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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Hy-Gain Hy-Tower 18HT Help

Reviews Summary for Hy-Gain Hy-Tower 18HT
Hy-Gain Hy-Tower 18HT Reviews: 32 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $740.00
Description: 54 foot verticle antenna - been reintroduced
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Hy-Gain Hy-Tower 18HT.

<— Page 2 of 4 —>

W2YM Rating: 5/5 Dec 15, 2008 16:44 Send this review to a friend
(GREAT Antenna)  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been using this antenna now for 3 weeks and I can't say enough about it. I am talking all over the state's and WORLD. I can't believe the receive and transmit power that this antenna puts out. You can run lower power and people are hearing me 10 over on 10 watts. Put on the amp and well you can just imagine what happen's. The thing is I can't believe the RECEIVE it is JUST GREAT. I work 160-10 and they all work GREAT. I put this antenna together just as it is written in the instruction manual and I am good to go, know extra radial wire's. Big beams might work great but I think I would put this antenna aganist one.hihi.. I give this antenna a 10 wait, only can give it a 5 that is to bad for it works like a (10) Mark W2YM 73's.
WD4LUR Rating: 4/5 Oct 31, 2008 06:32 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna for lower bands  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had two Hy-Towers over the years. The one I have now has been up at two locations. The antenna works GREAT on 40, 80 and 160 (160 with the optional 1kw trap). It also works really well on 20 meters. But 15 and 10 meters leaves a lot to be desired.

On 40 m and down this antenna is a DX machine when installed properly. Which on those bands it is not so practical to have a yagi. On 20m you can still compete, but it is not a 3 or 4 element yagi. However, it did consistently out perform a full size dipole on 20 that I had up.

If you want a ground mounted vertical to be efficient you must put down a lot of ground radials. I currently have 8000 ft of wire down for radials. For what its worth, my experience over the years shows that you need to put at a minimum 60 radials 1/4 wave long at the lowest frequency you want to operate. But whatever your property situation is, just put down as much as you can.

Also, MFJ actually improved the antenna over the old Hy-Tower that I had. Now the bottom mounting plate and top plate are made from stainless steel. I personally like it much better.

I hope this review helps you in some way.

N7UVH Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2008 20:15 Send this review to a friend
Best vertical on market  Time owned: more than 12 months
If I was only able to have one antenna, it would be it. I have 3000 feet of radials and if I can hear em, I can work em.. I did need to put up a cloud warmer for 40 and 80 meters for the close nets.
It is a keeper..
K7WK Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2007 11:41 Send this review to a friend
80 Meter Performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
Essentially, I used this antenna in somewhat of an experimental mode.

I used an 18HT on 80 meters only (no other bands installed). A custom base (Heavy Duty 'L' brackets) was constructed for 'tip-up' roof mounting. The roof was internally braced to support additional weight, and the tower was guyed to the roof. (i.e. it was not 'free standing' in this installation).

An artifical ground plane was created with four radials, and slightly slanted down. I didn't have enough room to run them out fully lengthwise, so I wrapped them around wherever I could.

Aside from a terrible local static from power lines, this was the best performing 80 meter antenna I have ever used from a small city lot.

The guys at the DX club chuckeled at me when I told them what I put up, but when I started breaking the long path pile-ups, the chuckeling subsided.

It is the antenna that helped me to break 100 DXCC countries on 80.

