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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: 110 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.
More info: http://www.steppir.com
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<— Page 2 of 11 —>

AK6ZZ Rating: 4/5 Jan 15, 2013 07:11 Send this review to a friend
Great customer service - update to my review  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I wanted to revise my review on the SteppIR three element to relate some information about the antenna without the 40/30 trombone.

I recently replaced a damaged driven element EHU and moved the antenna to a different tower where I can fix it more readily when it breaks again. Inside the broked EHU copper tape ended up jammed inside behind the spindle. One side of the tape showed several areas where it was bent. The other side the tape was in flawless condition. Both sides were fully extended with the tape illustrating that the tape was most likely jammed.

Adam and the team at SteppIR were very helpful and cooperative in providing me without charge under my warranty the replacement EHU in advance of me sending the broken unit. I also had assistance from several members of the SteppIR reflector.

I had the antenna back up on day 2. Removing it from the triex tower (my larger tower) was a little challenging. It now resides on a house bracketed tower where I can replace and repair everything from my roof.

I ran SWR scans using K3 EZ program and the antenna is working better than ever. I am hoping for nothing to go wrong for the next several years. FIrst contact was QRP 5W to Washington state with great signal report.

Keith
AK6ZZ
 
KE4D Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2012 14:45 Send this review to a friend
superb  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got my 2 element yagi up this week. This antenna is only at 30 feet due to limitations here on the old cavalry fort where I live. However, it seems to be working just fine. I worked east coast, west coast, Canadian border and a JA0 yesterday on 17 and 20m phone. I also have a BigIR vertical. I have tried interconnecting the two controllers to no avail but its not a big deal at this point. The yagi will be my primary antenna unless I am working 80m. Six weeks from order to delivery and while the assembly was not intuitive, once I read the directions twice, it went very well. It took most of the day to assemble this yagi and one of my neighbors helped the last couple of hours. I ordered the truss kit and the 30/40 dipole as part of this antenna. WHile I expected problems loading the 40 meter DVR at this low altitude, it works just fine with an SWR of about 1.2-1. Great antenna and I'm sure I will enjoy it as much as my BigIR vertical.
 
KK8ZZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 29, 2012 08:56 Send this review to a friend
Effective, Efficient Antenna  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Bought a somewhat used 3 element for $900 shipped from AZ, a very fair price. I sanded and repainted the elements that were sun-faded and replaced any parts that needed updating. With the help of guys from my radio club, it went on the roof mounted on a 4.5 foot Glen Martin tower bolted through the roof with threaded rod and cross beams under the roof joists. This antenna replaced a Cushcraft MA5B which worked well, but I wanted a little more directive signal. Well.. what a surprise! Signals on the IC-7600 are FAR above previous levels (yes, the same day) and on all bands I can hear countries I never heard before. This has proven to be an antenna that certainly exceeds expectations. When I ordered control cable and parts, the shipping was fast and accurate, and Jim at Tech Support certainly knows his products. This was added to a BigIR vertical, and I've sold all my antenna tuners and more than half paid for the antenna from that alone! Very satisfied... de KK8ZZ

 
K9YC Rating: 1/5 Dec 24, 2011 14:18 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna, LOUSY support  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the 3-el with 6M element new and installed it in July 2009. There's a 350 ft run from the shack to the tower, so I'm using the SDA100 controller with 33V power supply. I'm VERY pleased with the RF performance of the antenna, but the PSU for the controller is a badly built switcher that puts out really bad noise on the HF bands, especially 12M.

As some of you know, I've become an authority on RFI and have published considerable research on the causes and cures of RFI, including the use of ferrite chokes to kill it. I had to use a dozen ferrite chokes to get the noise, which started out at 10dB over S9 down to S2 (my ambient on a good day). I had to use three chokes on both AC and DC cables from the PSU, two more on the control cable, and two more on the rotor cable, and each time I added a choke the noise went down some more.

SteppIR sent me a replacement supply which was no better, and refused to go beyond that. I have since replaced their PSU with a homebrew linear regulated 33V supply that I bought from N6RZ's estate, and have no noise from the controller itself.

There is no excuse for SteppIR refusing to fix this problem -- a switching power supply that puts out RF trash has no place in a ham shack, and this one is quite bad.

My negative rating is for SteppIR's refusal to fix their RFI issue. The antenna itself gets a 5.
 
K7IM Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2011 09:08 Send this review to a friend
Still working after TEN years  Time owned: more than 12 months
As of this month December 2011 SteppIR 3 element Yagi S/N 1 is still working perfectly after ten years of service without any changes or modifications. I guess that answers the question about longevity. (The picture in the upper left at the beginning of these reviews are of that SteppIR Yagi S/N 1.)
 
ZS2DL Rating: 2/5 Aug 24, 2011 02:25 Send this review to a friend
Short term Excellent antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my 3 element with 30/40 element up for 4 years now, on air performance has been excellent. Due to a recent failure I took it down and cleaned it up. The EST's were badly damaged from the South African sun. The 30/40m element continues to fail due to a design fault on the Steppir designers part. See 30/40 kit review for details.
Owners who bought prior to 2011 can expect failure, due to "Friction".
Its a brilliant antenna but only if you have a lot of money and can afford to replace the antenna at least every 4 years.
After sales service is a problem as you don't get fast enough responses from the factory via e-mail and they seldom answer their phone. In this regard OM Jim their technical advisor is a ray of light in a pretty dark tunnel.

I have been dreaming of a DB18 for some time, but after the failure of this unit all it has done is convinced me to buy an Ultrabeam.

I was promised a million band changes mine did not even come close.

