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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Directional (Yagi, quad, etc.) | Hy-Gain VB-64DX Help


Reviews Summary for Hy-Gain VB-64DX
Hy-Gain VB-64DX Reviews: 14 Average rating: 3.4/5 MSRP: $145
Description: The VB-64DX features a concept in beam construction that provides actual delivered performance equalling maximum theoretical gain. The 4-element VB-64DX generates an impressive 8.2 dBd gain.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.hy-gain.com/products.php?prodid=VB-64DX
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K9RE Rating: 3/5 Nov 12, 2017 04:54 Send this review to a friend
Experimenter's Dream  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a decent antenna for the price, but there are a few issues. The main one is that the clamps that attach the balun wires and your coax to the driven element are too large to fit snugly over the tubing. The antenna is unusable the way it comes; you'll need to come up with a different solution. You can either make new clamps, wrap the tubes to increase their diameter, or use hose clamps; but those are not ideal for trapping the wires and making a connection. MFJ sent me replacement clamps but they were the same as the ones that came with the antenna and did not work either.

It will take you awhile to assemble this antenna because you have to measure and position everything. All of the element lengths and their positions on the boom are completely adjustable and I had some difficulty getting all of the elements lined up. However, this gives you the option to fully optimize the antenna to your preferred operating frequency.

Be careful not to overtighten the hose clamps as they will break (get replacements at your hardware store). Ditto for the mast to boom clamp. I didn't have the feeling that I could tighten this clamp enough to completely secure the antenna without deforming the boom. Use caution.

If you plan to run more than 100 W I would suggest replacing the balun. Also, be sure to protect the ends with coax seal or similar (do the same for your feedline).

As some have pointed out, if the antenna will be subjected to windy conditions, you should plan to insert twine or rope inside the elements to dampen vibrations.

There are a lot of fasteners in the kit and in mine, the plastic bag containing them had broken open during shipment. I was short a few here and there, and had extras of others. You can get anything you are missing locally.

I would be reluctant to mount this antenna high on a tower or other location where it would be difficult to maintain or repair. Mine is on a TV mast on the roof so if it needs work it is fairly easily accessible.

The antenna works well and I would recommend it for the budget conscious op. Just be aware of its mechanical aspects.
 
WA6APQ Rating: 4/5 Aug 7, 2016 21:14 Send this review to a friend
good  Time owned: more than 12 months
The QC on this antenna is lacking a bit. The 7 inch long element tubes that mount to the boom are not swaged small enough to fit tight on the main elements. The #4 hose clams supplied are really too big and should be #2, smaller size. Cutting additional slots on the small tube allows for a better grip and keeps the elements from moving inside the small tubes due to wind.
The 4:1 “balun” supplied is RG-58/U coax and has round terminal lugs attached to the stripped ends. The lugs are too small to be mounted on the 1/4“ mounting bolts as shown on the instruction manual. I preferred to make my own balun out of 9913F coax where I could cut it to my specific frequency (50.15 MHz) and attach the correct lugs along with some water proofing to protect it. Information on making 4:1 coax baluns can be found on the internet.
I choose to use a 1:1, 50 ohm balun with an SO239 connector for the feed point instead of just stripping the coax line and attaching as shown. The other option would be to buy a 4:1 balun with a SO239 connector and discard the coax balun all together. Just make sure the balun is designed to work at 50 MHz.
The antenna works well with good forward gain. I would recommend this antenna to anyone needing a reasonably priced 6 meter beam, but you will have to do some reconfiguring to get it right.
 
K4TAX Rating: 3/5 Mar 10, 2016 10:38 Send this review to a friend
Poor Mechanical performance  Time owned: months
More to my earlier review.
In my earlier review, I did "blast" HyGain/MFJ/Cushcraft on the issue. Today I did get confirmation they will supply me a replacement element. For that reason I did increase my review rating.

From the following, quoted from an earlier post, it seems that I'm not the only one that experienced the elements breaking off.

Here on the plains of Western Iowa, we get frequent high winds and many storms. One day, I decided to get on 6 meters and make some contacts and my SWR was way out of whack. I went out back to the tower and saw that half of one of the elements was totally MISSING! I found it out in the corn field a little ways from my tower.

Unfortunately, after dropping the antenna down and replacing the element with one I had on-hand, we reinstalled it only to have a different element break off a couple weeks later! All in all, I lost 4 half elements in less than 6 months.


If you choose to purchase one of these antennas, make arrangement to purchase some Poly rope and install a length inside each element to dampen the vibrations.

73
Bob, K4TAX
 
KE8CQ Rating: 5/5 Nov 18, 2013 18:59 Send this review to a friend
Happy Camper  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased the VB64DX since it was not too expensive and was lite weight and could be rotated with a cheap rotor. I assembled the antenna and put it up at 25 feet. After hearing an opening on 6 meters I was actually able to work my first contacts on 6 meters. To date, using this antenna I have been able to work out to around 1200-1500 miles when the band is open. Honestly, when I had a vertical (MV6A) on 6 meters I had never heard a peep on 6m. My only concern was the cheap feeling boom adapter. However, the antenna is still on the tower and I say that only because we just finished up a 14 hour blow here with winds sustained at 25 and gusting to 60mph. The local utility classed the wind storm as the worst in 10 years. 73s
 
ZS6RJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 2, 2012 01:12 Send this review to a friend
Excellent back-up service  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a reasonably robust antenna for the price range, but for me any purchase experience is only partly about the product - commitment to the customer and service when things go wrong is a whole lot more important in my book.

