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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: 26 Average rating: 4.0/5 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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LA3ZPA Rating: 5/5 Feb 22, 2008 09:18 Send this review to a friend
I love it  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Hi all

I order my from VineCom and Ron. Ron give the first class service.

I have 4L with the optional 30/40 dipole, 6m passive element and Icom interface. It play like it all come from the same manufacturer.

The antenna are mounted at @ 20m(65 ft) crack-up tower wit tilt over module from Westower model 3HD.

The assembly was just fun.

The performance are fantastic, point and run with only 85w from my ProIII.
My first test was at the 07 CQ WW SSB, I have to see I am so imprest with the performance, 2 call at HC8A an I was in the log, the pil-up was BIG!!!. Same with KH2,ZL,VK and so.... and I can't here this station on my BigIR.

Fome 10-20m the difference's are between 5-7S on the 4L VS BigIR 1/4 vertical with 40 radials 10-20m and .
40m the are almost same on DX, local in Europa the dipole are better.

After 30 zone in my log I don't believe my one eyes.

If you can hear them, you cant run them from 10 to 20m :-)

I have not tested the 4L on 6m, non conditions when I have been on the air.

The SWR are from 1:1 to max 1:1.2 10-40m not bad. The SWR on 6m are 1.4-1.5.

The performance on 40m are as expected, not a beam just a dipole.

The SteppIR are worth every penny.

So fare I am enormous happy with this masterpiece.

73 de LA3ZPA

Ronny

 
N0HR Rating: 4/5 Jan 14, 2008 10:56 Send this review to a friend
Worth the wait  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My SteppIR 4 element is installed at 71 ft (about 12 ft below a Cushcraft XM240 40 m beam). Performance has been very good. The ability to use the 180 degree and bi-directional features gives a clear advantage over traditional antennas - at least for contesters. Are there some disadvantages? Sure.

I've used many yagis over the years, but so far, I consider this to be a great antenna purchase with a lot of bang-for-the-buck.

Performance:
Certainly seems to work well and live up to its specs.

Mechanical:
I find that there is both pros and cons with this antenna. I've outlined these on my website.

Support: Great in every case. Lead time will be long though.

Price: Expensive - but you're buying a cutting edge product in high demand. So, it's justified in my mind.

For my detailed review (with links to installation photos, etc.) see my reviews page:
http://www.n0hr.com/HamRadioReviews/

Overall, I'd recommend this antenna.
 
IW0CMM Rating: 1/5 Nov 22, 2007 04:53 Send this review to a friend
Why only 1 for me ?  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi guys,
this is my experience with SteppIR 4 el.
Put on my tower of 20mt in september 2005 and
this is the start of my disadventure:
only 2 mount and the 2nd element motor is broken,
with new motor ( thanks Ron) after some mount
i have a problem with reflector motor and 1 director but replace it in warranty.
In summer 2007 whe need a new control box eeprom
and in november 2007 the boom is broken cause from
90km/h wind.... This is the definitivly and of my
SteppIR 4el. I'm sorry but this is the fact.
The performance on 20mt is not like the expectations and i explayng why:
on my second tower of 15mt i have a x7 chuscraft
antenna and on 20mt band (switc with pro3) the signal comin in and out from steppir is worse about 3 smeter pounts.
I'm very sorry but the SteppIR is not a good
compromise for me. The good antenna is the tradiotional force12 or full size antenna.
For any question email at iw0cmm ( @ ) tiscali.it
73
 
2WOHMS Rating: 5/5 Jan 16, 2007 11:27 Send this review to a friend
Just buy one  Time owned: more than 12 months
There was a debate with the xyl about me having another toy (a la antenna)- she was adamant that she should not be left out and said she wanted something that went 0 - 100 in 4.5 seconds......more expense.
Anyhow I bought the 4 ele from Vine Antennas here in the UK - it does what it says on the tin-and more.I kinda miscued on my garden measurements - the boom is so long,it must have it's own time zones.
No problems whatsoever on tx or rx, great signal reports worldwide.
Piece of cake to join and install,just read the instructions.
So for me it is adios to any more aluminium in the sky. The antenna has stood up to vicious poundings from south westerly winds and took them all in it's stride.
Not much more to say except BUY ONE-TWO IF YOU'RE
RICH....
Oh, about the xyl's 0-100 present, I bought her a bathroom weighing scale.....ouch !!
 
