eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net


Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Verticals and Wire | Gap Help


Reviews Summary for Gap
Gap Reviews: 19 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $399.00
Description: Vertical
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.gapantenna.com/
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Gap.

Page 1 of 2 —>

W4AFK Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2013 17:45 Send this review to a friend
GAP Titan DX  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Plus: It does what they say it will do. Good performance and broadband on most of the ham bands. A joy to use and very reliable (see the setup on QRZ.com). I am using a tri-wire guy system to stabilize it.

Minus: Nothing with the antenna but the instruction manual needs work. They need more illustrations and clearer instructions. For example, the clamp that holds the skirt look odd when installed. It works but it's not what I call might call "professional". The text says it all but you need to read it several times as it doesn't always match-up to the illustrations.

Suggestion: Include a guy wire collar with each antenna. Datasheets indicate that it's not needed but the manual highly recommends them. The addition of a collar and instructions will make it easier. I had to jury-rig the setup.

MFG site: http://www.gapantenna.com/
 
WA3LWR Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2012 09:12 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Service  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am helping an elderly ham put up and antenna at his new, smaller Qth. He previously had a Titan antenna and when it came down, for moving, he cut the cable at the transistion point. I was confused on exactly how the cables were connected and called for Tech support. Richard assisted me and clearly explained how the connections went and much more. His patience and willingness to reexplain things when necessary should be an example to every other ham
company.
The antenna now performs well, and is great for any ham who has limited space. It will not out perform a beam, and yes, the bandwidth on 75 meters is limited, but it does great, especially on higher bands. Quality and service is what this ham found.
 
NZ5L Rating: 3/5 Jun 28, 2010 10:18 Send this review to a friend
$/performance ratio?  Time owned: more than 12 months
The review heading does not specify which GAP to be reviewed, but I have owned the Challenger, Titan, and Mono GAP, which is about 2/3 of the product line, and have owned and used them for over ten years total, so will presume to rate them as a group.
Generally speaking, when properly assembled, you can count on the SWR being within spec, or better. I know that is a very high priority to many users, so they may be favorably inclined for just that reason. Also, when properly assembled, you will have few, if any, mechanical difficulties. I had to replace one interconnect wire once, That's it. Also, they WILL play without additional radials - only the supplied counterpoise system.
So much for the plus side.
My "complaint", if you can call it that, is that for every one of these models the performance to price ratio is very low. The Titan was especially poor on 80 meters when compared to a 1/4 wave vertical wire over a reasonable ground system. The Mono GAP roughly equalled the performance of a 16' tall piece of conduit over 8 1/4 wave radials. Big deal.
If multi band operation of a vertical is desired, there are a lot of choices, but the amateur can often do as well by rolling his own.
Only in the area of ground systems can the GAP claim to have an advantage. But the performance will still be comparable to a 1/4 wave antenna, not withstanding the literature.
In short, pick a band or two, buy some wire or conduit, and save your dinero. The guy on the other end won't mind that you only spent $38.50 (or whatever) and you'll feel a sense of achievement.
I have been there and done that - squared!
 
N0YG Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2008 05:19 Send this review to a friend
Titan- VeryGood for the Money  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Titan Model does exactly as advertised and more right out of the box!! I have owned mine for 7 years now. They say you don't need to guy it but i did with 4 guys and a ground mount tilt over so I cold sleep at night, as I live in Kansas, Tornado Alley. If you READ the directions, this is a problem for some, and assemble per the directions you can't go wrong. The antenna will be tuned and ready to go to work. You might need to adjust 40 meters as this is the 4-80" counter poise. Some BITCH about 100kHZ on 80 meters, well you knew this when you bought it. Again if you READ the literature on the Titan before you bought it, it states 100khz on 80 meters. SO whats the problem? The 80 meter module is changable at a cost of $5.00 or $15.00 the last time I spoke with Chris. Is the Titan the BEST DAMN VERTICAL, NO ! Does it do what it is advertised to do, 100% yes and then some, period! Get yourself a Titan or whatever GAP Antenna fills your needs and enjoy.
 
W8KQE Rating: 5/5 Apr 14, 2008 22:59 Send this review to a friend
FANTASTIC verticals! Have mine 11 years!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm going on 11 years now since I installed my venerable 'work horse' GAP 'Eagle DX' vertical. Since the install and initial tuning (mounted on a 10 foot or so mast cemented into the ground and bolted against the lowest side roof eave of my house), I have never needed to adjust it or lay a hand on it for any reason over the years. SWR and bandwidth is excellent, and it's handled snowstorms, ice storms, and high winds (amazing how it sways back and forth yet remains structurally sound) WITHOUT being guyed. I've worked close to 200 countries with it alone (CW/SSB) running NO amplifiers (100w), and it even works on 30m with the tuner (use only about 40w or so on 30m to be on the safe side) on my original model IC-756. Considering it's smaller size, small 'footprint', structural rigidity, and very good performance, this 'Eagle' SOARS!
 
