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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Hustler 6BTV Vertical Help

Reviews Summary for Hustler 6BTV Vertical
Hustler 6BTV Vertical Reviews: 133 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $189.99
Description: 6btv
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You can write your own review of the Hustler 6BTV Vertical.

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W5DQ Rating: 4/5 Mar 13, 2012 00:00 Send this review to a friend
Good solid performer despite using traps  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am not a big fan of using trapped antennas as I feel using traps diminish the effectiveness of an antenna with extra losses and additional weight but I recently found I needed to improve my 80M antenna arsenal and also wanted add a 160M capability even though my lot size really hindered installing any efficient 160M antenna system. I had done some reading on the different verticals available and when I found a new in the box 6BTV available for a nice price, I went for it. I figured if I didn't like it I could always sell it and get most of my money out of it. So I installed the antenna and tuned it (using DX Engineering's treatise on the BTV series of antennas) I checked the performance and measure the 2:1 SWR bandwidth. 80M was the customary 45 or so kHz that many others had obtained over a decent ground radial system. My radial field has 48 radials averaging 40 foot in length (20' to 65' in all). 40M has appx. 175khz bandwidth. I might mention here that I also installed the Impedance Matching Coil from DX Engineering at the feed point to bring the 80M SWR down at resonance to 1.1:1 but in doing so it raised the 40M to 1.4:1 so I split the difference and now had 1.2:1 on 80M and 1.3:1 on 40M. The remaining bands have full band coverage below 2:1 except 10M where I tuned it for the bottom 1Mhz. 30M thru 10M were all 1.3 or less at resonance. I had to adjust the trap cover placement to achieve the desired tuning on all traps. Biggest problem in doing that was getting the waterproofing RTV out of the trap caps that Hustler "liberally" applied inside. I think I could have operated that antenna below water and it would not have leaked. The one biggest problem I had was the hose clamps just did not tighten down enough to prevent the tubing joints from slipping, even after I clean and degrease them and scuffed the inside and out side of the tubing with steel wool. I finally got the joints to quit slipping but it was a chore overall. Ended up breaking 3 hose clamps before getting a satisfactory seating of tubing. That is the reason I ding it a point on the eval score. I mounted the 6BTV on the DX Engineering Tilt Over Plate (see review for that product separately). The performance is very good but I would not call it spectacular. It would probably be much better if I had room to mount the vertical in the clear more but I don't so I make do. The small sliver of 80M coverage requires a tuner to exceed it because the SWR curve is rather steep sided and goes over 2:1 real fast from resonance.

After I used the stock configuration a few days, I modified the antenna by removing the 80M stock resonator and replacing it with a 40M Super resonator and a DX Engineering Hot Rodz top hat kit using 48" spokes. In the process to get both 80M and 40M to resonate at the proper poit at the same time, I ended up adding about 3 feet of tubing to the section between the 30M trap and the 40M resonator/top hat assembly. After tuning the new configuration, I found 80M now had appx 100 Khz of bandwidth and 40M still have appx 175 Khz or maybe a little more than before.

Next I temporarily removed the 40M resonator / top hat assembly and re-attached the original 80M resonator and installed a second Hot Rodz top hat assembly using 72" spokes and tuned it for 160M (around 1.820 for CW ops). The 2:1 bandwidth is quite narrow, only about 25 Khz but the SWR at resonance is 1.2:1. I found that the tuner easily takes care of SWR once I exceed the 2:1 bandwidth. I recently worked the CQ SSB 160M contest with the new 160M 6BTV configuration and it worked out quite well. No it isn't a 4 square competitor but it does work and allows me to make 160M contacts which I could not do before.

Compromise antenna configuration ... YES
Darn lot of fun as little expense .... DEFINITELY!

Would I recommend a 6BTV ... YES
Would I recommend trying the mods ... YOU BET!! After the initial 6BTV investment, for $50 more you can be on 160M too.

One limitation to the 160M ... you loose 80M and 40M while you are operating 160M until you switch back resonator/top hat assemblies then you back on 80M/40M but 160M is quashed until next swap out.

Overall I think anyone who has a little available room could benefit from the low angle of radiation a vertical affords and the 6BTV is a nice streamline package to do it with.

