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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Verticals and Wire | GAP Voyager IV Help


Reviews Summary for GAP Voyager IV
GAP Voyager IV Reviews: 37 Average rating: 4.1/5 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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KB3NSW Rating: 5/5 Apr 13, 2008 16:33 Send this review to a friend
6-7 hours I had it completely assembled : less time to raise.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
6-7 hours of accempling and my voyager was ready to raise. This is not bad for working by myself and being a ham for less than 2 years. It took much less to raise.Everything is included in this kit which makes it easy for someone with little knowledge of tools, radio tech and the such.I use it mostly for 80 meters and 40M and I have had fantaxtic results on both. I have a beam and wires for 20, and 40. I am looking forward to using it next winter for the 160 M. I had to write about it's easy assemble because everything looks terrifiying at my level with no one in the family in radio. ( Thank goodness for the great Elmers out there) My Elmer , KB3HOB has a Voyager and highly suggested it . As usual he was right.....just follow the directions. This is a great antennae and easy as well as fast to get up and operating.
 
AE9DX Rating: 4/5 Mar 7, 2008 10:19 Send this review to a friend
Decent Lowband Antenna  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is a follow-up to my previous review which was written soon after I purchased the antenna. Now that it has been through a Northern Wisconsin winter with straight line winds in excess of 60 mph, I can pretty much re-iterate what I said earlier. The performance on the lower bands 40-80 meters is very good, with 160 meters being good. I don't use it on 20 since I have beams for that. The band width on 160 is in excess of the 90 khz advertised and seems to put out a good signal. I consistantly run 1300 watts into the antenna with no problems. The antenna is quiet and receives very well. Even during conditions at the bottom of the solar cycle this antenna has worked well for me. Obviously it's not a directional beam, but does what I want it to. As previously stated, I have a coax run of over 350 ft to this antenna and have had no problems with that at all. If you need an antenna for the low bands, this one may be what you are looking for.
 
KI9A Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2007 16:23 Send this review to a friend
Great customer service!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, here is my story. My Dad had his Voyager up at his place for a bit, now I have it, and I had a chance to operate a few contests, CQWW, SS, and ARRL 160 with it, so, I can speak on performance.

Last week, while raising the antenna per direction, the inner coupling between the bottom & mid mast failed. I emailed the guys at Gap on Friday, and had a response on Sunday evening.

I talked to Rich @ GAP Monday, and told him what happened, and we talked a bit about the antenna. In short, they are sending me a replacement coupling, exact OPPOSITE of what I have read here, and on towertalk reflectors about poor customer service, and getting new parts....sure wish more companies operated this way!!

Performance...

20M - A bit tall. Worked on par with a windom @ 40'. Not a yagi, but, you WILL mkae QSO's. Worked everyone I heard, both during a domestic & DX contest.

40M - Better than the windom out past 500 miles or so. Even, or slighter worse close in, which is expected for a vertical. For DX, I worked everything I heard, normally within a call or two. Heard stuff not even audible on the windom.

80M - Pretty much the same as 40. Windom was better within 500 miles. GAP smoked it for DX work, not even close. Europeans barely heard on the windom, that didn't hear me, answered in 1 or 2 calls with the GAP. Again, hears better than the windom for DX. Not too bad for a 45' antenna on 80.

160M - Worked 47 states in 8 hours, + some Carrib DX. About 400 QSO's in that time period. If you think this is going to replace a 125' vertical, you need to wake up. But, it gets you on, and makes QSO's. This is something many forget, and then bad rap the antenna. Again, GREAT for an antenna that is 1/3 size on 160.

Owners manual: Well. A bit confusing. Actually really confusing. Would be a great help if they included a better drawing, complete with dimensions of where to install the tuning rod supports.

Mechanical: Can't really find fault. I'm not a structural engineer, but, I have 25 years field experince as a construction Electrician, and can make a good guess of what is mechanical, and not. I might dump the self tapping screws that hold the mast to the couplings, and replace with a through bolt. But, not sure how that would affect the integrity of the coupling/mast.

All in all, a good antenna for limited spaces.
 
N0JWJ Rating: 3/5 Jul 6, 2007 08:35 Send this review to a friend
Marginal  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Having had a Gap Challenger for about 10 years I decided to purchase the Voyager to have access to 160mtrs. Everything went together well but I was not impressed with the construction. I agree with the other posts that the mast should be stronger. Once it was guyed however it did very well in the colorado winds 60mph+. As I owned 10 acres of flat land with no obstructions I could do comparisons with the two antennas. Both antennas were set 100yards apart and 100 yards from the house. I found that both antennas were nearly identical on both receive and transmit on 20 mtrs with the voyager having a slight edge on this band. I do not agree with some of the reports others have made as the voyager being lousy on 20mtrs. It may not be as good when compared to some other antennas on 20 but as compared to the challenger I have no complaints here. The same can be said for 40 mtrs which I consider the best band for both antennas.
80mtrs was better with increased bandwidth on the Voyager and 160 was very poor on receive although the swr was 2:1.On transmit only contacts within 1000 miles were made and they were marginal at best. After having the antenna up for one year a spring storm finally took the antenna. The guys never broke. What broke was the bottom of the mast. It twisted and snapped off. I still have the challenger up and it still works fine.
 
