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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | GAP Voyager IV Help


Reviews Summary for GAP Voyager IV
GAP Voyager IV Reviews: 38 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $399
Description: Vertical antenna for 160-80-40-20 Meters
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.gapantenna.com
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You can write your own review of the GAP Voyager IV.

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AJ7G Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2014 05:24 Send this review to a friend
What a great antenna!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I'm writing this as I just received my 100th 80 meter QSO confirmation, yes. I've owned this antenna since 12-2013 and it has delivered. I've tried other verticals and an Inverted Vee arrangements and nothing compares. Quieter and a wideband coverage on the low bands. Since installation I've worked over 30 new rare DXCC entities. And yes, it does erect like a "wet noodle" but thanks to my XYL and a couple of friends, installation went smoothly.
73 Randy AJ7G
 
W3QY Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2014 11:39 Send this review to a friend
Even bent it's working..  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wrote a review a few years back and believe it's time for another. Let me first say that my Voyager is hardly in an optimum area..close to the house and surrounded by trees.
About a year or so ago, I came home after an ice storm to find my Voyager bent into the shape of a "U" laying on it's side. I got some replacement parts but was advised by Rich to see if a muffler shop could do anything to straighten the bottom sections which had some bend. I did so and while the muffler shop got them more or less straight (and didn't charge me for it) it does have a dog leg about 15 feet from the bottom before going vertical again. I rebuilt it from tubing bought at DX Engineering as well as Gap. The loading capacity hat was severely damaged so I rebuilt that. So my Gap Voyager is not exactly straight or original but after getting it back up it tunes as well as before and this week, as I was about to give up on working rare Amsterdam Island, FT5ZM, on 80CW the Voyager came through last night. Was I the first guy to work 'em? No, I wasn't. It took me about 40 minutes of calling with 500 watts from my amp. For a few very brief seconds I even heard FT5ZM on 160M one night but that lasted long enough to hear their call and then they were gone. I'm not a huge 160M enthusiast but have 85 DXCC entities confirmed on that band. I bought the Voyager primarily for 80M and 40M with a trip to 160M on occasion. It has worked quite well..and I may consider buying a second one to phase with the first. Currently my Voyager has a 5' tree branch dangling from where it snagged the capacity hat..maybe I'll just wait for another nasty storm to bring it down again..and then rebuild with all new parts. If you're looking for a good antenna for low band activity, try this..I'm very glad that I did.
 
KF7VXA Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2013 15:39 Send this review to a friend
Just Got My Voyager  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought a Challenger and love it. For a multi band vertical, it is fantastic.
The Voyager is not up yet, and I'll give an honest review once it's in place.

The reason I posted was to comment on the 3 radials needed on all of the Gap antennas.
I have found that the best radials for the Gaps is to buy the cheapest 50 or 75 OHM coax, size around RG-59.
The outside copper that's just under the jacket offers a great deal of surface and is easily put down where ever you wish and it stays in place.
I use the Black Permtex as it does not have the ammonia smell and cover the ends of the coax(s) as well as the connection at the base of the antenna to keep all water out of the coax.
Also use Penetrox A inside of the tube connections and run the screws through the poles first and remove any metal chips. This will allow you to get the antenna apart at a later time if necessary. The stuff really works. Without removing the chips and the anti sieze, it can be next to impossible to take an aluminum antenna apart. Both the Permatex and Penetrox A are available for DX Engineering. The Penetrox also gives a better electrical connection between poles, especially after they have been up for a while and corrosion sets in. Well worth doing.
When it comes to using coax,having all the fine wires in the coax works great as opposed to just one wire. If you look around at some of the wholesale houses, you can find the coax you need at around $0.23 a foot of less and it's worth the money. Heck, any copper these days is out of sight price wise. The coax will hold up for many years.
Now I just can't wait to get the new antenna up. For those of use who pretty much are limited to a vertical, the Gap makes the best line of antennas, and many times they work better than a properly installed dipole at the correct height, that says a lot for the Gap.
I'm pretty sure the counterpoise wires are for the 80 meter band just as they are for the 40 meter band on the Challenger. If you are going to work mostly phone, there is a good chance they will need to be shortened to get a one to one match on 80 meters. I had to remove about 2 feet on my Challenger to get to one to one on 40 meters. For CW work, they may need to be a little longer or just left as is. Experiment once it's up.

