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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | SteppIR Fluidmotion 6-20mtr Yagi Help

Reviews Summary for SteppIR Fluidmotion 6-20mtr Yagi
SteppIR Fluidmotion 6-20mtr Yagi Reviews: 113 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $1099
Description: Remotely ajustable 6-20 mtr continuosly...available as Dipole-2 elements or 3 elements Yagi.Copper tape length inside fiberglass tubing controlled by stepper motors. 1500W rated!
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the SteppIR Fluidmotion 6-20mtr Yagi.

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WY4J Rating: 1/5 Jul 18, 2017 06:27 Send this review to a friend
Costly Repairs  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased my first 3 element SteppIR in 2009. In 2012 I decided that as I was getting older so a shorter boom was a better way to go so I decided to go with the 2 element model. Within 2 year and with very little use the antenna went deaf. Took it down to discover that both plastic driveshafts in the motors had broken. Called SteppIR and send the two motors in for repairs as the alternative was to sell the boom for scrap. The shipping was fairly expensive since I am as far as you can be from them. But the shipping was not the issue. The $500 repair bill just blew me away.

This is a great concept and the performance is fantastic but mechanically this product is clearly substandard as the shafts in the motors will fail. I am not a professional motor designer but the plastic shaft on these motors are very prone to fail and then SteppIR rapes you with the repair cost.

I paid $600 a year for the pleasure of using this antenna since between the repairs and the loss on the sale the total out of pocket loss was $1,200.00 for the privilege of having a SteppIR for 2 years.

So think about it as is not if but when the motors will fail you and then you will kick yourself when you get the repair bill. Took the easy way out and purchased a hex beam for less than SteppIr charged me to repair the motors.
JA1WWE Rating: 5/5 Jul 18, 2017 03:05 Send this review to a friend
My best Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
10 years have passed since I built this Antenna in 2007. I was satisfied with the performance,but
so far,I experienced two times of troubles.
One was trouble of Director ECU and another was that of Reflector ECU.
Those were caused by lack of material strength of Gear drive shaft,but,
I could obtain reinforced countermeasure parts and restored.
Thereafter,this Antenna works perfectly without any problem.
PA1CW Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2016 13:31 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have this great antenne for about 6 years.
I had the broken shaft problem with tape jam.
When this problem was solved it works perfectly.
What you hear is wat you work!!!

