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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Directional: Yagi, quad, rotary dipole, LPD, etc | Sommer XP Series multiband beams Help


Reviews Summary for Sommer XP Series multiband beams
Sommer XP Series  multiband beams Reviews: 24 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $450-1,250
Description: Heavy Duty Multiband Beam
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You can write your own review of the Sommer XP Series multiband beams.

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K4KK Rating: 3/5 Jan 26, 2004 06:18 Send this review to a friend
XP807  Time owned: more than 12 months
The antenna works quite well on 20, 17, 15, and 10. It is adequate on 12. The 30 mtr response is limited but tolerable. There isn't a whole lot of reason to chase DX there anyway. However, the 40 mtr action is horrible. It simply is no good. It is money that I would have preferred to have saved and put into a wire antenna. I would have a better antenna and still have a few $$ in my pocket. The bottom line: It is a decent (perhaps even very good) antenna for 20 thru 10 including WARC bands. It is a reasonable solution for 30 meters/10MHz. It is a horrid solution for 40 meters/7MHz. DO NOT PURCHASE THE 40 meter option. Save your time/money/energy. It simply doesn't work. Nothing can help it. I tried calling repeatedly when it was new but there just is no solution. It is a pig.
 
K8ZT Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2004 21:34 Send this review to a friend
XP-508  Time owned: more than 12 months
From the moment I opened the box,the high quality of construction was very evident as was the weight. Using a "double rail" construction for the boom provides great strengh and keeps elements in the same plane. Performance on 10, 12,15,17 and 20 has been great. I have worked over 200 different countries with this beam exclusively using QRP(power output 4 watts on both CW & SSB)in the 3 years I have had antenna up. 15 & 17 meters have been exceptionally good. 40M & 30 M were usually well below my HF-2-V, so I use them infrequently. 6M was about average to sightly below a 5 element monobander. Antenna was mount at 50' using Glen Martin tower with Hazer unit. The hazer has proved to be very helpful as weight of antenna would have made for slightly difficult installation using typical gin pole. If you buy a Sommer Beam you will not be dissapointed.
 
ANDYMASTERSEXNU5O Rating: 5/5 Jul 27, 2003 16:00 Send this review to a friend
Built strong/Works great!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased my XP-508 from Alf Sommer in April, 2003 and took delivery the next month. This is a custom antenna and each one receives custom attention. My decision to purchase this antenna developed over a four year period. I first met Alf and his lovely wife at the Dayton Hamfest. I was intrigued by the construction of the antenna and the LACK of hype coming from the manufacturer.

My antenna is side mounted at 80 feet on a Rohn 100 foot SSV self supporting tower. I use the TicRing Rotor and highly recommend it, too. My antenna mounting height is driven by local terrain and housing issues and by windload issues with my tower.

It took me 3 weeks of intermittent work to assemble the antenna. This is not the antenna's fault but mine. Its hot and I don't like heat or mosquitoes so my time was limited each day. During assembly, I was puzzled by several things-all of which were resolved when I sat down and reread the assembly instructions. I did add some 10-32 stainless screws to the clamps for the 40 meter coil to stablize it. I drilled through the clamp piece and element tubing on each element and was quite pleased with the result. I also used lock-tite or thread-lock on all the hardware.

After assembling everything and semi-tightening it, I came back a day later and went over everything again.

Tuning. This was a problem for me. I used my MFJ antenna bridge to tune it and everything was out of whack. Man was I disappointed. After a few emails/calls to Alf, I discovered, I had mismeasured the element distances. This cleared a lot of it up. Then I went from a 6 foot ladder to a 14 foot ladder as a test platform to adjust the elements. This helped immensely, but I found after installation that I was still off on frequency on 40, 15, and 6 meters. One trip back down the tower and 10 minutes of adjustments put everything straight.

I also made a set of test cables that were very helpful out of RG213. I cut one cable for 1 wavelength on 10 meters (figuring velocity factor) and then cut some more to make it work out the same for each ham band below 10 meters. This allowed me to approximate the antenna multiples of a 1/2 wavelength on each band. There was a difference on the MFJ analyzer between a random piece and a 1/2 wave multiple. It was worth the effort to do this.

SWR is great on all bands except 40 meters which is still lesss than 2:1 over 100khz of band but higher than I like.

How does it play? My previous antennas have been: Hygain 204BA, KT34XA, CL3, TA33, and my old favorite: TET 5 el tribander. I will take the Sommer over all of these even with the low sunspots. I know this is subjective, but here is what I notice:

1. Excellent improvement of signal over my Carolina Windom or Alpha/Delta sloper (as it should be).
2. Excellent front/side (5-6 S units on my Icom ProII)and excellent front/back (4/5 S units) on nearby (500 miles) and distant (1500 miles plus)stations.
3. It's broadband.
4. Even on 40 meters, it has some, but not much, front to side and front to back ratio.
5. It is built like a battleship.
6. Alf's support is tremendous. Pay attention to the instructions and LISTEN to what he says.