N0TW Rating: 4/5 Dec 17, 2006 20:25 Send this review to a friend
Weak Points in Design/Documentation  Time owned: more than 12 months
Performance wise, this 4-element antenna is a winner. Tuning and performance of the stepper drive motors was flawless.

The assembly manual receives a "poor" score. With the ease of digital photography and software, it would be easy to provide many more photos of the assembly process.

Biggest problem was failure of the rubber boots that protect the junction of where the fiberglass elements enter the stepper motor drive housing. My antenna was installed for just 18 months when it was removed due to relocation and 3 of the 8 rubber "boots" had cracked completely through and the remaining 5 showed cracks and would have failed shortly. Yes the boots were replaced under warranty but with the same type of material. I will take precautions when reinstalling the beam to protect these parts from UV.
 
VK2NW Rating: 5/5 Jan 14, 2006 20:30 Send this review to a friend
Excellent!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had a four element Steppir for well over a year now and delayed my review so I could see how it dealt with weathering and weather conditions - the answer to that is - no worries!! While not the weather conditions of North American winters, we do get very high wind speeds when fronts roll in. I have the Steppir at 15m and it has dealt admirably with all weather thrown at it and still looks like new.

My experience performance-wise is similar to a lot of the other reviewers - I usually run 100-200w and frequently get that "your the only one there" comment. (Perhaps no other VKs about :-)) But over time the results are consistent - to paraphrase one reviewer - "just aim, fire and log".

Construction was easy - I upgraded from a 3 element. I installed myself with the aid of a cherry picker and the amazing "One Man Tower", where the antenna etc. slides up the side of the tower.

I can also echo the comments about the exceptional customer service provided by Steppir and that makes a huge difference out here in VK-land. I also have a 40m Steppir vertical at another location - it too, is a great little antenna, but that is another story...
 
NK6R Rating: 5/5 Jan 12, 2006 13:53 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This antenna was installed in October 2005 and so far it is >bar-none< the best 4 element out there. There are many excellent reviews, listing all the advantages on this page, so I will just add to the pile of positive statements.

I took down a very nice KT-36XA and I have used several different HF yagi configurations. The closest I ever came to the performance of the 4 element SteppIR is a 4 element mono-bander I made for 17M. The KT-36XA was very good, but changed in SWR sometimes in bad weather and was a big maintenance issue living 10 miles from the ocean. With those linear-loaded elements and 3" boom there was a lot of wind loading and weight.

My experience with this antenna at 55' is similar to other reviews of being the strongest signal from the US, the >only< signal from the US, or frequently receiveing a signal reports (with 100W), many S-units higher than what I am receiving, and many stations running 5~10dB amps.

Having all bands from 20~6M on one "mono-band-looking" antenna makes for a very clean installation. I can't say enough for the folks at Fluidmotion. They are an example of what customer service, excellent product design, and quality are all about! I chose the 4 element since I wanted a large beam for 6M SSB work, but would have been just as pleased with the 3 element. The radio interface option is excellent for having the beam track with the VFO every 50KHz for optimum performance on 20,15,10M.

If you are considering a change in your HF beam I highly recommend weighing all the [pros and cons]. Any of the SteppIR beams 2~4 element, MonstIR would make an excellent choice - BAR-NONE! Good Luck!!
 
GM6TVR Rating: 4/5 Oct 30, 2005 11:47 Send this review to a friend
Good, (for a while)!!!!!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Been running the 4ele for two years now, stunning performance, Scotland #1 10mtr CQWW/SSB - 2004, just working the contest part time due to important home chores. Driven element snapped during the gales last Xmas, fortunately, the internal elements were retracted at the time, so was back up and running when the 32 + postage replacement element arrived. Close inspection of the break showed eggshell thick fibreglass at the point of failure, a disaster waiting to happen. I had to climb the mast at 4 0'clock in the morning in driving rain and the wind approaching 100 mph, as the flailing broken element was trying to demolish part of my wireless weather station, which was fixed to the side of the mast. Should I experience another failure, my next antenna will come from Optibeam. Can't complain about the SteppIR's performance though. Anyone else had a similar failure?

