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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Hy-Gain AV640 Eight Band Vertical Help

Reviews Summary for Hy-Gain AV640 Eight Band Vertical
Hy-Gain AV640 Eight Band Vertical Reviews: 63 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $359.99
Description: Hy-Gain 40-6M 8-band Vertical
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Hy-Gain AV640 Eight Band Vertical.

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K2TJR Rating: 5/5 Jul 14, 2011 22:22 Send this review to a friend
Huge immediate improvement!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was on the verge of selling off my Yaesu FT100D because of the poor HF performance I was experiencing. I had been usung all sorts of home brew dipoles. At the time of this writing I have an off center fed Widom that was supposed to resonant on multiple frequencies and I am still unable to make any satisfiying contacts other than NVIS since it is only 20 feet AGL. Since the Windom was not resonant at any but the odd harmonic frequencies I was forced to use a tuner and even tuning was not producing the results I wanted i.e. poor reception and low output dispite having a good tune at less than 1.4:1 SWR.

I had read nothing but horror stories about vertical antennas especially multi-band verticals. Having to run dozens of groud radials seemd like a daunting task too and I was about to give in and throw the dipole high into the trees around my property and run a very long coax or ladder line to the shack until...I read about the Hy-Gain AV-640 "Patriot".

I could not find anyone saying anything bad about it with the exception of a few clearly dissatified users with a bone to pick with MFJ customer service.

My experience was the same as most but different that others.

Yes the instructions could be clearer on a few points. Most of the errors I made were my own fault not reading fully and comprehending before assembly or tuning.

I had no missing parts, holes mis-drilled and even had quite a few spares nuts and bolts left over. If I dropped anything in the grass or on the floor I did not need to hunt for it, just grab another from the stock provided.

And performance...WOW, I've never had such good signal strength and have never made contact so far from my QTH. It was only Minnesota but I could never talk much out of state. Since then I have made numerous contacts and am working on may WAS and keeping my FT100D too!

Is it the best antenna in the world? For my needs, YES! Others will disagree but all things considered, for the price, ease of assembly, (be sure to read the manual a few time through completely BEFORE starting and BEFORE tuning and you should be fine) muli-band operation without a tuner, no gound radials, no lossy all works for me!

It does not have to be 100 feet in the air to work well. In fact it says not to put it up high another plus for me. I'll have it a few feet above the roof line barely 18 feet AGL. I can stand on my roof and tune it but I did that already attached to a 5 foot pole in the back yard. It needed only minimal tuning if assembled per the instructions, READ THEM FIRST!

And DO NOT cut the spokes to length, install them full length first and the check the tune. I have to go back and lengthen a few to get it back into that sweet spot on a few of the bands.

I think you will like it alot, I do. Ted K2TJR
W8DTW Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2011 12:40 Send this review to a friend
A Winner!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I installed a Hy-Gain AV-640 "Patriot" a month ago and am surprized daily by signal reports indicating a dramatic improvement over my old vertical (Comet CHA250BX). Assembly was a challenge but doable. Mine is mounted on a tripod 10 feet above the roof of my home (30 feet above ground). In my brief experience with this antenna I must say I'm impressed.
K1OYQ Rating: 5/5 May 10, 2011 17:39 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had one up for 11 years now and it is still pulling in the DX better then any of my other antennas. I've tried the 6BVT with over 60 radials - good, but not as good as the AV-640. I've got a 43 foot S-9 vertical up now - better then the 6BVT, but not as good as the AV-640. I have a New Carolina Windom up and it is better on 40M only (it covers 80M though). This antenna was my main DX antenna even when I had a MA5B beam. Great performer and long lasting. I will buy another one if this one wears out (no sign of that yet). Try it you'll like it.
PY2ONU Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2011 06:32 Send this review to a friend
VERY GOOD ANTENNA!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a very good antenna, many many DX all over the world in all bands. Works great specially in 10, 15, 20 and 30 meters. GOOD SWR in all bands, adjust is simple but arduous
due to the size of the antenna. I think it's one of the world's best vertical antennas together with the Cushcraft R-8 and GAP TITAN DX.
I bought the hy-gain due to being cheaper than the Cushcraft R-8 and have 6 meters that gap has not (i prefer to 6 meters of the 80 meters). I have done several dx on 6 meters with this antenna in America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
I think the three antennas mentioned in text above are good is a matter of personal preference.

