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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | Hy-Gain 12AVQ Help

Reviews Summary for Hy-Gain 12AVQ
Hy-Gain 12AVQ Reviews: 21 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $139.95
Description: 10, 15, and 20 meter vertical
Product is in production.
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KB3ONA Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2008 19:43 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently moved from a large semi-rural property in Pennsylvania to a smaller property in Arizona that has a HOA. Back east I had a GAP Titan which performed really well, but when I moved to my current home the Titan was out of the question due to the usual restrictions associated with HOA's. After some research I decided to get the 12 AVQ since it would be relatively low-key with it's slender profile at only 12' tall. I thought the performance probably wouldn't be half as good as the Titan due to it's size and the fact that I would have to ground mount it so it wouldn't be in the clear. The antenna arrived and was very easy to assemble and tune. I ground mounted it about a foot off the ground and attached (16) 14' radials. Yesterday was the first day I tried it and was extremely surprised to get 5-9 reports from Minnesota and Nebraska on 20m. Today I had more time on the air and logged about 50 QSO's from just about every state on 20m and 15m. I received most @ 5-7 to 5-9, and the operators on the other end were giving me similar reports. Even though I've only been using the 12 AVQ for two days, I am extremely impressed. I thought for sure the performance would be marginal due to it's small size and the poor soil in Arizona, but with a few radials this antenna seems to be outperforming my old Titan that was over good soil mounted 10' above my roof in the clear. For the price of about about buck thirty this antenna is a really outstanding value.
NK8A Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2008 11:26 Send this review to a friend
Fine vertical antenna  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The 12 AVQ for me was simple to assemble and the instructions were easy to follow.I used my trusty MFJ 259B to tune the antenna, that I installed on my chimmney on my short roof. I have had good results on CW, which is mainly the mode that I use. For the price of the 12 AVQ I think it is a very good antenna, if you only need basic coverage on 10-15 -20 meters like I do.
VK2IMM Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2006 20:30 Send this review to a friend
Good simple antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Although I have built several vertical antennas over the years this is my first commercially made vertical. I needed something simple for high HF bands I could install at my temporally QTH. I generally opt for the verticals using elevated radials and I was looking for a reasonably light antenna and simple which I could mount high enough and which would not have too much compromise in the performance.

This antenna seems to offer what I was after. It uses traps but it is still 80% of the length of a full size 1/4 wave on 20 meters. In my configuration this antenna is installed on a 3 m high mast above the roof. It uses 8 resonant radials (four for 20 m and two for 15 and 10 m bands each). The radials are sloping at the angle close to 45 degrees. With such dimensions it fits well on a roof of a regular size house so the base of the antenna is about 7 M above ground level.

Both, radials and the antenna may require some tuning as the linier dimensions in the book were on the short side for the CW part of the band for the active element on 10 and 15 M and for the 10 M band radials. It can be specific for any installation.

The interesting point for me was to compare this antenna with my other larger vertical. That one is an elevated design 7.8 M vertical element with 3 radials with the base about 2 M above the ground. It is about 3/8 lambda on 20 M and close to 1/2 lambda on 15 M. Although the feed point of this one was lower, the tips of both antennas were roughly at the same hight 10-11 m. The result of this comparison was rather interesting (I compared RX only). The larger vertical clearly had more noise on 20 M band and as a result it was losing in performance to the smaller one on the roof. On 15 M band both verticals were rather close on RX although the larger one was just a fraction better in some cases depending on the time of the openings. These reading have been taken for the stations at 7000-12000 km distance (W6 to ZL and VK). On TX both antennas worked fine and I could work most of those stations with 100W if I could hear them.

