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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Bencher Skyhawk Help

Reviews Summary for Bencher Skyhawk
Bencher Skyhawk Reviews: 21 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1295
Description: High-performance trapless triband yagi with redesigned feed system: to avoid patent litigation, the Skyhawk feed system was redesigned, which actually improved VSWR performance of the antenna. The redesigned antennas will begin shipping in early August, 2000.
Product is in production.
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N4KW Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2012 18:57 Send this review to a friend
It's name may imply a CB antenna, a CB antenna it is not  Time owned: more than 12 months
My review will not contain any technical information; that can be found on the Bencher web page.

I've loved antenna/tower work for over 45 years, but it seemed the towers were growing taller and antennas were getting bigger, so it was time to downsize. I sold it all and tried a TH7DX at 70 feet, but it wasn't what I was looking for. A KT36XA worked well for awhile, but after a tower accident I lost the XA and didn't want to build another. A lot of searching and modeling of various antennas had me pretty well convinced to try the Bencher SkyHawk. It's been up for over a year and it was exactly what I was looking for. Despite finding the instructions a bit unusual, it was easy to put together, although the driven elements (feeder holes) alignments were a challenge to line up.

Contesting and DX-ing for many years gives you a feel for your station, and antennas performance; with my previous tri-banders I wasn't able to work the weak stations which didn't move my "S" meter. That is no longer a problem, as my Sky Hawk performs beautifully. It's a pleasure to use and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

Please drop me a line if you have any questions.

73, Pete N4KW
K3MD Rating: 5/5 Feb 9, 2012 06:36 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have had this antenna up 1.5 years. Antenna preceding it was a 4 element long-boom Cubex quad, which had an effective wind area of 18 square feet, and had recurrent problems with intermittents in the driven element.
W2GD put this antenna up for me. Very well constructed. Has survived 3 windstorms to 55 mph and 3 ice storms. No problems with intermittents. Weighs only around 70 lbs. I have now put up additional antennas on the same mast for 6, 2, 222, 432 and 1296 with no problem.
Not quite as loud as the 4L quad or a C31XR, but a great antenna.
Have won EPA SS SO Assisted HP x 2, RTTY roundup M/S EPA x 2, no. 3 USA CQWW WPX HP TB/wires with it.
KC7YRA Rating: 5/5 Aug 30, 2011 18:51 Send this review to a friend
Needs a 4.75 really  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got this antenna a few weeks ago. #999. It was ordered from HRO and showed up on my porch 5 days later. Not bad at all for remote Wyoming.

The antenna is packaged in a long, heavy box. It really is amazing how much stuff they pack in there.

All of the assemblies have their needed parts sealed in individual bags with clear labels and parts lists. Assembly was actually as pleasant a process as possible (with very few exceptions I will list below). There are plenty of parts in case you drop some in the grass. All of the tubing is smooth and the holes are de-burred.

They are even nice enough to provide PLENTY of anti-oxidant for all of the mating surfaces. I slathered it on thick wherever the elements mated together. The rivets are genius and worked well. These are not the standard aluminum rivets though. They are stainless and take a LOT more force to get to POP.

During assembly I noticed a boom piece that was dented. I contacted Bencher via E-mail and got a quick reply from a nice gal. She quickly identified my part and had a new one on it's was in a few days. No problems.

Now for some of the problems. First of all, The instructions are not super clear. There are processes that are described, but a picture would convey FAR more info. There is a lot of trial and error as to how some of the parts fit together. Particularly the wind compensator.

I also had some holes that would NOT line up and I had to drill them a bit. There are no options for "slop" in assembly, and I notice some of the holes from Bencher factory are not level with each other. This is apparent in the element to boom clamps.

All of that aside, my hesitation was put to bed when I got the beam on the tower. I had a crane do the lift and was impressed with the balance of the beam. Getting it on the mast and rotating it in the wind showed the effectiveness of the wind compensator. It really was thought out.

The feed assembly at first looked hokey, but it is far from the truth. It is very well thought out and works well. It is VERY robust and should withstand a lot of weather. I covered it with LOTS of the anti-oxidant and tightened it down. It comes with a GREAT balun and handy clamps to secure it to the boom.

On the air, the beam is a great performer. On RX, it is VERY quiet. On my old beam, I had an ambient noise level on 20 meters of S-1. With the Bencher, I have a FAR lower noise level and can hear signals that are extremely quiet. 99% of the time, I have an S-0 noise level, with absolutely no DSP or other filtering enabled. I am hearing SSB DX from EU that is QRP under 5 watts. Quite a feat from Wyoming.

