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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | SteppIR Fluidmotion 4 Element Help


Reviews Summary for SteppIR Fluidmotion 4 Element
SteppIR Fluidmotion 4 Element Reviews: 28 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $2095 USD
Description: A 4 element yagi with continuously adjustable elements, driven by a controller that can derive frequency from your transceiver, and automatically tune the antenna to provide near 1:1 SWR at any given frequency from 20 - 6 meters. Features 180 degree reverse operation with the push of a button, as well as (reduced) gain in two directions at once. Elements are contained in fiberglass tubes. Two additional passive elements for 6 meters provide a 6 element yagi at extra cost. For long coantrol cable runs (over 200 feet) an optional 33 VDC power supply provides the extra punch needed to ensure correct operation. SteppIR antennas are "modular", meaning they can be expanded by purchasing a kit to add new elements when the company develops them. When they come out with a 5 element yagi, buying a kit will allow you to upgrade to the newest configuration.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.steppir.com/
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ZL1WN Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2015 23:48 Send this review to a friend
Very good antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had this beam for just a week, and it is tremendous. Initially I had a few problems putting it together and making it work, as the manuals are not up to date, but the technical support and advice from Steppir was tremendous. The antenna has the 40/30 add-on and is at 60feet.
With my Acom2KA the beam works seamlessly, making band changes a dream, I have never had a beam that causes so many pile-ups, and 59++ reports.
On 20m I compared it with a 3element 20m beam which I have on a separate tower both pointing in the same direction and the 4 element Steppir won hands down.
 
N0AG Rating: 5/5 Apr 23, 2015 12:15 Send this review to a friend
A great leap in antenna tech  Time owned: more than 12 months
It has been 5 years since I put this up 120' (36M) on a Rohn 45. I was skeptical due to my location in relation to an "experimental" antenna. It has surpassed my expectations at all levels. The company (steppIR) in it's pre-release literature had claimed that performance wise this was going to be a new type of antenna, one that would allow the user to have at his or her command a mono-band antenna on 6 through 20 meters. They were RIGHT! OK, it's not a GREAT 6M antenna. But when comparing apples to apples this thing rocks. I'm still using the original controller.
I have read the 0 rating reviews and can honestly say that if this thing can survive 110 degrees Kansas summers & 40-50 below Kansas winters it should be able to survive anywhere. Nice job Mike!
 
G4BIM Rating: 0/5 Feb 15, 2014 01:49 Send this review to a friend
Not Fit For Purpose  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been very patient with the failings of this antenna over the last few years because electrically when its working it is good.

However I have to finally declare that in wind gusts of just 65mph, this antenna repeatedly failed mechanically and electrically and will now be 'scrapped'.

The only conclusion can be that in windy conditions the 4 element Steppir is 'Not fit for Purpose'.

 
EA6LP Rating: 5/5 Aug 24, 2013 09:16 Send this review to a friend
solid, depedendable, and performing very well  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use this antenna since march 2008.
It has giving me a lot of joy, I can say that I work what I hear, many times I am one of the very first stations in hearing the DX, and so on I work it, even in very hard propagation conditions, then 20 - 30 minutes later the DX arrives much better and it easier to contact, but for then I made the contact, hi,hi.
When considering buying it I had to decide betwen SteppIR and Optibeam, for weight, size, and for not having allumimiun exposed to the elements,I choose it, I made the right decission.
By then I had a lot of problems with a telescopic tower build in South of Spain, as the size of this antenna was not exagerated I could fix more easily
the problems than having a bulky one.
The only criticism to this antenna is what by then (don´t know by now), the product was not very much refined, so you had to make a series of modifications/upgrades that required a lot of time, patience, and antenna building experience what it seemed to me to be out of the range for some inexperienced buyers, This could be fully amended by SteppIR, just having a little care in refining the build up of this product, but the performance was not affected in the case you did the things OK.
When I just received the boxes, an discussion arouse in internet about the rubber boots of the elements, so again I used my previous experience and I made a triple protective layer of sillicon and thermoelastic rubber to cover generously the supposed defective rubber boots. It has worked so far, as I made NO MAINTENANCE AT ALL, the antenna ha worked perfectly since 2008Ħ laying in the powerfull mediterranean sun.
It is fact the the antenna builders tends to make too much easy the work to build his products, and claims a building time much below of the required for lasting many years and keeping top performance.
 
W7CY Rating: 0/5 Sep 28, 2012 08:04 Send this review to a friend
Disappointed  Time owned: more than 12 months
After 1 year of operation, director 2 started drooping then just fell off. This was due to center fiberglass section disintegration. Since the antenna was reasonably new and failure appeared to be due to fiberglass defect, I sought warranty replacement but was denied (Factory said "It is not a defect").

Was advised by factory to replace entire EHU due to difficulty of repair re-assembly and possible hidden damage to other components caused by this failure. Purchased "refurbished" EHU (with no return credit offered for my EHU). Replacement unit arrived with worn components (elongated holes on EHU housing - same as my damaged unit).

While waiting for WX to repair, both reflector and driven element suffered same problem.

It is clear that this antenna was not designed to withstand the conditions at my QTH. Despite the advantages of "multi-band" performance, it is not a viable solution if operational up-time is less than 50% with a projected annual maintenance cost of 1/2 the original purchase price.

Final disposition: Landfill!
 
N0AG Rating: 5/5 Jul 7, 2011 06:34 Send this review to a friend
2+ years & great performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
OK...First of all, I live in the RF Blackhole of the US. I decided about three years ago I needed to go big or go home. Replaced a 70' 25G and TH7 with a 120' of 45G and the 4 el steppIR. I designed & built a falling derrick tower raising system, incorporated a NN4ZZ Tiltplate (UNGODLY expensive but worth every penny).

