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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Cushcraft MA5B Mini Beam Help

Reviews Summary for Cushcraft MA5B Mini Beam
Cushcraft MA5B Mini Beam Reviews: 146 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $365.00
Description: Cushcraft's newest multiband HF antenna provides 5 bands
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Cushcraft MA5B Mini Beam.

<— Page 5 of 15 —>

KC2HZW Rating: 5/5 Feb 1, 2010 17:11 Send this review to a friend
Works on 6M Too!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a small roof tower and I can only keep one beam up at a time. During Es season, I have a 5 element beam up for 6M, HF is lousy in the summer anyway. During a large Winter Es opening, I decided to try the MA5B and see if it works. It does! I got S9 signal reports on 100 watts. I have to assume that the 12 Meter dipole portion of the beam is working as a multiple. I wouldn't go crazy running power and it's not real wide banded. I got a 1.5:1 SWR at 50.125 and about a 2.0:1 at 50.180. Good enough for off season.
N4BAF Rating: 4/5 Oct 26, 2009 17:46 Send this review to a friend
Update on Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I received a lot of feedback from my previous update so it motivated me to climb the tower and remove the black box. I found a lot of the coax ground connections inside the box wasn't properly grounded. I fired up the soldiering iron and re soldered the connections. Right now the antenna is receiving great again, I'm off tomorrow so I'll test it out on the bands. Thanks all for your feed back. I'll be on BSK31 most of the day and will try to work Europe on 17m ssb.
OH1LA Rating: 5/5 Oct 2, 2009 03:00 Send this review to a friend
Time owned: more than 12 months
In the last four months I have had a surprisingly easy to DX stations, in particular the 20m Band. The antenna is 45 feet. In addition, I have a Yaesu FL-2100Z is a power of about 600W. Rare DX stations work. I had been through a hard time easily pileup. At the log is 3D20CR, FT5GA, TO7RJ, XV3RRC, 3D2GM, T30GM, T2G, 4W6AL, 3DA0JK and many others around 600 DX-station, mainly in 20m band, but also in 17m, 15m and 12m bands. I am surprised MA5B's effectiveness. I had, after all the years 1985-2001 in the same altitude, the Hygain TH6DXX that was a good antenna, but the large rainbow. Thank you for a small and a good antenna Cushcraft.
View images
73 de Pekka, OH1LA
VE3BXB Rating: 5/5 Jun 2, 2009 18:18 Send this review to a friend
Very reliable Mini Beam with great performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wish to say that I have owned this MA5B for about 3 years and using a light weight rotor is a big mistake. I had to replace my light weight type of rotor. The twisting of the antenna with high winds sure destroyed the old rotor. I would highly recommend the use of a stronger rotor rated at least 10 square feet or more. I know that the manual recommends the use of a light weight rotor but this is not a good idea.
One of the concerns that I have is that I have heard that some people are mentioning the limitation on the use of using no more than about 500 watts of power. I have never hooked up an amp with the beam and I am not sure what the real situation is regarding this power issue. It seems to me that the loading coils can be problem but I haven't heard of anyone actually melting the coils due to excessive power. I know in the manual that comes with the antenna, it states very clearly that the antenna is rated for 1000 watts but I don't think that I would take a chance on going more than say 500 watts.
Other than the power limitations and rotor issues being a subject of debate , I have to say that it performs very well.
I see that when I am using my G5RV wire antenna, there are times when I hear poorly when compared to the MA5B beam. It is amazing how much more you can hear and transmitt further compared to the wire antenna. I sure have no regrets purchasing this beam
For the money, it is a very hard antenna to beat.
If you are ever considering an antenna of this size, you won't regret it. Good job Cushrcraft
G4YPV Rating: 5/5 May 7, 2009 16:53 Send this review to a friend
Excellent so far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Only had the beam in the air for one week so may be slightly premature but this beam has brought my IC756 PRO III to life. It's amazing what there is to be heard when I switch from the wire to the beam. Only problem is waiting for the council ordering me to remove it!
W4HIJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 11, 2009 21:28 Send this review to a friend
Excellent and resilent performer!  Time owned: more than 12 months
What can I say that hasn't already been said? This is a great little antenna! The only real beef I have with it is that it seems to be particularly narrow banded on 20 meters. If you set it up for phone you can forget using it for PSK on 14.070.
At least that's the case with the limited range of the auto tuner in my Yaesu FT-450AT. Maybe that's more of a indictment of the rig's tuner than the antenna but I have had broader banded antennas on 20. I still give it a 5 though because it does a fine job otherwise.
I don't remember the exact year I bought mine but I know it's been up at least five years now with no degradation in the performance. It has survived many strong winds and storms and keeps on plugging. I don't ever think about it or worry about it and that's a good thing to be able to say about an antenna.