Future considerations are for a 4-square array. The 18HT is a prime candidate for the vertical elements.
K5WR Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2007 14:33 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna on 40-80-160  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had an 18HT up since 1985, used primarily on 40-80-160. I didn't install the stubs for the higher bands but instead added 10' to the mast length and shorted the mast to the tower. This results in a vertical nearly 1/2 wavelength on 40m, 1/4 wavelength on 80m, and 1/8 wavelength on 160m. About 40 random length radials and an L-network with a motor-driven capacitor at the antenna base worked great for years. Presently the antenna is direct coax-fed, and a tuner is used in the shack. This allows matching the antenna across all of 10-160 (I use it on 40-80-160), and it works like gangbusters. (All-band tuning is accomplished by finding the proper length coax using a Smith Chart.) Over the years I've worked DX almost at will with this setup, especially on 40m, where the ground plane isn't as important for a 1/2 wavelength vertical. One note, the proper coax length for all-band matching is more than needed to reach the antenna in my case, so the extra coax is wound into an RF choke at the feedpoint of the antenna... this does a great job keeping RF feedback out of the shack. If you're interested in using a city-lot vertical on the low-bands, this arrangement is hard to beat.
AB3CX Rating: 5/5 Dec 5, 2006 10:55 Send this review to a friend
Nice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought a used Hytower from an SK estate. It is from the vintage before MFJ took over HyGain. The unit is at least 10 years old, but it is in very serviceable condition. It took me 2 hours to disassemble and load it, and another 3 hours to re erect it on my concrete foundation once that was installed. I am already a vertical fan, having used a Butternut HF-9V for 18 months. The main advantage of the HyTower is the bandwidth. The SWR is pretty flat on 40, and no tuner is needed, even for my Alpha 86 amp with PIN diodes. Same for 20 meters. The antenna tuner is needed for 80 CW end, but one setting carries me all the way from 3500 up to 3600, so once it's tuned, I'm done no matter where in the band I QSY. The shorter verticals cannot do that. It works well on 12 and 17 meters as a non advertised bonus. Set the 15 meter tuning stub to the shortest physical length and it resonates well. I also got the MK-160 side arm with the tower, and used it to great advantage in the ARRL 160 contest that same night the tower went up. I do not have a very effective set of radials yet, but the signal checks show the tower 2 S units below my log periodic on a 1200 mile QSO so I'd say that it's doing well for just 3 ground rods plus a few radials. very solid tower, should last forever. If you like verticals, this is the best one out there right now.
K7UA Rating: 5/5 Dec 12, 2005 14:05 Send this review to a friend
Fine 80 & 160 m DX antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I ran a Hytower in two different locations over several years. If you give it a decent ground to work against it will do wonders. I never had a 75/80m pileup that I could not break. All from a small city lot. I also used it on 160m with a home brew loading coil. Again, superb performance. It works ok on the higher bands, but obviously is not in the league of a beam. I had 1000 ft of radials in my small lot. 30 radials X 33 feet per radial. A truly great low frequency dx antenna. Just don't skimp on the ground system.
WA7SCH Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2005 09:34 Send this review to a friend
Nice Antenna but....  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I put up my Hy-Tower in March 2005. I really appreciated the solid construction ann now that it's up the antenna gets out well.

I only have about 16 radials in now and will add another 16 in a few weeks.

Things went together pretty much as advertised and per the manual. It took me a couple of weekends to get the antenna up and working.

The only problems I encountered were some problem with tuning stub construction and hinge support brackets were missing.
Hy-Gain was quick about replacing the missing parts.

I appreciated their service on this product.

Getting Out:
Seems to get out extremely well on 80 and up. On almost all bands if I hear them I can work them.

Think I'm going to love this antenna for years.
W7BNR Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2005 12:34 Send this review to a friend
Excellent vertical  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
A truly foolproof design results in the best vertical antenna for HF. It is considerable work to install but worth the effort. Even with a less than perfect set of radials the antenna performance is outstanding. If you are going to invest $$$ in your radio you might as well also go with the best antenna to match it.
W7TJ Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2005 19:45 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding !  Time owned: more than 12 months
The HY-Gain 18HT Vertical is a very Durable and Versatile
Antenna system that will Cover 160 thru 10M including the Warc bands with
excellent bandwidths, and take full legal
power levels without fried traps and arced coils along with general KW
The Mechanics of the 18HT were covered very well in a previous review, one
person being able to assemble/raise/lower the antenna on it's hinged base.
Unless you live in a very high wind loading area, you do not have to worry
about "Customizations" by the WX.
The 18HT is completely self-supporting, so no need to clutter your QTH with
Phillystran, rope guys, or other rigging.
I have experimented with zero (0) to 120 radials, and found saturation
occurs around 30-40 radials over normal ground, anything past this level is
not really cost/time/performance effective. (Technical aspects aside, this
is what works)
Here is a band by band summary of what to expect in performance and how to
maximize/choose options/mods etc:

