eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net


Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Butternut HF9V Help


Reviews Summary for Butternut HF9V
Butternut HF9V Reviews: 73 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
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Butternut HF9V.

<— Page 2 of 8 —>

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 !!
 
W4IIV Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2012 10:27 Send this review to a friend
tough as nails, great performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a Butternut HV-9V a few years back and mounted it on the roof of my home.
The antenna has done very well for me the last few years.
Friday night we had sustained 80+ MPH winds in Waynesboro Va that brought down trees, and knocked out power for a few days.
My Butternut HV-9V was NOT damaged, and i was able to use it when i got power.
The HV-9V was hit by trees, and high winds, but it is still up with no damage.
AMAZING!
 
N6TEA Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2012 20:05 Send this review to a friend
Magic Wand with 60 radials 65' long  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My HF9V is installed in a bare field, void of any ground clutter, 115' wide at the shack and 455' deep; an ideal site. The 60 radials are just laying on the ground as is the Davis-Buryflex coax. I used a DXE stainless steel radial plate. There is a ferrite ring below the mast through which the 75 ohm matching line is wrapped about four turns. There is a 9' ground rod connected to the radials at the base. The antenna is ground mounted in the factory MPS sleeve. The base is surrounded by a jumbo sprinkler vault to allow removal of the mast and wrap around of the radials, once a year to remove the weeds. I rated the antenna a "5" because of the signal reports that I receive (typically 5/9+ with an Ameritron AL-80B running at 800W-1000W PEP SSB voice as needed)to include significant DX stations up to 8,000 mi. away when the band is in. I have received similarly high signal reports 100W barefoot. If you have room for at least 35' radials, and can put down 40 or more, you may enjoy similar results. If you cannot, then consider above ground mounting with tuned radials. If you cannot provide for adequate radials of either design, then you may be better served to select a different antenna. My situation is unusally condusive to a near perfect installation for a ground mounted vertical with enough radials to allow for a very low take-off angle. With a Palstar AT2KD differential tuner, the entire bandwidth is available on all bands from 80-6. If you can mount it well, I believe that you will enjoy this antenna.
Tnx - - M
N6TEA
Mike Slate
 
KF7RNL Rating: 5/5 Jan 2, 2012 17:42 Send this review to a friend
Most bang for the size  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had my butternut HF9V up for about 5 months now, and wow the stations I am able to receive and talk to. I recall at one time, I had a station on Argentina and a station in Alaska on the same frequency and was talking to both on a 100 watts! This antenna works DX from Europe one way and Australia the other way. Take care of it, feed it well and set up a good ground counterpoise and it will reward you with some remarkable DX. Lube the connecting pieces with a good conductive grease.

No need for an antenna analyzer, just tune it the way the factory recommends and the SWR should drop to less then 1.5. I tuned mine and I use a auto tuner. I have less then 1.2 across all the bands.

I live in a HOA restricted area, so I am unable to put up giant beams on towers as are most people or dipoles. My goal by this September is to work 200 countries with 100 Watts on SSB and I am almost halfway there.

Matthew Kent
KF7RNL
 
KD8EZU Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2011 13:27 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna but needs an analyzer to tune initially  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My first and main antenna which is still hung up in the tree's ( at about 35 feet ) is a G5RV. It has served me well since I got my ticket in Feb, 2007. I would still be using it had not this Butternut HF9V "fell into my lap" for about $50 dollars. I hammered a 8 Ft copper coated rod into the groung and put 40 35 Ft. radials to help enhance radiation a ground conductivity. I initally had the antenna about 18 inches off the ground but was told ( by the Butternut forum group) to ground mount it with the " Q" coil no more that 2 inches off the ground. I then cut the antenna removed the antenna from the galvanized pipe and groung mounted it ( "Q coil is just about touching the ground but not quite touching) lashing it to the remaining " stub" of the galvanized pipe that was cemented in in the ground ( remember this sentence ). I then tried to tune it but could not manage better than 2.0 to 1 on 40 and 80 meters and the rest of the bands were " don't even ask" ( 3.0 + to 1 or worse!) The only band it seemed to work better on than the G5RV was 40 meters. I did all the tuning according to the manual but still no luck. The antenna was lousy. It was not until, by accident when upright AND supported by its four guy ropes that while tuning I noticed the VSWR that was previously terrible, was now excellent.I noticed that when I lashed it back to the cemented galvanized support pipe that the VSWR immediately went sky-high again. VOILA!,it turned out ( DUHHHH!!) that the short piece of pipe was detuning the entire antenna.... stupid me. I then wrapped rubber around the support piece of galvanized support pipe ( insulating it ) and lashed back the antenna ( with super big cable ties) to this support piece. Now I had decent VSWR on all bands except 17 meters, but still knew I could do better. Once again I followed the instructions in the manual but as, I'd get one tuned, it would affect the others. Back and forth I went to the antenna, so many times that there was a 'wear path" in the grass. Finally a fellow ham KC2MIB , took mercy on me and generously sent his MFJ antenna analyzer for me to use. With this analyzer it took me about four hours to do what two WEEKS had not done.....TUNE THE ANTENNA ON ALL BANDS. All bands are now between 1.7 to 1.2 to 1 with the exception of 17 meters which is 2.0 to 1 ( and I'm told that I'm lucky to get that ) .

