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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Force 12 C3S Help


Reviews Summary for Force 12 C3S
Force 12 C3S Reviews: 7 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1069
Description: 6 element 20M-15M-10M yagi, 5 sq ft, 12 foot boom, 26 lbs.
Product is in production.
More info: http://force12inc.com
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KI6NQT Rating: 5/5 Aug 12, 2012 13:09 Send this review to a friend
Update  Time owned: more than 12 months
The antenna works great. But, the balun bought from Force 12 went open after 12 months. Probably bad/poor solder, flex down by connector cont. exits let go infinity. 1.3 SWR all across 20m with no more than 400 w peak.
 
N1EU Rating: 5/5 Nov 8, 2010 11:57 Send this review to a friend
Amazing performance from small yagi  Time owned: more than 12 months
My C3S has now been up for 11 years at 50-60ft height and continues to perform exceptionally well. Its small size and light weight are very advantageous since I do all the work solo and it is up on an AB577 mast. Its performance belies its small size and has helped me earn several top 10 USA dx contest placings.

I did run into one issue: in very high winds, the spacing between the 3 driven element log cell keeps changing resulting in fluctuating SWR. It's even possible to damage an amplifier when the element tips short together. I don't know if Force 12 addressed this in later units, but there's a cheap & easy fix - just fashion spacers out of 1.5" PVC pipe (see http://n1eu.com/n1eu/c3s_mod.htm ).
 
K4MPE Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2010 21:42 Send this review to a friend
Excellent antenna!  Time owned: more than 12 months
In my 51 yrs as a ham, I've used many types of beams (mono-banders; traps, etc) by many different manufacturers. Also built a few myself. Most did a good job. Some so, so. I have used configurations from "Christmas Trees" on towers to simple setups on masts. Being a DXer, my goals were just that..to work DX. And I did..and still do.
After moving to my present retirement home in 1995, I decided to put up a simple yagi. I purchased the C3S in 1998 with S/S hardware. Used the BuryFlex coax (125')to the yagi & Force 12 BN1 balun with C3S mounted @ 45'on self-supporting mast.
I must say I have been pleasantly surprised at the results. If I can hear it, I can usually work it! Maybe not the first in line but I usually get through. Having all DXCC countries except one, I looked at new bands. Didn't try the 12 & 17 mtr bands until 2000 (don't know why) but with external tuner, it loaded quite easily. Shows some gain, directivity and a bit of front-to-back on 12/17. I have 292 countries on 17 & 274 on 12 since then! Can't wait for this cycle to get going. The beam has performed flawlessly since I put it up. Guess I need to bring it down to check hardware, etc and replace the coax to get ready for another 10 year run!
I find this small wonder to be one of the best beams I've used. Had Force 12 been around years ago, no telling what kind of setup I would have had. The XYL would have killed me!
 
K4XZ Rating: 4/5 Jul 25, 2009 09:10 Send this review to a friend
Excellent antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my C3-S up for 6 years now and it still works great. This particular antenna was built before the company was sold. It was built as a C3-S/HH with 140 MPH wind load. It made it through hurricane Wilma with no problems. The only problems I have is 1. It was to have all SS hardware. The u-bolts are not. 2. These antennas say they will work on 12 & 17 meters with a tuner. I have yet to see one that does. Otherwise great stuff I would buy another one.

73 Joe K4XZ
 
KC9MLL Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2009 05:18 Send this review to a friend
I'm Impressed  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I use the C3S with my Kenwood TS-2000.
The SWR is so small the auto tuner built into the radio, has no problem.
The switch from a vertical, to the C3S was a great change! I bust through pile ups like never before. Having the option to switch between a vertical, and the C3S, makes it even that much better! The construction of the C3S is SOLID! They are very sturdy, and built to last. Putting them up wasn't such a breeze, but considering I had never attempted a beam install before, and the fact that I had 2 sets of guy wires to clear, it still took a few hours, but was well worth it.
They are now sitting at 61' and are doing a great job!
 