10 Meters: The 10M stub allows coverage of the entire 10
meter band, however adjustments will have to
be made per individual QTHs operating
conditions,soil/ground/radials etc.

12 Meters: Resonant across the entire Band

15 Meters: Same comments as 10M operation

17 Meters: 3 Choices here:

1. Add the 17 Meter Stub and cover the Band
2. Use Rig Antenna Tuner
3. Reasonable Resonance is achieved when
using the MK-160 add on kit for 160M

20 Meters: Resonant over the entire band

30 Meters: The Resonant frequency is not far from 10.1
Most Rig antenna tuners will accomodate
and do fine with the lower power limits OR
Modifications can be made per the article:
"Adapting the HY-Tower for use on 30M" QST
July 1986 page 45. ( Contact Hy-Gain & they
will send you a copy )

40 Meters: Covers the entire band

80 Meters: Performance on this band is the Best..
Complete coverage is realized by the coil
at the base of the antenna either your own,
or purchase Hy-Gain's LC160 coil. ( 3" diam
approx 12" long 3 turns per inch) Tapping it
at various points allows coverage especially
the CW portion of 80M (Bandwidth around each
Tap point is approx 100KC) Be sure to have
enough and the right coil taps (either from
Hy-Gain, or can buy from Surplus Sales)
Alligator Clips will NOT do !

160 Meters: This is where things become interesting...
The Hy-Tower basically operates as an 1/8
wave radiator on this band using the LC-
160 coil,Efficiency seems good, but bandwith
is very limited..basically 20KC per coil tap.
AND, since the currents/voltages are very
high running in this manner, power handling
is very limited ( 200W ) unless you made the
following Modifications:
The top 2 insulators must be replaced with
Teflon. Teflon Rod need to be purchased.
and machined to match in size,length,etc
of the original insulators and spaced in the
center of the top plate brackets such that
equal air space exists around the
circumference of the insulators &
and edges of the top brackets. Additionally,
the mounting brackts for the anchoring
U bolts for the top mast need to be
re-mounted on teflon 1/2" or so blocks
(recessing the mounting bolts) and
finally, a 2" piece of Teflon needs
to insulate the bottom of the LC-160
coil from the base of the HY-Tower.
Alot of work & plan on spending approx.
$ 125 or so. Even with still the narrow
Bandwiths, Performance is outstanding.

160 Meters: Option #2 is to purchase the MK-160
add on kit form Hy-Gain. Cost is
approx. $130.00 This will allow the
Hy-Tower to run as a 1/4 wave inverted
L. The connecting trap is attached
at the top of the tower and approx
105 feet of wire is run to a support.
Use of a #12 gauge insulated wire
will shorten the length 5% or so
due to the dialectric effects of
the insulation, plus the ease of working
with this wire over the hard drawn type
supplied. The MK-160 kit not only solves
the power handling limitations ( 1.5KW
with ease) but will allow bandwidths of
90-100KC in addition to a 1-2 db improve-
ment in recieve efficiency. The Trade-off
is some of the Vertical Component is
Sacrificed + ground losses etc.

Ideally, everyone would like big gain antennas on all
Bands, However if space is limited and you wish to cover
all 9 bands and not worry about power handling, this is
the Vertical to have - Simple, Effective,& Low Maintenance
The Antenna, Shipping, Installation, and whatever Mods or
Add on items you choose, plan on spending slightly on the
North side of $1,000. - But you will only spent it once...
I have used for 20+ years as many others have.

Randy W7TJ

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