends. I have a 60M resonant element in my dipole and the signal reports follow my report above. So if you want a 60M vertical here is a simple mod that is easily restorable.
 
W8ASA Rating: 1/5 Dec 20, 2013 19:57 Send this review to a friend
Bad Service From Hy-Gain/MFJ  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got one for our club station (W8DGN). We put it together and installed it in a really nice, high location. When we plugged in the coax to try it out, NOTHING! NADA! I called HyGain, and (Tom?) said it was a common mode problem with the matching unit, and we probably needed to re-solder the PL259 internally. No problem. We did that and again NADA! He said to return it. We did, and they received it on November 23. He said they don't repair them, but would send a new matching unit. Well, it's now December 20 and we still haven't received the replacement. We have a good-looking vertical 50 feet in the air and can't even use it. Thanks, MFJ! I'll revisit this review once I can actually have some experience with the antenna. I have an AV-640 at home and love it...
 
WP4MZR Rating: 4/5 Feb 21, 2013 09:04 Send this review to a friend
Still testing it, so far so good.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this antenna back in January from R&L. Their service was top notch.

The antenna tubing has a nice finish, no sharp edges.

I had two minor issues during assembly. First, there was some missing hardware. Contacted hy-gain and R&L and the parts were received within a few days. The other problem was related to the matching box not showing to be DC grounded. After some troubleshooting, I found a cold solder on the inductor that provides the DC short. A quick re-solder of the joint took care of it.

The tuning of this antenna can be a little tedious. In my case, the antenna was resonating way below the ham bands and it took a lot more cutting than specified in the manual.

I don't have another antenna to compare its performance, but so far with 100W, if I can hear it, I can work it.

It works perfectly on 15 meters, covering the entire band with 1:1 SWR. My only wish is for the antenna to have better SWR bandwidth on 75 and 40 meters.
 


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