Based on these measurements I left the Hy-Gain vertical as the main antenna for high HF bands as it seemed to offer good efficiency for DX operation. There is some useful reading on the web authored by L.B. Cebik, W4RNL in the article where a model of a 1/4 wave elevated vertical mounted at different hight and with radial at different angles has been compared with an elevated 5/8 wave length design. Although not the 5/8 lambda in my case the larger antenna seemed to pick up noise coming at the higher angle while the smaller high mounted 1/4 was not doing that, simply offering good reading of DX signals coming on low angle. I probably would not mount that antenna on the ground on the back yard expecting to get the same result however the small size and weight of it make a roof top installation with radials very simple.
KE0Z Rating: 5/5 Sep 17, 2006 20:59 Send this review to a friend
Solid antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I wanted to a fairly inconspicuous antenna for 20 thru 10 meters (non warc) so I picked up a 12avq. I am a bit of a minimalist and found this antenna to be delightfully simple which made it really quick and easy to assemble. The antenna is mounted on the roof of my garage about 15 feet AGL, with the prescribed two radials per band. My first contact was a DX! It is not so easy to work DX from South Dakota. I called a OH8 on 20 meter CW and he came right back to me. The surprise was that I had just finished checking the SWR and forgot to turn the carrier up so I was only running 20 watts. Later I busted a pile-up to work a VYØ in Nunavut who came back after the first call. This is a great antenna. Put it on your roof if you can.
W0VC Rating: 5/5 Feb 8, 2003 19:44 Send this review to a friend
Solid Classic  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is my second 12AVQ, the first was back in the 1960s. It's a solid, time tested, classic way to deal with limited antenna space, or when a light, short vertical is required. Went together in 10 minutes and was on my chimney in an hour. The time consuming part of the installation was building the four triband radials using Spiro T-15 traps. Nice tight little footprint with low visibility that works all the DX it hears. Instead of the heavy duty plumbing pipe recommended, I used a chain link fence post with the same outside diameter. It's lighter, less expensive, and easier to handle during installation. Hygain traps are time tested. Yes, they have some loss, but these antennas survive in Minnesota's weather, and I don't perceive that I've lost a DX contact due to the loss. Oh, there are signals the guys with yagis will hear that I won't, but if I hear'em, I work'em. The best part of the deal is that this sturdy antenna is around $100. If you have limited space, a limited budget, limited time, and need a low-profile antenna, this vertical is an excellent value. By the way, the instructions include information on how to phase two of them to create a directional vertical array. Hope to try that next year.
N3FG Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2002 20:08 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had a 12AVQ for over ten years and it has performed flawlessly. It is mounted on a pipe at a height of about 20 feet, and it gets out great. It is a fine DX antenna.
W2RS Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2002 13:54 Send this review to a friend
Did the job!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had one about 30 years ago when living in an apartment in Hartsdale, NY, a Westchester County suburb of New York City. After negotiating with the management, I obtained permission to mount it on a chimney mast, but could not put up radials. So, I took a length of flat 4-conductor rotor cable, made a series of quarter-wavelength counterpoise wires out of it, one conductor for each band, and ran it down the mast on TV-twinlead insulators so that the 12AVQ plus the counterpoise wires operated as a multiband vertical dipole.

My station in those days consisted of a Collins KWM-2 and a Johnson Viking Matchbox, putting out 100 watts. With the 12AVQ, I worked about 225 DXCC countries in the two years I lived there.

Rugged? I drove by the old apartment building last year, and the 12AVQ was still there on the chimney!

KG6RJ Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2002 13:25 Send this review to a friend
Budget Performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I picked up a used 12AVQ free from a generous ham on the internet. I live in a antenna-restricted community and had previously been limited to an attic dipole. The antenna assembled easily as per the instruction manual. I chose to ground-mount mine so I laid out 16 radials.

The antenna tuned up fine on 10, 15 and 20 meters. Mine is tuned for the phone bands. It can be tuned for the CW bands as well but you can't mix the two, i.e. tune for 20 meter phone and 10 and 15 meter CW, etc.

Fortunately, I have a number of trees in my side yard. The 12AVQ is only 12 feet tall and because of the trees and fences the antenna is practically invisible. One neighbor can see about 4 feet of the antenna over the fence. It presents a very clean profile so there isn't much to object to appearance-wise.

The 12AVQ is rated at 1 kw, I believe, though I've never fed it with more than 500W. The antenna is very sturdy and the traps are well made. It is nice to be able to switch bands without having to switch antennas or adjust the tuner. The antenna is broad-banded enough to cover the portions of the phone band I frequent without retuning.

In the two years since erecting the 12AVQ, I've added just over 100 countries to the 95 I had on my attic dipole, so I'm pushing 200 countries now.
If you are on a budget or need a low-profile antenna that will get out, this antenna will work for you. Sure, it's not a yagi at 75 feet but it does work DX with it's low angle of radiation. Just remember all trap dipoles are compromise antennas but with careful installation and a good radial and ground-system you'll be heard.

I've seen these antenna sell used for a pittance all way to $75-$80. As I said, I got mine for free!

VE2CU Rating: 5/5 Nov 29, 2001 21:00 Send this review to a friend
New AV12AVQ, Excellent  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is the new updated 12AVQ. Very easy and quick to assemble by following instructions to the letter. Mounted on a 3' tripod, on the roof, about 35 feet up, the 6 radials for 10, 15 and 20 are a must. Radiates quite well although a bit noisy but more than acceptable. Tuned for the CW band, first few contacts were with 9K, ZL's, JA's and a lot more. Had the old model some 19 years back but this one is sturdier (traps are better built) and definitely improved for low angle radiation.
KD6ODC Rating: 5/5 Oct 19, 2001 19:08 Send this review to a friend
Great Buy!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well made. Easy to assemble. Antenna can be assembled to meet either Phone or CW modes - can't have both. I chose Phone (SSB). Followed assembly directions for the ground mount vice the roof mount. Mounted the antenna on a chain link fence post - bottom of antenna about three feet off the ground. Was able to tune 10, 15, and 20 meter phone bands using an MFJ-901B. Made contact with a Russian station almost immediately from my QTH in North Idaho using a TenTec Scout (50 watts). Made contacts around the US on all three bands and received good signal reports.
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