73 Theo PA1CW
M1WML Rating: 5/5 Mar 31, 2016 12:48 Send this review to a friend
10 year review..  Time owned: more than 12 months
this antenna has now been up for over 10 years and I can only describe it as BRILLIANT....
it has never let me down at all..
great antenna mike keep up the good work...
G3KMG Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2016 11:53 Send this review to a friend
Reliable and long lasting   Time owned: more than 12 months
Installed December 2003. Used most days. No faults in operation in all this time. A superb investment.
KI7M Rating: 4/5 Nov 21, 2015 12:59 Send this review to a friend
Solid Performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
First off, I've have had my Steppir 3 element 20-6 meter yagi since 2006. I removed a large 30 ft. boom 5 element quad array to put it up. You might say after listening to the talk I sort of fell in love the symmetry of the 3 element that you could reverse or go bi-directional. I could have got a 4 element at the time and sometimes I wish I did. But for what I got it has been the best beam I ever had.
I have had monobanders on 20,15 and 10 meters. I've had 2 element triband and 5 band quads (maco, home brew and lightning bolt, even once a gotham if you remember that). For the $1500 dollars I paid for the stepper it has given me the best over all service of any antenna I know. I am as some say a quad man in the quad-vs-yagi debates and still think about putting up another large quad array. There is something about pushing the limits that appeals to my nature and since reading Bill Orr's Quad Antenna Handboom I fell in love with them. I've also read his Beam Antenna Handbook too.
But my 3 element steppir has proved time and again what a great multiband antenna it is. I've done a lot of thinking about what you get for your money in these antennas. I know they are expensive. But over 40+ years of SWLing, BCBDX and ham radio chasing DX and contesting and rag chewing, I've come to believe you can't beat the steppir for all around performance. 6 bands on one antenna that is a monobander for your money. Think on that long an hard as I have.
I have had a controller chip die on the Friday that CQWWPHN was about to start in 2010; I have had to replace the driven element steppir unit due to intermittent contacts which I think was in the SO-239 and/or toroid balumn arrangement; a slight tilting of the beam needed correcting so I pinned the boom-to-mast bracket now; gone thru two tail twisters and a couple of Yaesu G-1000DXA's with their problems. This summer I brought down the steppir and repainted the fiberglass tubes as well as done some other things you can see on QRZ. For those reasons concerning the steppir 3 element I did not give it a rating of 5, only 4 which I really had to think about.
But pound for pound after years of use I have come to believe the steppir is the best beam antenna on the market. I get upset when something goes wrong but the support from Fluidmotion of their products has been outstanding. Constantly in my operating I get compliments like 'you are the strongest signal on the band' or 'you are 20 to 40 over' while running about 1200-1400 watts. I have a good setup with K3,P3 by Elecraft, a Command Tech HF-2500 amp, and the 3 element SteppIR at 78 feet. So I'm not running a dipole at 15 feet or whatever although I sure work a few of them.
But...for what it is worth I think the Steppir can't be beat giving you a monobander on six bands. I now have mine modified adding 12 feet of boom and two 6 meter directors as you can see on my QRZ page but basically, it's the same antenna I bought from the factory. Sooner or later I will likely add a forth element by adding an other 6 feet to the boom and directors on 10-20 meters. They aren't perfect but the support has always been there to back me up.
Owning an antenna like this requires the support of the makers due to it's steppir motor design and exclusive parts requirments. If I was to rely stickly on myself to maintain my beam I would probably be using another quad. But for 9 years now my steppir has proven itself capable of standing up to the rain, snow, winds, sun, time and all the rest and the money I paid for it was very well spent.
If you want an antenna that you can put up and have a monobander on six bands, it can be reversed and put in bi-directional configuration, and give you many years of service, check of the steppir products. FWIW, Terry, KI7M
M0ZMX Rating: 5/5 Jul 18, 2015 06:53 Send this review to a friend
Just superb  Time owned: more than 12 months
I initially purchased this antenna through Vine Antennas as a 2 element with 30/40m trombone.
as with Everything I purchase through Ron, the service is Second to none..
I had the 2 element up for about 2 years or so and I can honestly say that it worked flawlessly. I am a firm believer that full size elements (no coils or traps) is the best way forward, and I have not been disappointed.
In the 2 element design there is a noticeable gain/rejection over and above a dipole, and spent many hours with a local friend and Ham comparing with his hex beam, to which it seemed to be on Par,, with a boom of only 54" (4'-6" or 1.37m) it represents little more than A dipole in size to me.. I would park the SteppIR parallel with the house when not in use and that seemed to be fine with the neighbours.
At the beginning of 2014 I decided to purchase the 3rd element upgrade kit through Ron at 'Vine Antennas' (did I mention Vine Antennas ?).. The upgrade went without issue, everything was 'spot on' I didn't have to make any modifications to anything , it was a simple task. As I had to add more wiring and change one piece for a longer length, I decided to take the EHU's apart and check all was well.. Everything was clean and dry. 2 years at 40ft and no water,dirt or insect ingress at all..
initial tests were amazing, the first thing was the front to back compared to the 2 element was considerable, The beam width was also narrower and the forward gain very noticeably better (and believe me I am a skeptical bugger at best of times!!). It has been up on the mast now just over 12 months and I can say with honesty that it is an amazing antenna, and if I had to purchase again, it would be the same again.
As I said, it has worked flawlessly since initial purchase in early 2012 and with such great support from Ron I'm confident that I made exactly the right purchase. 5 out of 5.
K2GAV Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2015 07:47 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna - documentation is messy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've only been using the 3 element SteppIR for a couple days now, but it's working great. I bought this with all options including the 30/40m trombone dipole, high wind kit, trombone truss kit, upgraded wiring junction box and 4th 6 meter element. BTW, the total weight of all this, assembled and NOT including the mast is 72lbs, not the 58 lbs SteppIR indicates in their manual. Yes, I lifted it and measured it on a scale!

