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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Butternut HF6V Help

Reviews Summary for Butternut HF6V
Butternut HF6V Reviews: 85 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $522.95 USD
Description: 10,15,20,30,40,80,Vert.
Product is in production.
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NZ4J Rating: 4/5 Oct 9, 2015 11:18 Send this review to a friend
Works well, but..  Time owned: more than 12 months
As cautioned by many, the antenna will work with the proper installation. Ground wires or, if elevated, a counterpoise system is required. Read the technical articles and understand what is needed to get it to perform. I installed at ground level and in another location, elevated at 10' - both with counterpoise/ground wires/etc. Tuning at that height is tricky - climbing on roof to adjust. A lot of climbing.

I live 1000' feet from the Atlantic ocean. I treated all the aluminum with "Alodine(r) Conversion Coating" - same stuff that is used for AC parts. I made sure that the aluminum-aluminum connections were raw aluminum. Added conductive grease and that has cured 99% of the corrosion issues for many years.

I just bought the 12M/17M add-on and will install this winter.

Complaints on the BW on 75/80 are a bit silly. Any vertical with high bandwidth/Q without re-tuning the antenna will likely not be an efficient radiator.

I cannot compare this antenna with the 43' verticals with tuners at the feed and counterpoise. That might be a simpler installation, for sure. The HF6V is not trivial in design.

Also, after many years, I replaced the two ceramic HV Caps. One developed a crack after 9 years.

VE7IG Rating: 5/5 Oct 9, 2015 03:26 Send this review to a friend
Excellent antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have just replaced the 8 year old HF6V at my remote site with a new one. The old one had been used on many IOTA expeditions and was suffering from wind damage and corrosion. IMHO these antennas are the best commercial all band verticals available. I have three of them and have used one of them with a ground rod in the past. It worked, but really perked up when I installed thirty 33 foot radials under it. They also work well with a few ungrounded radials in portable operation. This one is on a ridge about 80 feet above the prevailing ground level that slopes down to the Atlantic Ocean 1 km away. It tunes to low SWR on all bands except 12m where it works fine with an autotuner. I received this antenna quickly from DX Engineering, put it together and up in a day. Every part fit perfectly, all holes were perfectly aligned. Altogether a fine antenna and one that works very well.
WX4O Rating: 4/5 Sep 10, 2015 18:47 Send this review to a friend
Good Ant.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used one for a year in S. Korea as HL9JT. There was no way I could put up radials, so I ran it without. Using 100 watts I worked all but 47 states.
K0FL Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2015 15:58 Send this review to a friend
Gotta know what your doing  Time owned: more than 12 months
This antenna is a good performer when placed over a radial system. No ground mounted vertical will perform like a yagi at 50ft but this antenna does as well as anything in its class. Take the time to educate yourself on verticals before buying this or any antenna and then take the time to put down as good a radial system as is practical at your location. With a radial system this antenna tunes up on each band just fine. I get a laugh when I read reviews saying how much experience they have or how long they've been a ham and then show how little they know. Anyone who doesn't know a vertical needs a counterpoise best stay with dipoles
KC7CJO Rating: 0/5 Sep 10, 2015 13:51 Send this review to a friend
Don't waste your money!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Our County Emergency Operations Center purchased this antenna (without consulting me) and I had to install it. I'm the Radio Tech for the County and have been a Ham since 1981, 20-year USAF retired, and with the County as their Radio Tech for 14 years, so I have a lot of experience with antennas and radio.

I followed the instructions to the letter (after I was able to interpret them).

By the way, the advertisement for this antenna says NO ground plane (counter poise) required!

BUT, the instructions says that a ground plane or counter poise "IS" required!

Which is it???

I then used an MFJ-259CM Analyzer to tune it, or at least get it close and only the 80 & 40 meter bands would tune within the band. NONE of the other bands would even come close.

AND, any previous setting was immediately screwed up with any subsequent adjustment to the next band.

I've spent more than 10 hours trying to get this antenna adjusted to work within its respective bands and it will NOT work! 10 meters, forget it! It is NOT resonant in any portion of that band!

If it weren't for the fact that we've had this thing more than a year, I'd send it back for a FULL refund!

