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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Cushcraft MA5V 5 band vertical Help

Reviews Summary for Cushcraft MA5V 5 band vertical
Cushcraft MA5V 5 band vertical Reviews: 65 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $211.00
Description: 5 band vertical for amateur hf
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Cushcraft MA5V 5 band vertical.

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GW3NOT Rating: 5/5 Jul 1, 2015 16:56 Send this review to a friend
A little gem !!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is the second MA5V I have owned..The last one got tired and shabby after around 10 years of use by its previous owner and myself (for 3 years). This one is now made by MFJ.... I bought it in UK for 309 GB Pounds from Martin Lynch and Sons. All parts were in the box other than an end cap for one of the resonators, and the holes for mounting nylon rod into the base rod were out of line - both easily surmountable.

A few differences from the original Cushcraft 10 years ago and this..... The original had an Ugly Balun at the bottom a tube about 4" in diameter that you wound about 15 turns round... This is now replaced by a ferrite ring, which you wrap 14 turns of co-ax equally around. .... The spingy rod counterpoises, are now mounted between two circular plates and much easier to assemble than the old square ones. Lastly the original was 6.5 Pounds in weight, and this one is only 5.8, I guess that MFJ are using lighter aluminium tubing throughout !!

Assembly, taken very slowly by this 80 year old pensioner, took 3 hours and 15 Minutes from unpacking it to having it completed and in the air ready for use.
If like me, you are very restricted by town planners, or in my case the local council who own the retirement bungalow complex I live in, and have no room for using radials, and still want a fairly decent antenna, this is the only suitable for serious work, as it is not end fed as most other 'no radial required' verticals are, as it is an Off Centre Fed vertical Dipole.

Its a compromise, as any other multi-band antennas are, but it still works well and you can work the world with little effort - Only 'downer' is that it is rated at 250W PEP, so I run it on SSB at 200 W, and a lot less on Digital Modes.

Cushcraft say it is happy at 13 feet off the ground, and it is 12 feet tall plus the pole (I use a 13ft one) !!!
Take a good look at this one - not a lot of operators who need 'Stealth' are aware of this little Gem
K1QF Rating: 4/5 Sep 29, 2014 17:21 Send this review to a friend
Good performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
The MA5V has been a good performer for me. It was purchased in 2007 (before MFJ's acquisition of Cushcraft.) All the parts were present in the box and assembly was straight forward. I first used it in Princeton, NJ and just re-installed it in Cape Cod. It has been through several difficult winters and seems to be fairly rugged. Tuning is easily accomplished with my ICOM 756 Pro III internal tuner. I don't bust pile-ups on the first two or three calls with my 100 watts, but recently I have managed to work Gibraltar, Tunisia, Israel, and Albania. I am very happy with this relatively inexpensive and small vertical.
AA5IR Rating: 2/5 Nov 17, 2013 15:19 Send this review to a friend
Has intermittent problems  Time owned: months
It worked very well at first, but now, after a few years, I am having trouble. When I turn on my rig, the antenna input is very low, and sometimes it flickers backwards and forwards intermittently between good reception and close to zero. Usually (but not always), I can fix this by sending 100 watts CW to the antenna. I probably need to take it apart to check. What a hassle!
K0DV Rating: 2/5 Apr 18, 2013 08:49 Send this review to a friend
No quality control!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the MA5V antenna because I needed a stealth like antenna in my restricted Florida neighborhood and because Cushcraft has (or had) a good name... until it was bought by MFJ. Antenna arrived and would only tune to 20 meters, all of the four other bands, 10, 15, 12 and 17 had no SWR dip. Called MFJ and they sent new elements for these bands. Same result... no dips. Packaged it up ready to send back and have them return my money when I decided to take off the liquid tape where the coils connected to the elements to see if the connections were good. It took a lot of scraping and fussing with an exacto knife to do this. I was surprised to find that they used enameled wire in the coils and did not scrape the ends of the wires! What's more the wires were inserted into wire clips on the elements, but none of them were soldered! I had to scrape off the liquid tape from 20 connections (did the 20 meter coils too), clean off the enamel and solder all of them. Then, I got the dips and could tune the antenna. Called MFJ again to tell them how I fixed their antenna... their response, was... "I'll walk back there and talk to them." Once the connections were fixed, the antenna worked nicely although its bandwidth is quite narrow on most bands. The antenna fit the bill as a very small profile stealth antenna that works, but the experience of getting it working was frustrating, to say the least. Beware of quality control.
VE2JFM Rating: 4/5 Nov 22, 2011 22:07 Send this review to a friend
Very nice for limited place  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this antenna since 2 months because i can't have a tower. It's very easy to install.
The swr are very low on all bands.
So, i very appreciated DX with this antenna.It's not expensive for fun.
N0ZLD Rating: 0/5 Sep 16, 2011 18:23 Send this review to a friend
Missing parts  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My review of this antenna:

