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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Verticals and Wire | Butternut HF9V Help


Reviews Summary for Butternut HF9V
Butternut HF9V Reviews: 68 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $399.00
Description: Work 9 popular bands; 80 thru 6 meters with a single, highly efficient vertical radiator only 26 ft. tall!
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.bencher.com
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VE9AA Rating: 4/5 Oct 14, 2013 09:01 Send this review to a friend
good all around antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Would probably give it a 4.5 to 5 if literature and pictures were better and tuning instructions were clearer. I can see that this would be an *extremely* frustrating antenna to tune without a graphing antenna analyzer of some kind. I used a aa-230pro, and even then it was about 15 trips up and down the ladder plus it had to come down 3 times to tweak 6, 10 & 15m, unreachable from the stepladder.

I have mine at 8' (just on the edge of a shed roof) with 2 sloping radials per band. (40m radials do double duty on 15m, and no radials needed for 6m). They slope down to about the 5' mark onto fencepoles (wooden) on the back of the property. I won't ever do on the ground radials again. Too much loss and too much hassle with the lawn tractor and corrosion :-)

swr on 20m is broad and close to 2:1

Performance is pretty good for a unity gain antenna.

This weekend I ran 100w and worked the MAKROTHEN RTTY TEST, SAC SSB Contest, PA QP, AZ QP, NA RTTY Sprint and general DXing. I compared it to a CW-160 all band OCF dple @ 25', and other wire ground planes at 10-12'. It was always as good and in some cases better than every other antenna.

Worth the money (I guess?) but expensive to buy and get shipped to your door in Canada.

If you need one antenna, this'll do it. It's quite adequate but no barn burner / pileup buster.

Be prepared for lots & lots of trips up & down the ladder and you'd be well advised to use something more than a normal bare bones SWR meter and radio. (unless you really enjoy going up and down a ladder !)

If you ground mount it, you'll still need to take it up and down a few times to access 10-15-6m

73 de Mike VE9AA
 
W4VKU Rating: 5/5 Aug 17, 2013 21:57 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic performer with excellent ground  Time owned: more than 12 months
First of all, i own 2 butternuts. They are HF9V and HF9V-X. Do not try to do elevated radials on this multiband antenna. It is an exercise in frustration. It will work so so with a so so ground.

However, i installed it right in the salt water at 8Q7 and it was a killer antenna. 40m LSB was like radio telephone everyday at grayline with 400w. It fared comprable with a 2 element steppir on 17m, polar path.

Putting it together takes time,since one needs to
apply the conductive grease. Use surgical gloves
when you put it together and tune it, to avoid
the mess in your hands.

Tuning is a pain i agree. Start with 80m and then
go higher. I did not care to get 10m to play.
However, 80m thru 12m was good. I run 200ft of
LMR 400 and that helped smooth out the high SWR.

Also tear down for shipping is not easy. One needs to be meticulous in removing and packing.
I broke the 30m doorknob cap due to shipping stress. Not a fault of the antenna, but careful
packing is the key.

They are good performers, but under the best
conditions. The antenna did not do to well on a
sandy beach, with the 6 radials on the sand. It
did pretty good on 20m, but not on 40m . So it
is ideal if placed in a perfectly conductive
ground. But for that matter, any vertical will
work well in that situation.

But, without any autotuner, not worrying about
carrying control cables etc, this is an excellent
solution.

The HF6V going is around $150 for a good used one
these days.

I will use it again for future expeditions in a
phasing setup and if you have a HF6V-X to sell
at a reasonable price, pse drop me a note :)

Good luck & 73s
Krish
w4vku
 
KK7DY Rating: 2/5 Aug 17, 2013 17:10 Send this review to a friend
Big disappointment  Time owned: more than 12 months
Tried mounting it on the roof with the counterpoise kit. Did work Japan with it once and a few US stations. Otherwise, I don't think I'm getting out at all. Friends came over to help tune it with an MFJ antenna analyzer. We'd get it in the sweet spot on one band and it would be out on other bands. Makes me want to stick with VHF/UHF, Echolink, IRLP, and CQ100.
 