N5LB Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2015 17:25 Send this review to a friend
FB Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I resurrected it from my garage after having been stored for a few years. Cleaned it up and installed on the ground. Any vertical needs some degree of grounding and for this antenna radials are a good investment in performance. I put in 50 x 30 foot radials over the period of a year. It tunes as expected and works great in my HOA community.
I added the 1 and 17 meter coils. The 12 meter adjustment worked fine and achieved < 1.5:1. On 17 meters the best I could achieve was 3:1 but even with that the feedline loss is immaterial in my case.
It takes some maintenance and I track swr over time on all bands and sometimes have to readjust.
Rain does seem to change the tuning but it recovers afterwards. In any event the change is no issue.
KF0W Rating: 3/5 Jul 25, 2014 13:43 Send this review to a friend
Meh, it's "OK"  Time owned: more than 12 months
1st, it is too pricey for what you get. It doesn't perform very well without good ground radials, but those got chewed up by the lighting strike and I never replaced them. The design of the 15 meter wire is such that it breaks up at the top of the antenna whenever there is a strong or gusty wind that makes the antenna whip about. So I do not have 15 meters because it is a pain to disassemble and repair the 15 meter wire. It is good on the most used HF frequencies, 20, 30 and 40. 80 has a very limited useful range of frequencies. It makes a really good lightning rod so better keep your expensive radios unconnected to the antenna unless you are actually using it. Meh. If my HOA restrictions were more lax on antennae, I would get something else.
W6LQP Rating: 1/5 Jan 6, 2014 11:03 Send this review to a friend
Poor choice  Time owned: more than 12 months
While I have seen these antennas used short term in DX locations right on the ocean beaches, mine has corroded to the point that it is useless and LC networks are basically welded to the vertical element...worked great for a few months and then all bands went into the ditch...have cleaned and retuned and still cannot get system to work properly in-band with reasonable SWR...recommend that you consider enclosed trap vertical(as I should have) if you are near salt water environment...Counterpoise is a piece of junk for the price charged...buyers beware.
VE7ALQ Rating: 5/5 Jan 16, 2013 19:35 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a Butternut HF6V in 1992 and have had it ever since. This 26 foot antenna, mounted on the roof of the apartment building with the RMK-II Roof Mounting Kit (includes STR-II Stub Tuned radials) has served me very well on 40 meters and higher frequencies, where it is more than 50% efficient and covers the bands with less than 2:1 SWR. On 80 meters, the bandwidth at 2:1 SWR is 50 kHz. Wide bandwidth on an electrically short antenna indicates a high loss, which is expected because the RMK-II does not cover 80 meters. I tried the TBR-160-S kit for 160 meters - forget 160 meters unless you have a very good ground system which I do NOT have.

Rated wind survival 80 miler per hour (unguyed) - I have had mine up for over 20 years...

For your information, the radiation resistance of a short (less than 1/6 wavelength) vertical antenna is given by the formula:

R = .00041*(L*F)*(L*F)


R is Radiation Resistance (Ohms)
L is Length of Vertical (Feet)
F is Frequency in mHz
AK6ZZ Rating: 4/5 Jan 1, 2012 06:49 Send this review to a friend
Updated review: a year later  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wanted to give an update for this antenna after a year of ownership. I bought my HF6V used one year ago around the same time I obtained my first ham license (extra class). I wanted to post a couple observations since it is my primary antenna for 80m and 40m. I think that these may or may not be interesting to someone considering purchasing the antenna.

1) The HF6V is a challenging antenna for a fresh out of the box new ham operator. It is pretty tricky to tune especially if a new ham or someone unfamiliar and more of an appliance operator than technician purchases the antenna. If purchased used be sure to check the conditions of the doorknob capacitors (I had to replace two of them), check and test the matching section, (it didn't come with one so I tried using cable Tv 75 ohm cable and then eventually purchased the section from bencher), and remove and rewind the coil for 80m with 12 gauge solid wire. Be ready to replace the capacitors, the matching cable and the 15m wire.

2) Anyone considering the purchasing of this antenna must have an antenna analyzer or have access to one (and frequently). I tried tuning this through trial and error without an analyzer and i was able to get the antenna to work but was not able to get I tuned properly without an antenna analyzer. Tuning can be an arduous adventure but hang in there and ask questions on the yahoo group which is very good and you will get through it.

3) Corrosion if you live close to the ocean like I do was a huge deal for me to overcome. I live on a canyonside 4.5 miles from the Pacific ocean. I can see the ocean from my backyard. In a year's time, I cleaned and scrubbed the antenna at least four times and had to put noalox and/or butter its not on the antenna and it's joints or connections about every other month. The fast corrosion at my qth with this antenna seems to accelerate it going out of tune more than some of my other antennas including aluminum yagis.

4) Elevated mount yields amazing DXing results but also makes it more difficult to tune. I built a set of 300 ohm radials as per the design in the instruction manual and had it elevated, moved it to a ground mount, and then moved it back in an elevated mount. When you get this bad boy tuned on an elevated mount canyonside this baby sings. I worked over 125 new entities in the first four months of last year with the butternut. It works awesome when it is tuned properly. However, the elevated mounting seems to be very sensitive to any changes to external environment for example wind, rain, corrosion (see #3).

5) I spent a lot of time researching on how to fix and troubleshoot the antenna. The yahoo group with Scott as the moderator is one of the best ones available to a new owner. The knowledge available on the web especially from the yahoo group for this effective but tricky antenna is immeasurable. There is no doubt that I would have given up on this antenna without being able to obtain key information on dealing with challenges and issues this antenna posed for me as a new ham. The yahoo group ranks up there with the Elecraft reflector and Fox Tango group as a well moderated information and troubleshooting zone.

In conclusion, I think the HF6V antenna is a very good antenna overall if installed properly and it requires more care and feeding than the other antennas I own but when installed properly it can yield excellent results. This is definitely not a plug and play antenna and I was seriously considering moving on from it but the technical challenges with the antenna appealed to me and I felt great satisfaction as well as some intermittent frustration keeping it operational.

I believe that if one lives near a large body of salt water like an ocean or bay or salt water lake you may want to do some benchmarking against other verticals that might be less susceptible or influenced by corrosion caused by proximity to salt water. Besides that issue I would recommend the antenna to the more technically oriented or those that like a challenge. It definitely has been a big part of my leanings in the hobby. For a point of reference, I was at one time in the late 1980s an electronic technician in the US Navy so I had some familiarity with radios and antennas as part of my training.. However I have been out of that field for about twenty years.
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