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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Omnidirectional: verticals, mobile, etc | Cushcraft ARX-2 Ringo Ranger Help

Reviews Summary for Cushcraft ARX-2 Ringo Ranger
Cushcraft ARX-2 Ringo Ranger Reviews: 34 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $69.95
Description: 2m vertical antenna, 2x5/8 colinear, no radials
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Cushcraft ARX-2 Ringo Ranger.

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WB4LFC Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2008 13:53 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I put my Ringo Ranger up in August 1975.It has been in constant use.It has made three moves and has survived several storms.
The SWR is almost 1:1 over the whole 2 Meter Band.I live on a hill and my antenna is on a 40 foot mast.I've made simplex contacts of over 150 miles.It has also doubled as a scanner antenna.
They are also very broadbanded.
I'll buy another if I live long enough!
AC1U Rating: 4/5 Mar 4, 2008 13:33 Send this review to a friend
Good for the bucks paid  Time owned: more than 12 months
As a rule I don't write reviews on products that I own but I do read a lot of those posted by others. In this case i am making an exception. I have owned a lot of Cushcraft antennas over the years and some were great and others not so great. The Ringo series has been one those "great antennas" I rate the Ringo series a "great" antenna as I have own several for each band 10 meters through 70cm and in each case they went together easily and performed as expected.

I suspect that most problems that others have experienced are due to a couple of factors. In assembling the antenna it is highly recommended that you follow the instructions exactly with special attenton to the orientation of the shorting stub to the ring. Make sure that you tune the antennas away from any other metal structures. (I simply mount then on a 10 ft. mast set into a 4 ft tripod at ground level. After tuning, seal the rf contact points with a good quality sealant. Silicone rubber sealant works great and is easily removed. Please-do not use vinyl tape on your antenna. you will wish you didn't at disassembly time. Double check the resonance/SWR after the sealant cures and before hauling the antenna to it's permanent location.

For those antennas that have the phasing harness and decoupling radials I strongly suggest you cut off those "horrible" pre-crimped connectors and install a new set of good quality PL259 connectors. Use silicone grease on the threads of the connectors. Slide some heat shrink tubing over the connectors (long enough to seal the connector at both the antenna threads and at least 1/2 over the coax jacket) and shrink with a heat gun.

One last note: The antenna gain advertised is only as good as the quality of your feedline. If you think you will get the full gain advantage of your Ringo using "100 feet of RG58U" on VHF and UHF think again. The feedline loss will effectively negate any gain advantage from the antenna. Use a good quality coax. I suggest at last RG213 or better. These antennas should give many years of service with thoughtful assembly and some routine maintenance every couple of years.
WX9DX Rating: 2/5 Jan 17, 2008 22:28 Send this review to a friend
Not So Good!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Years ago we used this antenna for many packet nodes across Illinois. As many might remember, under my old call sign, N9EUO! This antenna works well till you have to fix it. Almost every time it was that the SWR was ok but efficiency had gone down the tubes. Id get calls from users, and some of my sysops that the links were not working like they used to. It is a real pain when you have to fix something that is kind of working!
Ok so where is the problem? Is it the radio, weather, antenna system, just what is wrong?
This takes time to find and ended up being the same thing almost every time, the Ringo Rangers.

Now these antennas were up anyplace from 150 feet to 450 feet in the air on towers, side mounted. Most of the time it was one of the screws had lost contact on the hairpin in the middle of the antenna. BTW, if you look at the design of the smaller Ringo antennas, youll see what Im talking of, as to less gain, and the same design. Its the same antenna but without the hairpin. It has half the gain and less capture area. So that meant that half the antenna was not working anymore. Wed take them down and either replace the Ringo antenna with another, or fix the one we took down.

Also this Ringo antenna proves to not stand up to winds very well. So from the onset we had mid span supports go out and grab the middle of the antennas from the tower leg, to keep them from breaking. I did learn this the hard way one winter night actually with one of these antennas just 35 feet up in the air. The insulator really does not like the Illinois cold weather and High winds. Its cheap enough most guys just over look this and buy another one. It performs well when its working, and Id say go buy one if your looking to buy cheap!

