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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | Cushcraft MA8040 Help

Reviews Summary for Cushcraft MA8040
Cushcraft MA8040 Reviews: 16 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $310.00
Description: Vertical antenna for 80/40 with cap hat
Product is in production.
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KD8IIC Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2015 04:35 Send this review to a friend
Many Bands With Tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mine is gnd mtd with DXE choke balun and 8' gnd rods, very many radials of all lengths.
Using my Drake MN2700 it loads and works very well on 12, 15, 20 and 30m. Works best on 80m with the tuner due to the narrow SWR bandwidth.
Well built and designed, a solid performer when used with a good tuner.
I'm using this ant for CW QRP very successfully so it obviously loads up FB.
KC7YRA Rating: 2/5 Jun 7, 2014 10:43 Send this review to a friend
Ehhhh, It's okay  Time owned: more than 12 months
I can't seem to find my original review, so I will write a completely new one.

I received this antenna 6ish years ago as a gift from my wonderful wife, and proceeded to erect it in the middle of winter.

During construction, I found the directions decent and easy to follow. A number of the soldered connection points were cold and "yucky", so I touched them up quickly.

The other issue I had (and would continue to have) was with the capacity hat assembly. It is nothing more than some punched flat plates with indentations in them for the ends of the rods. The contraption simply sandwiched two of the plates together using small nut/bolt combinations.

To say that assembly of this part is a pain, would be putting it mildly. Not impossible, but don't try to do it while standing in a snow drift as the flakes fall down.

Once assembled and up, it tuned easily onto 40 meters, but kicked and screamed when I wanted to use it on 80. Numerous instances of raising the vertical to check SWR, then lowering it again to remove/move some of the tophat rods. Continue this until you either achieve a decent match, or your fingers fall off.

On the air, I was greeted with relatively decent bandwidth over 40 meters, and a nice crop of DX waiting for me. I also used it for stateside contacts with some degree of success. I immediately went and added many MANY dozen more radials, which immensely helped performance.

On 80 meters, I was met with a lethargic corpse of an antenna. It tuned over a VERY small section of the band, and I occasionally spoke to some run-o-the mill DX, but it never really WOWED me. Even with tons more tuned radials, nothing would set this thing on fire.

Eventually, weather started to take it's tole. I had to continually guy the critter (but that is something to expect in Wyoming), but even properly guyed, the small fiberglass base insulator started to crack and fail. The wind removed all of the capacity hat rods, so I had to heavily modify the rod mounting structure. It fared better than the stock ones, but not immensely so.

The coil material cracked in the UV and eventually became too broken to continue repair.

The antenna was removed from service, and it's aluminum components recycled into other projects. Sadly, I do not miss this antenna. Never did much for me.
G0HVQ Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2013 04:18 Send this review to a friend
Brilliant  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've now owned this aerial for over 3 years so thought I'd update my earlier review.

Performance-wise, this aerial is amazing, especially on 80m: as soon as I started using it my 80m contest scores at least quadrupled, I soon got 80m DXCC (and confirmed LoTW), and have worked all sorts of amazing DX. It benefits from radials but still seems to work quite well without. Used it in CQ WPX last weekend and got 297 QSOs on 80m and 538 on 40m. Have generated a JA pile-up several times on the JA-G 40m greyline.

Minor niggles still stand: quite narrow on 80m (but you can tune it to the part of the band you want), and top-heavy, so needs guying. But I can live with that for the performance it gives.
G0MMI Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2012 01:07 Send this review to a friend
Great small plot Vertical  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used this vertical now for about 12 months and find it great small plot vertical. I also have the MA160 and combined both sets of radial's @ approx 800 FT. Bandwidth on 80m is a little narrow at CW end but no big deal. 40m is on the nail. Great DX ant and worked just about all DX with CW and phone. If you feel its a little "Toppy" then guy it if in a windy location. I did find that rain effected the SWR so I used a car varnish to make the coils waterproof. Easy to put together and all parts where in the box. If you can have a 1 hour qso with ZL on 40m ssb 59 both ways then its got to be a good vertical for low band DX!
KY6R Rating: 5/5 Jun 30, 2010 05:04 Send this review to a friend
Great for DXCC  Time owned: more than 12 months
I started out with a homebrewed short hatted vertical dipole hanging from a tree on 80M, and worked about half of the DXCC Century 80M entities. Then I put up an MA8040V, and was very pleasantly surprised. I thought it was easy to put up, and I used three guy ropes (thin black UV protected stuff) about 2/3rds up.

I have found that if you have to have a short antenna on the low bands (and this is really quite short), a hatted, top loaded design does seem to work better than it should).

I finally have decided to get on top band (geez I'm probably 2-3 years late), and my MA160V will be here in a day or so. I hope MFJ continues decent production runs . . . .

The only improvement that I made is beef up the solder lugs in and around the loading coils, and I put some weatherproof "schmutz" on the connectors - seemed like they might corrode too easily.
NI0C Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2010 16:38 Send this review to a friend
Lowbanders friend  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is my second MA8040V and second review.

After struggling to work 160m DX with my HF-2V (even after adding considerable top loading to it), I purchased the MA160V last Fall, and easily finshed off my Top Band DXCC with it. I then purchased the MA8040V (which conveniently uses the same base tubing as the 160m antenna) and made my Spring QSY to 80 and 40 meters.

Assembly of the antenna went quite smoothly after reaming the mounting holes for the top loading coils. (I used the shaft of a jeweler's screwdriver for this purpose). The most difficult part was putting the vinyl protective caps on each of the potentially eye-poking top loading rods. I coated the caps with "liquid tape" to make sure they stayed in place.

