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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Cushcraft MA160V Help

Reviews Summary for Cushcraft MA160V
Cushcraft MA160V Reviews: 13 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $199,95 - 229,95
Description: 160-Meter Vertical Monopole Antenna with top loading coil plus capacitive hat
Frequency (MHz): 1.8 - 2.0
Bandwidth (2.1 SWR): 40kHz
Weight (kg): 5.44
Height: 30` to 36`
Power: 1500-Watt
Product is in production.
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DB9EX Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2007 06:05 Send this review to a friend
Compact & good performance for size  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have the MA160V close to one year now and I am very satisfied with the antenna. With the good instruction the Installation went very easy and took about 2 hours without the Radial layout. The erection of the antenna is quite tricky because the antenna is very top-heavy. I manage the erection by my self but I recommend two additional hands. The good thing is that you can use the same Base section and radial system than for the MA8040V. Do to my limited space I use the MA160V only for some 160m contest and put it on the MA8040V Base.
The feed point resistance of the antenna is very sensitive to the number and length of the radials. You need definitive an antenna analyzer to play with the radials and see the influence to the antenna resistance. On the MA8040V radial system the resistance is at my ground about 28 Ohm and I use a 2:1 Balun to match the antenna. On our contest place the feed point is close to 50 Ohm with 8 quarter-wave radials and no matching network is need. Do to the limited length of the antenna compare to a quarter-wave full-size the performance is very good but with low band with. In distance greater than 1000km the antenna is better than a 160m Windom in limited high. Do to the lightweight and small size I recommend the antenna also for DXpedition.

You can find some detail picture on my web page:
K4ZNC Rating: 4/5 Nov 28, 2006 22:05 Send this review to a friend
So far, so good!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased one of the first MA160V about a year ago after finding out that they were available, even though not listed yet on the Cushcraft product web site. Went together very well, good instructions, in about 2 to 3 hours, discounting laying the radials.

This antenna with 4 radials is reasonent at 8.127 (SWR 1:1) and with a tuner over the complet band. This antenna is top-heavy because of the coil and capacity hats 3/4s uo the vertical.

During last winter, made about 20 DX contacts and checked regularly in the the Century 21 Net.

In the next few weeks I plan to elevate the vertical and add several more precisely cut radials for counterpoise. Will report back later in the winter, early spring.

I have an Ultralite Senior and will tery to do some camparisons.

John K4ZNC
AB0O Rating: 4/5 Nov 25, 2006 05:40 Send this review to a friend
Worthwhile antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I live in an antenna-restricted development and I have 4 states remaining for my 160m WAS award. The winter 160m contest season is here and I needed a low-angle radiator of some kind that would increase my chances of snagging Hawaii and Alaska. Until now, I had been using a low-slung 260-foot Off Center Fed Dipole made from #22 Copperweld, which is so low that it is a near-vertical radiator more than anything else. From my Missouri QTH, the extreme Eastern and Western states were a definite challenge.
I became interested in the MA160V when I saw that it had been designed for small lots and only weighed 12 pounds and was about 33 feet tall. Due to my antenna restrictions, I needed an antenna that I could set up after dark and take down before dawn. I took the plunge and was able to try it out in the last few weeks.
First, the antenna is well-made and simple to assemble. I assembled the antenna completely in the basement, and with a permanent marker, labeled each tubing joint with matching letters so that I wouldn't have to figure out which piece went with which in the dark. Also, the top hat consists of eight music wire rods that are clamped in a ring just above the coil. I assembled the ring and tightened the bolts snuggly but not tight. Then I ground each top hat rod to a tapered point on one end so that I can hand-press them into the ring clamps. This worked well...the rods are tightly held enough to survive handling, and this cut out at least 20 minutes of assembly time.
The antenna mount is simply a piece of 1.5 inch EMT conduit pounded into the ground and sawed off at ground level. The instructions say that the antenna base section fits the bore of the EMT tubing, but in fact there is about an eighth inch of slop between the antenna and the EMT tubing bore. Not a problem, I simply shimmed the difference with a wood chip.
The instructions called for an initial spread of 3 radials of 30-50 feet each. I cut three 45-footers from the supplied roll of wire, and cut a fourth one just in case.
Finally, the instructions give you a fixed overall dimension for the mast below the coil and a dimension for the stinger above the coil, the latter being the frequency adjustment.
On-the-air operation of the antenna was quite satisfacory. With the dimensions set per instructions and three 45-foot radials, the antenna clearly resonated at 1.800 mhz with an SWR of about 1.6. Not bad out of the box. I then began a series of raising and lowering the antenna, making tuning adjustments to resonate at 1.892mhz, the 3905 Century club frequency that I haunt for the purpose of getting my WAS.
Adjustments to the top stinger moved the resonant frequency by about 25kc per foot of change, but at the same time increased SWR to above 2.5. On the other hand, adjusting the length of the mast below the coil also raised the resonant frequency by about 50kc per 6-inch increment while achieving an SWR of about 1.8 at desired resonant frequency. Much better. Then the instructions say to add on radial at a time to ower the SWR to 1.1. I added the fourth radial, but this had no effect on the SWR. I'll experiment with that some other time.
One the air, this antenna is quite remarkable, at least compared to my OCFD. On the 3905 Century net, I went from being the guy who could hear the least, to the guy who could hear as well as the top two or three stations could. The tuner on my 756P2 handled the residual SWR very well, and my signal reports were much better on the east coast than they were with the OCFD. On the closer states, I went from being a marginal signal to a "signal with presence".
At the end of the evening, only 10 minutes was required to take the antenna down and leave no trace of its existence for the neighbors to detect.
One safety note...this antenna is not heavy in terms of total weight, but it is very top-heavy and long. The instructions suggest that two people are needed to handle this antenna and I agree with them. I raised and lowered this antenna alone. Fortunately, I can bench press some significant iron, otherwise I would have been unable to control it and I would have likely destroyed the antenna. Once the antenna is within about 20 degrees of the vertical, it becomes very easy to handle. However, when it is leaning more than 20 degrees from the vertical, it becomes a leaning, jerking beast that is difficult to handle. What I did to counter this tip-over tendancy, was to pound a rebar "U" into the ground near the antenna base, under which I could hook the mast's lower end and prevent it from teetering up while I lowered the mast on the top end. This worked very well, and eliminated virtually all effort from the process. I assume that the second person, were there to be one, would perform this same function. So far, my experimenting with this antenna has been in no-wind conditions, so I'm sure a brisk wind would bring a whole new factor into this equation.
Overall, having not figured out how to lower the SWR to 1.1 yet, I will give this product a "4", but otherwise, I am very pleased with the antenna. It is a huge improvement over what I had, and is very well-engineered for the fast installation and take-down that I needed. This will probably become a popular DX-pedition antenna for top band as well.
I will report further on experiments to lower the SWR.

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