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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Cushcraft X-7 Help


Reviews Summary for Cushcraft X-7
Cushcraft X-7 Reviews: 34 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $675.
Description: http://www.cushcraft.com/amateur/x9.htm
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.cushcraftamateur.com
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PY1BR Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2013 11:09 Send this review to a friend
A great antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my X-7 in 2001 and has been a pleasure to use it. In 2009 I bought an antenna tuner (Palstar AT2K) and since then I can operate 30, 18, 17 and 12 m with a very good performance and power. The great advantage of the X-7 compared with other tri-bands is that the X-7 doesnít have coils that can be burned out with RF power outside the operation frequency. In 2008 I moved the a different QTH and while unmounting we really see the very good hardware the antenna is made.
 
N4HB Rating: 5/5 Nov 29, 2012 11:43 Send this review to a friend
Exceptional Performance for a Tri-Bander and More!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I installed the Cushcraft X-7 about 8 months ago and have now had enough time with it to make what I think is an honest opinion and performance observation based on my type of amateur operation. My main focus is DX and contesting. For about 20 years prior to the X-7, I used a Cushcraft A-4 and, yes, though I had to rebuild the traps and replace all of the original hardware with stainless steel, the antenna worked very well. I have also used other various antennas including mono-band beams and tri-band yagis during my many years of this wonderful hobby.

The bottom line is the X-7 is a superb performer! For its 18 foot boom length, low wind load, and mechanical strength (which was very important to me in my storm-prone QTH) I think it is one of the best antennas on the market today. My antenna is installed at 52 feet on Rohn 45G tower. You can see a photo of this antenna on my (N4HB) QRZ site. My X-7 weathered 2012 Hurricane Sandy's 55-70 mph steady winds here very near the Chesapeake Bay for over 24 hours without a scratch. On top of the other benefits, the price/performance of this antenna is exceptional. I would put it up against any antenna in its class, including mono-banders.

The Cushcraft design team got this one right. Their mission was to redesign the original A-4 tri-bander while maintaining its reasonable 18 foot boom length. Their use of the log periodic cell for the driven element and losing the traps in the driven and reflector elements of the A-4 seems to me to have changed a good antenna into a exceptional high performance antenna. There are still traps in the director, but this is a low current area of the antenna and trap loss is minimal. The input impedance of the antenna is 200 ohms so a 4:1 ferrite balun is used to provide a 50 ohm match. The SWR across 20, 15 and 10 meters is great and by using the log periodic cell driven element the antenna is useable with forward gain and with very acceptable SWR on the upper WARC bands (17 and 12 meters). My SWR on 17 meters is approximately 1.7 to 1 and on 12 meters approximately 2.2 to 1, which most amateur transceivers will handle with no issues.

There are some things you need to pay very close attention to during construction of this antenna if you want the good performance. Take your time, measure everything twice, then measure it again. This is not an entry level project! There are over 500 pieces of various screws, bolts, aluminum and other parts that have to go together. It is a complex antenna and took three experienced hams two full days to construct it. Several people have said that they had had trouble with the ferrite balun and subsequently found loose connections inside when they opened it up. I highly suggest that before final assembly you take the cover off the balun and check the hardware. We did that with mine and found that it was good, all hardware was tight as it should be. Because my QTH is near salt water I did add liquid electrical tape around all of the balun's internal electrical connections and sprayed the entire outside of the balun box with several coats of clear enamel to ensure that no water would get inside the enclosure. Another trick that we used was to apply electrician's conductive grease to every metal-to-metal connection as we assembled the various size aluminum tubing that makes up the elements of the antenna so as to make a good connection and help prevent internal corrosion later. I'd suggest this even if you are not near the water. As with any antenna project you will also want to check and re-tighten, if necessary, all of the SS clamps, bolts, etc. on the antenna before it goes in the air. This will take additional time, but you will be glad you did it. And, as I have on all of my antenna projects over the years, I spayed all the various bolts and screws with clear enamel to keep water out of the antenna as much as possible.

There is one big potential "gotcha" that is easily missed and is not discussed in the instruction manual (Cushcraft, me and my assembly team believe that you need to address this!). The flat aluminum straps that make up the feed system assembly come out of the box with a thin clear plastic film tape covering on them. You cannot see this film and it can cause you a major headache if it is not removed! None of us noticed this covering during construction. A week or so after the assembly weekend, and luckily while the antenna was on the ground on saw horses, I was inspecting it and re-tightening things when I noticed what looked like a small bulge of something on one side of the crisscross feed system. On further inspection I saw the thin film starting to peel. Be aware, it's on both sides of the feed system flat straps, including around the bolt holes, the electrical connections, and will act as an insulator, not a conductor. I had to remove the entire feed system to get all of the tape off. Some people have complained that for no reason their SWR would go high and their X-7 would not perform correctly. Wonder why?