Tuning this antenna was easy, as the initial settings worked perfectly for me this time. I do use a pretty fair radial field, so I found a 32:50 Ohm unun from Balun Designs helped achieve a low SWR at resonance.

Here's a tip for making installation easier (especially for those who wish to change back and forth between the 160m antenna and the 80/40):
I cut off a wooden rake handle and dropped it into the base tube, so that the rounded end of the handle sticks a few inches out of the tube. This way you and your helper(s) will find it easy to stabilize the top assembly and fit it into the base.

Both of these Cushcraft antennas are very effective for working lowband DX.

N0AH Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2009 03:45 Send this review to a friend
A Must for the bank yard contestor/DX'er  Time owned: more than 12 months
In corner of back yard with 18 radials in 120 degree layout due to enclosed wood fence. All radials are pinned down with garden landscaping pins and range anywhere from 20-60 feet in length. Radials are covered with this year's mulch of neighbor's leaves and 7 inches of new snow- I have a commercial ground rod next to 2 inch diameter steel mount.

7 out of 10 QSO's are better with this antenna versus my 40M dipole on the Cushcraft A3S add on at 50 feet. DX over 1,500 +-miles is 100% always better but still nice to have both options. I have had this antenna since 2006. Only the hardware that came to secure mast bolts to fiberglass has rusted up. Everything is 100% FB.

I'm still getting 80KHz of 2.5:1 BW on 80M and 200+- 2.5:1 bndwidth on 40M.

Tuning is easy but not obvious on 40M. Just cut two of the 25 inch capaciance hats rods to around 23 inches go from being entered at 7.200MHz to 7.050MHz. (this is what worked for me at two different location.....but you might want to test SWR first before cutting for a reference point)

On 80M, just use the length of the stinger. Fully extended, I am at 3.520MHz and fully retracted,I am at 3.800. To go higher, start with removing one capacitance hat rod and see where you are.

While this antenna is noisier than my dipole, it brings DX out 1-2 S-units louder even with the typical noise for a vertical.

Awesome antenna- Any tuning questions, feel free to email me at

73 Paul
WB8YYY Rating: 5/5 Nov 5, 2007 09:50 Send this review to a friend
Nice Modest DX Vertical  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was seeking a DX solution for 80 and 40 meters. First I acquired a hand-me-down AP8, and it convinced me a vertical could provide improved DX. But it displayed intermittant performance, and adjusting all those (old) traps is a bear (for bands I didnt need). Workmanship and quality of material is excellent, I had no assembly issues. My setup, with 30+ radials of 30-50 foot length, covers all of 40m and the bottom-most part of 80m (where CW DX lives). The instruction manual encourages a smaller number of tuned radials (to apparently get more bandwidth) that likely loses efficiency.

I like the top loaded design, both because it should be slightly more efficient - and it looks like an antenna! It also serves as a support to many small birds (meaning don't put it too close to your patio where it doesn't belong anyway for RF reasons). If you only seek performance on the lower bands, and don't have supports for a full-sized solution -- this may be a good choice.
VA2DV Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 2006 16:03 Send this review to a friend
So far so good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After getting a little bored about easy DXing
on 20m , i finally decided to install something
for the low bands.I was down to 2 models : The Cushcraft MA8040V and the Butternut HF2V.Both antennas were the same price so i opted for the Cushcraft since the top-loaded design was better
according to my trusty antenna handbook.
My installation scheme is less than ideal.The vertical is very close to the house , about 12' from it.I have 4 66' radials for 80m and 4 33' radials for 40m.They are bent in many weird shapes since my backyard is not very large.
Now the results.The noise level is higher than my previous horizontal longwire but the angle of radiation is definately lower and the DX stations
are coming in nicely.Not a contester or avid DXer
antenna but really nice if you dont have a lot of space.The current price is OK in my book as the
telescoping aluminium is almost impossible to get here locally.The bandwiths are exactly as predicted in the manual.SWR on 40 is a little higher but i suspect interraction with the proximity of the QTH.The antenna seems well-built but i will probably add some guy wires for safety.I should be able to work some nice DX this winter !
DB9EX Rating: 5/5 Mar 1, 2006 00:52 Send this review to a friend
good designe  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have my MA8040V now since a couple of month and I am very satisfied with the antenna.
Installation went very easy with the very good instruction the only thing is that I have to re solder the Jumper wire because it was very bad soldered from the factory. The Installation took about 2 hours without the Radials. I have no space to place the radials according the schoolbook and have do to space problems only three 65 foot and four 35 foot Radials with a loot of angles in the layout.
The SWR on 40m is 1:1.2 on the whole Band and 100 kHz on 80m. Once you have write down the length of the top section you can very easy tune the Antenna from the CW to the SSB portion of the 80m Band. Once I hear a new DX Station on the 80m SSB Band but the antenna was tuned to the Digital part of the Band. The DX Station was calling by numbers and was actual by number 5, so I took the decision to go down to the backyard during darkness and shortening the Antenna to the SSB portion. If I was back in the shack the DX Station was by number 8 and I was the second Station by number 9 in the log.
It is a good engineered Antenna with good performance what can be improve by the Radial system the only question is if the Antenna survive also 20 years like some HF-2V Antenna.
You can find some detail picture on my web page:

I have order the MA160V also and would like to use it in alteration to the MA8040V on the same base section what should be the same as the MA8040V and report it as soon I have receive the Antenna.
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