73
Donovan
ZS2DL
 
VK4QO Rating: 5/5 Jun 4, 2011 23:12 Send this review to a friend
great antennas  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a 4 el. steppir 6 to 40m, it is 3 years old and the gain is very good , I mostly use 200w and stations tell me I am the loudest on the band.And support from steppir is very good, even sending parts free of cost to me.The 180 function is the best feature.

RON VK4QO
 
AE6AC Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2011 21:32 Send this review to a friend
Steppir Support and Parts  Time owned: more than 12 months
I recently decided to refurbish a nine year old three element Steppir. It was pretty beat-up from the sun, wind, and wind blown sand.

I fully disassembled the antenna and inspected and cleaned the parts. Most of the internal parts were in very good condition. I elected to replace a number of external components that were at or nearing end of life.

Replaced the Element Housing Unit (EHU) control wires and seal gaskets - The EHU control wires were cracking from sun damage down to the internal wire insulation in a number of places. They are connected internal to the EHU by wire to wire solder joint and sealed with heat shrink. I removed the EHU from the boom (4 SS bolts) and opened the EHUs (8 SS bolts). You can cut the control cable outside the EHU at the entry grommet, pull the cable wires into the EHU and use this extra wire length to allow easy access to re-solder and re-shrink the connections. Or, if you are more ambitious, you can reconnect at the original solder joints. I did this and heat shrunk the new connections using protective layers of aluminum foil to keep the heat gun from melting anything else. I found a nice predrilled hole in a vertical section of white plastic in the EHU that was ideally place for a cable tie to secure the reworked control wire. Opening the EHUís damaged the old rectangular sealing gaskets and required replacing these. The smaller round gaskets that seal the bolts that hold the stepper motor spindle board and element support tube were in good condition so I did not replace these.

Replaced boots - The older EHU to fiberglass element tube rubber boots were still pliable, however, their shape was starting to change (cold flow) in the clamp areas. So while probably not necessary, I decided to replace these anyway.

Replaced element tubes - Steppir has upgraded their element tubes over the years. This antenna had three generations of tubes with it. The oldest being 5 piece tubes that were just fiberglass at the tube interfaces, another 5 piece generation with chrome rings around the tube interfaces, and the latest generation (2011) 4 piece tubes with black epoxy coated rings around the tube interfaces. One of the old tubes was cracked at the large end near the EHU. I pondered the idea of pairs of different generations of tubes and finally decided to bring these all up to the current generation. I am not sure how much difference in dielectric constant these generations each have but there is a noticeable physical difference in the tubes. The newer tubes seem heavier and stronger. They also have a lip at the tube to boot interface that seems like it would help the tubes from working themselves out in the wind.

Upgraded the controller firmware - I also elected to bring the control unit firmware up to the latest version. You can get a new snap in chip from Steppir that will bring your controller up to the latest release.

The really good news and the principle reason for my post here is to say STEPPIR really seems to understand that we hams like to fix things and keep them working. Steppirís support (K4DLI) and replacement parts availability is excellent. I found that every part I inquired about was available and that Steppir was willing to provide them and explain how to replace them if needed, right down the Beryllium Copper element tapes. Fantastic!
 
AC5N Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2011 21:47 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got the 6m and 30/40m options. 6m has been open some and reports were awesome with the big gain on 6m. Even with the limited gain on 40m, the band is great because it is such less noise than the vertical and signals stand out and great reports from other stations. Every band has been superb, setup is easy, I installed the antenna by myself in a day and a half. I have a crankup, tilt over tower, to i tilted the tower over, attached the boom to the mast after I was done testing, then assembled the 30/40m trombone and the reflector, tilted the tower back up, and installed the director from the roof of my house. Had an Optibeam OBW10-5 prior to the Steppir, the Steppir outperforms the Optibeam on all similar bands.
 
W7PSK Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2011 08:51 Send this review to a friend
I am Pleased as Punch  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Even with the couple of OOOPS I had, I am pleased as a kid on Christmas with my 3 element SteppIR. I can only imagine what a 4 element or a DB42 does on the bands. This antenna is head and shoulders above the A4S it replaced, its not even a close race. Its like the A4 was a piece of wire on the ground. Ive gone from a 1970 VW bug to a 2011 Porsche.

Ive heard and worked DX that I have never even heard before. These stations were active the 2 or 3 weeks before I changed antennas so I know its not the condx improving its my antenna improving. My first call was to a SV9 and he came right back to me stating I was the strongest on the band. Ive since worked 3 new states I never heard on 17m towards my WAS. I switched to the vertical I was using and I couldn't hear them.

Some thoughts.

First off, if your reading this contemplating the beam and wondering how hard it is to put together. Don't worry about it. Just read the hints and comments from the members here and the directions and it will be a piece of cake. The New Fiberglass elements look exceptional and are UV protected now. I do wish there was another way to secure them rather than taping the snot outta them.

The Optional connection box. This should be standard. It made connecting the antenna wiring together 100 times easier than I would have had with the old system. I would however suggest to SteppIR to use a little heavier gauge wiring. That thin stuff is wicked to work with.

The rig control. Its a nice enough looking system, and I have not tried it but I wouldn't say its a must have. Ive been manually tuning the antenna as I go and its easy peasy. I'm sure it will come in handy during tests though when I band hop and dont want to stop in the middle to tune.

Optional 6 meter element, As I was told by SteppIR if your serious about 6 meters, the 3 element may not be the best choice, better with the 6 meter add on. But for Casual state hunting it will be more than good. Ill be putting the 6 meter extra element on later.

I didn't get the optional 40/30 trombone as I have my vertical, but if you dont have any 40/30 access it may be a good thing.

Overall Id give this antenna a 9.5 outta 10. It didnt get a ten due to a few niggles but not enough to lower it any further.


Ill review it further after 6 months of use
 
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