One last thing .... regardless of what the documentation says ... "You DO NEED a radial field installed to get the optimum performance out of the 6BTV or any ground mounted vertical"
K4AOA Rating: 5/5 Jan 18, 2012 16:34 Send this review to a friend
Very impressed with performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I installed this antenna in my back yard about a month ago with 40 radials. 20 are 20 feet long and 20 are 32 feet long. Followed the DX engineering tuning instructions for trap ajustment which worked very well, but I still have some work to do on 20 meters. 40 meters is 1.4:1 in the CW portion but not so good in the phone portion at this point. The impressive part was my initial on air testing of the bands. On day one in the span of about 90 minutes I worked the following prefixes with 100 watts from my QTH in NC. On 30 meters: FM (CW); 40 meters: CN (RTTY); 10 meters: VE (SSB); 20 meters: MM (RTTY); 12 meters: 3B8 (CW); 17 meters: VQ9 (CW) and checked into a local net on 6 meters as a bonus. Nothing on 15 meters this particular day but have since worked plenty of DX there as well. I am very happy with this product.
K4JC Rating: 5/5 Jul 18, 2011 17:17 Send this review to a friend
What a fantastic antenna!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used a Hustler 5BTV in the past, and still have one as an emergency/Field Day antenna (see my review in the 5BTV section.) However, I had the opportunity to convert a 5BTV to a 6BTV, and wanting to operate on 30 meters I tried it. The antenna was mounted on an 8-ft. section of pipe driven 4 feet into the ground, and clamped to my backyard fence to use as the counterpoise. No radials, just the wire fence. I have to say, the results have been nothing short of amazing! The antenna has been up a little over 2 years and in that time I have worked all states and over 200 countries, most of the time running only 100 watts. No, I don't get earth-shattering signal reports all the time but I have broken through a few pileups and generally, "if I can hear 'em I can work 'em!" The best band for my 6BTV has been 40 meters, with 30 and 20 performing very well. 15 and 10 are good. 75 meters is iffy; sometimes I'm heard well and sometimes not at all. While I can use my antenna tuner for 12 and 17 meters the performance is dismal - understandable since it's not designed for those bands without adding mods. I can't say enough good things about the 6BTV! No, it's not a perfect antenna. It's a trap vertical and its performance is what one should expect from a trap vertical. But even though I had originally intended to take it down once the tower and beam are up, I've changed my mind. This baby is staying right where it is!
W6DPS Rating: 4/5 Jun 29, 2011 12:10 Send this review to a friend
Works well, but feed point has issues.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just used this for the second Field Day in a row, and had pretty good results both years.

It seems easiest to tune, and keep tuned, in the higher frequency bands. i particularly like to operate 15 meters, and this antenna performs well there.

I did have the problem of the feedpoint screw at the bottom corroding and not coming back out. I used a hose clamp about one inch from the bottom insulator (enough to clear the ends of the U-bolt) and attached to it with an alligator clip. it worked fine, with performance going back to the time the antenna was new.

For Field Day I used a 4 foot piece of black iron pipe driven into the ground, and four non-resonant radials to help form a ground plane.

Performance on 10 through 20 meters was great, not bad on 40, but the 80 meter segment was a bit narrow for the "hunt and pounce" Field Day operation that i prefer over calling CQ.

I worked Field Day with the Edison Amateur Radio Network, W6SCE, in LAX section. If you worked us on 15 or 20 meters then odds are that it was me--using my 6BTV and IC-718.

Generally a good antenna, but does need to be guyed if there is any wind and the feed point needs to be redesigned--although hose clamps are pretty cheap.

When taken down into 3 or 4 pieces it fits in my Jeep and goes back up easily, making it a good choice for Field Day. Being a vertical, it didn't pick up quite as much noise, and often hearda lot more signals than temporary inverted-V antennas.
KC0ZPS Rating: 4/5 Mar 28, 2011 09:54 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'd give this antenna 5 stars, but I rated at 4 primarily because of the setup.

Tuning was a bit of a pain in the rear. I ended up having to move the traps lower to bring the resonant frequency up per KB7TPB's link. This required me to break the silicon seal on the traps. The installation directions made no mention of this and without adjusting the traps, 3:1 was the best SWR I could achieve across most of the bands. 4:1 on the 40 meter band.