How does the antenna work?

Well I can tell you that it's noiser, but in a GOOD way. What do I mean? You simply hear more that before. I was doing a A/B comparison between it and the G5RV and the signal strength difference is in most cases 1.3 to 2 Db . Because it is Omnidirectional ( with no directional lobes as a wire antenna or beam has ) you hear from all directions. I hear stations that others with Dipoles do not hear. On transmit I have worked more stations ( particularily Japan, than I ever did with my G5RV. It has great use on 10m and 6 meters which were just about impossible on the G5RV . Oh and all of this WITHOUT having to use an antenna tuner. No power being lost there. I can even use 17 meters without one but it probably would help. Now 80M really is resonant within a very ( VERY!) narrow window of about 100hz so if you live on 75\80 you'll need a tuner or have to make an antenna specially for that band.

The constuction of this antenna is first rate. Heavy duty tuning coils ( no wasteful traps ) and grade A aluminum. I do have mine guyed off , halfway mainly because of the tremendous winds we have in the mountains of WV that in my are blow 30-60 mph for hours on end during the winter months. Most people say it does not need guying.

Do you need radials?

In my opinion ( and Bencher's) ABSOLUTELY. The antenna is end fed and that means that one half of this "vertical Dipole " is the earth. With the earth being a piss poor conductor, you need to help it with not only a ground rod, but with radials. Bencher sells a counterpoise kit that many claim works well ( with just 8 radial ) but I'd go with a minumun of 16 or 30+ ft. radials being 26 or 30 feet long each. I eventually hope to get up to 80 once Spring comes and my 40 odd radials ( #20 wire stapeled into the the lawn ) have just about disappeard and I can run my riding lawnmower over them without contact. It is however tedious to initially lay them and staple them. Ross Radio's staples make even that do-able, and are really easy to use, affordable, and stay put. Great service from Ross also.

Is a analyzer needed for tuning?

OK, I will get flamed here but YES!. Without an analyzer the interaction between one tuning coil and the other will drive you to drinking. Very frustrated to get one band tuned and the a slight tune of another throws the overall tuning out of whack. The problem is, antenna analyzers are expensive and aside from antenna builders, what do you do with it afterwards? Borrowing one from a club or another ham is the only way. I tell you this, without an analyzer , YOU WILL spend days trying to get this antenna tuned. It is worth it though once you get resonance on most bands .

In summary, to have one space saving antenna ( well with radials you need space ) that does 80 to 6 meters without a tuner ( 80M needs tuner ) is just so nice. It is expensive new but lots are available used, probably because people gave up on tuning them!. You must run radials and the more the better.
 
K3ROJ Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2011 15:21 Send this review to a friend
160 through 6M  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
We have a vacation home in WV at 2300 feet and decided to get a good vertical which could also work on 160 meters. The 160 meter kit detuned 80 meters somewhat but was able to bring it back. The ground in WV is rather rocky but were able to lay a few radials and also tie into the water supply line. I have no problem at all working CW on 160 meters and since we use a Flex Radio 5000A with the second receiver, we put up a 43 foot DX Engineering vertical so as to work dual diversity reception which makes a big difference in contesting. The antennas are only 125 feet apart but work well indeed. With my old Heathkit Roller tuner, we can now use dual diversity on all bands. The Butternut seems expensive but if it works, buy it.
 
<— Page 2 of 8 —>


If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.