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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: 138 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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NR1D Rating: 4/5 Dec 21, 2012 11:21 Send this review to a friend
Good, but has fixes to do double duty on 80 meters.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've had the 6BTV for about 6 months. While it doesn't hear as well as my loop, it transmits well (field is 16/80 meter and 24/40 meter radials). I was bothered by the narrow band width of 80 meters, I really needed the extra portion of 80 cw, but also wanted the 75 (~3790Khz) phone section. To make this a reality, I added an 80 meter Hustler resonator to the top of the antenna with the factory resonator in place (using a VP-1 multi-resonator mount).
This really screwed up 40 meters due to the loading on top of the antenna with two 80 meter loading coils. The fix was adding a 3/8 inch mounted stinger (stolen from a ham stick) to the open mounting position of the VP-1 (it has three).
I needed about 18 inches of extra length to get the 6BVT to resonate on 40 meters. Yea, its a bit more narrow, but the 40 phone section is picked up with the 40 meter full wave loop. Well worth the experiment.
FYI: You will need to guy this if ground mounting due to the extra wind catchers above (rock and roll).
KW1ND Rating: 4/5 Dec 12, 2012 08:17 Send this review to a friend
Reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this antenna up for over 4 years, with no problems. Purchased from the good people at DX Engineering; I use their radial plate and a homebrewed tilt base - both are quite handy. I added 20+ radials, ranging from 13 feet (stopped by a fence) to around 30 feet; being on the ground, they're non-resonant anyway so length doesn't matter much. I had to follow DXE's instructions on adjusting the traps at installation time to get resonance on several bands, but they told me it was likely due to my better-than-average radial field (the antenna is manufactured to still operate over less than ideal grounds, though less efficiently).

I recently did the DIY mod of adding 12m & 17m vertical wires, suspended by a horizontal 1/2 inch electrical (gray) PVC pipe, 24 inches long, zip-tied just below the 20m trap, evenly balanced to each side. Small diameter Dacron rope suspends each wire down to another 24" PVC pipe acting as a spreader, where the wires connect via a copper lug to the coax connection screw. Using a RIG Expert AA-54 analyzer, I had to lengthen the 10m section by 8 inches & the 15m by a couple inches, to bring they & the upper bands back into resonance. I had cut the 12 & 17m wires long by several inches, expecting to have to cut them, but they were so broad-banded I never had touch them, each being around 1.3:1 across each band. Clearly, it's one of those things I should have done long ago, but I just recently got the analyzer. All in all, very happy with the antenna and DX Engineering. 4 stars for New-Tronics for not making these super simple mods to this antenna right out of the box.
N4WSH Rating: 5/5 Sep 18, 2012 13:04 Send this review to a friend
Very Pleased  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First let me say I've owned 2 Gap Titan DX antenna's and I've been extremely pleased with them. Recently I move to an area where I cannot have the counterpoise a few feet off the ground, nor elevate the Gap Titan high enough so no one runs into it. (I still have the Titan DX but it is boxed up) The result of not being able to use my beloved Titan DX is I need a somewhat straight vertical antenna. I narrowed my choices down to the Butternut HF9V or the Hustler 6BTV. After reading the reviews, (pros and cons) I went with the 6BTV and one of the main reasons was DX Engineering. The 60 page .pdf I downloaded about this antenna, it's set up and the additional goodies that you can purchase, especially their tilt base was the main reason I was swayed. So how does it work? I followed the instructions to a "T", and laid down the bare minimum of 20, 20 ft radials. My first night back on air (after checking my antenna match which was very good by the way with out a gazillion adjustments) I made a contact in Aruba on 40 meters, and then shortly after a New Zealand contact at 10:15 pm CST on 20 meters, both at 80 watts. I haven't messed much with 80 meters, but I'm still tweaking the antenna for that band. Is this the "best" vertical antenna? well, as I started my review I have to admit I'm very partial to my Gap Titan DX, but I'm also very pleased with this antenna too. Lastly, I cannot say enough good thongs about DX Engineering. These guys have been GREAT to work with and have always been very helpful in answering my questions regarding my purchase. So, just my 2 cents on this antenna and who I purchased it from
WD9F Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2012 16:24 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought my 6BTV from DX Engineering. Their installation / tuning directions are outstanding. You MUST follow their directions precisely. Read them three time and then again step by step. No short cuts. If you install and tune this antenna exactly as instructed over a good radial field it will perform very well for you. Mine is ground mounted with 60 radials. Installation and tuning takes time. For me it was two full days, checking and double checking everything. You need the tilt base and an antenna tuner too. I can't imagine doing it without those two things... and if you don't have a thorough understanding of resonance, SWR and how a trap vertical works, enlist the help of an Elmer who does. 73!
KK4AMQ Rating: 5/5 Apr 23, 2012 04:43 Send this review to a friend
Excellent!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I can only say good things about this antenna! I am a new Ham and I bought an Icom 718 and the Hustler 6btv from another Ham who has been doing this stuff for 20+ years. He had the antenna mounted on a 13 foot mast mounted to the side of his house and he told me to mount it the same way and I wont have any problems.....he is right. I have had it mounted this way for over a year without any radials at all and it has worked well. Of course I have used an antenna tuner and have talked with people all over the states and probably 20+ contacts over seas. I consider this pretty good since I am new to all of this stuff. I have recently thought about moving it away from my building and ground mounting it but am afraid it might not work as well. Overall I give this antenna a 5!!
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.
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