WU5E Rating: 5/5 Oct 3, 2008 18:04 Send this review to a friend
very good  Time owned: more than 12 months
I put up this Force 12 C3S in June 07 on my 50 foot tower with a Hazer HD. After being home for a few I had to return to Iraq. I forgot I left it up on the tower and it last though up 76 mph winds record on my weather station. I would recomend this antenna to any ham that has limited space for a beam. true it not a 17m beam but the tri-bands are great I work all the DX I hear. and get great signal reports . 73's de Jim WU5E
 
KI6LO Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2006 10:31 Send this review to a friend
Slick little antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having had a 2 element 5 band quad for a few years, I was really spoiled to the nice reports and quiet operations a quad delivers. But alas, all good things must come to an end. And so it was with my quad. Mother nature decided that it had lived long enough. So my search was one to determine a suitable replacement. Now the really tough part was finding a small footprint yagi that would fit into my backyard lot and not require a larger tower (I have a couple of little duty towers) and would not cost a year pay in extra goodies to make work. I also wanted to steer clear of traps if at all possible having had problems in the past with those. I reviewed, researched, read, examined, modeled and did just about everything one can do except actally build and use candidate antennas. I did comparisons of many of the different models from Force 12, Cushcraft, Mosley and HyGain to name a few. I was impressed by the fact that the Force 12 used no traps and was a essentially a set of three full size two element monobanders on a single boom. Reading the reviews gave me a overall idea that the vast majority of users found the Force 12 antennas a very sound engineered antenna and had excellent results both on transmit and receive.

The Force 12 C3S easily met the size and weight restrictions I had placed on the project. The performance parameters were also within the scope of the my requirements. I had heard stories of the poor customer support that some had received from Force 12 but dealing with the gang at Force 12 by phone produced no problems for me personally. The phone was always answered by the staff quickly and professionally. Any question I asked were answered fully. When I ordered the C3S, I was told that it would be 2 weeks before completion and shipping yet I received notification of shipping with 6 days.

Upon delivery of the C3S box, I was surprised to see that the shipping weight was stated as 41 pounds and the specs on the website stated the C3S at 26 pounds but it was all there and the antenna actually weighed in at 28 pounds. This was important to me as weight and boom length were two of the determining criteria for selecting the C3S. All the parts were inventoried and complete. So far so good.

I studied the manual and made sure I understood the process of how to assemble the antenna before starting. I would add here that unless you have actually assembled a Force 12 antenna, this is a very important step. There are a couple of gotchas if you don't pay attention to details. But suffice to say the manual is well written and detailed enough to ease the assemble along without problems. Force 12 suggest that you double check their measurements during assemble. This is a good suggestion as I found dimensions for the 20M driven element to be off on one side of the element by an inch too short. I called Force 12 and they confirmed that indeed one side was too short. They suggested I move the tip out 1 inch a re-revit. I had to remove 3 rivets, reset the dimension 1 inch longer and redrill rivet holes in the tip tube to match the previous tube section. Not a major rework but it could have caused problems later on once installed on the tower.

Speaking of rivets, I would suggest unless you have a strong grip and can do revits one handed, take you time and use both hands. This may require a bit of manuevering or a second pair of hands but it will make it easier. I used a standard manual revit gun I already had in my tool box and my grip is pretty strong. I found I could do them one handed but my wrist was sore the next day after just 6 elements. I would not attempt doing a C41XLR or that something that size without a pnuematic riveter. I found that Force 12 had provided plenty of rivets so I actually have spares for maintenance should the need arise. It took me approximately two and a half hours to position and riviet all the elements.

The boom mounting plates are a dream to work with. These are pre-positioned during manufacturing so there isn't any guesswork or measuring on the assembler's part. Position each element and clamp it using supplied hardware, ensuring each are parallel to the others. That's all there is too it. This process took about an hours to complete.

I opted to use the Force 12 B-1 balun at the feedpoint. It seemed the logical choice as it is from Force 12 and is designed to work with their antennas. Zipties and black tape and it was attached to the boom. The antenna boom to mounting plates are really nice since they are already pre-drilled and aligned. Antenna mounted easily to the mast above the rotor. The feedline I'm using is Davis RF BuryFlex (9913F7 compatible) lowloss coax. It is good stuff and I recommend you check it out. The antenna is now on the tower at around 40 feet.

Since I have only had the antenna up for a few days, I can't attest to the longevity but it seems solidly designed and constructed. Others have noted it can withstand abuse. As to wind survivability, I will know about that within the next 3 months as our fall season brings some nice wind gust up to 60-80 mph out here in the Mojave Desert. Signals heard and reports recieved so far seem to indicate that this antenna does have the gains and directivity specified by Force 12. Further testing will validate that fully and I can repost more information latter. All in all I am satisfied so far with my decision to purchase a Force 12 C3S. The total work time for the antenna assembly and installation was approximately 4 hours. Soon I will have photos and more information about the project on my website at http://www.radioroom.org.

Gene KI6LO
 


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