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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | T.G.M. Communications Six Band MQ-26 2 element "Hybrid Quad" bea Help


Reviews Summary for T.G.M. Communications Six Band MQ-26 2 element "Hybrid Quad" bea
T.G.M. Communications Six Band MQ-26 2 element Reviews: 30 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $369.95 US
Description: 6 Band Mini Beam hybrid "Quagi" Traps on the diamond quad reflector and traps also on dipole driven element.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www3.sympatico.ca/tgmc/
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You can write your own review of the T.G.M. Communications Six Band MQ-26 2 element "Hybrid Quad" bea.

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AF5CC Rating: 4/5 Jul 10, 2016 17:59 Send this review to a friend
Good for its size!  Time owned: more than 12 months
To keep some perspective here, remember that this is a small antenna. The elements are 11 feet long. That is 1/3 the size of a 20 meter element, 1/2 the size of a 15 meter element, and still not even the full size of a 10 meter element. The boom is 4.5 feet, which is probably the correct size for a 10 meter 2 element yagi.

So, this is a small antenna, and if you are reading this and considering buying one, it is most likely because you cannot put anything larger up. Right now, that is more or less my case. I did recently have up a MFJ 15 meter Moxon, and a MFJ 10 meter Moxon, and they work great. However, I wanted some gain on other bands as my homebrew similar-to-a-G5RV antenna wasn't doing so good on 17m. I had to go mobile to work the Palmyra DXpedition on 17. When your 3 foot tall minihamstick outperforms your base antenna, it is time to try something else. So I bought the MQ-26 back from the ham I traded it to last summer.

Be aware that there are different versions of the MQ-26. I wasn't at first, looked at the current on-line manual, and couldn't figure out why I couldn't get the antenna to resonate anywhere in the ham bands. I think there are 3 versions of it, and TGM Communications tells how to identify each one based on coil size.

This antenna isn't too hard to get together, and tuning is much easier than it was on the original Mini Products HQ-1 (I had one of those last decade) because the spokes are in 2 pieces with a "combiner" that allows the top spoke to slide up and down until you find the correct size.

I installed a MFJ 918 1:1 Current Balun on mine and it seems to help, especially on 6 meters. I notice some front to back and front to side ratio on this antenna when I rotate it, especially on the higher bands. Mine is only 16 feet or so in height, which is really too low to play well on 20 meters, but that is how high I could get it right now, and as a bonus, it is completely invisible from the front side of the house, so more a less a stealth antenna. I use a Radio Shack TV rotor with no problems to turn it.

This is one of the few mini sized antennas that has gain on 12m and 17m. Very few full sized antennas have gain on those bands. I have worked around 140 countries with it over the past year or so, so it definitely does get out. It is much quieter than my homebrew G5RV antenna. Mine even works decent on 6m with a decent SWR on 6. Earlier this summer I worked KP2, KP4, HI, 6Y, and ZF during 1 opening on 6, so it does play on that band as well. It isn't as good as the 3 element MFJ yagi I had up before (I had both up and could compare them to each other for a couple of months) but it wasn't that far behind.

I do not trust the published gain figures for this antenna. I was able to compare it to either a 15m Moxon, or a 10m Moxon at the same height as the miniquad, and the Moxon almost always heard better, sometimes by several DB. Sometimes they were equal, but never did the Mini Quad beat the Moxon, but then that is expected, as it is a multiband antenna vs a monoband antenna. MFJ gave the gain figures for the Moxons as 3.1DBd, which is about right for a 2 element antenna, so I really can't believe the MQ-26 has a 6.0db gain over a dipole.

Overall, a good antenna if you are limited in space. I have enjoyed using mine. Will probably put up something bigger when money and space allow, but this does the job for now.
 
KF6BKH Rating: 5/5 Feb 8, 2016 20:05 Send this review to a friend
Nice Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I give it a 5 because this little antenna works great (for its size). I have had this for 15 years and last summer started to have swr problems. I took it down, and took it apart and cleaned all the connections and tubing. I tuned it with some new spokes that I made after talking to TGM, they said they had updated a couple of spoke sizes from when I bought the antenna. Tom said I should see a little better band width with this change. Anyway after a days work it went back up (30ft) and it has been working just as good as new. So if someone needs a antenna with a small foot print this would be one to look at.
 