I spent $290, waited and got a box via UPS. I opened it up and preceded to assemble it only be missing major parts. They include the radial ring assembly, various screws, spokes and clamps. Take my review with a grain of salt - perhaps you'll order it and everything will come in the box. I don't think it's too much to ask to have everything there before sealing it shut from the manufacturer but apparently that's the case here. The pick order list is not large and it would be very easy to implement some sort of QA internally and have raises/bonuses based on your 'missing part rate' but I think that's too much to ask for the type of labor used. I called the place I bought it from, was given a phone number to call for Cushcraft. I called them and got 'the parts guy'. He asked me for the parts I needed and send he would ship them tomorrow because he was very busy. I called at 10AM Monday and it's Friday with no parts. Perhaps they'll come tomorrow or next week? I just hope all the parts I asked for are there, I have low confidence based on my perception of 'the parts guy'.

So, the MA5V gets a 0 (awful). I'll update it once I have everything that I actually purchased and am able to setup and use the antenna.
VA3WXM Rating: 3/5 Jul 5, 2011 08:52 Send this review to a friend
Okay but needs work  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased the MA5V new last year but only recently had a chance to build it and get it in the air. Assembly went well. All the necessary pieces were in the box. Instructions were clear and easy to follow.

However, when installation time rolled around I stumbled upon the one weakness that really soured my impression of this antenna: the eight radials (each not much thicker than stiff piano wire) are held in place between the two radial plates in a sandwich fashion. Unfortunately, almost half of the radials were not clamped tight enough and proceeded to simply fall out as I lifted the antenna in the air. This posed a problem as I was on the roof of my house and a couple of the fallen radials slid down the shingles and onto the ground. I tried my best to tighten the screws holding the radial plates together that didn't seem to help. I could see this becoming a nightmare scenario: the last thing I need is to have antenna parts falling from the sky!

I plowed ahead anyway and tuned up the antenna. Working with the recommended dimensions, 20 and 10 were fine but 17, 15 and 12 were way off and needed adjusting. An antenna analyzer made this job easy. Once set, I fired up my rig and found the MA5V worked fine but signals were down a couple of S-units compared to my TGM mini-quad. Of course this was not surprising considering the MA5V is a shortened, OCF vertical dipole.

At the end of the day, I really wanted to like this antenna but the radial issue was a black mark for me. If someone has a suggested fix, I'm all ears.

A previous antenna I owned was the MA5B mini-beam and it was an excellent antenna both in terms of build quality and performance. The "original" MA5V made by Cushcraft used only four radials and seemed more robust. This "new" MA5V appears to have been blessed by the hand of MFJ (since they bought out Cushcraft a year or so ago) and, unfortunately, it shows.
W7OXB Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2011 14:28 Send this review to a friend
2 1/2 Years Later  Time owned: more than 12 months
Antenna is still working great, everything still intact, even after some heavy wind storms over the last couple of years. Works well on all bands, just caught some Carribean stations on 20M and a DXpedition station in Central Kiribati on 17M. Ordering the 6 meter add on so I can get on that band as well. As has been stated before, if you need a "low profile" antenna for an apartment or for a neighborhood with covenants this is a good choice.
W9SHO Rating: 1/5 Apr 3, 2011 07:10 Send this review to a friend
not happy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After receiving the antenna, I assembled it and
found many parts missing and after 1 plus week
still waiting for the parts.

The balun,radials mounting bracked, and part
of the 20 meter x was missing.

Good Luck.
Tony w9sho
VK5AGC Rating: 5/5 Feb 13, 2011 01:18 Send this review to a friend
Great stuff  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well, what does one say about this antenna, all good things I presume. All the parts came out of the box for me and was built in just over half an hour.I had no trouble building it as the instructions were clear and precise and left one in no doubt whatsoever. I put it up on a 27 foot telescopic pipe system, to clear roof tops and other obstacles.On trying the antenna,it went off first shot and the first call I heard was from Scotland, the place of my birth hi, so full marks there. When get my rig back from repairs, I expect to have good times with this fine antenna...Well done Cushcraft.
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