W2BLC Rating: 1/5 Mar 31, 2008 04:45 Send this review to a friend
Physically weak  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had several GAP antennas. They worked OK - but, not any better than a BX type 1/4 wave with a good set of radials. Assembly is not difficult, but is more complicated and time consuming than a Butternut, BX, R5, or R7.

My problem is the physical weakness of the structure itself. Even with the recommended guying and some additional guying of my own - winds have taken their toll. Winter winds here often exceed 70 MPH.

My trusty R5 and BX series antennas are still up (no additional guying used). If I had not sold the Butternut (poor decision on my part) that would still be up.

The GAP antennas are gone - I pieced them together as I could to get a little more life from them. But after a couple of winters, they were scrap aluminium and got tossed.

Do GAP antennas work - yes. Do they do a super job - no. Are they worth the price - not to me.

I recommend a stronger more basic vertical antenna. Less wind resistance perhaps - or less light-weight parts anyway. Dig up the lawn and put in real radials - you want regret it.
 
KG6TT Rating: 5/5 Mar 31, 2008 01:08 Send this review to a friend
Titan - Works as Anticipated  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Perhaps this will help balance the previous 'very negative' personal experience.

I did the same research... certainly not new to antennas or verticals for that matter (45 years as a ham, RF Engineer for many of those years as well). Anyway, I purchased the Gap Titan and found it to be a very easy build.... just follow the instructions. I mounted mine 8 feet above the ground using the GAP Ground Tilt accessory. I followed GAP recommendations and ran the feedline down one of the rope supports I was using for greater wind resistance (we get a LOT of wind here)... basically a 45 degree angle from the antenna's vertical. SWR on 40-10 meters was exactly as anticipated by the manual. 80 meters resonated 100 KHz high so I replaced the top capacitor with the next value down.

The GAP Titan is the quietest vertical, regarding man-made-noise that I have yet to experience... and for the nay-sayers... it isn't deaf. BUT it also isn't equal to a tribander at 35' which I also have. My other antenna to compare against is a set of 1/4 wave slopers extending away from the tower with the tribander and a pair of full-wave loops for 17-meters. When compared to the slopers the GAP is a bit better for very low angle DX... not as good on closer in stations. The full-wave loops are better in the direction of their main lobes but the GAP's omni-directional pattern works well to fill in off the sides.

I have to give hats up to this antenna as it certainly isn't installed here in the best of situations.... hardly 15 feet from the house which is stucco and wire and probably only 15 feet from a large/tall tree and surrounded closer down with lots of foliage. Still it works well. SWR is flat enough that no tuner is need from 40-meters and up and as a combination CW, digital, RTTY, and phone operator that is nice. The usable bandwidth on 80-meters is less than 100 KHz but that is what I anticipated. No tuner should be used on 80-meters if you are going to run more than a few hundred watts RF or more.

No traps to absorb valuable RF, no plumber delight capacitors to arc and fail... structurally very strong. I am pleased with this antenna and have no problem recommending it. Wish I had space for two for phasing.

73, Jerry, KG6TT

 
JOHN_STLMO Rating: 0/5 Mar 30, 2008 20:47 Send this review to a friend
Very disappointed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Did a LOT of research on which vertical to replace my old faithfull Butternut HF6V and finally decided on the GAP TitanDX based a lot on the reviews here and on the Yahoo GAP forums. This antenna has been a pain. Being a vertical coaxial dipole the coax which runs inside the aluminum mast is an integral part of the antenna and ANY thing which can affect the coax affects the SWR of the antenna. It installs with low SWR initially but run the lead in coax too close to any 'reflective' object and there goes your SWR. Fix it and then retune the antenna. Run the coax after re-tuning and your probably going to have to retune the antenna again due to the new coax run. It's extremely touchy to nearby objects. I've had the antenna a month and called GAP over 6 times on this thing, each time getting yet another suggestion on how to 'fix the probelm'. Been a ham for over 30 years and had dozens of antennas both verticals and dipoles - but none as tempermental as this thing. In fact, it's up for sale already. I'll go back to a good 1/4 wave vertical and lay down radials. Plus, go to the Yahoo GAP forum and take a look at how many of the TitanDX's actually folds and breaks above the GAP (even when guyed) resulting in $400 worth of trash - the antenna is extremely top heavy. City/man made noise is louder with this antenna than any I've ever found from my 22 years in this location.
I'm glad most of you guys like this POS - for me, it was a total waste of money and good riddance. Do I sound bitter? Yes, I am.
The GAP TitanDX is pure hype.

 
K6RV Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2007 16:13 Send this review to a friend
A DX Antenna !  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I moved to the Austin area in and bought a house in a Sub-division that does not allow antennas of any kind. After struggling with a long wire tacked around the eaves of the house, I bought a Titan DX almost a year ago to the day.

I solved the problem of no antennas allowed by buying the Quick tilt ground mount. At night I tilt it up and daytime tilt it down. No one has complained in a year.

