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


Reviews Summary for Butternut HF9V
Butternut HF9V Reviews: 71 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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AE5QU Rating: 5/5 Jun 24, 2010 13:05 Send this review to a friend
Best Performing Vertical on the Market  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the HF9V installed for three years now and believe I can give it and honest evaluation.
The antenna is not difficult to assemble if you take your time during the construction, and do some pre-planing prior to that. "Sort it out before you start". An antenna analyzer is not mandatory, but I do recommend you utilize one if at all possible. Your tuning time will be cut down drastically. My HF9V is ground mounted with 21 radials. I have found that at least 8 radials is a must. Just make them as long as you can, as straight as you can. You wont see any significant improvemnts over 21 radials until you get to 36 or more. So don't get radial crazy if you have decent ground to work with. However the first 8 to 12 are the most critical and a absolute must. My ground mounting was accomplished by driving a 1-1/4" X 48" piece of "Hard Draw" copper tube into the ground until only 8" was left exposed. Around the copper tube I dug out a 24" X 24" square about 4" down. Into this I placed a home brew radial plate simular to one offered by DX Engineering. The lower section of the antenna that is utilized for mounting was slid into the copper tube and adjusted for proper depth by triming the copper tube a bit and filling the copper tube with pea gravel and soil to fine tune things. After this I drilled (one) hole through the copper tune and antenna mounting tube and installed (one) 10 X 32 X 2" bolt & (two) nuts with washers for both security and an attach point to the radial plate via a jumper wire. I installed (two) 8' ground rods and attached them to the radial plate. At this point the radials were layed out , which were contructed of 14 AWG THHN copper wire, and buried in trenchs 4" deep. The radial were attached to the radial plate, and all trenchs and holes were covered up. The remainder of the contruction was carried out in accordance with the manufactures instructions.

The antenna has been through many South Texas storms with winds exceeding 70 mph. I have had no failures at all. The antenna performs well on all bands, with exceptional performance on 20 & 40 meters. It can handle legal limit with no problem at all. The HF9V is not the least expense vertical by any stretch, but I believe it to be on par with the Hy-Gain Hy-Tower as far as performance goes. Its not a beam, but it is a lot of bang for the buck when you consider the cost of towers, rotors, etc.

73's
Kevin Santine - AE5QU
 
ON4YVO Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2010 00:51 Send this review to a friend
Performance on 80 meter  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I tried the antenna during the UBA winter contest on 80m. I also set up a G5RV antenna as I knew its performance and I did contests with this one in the past.
With the HF9V I could not work stations near me, about 40 km, which I could contact easily with the G5RV. But, suddenly I heard an hongarian station with the HF9V which I could not copy with the G5RV. I worked several others stations from France, Netherlands with the HF9V where the G5RV let me down.
The HFxV does need radians.
 
G0VQW Rating: 4/5 May 3, 2010 13:39 Send this review to a friend
Good antenna  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I would have given it a 5/5 if 17 and 12 meters would play ball!I just cant get them below 2:1 swr and when compared to a dipole the dipole is 4 s units better on RX when compared with the butternut!(on 17 meters)
Other bands work well.I tend not to us it on 80 meters prefering my inverted dipole for that band,but 40 meters up and it works fine.I have installed about 100 radials each about 5 meters long and keep adding as time goes by.
I would recomend this antenna but feel it is quite expensive.Also I think it needs to be guyed.I have used nylon rope for this and it stands up to the UK weather pretty well.I should add that it's not the easiest antenna to put together.The instructions and photo's were not that clear and for some time I did use the antenna with the 17 and 12 meter capacity strips not attached to the correct place.(When I corrected that it didn't make much difference)
Sandy
 
K8ALM Rating: 3/5 Dec 4, 2009 07:48 Send this review to a friend
Good performer, very medocre construction  Time owned: more than 12 months
Very decent performer but after two northern Ohio winters I could not keep this antenna operational and replaced it with a DX engineering 43 foot vertical which is much better constructed. During the first winter the mounting tube cracked during a snow storm and down it came. The second winter I experienced charring on the insulator between the 40 and 80 meter coils when I applied 500 watts to it and the 40 meter capacitor cracked. I could actually see the sparks fly!
 
