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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Hy-Gain AV-18VS Help

Reviews Summary for Hy-Gain AV-18VS
Hy-Gain AV-18VS Reviews: 33 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $119.95
Description: 18 foot Base-Loaded 10/15/20/40/80 Meter HF Vertical Antenna
Product is in production.
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K5YUT Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2006 05:56 Send this review to a friend
High-Quality Basic Vertical  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I live in that part of the US with the highest ground conductivity, so vertical antennas work especially well here and I am in the process of home-brewing a series of single-band vertical arrays for the bands I care about. Meanwhile, I've installed this little antenna as a utility antenna for all HF bands. With my low power (30w out) it works as well as any big base-loaded whip (and with the local ground here that's pretty well) and it is very well made of high-quality parts. A fine antenna for the money.
KB8FGC Rating: 4/5 Jun 6, 2006 20:49 Send this review to a friend
A bargain  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this antenna as an inexpensive and simple way to get on the low bands (30 through 80). It is tricky to tune, but as long as I get it in the ballpark (3:1 or thereabouts) that is fine...I just use my tuner to lower the SWR. I ground mounted this antenna and in lieu of radials, I used the ground coupling plate sold by MFJ (a 2 foot square of stainless steel with brackets to hold the antenna and 4 feet that sink into the ground). I am still planning on adding radials in the near future, but even without radials I've been pleased with it's performance. I can easily work Europe on 80 meters running only 100 watts (my signals there are typically 55 to 57) and I've had reports of S9 plus 20 into nearby states on the same band. I haven't used it too much yet on 40 and 30, but the times I have I've been satisfied with my signal reports. On receive, signals appear to be on par with my other vertical...a Cushcraft MA5V mounted at 25 feet. It does lean over a bit in even fairly light winds (but not so far as to make me worry), and the exposed coil may prove to be a weak point, but so far it is given me great's a pleasure to be on the low bands again after a five year absence! I had considered the purchase of a Butternut, but am glad now I saved my money and purchased this antenna instead. For the price you can't go wrong...definitely a bargain!
W7LPN Rating: 4/5 May 29, 2006 19:58 Send this review to a friend
simple install  Time owned: more than 12 months
After one winter I removed the air coil and attached the stub directly, and now use a tuner. Works fine now.
G4RNW Rating: 4/5 May 21, 2006 03:37 Send this review to a friend
More than adequate  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mine is an 18AVT/B-A purchased new 1982. It has been in storage for the last 10 years but recently reassembled. It works well at this and my previous QTH without ground radials. SWR peformance is much as per the graphs in the instructions. It is mounted on an aluminium mast with about 5' underground and 18" above the surface. The only problem has been with the 80 metres resonator which has needed repairing a couple of times because it was poorly constructed in the first place. However, I would thoroughly recommend this type of antenna for anyone short of garden/yard space. Have had plenty of DX QSLs over the years on all 5 bands with good reports.
WB0FDJ Rating: 4/5 Apr 6, 2006 12:52 Send this review to a friend
Simple, basic, good enough  Time owned: more than 12 months
The year was 1971 and the ink wasn't dry on my new novice license when I got one of these to use at my home QTH, lent to me by a friend. It sat on a metal stake, driven into the ground, next to our house. No radials (which, yes, I know, is a huge mistake!). When the wind blew, it banged against the metal gutter which was about 6" away. Set it up with marks for 40 and 15 meters. And....wonder or wonders, actually worked a lot of stations, including my first dx. Considering that I was running an old Halllicrafters HT-40 and a Heathkit HR-10B (with a front end wide enough to drive a truck through) its a wonder I worked anyone. But it is simple. Put it together (what instructions?), stick it on a mount and USE RADIALS. Nothing fancy, but adequate.
NE0P Rating: 4/5 Jan 16, 2006 20:36 Send this review to a friend
Good as a monobander or dualbander  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought one of these verticals in 1997, which I believe is before the Hy-Gain company was moved to MS. Construction was pretty simple, and it went up without many problems. I ground mounted it with no radials, which I know isn't the most efficient way to use a vertical, but it did get out. SInce you have to change taps on the coil to change bands, this would probably be best as a single band vertical. For the price it isn't a bad way to get on 80, as it will blow a dipole away on that band unless you can get the dipole up 100 feet or so-most of us can't.
KC5NWS Rating: 4/5 Jan 16, 2006 16:18 Send this review to a friend
a good vertical  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I mounted the vertical in the middle of the yard and put down 20 radials of random length(out to the property line).The radial pattern is very uneven due to a brick patio that takes up one quadrant.using a swr analizer I found he 40m point of the coil and ran the coax to an automatic tuner and it tunes all bands except 30m without having to move the coil tap.I dont try to work 80m with it.i think its a very neat vertical and it was fun putting it together . It does just what I wanted it to do , that is let me get on 40m with the gang and work a little 20m cw once in a while . I am very satisfied with it.I used a radial plate, put down an additional 8 ft copper ground rod and terminal rings were used on all radials and the coil pigtails. The coil is mounted in a vertical position.Its grounted mounted and here at the new qth I doubt if the neighbors even notice it.
Larry k5jyd
2W0AXI Rating: 4/5 Aug 31, 2005 14:17 Send this review to a friend
Needs some TLC  Time owned: more than 12 months
Before giving my views on the AV-18VS, please bear in mind that my QTH gives me some problems when it comes to antennas. I'm 1300ft above sea level but I live on the side of a 30 degree mountain slope. This rises to the north and east of me to about 300ft above rooftop height. The houses on these sides rise above mine. A mile to the east is a main TV transponder mast so there are some drop out spots in reception on certain bands. To make matters worse, the area we laughingly call 'the garden' is an 'L' shaped strip on two sides of the property. At its widest the yard is about 4 meters from the wall of the house and at its narrowest its just 1.5 meters. So antenna type, placement and height are all in trouble before we start.