 
N1MB Rating: 5/5 Jan 21, 2013 08:47 Send this review to a friend
Single Person Installation  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my Gap Voyager IV several years ago and initially had myself and 3 other individuals to erect this antenna. This 45' long vertical with the heavy top hat is like trying to erect a wet noodle so in it's original state requires additional people. Recently, lightning struck my Voyager during a thunderstorm and in addition, a huge limb fell on the Voyager destroying the top hat and bent the bottom two sections of the aluminum mast. I ordered all of the repair parts from GAP at a reasonable price and quickly reassembled and tested to make sure it was properly tuned. (GAP was extremely helpful and the parts were shipped right away). I waited several weeks for people to help me erect this antenna and there was always conflicts in trying to get everyone together at the same time. So, I decided to add outriggers to the Voyager using 1" PVC pipe and used nylon rope to lace through the outriggers from top to bottom. I have some pictures on QRZ.
I spaced the 3 sets of outriggers equally from top to bottom and used turnbuckles at the bottom to help fine tune the Voyager to be straight. I then attached two boat winches to a tree and connected the rope from these winches to the middle and lower guy points. The Voyager was ridged enough for me to raise it into vertical position without any effort what so ever. The tuning of the Voyager was not affected and I can now raise and lower the antenna without worrying about trying to get anyone else involved.
I have compared this antenna with my 3 element wire beam which is currently up about 12 meters and find that there are times when the Voyager is equal to or better than the beam for DX work even in the beams favored direction. I think it has to do with the angle of radiation. I use 3 57' #10 copper wires for counterpoise. I don't think it's about anyone being a cry baby as someone else mentioned. I think necessity is the Mother of invention. Isn't that what our hobby is all about?
I give this antenna a 5 rating because it simply works better than any commercial vertical that I have ever tried. It covers most of the 75/80 meter bands and a good bit of 160m. Other verticals simply don't include this kind of bandwidth and 160 without expensive add ons. It doesn't require you to install miles of wire for a good radial system and the folks at Gap have always been super to deal with and very helpful answering questions and having parts readily available should you ever need them. If you have other people readily available to erect the antenna, it isn't difficult to erect. If you have a problem getting folks together easily, then just use the modification like I did and make it a one man operation. I would definitely recommend this antenna.
 
K7NSW Rating: 5/5 Nov 12, 2012 02:58 Send this review to a friend
VOYAGER NUMBER TWO  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
weather finally killed my first GAP Voyager. The weather finally got to the external connecting wires. Took a lot of years to do it. Bought another one. Still as happy as I was before. GAP improved the external connecting wires. I expect this one to last longer. Yes, I would prefer a tower and yagi. No, cannot happen. GAP has been a good alternative for me. Been a ham 51 years.
 
K7NSW Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2011 08:35 Send this review to a friend
GREAT ANTENNA!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Been ham since 1961. Idaho QTH. First GAP was a Challenger in early 1980s. Then switched to Voyager IV about 12 years ago when I moved onto an acre. Both are great antennas. I get superior signal reports all around the country. No complaints about Challenger - none. With Voyager I am continually surprised at the amonut of DX I hear and work. When 160 meters is busy I hear and work a lot of stations. Have used other brands of verticals. Don't bother - GAP is much better. The instruction manual? Hey - use your head for more than a place to carry your hat. I fussed with them and the antennas went together just fine. Raising a GAP? Don't listen to the cry babies that try to do it alone or with one other person. GAP tells you to get some help SO DO IT LIKE GAP SAYS. These are great antennas that require some effort to install. I use a seperate guyed pole to raise and lower Voyager. Simple and easy - even enjoyable! Then I take my helpers out for pizza. Get a GAP and get into hf ham radio!
 