First: Read the Manual! You need to pay attention to the instructions and steppIR reflector BEFORE U start putting ur antenna together. Google "steppir installation problems" BEFORE you get this thing 100' in the air!

Second: Take your time & be painstaking when wiring your antenna. Triple check your connections & weather proof everything.

Third: Once you get this antenna in the air sit back and enjoy what you have. Essentially a 4 el mono bander on 10, 12, 15, 17, and 20 meters, the performance is outstanding. I was a bit concerned about the boot connections and the fiberglass element connections (just held together by tape) but after two plus years in the Kansas climate lab it has survived -20 to 105 degree temperatures and 80 mph winds.

This antena is expensive and probably not for a lot of Hams BUT if you are after serious DX or you are limited to a single tower this could be the antenna for you. It WORKS.

I can't really comment on the support aspect from steppIR, other than a couple of e-mails I have not needed any support.
Good Luck & Good DX Tom...NĜAG
 
W5DDW Rating: 5/5 Sep 18, 2010 15:32 Send this review to a friend
Almost 10 years up and still going strong.  Time owned: more than 12 months
One of the first production 4ele SteppIR antennas sold and was erected on a 55' US fold-over tower. Here are my results and observations:

What I like:
1. A solid performer DX antenna that will open and close 20m when other antennas become deft.
2. Fast 180 degree checks of propagation (is the signal on LP or SP). I can change direction simply by flipping the antenna electronically. Amazingly versatile performance.
3. Incredible F/B and side nulls with excellent gain. CW at 100w becomes a big signal.
4. Mono-band performance on all bands 20 and above in one antenna. Although 10m F/B seems low, the forward gain is amazing.

What others should know:
1. Robust construction when assembled with care, that will survive winds, ice and storms (I retract the elements at the first sign of lightning.
2. Requires patience and testing when assembling. It is not plug and play. This is a physically big antenna.
3. Requires maintenance similar to other full size yagis such as periodic tightening of boom clamps, coax replacement etc.
4. Eventually, you will want to replace the rubber boots, phylistran boom guys and repaint the fiberglass elements.

What would I change:
1. More complete assembly instructions with more pictures and explanations that even a dummy like me can use. (this may have recently changed)
2. A better housing at the antenna for the element control cable terminations.
3. Lightning protection for control cables built in rather than an option.

In summation:
This is a serious antenna that requires investment of your time and energy but will pay off with long haul DX performance when others are straining to hear what you are working.
 
G4BIM Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2010 12:11 Send this review to a friend
The best so far  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have read with great interest the comments good and bad made about the 4 element SteppIR.

Some maybe genuine failures and others may be for other reasons not necessarily attributable to the design or the manufacturer.

I now have almost 3 years of experience with SteppIR products with a Big SteppIR Vertical, a 3 element and also a 4 element Yagi, at an elevated location only a kilometre from the English Channel.

Yes I have had 2 temporary failures in that time, one self inflicted and the other not so much a failure as a replacement of some rubber gators.

For those who read this report, remember the following when comparing this design to mono and trapped multiband alternatives:

180deg polar electrical reversal in around 3 seconds with only a few db degradation in forward gain.

Terrific front back performance.

Near perfect SWR wherever you choose to go.

Copper conductors for all 4 elements, not inferior aluminium.

In normal horizontal operation, elements protected and enclosed from the weather vastly reducing the possibility of corrosion.

At the press of a button in the shack you can redesign the antenna and save the settings for forward, reverse and dipole mode, to suit your operating requirements giving better front to back or forward gain.

This is a product for Radio Amateurs not Commercial Stations. Its construction may not be perfect, most products are not these days, but an HF antenna with this capability and electrical performance built to MIL spec, would cost a very great deal more than its current price.

If you are happy to compromise with trapped Yagis and log periodics, then don’t buy the SteppIR.
 
N0AG Rating: 5/5 Sep 23, 2009 15:24 Send this review to a friend
WOW!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Seems you either LOVE this thing or HATE it. I LOVE mine!
I've had it up (120' on a 45G) since March 2009 so about 7 months.
Solar Cycle doldrums but this thing can HEAR and if you can HEAR in Kansas you can hear from anywhere. I just have not had any problems so far. Winter is coming though and we will see how it fares through an ice storm or two.
Tom...NĜAG
 
GM4YSN Rating: 2/5 Jul 29, 2009 05:39 Send this review to a friend
MECHANICALLY UNDER PAR  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
HAD A 4 ELEMENT UP FOR ABOUT TWELVE MONTHS. IN THAT TIME ONE HALF OF BOTH THE DIRECTORS CRASHED TO THE GROUND TWICE. FORTUNATELY I HAD THE ELEMENTS RETRACTED BUT BEFORE I COULD WORK ON THE TOWER WATER GOT INTO THE MOTOR.
THE REFLECTOR CAME LOOSE ON THE BRACKET AND ELONGATED THE HOLES IN THE BOOM ALLOWING THE ELEMENT TO MOVE IN AND OUT OF LINE.
ELECTRICALLY A WONDERFUL IDEA AND THE PERFORMANCE IS GOOD BUT MECHANICALLY IT DEFINATELY NEEDS SOME IMPROVEMENT TO SURVIVE A SCOTTISH WINTER.
WHEN I TOOK IT TO PIECES TO PUT IT BACK IN GARAGE TWO OF THE ELEMENTS WOULD NOT PART COMPANY FROM THE MOTOR HOUSING. SORRY TO SAY I'VE GONE BACK TO A CONVENTIONAL YAGI.
 
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