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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | SteppIr 2 element Help


Reviews Summary for SteppIr 2 element
SteppIr 2 element Reviews: 10 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $1335
Description: The 2 Element Yagi has the highest value-to-performance of any of our antennas and is the antenna of choice for DX-peditions. It actually performs more like a smaller 3 element yagi, due to itís innovative 57 inch boom. This spacing allows for optimal performance throughout itís frequency range with a definitive caveat Ė it would normally only be good for about 100 KHz of bandwidth. In the fixed element era of Yagi antennas, it was not feasible to make an antenna with such little bandwidth, but when you have an adjustable antenna like a SteppIR, itís no problem at all! The basic model has a frequency coverage of 13.9 to 54 Mhz. With the addition of a optional 40M/30M rotatable Dipole you can also have 30 and 40M coverage, 40M through 6M all on one very small antenna.

Product is in production.
More info: http://www.steppir.com/2-element-yagi
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WY4J Rating: 1/5 Aug 7, 2017 07:43 Send this review to a friend
The Motors Will Fail and the Repairs Will be Expensive  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased my first 3 element SteppIR in 2009. In 2012 I decided that as I was getting older so a shorter boom was a better way to go so I decided to go with the 2 element model. Within 2 year and with very little use the antenna went deaf. Took it down to discover that both plastic driveshafts in the motors had broken. Called SteppIR and send the two motors in for repairs as the alternative was to sell the boom for scrap. The shipping was fairly expensive since I am as far as you can be from them. But the shipping was not the issue. The $500 repair bill just blew me away.

This is a great concept and the performance is fantastic but mechanically this product is clearly substandard as the shafts in the motors will fail. I am not a professional motor designer but the plastic shaft on these motors are very prone to fail and then SteppIR rapes you with the repair cost.

I paid $600 a year for the pleasure of using this antenna since between the repairs and the loss on the sale the total out of pocket loss was $1,200.00 for the privilege of having a SteppIR for 2 years.

So think about it as is not if but when the motors will fail you and then you will kick yourself when you get the repair bill. Took the easy way out and purchased a hex beam for less than SteppIr charged me to repair the motors.
 
M0ZMX Rating: 5/5 Aug 7, 2017 01:22 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my SteppIR in constant service since 2012.
So far I am pleased to say that I have had no issues, the antenna has worked flawlessly. My antenna was purchased as a 2 element with 30/40m trombone, and I have made many contacts around the world. There is some noticeable gain, and front to back, but after all, it is a close spaced element antenna and so don't expect miracles!!.
Myself and a friend who had a hexbeam spent many months working in company. We are within a few miles of each other, so felt that it was a fair comparison.. our findings were that there was very little if any difference in performance between the two. However, whereas the hexbeam only covered a few bands and only had a certain amount of usable bandwidth, I had 40-6m continuous coverage. Of course I was unable to compare the 30/40 trombone as the hexbeam covered neither of these bands. Comparing the trombone element to a doublet found it to be a reasonable compromise, but of course, propagation can make any antenna seem good at the time!.

Again, I have had no issues with the antenna mechanically. I did spend a considerable amount of time assembling the antenna, and have since had the antenna down in 2014 to add the 3rd element upgrade kit, which comprises of a new 16ft boom and another EHU and tubing, I have noticed better gain and narrower beam width. The only thing I had to address in 2014 was the 'choc-bloc' connector that was supplied along with a sachet of Vaseline had started to go green, so removed and used modern telecom silicone lock connectors.. job done.

5 years, 8 bands (6 of which are at 3 elements) you do the maths!!! No grumbles from me. 5/5
Mark
 
HB9ANM Rating: 5/5 Nov 16, 2014 10:39 Send this review to a friend
11 years - no mods  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using the 2 el. SteppIR almost daily for ELEVEN YEARS - and still going strong! Breaking many pile-ups, increasing my DXCC score from 220 to 343 during that period. Highly recommended.

