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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Force 12 XR5 Help

Reviews Summary for Force 12 XR5
Force 12 XR5 Reviews: 13 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1699
Description: true 5-band (10,12,15,17,20m) beam
Product is in production.
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WA4YBC Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2014 13:14 Send this review to a friend
Great Force 12 yagi  Time owned: more than 12 months
My Force 12 XR5 has worked great on all bands. Signal reports from it are very good and reception is very good. The XR5 is the best 5 band yagi sold by Force 12.
KU7I Rating: 5/5 Oct 2, 2012 22:58 Send this review to a friend
heavy but impressive  Time owned: more than 12 months
a flame thrower. Very heavy...maybe around 50 pounds but it works and works and works. I would like to do a same height comparison against a Hexbeam since the hex is less than half the weight. Other than it being a bit heavy it is essentially 5 mono-banders fed with one 50 ohm coax. Highly recommended. Vertically stacking two of these would be fun.
WA4SSG Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2012 19:10 Send this review to a friend
Great performance - One Caution  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After months of delays due to some aesthetic considerations posed by my tower, I finally got the XR-5 up in January 2012. SWR was practically non-existent on 20 and 10 meters, below 1.5 to 1 on 12 and 17 meters and the low half of 15 meters. I immediately worked DX stations that I could not even hear on my G5RV dipole. During the ARRL DX contest in February, I had worked 300 stations including first call on many pileups when suddenly my Alpha 9500 showed a high SWR fault. Upon examination, the SWR was off the chart on all bands. Something had failed in the antenna though mechanically all was intact.

The failure turned out to be the EB-1 balun that I had purchased with the antenna. The dealer who sold me the antenna specified this balun and I had no reason to question it. It is apparently marketed as rated at 2.5KW CW according to the manufacturer's website (CAV-AV Labs). When the balun failed, I was tuning up with 1500 watts, but no more than that, and the SWR at the time was 1.3 to 1.

I contacted Force 12 and they sold me the CAV-AV EB3 which is rated at 10 kw, and so far, no probems. It cost me more than the price of the antenna to have a tower crew lower the antenna so that I could replace the balun which lasted only 3 weeks. Due to the location of the balun on the boom, the antenna must be lowered to the ground to replace it since it is too far out from the center point to reach when on a mast. So if there is any chance that you might want to run full legal power, buy a balun that is over rated. With a little SWR, voltages can get very high, and the EB-1 balun is only rated at 500 volts.

The resontant frequency on 15 meters changed from the high end of the phone band to the low end of the CW band when I swapped baluns. I suspect it has to do with the much greater size of the EB-3 balun which is mounted very close to the driven elements. The SWR on 12 and 17 actually improved slightly.

One more point to be aware of: when I took the antenna down to replace the balun, I checked the U bolts on the element to boom mounts. Although the antenna had only been in the air for three months, all of the nuts on the U bolts required a third of a turn to snug them up. I put a drop of Loctite threadlock on all of the nuts hoping that the nuts stay tight for a long time.

The experience with the balun was a bit of a sour note given the hassle and expense of having to deal with a component failure within three weeks of deploying the antenna. But the performance has simply been outstanding. I consistently get signal reports of "59+, booming signal" from the vast majority of DX stations I work. It's rare that I don't get a response to my first call even in a pileup. I worked a VK rather late at night on 15 meters who was sure I was on the west coast as I was stronger from Virginia than any other signals he was hearing at the time.

After many years of being off of HF and a few years with just a wire antenna, the XR-5 has made HF operation a dream.

W1WN Rating: 5/5 Sep 27, 2011 04:47 Send this review to a friend
One Beam does it all!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned a number of Force 12 and other Yagis over the years. The Force 12 products included the 5BA and C-3S. I decided I wanted one beam, with one feed line that covered all 5 bands from 10-20. I found it.

Let me say that both the 5BA and C-3S were excellent products. The 5BA is a large antenna with a 33' boom, 15 elements, 3 feedlines and weighing in at around 80lbs. It was an excellent performer and put me at Top of the Honor Roll.

I wanted something smaller and lighter to go on the Aluma Tower I installed at the new QTH, so I tried the C-3S. It also worked well but I missed a resonant antenna on 12/17 meters and although my Palstar AT-Auto would tune the yagi on those bands, I didn't like using an antenna that had that high an SWR on the bands it was not designed for.

I had looked at the XR-5 for some time and finally decided to purchase. I have not been disappointed. Assembly was typical for Force 12 products--lots of rivets and the manual for the most part was easy to follow. As per their suggestions, I checked every element length and for the most part they were right on, with 1/4" or less variance with the manual.

I put it up in the air and immediately could not believe the SWR. Flat on the entire phone portion of 10,17 and 20 meters. 1.1:1 on 12 and 1.3:1 on 15. I only operate phone, but the SWR varies little on the CW portion of the band. If you want to tweak it for that part of the band, you can adjust the element tips. Mine was set up as per the manual.

I have been amazed at how this works at 50' or less. I usually break DX pileups on the first call and received unsolicited reports of how strong the signal is. Current equipment is the Icom 7800 and PW-1 amplifier. Makes me wonder what it would be like if I hadn't sold my Alpha 9500!