KC9NIY Rating: 4/5 Jul 12, 2009 14:31 Send this review to a friend
Performs well  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Iíve only had this antenna for a few days but got it installed in time for the IARU-HF Contest which gave it a work out.

To begin with assembly is everything youíve heard it is. I got through it with no serious errors but a manual with pictures and having some of the parts identified would have easily reduced the assembly time by a third in my opinion. This is particularly true of the wire hold offs which there is no way of telling what is what by the manual. I plan of photographing the entire antenna and getting it on my web site just so others can avoid the same issues. My best advice for now is take your time and donít get in a hurry.

Most things are fairly easy to identify such as the coils, lower the freq, the bigger the coil and the tubes go from big to small/bottom to top. But you will spend time trying to figure it out for sure which would have been saved if Bencher would label the parts. Nuff said.

In my case the antenna is ground mounted with 12 ground radials for now which are currently not buried. I do plan to bury them but I want to play with it a bit and add radials to check performance then rent a wire trencher from Home Depot (thereís a hint) for $40. It is fed with low loss buried coax. I put it up by myself but extra hands would be, well handy.

I went through 3 tuning iterations with a antenna analyzer and let me say youíll need to buy, beg, borrow one with this antenna. The antenna was pretty well dialed in on 15m, 20m, 40m out of the box and per instructions. Here are the SWR readings at the radio end of the coax. Measurements were taken and plotted every 25khz. Hereís the summary:

15M 1.2-1.3 to 1 across entire band
20M 1.2 to 1:1 across entire band
40M 1.3 to 1.2 to 1 across entire band

6M runs 1.6 to 1.4 to 1 across entire band

30M runs 1.6-1.5 across the band

17M is 1.5 to 1.6 to 1 across band. 17 is a bit unusual because in most case on the bands the SWR runs higher in the lower segment and drops as you go up. 17 is the opposite, there it goes low to high up the band. Not enough to be a bother, just a curiosity.

10M runs from 2.2 to 1 across band but I havenít adjusted it as yet. I intend to adjust it so the SWR is lowest around 28400. Out of the box it now resonates around 29550 up.

12M runs at 2.2:1 flat across the band. Iím not sure what if anything will bring it down.

I have the 160M coil on so my 80/75 results may be influenced by that. The tuning on 80 is narrow and sharp with SWR running from 2.8 to a low of 1.6. I adjusted mine to be lowest between 3700 and 2800.

160M is very narrow with SWR running from 3.8:1 to 1.5:1. There is maybe a 50khz notch where it is below 2:1, but you can adjust to get that notch about where you want it mid to upper band but I suspect that trying to tune it for 1800-1825 would be difficult. If you expect the same performance as a 160M dipole youíll be disappointed but it will get you on 160M. I havenít had time to spend any time there as yet.

Performance:
As always this is an impression, mine to be exact. I operated during the 2009 IARU HF contest for a few hours and made 103 contacts. They included from SW Indiana, 3 Hawaii stations, 2 Alaska stations including the HQ station for ARRL and IARU which were jammed. Australian HQ, New Zealand HQ (Chatham Is), Brazil HQ, Ecuador, 3 Argentina, Aruba, Trinidad, Ireland, Russia, Germany, Italy, Canary Is, Monaco, 7 Canada, Guatemala, Costa Rica and several others and 32 states, MT, WY, ME, WA, ND, SD included with 100 watts on 4 bands.

In a number of occasions I would get a station on the first or second call over other stations pushing some serious power. Didnít happen all the time or perhaps even the majority of times but enough to show the antenna can punch through the pileups.

Of interest to me is that the antenna also did well close up. States like TN, KY, SIL, OH and even MO had been very difficult to contact or hear previously but I made contacts in all those states. Then along the same path I would hit a station anywhere from 1,000 to 11,000 miles away.

I gave the antenna a 4/5 which doesnít reflect the performance of the antenna at all but rather the overall package which includes the manual. The manual has great information in it and the instructions are accurate but for lack of a better description it is an analog device in a digital world. A few pictures and 50 cents worth of labels and things would be 5/5. For the antenna itself, Iím impressed.