N4CQD Rating: 5/5 Apr 5, 2009 15:25 Send this review to a friend
Excellent antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using the Cushcraft MA5B Beam for about 3 years, and it performs as well today as it did the day I assembled it. For a "Mini" beam, it delivers great signals, was fairly easy to put together and was light enough for me to carry and install onto the tower mast with no assistance at all. Cost was reasonable for a Yagi. Low profile and great performance.
K0IYA Rating: 5/5 Feb 8, 2009 12:54 Send this review to a friend
Still Happy Six Years  Time owned: more than 12 months
Having owned a MA5B for 6 years with no problems, I thought it was due some praise. With neighbors behind and both sides of me with LARGE trees a small yagi was required. Having qso'd with several hams in the UK and listening to there MA5B's and how happy they where, I ordered mine. After about 6 hours of putting it together, fine tuning and mounting to my 50ft. free-standing tilt over tower, it was up! (Tip: use a couple self tapping screws on the element sections to prevent wind-mailing) Now six years later with 317 countries confirmed and thousands of qso's, I am still happy with my purchase. With consistant very good-reports, front/back, side rejection and problem/worryfree operating it is easy to see this little antenna was a great buy! One thing not metioned that often is how really well the rotatable dipole 12/17 works. Only 3 days ago I was working EU on 17m and saw a dxpedition cluster sighting in the caribbean. I tuned to the freq. and the station was 3 by 3. I turned the dipole to the station and he was now 5/9! I am still amazed this antenna has such good gain. Many, many times I have turned the antenna to a station after first making contact and been told you came up 3 or 4 S units. I use a 811H amp. (Caution: I would not use over 1KW with this antenna)

For price, performance, durability and compact size no other 5 band Yagi compares. One suggestion, buy a bigger rotator than a TV type one. These cheap rotators will strip out in a year or so from normal usage and turning in the wind. Taking down a rotator is a big hassle. I now use a Yaesu G-450A after learning this lesson.
Note: Use the best coax you can afford to prevent loss. Also, NO RG58/59,etc. if using amp.)
K9CHP Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2008 06:10 Send this review to a friend
Recommended!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have a Cobra Ultra-Lite, multi-band which I will keep using for 40/80/160m but now, only as spare for 20-10m, as the MA5B performs so much better! I can switch between the two antennas at a flick of a switch and in many cases, the DX I can hear and work with the MA5B is in the noise level or worse in the Cobra. Sure the latter is a little lower and non-directable etc. but at the end, it is what you hear that counts and the MA5B is a world of a difference. And I can bust my way through some pile-ups barefoot, as I don't have an amp (should I say yet?). THe MA5B is well built, easy enough to put together, no parts missing and directions were clear enough for me. Putting it on the mast is definitely a two person job, not because of the weight but the size and momentum it can built while erected are better controlled by four hands.
I have it mounted on a Radio Shack rotator and it seems to be doing the job quite well.

Just looking at my DX log since I got the antenna up 9 days ago and it is amazing. I have QSOs with places I never reached before and conditions have not improved that much (the proof is in switching back to my old antenna and not hearing these stations!)

While the MA5B is actually bigger than what it may look like in pictures, it passed the XYL test (she said, that's as big as it gets, but it is up there:))

I certainly am happy with the MA5B and can recommend it strongly if you need a smaller sized directable antenna.

I have a picture of it on my website
EI6GRB Rating: 5/5 Sep 17, 2008 08:38 Send this review to a friend
A brilliant antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I puchased my MA5B only 2 weeks ago but am amazed at how good this antenna is.

It took about 6 hours all in all to build it, erect it and then tune.

This antenna must have more gain that Cushcraft claim because it is such an improvement on previous antennas I have owned. For example on my wire inverted vee dipole a s5 becomes a s9 on the beam.

The MA5B is perfectly resonant on all bands straight out of the box. 20m has swr under 2 from 14.130 to 14.300. You can lengthen the part of the front and back element after the traps to bring the frequency down a little if you want it lower into the cw portion.

It is a nice size for my small back garden and fits in quite well. No complaints from the xyl or neighbours anyway!

In the past 2 weeks with this antenna I have made a lot more contacts than normal and have found it easier to bust through a pile-up. I really recommend it.
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