In that one year of operating I have worked 125 countries through the bottom of the sunspot cycle, and even worked some of them through HUGE pileups - including the DX-peditions to French Guiana, The Azores, St. Brandon Is., Spratley Is., Swains Is.

The antenna works best on 40m. and 20m. Although 80m. is the biggest compromise, I have been working Europe and Africa almost every night.
30m, 17m, 15m., 12m and 10m. also work fine but those bands have not very active with the cycle at the bottom, although I have worked DX on all of them. I am running an amplifier with 500W. out.

Chris and Richard (the owner) have been most helpful with all my questions. The SWR on all bands is below 2:1 and top capacitors are available for 3.5, 3.7 and 3.8. It came with cap for 3.8 but now using 3.5 since I operate mostly CW.

I come from a station in CA with a 100' sky needle and mono band beams stacked, including a 4 el 40m. beam. so I am humbled, but thrilled, with the operation of this vertical dipole !!

It is really neat to use a vertical that has a built in counterpoise and not have to run radials.

The proof of my experience with the Titan is that I just ordered an Eagle DX and Quick Tilt Ladder mount for my RV.

If you have limited space, and want to get on the air quickly, and want to be able to get out will then THESE are the antennas.

It is getting dark now so I have to go out and tilt it up (a 3 minute job).

73 Donald, K6RV

 
K7VI Rating: 5/5 Jun 16, 2002 17:12 Send this review to a friend
Solid performer, sturdy  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
(I wonder why this review is under HF Directional Antennas! :-)

I needed an antenna that was quick to get on the air and covered 40-10 completely. I needed something that was robust enough mechanically to deal with the winds that we get off the hills. I needed 5 elements at 120' but since I haven't put up the tower yet, I bought the Titan. ;-)

Construction: OK, the manual's a little amateurish in appearance and it's important to read the instructions carefully (isn't it always?), but everything's there. Assembly went fine. It took about 4 hours to put everything together, but I _definitely_ didn't rush. I assembled the antenna indoors, so no searching for dropped hardware. Getting the coax out the side-firing hole in the base was a little challenging, and I had one or two burrs in the Aluminum that wanted attention, but other than that, assembly went quite smoothly.

Raising: I used a 6-foot, 1-1/2" water pipe as a support. Drove it in until it only about 2 feet were above ground. If you've not raised a vertical before, pick a time without wind and have some help in case things begin to tip. It's a good idea to have the U-bolts in place but very loose because they'll help the antenna grip the mount whilst you're tightening. I raised the antenna alone and it went just fine. I added the counterpoise system after the antenna was up. Just set it to the defaults noted in the manual.

Operation: It's a multiband vertical. If you're expecting a beam, don't. That said, I've been quite pleased with the antenna. There was NO TUNING AT ALL that needed to be done. There are NO RADIALS to place. So getting this guy on the air is simple, simple, simple. it's footprint on your lawn is minimal. And it looks nice, if you like antennas.

SWR is OK on all bands. 10m is low across the band. 12m and 17m are both about 2:1, which is OK. 20m is under 2:1 across the band, with resonance skewed very high (above 14.3). I have to tune the CW portion (a bit under 3:1 at 21.0, a bit over 1.5:1 at 21.45) of 15m, but it plays well on the phone portion. 30m is essentially flat. 40m is under 2:1 across the whole band with the CW portion particularly low (I like this very much). 80m is actually relatively broad, with 3.8-4.0 very usable, though CW operation is right out.

On the air, it's a vertical. It's a bit more susceptible to man-made interference and it's omni-directional. When the band's open, it plays just fine. When condx are marginal, it's tough getting through with 100w. I haven't heated up the amplifier with it, yet, so can't comment on power-handling capabilities, but the antenna's mechanically hefty, so I suspect there's zero problem to be had running QRO.

Vertical antennas don't hear as well as yagis, so you'll be a little disappointed at time watching the packet cluster. Without running power, you'll also be disappointed that you can't work everything that you hear. But this is the nature of omni-directional antennas. You hear everything and you send power everywhere. Well, that's not quite true. Take off angle matters a lot, and I've found this antenna to work very well with DX when band condx cooperate. I wasn't able to crack the TN and P5 pileups barefoot, but I've worked everything else that's come along over the past 6 months. I've had some trouble working the East Coast (from Washington state) during contests, but that may be more an issue of not being able to poke through a crowded band than any factor with the antenna. As I said, i don't have any of my beams up yet to compare with from this QTH.

All in all, I'm very happy with the Titan. Assembly was very good (_much_ better than the Challenger that I had years ago). Mechanical durability is very good (again, better than the Challenger). I really like the counterpoise system! SWR performance is adequate or somewhat better. On the air performance for DX is reasonable, indicating a favorable radiation pattern (particularly takeoff angle).

I recommend the GAP Titan as an excellent value with good product quality, a small footprint and decent performance.
 
Page 1 of 2 —>


If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.