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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Verticals and Wire | Cushcraft R-8 Help

Reviews Summary for Cushcraft R-8
Cushcraft R-8 Reviews: 97 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $450 to $480
Description: 40-6m omnidirectional vertical antenna
Product is in production.
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K3ROJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 2, 2012 12:45 Send this review to a friend
30,000 Worked  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a new R8 in 1999 when retiring with this being my second review. Am only using a chain link fence as a ground radial. Here it is January 2013 and have worked over 30,000 stations using this remarkable vertical. Hurricane Sandy just went through a month ago and the R8 is atill standing tall. Since I operate a Flex Radio 5000A, I now use the R8 in conjunction with one of the 43 foot verticals to give me full breakin capability. Dual diversity is also very useful to actually hear the other station or stations as I send CW.
N1ZLE Rating: 5/5 Sep 9, 2012 19:48 Send this review to a friend
No way this thing should work  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Ten feet off the ground. Amazingly surprising results!! This thing is a DX machine! I run full legal limit into a flat swr on 20 mtrs. Been very happy with the results. I got it used for free..... so I cant even begin to complain about it! Actually I can't find a damn thing wrong with it. After reading many articles about it I've determined mine is an actual Cushcraft version. So far the winter hasn't killed it, and I have it guyed at the feed point of the antenna and mast.
No complaints!!
KA8OCN Rating: 5/5 Aug 20, 2012 09:21 Send this review to a friend
KA8OCN  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second reveiew, but I own 2 of them does that count?

I have mine tuned for the low in of the bands (I like PSK31) and I can still use it without a tuner on most bands on SSB without a tuner (40 meters and 6 meters not so much) In fact on 6 meters I never had much luck with the R8 but they are only just igh enough off the ground that I do not get blinded when I mow the lawn, once or twice a year if it needs it! When the grass is as high as the R8 its time to mow the lawn.

The matching network can sometimes be a problem but there is enough information on the internet to help you rebuild it (its posted as a R6 but I used the info and was able to rebuild one I got on eBay for next to nothing because the matching network was destroyed before the guy ever had a chance to put it together.
WB6RCC Rating: 2/5 Aug 19, 2012 23:50 Send this review to a friend
Tuning  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just purchased an R8.
After reading the manual a few times, unable to find any information concerning the tuning of the 17, 20 and 30 meter bands.
Any help?
Thanks in advance.
KC5TJG Rating: 1/5 Jun 15, 2012 08:40 Send this review to a friend
Cushcraft is now Mighty Fine Junk (MFJ)  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What a dissapointment. Here's what was wrong with my R8. (1) 17 meters is resonant too low; 20 meters is resonant way too high. Because both bands are set by traps enclosed in a single housing, there is no way to lower the resonant frequency on 20 meters without also lowering it on 17 meters. What I had to do was forget about using 17 meters in order to get 20 meters down to the low end of the band. (2) There is NO CUSTOMER SUPPORT now that Cushcraft is owned by MFJ. They're really put their "Mighty Fine Junk" imprint on what used to be a fine product from a fine company. Emails bounced back. Messages left on their "tech support" page online were never answered. Phone calls? ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring.... I did reach one tech support guy. He couldn't even give me the basic information, like correct radiator lengths, etc. (3) The product is advertised in QST and elsewhere as handling "full legal power." Apparently that's a reference to 1500 watts PEP, because, according to a table in the user's manual, all the antenna is rated for on cw is 750 watts. Uh, I don't think that's full legal power.

What we have here is MFJ gobbling up yet another once-fine company. It's their MO--if you can't beat the competition, buy them out, then lower the quality of the product and the service so people know they're now working with MFJ.

What a pity.
WB8ZTP Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2012 09:27 Send this review to a friend
Works great!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Iíve had the Cushcraft R8 Vertical Antenna up for over 2 years now. I love it! I have it mounted on a 10í stick of 1 ľĒ rigid conduit, 3í of which is in the ground so the antenna is actually 7í above ground. I added 3 parachute cord guys for support.

Iím VERY HAPPY with its performance on all bands, including 6 meters. Iím running 100 watts on SSB and if I can hear them, I can usually work them. Iíve been very surprised many times after only a few calls behind the big guns, in a small pileup, the DX picks me up!

With some careful attention on the assembly I believe youíll get great performance from this antenna!

73, Mark
N8DDW Rating: 4/5 Mar 24, 2012 07:02 Send this review to a friend
Works well for the price!  Time owned: more than 12 months
When you purchase the R-8 you get exactly what you paid for... Many bands, no radials and adequate performance to get on the air in a meaningful way when horizontal space is tight or a huge tower and antenna farm is not feasible.

I live in Los Angeles and while I'd love to slap up a 40' tower with a nice Stepper IR Beam on top and a few wires cascading down its just not in the cards like it was when I had 10 acres back in Michigan.