After tuning the antenna, adjusting the traps, and installing radials, I am now operating below or at 1.5:1 across all bands. First weekend with the tuned antenna, and I've made over a dozen DX contacts. Poland, Czech Republic, Columbia, Aruba, Spain, France, and Belgium from Colorado, to name a few. This antenna is a solid performer, so far. I'd recommend it.
KB3RMX Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2011 16:12 Send this review to a friend
GREAT AGAIN  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a follow up of a review I gave this antenna a few years ago. Just installed the 12 meter add on kit today and have to say it tuned perfectly easy. Did not de-tune the rest of my antenna. I was on 12 meters within the hour of installation. I added the 17 meter kit about two years ago, same result. This is a fantastic antenna if you don't have the real estate. I have this ground mounted with 30 radials 8.5 feet each and swrs are great. tune this to where you want to work and it stays there. I do recommend the Penetrox for each connenction., keeps oxidation off your connection. Am going to get the Hustler 4btv for my sation on the back patio.
ON5UN Rating: 5/5 Feb 25, 2011 13:43 Send this review to a friend
Great Vertical  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Have a 6BTV since 2 months ground mounted, actually with 16 radials ranging between 5 and 20 meters long. Using the manual dimensions, the antenna was low in frequencies on all bands. Then I tuned the traps and it took me 10 times taking the antenna down, but now the SWR is max 1.5 on all bands. 80 meters is very narrow, but works acceptable in that segment. Worked nice DX with 25 watts and I am really surprised by this antenna which needs only a small place. Good value for the money. I will install more radials in the Spring.
AB4KJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2011 13:37 Send this review to a friend
Solid antenna  Time owned: months
I bought this antenna to add to my growing antenna farm. I had heard good thing about verticals and this antenna in particular. It was easy to set up and tune. I installed it on the ground using the DX engineering tilt mount, which made tuning very easy. I also installed it with the DX engineering radial plate. The installation was quick and easy. I installed it with about 40 radials using the DX engineering radial kit. The antenna tunes up well on all the design bands and appears to perform well. I have work JAs and VK's with no problem. I live in the midwest and so far it is handling the winds, snow, and rain with no adverse impact. It isn't an eye sore for the neighbors either. Good product.
NC0Q Rating: 4/5 Jan 9, 2011 14:09 Send this review to a friend
Good antenna for what it is.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I'm giving this antenna a 4 because if you ignore the hype and have realistic expectations of 1/2 of a TRAP dipole shoved into the ground, you may actually be impressed by this antenna's performance, I know I am. I picked mine up locally for very cheap, and approached the installation with a fair degree of pessimism. Boy, was I wrong.

I have mine ground-mounted on the DX engineering tilt-plate, which is great for adjusting the antenna (I raised and lowered mine about 25 times for this purpose) and also for lowering the antenna for high-wind situations (mine is unguyed and handles up to 30MPH okay.) I have 54 ground radials of various lengths from 35 feet to 15 feet. FWIW I did notice an improvement in performance as radials were added over the course of 4-5 weeks. The radials are all random length. The antenna is in a small suburban back yard about 15 feet from my steel-sided house. I have a very short coax run, so my SWR bandwidth on 40 meters is narrower than some might have with 50+feet. It is centered on 7.095, just hits 2:1 at 6.900 and 7.190. All other bands are completely covered (10, 15, 20, 30) except obviously 80 meters, which gives me a 2.5:1 bandwidth of about 50 Khz.

I get good signal reports barefoot. I have worked all the bands with it, but I prefer the performance from 20 meters down. 15 is kinda sketchy, 10 meters is useless IMHO. I think that bottom 8 feet of tube really needs to be either on a roof or out in the clear to work well, and the typical backyard QTH is hardly a rooftop or large empty feild.

A major plus is that the antenna can handle 1500 watts, which is pretty nice if you actually want to use the 80M resonator, which in my experience is necessary if you want to ragchew on that band with this antenna.

If this were the only antenna I had, I could see myself being content with it.
K9OSC Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2010 17:47 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Vertical Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Over the course of several decades I have owned many different types of verticals from HyGain, Cushcraft, Butternut and now Hustler. Three years ago I bought a 6BTV new. My primary reason was the inclusion of the 30 meter band. When I moved to Minnesota I put it up as a ground mounted vertical.

The build was easy. Following the instructions carefully yielded a trouble free assembly. All the parts were provided as well as the stainless steel hardware.

Using a DX Engineering radial plate, I carefully installed twelve 30-foot buried radials that dodged trees and other backyard elements. Installed per the manual the antenna worked fine, but the SWR was off. Hustler and DX Engineering advised in their written literature that retuning the traps may be necessary due to varying soil conditions and if a large radial field was employed. In addition, I suspect the vertical was designed with the dimensions provided by the factory for those who choose a minimalist installation (read ground rod only with no radials).

The antenna is fed with RG-213 coax that is buried and runs for a distance of approximately 60 feet. I have not found the need to provide choke baluns at each end as was suggested by Hustler.

I am fortunate to have fairly good soil conditions as well, so retuning the traps was in order.

Again, carefully following instructions they tuned easily and all bands are now resonant right in the middle of each band. I used an antenna analyzer but a SWR bridge could have been employed just as easily with identical results. I also have the antenna guyed at the proper level with three light non-conducting guys.

The antenna over three years has withstood the harsh Minnesota winters with ease. This area also experiences severe weather in the spring and summer including near misses by tornadoes. No issues whatsoever thus far. It handles wind well. The physical integrity of the antenna is excellent and with the last inspection no repairs or adjustments were needed. Basically, it is a set and forget antenna. It works very well as confirmed by the fact that half of my operating time is spent running QRP. I work my share of DX and compete in many QRP contests with good success even during these current solar doldrums.

I do not use the antenna on 80 meters, however. Not because of narrow bandwidth (which it has) but because such a radiator is not all that efficient on that one band. I use my CF Zepp with better success.

The 6BTV has a nice slim profile that makes it blend in easily with the yard and surrounding trees/shrubs. While in the center of the backyard it is completely visible, it isn't an eyesore. The XYL approves of it without exception and the performance it has provided has been most gratifying.
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