73 Richard - HB9ANM
 
KK5DR Rating: 4/5 May 30, 2014 22:15 Send this review to a friend
Modified for longer life.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned a two element SteppIR yagi since 2009. I did a few modifications to dramatically increase its service life span.
(1) Chamfered the element housings at each ID size transition joint.
(2) Coat the inside of each element housing with dry Teflon lube (RV pop-out lube, found at Walmart for a couple bucks), to allow the tapes and the plastic "tip bullet" to slide without drag and resist icing (in cold latitudes).
(3)Used silicon sealing tape on each housing joint, then a cover layer of vinyl electrical tape, and fixed each end with black UV resistant cable zip ties.
(4)Painted all of the antenna assembly with white latex enamel spray paint, (2 coats), then (2 coats) of clear. Everything, gets painted, elements, EHU, joints, everything.
(5)Installed a Molex connector at the control cable junction box so the cable can be removed easy to service the beam on the ground. Sealed this joint with liquid electrical tape, and a cover layer of vinyl tape.
(6)Drilled vent holes in the EHU bottom covers.
(7)Glued copper mess screens over these holes.
(8)Removed element housing tip plugs (made of dense foam), replaced them with copper mesh screens, glued in with RTV silicon. (This prevents water build up inside the housings, which can ice up in cold WX, and damage the tapes)
That's about it for mods.
The only issue I ever had with the unit, is a controller glitch that was corrected with a reset calibration.
I used to have a Tenadyne T-12, the SteppIR performs nearly as good as the T-12, but with one added benefit, no BCI. My T-12 suffered from BCI on 15mters from BC stations on nearby freqs, since LPDAs are so broad-banded, they are prone to BCI. The SteppIR doesn't have this issue, since it is tightly resonate on only one freq/band at a time, it attenuates all off-res signals.
It has been a very reliable antenna.
Great light weight, modest gain yagi. Run any freq from 13-60MHz with a great to good match.
 
K2MK Rating: 5/5 May 30, 2014 14:44 Send this review to a friend
Quite Pleased So Far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have the 2 element yagi installed at 40 feet. Assembly went very smoothly. The manual(s) were adequate and everything fit together perfectly. I also have the 6 meter element, the connection box, and the high wind boom to mast kit. I do not have the 40/30 trombone. The high wind kit is probably never needed with this antenna but Iím a sucker for anything that says heavy duty. It is indeed very heavy duty.

This antenna replaced my 5 band Traffie Hex Beam. I love that antenna but with a move from a push-up pole to a MA40 crank-up mast I had to get HOA approval and the hex beam is just too visually annoying. With my wooded backdrop the yagi is almost invisible on the MA40. The neighbors were very pleased.

Performance seems pretty comparable to the hex beam. My recent activity in the CW WPX contest was consistent with my performance a year ago on the hex beam. I did a recent stint as a W1AW/2 centennial RTTY station and my non-scientific opinion is that the performance on 17 through 10 meters is slightly better than the hex beam. Performance on 20 meters seems to lag just a bit.

I was able to directly compare performance on 6 meters with my 3 element M2 beam at 20 feet. The SteppIR provided the same received signal strength on local and distant stations. Iím sure the M2 would have been better if it was also at 40 feet. Iíve since taken down the M2 6 meter beam in favor of the SteppIR.

All in all Iím quite pleased with the 2 element yagi. I recommend it to anyone looking for a multi-band short boom HF and 6 meter antenna.
 
