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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Verticals and Wire | Cushcraft R-5 Help


Reviews Summary for Cushcraft R-5
Cushcraft R-5 Reviews: 51 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $539.99
Description: HF Vertical
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.cushcraftamateur.com
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You can write your own review of the Cushcraft R-5.

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WY8M Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2008 11:28 Send this review to a friend
Good for what it is  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my R5 for about a decade now. I bought it used from a friend. It is up 24' to the base, and is away from other vertical metal objects by at least 20'. My R5 is tuned for the CW portion of the band.
I have not had to take the R5 down to do any maintenance at all in that past decade. That says something right there!
For what it is, the R5 works great. The R5 is a zero-space no-radial vert that get you onto 20-10M. Given the little real estate it parks on, the R5 performs well.
However...
My 135' RadioWorks Windom (with 22' vert section) will outperform it on all bands except 10M. On 10M, it's a wash, with one or the other RXing better depending on how the signal is coming in (polarity/angle).
BUT, that's compairing apples to oranges. Most suburbanites and hams in general do not have the ability to put up a 135' long wire of any kind, let alone a 70' tower bristling with aluminum. Ergo, the radial-less verticals become an atractive option.
The R5 does not work as well as my Windom, which does not work as well as a 270' Windom, which does not work as well as a 3-element tribander, which does not work as well as a TH7.
The R5 is good for what it is (limited space antenna), but in teh bigger scheme of things, if at all possible, get you a RadioWorks Windom, biggest you can, and put that up as high as you can.
 
W5LXG Rating: 1/5 Mar 21, 2008 09:42 Send this review to a friend
Horrible performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My R-5 was mounted on top of 40' tower,clear of objects. Below the R-5 was an 80 meter dipole which cost $6. With a tuner, the 80 dipole dramatically outperformed the R-5 hands down. No matter if DX or domestic contacts. I think someone from Starksville, MS went to work for Cushcraft.Discussions with CC about the antenna when no where. One of the most expensive antenna mistakes I've made. Luckily, I found a buyer and recouped most of my money. Beware of this dog.
 
AB7E Rating: 1/5 Jan 17, 2008 15:43 Send this review to a friend
Worst antenna I ever owned  Time owned: more than 12 months
I love vertical antennas and have used them most of my ham career due to neighborhood aesthetics issues. I owned and used an R-5 for about three of those years and was horribly disappointed. Mounted on a mast about 15 feet in the air where it could clear any surrounding structures, it worked marginally on 20m and sucked on the other bands ... and this was near a sunspot peak. I could usually hear the DX but the antenna efficiency was so bad it was really tough to work much. It was basically a 100 watt dummy load.

After the cheap plastic insulators started to fall apart in the Arizona sun and the decoupling stubs literally started falling off, I took it down and replaced it with two simple vertical radiators made from one inch diameter tubing and "guyed" with cheap nylon twine. One was about 30 feet tall for 40m and 15m and the second one was 16 feet tall for 20m. Both were fed against a few random lengths of wire on the roof of my house for a counterpoise. With a tuner, I was able to operate any band between 40m and 10m, including the WARC bands, with one vertical or the other.

The difference was astounding. I could immediately work DX much easier than I ever could with the R-5 and my DXCC band totals increased quickly. I fully realize that antenna comparisons are subjective unless performed side-by-side, but all you have to do is open up the little box on the R-5 to see where most of your power is going. I'll bet a remote temperature sensor mounted in there would be an eye-opener.

Do yourself a favor and put a small amount of your money in some aluminum tubing and a bit of radial wire, and the rest in the parts to make a simple homebrew tuner. Skip these lossy all-band, electrical half-wave commercial products.
 
K7DAA Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2008 09:47 Send this review to a friend
If I could only have one antenna...  Time owned: more than 12 months
...this one would be it! I've used the R4, and upgraded it to the R5 with the upgrade kit that Cushcraft offered for WARC coverage.

I've mounted it two different ways over the years: a chimney mount on top of my 2-story house in Utah, as well as at ground level, mounted on the top 2 feet of a 5 foot steel pole driven into the ground. I did not have to retune the elements very much between the two locations, and got great results as both locations.