AE9DX Rating: 4/5 Apr 21, 2007 14:12 Send this review to a friend
Works as Advertised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this antenna strictly for 40 and 80 meters to replace a multi-band wire antenna and so far have been very happy. First the assembly: The manual does leave a bit to be desired, however, if you take the time to read through it twice and familiarize yourself with the components and their placement, assembly goes smoothly. I would recommend a minimum of three people for erection of this monster. It is large (45 ft) and does sway when being erected and can be a bit much for one person to hang on to. Gap could improve their design by making the mast out of thicker material but my wife and I had no real problems raising it by ourselves. I used kevlar guy rope from The Radio Works for guy cable as this does not stretch and is very strong and UV resistant. At this writing you can buy 500 ft for $60.00 which is more than enough for the job. Two guy brackets come with the antenna which allow for a total of 8 guy cables. I used regular insulated #14 THNN house wire for the required 3 57 ft counterpoise wires and buried them just below the surface spaced equally. Since this antenna must be kept away from large structures, I placed it approximately 350 ft from the house making a long coax run necessary. I used a T-4G Plus line isolator from The Radio Works at the antenna base to take care of any stray RF on the coax shield as well as the ones in the shack. Bandwidth is full band on 20, 40 and 80 with about 90 MHZ on 160. SWR is better than advertised with the max being 1.7:1 and the minimum a perfect 1.1 match. My first contact was with a UK station on 80 meters that I couldn't even hear on the wire antenna! Overall a good buy and if the mast was built just a bit heavier, I would have given it a 5 out of 5. The final test will be to see how well it survives a Wisconsin winter!
 
JBD332 Rating: 2/5 Jan 21, 2007 14:55 Send this review to a friend
good signal owful quality  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
hallo colegs.what can i say,i have one of these and it works great on 40-80 and litle bit on 20-160 but is mechanicle made in usa typicle JUNK!!!im sorry guys but i do not minde to pay dubbel the price if you would make it 4mm thick instead 2mm and the carbon pipe dubbel the size en not so flexsible and the top MUST be lighter en thinner not to cach so much wind!!!guys who say you must guy this on two levels is a lier!!!and big one!!!mine was guy on 3levels with 12nylons 6mm and it broke down just onder the gap! and now i know why,these piece onder the gap carbone pipe is pressd to a bigger diameter and with thise act this piece is weaken and there is your week side.this antenna is weak mechanicle an cant stand much wind load and im shure with 2guys line is shure fast gone,gone with the wind...i will repare this because i put money in this but if you can go for the vertical till 40meter deep and for 80-160 take the simple and chepa dipole and forget the rest...for 20 good yagi of qubicle quad "my favorite" and off you go..and the rest is going oor not..if you by this antenna you will be happy and sad!why becaus it works solid on the bands BUT with the wind bigger then 50km/h put it down...oor buy another the choice is yours..73 everybody
 
JBD332 Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2006 14:29 Send this review to a friend
wery good....  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
hallo colega ham's.im new on the air but i read the arrl antenna bok's till the bottom and first thing i must say is ,gys please do NOT compare this antenna with yagis,quad oor other winn db antennas....this is vertikal dipole omnidirectional without radials and with low loss in radiated power.system is simple,it takes the diference lengts of aluminium tubbing and tune them separetly on each band.i have gap voyager and titan.i even bild on voyager 30meter band tubbing.so i can use it on 15meters too.the people who swares to here better with other type of antennas are right because other antenna fabrics use coils paralel with capacitors so thay create resonant point and this is the reason of better hearing,BUT the same coil+capacitor behaves like good swr DUMMY and the resultat is you must use liniers on such antennas to get out doors to make contact.i do prefer searching for good dx passage and good signal and then to power up 10watts up,yes you see good 10wiskys and get back raports 59+ 59 59+ 58,,,,not bad?! and the gap antenna does not use radials because of big loss of the earth capacity so it have it ons earth caald counterpoise.so it works the sine wawes ageinst coinerpoise reather then earth and even i test signal power of 1WATT and resultat was 46,45,56,ets not bad,??gys i must say "grat american idea and product,BUT tipical american poor quality alu tubbing "light on bottom and heawy on top"wery poor done,i ges the quantity is the name but not the quality.sorry gys.i rather pay more then get the quality,but this is my opinion .all together im hapy with idea and performance of gap antennas and YES i will buy another gap antenna but gys please make it stronger and better it diserv it...and others with antennas with coils and capacitors-please get real the small and short antenna to produce the length of the wawe nesesery for low bands without making antenna 1/2lambda long?!?!get real....this is all fer tonite and be free to answer to this teory good oor bad?thill then 73's and good nite "and size isnt everything it is everything"
 