KE7TRP Rating: 4/5 Oct 14, 2010 15:49 Send this review to a friend
Good DX  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I lost my tower and all wire antennas in a recent storm. I had the Gap voyager. We thought we would "throw" it up in a day and get back on the air. Wrong. It took an entire day to build this thing. Mainly due to the manual. Just a few photos on the Gap web page would have saved HOURS of work. In 5 hours two of us had the thing half way built. We finished it later that night. Take your time and stop if you have doubt about a step.
The following day we mapped out the location and pounded the base mount into the ground using wood and a sledge. Then we pounded my Guy anchors in at 25 ft from the base. I cut 8 sections of 50 ft rope. The rope I used is rope I always use from Home depot. Its sold in 200 ft bundles. Its been up for 8 years with out failure on other projects.

The third day we pulled this thing up. I can see how many have snapped the fiberglass section. We used two guys to hold the ropes out tight and one to walk it up. Do not even attempt this without 4 to 6 people. Once Guyed off, We checked the SWR. It was horrible. After an hour of screwing around we realized that the ground radials go to the Antenna and not the base. Not one indication of this in the manual. Once this was fixed, The SWR was as expected on each band.

My comparison antenna is an extended Zep with 600 ohm line at 35 ft. I use a KW balanced tuner with the zep.

1. The gap beats the wire past 1000 miles. Under 1000 miles the Wire wins hands down.
2. If you never had the wire, You would probably be happy with the gap, I could talk and hear everyone with the vert. Just the wire was better close in.
3. I like switching bands without tuning an antenna tuner. This is a real plus if you are into Band hoping like I am.

In short, It works as described. Its a decent DX antenna. I find that 20 meters works great for me. I worked all kinds of DX with it. 40 meters is fantastic and 80 is great. I have not used 160 on it yet. THere has been no DX.

Chris at Gap answered phone on first ring, Was nice and helpfull everytime I called.



 
K9ES Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2009 07:41 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna for what you have  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
At the National Weather Service Skywarn Recognition Day event from NWS Melbourne (WX4MLB), the Voyager was 2nd antenna for primary HF station (IC756Pro-2 / AL572). The primary antenna was 20M 3 element monobander at 35 feet. As the operation opened (0000Z 5 Dec 09), our primary station went to 75 meters with GAP Voyager, as 20 had closed down. The VSWR was FLAT from 3600 to 3900 and only went near 1.6 at 3.5 and the other end (4.0). Because we were under severe weather all weekend with rain and tornado conditions, the noise floor (rain static) was almost S-9. But every CQ created a massive pile-up, with the stations getting through commenting we were the loudest signals on the band. That was throughout our 80M experience. Around 11:30 PM local, we went to 160 Meters to participate in the ARRL 160 Contest. In about 75 minutes, we worked everything we heard, and even a few DX locations (ZF, 6Y, VP5), but worked everone on the band ! VSWR was under 1.6 to 1 from 1825 to 1875 KHz.
Did not use it on 40M or 20M, but it worked, and by using common sense, it is not hard to raise (even in a down-pour). Thanks Rich and the gang at GAP.
 
KI9A Rating: 5/5 Feb 15, 2009 09:36 Send this review to a friend
18 month summary  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this beast up for 18 months now, and have made many, many contest QSO's, and ragchew QSO's on it. I have installed a 80 meter, open wire fed dipole @ 50' as an alternative antenna. Here is what I have found:

- The manual suggests you guy it at 2 points. I have it guyed at those 2 points, PLUS a set at about 8' up. This does wonders to stabilze this antenna.

-Performance.

20- Not used much, the tribander smokes it always. Toss up between the dipole & GAP, dipole has edge on RX.

40- Anything within 800-1000 miles, the dipole is even, or better. DX, the GAP wins out. I don't sit in pileups too long with this antenna. Yes, I understand it isn't a yagi @ 140', but, it has provided me with 141 DX countries in 18 months on 40.