RW
KT9B
 
IK3UMT Rating: 5/5 May 22, 2009 08:25 Send this review to a friend
It works ! as expected.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a Marconi antenna, needs to work against a ground plane ( that make fundamental part of the antenna) so , the best the ground plane the best the whole antenna performance.
Against a ground plane , a 50cents vertical quarterwave piece of wire works better than any multiband vertical antenna band by band.
The impressive aspect of this antenna is its capability to play better than other on each band , and remember, there are 9 bands involved here....
My first installation was against a 2 radials per band , elevated 10ft from ground, resonant.
Furthernore they become 4 per band.
( see http://ik3umt.ir3ip.net/vertical )
then, after some tests, measures and computer modeling, it clears to me that 34 radials @ 10ft from ground are NOT resonant anyway (dued to mutual coupling and ground proximty)
Finally I decided to install 30 radials 32ft long each at the same height with goal of currents and pattern uniformity in mind.
Overall comments:
It works as expected, it needs time and touchy adjustements (better with an antenna analyzer) to reach very good tuning.
I've worked whole planet with radio, barefoot, (IC7800). Linear Amplifier helps in rare dxpedition huge pileup but I still wait no longer to break it.
We are talking about a vertical guys....there are multielements yagi to compete with....!
After SteppIR BigIR, where antenna lenght is always perfect, it's the best multiband vertical solution. (think also at BigIR cost with 80mt coil add-on)
Again : it works as well as its groundplane quality !! do not forget it !!
Regards
Federico
IK3UMT
 
N1FDX Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2009 12:29 Send this review to a friend
Good Performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A few words about the HF9V, Iíve spent a few weeks plus setting up one of these antennas. I am impressed with the performance over other verticals Iíve had in the past. The ďĹ wave no radials needed etc,Ē as well as, my inverted vee doesnít compare. You need to put the time in and do the research but your performance will be worth the work.
Itís ground mounted currently with 16 radial and an 8í ground rod and fed with RG-213.
More radials are to come.
This isnít a quick assemble and put up antenna for optimum performance, itís a bit of a project but worth it. Butternutís web page offers a lot of good articles you can download and the tech support is great.
It is a bit pricy for what you get in the box but so isnít everything else. If youíre interested in a vertical and want to do a little work give it a try.
For more details and pictures copy and past the link below in your browser and click on the Butternut HF9V Project on the menu bar.
http://home.comcast.net/~n1fdx
 
VK4SX Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2008 14:03 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had used a HF2V with TBR-160 kit for quite a number of years, and after a hiatus from Ham radio of about 8 years, I decided to venture back for cycle 24, so I installed a Traffic HEX beam, I still had 120+ radials in the ground, so to compliment the HEX,, I went with the BUTTERNUT HF9V with TBR-160 kit, well, nothing has changed, still a great multiband HF antenna, all bits arrived, went together easy, tuning was a little different to the manual (120+ wire radials, some 1 3/8 x 1/8 copper strap, abt 800llbs of it hahaha) surely amazes me sometimes, well and truly a great asset with a Traffie HEX .
nothing but good things to say, over the years have had on same GP bed, DX-88, Hustler, 18AVT, R6, R7, R8, GAP TITAN, but the HF10V is the best performer in my location by a long chalk.
Rgds
Dennis VK4SX
 
KD7TXO Rating: 5/5 Dec 9, 2008 17:51 Send this review to a friend
Great Compact Shortened Vertical  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've used my HF-9V for about 5 years now. Ground mounted with about 20 radials. From Arizona I hit Ducie Island on 75/40/20/17/15/12 with my 811H amp. You will need a good tuner for the long frequencies as the 2:1 bandwidth is pretty narrow on 75/80, expected for a shortened antenna. Otherwise a built in tuner and 100 watts does pretty well. A good ground radial system is a must! I even furnished the neighbor with bottom tie wire for his new chain link fence and then ran a radial to it. Follow the instructions on tune up, using a good analyzer. It makes for a good compact stealthy antenna.
 
K8ALM Rating: 5/5 Aug 26, 2008 05:20 Send this review to a friend
Very good antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned the HF9V for more than a year now. Because of limited space I have it mounted on a fence post with the counterpoise kit. I use it primarily for 80 and 40 meters and I've been able to work the world with this antenna on these bands (including VK land on 40). I've read negative comments about the counterpoise kit but it most definetly works for me. In all my years as a ham I've never been able to work as much 40 meter DX as I am now. I use it as a backup on the higher frequencies. I have a TGM MQ36SR on the roof for 20 meters and higher (also a good compromise performer).
 
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