Well after paying tower climbers for this problem and many late nights getting home. We switched over to Diamond 500x antennas! Never did the Diamonds cause us problems! We did heat shrink over the junctions where the antenna screws together, with shrink tubing. That has something like a hot melt glue inside of it. It is the same shrink tube you use on buried connectors. We still used a mid span support back to the tower to hold the antenna from moving around. This if nothing else kept signal fade down, if the antenna started moving around in the wind.
KB3MZW Rating: 5/5 Sep 5, 2006 16:12 Send this review to a friend
impresive simplex for omni!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
this antenna is far superior to most if not all other vertical omni's out there. it adhears to a beautiful swr reading and i can reach a repeater up in the PA poconos whereas i am only in yarldey PA accross the river from trenton NJ. check it out on google maps if your not familiar with the areas. i can do simplex pretty far when the leaves arent on the trees and have even done 2 meter sideband with this antenna successfully. it is somewhat lightweight and very sturdy. buy it, you will like it!
NT9M Rating: 4/5 Oct 8, 2004 05:44 Send this review to a friend
Bargain performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
My experience with the Ringo Ranger is apparently much better than most. Mine was originally in use by a family member who had a wrecker business. I first spotted it in the junk pile in two pieces. Seems he was shooting at a bird perched on the Ringo and managed to hit the "plastic" insulator. A nylon insulator was fabricated by my father, and one section of aluminum tubing was replaced. I reassembled the antenna to the dimensions listed in the manual (which was available on-line from Cushcraft), made one slight adjustment for SWR, then stuck it on a mast that was chimney mounted at about 20 feet. Much to my surprise, the antenna plays really well! It's been nice to switch from the Yagi at 55 feet to the Ringo and hear stations that only the Ringo hears because it's an omni pattern. I've made simplex contacts up to 85 miles and have only one nit to pick...the way it detunes in heavy rain. But I understand there is a simple mod for that. I have since acquired another "orphan", a four element folded dipole which I've modifed for two meters and side mounted to my tower. No, the Ringo is not its equal, but it's darn good, and I'm taking it to my office to replace a ribbon J-pole.
KC7JLJ Rating: 3/5 Jun 11, 2004 11:43 Send this review to a friend
Kinda cheap  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I wasn't too impressed with the overall quality right out of the box. I put the antenna together and selected tuning for about midband. SWR isn't anything to brag about. I think when I buy another antenna it will be the Diamond which is flat across the band.
I also didn't too much like that it uses about five foot of your mast as part of the antenna.
If you want a fairly inexpensive antenna and like to fiddle around trying to get a good SWR, then this may be for you.
N1UMJ Rating: 4/5 Mar 27, 2004 17:29 Send this review to a friend
not a bad antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my ARX-2B for about 6 or 7 years now, it's only on the side of the house not up very high, not even over the roof due to some problems I had with a ladder putting it up so I left it as is with only the top 6 inches or so above the roof. It performs quite well considering, I can hit repeaters about 50 miles away with a kenwood duel band TM-G707A. It could be a little better, but I haven't had it up too high yet, some day hopefully soon I'll do that. For the price it's not bad at all, I agree with most of the reviews on here, it wasn't too bad to put together. It was missing a nut for the tuning ring, but I just grabged one out of my collection and the antenna seems to hold up quite well even with the wind I get out here.
N0MLR Rating: 1/5 Feb 3, 2004 10:34 Send this review to a friend
Not at all impressed with this antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned both the Ringo and the ARX2B. The Ringo worked ok.
The ARX2B was a night mare. I purchased it in 1991. The one I had was the comercial version since I was buying it for the VHF Business Band. The Freq was 151.925. Tuning it was a night mare. The SWR would not come down below a 2.0 no matter how many times I rechecked the measurements and connections. I gave up tuning it any lower and just put it up on a 45 foot tower with 9913 coax. with a 25 watt base and 25 watt mobiles using gain antennas my range was about 20 miles. On occasion I could get about 35 miles marginal at best. I was using it in Hollister Mo. which is right next to Branson. The 35 mile distance was from my base north to the Tracker Boat Factory on Hwy 65 in Ozark Mo.
The Ground Radials are made of a Pourous Alum. and one broke before I got it on the tower. I was able to use it after chasing the threads with a Die. All in All I would rate the Antenna as Poor. It does make an acceptable Dummy Load. I still have it but if I use it again it will be as a Ringo and not use the radials.
W4MY Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2003 16:33 Send this review to a friend
Good RF Design  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Bought a used ARX-2 last year for $20. How could I go wrong? Downloaded the instruction set off Cushcraft's site. Totally dismantled, cleaned, built two new radials (used the last good one as a pattern), all new hardware, built my own coax extension, etc, etc.

Selected what freq I wanted from the instructions, measured carefully, measured SWR and it dipped right where it was supposed to. Adjusted the ring a bit to bring the dip to a lower point. Got it! Took about 20 minutes of careful work.

Installed it above my HF tribander using Beldon 9913F7 (radials at about 48 feet) Works REALLY WELL! (into repeaters 75 miles away with 1 watt! I hear repeaters I can't use cuz same freq pair used locally. I haven't done any simplex yet.

I'm not a big fan of the Cushcraft company, doing this project I didn't even try to call them, I've never had much luck doing that. But whoever the RF engineer was that designed this antenna for them did a very good job.

Don't pay $80 for a new one, get a basket case like I did, (they're everywhere) spend ten more dollars on new misc items for it, have fun rebuilding it like I did. Put it up as high as you can. Its a great antenna for 2M casual operating. 73

Oh, and for those who are critical of the materials and workmanship of this antenna, no, the military will not be approving this antenna any time soon. The RF energy doesn't care.
N4MJG Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2003 16:39 Send this review to a friend
VERY GOOD ANT.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had my About 15 feet off the ground still works good. easy to put together....

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