Once you put this antenna together correctly and get it a reasonable height above ground, you will be amazed at its performance. You will not wait in many pile ups! I hope this review is helpful. I love this antenna! Good DX!

 
W0IW Rating: 5/5 Sep 4, 2012 17:11 Send this review to a friend
Best tribander EVER MADE  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned 3 of these X7's antennas, and they are by far one of the best triband antennas I have owned in over 30 years hands down..

It has no rival !!!
 
VE6AMI Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2012 17:08 Send this review to a friend
One of the Best Bang for Dollars SS  Time owned: more than 12 months
Short of spending a lot of dollars on separate 10 - 15 -20 monobanders, this semi-log antenna does not disappoint. If you want flat SWR values across the band, then you will need to go with a full size 4 element monobander of your choice. Just make sure to add the costs of a larger tower, heavier base and stronger rotator. For a small pistol DX station or portable operations - this is a great unit for physical size, weight and build.
 
W2MV Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2012 08:28 Send this review to a friend
Can use on 17 and 12 Meters  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just an update. The X7 works with some gain and reasonable match (transceiver autotuner works well) on both 17 and 12 meters. This is a bonus! The driven element is an L-P array with some broadband characteristics.
 
PY1YB Rating: 5/5 May 29, 2010 10:53 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have my X7 more than 10 years. Replaced the old ATB34. Very happy with the antenna. I have already recommended and installed other 5 to friends. Very satisfied. Never had any problems of lack of parts during assembly despite the box having been damaged by UPS. Small parts were protected inside strong plastic bags. Manual and instructions clear and easy to follow. Very good results on air and excellent SWR. Use mine on 12 and 17 with tuner and it goes great as well
 
W9BGX Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2009 11:57 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful DX performance, robust construction  Time owned: more than 12 months
We've had the Cushcraft X-7 at our club station for most of the past decade. It's located on a 55-foot tower atop our 90-foot engineering school building at a total height of 145 feet (about 45 meters) above the local ground level. It's DX performance is wonderful -- It's given us first-call success better than 95% of the time to any DX station, anywhere. Just as impressive is its mechanical robustness over many years in the face of the Chicago-area's summer thunderstorms, especially given our location very near the shore of Lake Michigan, where high winds can sweep in unimpeded from the big lake. This antenna has my highest recommendation. 73, Al WA9JLV, trustee for W9BGX.
 
OE5BAL Rating: 5/5 Oct 13, 2009 10:49 Send this review to a friend
2 different versions of X7  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It is a great antenna, I have bought it in used condition and refurbished. It is built very solid.
But attention:
There are 2 different versions of the X7 - I have two different installation guides! One is dated with 12/97, the other with 8/98. A fast look into the documents shows no difference, but if you check the detail dimensions, you will see it.
The difference is in the length of element 3 to 7 (more than 9 cm !!!) and the type of the traps: in the version from 8/98 the traps are named T6 and T9, in the version from 12/97 they are named TB (not T8) and T9. If you check both part lists, you will see that the particular parts are the same. The difference is only to see in figure 5 from chapter 3 - "Element Assembly". I can imagine that this is the cause of some problems if you mount a used antenna with a downloaded manual from the internet. In case of difficulties: contact Cushcraft (MFJ) to get hints to identify your version or how to identify the type of your traps!

--- best DX !
Fred, OE5BAL
 
IW0HEX Rating: 5/5 Sep 3, 2009 08:19 Send this review to a friend
great antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my X7 second hand. Now I used it since 2 years and I worked more then 300 DXCC !!! Great antenna, solid; SWR is about 1 to 1.6 in all bands so no problem is SSB, RTTY e CW. I have to clean all contacts after 2 years and I use DX Engineering balun 4:1 for LP cell.

73s de IW0HEX Pasquale
 
PY1BR Rating: 5/5 Sep 2, 2009 08:42 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
After 9 years I moved to a new QTH where the X7 is already installed and working as before, excellent performance. Although the previous QTH was close to the sea its mechanical parts are in excellent conditions. I still live in a big city so this antenna is the best we can have installed in a top of a building. Iím very happy with XM240 and X7 in the same tower.
 
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