HA5BWW Rating: 5/5 Aug 16, 2013 05:00 Send this review to a friend
excellent!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Today, with my friend (HA5AUC) finished the repairing. The problem routed from the 21 MHz wire, inside it was broked. We replaced with a new one: the ANTENNA now perfect!
Ed
 
HA5BWW Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2013 05:05 Send this review to a friend
Great, winner antenna.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Today (very hot!!) was the first maintenace, after 3 years on the top of my house (abt.30 mtrs up.) During the last months I found a contact-failure on 21 MHz. With my friend (HA5AUC) we cleaned the tube under the 21 MHz coupling-ring, and we screewed again - with a bit force - all of the screws. The HF-9V is guyed to 4 directions (under the 21 MHz joint). I had any terrible winds - without any problems.
At 1996 I build a HF-6V (full home brew), andI falled to love for the Butternut.
I had: 18-AVT, Titan-DX, DX-88.
The winner:
HF-9V!!!!
Ed/HA5BWW
 
N1SV Rating: 4/5 Apr 22, 2013 18:43 Send this review to a friend
Difficult to Adjust with a good ground system  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this antenna not for use at home but rather for portable operation both domestically and internationally. The HF9V was selected because it appeared to be a well-established design, popular within the DXpedition community, and able to be broken down into 4-foot sections for easy shipping.

ASSEMBLY

With a lot of intricate parts to this antenna I appreciated the manufacturer adding some extra hardware. Antenna assembly was for the most part straightforward though the diagrams on pages #13 & 14 of the instruction manual were of such poor resolution that their usefulness was limited. Luckily I found a blog that VE6SLP created http://slepp.ca/2012/06/13/hf9v-antenna/ with photos and comments that were quite helpful.

CHECKOUT AND ADJUSTMENT

I ground mounted the antenna in an open field with thirty two 30-foot ground mounted radials (equal length). The manufacturer provides a set of default coil / wire settings intended as a starting point but no information is provided as to the type of ground system these settings were obtained with. For me most of these default settings provided a minimum SWR that was either completely out of band or close to it. Adjusting the antenna was a tedious and time consuming process. Remove the antenna, make an adjustment, reinstall it, test with an antenna analyzer, and repeat. Because the antenna supports nine bands adjustments on one band can and do impact other bands so the adjustment process is a little bit of a balancing act. I found the 20m adjustment difficult and 17m impossible. My final measurements are listed below;

80m 2:1 SWR BW = 35 KHz (3.722 3.807 MHz), Min SWR = 1.1:1 @ 3.788 MHz
40m 2:1 SWR BW = 125 KHz (7.066 7.191 MHz), Min SWR = 1.2:1 @ 7.125 MHz
30m 10.1 MHz = 1.4:1, 10.15 MHz = 1.4:1, Min SWR = 1.3 @ 10.110 10.130 MHz
20m - 2:1 SWR BW = 125 KHz (14.100 14.225 MHz), Min SWR = 2.0:1 @ 14.162 MHz
17m - 3:1 SWR BW = 32 KHz (18.068 18.10 MHz), Min SWR = 3.0:1 @ 18.084 MHz
15m 21.000 MHz = 1.6:1, 21.450 MHz = 1.5:1, Min SWR = 1.1 @ 21.225 MHz
12m 24.890 = 1.3:1, 24.990 = 1.6:1, Min SWR = 1.3 @ 24.890 24.930 MHz
10m 2:1 SWR BW > 925 KHz (28.000 28.925 MHz), Min SWR = 1.3:1 @ 28.225 28.500 MHz
6m 50.000 = 1.3:1, 50.300 MHz = 1.6:1, Min SWR = 1.3 @ 50.000 50.025 MHz

The antenna was setup for SSB operation for international use. The antenna was marked and disassebled for future use.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

Bob, W9KNI was very helpful and responsive to my questions and concerns. In the end it looks like my ground system may be too efficient and adversely affecting 20m tuning and the bandwidth on 40m. Bob indicates that 17m is unquestionably the most difficult band to adjust, I agree!
 