K5ZZR Rating: 5/5 Jun 29, 2015 19:32 Send this review to a friend
Still Love It...  Time owned: more than 12 months
After about 7 years I still love this mini beam. I just ordered a 72' US Tower and this baby is going right on top.....
 
VE3XYD Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2014 11:23 Send this review to a friend
Very Good  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Due to space I had to try a small beam antenna. Purchased MQ-26 and the results... Amazing!
Being honest, I didn't expect much from this antenna due to weird design and small size. What a wrong judgement! This little mini compact beam is a beast on HF. Mounted 40 feet above the ground I worked every station I could hear. If you can hear it, you can work it. Just with 100w I was able to brake pileups. Yes, above all the kilowatt stations I was being heard and always called back, 1-4 calls that's it. Number of times when working dx I got complement on the good signal. Few times I received a comment "I'm the strongest station on this band!" They couldn't believe I am running just 100w into this Antenna.
Anywayz, my personal experience with this model, just over 6 months of use I decided to upgrade to a bigger sister MQ-34SR.

When set it up right, it performs just like a big HF beam.

Great Antenna... 6+!
 
G7JWR Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2013 06:46 Send this review to a friend
MQ-26SR  Time owned: more than 12 months
Owned the mq-26sr for over five years, I have worked all US states and most of the world on the antenna, I set my antenna up with the aid of an atenna analyser and she permorms out standing, to compare this antenna with wire antennas would be unfair because the MQ26SR is a far better antenna, also great for restricted space. If I can hear a station I can work them
 
KD2CJJ Rating: 4/5 Apr 28, 2013 09:51 Send this review to a friend
Not bad - Meets expectations  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I want to preface the review and set the proper expectation on this antenna. This is NOT a 2 or 3 element full size beam. It will NOT perform nearly as good.. It will also NOT produce the results of a Hex Beam either.

CONs:
Narrow bandwidth - you will need a wide range tuner. With tuner it tunes to 1:1 - 1:5 on all bands except ironically on 10 meters - the upper part of the band will not tune for me. Forget about 6 meters... the bandwidth is extremely narrow below 3:1 and outside of that it does not tune as it jumps to more than 10:1. Im using a LDG AT100PRO II tuner.

F/B Gain - Almost nothing, some times I think I hear better from the rear for 20m BUT some times its about 1S point in favor of the director. For 17 - 10 I would say its about 3s units almost always.

Price - Yes its too expensive. (UPS charged me $58 after the fact for brokerage and Customs fees into the US!!!!)




PROs:

- Front to Side: Great, 3S points typically for 20m, and higher for other bands. But most dipoles have this.

- 1s better over my fan dipole at the same height on 20m, On 17 - 10 its 2-4x points better.

- 1-3s better over my end fed (full wave on 20m). 6s or better 17 - 10 (end fed not resonant on those bands but tunes to 1:1).

- 2s quieter over my fan dipole and 3s-5s quieter over my End Fed. YES THIS ANTENNA IS VERY QUIET! i cant believe it myself how much this make a difference over my wire dipole and my end fed.

- Looks like a medium size TV antenna

- Very easy to tune... I never tuned it on the ground I just put it up. I then tested it... Pulled off the spokes for the bands I needed to change. Put it up, did it again and was in the range I wanted. Took me about 1 hour to tune. All tuning spokes do not interfere with each other which makes tuning easy.

- Very light - No issues managing it by myself but I did have a second hand to help carry it up 25 feet to the base of my roof.

- High quality and great customer service. Tom responded within 24 hours of every email.

- 1500 PEP.

Closing Comments:
My recommendation? It depends. If you can go for the hex beam... then go for the hex beam. If you can go for the full size 2 element beam, then go for that also... This does not match the performance of the hex beam or a full size beam and is far more expensive including customs and brokerage fees. Unfortunately I was over ruled the XYL on putting up a Hex Beam. Thus this was my compromise. BUT BUT BUT - it is a great antenna with the proper expectations set. If you want low profile, slightly better performance on 20m, much better performance 17 - 10 over a dipole and you want a quieter antenna then this is for you.
 
