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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Cushcraft R-5 Help

Reviews Summary for Cushcraft R-5
Cushcraft R-5 Reviews: 55 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $539.99
Description: HF Vertical
Product is not in production.
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G0GQK Rating: 4/5 Mar 27, 2004 13:43 Send this review to a friend
An excellent antenna for portable operating  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used the R5 portable for many years and it is excellent. However since I dismantled it last year I recently re-assembled it as instructed and found that on 20 metres the antenna is resonant at 14.380 and 12 metres is as flat as a CD !

It wasn't like this when it was new and I would like it as it was originally. Has anyone experienced this effect. I extended the top section to 12" from 10" and this brought down the resonant frequency to 14.330 Mhz with an SWR of 1:2 but I would like it resonant at 14.240 Mhz and the 12 metres SWR at 1:3 as it was originally
Has anyone solved this problem other than using an ATU ?
WB2ABD Rating: 3/5 Mar 20, 2004 10:27 Send this review to a friend
adequate  Time owned: more than 12 months
purchased used . Acceptable SWR except on 12M. Only serious problem is that the base insulator/tubing had become loose, causing the vertical to "lean" with the wind: this allows flexing of the strap between the matching unit and the tubing,and this will eventually break. I replaced the strap with flexible braid strap. I also inserted and clamped shims between the insulator and base tubing.I did not investigate the cost of replacing this part of the antenna.
PA0FRI Rating: 4/5 Mar 7, 2004 19:30 Send this review to a friend
Practical comparison  Time owned: more than 12 months
My R5 is mounted on a 12 m mast and an 2el Yagi outperforms this antenna if the beam is pointed to the station. Deficiency is very noticeable in SSB/CW pile-ups, but if I can hear them I can work them. It provides useful DX performance. I did comparisons with my openwire feeded inverted V 80/40m W3DZZ and on 20m its down by 1 S unit at 1500 km. On all bands with DX (>1500 km) about the same signal strenght.
See for repair and maintenance my homepage: or
K1WCC Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2004 07:35 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using my R-5 for about 4 years after getting it for free. What a deal that was! I have no real complaints with the antenna-it works well 20-10 meters and is ideal for the space I have available. I have it mounted on a 10 ft. mast. The alunimum angle bracket from the coil box to the antenna snapped during a bad windstorm (in the middle of a contest)and was easily replaced by a heavy gauge stranded wire. The box is now held in place with two heavy cable ties and a block of wood. The fiberglass
base insulator looks a little shaky but should last for years.I occasionally take mine down for DXpeditions and that only takes a few minutes to do. They ought to bring this one back into production.
ZS6VJJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 9, 2003 04:29 Send this review to a friend
Very good performer. Good for holiday location  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I required a vertical for my holiday location. At that location I have got a 40 m inverted V. I have not managed to find R5 but only 10 years old R7.

I have removed 30m and 20 m traps and added 36 cm 19 mm diameter tube to the length of the 17 m trap. Now my R7 performs with less than 1,1 SWR on five bands. I obtained bandwidth of 270 kHz on 20 m. Antenna also can work on 6 m.

I am very happy with the performance. Releasing only one clamp under 10 m trap I can easily store this antenna at two 2,5 m sections. It takes me 5 min to erect or put down this "R5" antenna.
KG4WKR Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2003 20:14 Send this review to a friend
Couldn't be better!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
A friend of mine got hold of one that was storm damaged. He fixed it up and sent it to me. It beats my ideally installed G5RV (which works very well), and the 4BTV mounted on my dock over the water. I have my R5 mounted just above the roof (about 17 ft.) and it is the best low cost, low profile antenna I've ever used. In the world of verticals and wire, I think this one is hard to beat. Well made, tunes perfectly. If you can find one, get it. Should be available from time to time for $100-$150.
WV1K Rating: 5/5 Dec 11, 2002 18:43 Send this review to a friend
A success... why change it ?  Time owned: more than 12 months
I see WU1Z reviewd this antenna down below. Let me say that I have run it as long as he has.

It is currently my sole antenna for 20,17,15,12,10m and is mounted on the boom of a A3 tribander with the base at 14 feet.

I'm undecided whether to put up a beam, I'm so pleased with it.

My experiences are actually based mainly on running 100w to it. Now I have added an amp and can run 200w without it.

Have worked Ducie, etc. all with 100 watts on the first call in the middle of the oepration or beginning (this is important to note... anyone can work anything at the END).

Easy construction and reconstruction. It has survived several moves which is more than I can say for some parts of M2's antennas before they were even in the air.

And believe me, I'm careful. I can imagine what a slob would do...

I don't know about the current R series models aside from what I read here and it seems they had some bombs until the R-8... hope that one is REALLY as good if I ever (hope not) need a replacement all direction antenna.
KB5ZVV Rating: 4/5 Nov 19, 2002 23:03 Send this review to a friend
Solid Performancee  Time owned: more than 12 months
When I bought my R5, I mounted it about 5 feet above a 22x22 metal carport roof, thinking that the ground plane might help the performance. I could not get the SWR to dip in the band centers. I put it on a 20 foot foldover mast on the corner of the same carport, and everything works fine. The half-wave design does not require a ground plane (only short decoupling radials). Maybe it is "ground intolerant"? I have worked Australia on 100 watts on 17 meters.

NE0P Rating: 3/5 Jul 3, 2002 19:06 Send this review to a friend
Just OK  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I actually owned the R4, which was 10, 12, 15, and 20 meters. Never could get the SWR down really low on 12 meters, but as other reviews stated, it worked fine until it rained. Then the SWR jumped nicely. It was nice to switch bands without having to use the manual antenna tuner, since I did not have an autotuner at that time, but performance was average. Unless you are very limited on space, you would do just as good with a dipole, at a fraction of the cost. Also, cushcraft customer support is non existant. Thankfully I did not need it for this antenna. I will give the R4 points for one thing: It is not near as ugly or overpriced as a GAP is.
WB7QQR Rating: 4/5 Jan 9, 2002 16:30 Send this review to a friend
Good performer until it rains  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Mounted 10 ft above my 1 floor house this vertical performs adequately for me. But after a good rain the swr really drops (down to 3:1). Once it has dried out the swr is back to 1.5:1 and better. Seals in the couterpoise box are good, coax and connectors are sealed as well, and grounding seems solid. So I don't know what else to check. Thank God for antenna tuners.
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