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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Verticals and Wire | Cushcraft MA5V 5 band vertical Help


Reviews Summary for Cushcraft MA5V 5 band vertical
Cushcraft MA5V 5 band vertical Reviews: 63 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $211.00
Description: 5 band vertical for amateur hf
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.cushcraftamateur.com
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You can write your own review of the Cushcraft MA5V 5 band vertical.

<— Page 3 of 7 —>

NG0K Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2006 13:15 Send this review to a friend
Does a nice job  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've got this antenna mounted on a roof tripod with the base at 23 feet, fed with 50 feet of RG213. I use it mostly for CW/QRP operation on 20 meters.

I've had nice results using it in several contests; most recently the CQWW CW prefix contest (81 contacts casually tuning around as my time permitted, all 5-watts QRP, some nice long haul DX too). I can also include 3Y0X on the last day of operation on 17m CW using 100w.

For a small roof mounted antenna with no radials needed, I would say it does a great job.

73, Doug
 
KD1E Rating: 2/5 May 31, 2006 07:59 Send this review to a friend
Too many issues  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one used, in good condition as a short term easy-up antenna while I got the rest of my station up and running.

GOOD:

The antenna was pretty easy to assemble and put up.

Performance was good for a short vertical. I compared it to my ground mounted vert over 12 radials and the MA5V performed about the same on all but the lowest band (20) where the ground mounted antenna was clearly better.

BAD:

SWR bandwidth was very narrow on all bands. I had to pick either CW or Phone. That was expected on 20 but on 17, 15, 12? Gee, the antenna isn't THAT small!

Tuning was very, very touchy and it took several iterations to get it set. A very small tweak and the match point would shift greatly.

Rain affected the antenna a lot! It would shift the resonant point from the SSB portion of a band through the CW portion and right off the bottom making the antenna not useable due to high SWR.


BOTTOM LINE:

While the antenna's performance was acceptable, the tuning issues, limited bandwidth and extreme rain susceptability made the antenna pretty useless much of the time. My home-brew 28 foot ground mounted vertical, fed with RG-213 and a tuner in the garage out performed the MA5V, was easier to install & tune, and cost less money.
 
KE5FDW Rating: 5/5 Oct 17, 2005 09:10 Send this review to a friend
So Far - So Good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For it's size and lack of headaches with radials, this is a great antenna. It took about 4 hours from box to having it mounted on my roof. All bands have perfect SWR except 20M and that was corrected with a tuner. I'm getting 5-9 reports from coast to coast and have had it for a week so don't know how international contacts will be yet but I'm very optimistic.
Cushcraft customer support is excellent as I emailed them with a question and they called me back on the phone!

Now my only concern is how long it will last so I'll give another update in a year.

For the money and size, you can't go wrong with this antenna.
 
N5UV Rating: 5/5 Jul 29, 2005 08:27 Send this review to a friend
Still kicking at nearly 3 years old!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, I just have to pipe in since so many folks are antenna "haters" and won't give this ant. credit where credit is due. I'm approaching 2 years of solid use, and it has NEVER let me down. This is even after seeing the black polyurethane seals wearing off almost completely, and not doing anything to correct it.

I plan to retire this ant. in a week or so, though...I need something vertical for ALL bands, so I had to break down and get a Hustler 6BTV. I'll review that one shortly. But this ant. was SPECIFICALLY designed for 5 band ops. from 10m thru 20m., and it has done it's job very well. However, I do plan to employ this in mobile operations in the near future. It's a bit big for driving around town, but I can very easily just put it up in my truck during lunch to get on the air, or do some emergency ops. To make a long story short, it's still one of the best commercial ants. I've ever had the pleasure of using, and it delivered on everything it promised, in spades.
 
WA2PVK Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2005 13:44 Send this review to a friend
Better than I expected!  Time owned: more than 12 months
At first glance one might be skeptical of an HF antenna with radials just 48" long. (I was!) My skepticism did not live long however. A MFJ antenna analyzer made short work of tweaking all 5 bands. I love this antenna so much that I purchased a second one for use with my secondary rig. My other HF antenna is a multi-band inverted V and I like running diversity reception using the inverted V and one of the verticals. This is a FANTASTIC antenna. The size is small but the performance is HUGE. I had a Hustler 6BTV but the MA5V is MUCH better!
 
W0DKM Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2005 18:18 Send this review to a friend
2 Years old, Looks great.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Best $200.00 I have spent. Took it down from 40ft this last fall. No lose parts. I live on high hill, with 30 to 60 mph winds several times a year. After a wind storm, I run out to see how she looks. And the little bugger looks back at me, like "what you looken at". I have dipoles on the same bands, and switch to the vert or poles for best signal. Never know which one will work best.I recommend both.
 
VE3WGO Rating: 5/5 Nov 15, 2004 17:36 Send this review to a friend
Great Performer & Easy Kit  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I found this a very easy to build this kit with no trouble at all. I mounted it 15 feet above ground on a TV mast in the backyard. Not highly visible even though it is in plain view, so it will keep the neighbours happy. Stands up to strong winds very well, and easy to mount and dismount from the mast with 2 U-bolts. I covered the end of the coax pigtail with a bit of Coax Seal. It does not take up a lot of space either. No TVI was noticed on any band, so I guess the coax choke does its job well.

Good bandwidth. Centre frequencies on all bands were mid-band, 20m a bit lower than I wanted, so only adjustment needed was to shorten the 20m stub on top by a half inch. SWR minimum is 1.2 or so on all bands.

