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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Hygain Explorer 14 Help

Reviews Summary for Hygain Explorer 14
Hygain Explorer 14 Reviews: 20 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $549.95
Description: Broadband Tri-Bander Beam with 40 or 30 Meter Option. Covers 10/15/20 Meters. EXP-14 has a
unique Para-sleeve concept that optimizes edge-to-edge bandwidth.
Product is in production.
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K4TK Rating: 5/5 Dec 9, 2017 11:04 Send this review to a friend
great moderate cost HF antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my EXP 14 with 40 meter kit OVER 27 years now! And I bought it USED!!! I've had it up at a location in South Carolina as well as two locations here in Alabama. I get EXCELLENT signal reports....bust DX pileups often. Especially of note, is how well the 40 meter kit (just a rotatable dipole) works at 50 feet. Granted, I do run an amp (at about 1200 watts)....but I consistently bust DX pileups on 40 with JUST ONE CALL. And again, i get great reports on all 4 bands.

I've even tuned it up on 12 and 17 meters before i added a WARC yagi. I have a Mosley TW-22M about 6 feet above it....which is indeed a compromise installation (to have it that close). But that was all the room/separation I could get on the mast. I'm pleased to say both antenna still work great, and I've documented the slight interaction on my web page.

So between the EXP 14 for 10/15/20 and 40....and the Mosley for 12/17....I'm getting great reports and busting the pileups with no problem.

The quality of the HyGain is fantastic. Granted, this version is from back in the day when HyGain was still HyGain (before MFJ bought them out). I just know mine has lasted the test of time. It's also been thru multiple Hurricanes (granted, some 150 miles inland....but winds still exceeded 80-90 mph at my location). The antenna took those winds (I turn the boom broadside to high winds like that.....rather have the large diameter 14 foot boom face the wind....than the 42 foot 40 meter element face the wind!).

I've had to replace the rope that supports the 40 meter element 2 times in all these years..the boom end caps once....and I've replaced some of the element end caps. THAT IS IT.

I couldn't be happier with quality, performance and cost!
WA3GIN Rating: 3/5 Sep 8, 2017 18:49 Send this review to a friend
QK-710 Trap Failure Info  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Explorer 14 w/QK-710 kit is a great value. I've used this 40m version at 50' AGL for several years.

However during the 2017 VA QSO Party the antenna showed high SWR on 40m. I removed the QK-710 traps and found the portion of the coil closet to the other traps was scorched such that several turns of the coil were shunted with cooked insects.

I used a wire brush to remove the burned insect material. Then polished with a SOS soap pad, then rinsed and dried the coil.

The problem is there is a large opening at the end of the trap where the aluminum cover is connected to the element.. The opening is too large and allows moderate sized insects to enter and build nest inside the trap.

I drilled a 1/8" weep hole in the center of the trap and sealed the opening where the tap is made.

The antenna now has normal SWR readings.

I think It would be helpful if the coils for the OK-710 were made with enamel coated copper instead of bare aluminum. The Insulated wire may prevent nest from shunted the coil. The added insulation would be well worth the extra expense or at least offer the copper as an option. The insulated wire might even increase to rated power on 40m.

It would also be helpful if the manual warned about the possibility of insects collecting in the traps and shunting the trap coils making the antenna useless while also explaining how to restore normal SWR, etc.