Cheers,

John GM6TVR / GM0FQV
 
DH1TT Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2005 05:15 Send this review to a friend
5 Star Product! really a "sexy" antenna ;)  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
first result after playing with this beauty of an antenna: i am completely inspired!

i owned several different antennas in the past for 20-10m. tribanders, quads, log-yag, loops. this 4el steppIR outperforms all! the X7 i used before was a great antenna - but not a real comparison to my new baby. before i buy an antenna i do not concentrate only on the performance.

thanks god - i corrected my decision (with the telephone in my hand) to order one of these multixxx element triband monsters + an extra warc yagi. shure - all these xr`s, ob`s or multielement quads doing a good job but with a steppir it isn`t necessary to have so much aluminium in the air!!! that is a great advantage for me!

a further reason is, with a steppir, there is no interaction to my 40m monoband yagi on the same tower. just retract all elements of the steppir and the 40m antenna work in a clear environment!

advantage for steppir:

- lightweight
- minimized tower and rotorstress
- full warc performance with no compromise (not only add a further single element for 12+17m)
- trappless
- allways flat 1:1 swr. even on the bandedges!!! sell your antenna tuners and run your linear cool!.
- no interaction to other anntenas - just push the buton and retract all elements
- "stealth" color
- much better xyl acceptance-factor! what beauty of an antenna!!! ;)
- switching 180 front/back will be a must for every seriuos dx`er! 30db +/- is great. checking long/shortpass is only a
switch away and done in 3 seconds....
- in bidirection mode i`m able to talk with my friends in middle east and in the us together
- one fits all - from 20m up to 6m!
- remote and automatic tuning via trx cat
- modular system. start with an dipole and add further elements up to a 4 element big gun antenna
- easy to assemble, no special tools required
- low rain statics
- feel free to design your own yagis and play with the controler. according to my opinion unnecessarily. default tuning works great!
- good and save packaging

all in all - there are antennas available with very little more performance on the paper. on the air and a with a steppir you need not more than 4 elements to be one of
the first takers in a pile up. on 6 bands with only one antenna!! no more fear to loose an element, get a broken rotator or a tower desaster after a stormy night.
check out the icestorm pictures of antarctica station at the steppir yahoo group. that speaks for itselfs.
no more uncertain about the large element space for the higher bands. even 10 + 12m works quite well with good f/b. much better than ever expects!
motornoise is not a problem if the antenna is on the tower.
as i first heard about the steppir in 2001 i was sceptically about the element control and motors. on the other hand that was the construction we all thought
about in our boldest dreams. now, after several years it shows up that this system works quite reliable.

steppirs are not cheap.... but i saved lot of euros for a second tower, warc antenna, rotor .... and i sleep now very peacefully in stormy nights!
working on the air with these antenna is an ease. usually a single call is sufficient in a pile up. i received so many positive comments in comparison with
signalreports from other stations. even with bad band conditions.
now, the reliability must remain preserved over the next years. but the support from fluidmotion is great. and the antenna is very well finished.... i do not expect problems.

thanks fluidmotion for this beautiful and tecnical masterpiece of an antenna!

meet you on the bands....

73s

dh1tt-oliver/bavaria

 
I1ODP Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2005 19:49 Send this review to a friend
Top performer on top a 6 floor condo  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I designed my previous monobander antennas with YO, and performances were excellent, but living down town in a 6 floors apartement building I was able to work only 14 MHz.
Now I have the possibility to use all bands from 14 to 50 MHz with monobander performances better than expected.
More, the 4L is free from electrical discharges noise when raining because fiberglass poles are acting as a radome.
Support is kind and quick also with customer outside USA (they change immediately my faulty Controller).
The 180 possibility is great.
I love it
Paolo i1odp
 
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