I ordered a VB-64DX for delivery to my QTH down in South Africa. It arrived promptly (4 days - fast for Africa!) via courier but had the wrong hardware pack for assembly included. Mistakes can happen, I accept that, and this is where the customer service side of the relationship kicks in and becomes important.

Tom Stone at Hy-Gain was really great when it came to sending me the right parts. First attempt via regular post went missing in transit (again, an occupational hazard in my part of the world), but Tom persevered and sent a second replacement pack via courier free of charge which sorted everything out.

When you don't have any local antenna vendors in your country and shipping often costs more than the product itself, it's good to know this type of commitment to back-up service is available. Kudos to the Hy-Gain team from down here in Africa - you've ensured a repeat customer!

73, Roger, ZS6RJ
 
VE3CWJ Rating: 4/5 Aug 19, 2011 18:32 Send this review to a friend
Needs better design, but ok  Time owned: more than 12 months
Used it a lot during the 90's and early 2000's, worked just fine for what it is. Re-building it now, since the boom/mast clamp is a piece of junk - regular steel that rusts!. Hygain mast clamp simply clamps and holds the two boom pieces together (through steel, not AL). No interconnection/screws/clamps between boom pieces except the steel mast clamp. Matching balun coax weathers quickly (rg-58), allowing water incursion. Feed line is pigtail connect - no coax socket!
Rebuild involved adding 1-3/8 and 1-1/2 inch AL tubing over the ends of boom sections (each splice is 1.5 foot long approx.), with machine screws, to fasten 2 boom sections together as one piece before mast clamping. Used DX Eng. clamps (1.5" boom and 2" mast) and AL plate to make a proper boom to mast clamp. Removed cheap coax balun, and put on manufactured 4:1 6M balun mounted with AL angle piece near DE. SWR is about 1.2:1 at middle setting resonance (51.5Mhz on the ground).

Now I have a 64DX that won't weather (rust), won't allow water into the matching balun, and actually have a SO-238 socket to plug my feedline into... With new Balun, I can now go over the 500W limit (power was limited by RG-58 coax balun)

Would have given it a 3, but I like my rebuild, think it may be a 4 now hi hi.
 
W4DL Rating: 1/5 Feb 20, 2011 02:43 Send this review to a friend
Garbage  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Purchased one of these at Dayton 2 years ago and had it shipped to my home. Past experience with Hy Gain had been good up to this antenna. The tubing was only slotted on one side making the clamps provided inadequate in compressing the sections together, so I had to reslot the entire antenna; the coaxial balun provided was for a 2 meters setup so I had rewire that as well. The boom to element clamps are the only thing worth a darn. Did I mention that I also had to drill the matching section connections to the driven element since the cheapo clamp fails to compress properly? I wrote to MFJ, the owner of Hy Gain, about their quality and never received a response. I had the antenna in service for one 6 meter season and it performed well, took it down and will replace it with something else for the upcoming 6 meter season.
 
W3AMF Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2010 14:47 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna for the money.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It took 12 hours to build. The instruction manual is great, but there are many small parts. Only weakness noted was the steel hose clamps supplied. I recommend that you buy about 4 extras from Home Depot to replace the ones that you may break in the assembly. If you don't need them, you can return them. Mine is installed at 47 feet, 5 feet above a TA-33JR and 1 foot below a vertical 2 meter yagi. An S 6-7 signal from the front will disappear from the rear. That is a good F/B ratio! It seems strong and well-designed, but it has only been up a month.
 
WI6J Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2010 20:12 Send this review to a friend
Great for the money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased one of these from HRO Burbank. I bought this particular antenna because the price was right for it's specs. I took my time putting it together, measured everything out according to the directions. The antenna has a 1.5 swr at the highest point. I set mine for cw/ssb, but goes well into the FM portion of the band before really going up in swr. We recently had a weeks worth of rain and wind, high wind in the 65-70 mph range and the antenna did fine.

I think I made a good choice, I was trying to accomplish some directivity with decent gain, with out breaking my wallet "I have 4 kids at home". I was using a M2 HO-LOOP which is omni directional "worked good". I haven't heard any band opennings on 6 since I installed the antenna, but my signal reports have doubled locally since switching to the beam. I think it's of more than good quality, and a lot of antenna for the money.
 
WB0GAZ Rating: 0/5 Jun 19, 2009 08:31 Send this review to a friend
Atrocious junk mechanically  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Terrible terrible mechanical design - waaaaaay too many fasteners and bits-and-pieces so unnecessarily long assembly time, incompetent boom/mast (I won't call it a clamp - pressed thin metal easily deformed); once up had continuous annoying vibration in the wind; one element sheared off (metal fatigue I think) after only 3 weeks up.
 
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