First Sunday morning, I had it up, I worked two VK stations, one that only NET control and I could hear and another on 20 meters that flatly stated my barefoot signal was the strongest on the band. Of course propagation plays into that but I still get the feeling its not all propagation. There is a definite difference in take off angle from my other two antennas. The first Aussie, I worked, I could not even hear on my Windom or Sloper.

One item that bothers me is the amount of line noise I heard. This may not be an antenna issue because the Memphis, TN area just suffered an extreme series of thunderstorms with straight line winds of up to 100 mph that did significant damage to our powerlines, homes, trees, etc. My sloper hears the noise too.

I would definitely buy another one of these antennas and am very well pleased with it in every respect. It is a monster to put together and hang, but well worth the effort.

73 de Andy NU5O/P29AM
 
K1JD Rating: 5/5 Dec 6, 2002 12:46 Send this review to a friend
XP-506  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This antenna design is not a Yagi but rather an innovative and very capable design that is built like a battleship. Mine went up on 9 Nov 2002 and its performance has been extraordinary even though the crankup tower's been nested to ~35' due to a lot of strong wind here in the NE. On 15, 12 and 10m, stations I can't even hear on my G5RV are an easy copy and workable.
Initially thought that the assembly instructions were somewhat lacking, but it's all there. Taking the time to study the parts (shipped in 3 boxes) and reading the assembly instructions all the way through helped a lot.
6m performance is very surprising - The pattern is excellent and SWR hits 1:1 right at 50.1 MHz!
 
N4XC Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2002 08:11 Send this review to a friend
XP-807, Great!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just thought I would stick in my 2 cents worth! I am pleased to see all the good reviews for the Sommer products, as I feel this is a fantastic antenna, does a super job all around. I purchased mine about 12 years ago, had it up for about 5 years, moved to a new location, and just now have it back up. The performance today is as good as it was when new!! Installed height is about 72' on an aluminum crank up tower.

I don't understand the remarks regarding this not being a good contest antenna ?? I find the antenna to perform very well, gain is as advertised, front to back is great, and I've got 7 bands on one feedline! I have been in many, many pileups with the big guns for some rare DX station, and have always managed to work them, usually quite easily. Often on the first or second call. It "hears" very well, and if I can hear them I can work them! I have not used any of the current "in vogue" contest antenna's, so I can not directly compare, however I can not imagine how they could be much better.... I get many unsolicted reports of signal strenth being very strong, often in the middle of a pileup. I run it both barefoot and with power. It's very good at 200w but really performs at 1500w! I recently worked 8N1OGA (JD/O) on 10m barefoot on the first call. He was working 6's & 7's, I did not have the amp on, and started not to call him, but put the call out one time and nailed him! Again, in my view this is very good antenna for what ever use you need, contesting, Dx, or whatever...

I have found Alf (DJ2UT) and his wife Charlotte very very good to work with. Their support is second to none. I have been to their location in Florida and have always found them both to be very helpful with whatever my needs were. When I was there a few months ago, I called Charlotte for directions and she insisted in driving out to meet me and leading me in!! Can't beat that!!

By the way, when the beam went back up, just 2 weeks ago, I set all the element lengths to the "tarnish" on the aluminum, as it was when it was last up 7 years ago, replaced the feedline (of course), cranked it up to 72' and did not have to touch it! SWR and performance was very good on all bands.

This is a very heavy, well made antenna. 12 elements on a 26' boom, weighing about 110 pounds. It does a great job on the WARC bands, and really performs on 10, 15, & 20m. The unique method of feeding the elements "phased" really seems to work. Bottom line, if you're looking for a very well made antenna that performs, try a Sommer, I am sure you will be pleased!

73 es Dx,
Dave, N4XC
 
KA7GKN Rating: 5/5 Jun 26, 2002 11:02 Send this review to a friend
I have the XP-707  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had sommer antennas since 1993. I originally installed the xp-507. In 1996 a wind storm way beyond normal in Arizona bent a few elements. I decided to upgrade the xp-507 to the xp-707 as long as I needed to repair it. A decsion well made, however, if I knew then what I know now I would have gone for the xp-807 upgrade!!!

The xp-507 is excellent. It did take a while to adjust to the characteristics and different radiating pattern compared to a typical mulitiband yagi. I found 40 meters a poor rotatable dipole, front to back less than my old yagi. I also realized how this antenna is effected by height above ground. I run it 70 feet and it's happy.