The antenna performs well. I like the 180 reversal feature and the bidirectional mode, neither of which are available with a conventional yagi. I did not purchase the Autotrack option, but so far the manual tuning doesn't seem to be difficult. Typically, the steps are in 50 kHz increments, so the bandwidth of the antenna is sufficiently wide to not require tuning if you're sliding around the band in this size window.

I recommend mounting a SteppIR on a tilt over tower only because of the complexity of this antenna, because if and when it needs service, it'd be a lot easier to service on the ground. Mine is on a new UST MA-770MDP tower with rotating base and manual tilt over.

I'm glad I received this antenna a full month before the tower was ready. The assembly manuals are a mess! Rather than update their manuals as improvements have been made, they simply supply a plethora of addendum sheets and sub-manuals. Also, the options manuals are more in tune with a retrofit install rather than a new installation.

If I were an experienced SteppIR assembler, I'd have known what sections to igonre as inapplicable. However, I wasn't then (but I am now) experienced after reading all the supplied documentation and crossing out (with a red pencil) anything that didn't apply. The biggest mess was with the 30/40m dipole kit. Here are some examples of inapplicable documentation:
1. Installation instructions for the old fiberglass element to trombone loops brackets. (these have been modified and repurposed to use as the truss kit tie points at the element ends).
2. Installation of tape over the fiberglass element extension junctions - polyolefin heat shrink now used.
3. Photos of the old gray stepper motor units shown.
4. Reference to a counter weight bars for balance (for 2 element versions only)
5. Photos and assembly instructions for the old style CPVC liner for the driven element
6. References to the old style 6 meter element when retrofitting the 30/40 kit.
7. Controller upgrades for the 30/40 option when retrofitted.

Again, now that I'm "educated" I know what instructions applied to my new purchase, but it took a lot of time to figure this out. I wonder what might be done incorrectly by those customers who don't devote the time to figure this out. At least I got somewhat of a history lesson the evolution of this product.

I'm duly impressed with the performance of this product in use. Of course, you should know that my previous antenna for 20-6 is a Cushcraft R6000 vertical at 25 feet. Of course any yagi at 70 feet would excel.

I did make some measurement of F/B ratio using the 180 degree reversal mode during a pretty stable propagation period. On 20m the F/B ratio is specified at 20db on 15m. I measured a 22 db difference (S7 - S9+10). I know an S meter isn't a lab grade piece of equipment, but I'm satisfied.

I'll update this review after I have more experience with it, but I'd highly recommend it at this point.
W7PV Rating: 3/5 Jan 4, 2015 08:25 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna, but....  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had the Steppir about 10 years, and until the last few years it performed very well. However, I started getting high swr readings and contacted the company, who advised me to do a 'calibrate', which I did. That didn't solve the problem, so I took it down and inspected the driven element motor & housing. Nothing wrong there, and knowing I was going to move in a year or so, I decided to live with the situation. When I did take it down completely for the move, I discovered that both the director and reflector motor drive shafts were broken, and I had been using a very expensive rotatable dipole. $300 later it's fixed and back up at another QTH, but it seems to me that this problem is a design flaw and likely experienced by many (judging from the pile of EHU's awaiting repair at their shop in Bellevue). I believe the company should alert their customers to the problem, and take some responsibility for it. Also, the fiberglass elements had been degraded by UV, and should be painted to avoid this. When working properly, you can't beat the antenna for performance.
AE7G Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2015 23:15 Send this review to a friend
second review  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second review, after two years of ownership.

I bought this antenna used. It was apparently one of the earlier models with the older controller.

After a careful inspection and with only $100 in parts the antenna was brought to like-new condition. It has been working flawlessly.

I have this mounted on a nine foot GlenMartin rooftop tower, ten feet above the roof, only about 35 feet above ground on a hilltop location.

Working with only 100 watts and a K3, this antenna has been a joy. I have been getting consistent DX contacts with great signal reports everywhere. I have little or no difficulty breaking pileup, even when calling to the East Coast and competing with other eastern callers.

SWR has been excellent on all bands and I have not had to make any adjustments for the low mounting height.

I love this antenna and strongly recommend it.
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