AA7OK Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2011 11:44 Send this review to a friend
Digital Modes  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm a very pleased with the AV-640. I purchased the AV-640 and built it in early March of 2011. It has been in use for more than a month as of this writing. I had no problems with missing parts or miss-placed drill holes or any other manufacturing or packaging problems. I took my time and was careful with measurements so it took me about 3 days to build, mount and put on the air. Before I built the antenna I used EZNEC to determine an appropriate height to mount it at. Because the antenna is a 3/8th radiator on the bands it covers, I modeled it so. My favorite band is 15m and I like the WARC bands in general for my digital mode interests. I determined that 11 to 13 feet would provide for the best radiation angles for me. I used a 4x4 and some steel pipe to get it off the ground and all went smoothly. The radials center ring is 11.5 feet above earth. At first it tuned up just 'OK' with the swr too high for my liking on my favorite band segments, so I thought I would have to take it down and do some adjustments. However, once I 'earth grounded' the tuning unit properly, the swr on all the band segments I like to use improved markedly. 40m runs a bit high at 1.7 to 1.8 but the rest of the bands are just great. I use my grounded loop for 40m anyway, but 40m on the AV-640 is serviceable. The antenna plays well. I've worked plenty of DX. I'm having fun. I'll write back here in a year or so and let you all know how it is holding up.
K3EGW Rating: 3/5 Apr 13, 2011 14:54 Send this review to a friend
Update on previous review  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just when I thought the information I got from Hy-Gain support was going to fix the 40 meter issue (see my last review), it turns out that it wasn't a cold solder joint after all. It was a missing, yes missing, upper metal strap! No wonder it wasn't working on 40, there was no connection to the 40 meter resonator.

I've lowered my rating from 4 to 3. Although the antenna works well, the lack of quality control at MFJ/Hy-Gain is appalling. That and a couple of missing nuts and bolts, mismatched threads on the 6 meter stub, and lots of typos in the assembly manual are things that would make me think twice before I purchase another MFJ product.

On the positive side, the antenna works well, Tom at support answered my emails quickly, and they're promptly sending me the missing parts... I'll report back if I don't get them in a few days.
W2RS Rating: 4/5 Mar 12, 2011 05:25 Send this review to a friend
Came down in wind  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is an update to my earlier (2005) review.

After 5 1/2 years of operation without guys, metal fatigue did the antenna in and it came down. The fault was right above the fiberglass insulator.

We don't have ice here in southern Arizona, but we do have strong winds with gusts up to 70-80 MPH. The AV640 met its wind survival spec of 80 MPH many times, but nothing lasts forever.

I'm replacing it with an AV620 and will use my 130-foot inverted-L on 30 and 40.
AC6IJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2011 18:52 Send this review to a friend
Hi Quality  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just got thru installing the AV-640 antenna today and I'm very impressed with everything about it.
I thought the instructions were very good and easy to follow. This antenna weighs in at 22 lbs. and not 10 lbs. as advertised. Just be sure to mount it on at least a 1 11/16" outside dia. galvanized pole as I did and you should be ok.
I also used 5/16" dacron rope for guys. It is mounted on a 15' pole that is fastened to my patio.
I also used all the spokes and elements at the CW lengths as recommended and with my auto tuner every band is perfect.
All the parts were there and the manual has been updated with a lot of improvements.
I'm sure anyone interested in this antenna will be quite pleased with it.
By the way, I used liquid masking tape on the critical electrical connections and sealed the black box with silicon sealer to help keepout moisture and I also glued small patches of screen over the two drain holes on the bottom of the box to keep out bugs. Bill
NJ2H Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2011 17:56 Send this review to a friend
After two years, fully satisfied  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a very small irregular lot and anything other than a vertical is impossible. After trying other verticals, mostly ground mounted, I decided to try the AV640 on the roof, which puts its base at about 25 feet AGL. I use at FT-950 which I also like very much and as of a few months ago the MFJ 600 W solid state amp. By the way, ARRL techies figured out that the AV640 with 500 watts is roughly equivalent to a 3 element beam at 100 watts. If I wasn't so lazy I would do the math myself, but I'll take their word for it. At 100 watts I get out pretty well, easily into Europe from the east coast. The MFJ at 500 watts is a huge improvement, and I got into Western Australia on 20M a few weeks ago for the first time with a 5/7 signal. So this is one vertical, that on the roof at least, performs pretty nicely. Yep, the manual stinks, and I wish the bandwidth of 40m was wider, especially since I don't have a tuner, but overall, a nice product, as is the FT 950 and the MFJ.
W3PV Rating: 5/5 Jan 5, 2011 14:35 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
As the other reviewers stated, this antenna is a bear to construct, from the weak directions in the manual to the mountain of parts used in the construction. Once it's in the air, it becomes a highly effective antenna... for a vertical... I took one with me on each overseas assignment and each time there was a waiting line of locals that wanted to take it off my hands. As you can tell, I am pleased with the ability to break into pileups, get great signal reports, and still fit into the small backyard space without causing undue annoyance to my neighbors.

The only problem that I have had was with my current antenna which was the lack of communications from the manufacturer. From my order through to my cancellation of the order, not a word, or even an answer to my repeated phone calls was forthcoming from the manufacturer. Finally on the day before I was to depart the US on another overseas assignment an AV-640 package showed on my doorstep. One day later it would have spent four months sitting on my lawn.

If you can deal with the manufacturer, the AV-640 will serve you well.
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