AB5GU Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2005 21:33 Send this review to a friend
Great Low Band Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Gap has made a great antenna with this Voyager IV. I have 4 verticals fron various manufacturers up at the farm and the Gap out performs them all! I don't care about performance on 20 meters, as I have several beams up to work 20, but on 40 and 80 meters The Gap Voyager IV is unbeaten. It has taken hammerings from the hurricanes here on the Gulf Coast and is still up and working like a champ. It remains unaffected by the salt spray from the nearby Gulf waters, and the power from a Henry 3K driving it. It has never needed parts or service, so I can't comment on that, but Rich and the other guys at Gap were very helpfull with any questions that I've had. Texas is in kind of a dead zone for 160 meter DX, but the countries keep piling up sence I bought the Gap. I'd buy another!
Marty
 
AI2A Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2005 17:14 Send this review to a friend
I like it  Time owned: more than 12 months
Forget the marketing claims of manufacturers and start with an open mind. Do compare apples and apples when judging performance. Thats where I start this review.

I have owned various Hygain, MFJ, Butternut, Cushcraft and Hustler short multiband verticals. I have used them with and without radials. I have lived in many different location types - city urban, suburban, apartment (yuk) and finally the rural environments.

What I wanted was a reasonable antenna that would compliment my TH11DX 11 element yagi. I suppose that I would gladly trade 20M coverage on the Voyager for 30M coverage - but alas, thats a project I can "tinker" with sometime later. I wanted the following:

160M - just an exposure. I cant afford a 125-140 foot self supporting tower based vertical;

80M - I had some aspirations that 80M would offer somewhat broader 2:1 SWR points than my prior verticals - without acting like a dummy load;

40M - Performance of a full sized vertical;

20M - No real expectations, since I have the TH11DX 11 element yagi @ 90'

ASSEMBLY: Others have commented on this. I agree that the manual is mediocre to poor. I suppose it is ok - but my 12 year old could write a better manual. A few typo's and omissions. All in all - it is barely satisfactory in my view. Mechanically, it could be better - and the price could be higher. It is fair to good in my judgement. I note that if you ever have to take this apart, look out! I read all the reviews before I attempted assembly of mine. After the reviews, I nearly took mine back for a refund - but I waited and planned carefully my assembly and installation.

RESULTS: Believe it or not, I like the antenna. It is not the perfect choice for every ham. It is a great value for the money - as installed at my QTH.

20M - I prefer the TH11DX
40M - Quiet and plenty of signals and full band
80M - Quiet and plenty of signals and full band
160M - Quite and some signals (100khz bandwidth)

I would rate this as superior to other vertical experience in the past on 80 and 40 meters - I counted 12 other verticals I have previously owned. I have nothing to compare against with 160 and for 20M - it worked about the same as other 20M verticals. Good low angle activity from my observation - with the edge going to horizontal wire dipoles for medium distance work.

Actual antena assembly took about 3 hours with an additional 2 hours install the guy anchors and tap the base mounting brackets into the heretofore undisturbed soil. I have excluded the time I took to dig a trench by hand about 200' long to bury my coax in 2" Schedule 40 PVC.

To keep my wife happy, I dressed a wood mulch around each of the anchors and the antenna base to make lawn care a bit less burdensome and buried the radials about 1" under the soil surface.

WOULD I BUT THE VOYAGER AGAIN? Yes - unless my wife would let me part with an additiona $1200 or so for a Hygain 18HT with MK160A, concrete and a massive number of radials.
 
W5SL Rating: 1/5 Dec 6, 2004 15:07 Send this review to a friend
Poor Service from GAP  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have the voyager IV for a couple of months now. I ordered it mainly for the 160 mtr band as I already have adequate antennas for the other covered bands. The factory asked what center frequency I wanted for the 160 antenna. I ordered 1.850 on their recommendation as it is advertised to have 90 kc bandwidth, which I would have expected would cover the cw and dx portion of the band well enough.
The antenna was easily constructed and installed with some help raising it. It is located on a 7 acre tract, well away from any buildings, other antennas, or large trees. It works well on 80 40 and 20 meters. On 160 the center frequency is at 1.872 and it has almost a 70 kc bandwidth and starts rising well above 2.2/1 swr at about 1.840. The instructions are very clear about operating the antenna at any elevated power above 2.0/1 swr as the antenna will be damaged, and warns against using a tuner to make my solid state rig work properly. My experience from central Texas is that I need to operate some power to work most of the DX encountered. Therefore the antenna does not work as expected or advertised.

In attempting to remedy the problem I have placed 5 phone calls to the factory. After checking and rechecking the items they suggested, there was no improvement. On the second call I was told the capacitor could be changed to change the center frequency and that they would send me one for around $12.00 which could be credited if I sent in the current one.
No capacitor came. After a week between each call I was told it was on the way or on one call they said "oh, it will be in the mail in 2 days"

I have given up getting the new capacitor. I feel I have been ripped off. I have still used the antenna in the lower end of the band but am reluctant to use power which results in almost no contacts on 160.

Caveat emptor.
 
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