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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Directional (Yagi, quad, etc.) | Cushcraft 17b2 Help


Reviews Summary for Cushcraft 17b2
Cushcraft  17b2 Reviews: 8 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $350.00
Description: 17element 18db gain approx. 30ft long 2meter yagi
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.cushcraft.com
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M0VRL Rating: 5/5 Mar 3, 2013 09:33 Send this review to a friend
good for dx  Time owned: more than 12 months
i have had 2x17b2 for a couple years now. very impressed with there perfomance. i would buy them agian very good for long haul dx. best dx 4,116km! tropo with these 17b2
 
LEIGH Rating: 5/5 Apr 21, 2011 06:17 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just following up previous posts.
Ive recently removed my 4 x 17b2 array after breaking the Australian digital modes record in February (2664 km JT65 Tropo).
Ive only removed them because I have finally purchased another 4 x 17b2s and will be errecting an 8 x 17b2 array as soon as I build the mounting frame.
Very happy customer.
 
W4KVW Rating: 2/5 Jul 30, 2009 15:29 Send this review to a friend
VERY POOR QUALITY  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 17B2 works GREAT on the air but it is made of VERY POOR quality materials.The Cushcraft 215WB is a MUCH BETTER antenna as far as materials & I think the 215WB works just as well on the air.Cushcraft should start building these again & junk the 17B2 project or if they are going too continue the 17B2 at least put enough aluminum in them so they do NOT fold in half or have those EXCUSES for support arms,fall off.The material used in the Cushcraft 17B2 is the POOREST EXCUSE for antenna material I have EVER seen including CB antennas.For the price they SHOULD be MUCH BETTER! }:>( ???????
 
VE3GIV Rating: 2/5 Apr 5, 2009 06:17 Send this review to a friend
Pre-fab - terrible  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First off let me make it perfectly clear that this review is based entirely on my experiences during assembly. The antenna is not up in the air yet. I will post a second review reflecting it's performance at a later date.

Day #1. The box was opened. It appeared as if it was intact and there was no damage too or holes found anywhere in the box. The box did not appear to ever have been opened since leaving Cushcraft.

Step 1. Assembly began with the boom. Reasonably straight forward. However, Cushcraft could do with a lesson in de-burring drilled holes in aluminum tubing.

Step 2. Next is the driven element/ultramatch (balun)/T match assembly, The ultramatch was well wrapped in bubble wrap and did not appear to have been disturbed in any way. No holes through the wrap etc. Now it's all stop. The ultramatch, as Cushcraft calls it, was damaged. The end where the 8-32 hardware comes out of the box to attach to the T match tubes (part ET) was broken. It looked as if it had been dropped on it's end. The plastic box was smashed and the 8-32 hardware was pushed inside of the box. It is doubtful if this happend in transit as I found no physical damage both on the outside or the inside of the shipping box to suggest this. On examination of the interior of the match box revealed no damage to the actual coax balun assembly. Step 2 was bypassed for now.

Day #2. On to Step 3, the attachment of the elements to the boom, all 16 of them.

All I can say is whoever drilled the vertical holes in the boom to accomodate the 8-32 hardware to fasten the elements either has a vision problem or a crooked drill. After mounting the 16 elements and then looking down the length of the boom only 3 elements lined up in the same plain. The remainder were all off, some by 15 degress. That's a huge error. It took over an hour to bend and re-bend the elements to get them to all be in the same plain.

Now back to the driven element assembly problems. The T match tubes marked part "ET" were missing.

I e-mailed Cushcraft or whatever they are called these days; no response. I e-mailed again. Same result. I'm still waiting. I think they are ignoring me as I had not too pleasant dealings with them last year over my MA8040V vertical performance issues. I wasn't a happy camper and their responses to the issues were less than helpful. The antenna does not perform to published bandwidth specifications, period, end of story. You should read how they danced around that one. But then that's another story.

Day #3. I did manage to repair the ultramatch box, in a manner of speaking and make it weatherproof, I hope. I found a length of 3/8" aluminum tubing and fabricated replacement T match rods. I assmebled the driven element/ultramatch and fastened it to the boom. Yup, you guessed it, nowhere near in the same horizontal plane as the elements. It was out by about 15 degrees. As the 1/2" driven element and 3/8" T match tubes can not be easliy bent like the 3/16" rod elements we have a problem. The ultramatch fastens directly to the boom. The driven element and T match rods attach to it. This out of alignment problem was overcome by making the 2 holes in the boom closest to the ultramatch clamps larger and then adjusting the position of the ultramatch until it was horizontal and lined up with the other 16 elements. Easy fix.

