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Reviews Categories | Feedlines (coax, ladder-line, etc.) | Andrew Heliax Help

Reviews Summary for Andrew Heliax
Andrew Heliax Reviews: 21 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: 50 Ohm low loss coaxial cable
Product is in production.
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N3ZC Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2007 10:34 Send this review to a friend
The Best!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought 120' of 1/2" Heliax to run from my SteppIR BigIR Vertical back in to my shack, which consists of a 746Pro & an 811H. I got ribbed by friends before I bought it as being "overkill", etc, the usual bravo sierra. Well..I believe the system is only as good as it's weakest link...I have scored contacts with just about every new Dxped that's ventured out with my setup, mostly due (probably) on the "being able to hear them" side, with the SteppIR and the VERY low-loss 1/2" Heliax. I heard BS7H when they were "out on the rocks" (my friends couldn't)..but only had barefoot power (no 811H)...I firmly believe the Heliax has put me over the hear/not hear line as far as the weakest signals (loss-wise)..and, as far as the quality of the cable (and connectors too), there is no better cable. Only "down" side is it's like handling a slinky made out of a hula hoop! Would I ever use anything else?..Nope!
N8RGQ Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2007 22:00 Send this review to a friend
Forget the AMP give me Heliax !  Time owned: more than 12 months
This coax should be given a 10 ! I switched out ever piece of cable here includeing the mobil with it . Since the change I swear it is like haveing a PREAMP but no extra noise and speaking of noise the mobil is the best place to find it but not any more ! I have used BELDEN coax for years but not ever agian ! I stick with the LDF-1 and LDF-2 you can use normal conectors with both and speaking of conectors spend the extra dime and buy the GOLD PLATED PL-259's they never tarnish . They hold the same Ohm's reading from the day they are installed till eturnatiy ! NASA dosen't put GOLD on every conection for looks , it will last forevery ! You can get LDF-1 for 99 cents a foot and that is alot cheaper then buying a AMP ! Don't run out and buy that AMP do yourself a favor and get the HELIAX first and setback and smile when you get acused of runing one ! :)

PS- I have a PW-1 but with Heliax I hardly evry turn it on ~
N4MWY Rating: 5/5 Aug 14, 2007 14:23 Send this review to a friend
has low losses even on long runs  Time owned: months
It is hard to work with and care must be taken not to kink it. But it works great and has low losses even on long runs. I use Andrew Heliax on uhf and vhf where losses are greater.

Mobile, AL
K2DC Rating: 5/5 Nov 24, 2006 12:56 Send this review to a friend
Best SHow In Town  Time owned: more than 12 months
As an RF/Microwave and Antenna Engineer I've worked with Andrew Heliax in varying sizes for over 20 years. I've used FSJ4-50 exclusively with my ham equipment for about 15 years. While the loss is a little higher than LDF4-50, it's much more flexible and easier to work with. If you watch the swap boards and eBay patiently you can find it for not much more than the cost of new RG-8. Used connectors also show up, sometimes in bulk for only a few dollars each. They take a little more time to install than PL-259's on RG-8, but well worth the effort. I have several runs that have been in the air for about 15 years, and I expect them to outlive me. Absolutely - THE BEST SHOW IN TOWN
WD6DBM Rating: 5/5 Dec 5, 2005 01:04 Send this review to a friend
Must have for VHF weak signal  Time owned: more than 12 months
I replaced a 50' run of 9913 to my 2m EME antenna with an 80' piece of Andrews 7/8" Heliax. I measured the difference with a Bird 43 at the antenna and saved .72db! That is an amazing savings for such a short run. Now the total loss including jumpers and myriad connectors is a mere .62 db. You can get good deals at hamfests of cable chunks with connectors already installed. Anyone who works EME will tell you every .1 db counts, and Heliax is the way to save them. This used piece has now been on my roof for 13 years.
KB9WIS Rating: 5/5 Aug 1, 2005 12:19 Send this review to a friend
Commercial Quality for Amateurs  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Working on the airport's communications equipment, (I'm a FAA communications tech) you quickly find out why Andrews Heliax is the government's FAA 50 ohm cable standard. Lower loss, higher wattage handling, increased durability, and the ease of putting on the connectors on even 7/8" thick cable, you can't go wrong. We often measure/test the loss of the Heliax versus the RG 214/213 at VHF and UHF frequencies, and the difference can often make a full quieting signal from an airplane that is lost in the noise, become fully readible.