With my FT-847, first contact was Sweden, followed by Brazil a few minutes later, through modest pileups. North America is easy to cover on most days. So it gets out well. Good reception, and good transmit reports.

Overall, it was a good buy, has good mechanical design, and its performance is very reasonable.
 
2E0GMW Rating: 4/5 Jun 23, 2004 16:08 Send this review to a friend
great antenna  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
this antenna is simply superb IN THE DRY! it works a treat, the only thing negative i can say is it don't like rain on 20m this is now sorted but i feel the wether proofing should have been better. around 2 s points better on all bands comperd to my full size g5rv small antena but big performance superb if like me you live in a biult up area.
 
KG7RS Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2004 03:08 Send this review to a friend
A very pleasant surprise  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In this day and age, it's always a nice surprise to purchase a product that exceeds your expectations. We recently moved to a neighborhood of new houses with CCR's disallowing visible antennas. Previously, our older home was complete with plenty of space and a literal playground for antenna experimentation. Since most of my operation is done in the field using QRP, I didn't concern myself with the ability to install an antenna at the new home. Finally, the desire to be QRV from the new home got the best of me. My desire was a multi-band antenna for 20-10m that did not require a tuner, without an extensive radial system, low profile to avoid complaints and of a design that I would reasonably expect to perform acceptably, all compromises considered. A vertical design seemed the best. Some research led me to believe the MA5V to be the best choice for my application.

Assembly time was about 2 hours, which included a pre-inventory and familiarization period. Assembly instructions were reasonably good. I was able to assemble the antenna fairly quickly, without do-overs or head-scratching. All parts were present. Quality was acceptable. As other posts have identified, there were lots of burrs on aluminum and fiberglass drillings. I don't personally find this a problem with a mass-produced antenna, which is essentially supplied as a kit. It does not seem unreasonable to me to perform a few additional operations such as minor deburring to produce a hand finished product of good workmanship. All parts fit together perfectly. The design is simple and lends itself well to easy parts replacement with commonly available materials should the antenna become damaged or through age.

The MA5V is very lightweight and easy to handle. It lends itself well to mounting in a variety of ways, a feature that is of primary concern to those living in situations that make errecting an effective antenna difficult. I chose to ground mount mine on a 6' section of TV antenna mast driven 3' into the ground, about 10' from the house.

The greatest surprise was experienced during testing and tune-up. SWR was essentially flat at 1.3:1 across the entire 17 and 12m bands, the vast majority of 15m and much of 10m. I was astonished at the bandwidth this antenna provides! On 20m, the SWR was lowest in the CW sub-band. All these reading were made with no tuning whatsoever, simply using the dimensions called for in the manual. I briefly took the antenna down, adjusted the 20m stub inward 3/4", reinstalled the antenna and noted the desired SWR shift to the middle of the 20m phone segment. Overall bandwidth on 20m was 2.2:1 on 14.000 and 2.7:1 at 14.350. SWR of less than 1.5:1 was experienced on most of the 20m phone band.

A quick on-air test was made on 20m phone with an Elecraft K2 transceiver operating at 12w PEP. A quick CQ was returned by a fellow in GA. Since then, I have worked several states all with excellent reports. On-air performance with this short, lightweight antenna continues to amaze me day after day.

Overall, the MA5V has well exceeded my expectations. The bandwidth offered by such a short lightweight vertical is astounding. There is a minor compromise in bandwidth on 20m, but this is far better than may be reasonably expected of such an electrically short radiator. The built in coaxial choke is a nice touch and does a good job of keeping the feedline from radiating. Fit and finish are acceptable. Documentation is good. I have not had an opportunity to deal with Cushcraft's support, but didn't require any for this product.

The few shortcomings I can foresee:
There is very little weatherproofing employed in this design. Resonators are covered with a coating that I suspect will not last long exposed to the high-UV environment of the AZ desert. Coaxial pigtail is fully exposed and should be sealed somehow by the owner. Cushcraft seems to market this antenna as an intermittent use antenna in deed-restricted conditions rather than one intended to be installed permanently. This would seem to be appropriate in high stress environments such as coastal areas. The only enigma...why does Cushcraft supply a PL-259 (male) connector on this product? It requires a barrel adapter to mate with your station coax.
 
KK0K Rating: 5/5 Apr 5, 2004 19:02 Send this review to a friend
An excellent indoor multi-band “horizontal dipole”  Time owned: more than 12 months
I live in a neighborhood where the homeowners association’s CC&Rs prevent me from erecting any outside antennas. After reading a technical description of a ground independent, off-center fed vertical dipole, which very much resembled the MA5V, in the January/February 2002 issue of QEX (a picture of the MA5V accompanied the article), I decided to buy a MA5V and mount it horizontally in the attic space over my garage. I figured that if an antenna worked as a dipole vertically, it would work as a dipole horizontally. I assembled the MA5V in the attic and suspended it from the rafters using nylon cord. The antenna is approximately 18 feet above ground. After a minimal amount of effort, I was able to get the SWR down to less than 1.2:1 on 20, 15, 12, and 10 meters. The minimum SWR on 17 meters is 1.5:1. Obviously, other than keeping the homeowners association happy, there is nothing ideal about this arrangement, but over the past two years I have used the horizontal MA5V to work stations in Central Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Japan. So far, my MA5V has worked flawlessly, but then, being inside of the attic, it is well protected from the effects of weather.
 
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