When the selling price in Canada for this antenna is now $400 it should be right from the get go.

I have purcahsed and built many Cushcraft antennas in over 34 years as a HAM but this one was by far the worst.

Based on this experience, I will never buy another Cushcraft product. I guess they are earning their new name "Cushcrap".

I sure hope it performs better than it was fabricated.

Caveat emptor!

Bob - VE3GIV
 
PD0RF Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2006 12:03 Send this review to a friend
boomer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have 2 cushcrafts in my tower..but no 17b2's ,
i do not know the type , but they are from cushcraft
They are over 25 years old but still running great!!

For a picture see http://pd0rf.dyndns.org/foto/antenne1.jpg

I have made 3 EME qso's with a yaesu ft225rd with mutek frontend NO PREAMP with abt150 watt output.
Because of the age from the antenna's i have to repair sometime the elements..
 
WD6DBM Rating: 4/5 Dec 4, 2005 20:52 Send this review to a friend
Good price/performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use a pair of 17B2s horizontally stacked for EME. A number of people don't like this antenna, but they work pretty well for me. I live in the middle of Silicon Valley, and the antennas are about 40 feet from 20KV power lines! Still I often hear EME stations well, and managed to work 17 in one weekend (JT65) during the EME contest this year. My 17B2s have been up for more than 10 years, and I have repeatedly banged them into the roof, banged them into my HF antennas, had flocks of birds make them look like something out of Hitchcock, but still they function! They are a little flimsy, and move around in the wind. But they're still there! One caution--the Cushcraft power divider and phasing harness are really poor. Buy those from M2.
 
KI4ECW Rating: 5/5 Aug 16, 2004 20:07 Send this review to a friend
Buy One Today  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've been using the 17B2 for about 6 months. I can work 2 meter SSB stations 250 miles away with 50 watts. When I crank up the 165 watt Mirage B-1016 amplifier and pre-amp, I can work stations up to 400 miles away. When I hear 'em, I talk to 'em.

My QTH is the Cumberland Plateau as it begins in eastern Tennessee. I've talked 2 meter SSB ground wave to Columbus, OH; Ocala, FL; and into east Texas running 165 watts. This is NOT during band openings -- it's when I get ready to talk! I don't have to wait on band openings -- I make my own with the 17B2.

The rugged Smoky Mountains of southeastern TN block some of the signal eastward but I still get 150 miles in that direction with 50 watts.

The front to back discrimination is exceptional. Also, the side to side ratio is great, too.

The only drawback is that the 17B2 is so discriminating that you don't always hear those local stations(i.e., within 50-75 miles) when the beam is turned to the side of them. For that reason, I keep a set of omni-directional 2 meter stacked square halos to cover local traffic.

This antenna is easily assembled in a couple of hours, well made, and has a 1.1:1 SWR on the sidband portion of the 2 meter band.

Although Cushcraft doesn't recommend it for dual band use, I can work the 432 / 70 cm sideband frequencies with a low SWR and good reports on it too! However, the distances covered much less.

The 17B2 is very well made and recently survived 90 mph winds during very severe thunderstorms.

I have the 17B2 mounted on a 50 foot Rohn tower and use a heavy duty Archer TV rotor to turn it and a set of 26B2s without any problems. (It's a big boom -- about 31 feet so you'll need some space to turn it; but, it's fairly lightweight.)

I've used 10 element KLM beams and 5 and 10 element Cushcraft beams with 10 db to 13 db gain. This one is the Grand Master -- about 18 db gain. I'm routinely QSOing with stations I couldn't even hear with the other 2 meter horizontal yagis.

Don't waste your money on anything else -- buy the Cushcraft 17B2 boomer and run with the big boys! If you're a 2 meter FM enthusiast buy the 26B2!
 
N8FVJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2001 20:38 Send this review to a friend
Lots of Gain!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This antenna has a lot of gain. Twenty-five watts from northern Michigan to Ohio is impressive. This performance is every night! I do not have a sensitive receiver and the antenna is only at 25 feet without a clear path! Beamwidth is quite sharp and necessary for this kind of performance. As for the east coast, I have worked as far as New York and Connecticut. Further south, South Carolina and Virginia. Out west includes New Mexico and Colorado! The antenna is performing all the work. Construction is simple and the antenna is well built for northern Michigan ice storms. Highly recommended!
 


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