On transmit, I notice a FB of 18-20db and good gain over my previous beam. I am getting good reports and breaking through a number of pileups. Couple this beam with and amp, and I believe you have one of the best combinations available for DX. The SWR on each band are all within spec and make jumping bands VERY easy.

So, I give the beam a 4.75 for it's small issues. But it truly is one of the best antennas I have ever seen, let alone use.
W5FRT Rating: 5/5 Aug 27, 2011 19:49 Send this review to a friend
GREAT ANTENNA  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the"skyhawk" up for almost 5 years.
It works very well and has survived several stormes with high winds and ice.
The swr on 10 is 1.2 ,the swr 0n 15 is 1.4 ,and on 20 is 1.5. Not bad at all. Lots of rivits in construction. You may want to use an electric rivit gun.
I worked all 50 states with this antenna on the Olmiss Net and did it in 24 days start to finish. Can't say enough about this antenna.
Buy One.
K4DXA Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2010 04:57 Send this review to a friend
Have owned since 2002  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is the original model with parisitic feed but works well. I first put on test trailer tower at 20ft and worked South Georgia! Then to a 40ft 25g and worked many new countries until January 2006 when it was moved up to 70ft tower and worked my last two countries that spring. Hears well and good gain. The proof is working BS7H on 20 meters in huge pilup!
N7RC Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2008 09:06 Send this review to a friend
This antenna is what I needed  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have experienced extreem winds twice in these past two months - gust to 70 mph. The driven element spacers were pushed a bit out of alignment - so brought it down to straighten them out and to do an over-all mechanical check. No problem putting the spacers right - and determined that all the rivets and connections had survived very well. Did need to clean the bird stuff off the boom.
The reason this antenna was chosen in the first place is that one had survived a hurricane in the Caribbean without damage while other antennas were trashed.
This antenna also allows my 100 watts to be heard - not loud - but am heard in the pile-ups.
Highly recommended.
KB7UB Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 2007 11:58 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have probably assembled between 60 and 70 antennas in the past 30 years and the Bencher Skyhawk has to be Number One in ease of assembly. The antenna was by far the cleanest antenna I have ever put together, no wiping off cutting oil, no pulling of cleaning cloths thru the elements trying to remove the burrs. As for performance I cant say enough, The antenna lends a lot of credibility to the statement "if I can hear em, I can work em" I wont go over what has already been said about the antennas construction except to add, its bullet proof, It just plays and plays well. I have recommended it to everybody that has asked for my advice on what Tri-Bander to buy. I have used antennas dating back before the ATB-34 including the original Mini Quad, plus several of the Wilson Mono Banders, The A-3 & A-4 by Cushcraft, as well as the the X-7. Several of the Force 12 multi banders including a C4E-XL, and nothing compares to the SKYHAWK, The only thing I have to say, is before you buy your next Tri Band Beam, take all the data and lay it out side by side. You end up with one Option the Bencher Skyhawk
M3SKF Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2004 15:44 Send this review to a friend
SKULL CRUSH-ERR  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Great Yagi this one,Only used on RX & works a real treat.Very well made a little tricky to asssemble but when its up its up.SWR reading are fine even in the rain & noise levels are very low.Very happy with this beam & recommended as a top class piece of kit not the cheapest beam in its class but by far the best.
I1VDM Rating: 5/5 Mar 9, 2003 13:56 Send this review to a friend
Like a monoband  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Very easy to assemble, good materials. About performance? Simply great. SWR flat and near 1:1 on 10, 15, 20, higher on warc but can be managed with a good tuner.
I was not used to get 9+ signals from US and VK with as little as 100 watts.
K8MN Rating: 5/5 Mar 5, 2000 06:14 Send this review to a friend
Monoband performance at a tribander price  Time owned: unknown months
I had noted ads for the Skyhawk for some months before seeing the demo model at the W9DXCC meeting in Chicago in September 1999. Bob Locher W9KNI pointed out numerous
features and readily answered my questions. I was delighted to find that the antenna has no traps and uses full sized elements. The attention to ease of mounting the antenna to the boom is the kind of extra attention to detail which appeals to me. I ordered the antenna the following Monday from R&L Electronics. It arrived only three days after my order was placed, having been drop-shipped direct from the factory.

K8LEE, WA8JOC and I assembled the antenna in just a few hours. The stainless steel pop rivets make putting the Skyhawk together a snap. Potential buyers should be aware that they need to make an investment in a pop rivet gun. I got a good one for only $14.

The designers, K3LR and WA3FET are to be commended!
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