80- Big difference between the dipole & GAP here. Stations inside of 1000 miles, the dipole is at times 20 DB better. West coast ( I'm in IL ), the GAP beats the dipole by an S unit or so. DX, well, I work EVERYTHING I hear. It has provided me with small pileups of Europeans calling me during a couple of DX contests. 96 DXCC in 18 months so far. Perfect balance of antennas on this band, with the dipole & GAP.

160- Well, it works, and will get you on the air here. I made over 400 QSO's in 5 hours during the ARRL 160 contest in December. I have worked 2 JA's from the midwest with it, and several Europeans. Is it close to a 125' vertical? Nope. But, it works almost as well as my inverted L @ 45', with 36 radials under it. What more can you ask for a 45' tall antenna on 160??

Guys, it has faults. It's tough to assemble, but, anyone with mechanical abilities can do it. It is wierd to raise. But, I fabricated a 6' tall support, that once it was verticle, I secured it there, while getting the guys in place at my leisure. Not rushing around while one poor guy is trying to hold it straight. Use 4 guys on it, at 3 levels. It will survive almost anything. We had storms last summer, that produced winds in the 70 mph range, and storms that produced sustained winds of 40-50 mph ( remainders one of the hurricanes that came up from the gulf), and it came out perfect. Can't say the same about the trees in my yard.

The problem I see is this. If it isn't EASY to install, guys will whine about it. Most anything that is EASY, isn't worth having. So, they then give reviews based on their whining of assembly, or tuning. 90% of the time, it is their own fault, not the antennas. Then, you have the guys who seem to think this will take the place of a 2 ele 40 meter yagi @ 140'.

Yeah..this thing works just fine.
 
K4ZIW Rating: 5/5 Nov 3, 2008 11:44 Send this review to a friend
Best answer for 80 Meters  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Executive Summary: Reasonable assembly with need to go slowly and carefully. A challenge to walk up, but OK with one strong person lifting, one watching for trouble and one guiding capacity hat around an oak tree branch using a selected guy rope. Super telephone support from Richard and Chris, at GAP, during assembly and erection. My objective: 80 Meter CW for WAS and DXCC. Initial result: 40 states worked in 2008 Sweepstakes contest - 24 hours after completing final coax connector assembly. Worked all I could hear. I'm a very happy camper. More Detail: Selected Gap Voyager after researching all alternatives. Not needing a field of radials was a driving factor. My site is a 100 by 170 city lot with super-dense Live Oak tree coverage. I am a boatanchor guy, so far using a complete set of classic Yaesu FT-901 units barefoot at 100 watts. One band at a time to spread out the joy. So far, WAS and DXCC on 40 Meter CW using Alpha-Delta DX-EE dipole at 25 feet. Now, the challenge is 80 Meters, first with the Yaesu set, then with a great set of restored Gold Dust twins (Howard Mills, W3HM). Assembly of Voyager was fun and satisfying. Used saw horses for support. Biggest challenge was getting stand-off insulators lined up (cosmetic). Triple checked all screw connections for tightness. Erection was entertaining. This antenna is very flexible going up. With bottom section at about 50 degrees elevation, the capacity hat was still within reach from the ground. Because of site constraints, I chose to use seven sets of guy ropes anchored to house, convenient strong tree trunks and screw-in mobile home anchors. Estimated lengths ahead of time. If I ever do this again, I will follow Instruction advice to pre-string all guys to their anchor points. Even with them marked, stringing them quickly while two persons held antenna vertical was like a circus act. Windless day. I am a person who avoids PL-259 soldering like the plague. Richard provided step-by-step advice. Also found numerous Internet articles, the best, in my opinion, from Harris Corporation. Now burying feed and counterpoise lines in PVC to protect them from the herd of Moles who live rent-free in my yard (yet another reason for avoiding radials). During assembly, I added cable ties diagonally around tuner rods at their stand-off insulators to curtail noisy vibration when the wind blows. Not too tight, because these rods need to move during erection. Just enough to avoid the slapping-halyard-on-the-flagpole syndrome.

 
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