KB6HRT Rating: 5/5 Aug 1, 2012 13:59 Send this review to a friend
EVEN BETTER!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Have liked the MQ-26 from the first, first set it at 24' now use it on a tower at 36', it works even better, great signal to noise ratio, 2-3 S units better than a 43' vertical with 3000' of ground radials an 2 inverted Vee's an it will handle my 1000w VL-1000 AMP when i needed, the antenna hears great distances very easy. I also has not a lot of wind load an a small foot print. My regret is not going to a MQ-26 beam sooner. The Antenna does 6-20 meters. an is very quite antenna like most beams ....................KB6HRT
 
KB6HRT Rating: 5/5 Apr 18, 2012 19:15 Send this review to a friend
Super mini beam!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This thing works, wanted a small beam that has some gain on 12 & 17m an can pull in some good DX wanted to be able to hear both side of some QSO. Took me 12 hours start to finish, I'm 72 would like to believe it would be a lot less for a younger HAM The MQ-26 covers 6-10-12-15-17-20m, set the antenna for phone portion of these bands, very low SWR. Set antenna 23'+ about grade on a small push up on the side of the house, the difference between two wire Vee antenna and a 43' vertical is HUGE in favor of the MQ-26. On 17m my band of choice its a real Flame Thrower!
Thought the MQ-26 was a little priceee when I ordered it, now feel I got a real deal! Very Happy ................KB6HRT
 
G3ZXZ Rating: 3/5 Nov 10, 2011 05:12 Send this review to a friend
MQ26SR OK  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Purchased the MQ26SR recently. The antenna goes together very well and assembly is rellatively straightforward. My antenna is up at 35ft and has replaced a cobweb at the same height.
The antenna is ok for what it is, a compromise, not as good as a hexbeam or other trapless antenna, hexbeam I would say is 3/4 S points better from listening on HF bands to local stations. Front to back is not what is stated, probably 2 S points at best. The antenna is better on 10,12,15 than 17 and 20 metres, much better than the cobweb on those bands. 6ft above my flat roof then raising the antenna to 15 feet above my flat roof brings the signals up 2 S points...so get your antenna up and in the clear...makes all the difference. MQ26SR is much better than dipoles at same height and any vertical antenna (my opinion )Have done tests against an MA5B on 10m and the MQ26SR wins by one S point on average.
Not yet tried 6 metres but my ICOM 7400 auto atu tunes the antenna to 1:1 SWR. Overall good antenna but a bit costly.
 
M0TTB Rating: 5/5 Aug 5, 2010 06:14 Send this review to a friend
For the size, a very good performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Replaced a cobwebb with a TGM MQ-26SR and could not believe the DX I was working ;-)

In first 3 weeks, E51, ZL, VK, HC, CP, XT, TN, 9Q, KH6, KL7, V3, HR, JT and a host of others (many Caribbean, W6's) on 20, 17, 15 & CE, LU, PY, 9K, A4 on 10m

In fact I still have the Cobwebb up at the same height, so fair A-B testing has taken place and quite easily puts the TGM ahead on all bands, in fact significantly so on the higher bands.

I have used the Cobwebb for last 2yrs, worked 180+ dxcc, great compact antenna, I would recommend it to anyone who has limted space. But, the TGM is better in performance respects.

My own findings are:
The TGM is far quieter on the bands, and rx signals are at least 2 S points better on 20m, and by the time you get to 10m, the difference is 5 or more S points on rx. A-B testing with dx contacts also proved that the TGM is at least 2 points better on tx.

Side rejection is 3-4 S points, back rejection is just a couple of S points, if that.

I suspect erecting this too close to a house will cause some people problems in performance, and may explain some poor reviews (i find it incredible that some have not noticed any directionality, really bizarre). Get it up 35ft+ and in free space.

Easy enough to construct, longest part was removing the considerable amount of Canadian newspaper!

Can't really complain about narrow resonant bandwidth on 20m (about 130khz under 3:1) nor about having to use an ATU on 6m, as it's well publicised on the web.

Yeah, of course most larger beams (hexbeams et al) are better than this, talk about the bleedin' obvious. People buy this because, for various reasons, they just can't put up anything larger at the time!

It is very expensive, but so is moving house to somewhere that you can put up a larger beam or get wires up at 60ft+

So, all in all, very happy. Farewell Cobwebb, you served me well.
 
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