I could bust just about any DX pileup with South Pacific or Oceania stations running 100 watts. It was a far superior antenna to any vertical I had ever used prior to that. It always worked better than my G5RV on the same bands, or any dipole I could put up in the air (admittedly, not higher than about 35 feet).

Sadly, it's now been taken apart into its various sections, carefully bundled up in my garage, waiting for the day when I can move to a neighborhood that allows outside antennas (see my review of the PAC-12 to see what I'm using now).

I can't bear to part with this excellent antenna. So far, it's been sitting quietly for 5 years, waiting for its liberation.

That's how much I've enjoyed this antenna!
 
N2QQF Rating: 3/5 Jan 7, 2008 07:47 Send this review to a friend
NOt Sure  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have not had this antenna for long as I got it on a trade for another antenna and I am baffled. I hear so much about verticals and how good they are for receive as well as DX transmission but I must say mine isnít that great. Now, I understand it is hard to beat a well positioned dipole which mine are up well above 70í in elevation setup in a flat top configuration. I also have a 160 and 80 meter loop setup at roughly the same heights.

I have to say that at the moment my G5RV blows my vertical out of the water, hands down. To give some perspective on how I have my R5 setup. It is on my roof about 30í off the ground setup on a tripod mount on a 10í mast so, the total elevation is around 40í +/-. I canít figure out if this is the inheriting traits of a vertical but I hear stations about 2-3 S-units lower than on my dipole.

While I understand about a 20db loss for horizontal/vertical polarization this also applies to distant DX stations. I understand 20db because I experience the same traits with my Vertical loop vs. horizontal dipole. The same issues happen with Local and DX stations alike so I canít figure out if this is normal and maybe I expect too much or is there an issue.

I will say that the SWRís are perfect throughout all the advertised bands 1.5 or better. So with this said I will give it a 3 for OK because the SWR levels are as advertised and I guess I may be asking for too much with regard to a vertical and a full sized wire. Anyhow I guess it isnít bad for a limited space antenna but I would certainly put up a dipole at an optimal height before purchasing a vertical.
 
VE3TES Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2007 12:38 Send this review to a friend
Great Performer!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just sold my R5, wanted to find an antenna that covered more bands, and I regret selling it. Other than the fact that I had to dismantle the unit 2 times once because the connection between the SO-239 connector and the match box became intermittent and the second time because the 4 bolts used to secure the vertical radiator at the fiberglass base came loose. I worked many stations using this Arial, used it with 100 watts as well as 500 watts in many rtty tests. It just keeps doing its job. If you can buy one, don't hesitate at all, you will never regret it !!!
 
W4VD Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2007 19:00 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used one of these for a number of year from YS-land, (El Salvador) It served me well, placed 4th Worldwide in 1995 ARRL 10 meter contest with it and a AL80A.

Great for locations where space is limited. Covers all the bands it's designed for.
 
N0WF Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2006 10:38 Send this review to a friend
Between a 4 and 5  Time owned: more than 12 months
Easy to assemble, tune, and install, modest performance, small footprint, bonus 6 meter coverage, no ground radials needed. Reasonable quality, beware parts are reported to be nla from Cushcraft according to a competitor. Don't despair, the internet has several maintenance and repair resources for known problems. Not a pile-up buster but you will be pleasantly surprised with what you can hear and what you will work with the R5.
 
KI4GYT Rating: 5/5 Aug 26, 2006 14:10 Send this review to a friend
Tunes very well!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got my R5 in trade for an old PC, and got it up today. Tuned per the instructions, it shows an SWR 1.2 or less on all bands from 10m to 30m, except 15m it's a 1.3 in spots. I have it mounted 10 meters up a pole in a clear spot between the pine trees around my QTH in Georgia, USA.
 
W8ATT Rating: 4/5 Feb 14, 2005 22:07 Send this review to a friend
Good 5 band Vertical  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have dipoles that cover 80 and 40m and use the R-5 for 20-10. The performance is very good and not as noisy as some verticals I've heard. Setting up took about 3 hours with my antenna analyzer but finally got all bands working together. I think thats the biggest con about the antenna is the setup but if you have an analyzer you can do it and it hasn't had to come down for 3 years now. SWR's are still averaging 1.5. For what it is it works very well covering 5 bands.
 
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