I chose the R8 because it gave me the most frequency coverage for the buck without any ground radials. Like many other's in this part of the country I have about 10 feet total separating my house from the one next to it and only limited space to add radials which makes radial dependent antennas not an option.

It assembles in a lazy afternoon and as others have written, just can't seem to stand up straight without leaning one way or another. I have it mounted about 15 feet off the ground and I added the guy rope kit for safety. I am near the ocean and winds in excess of 50 MPH happen more than I'd like. The R8 has survived winds gusting over 70 MPH. I have had it up now for about 4 years and amazingly, it hasn't fallen over on my neighbors roof in a pile of rubble.

It sure isn't pretty, more like a giant banana that lazily flops from side to side. With a wide range tuner it does exactly what it says it will, keep me on the air across 8 bands and with an adequate enough signal to make tons of contacts.

If a vertical is all you can do... and you have no real estate for radials... This antenna is the cadillac of compromise and worth the price of admission.
W2ASS Rating: 5/5 Mar 20, 2012 03:47 Send this review to a friend
very good HF antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I read alot about all other kinds of antennas, But they all had to big of a counterpoise. Like the GAP TITAN with it's 80 inch counterpoise, or the HY-GAIN AV-640 with its 72" counterpoise, They were all to big for my needs. Where i was allowed to put a antenna i had only 10 feet of space between the house and the fence. I had a concret floor from the street to the back yard, so putting in ground radials was out, So then i read about the R8 with it's 46" counterpoise and it's 6 meters thru 40 meter range plus the warc bands, So i tried it and it worked fine, It took about 7 hours to construct the antenna. then it was mounted onto a non-penetration tripod, cause of the concrete floor. Now it was a concern being that the antenna was only 6 inches away from house on one side and 6 inches away from a metal fence on other side, I thought the SWR's would be crazy. But it all worked out just fine. My SWR'S are flat on the phone bands. Where is where i wanna stay anyway, the phone bands. This is my first vertical and the r8 cushcraft worked out better than i thought it was gonna work out. Cushcraft really has a good vertical here with the R8. And it only cost me 439.00 from And now i have ordered a ameritron AL-811H amp, So it will help me get even more dx stations.
M0EDX Rating: 5/5 Mar 9, 2012 11:35 Send this review to a friend
AAAAA +++++  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having dismantled my large Mosley Pro-57B 7 elements HF yagi I thought about QRV with some sort of vertical. I had verticals in the past - Butternut (2 of them, not impressed), GAP Titan DX (ok).

I needed something with no radials which will work on HF without messy radials.

I have carefully read the reviews and decised to purchase a Cushcraft R-8.

Asembly (by G4HOM) took some 3 hours, and we managed to install R8 in the dark, just 2 of us. SWR was acceptable on ALL bands. Later we re-tuned the antenna slightly for my favourite parts of the bands.

SWR is normally 1.1 on all bands. A bit narrow on 40 M.And on 20 m resonance is around 14 220 (can be lowered by sacrifycing 7 mhz SSB).

Mostly important, I am amazed at the antenna's performance. Not a yagi, but the antenna is working. I even received a reply from the 9A2 station (I was running 200 W) on 20 m to be the strongest station that night, hi !

I have tested the antenna via the reverse beacon network, often finding stations around the world reporting my signals to be 11-56 db over the noice level.

Very good antenna.

And when it rains (I use just 3 home made rope guy wires), the resonance practically does not change. Say, 10 khz on 40 m.

G4HOM has helped a lot of people with antennas. He was very pleased with the antenna quality. It was the best we have seen so far.

73 !


PY2JF Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2011 13:12 Send this review to a friend
I'm amazed by the results!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After reading every single review here for Cushcraft R8, Hy-Gain AV640 and Hustler 5BTV, I decided by R8. I needed a HF antenna and having some space limitations, vertical antennas looked the way to go to me.

After mounting, adjusting and installing in the roof, I started, after 30 years SK in HF, trying some dxing (my main use for this antenna). I have to say, Iím amazed by the results.

Today, exactly 18 days past from installation, I managed to work 107 DXs countries, with 52 unique. All this just using my FT-950 (100W) in SSB (80%) and PSK31 (20%). For all these contacts, 7 were pileups, and after the big guns leave, I could make all 7.

Well, as I suspected, is totally possible to have fun without spent a ton of money. Simple donít expect it to be better than a directional antenna, itís not, but it's totally worth. And change bands without deal with antenna switches great.

For those of you looking for this antenna, I made a complete YouTube review un-boxing, assembling, adjusting, installing and testing. The audio is in Portuguese language, but English subtitle is available just clicking in the CC (Closed Caption) button.

Hope you enjoy.

73 from PY2JF Ė Jo„o Roberto
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