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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Force 12 XR5T Help

Reviews Summary for Force 12 XR5T
Force 12 XR5T Reviews: 3 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1499.95
Description: COMPACT 9 ELEMENT 20M/17M/15M/12M/10M MULTI-MONO YAGI
Product is in production.
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W2RE Rating: 5/5 Nov 5, 2015 06:10 Send this review to a friend
Excellent!!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Since owning Hudson Valley Towers Inc and LLC. we have tried everything. First of all the manufacturing of the XR5T is rock solid and very easy to build. The most important factor of owning a XR5T it is not susceptible to weather like other manufactures, this is VERY important factor especially with more hams switching over to solid state amplifiers. I hope F-12 supplies a 3EL version of the XR5T in the future


Ray Higgins
N4KD Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2015 13:32 Send this review to a friend
Absolutely Fantastic Antenna!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was replacing a A4-S tribander so I could get a gain antenna on 12/17m. I looked at several beams, including Tennadyne, JK, and M2. Force12 scored very high in pre-sales support as they were the only ones that answered my requests for more information. Force12 also put more measured data on the website. There can be a huge difference between what NEC tells you and what you eventually measure at the antenna range. The test data all looked pretty good, pictures of the antenna construction were impressive, and I was really ready for a new antenna.

When the two long boxes arrived and I started sorting through the parts, I was impressed again by the solid construction. Elements were riveted up to the tip ends and the mast-to-element connections were big solid clamps that look like they're going to last forever.

There are things that could be improved... The elements were marked with colored tape and Sharpie ink. Still it smudged, so it was somewhat of a puzzle to piece together. Not a hard puzzle, since the antenna had already been assembled once. I definitely recommend a dry fit-up before setting all the rivets. I don't know how many of these have been sold, but mine was lacking a parts list, assembly instructions, and maybe a couple parts. I'd know if there had been a parts list. The instructions were provided by email after a request. I think that for a $1500 antenna, just a little more effort could have been put into shipping.

Now to the best part. I put most of the beam together and arranged for a couple friends to help get it on my tower. We got together one frigid Saturday morning, finished the assembly, and tested the beam on the ground. I made a couple of adjustments on the tips and we raised the beam. On the tower, the SWR bandwiths were almost carbon copies of the data on the Force12 website. I still can't believe that I can tune from one end of the 20m band to the other and never exceed 1.5:1 VSWR. I haven't spent a lot of time measuring the performance, but the front-to-back and half-power beam-widths seem to be as documented on the website, too.

Without a side-by-side comparison, it's hard to say just how much better this beam is than the A4S, but on 15/20m, stations I work regularly seem much stronger now. Plus, on the 12/17m bands, I can point a beam in the direction of those I want to work.

I'll sum this up by saying I'm very happy with the antenna, the company, and the service. It's especially nice to be the first owner of a brand new antenna. I recommend Force12 to anyone that's considering a multi-band yagi and I'm looking forward to using the XR5-T for quite a few years to come.
W2NLS Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2014 22:11 Send this review to a friend
Full Performance In A Compact Beam  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This new generation antenna from the Force 12 company updates an older design to a new level, a level which I have found to be truly remarkable. Whatís new about the antenna? Let me quote Chip Margelli K7JA of Force 12 from an email to me (with his permission).

ďThe XR5-S and XR5-T are both brand new designs, completely different from the original XR-5. In a nutshell, our chief designer and InnovAntennas founder Justin Johnson, G0KSC, has been inspecting a number of the legacy Force 12 electrical designs, to see if we might do something better. He immediately observed that the boom of the original XR-5 didn't need to be as long as it was, if we could make some clever use of the Z-axis (by elevating elements that otherwise would be on top of each other). The resulting work reduced the boom length of the XR-5 from 18+ feet to about 13 feet, maintained or improved the pattern, improved the SWR curves, and added six meters (in the case of the XR6). The XR5-S (XR6 minus 20 meters) and the XR5-T (XR6 minus 6 meters) are derivatives of the XR6 design, and we are very excited about what these beams will do for a lot of Hams in the future. That shorter boom, and the ultra-rugged mechanical design (thanks to Kurt Andress, K7NV and lots of YagiStress work), will keep lots of folks on the air despite tough weather.Ē

As it turns out the two boxes that arrived at my QTH contained the first one of the new XR5-T-C antennas. The C option is a special shortened 20M element length using X-shaped end-caps. Force 12's gurus have found this does not affect gain or SWR in any meaningful way. My installer and I (see my review of John Crovelli in that category) were very impressed by the workmanship and construction of the beam. As the boom took shape on the sawhorses it was not at all the rather fragile look of some other booms I have seen. Instead this featured light but extremely well designed and obviously very strong componentry.

It was all going together well until we came to box 2 and noted that UPS had crushed the box, seemingly tried to disguise the damage and a few of the elements inside were bent. Well, Force 12 stepped up to the plate and came to the rescue. Their customer support shipped replacement parts and we were able to return to the rest of the construction in a few days.

That construction proceeded quickly and, again, you really have to see the parts of this antenna up close to really understand why I am so impressed at the evident strength of the materials and the overall, mechanical design.

Only one band needed a touchup adjustment with an antenna analyzer and the SWR figures were all surprisingly low. Indeed, once the antenna was on the tower (50-ft) and connected my Icom 7600ís internal SWR meter could not detect the SWR in the center of most phone bands and showed unity. At most the SWR on all but 10M is never over 1.2 and usually at 1.1 or below. On 10 M the lower portion of the phone band (where I operate) is 1.1 while the higher portion goes a bit over 1.3. So I have retired my external tuner.

How does it work? Can you spell DX?

I was lucky that the first weekend I operated was the Worked All Europe contest. Not a contester myself I still worked a few hours and contacted well over 20 countries right away. In a contest 59 reports are the rather uninformative rule. So I went to the WARC bands. On 17 I immediately worked a number of countries in QSO rather than contest mode. That day and in the following week I would be told many times that not only was I 59 but I had one of the strongest signals heard from the USA. That held true in contacts to Europe, the Mid East, and Asia. In the next few days I would work many DXpeditions with large pileups. I never had to call more than thrice and usually got the contact in one call. Not bad for the 100 watt Icom 7600 running barefoot to the Force 12!

So far I do not miss my old antenna (a TH-5 DX whose traps died after thirty-two years) at all. In fact, and without being able to A/B them of course, I feel this is working much better for me. Just a couple things in closing.

I opted for the XR5-T and they also make this in an XR6 version which adds 6 Meters. Iím not too big into 6 Meters so opted for the XR5. But I think most people may opt for the XR6. It is basically the same antenna with an additional element. Finally, I went with the C option as the houses are very close together here. One of my goals was not to get neighbors who were already used to the TH-5 upset with anything bigger. This is actually much smaller as the boom is around 13 feet instead of 18. Yes, more elements. But as my neighbor said to me today, ďThatís a nice looking, shiny new antenna!Ē

In conclusion: I really give the Force 12 XR5-T-C my highest recommendation based on my 53 years operating as a Ham. If you need a new beam antenna then you should certainly look into this new model.

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