I was so impressed, I decided to upgrade my Amateur radio cabling to Heliax. No more RG 8/u and/or RG 213 for me!
W6LBV Rating: 5/5 Jul 31, 2005 20:22 Send this review to a friend
Go with the Pros  Time owned: more than 12 months
Andrew Heliax transmission lines and connectors should be the "secret weapon" of the Amateur Service. The following are results and recommendations based on both Amateur and commercial experience with Andrew. In summary: if there is any way you can obtain these transmission lines and connectors for your ARS station.....DO IT! These are superior products that are the "standard" of the commercial radio industry.

There are two separate Andrew product lines of interest to Amateurs, Heliax (semi-rigid hard line) and Superflex (flexible hard line) and some different products within each line. Heliax uses the nomenclature LDF"n", and Superflex the nomenclature FSJ"n", where "n" is an integer. Larger values of "n" indicate increasing cable diameter, lower line losses, greater power handling capability, and greater expense. The connectors are not interchangeable between equal diameter lines in the two series. My commercial practice (probably grounded more in "religion" rather than fact) was not to use Superflex for any outdoor applications; all main lines and jumpers outdoors were always Heliax.

For home station use, LDF4 (½ inch Heliax) is probably the best compromise for cost, availability, ease of handling, and low signal loss. I used it for the main run to my HF Yagi with a short RG-213/U jumper at the antenna, and the performance is outstanding. Even at 29 MHz, ninety-five of every hundred watts from the transmitter flow into the driven element. I also use it for all home VHF/UHF antennas > 100 MHz. LDF5 (7/8 inch Heliax) is probably the largest size one would want to attempt at home; it will handle "full legal power" on all ARS frequencies. LDF6 (1 1/4 inch) and LDF7, (1 5/8 inch) become "heroic" for hams, in terms both of cost and of ability to handle during installation. Still larger diameter Heliax is commercially available, but is used generally by multi-kilowatt broadcasters. For all cables, a "rule of thumb:" the minimum allowable bending radius is ten times the cable diameter (but check exact specifications on the Andrew Web page).

Another "secret weapon:" FSJ1, 1/4 inch Superflex. About the same diameter as RG-58/U, it has the low losses of good RG-8/U, and 1 kW average power rating to 150 MHz. It's excellent for indoor jumpers (used commercially for this purpose even into the microwave bands) and for mobile installations. It installs well directly into PL-259 connectors (Teflon dielectric PL-259s are preferred) using the screw-in RG-58 cable size reducer. For Type N systems, the exact Andrew connector should be used.

New Andrew lines and connectors, while expensive, are the best bet, and they can be amortized over a twenty-year (or longer) working lifetime. Don't overlook the possibility of "salvaging" Andrew parts from commercial sites being taken down. Most commercial operators will not re-use existing lines, connectors, and cable mounting clamps that have been removed from a site. Visually inspect and clean them and measure salvaged line/connector assemblies for actual loss at your operating frequency. Even if the line is damaged, with some care the connectors can be cleaned up and re-used, a process which is not economical for commercial operators.

"No one was ever fired for specifying Andrew transmission line systems."
K3GM Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2005 10:35 Send this review to a friend
...the best  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using Andrew FSJ4-50 on all of my feedlines for 50MHz and up, and have become acclimated to working with it. If you're hesitant to use it because attaching connectors sounds like a big deal, don't be. Armed only with a Zona saw, a razor blade, and a solder iron, I'm able to install an Andrew connector in under 15 minutes. Ater you do a couple you'll find it's extremely easy.
KI6LO Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2003 18:34 Send this review to a friend
Good stuff but a bear to work with  Time owned: more than 12 months
If you watch Ebay or like places, you can find NEW heliax for a song. I got 200' of Andrew's FSJ4-50 1/2" heliax for $1 a foot. And this wasn't a spool end reject either. It was a packaged from the factory 200' roll.

It is great stuff with almost no loss at HF, very low loss at VHF and just starting to creep into noticable loss at 440Mhz.

It's limitations are in the installation. I had never worked with heliax and it was like trying to wrestle an alligator to route the cable where it needed to go. The connectors require a little patience also but once on, the are very secure. Recommend short jumpers of RG213 or such at the radio end and especially at the rotor and antenna end.

The Andrews connectors can be found cheap on Ebay and like. Any additional costs above regular coax (RG213, etc) is well worth the savings in power loss to the antenna.
K9KJM Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2002 16:10 Send this review to a friend
SIMPLY THE BEST  Time owned: more than 12 months
This type of cable may be beyond the means of lots of hams to purchase new, But shorter lengths of 100-200 or so feet are available surplus from swapfests and commercial tower companies, etc. Connectors are also available used for fair prices, and at discount from some suppliers. For serious VHF/UHF use, and High power H.F. use, Get the BEST! I have even "made" my own connectors with copper pipe fittings and used "N" chassis connectors years back. While not pretty, They did work, And I had very low loss UHF feedline on a tight budget!
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