KB8BAB Rating: 5/5 Sep 27, 2012 18:40 Send this review to a friend
30yrs old  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I found a ham that sold me the antenna (+40Mtr kit), rotator and 45ft HDX tower for $500.
Include he had the original was dated 1982...
Upon re-assembly of the antenna...the swr's were nearly the same across all bands as what was recorded in 1982...
Simply amazing and it works fantastic!
AA8OY Rating: 5/5 Jul 20, 2011 14:20 Send this review to a friend
Excellent small beam  Time owned: more than 12 months
I installed my Explorer 14 in 1994 and other than replacing one trap, have had no problems with it. It's at 50 ft. and have worked 339 countries and have mixed and CW Honor Roll. I installed the 40 M kit and am really glad I did. It's an outstanding small beam for residential lots without room for a larger beam.
K3AJ Rating: 5/5 Feb 11, 2011 18:00 Send this review to a friend
Works as claimed, built like a tank  Time owned: more than 12 months
I held off reviewing this antenna until I had it up for 18 months, including two winters. Overall, I can highly recommend this antenna. The only comparison I have is my old Cushcraft A3-S used at a previous QTH. Althought the A3-S gave good service for many years, there is no comparison to the robustness of construction - the Hygain is built like a tank. The Explorer works well on both CW and SSB segmnents of 20-15-10, exactly as claimed - my internal transceiver ATU can handle the match easily. There are a LOT of parts to this antenna, but the instructions are clear and it went together well (I did a lot of preassembly indoors and then assembled the element halves to the boom on the driveway). The brackets and clamps are well designed and very stout - this beam should last for decades. The only complaint I had was that there is no way that the smallest diameter element segments can be assembled with the SS hose clamps provided. The segments they telescoped into were way too hard and the slots way too short to allow the somewhat oversized hose clamps to tighten. I stripped every one of the clamps in these places before the elements would snug up, and yes, I know not to overtighten the clamps. I went to Home Depot, bought smaller hose clamps for these places, and it went together fine. Despite that glitch - go ahead and buy the Explorer - you won't regret it.
HC2S Rating: 5/5 Jun 21, 2007 10:06 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT ANTENNA  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Excellent antenna and design, I have the Explorer 14 with the 40 meter band kit, for one month now in a 56 foot tower, the results, 85 countries worked, better than more bigger antennas. Just one set of measures and you have a comfortable bandwidth. If you look for less cost, light weigth and small area antenna for 3 or 4 bands, this model have the best performance in the market.
K2MK Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2007 06:37 Send this review to a friend
Excellent service & performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had an Explorer 14 with the 40 meter add-on kit installed on a US Tower TMM541 at my previous home from 1990 to 2006. At 41' high its performance was outstanding. An excellent DX antenna on 40 meters.

The SWR was very flat on 10 through 20 meters. The SWR on 40 meters was good as well. Nowhere higher than 2:1. The only maintenance problem was very minor. There are plastic spacers holding the matching bars parallel to the driven element. One or two cracked at the end but the matching bars stayed where they were supposed to until I got around to replacing the spacers several years later.

In 2006 I gave away the antenna and tower and the antenna came apart with ease. The stainless hardware held up beautifully. As far as I know, it's up in the air again providing lots of DX.

I really miss it at my new home where towers are not permitted. In today's market I would probably put up a 3el SteppIR with the 30/40 meter trombone element. But if cost were an issue I wouldn't hesitate to get another Explorer 14. That antenna plus an 80 meter inverted Vee hung from the tower makes an awesome arrangement for 80-10 meters.
OE3SGU Rating: 5/5 Oct 15, 2006 10:49 Send this review to a friend
An underestimated antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first HF-beam and it performed flawlessly of the years. Good and solid finish and rather compact design. One of the folks here uses it for 15 years now without and troubles at all. Good job hy gain.
K2OID Rating: 5/5 Sep 19, 2006 20:57 Send this review to a friend
Built like a tank  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my EX-14 up for 23 years now, and I've never seen an antenna like it. It has survived a major ice storm with no damage as well as two rotors, and there is no rust or corrosion. Its performance (particularly front to back ratio) is outstanding for a mid size tribander. I had it down this week because I needed a new roof, and I took the opportunity to replace all plastic parts (Hy-Gain sells a kit) even though the weathering damage was only cosmetic. I re-ran the SWR curves and they are essential identical to 23 years ago. It's far and away the ham purchase I've been most satisfied with.
W4YJ Rating: 5/5 Aug 17, 2006 18:14 Send this review to a friend
Excellent !!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought this antenna used nearly a year ago from a local ham and just got it put up this past April of 2006. It is up 40 feet on an aluminum tower and I can honestly say I have worked more dx with this antenna than I have with other antennas in the last 43 years! The swr curve is excellent and the gain is supurb! If you can get one of these you will not be disappointed!

Steve W4SEF
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