So as to the Hy-Gain, I paid around 60 GBP (about 100 bucks US) from a mail order outlet. The antenna was well packaged and seemed well manufactured. The aluminium tube sections fit together well without the usual play found in cheaper telescoping verticals. Some of the sections are swaged for a better fit. Having gone to the trouble to do this it seems odd that the hose clips supplied are the wrong sizes. A trip to the local hardware supplier and I had some clips of the correct sizes. I'd agree with some of the reviewers that the instructions could be clearer, but I had the thing assembled without too much trouble.
The base loading/tuning coil is an 'open to the elements' type fitted to a strip of nylon bar at the base of the antenna. On assembling the tuning coil my first thought was 'that looks a bit flimsy', but it all fitted together OK.
The instructions call for the antenna to be mounted on a ground mounted pole at a height of 24 inches if no radials are used. It also calls for the antenna to be mounted 'clear of nearby obsticles' or in free space. Non starter as far as I am concerned as I don't have free space. I fitted mine to a vertical pole bracketed on a 4 foot wall so the first 2 feet of the antenna were only 5 inches from the wall and the back fence was only 3 feet away.
Tuning up each band means removing a small clip on the tuning coil and replacing it at another position. Once I had tuned all the bands, like others here I marked the coil with enamel. Changing bands is then fairly simple.
On testing with my TS-830S reception was very good on 20M with US stations coming in clean and crisp. I managed to work my first east coast qsos with only 25 watts on voice. All of North Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia were no problem and reports were very good. this is quite amazing when you consider that the tip of the antenna does not reach rooftop height, and the restrictions that my location puts on it.

Now for the down side.

My shack is on the first floor, band changes in the rain become a real pain, and with the mild corrosion that occurs on the coil, constant cleaning of the coil becomes obligatory. After 6 months, the entire antenna had to come down, be completely cleaned, re-assembled and new self amalgamating tape applied. Water getting into the joints can be a problem, but once cleaned up the antenna worked as good as new. However, during cold evenings, I have to say that I ended up using it as a mono-bander rather than go and change the coil position.

So my final thoughts were that with some TLC the performance / price made it a '4'. I would only add that I have a Versa Tuner ATU, the ground screw had come loose so I took the case off to tighten it up. Low and behold the coil in the ATU is identical to the coil on the Hy-Gain. So I went and bought a Thunderpole Silver Rod CB base antenna (5/8th wave) for 18 GBP (23 bucks?). Tuned it for 10 meters and then stuck the Versa Tuner on it and tried 20M. I couldn't tell the difference between the Thunderpole and the Hy-Gain mounted in the same position. Whats more neither could my qso's!
If you have access to a decent ATU or can get a second hand one for 40.00 or less then it maybe worth an experiment. Otherwise the Hy-Gain is a reasonable investment.

HZ1FD Rating: 0/5 May 6, 2005 14:34 Send this review to a friend
worst antenna from the worst manufactrurer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
this antenna has recieved the award of biggest achievement for doing nothing.

one of the alum elements is bended from factory , what a quality.?

the installation manual is the easiest way for a customer to find out who fool was he when he bought it .

the company customer service is as the ad says (no matter what) , i would rather add "a customer might think ".

SM0YKS Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2005 14:32 Send this review to a friend
Good value for money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Living in apartment I had a need for a good ant for HF - that took no horizontal space. Also couldnt go too high - so 18 feet was a good compromise. Purchased ant after reading other reviews on this site.
In summary, very good value for money.
Construction took about 90 mins. Instructions could be improved - but as others have noted you can work out the shortcomings in the instructions. I found the mounting mechanics for the loading coil to be rather ordinary - and a lack of lugs or other suitable hardware left me scracthing my head - but a glass of wine and trip to hardware soon sorted that out. Overall, I would have expected better instructions and better mounting for loading coil and a few extra nuts, bolts, lugs etc etc. but, hey, it wouldnt have been as much fun if I didnt have to drink the wine and think of some improvements!!
Mounting to balcony no problem with supplied hardware - 18 feet looks high on a small balcony - but its up and mechanically sound.
Now to operation... as others have noted, tuning is a bit of a pain, but once you get it tuned its fine. I have it loaded up on 40mtrs and am waiting for an MFJ Analyzer to help with the other bands - in the meantime I cheat and use an ATU for 30 and 20mtrs. Performance seems ok so far - have worked around Europe and UK on 40mtrs. No serious DX yet. Will udpate with further comments as I get the ant tuned up for other bands. Overall, great value for money - at under US$90 I am not sure you could do better. And the extra effort to get it constructed and operational was fun! I was going to give it a 4, but decided on a 5 - its got me back on air and making contacts - and thats what its all about!
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