Support from Mark and Tomi at the factory was excellent throughout. I don't see this yagi leaving. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Dave, W1WN
KO0Q Rating: 5/5 Jun 30, 2011 20:13 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Product!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The build quality is excellent on this antenna. The riveted elements made assembly a breeze, and the high quality 3 piece boom made installation simple from the ground on my tilt over tower.

SWR across all bands as advertised. I used a homebrew WA2SRQ balun using 6 turns of LMR400 UF around 4" form. Night and day difference between my vertical and this antenna. I would highly recommend it.
N3YV Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2010 16:01 Send this review to a friend
What a difference WOW !!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hello again ,,I just wanted to update something about my XR5, I recently lost my original manual so I contacted Force12,,Mark send me what I guess is the update manual with the proper element measurements and,,,OH MAY WHAT A DIFFERENCE !
the swr in 15 meters drop from 1:8 to 1:2 and 10 meters from 1:9 to 1:1,,which where the bands where swr was a little off,,,now I am even happier with my antenna and the Force12 team,,thank you ,,thank you,,thank you.
they are the best,,also mr.Natan thank you Sir
WV2I Rating: 5/5 Jul 5, 2009 16:22 Send this review to a friend
Great performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hello all: Have had many beam antennas over the years, including some by FORCE 12. The XR-5 has proven to be an excellant antenna based on ease of making contacts. The front to back rejection is GOOD. (front to back suffers when emphasis is on gain as this antenna is). Off the side rejection is EXCELLENT on all bands. A sig of S-9 (straight on to the best sig) can be reduced to S-2 when turned 90deg to that signal. My antenna is one of the last before the new owner took over. Needless to say, every element had to be checked and adjusted to the correct specs as per the manual. There were NO revisions available so I have to think that there was little attention paid to detail. The balun leads were cut to 3" lenght as I am a CW op. This was a lenght that was decided on by my experience with beam antennas. The adjustment was to eleminate the need to adjust each driver to the CW portion of the band. When the antenna was reised to 55ft, the results were found to be very good. The only adjustment I had to make was to lenghten the 10M driver 2" on each side to swing the curce down to the low end of the band.
K6GAK Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2008 21:02 Send this review to a friend
Multiband solution for a limited space QTH  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I used a Hy-Gain TH-5 for about 15 years from my small city lot QTH. While it worked well (got me #1 Mixed Honor Roll), I also wanted to operate a gain antenna on 12 and 17 meters and my tower wouldn't accomodate a second stacked beam (I'm pretty sure the neighbors wouldn't be too crazy about that either). After several months of research and consideration, I decided the XR-5 would be the best choice for me.

It's easily the equal of the TH-5 and probably superior. The construction and engineering are excellent and of course you don't have traps to limit performance. Tests show an SWR of less than 1.5 across all bands without a tuner. The 18 foot boom fits nicely at my QTH. The pop rivits used in assembly are more reliable than the hose clamps used with some other beams. Everything fits and is pre-assembled at the factory to test the alignment of the pre-drilled pop rivit holes in the elements and boom (of course it is disassembled prior to shipping). The assembly manual is superb and nicely illustrated.

You'll probably have to wait to get one -- it took me about two months - but it's well worth the wait. Don't confuse the XR-5 with stacked monibanders, but with skill and a little patience, you'll be able to crack the toughest pileups. They have new management at Force 12 which should improve their communications with customers.

As we await the arrival of Cycle 24, this is a good solution for the not-so-big gun.
W7AV Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2006 13:39 Send this review to a friend
Nice 5 Band Antenna  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had my XR5 up for 6 months now and can say that I'm very pleased. The antenna went together without any problems, set it per instructions, and it performs per specs. The SWR is not flat across every band but is well within a usable range. For an antenna that has only 2 elements per band it's a real performer. Excellent F/B and side rejection. Does not perform like your standard 2 element yagi's which have little foward gain and even less F/B. For someone looking for a small yagi with good performance on 20,17,15,12, and 10m, this is certainly an antenna to consider.
WV1K Rating: 5/5 Mar 26, 2004 18:14 Send this review to a friend
Took a long time, a tuning problem, but great performance  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I waited 7 weeks for mine to arrive last summer, but it did arrive eventually (2 weeks after scheduled delivery). The antenna was installed professionally as I am disabled.

There was a tuning issue that I understand many have had; 15 meters was low in the higher part of the band. I wanted it from 21000 up as advertised.

After a fashion the issue was corrected (through no fault of F12, Natan, formerly of F12, had the solution right away but the installer took some convincing to do it F12's way).

At only 35 feet, this is an excellent performer. Running 200w, I usually get through moderate and smaller pileups on the first try. There truly have been no P5 style pileups to try it on, so I cannot comment. Signal reports have never been below S7. Literally.

I had never heard Mongolia in 17 years of ham radio. With the XR-5 I worked JT1CO on the first try on 20 CW, with a true 599 both ways.

3B9C was a breeze. As was XF4IH.

Nice job F12. And not a bad job for the antenna installer either, though pricey...
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