G3VIR Rating: 5/5 Apr 21, 2013 08:35 Send this review to a friend
Very good all bands performer!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my HF9V second hand. It is in reasonable condition. I spent some time tuning the antenna with a MFJ249 analyser. As would be expected for a shortish antenna the performance on 160 is good but not overly so. 80 is pretty good too. I notice that I do miss quite a bit of DX on 160 which I put down to the height of the antenna. 40 and 30 the antenna is superb. I never seem to miss working any DX on these bands. 20 and 17 or also very good. I find that 15 and up the antenna does not seem to perform quite so well as the other bands. I have about 15 ground radials out ranging from 30 to 300 foot. A nice well designed antenna however I don't think the quality of construction is that good. Overall you have to give it a 5 for it's performance.
 
KA7EII Rating: 5/5 Mar 4, 2013 18:11 Send this review to a friend
Excellent HF Vertical Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the HF9VX version of this antenna which is about 18 years old. As we all know, there is no "magic" all-band vertical HF antenna but this antenna really works well. The best thing you can do is read the instructions including the theory of operation and information about radials that come with the antenna. Read the instructions again before beginning assembly. Take your time putting the antenna together. Also, make sure you install radials. I have a small back yard and my radial system is far from perfect but I was able to place 25 radials with lengths of 6 to 30 feet and the antenna works fantastic - even on the top band with the TBR-160S resonator. 2:1 SWR bandwidth on my antenna is as follows: 160M - 6KHz, 75M - 25KHz, 40M - 200KHz, 30M - below 1.5:1 across the entire band, 20M - 2:1 across the entire band, 17M - below 1.5:1 across the entire band, 15M, 400KHz, 12M - below 1.5:1 across the entire band, 10M - 500KHz, 6M - 45KHz. Running a Yaesu FT-100 and with the Yaesu FC-20 antenna tuner, I can run 20M and most of 10M with no problem. I can get a little more useful range on 160, 75 and the rest of 40 meters using the tuner. Again, you will get the best results by taking your time building the antenna and providing some kind of radial system. Also, be prepared to spend a lot of time when tuning the antenna for the first time. Some bands (160, 75, and 12 meters) tune very sharply for me. Just a slight amount of adjustment to the coils will move the SWR up or down quite a bit. Once tuned, it will work great.
Over the last few months, I started having some problems with 75 meters. All bands worked but 75. I found some corrosion where the 80 meter capacitor bracket is clamped to the main antenna. A little cleaning with some fine sandpaper and some fresh Penetrox (Bencher calls it "Butter-it's-Not") on the joint took care of that problem. I also lost use of 160 meters this winter. I described the problem to Bob and after a few e-mails I was able to troubleshoot the problem. I had a broken clamp that goes between the 160M capacitors and the main antenna. Bob was very helpful in making sure I was able to make repairs on my own without having to purchase replacement parts from Bencher. It is so refreshing to find such helpful customer support for a product this old. Just for that, I would give this antenna a "10" if I could. I am very grateful to Bob at Bencher for taking the time to help me out.
I'm sure my Butternut HF9VX will serve me well for many more years. Again, take your time building the antenna and do the best you can do to get some kind of radial system set up. Don't rush through the checkout and tuning. One last thing, be sure to check all joints and connections at least twice a year. A little preventive maintenance now and them will keep this antenna in perfect working condition.
 
N4FZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 2012 10:28 Send this review to a friend
Compact, good performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my HF9V for almost two years, and it has served me very well. I have worked stations all over the world with it. It has 25 -30'long radials buried underground. Also, 2-66' radials for 80m. I have a 4' ground rod driven nearby, with 4 small buss bars connected in a square for the radial connections. It really shines on 30 and 40m. Reception on the higher bands suffers because of loss of directivity and antenna length.(a higher take-off angle). Low profile, well built, but light weight. I have it guyed at three places above the 12m coil. 80m bandwidth is about 40kHz, but performs surprisingly well for such a short antenna on DX.
Assembly wasn't bad, just take your time and re-read the instructions carefully.It will serve you for many years with little worries. I would buy another
 
AC2Q Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2012 05:35 Send this review to a friend
Impressive! Easily tuned with Proper Equipment  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was given this antenna by a fellow ham in gratitude for helping him put up a G5RV. He did that because he couldn't get it to work. Upon examination, he had the 80 and 40m coils reversed, and did not have the matching stub. Put it up at my new QTH, using 11.5' of RG-11 as a stub. Tuning was relatively effortless using a Rig-expert analyzer.

First contact was Brussels Belgium. Recently worked SES 2o12L at the Olympics as well. Very Happy !!
 
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