G8NOF Rating: 3/5 Dec 31, 2013 01:06 Send this review to a friend
OK But see my experience below  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned a 2 ele SteppIR for 7 years and I am extremely happy with its performance and rate it as 5. However I recently purchased a new 2 ele SteppIR to install at my home in Spain - I had it shipped from the UK. When I came to install the antenna I noticed a number of changes from the original design, there has obviously been some ' value engineering' undertaken. The element housing units (EHU) on the original design are light grey and came sealed with a loose tail for the connection of power and control. The new design is black plastic and you have to assemble a black plastic base to the EHU and also feed the control cable along a grove in the plastic EHU. That would be fine but in my case SteppIR had neglected to include the two plastic bases plus hardware in the shipping package (you can imagine my frustration at this)! Fortunately as my wife was coming out to Spain the day after I found the problem, the UK agent 'Vine' kindly sent the parts to my UK address and my wife brought them out. I also found that SteppIR had neglected to include the foam that fits into the ends of the poles. On assembling the EHUs I noticed that the foam gasket was not quite to size i.e. the holes did not quite line up and it took some tricky work to make them fit.
My concerns are that the EHUs do not look and feel as robust as my original in the UK, also I am concerned how the black plastic will wear with the high levels of UV in Spain. Along with this and SteppIR's neglect to include parts in the shipping package I have rated the antenna at 3. I will revisit this review when I have had time to see how the new EHUs wear plus what, if any, response I get from SteppIR after they see this review.
 
VE4MM Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2013 18:49 Send this review to a friend
Great product  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought it in 2007 for my Ham Jam 2007 Dxpedition in Jamaica.

Using it past 2 winters in Winnipeg, Canada.

No problems.

Works well and super easy to build.

This is a winner!
 
KE4WY Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2013 01:40 Send this review to a friend
Pleased with performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my 2 element Steppir up since 2001. No issues with the antenna itself. We have had the control box that
Sits on the desk upgraded once and replaced a bad board
In the box. This was about 3 years back. I don't remember the cost but do remember it was quite reasonable less
$100.

We have always been able to work any new ones needed.

Due to it being up 12 years now I am sure we should pull it down for general maintenance. When we do we will consider adding 40 meters to it.

I do believe if its not broke don't fix it. Our trusty CDE (Hygain) Ham IV was bought new in 1982 and been in service with no issues working flawlessly for 31 years.

Not sure how the Antenna would holdup on a higher tower in a treeless open area exposed to high winds but this one has stayed up on a short 40 ft tower in an area loaded with trees that do break some of the wind.
 
W9LP Rating: 5/5 Apr 25, 2013 10:52 Send this review to a friend
Suprising Performer!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I could see in February 2007 that my ground-mounted vertical wasn't going to be enough to bag the much-needed BS7H Scarborough Reef DX-pedition that April. I could also see that a traditional antenna installation was out of the question during our Chicago winter. So I opted for 40' of Rohn 25 and the SteppIR 2 element yagi temporarily strapped to my chimney.

To look at it, this antenna seems neither show nor substance... two elements on a 57" boom covering 20m thru 6m? I was expecting a marginal improvement over my vertical at best... nothing more.

While I had no luck with BS7H, this antenna worked so surprisingly well that it remained in the "temporary" location for another two years until I put up my permanent tower and Dream Beam. The forward gain was quite respectable, front-to-back was comparable to a 3 element yagi I'd owned in another life and the side rejection was absolutely awesome.

This antenna is light, easily constructed/maintained and a great overall performer given its size. Of course, it comes with the traditional benefits of a SteppIR... perfect VSWR on all bands and automated control if you connect it to your Rig and PC.

I have no concerns using this 2 El as a main antenna and have recommended just that to several other hams with more constrained physical settings. I keep mine as a backup to my DB-18E, for use at our DX club's annual convention here in Chicago and for portable needs as the opportunity arises.

If your antenna setting is constrained, you should give this antenna very serious consideration.
 
WX2CX Rating: 5/5 Apr 12, 2013 16:10 Send this review to a friend
Second winter and still working!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great antenna. Got it about 2 years ago and worth every penny. Have it up on a 10ft roof tower and performs excellent!
Easy to assemble, make sure you have enough space to work on it. Sales and technical support are awesome. Received with missing fiber poles, called steppIr and had the missing parts at my door in 48hrs!
F/B is super and very directional. Upgrading soon to another steppIr!
 


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