The xp-707 upgrade was easy to do and the results from going from the 507 to the 707 is stunning!
foward gain has greatly improved. front to back is still less than a typical multiband yagi but is better than the 507. the 40 meter portion is much better too.

With that...I have heard the xp-807 and realize if I go from the 707 to the 807 agaiun the results would be amazing!!! To go from the 507 to the 807 you'll be wowed!!!

Maybe some day I'll upgrade or just buy a new xp-807....

For those of you not familiar with these antennas. they are really well built, strong, no traps, heavy the xp-707 is about 100lbs and they are large the 507= 15' boom, 707=20' boom, 807= 26'boom.

I am very happy with the antenna I do run anything from 200w to 1.5kw without any problems.
A good long term investment !!!!!

regards, Marty ka7gkn@arrl.net
 
W7IAN Rating: 5/5 Jun 22, 2002 20:03 Send this review to a friend
XP405  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used the Sommer XP405 for about 4 years and it has weathered all the storms off the Ocean very well. Well built beam and works great on 10 thru 20.
 
WZ7I Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2001 17:36 Send this review to a friend
A robust antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used a Sommer XP-807 beam for eight years although it hasn't been up for the last two years due to relocation. It is an twelve element beam on a 26 foot boom designed to cover 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12, and 10 meter bands. It was mounted at 66' on a Trylon self supporting tower. Although contesters tell me I should replace it with a more modern design on my next installation, I was satisfied with many aspects for a number of years. This model number is no longer in the price list.

It never performed as well on 40 meters in my installation as the specs would have led me to believe. DJ2UT has since replaced the wire cable catenary with a non-metallic material and says the performance is improved.

I was trying to design a station for dx rag-chewing, not for contesting. I combined this beam with a 40m four-square array and a 80M inverted V for a simple, but capable station. A high priority was very limited maintenance and robust construction that would always be ready to use, despite high winds or icing. I wanted directional antennas on as many bands as practical. The WARC bands were quite important. I was on a 2/3 acre suburban lot and my xyl had strong opinions about the appearance of the antennas. The DJ2UT beam was my way of approaching these priorities.

Some items to consider:

1) It is a very well constructed, fairly heavy antenna. The boom design is especially impressive with two rectangular aluminum tubes clamped together. It is simply impossible for an element to twist around the boom. The antenna was never damaged in all of its years of service despite a dangerous windstorm which destroyed the wind gauge mounted on the tower and which brought a large maple tree down at the foot of the tower. The only repair was due to my own stupidity when I tightened down the mounting screws too tight and cracked the plastic case of the balun. When I took it apart after nine years of service it looked essentially brand new.
2) The antenna is simple to use. There is one feed line for all the bands.
3) It was quite broad banded. The 20 meter section is a log periodic cell resulting in unusual band breadth.
4) DJ2UT was a kind and helpful gentleman in all my dealings with him.

I had a Russian ham in my home for three weeks who used the antenna regularly. He was an experienced contester and a professional rf engineer. He was fairly impressed with the 20m performance. His colleagues were quite intrigued by the antenna.

So is this an appropriate antenna for your station? Perhaps not if you are a building a contest station. But if you want a station that is capable of putting out a respectable signal on a number of bands and you don't want to have to spend time maintaining antennas, you might seriously consider DJ2UT's products.
 
M0SIS Rating: 5/5 Nov 8, 2001 08:36 Send this review to a friend
XP504  Time owned: more than 12 months
No blamming or other words like other hams on internet discussions, but facts only. XP504 working as a dream on 20/15/12/10m. Low SWR if higher then 10m on the tower. 2-4dB better than 3el. trapped beams depending to bands at the same height. Excellent mechanical design highly recommended for hurricanes exposure...Be sure that excellent mechanical and electrical design and on-air performance are benefits for buying it. Why no much more respectable contesters using it...easy to reply - cause of not so much marketing activities of Mr.Sommer and only in U.S. possible to order. In generaly it is not for PORTABLE or DX-PEDITIONS using BUT FOR LONG LIFE INSTALLATIONS ON THE TOWER in Your QTH. 73 Peter M0SIS
 
OK1RCG Rating: 5/5 Nov 8, 2001 08:21 Send this review to a friend
XP504  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have heard lot of strong words about the Sommer beams and lot hams announced that beam are not work well. It is very interested to read that many oh them talking about the Sommers but never time used on air... I am using really old one XP504 bought in Germany and works superior. I have never heard so strong sigs and easy to catch DXs in pile-up than with my Sommer beams. I compared with TA-33 Mosley and 3el home made monobander on the towers at the same time and there was easy to heard what is the best...Sommer. I am able to prepare more serious measuring in the field for unbelievers...
73 Petr OK1RP affiliated OK1RCG Club.
 
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