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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Force 12 C3 Help

Reviews Summary for Force 12 C3
Force 12 C3 Reviews: 31 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1199
Description: multi-monoband Yagi type HF antenna
Product is in production.
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LA4WKA Rating: 3/5 Dec 2, 2003 18:59 Send this review to a friend
No wind please  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have to say the C3 is a good antenna!! BUT, it cant be used during windy conditions (like cqww here). Had wind abt. 25 m/s and the elements banged together and my amp jumped in protect all the time. Also the aluminium corrode alot in this salty conditions, and you need to watch the rivets, they tend to become loose (did on my ant).
No doubt good antenna, works fine, but maybe a little light for windy qth, even if it's not damaged in any way, I just cant use it in the high wind.
8P6SH Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2003 00:15 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding performance and light weight  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I recently installed the C3E antenna from Force 12. I cleare it from customs on a Friday and that night, I started to assemble the elements in the garage. At first light the following day, I assembled the antenna. It's performance is excellent.

I've worked a couple contests with the antenna and it's a major improvement over previous trapped antennas. SWR is excellent as well, using factory-recommended settings.

Rivets really speed up construction of antennas and those easy-on mounts are a joy to use. The antenna is vey stable in its mount.

Looking forward to phasing a pair of these C3E's.
W4MY Rating: 5/5 May 26, 2003 08:40 Send this review to a friend
Mechanically Sound  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I guess I'll join the chorus. I just bought a used C3E this weekend and plan to put it up withing 2 months as my tower project proceeds.

Thought folks might be interested in its mechanical shape after 6 years at the top of a 60 foot tower in Eastern Tennessee.

Elements: PVC insulator sleves, element brackets, u-bolts/nuts, tubing, and rivots were all secure and intact with no compromise to their mechanical connections. U-bolt nuts came off easy and the can of PB Blaster was never used. The u-bolt clamps had some surface corrosion but the stainless steel nuts were not a problem to remove.

Boom: The five swaged joints were secured with two SS bolts and locknuts each (no rivots). Everything was in good servicable shape. One observation though. The joints had a minute amount of "play" (movement) when stressed, not terrible. But this minor movement combined with five joints allowed for some "movement" as the boom was flexed back and forth. Maybe over time as the antenna was tossed around in the wind, the bolt holes might have worn a little larger. I'm probably being a little nit-picky, but I plan to put a sleeve over each joint and add rivots. I think this is what F12 does to get higher wind survivability.

On to Balun/RF connection: In excellent shape. Previous owner covered with "Coax Seal" tape and all was well.

In conclusion, I will wash off the bird droppings, take a brass brush to the u-bolts, strengthen the boom as I mentioned, and put her up with confidence. Looking forward to having to use my 250Hz CW filter again for all the sigs!

73 Marty, W4MY
Rocky Mount, NC
WA5CHX Rating: 5/5 Oct 7, 2002 15:09 Send this review to a friend
C3E report from Lili  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned the Force 12 C3E now for 1 1/2 years. With this antenna up just 35 feet, I have worked DXCC easily. But, the real beauty of this antenna is the ability to withstand hurricane force winds. Last Thrusday, Hurricane Lili came to town, Rayne - Louisiana, with wind gust up to 140 mph and sustained winds of 115 mph. There were also several tornado that came knocking nearby. This town is still cleaning up as I write this with 5 days of no electricity. The only thing still standing in my yard are two very young oak trees and my Force 12 Tower with the C3E antenna in tack. This antenna can take it. Unfortunately, my Yaesu 800SDX rotator could not take the stress and now allows the antenna to spin 30 deg. in the wind. Thanks Force 12 for a very fine antenna.
K1NIT Rating: 3/5 Jan 20, 2002 14:01 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna, lousy support  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my C-4 to replace at Moseley TA-36 that was damaged in the Great Northeast Ice Storm of 1998, and for various reasons, just got around to taking it out of the box and putting it up in the air in December 2001. The assembly was straightforward, and clearly detailed iin the manual. The antenna itself was gangbusters on the air -- broke a pileup for 7Z1AC on 10-meters with 100 watts; got Joe on the second call!

But you may notice I refer to the antenna as "was." I am located in Central Maine, and in January 2002 we had an average storm, with about an inch of wet snow and winds gusting to 35 mph. The boom broke in half at the mounting point, dropping half the beam 48 feet to the ground, and leaving the other half dangling by one U-bolt.

So there you have it. Great antenna, zero customer satisfaction rating.
KF7IS Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2001 19:39 Send this review to a friend
A Great Antenna Choice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Force 12 C3-E antenna replaces a Wilson System 3 Tri-band beam purchased in 1978. The C3 was not my first beam without traps, that honor goes to the TET I had while operating from the phillipines in 1980. There is no comparison between the C3 and the TET. The TET was hot wired on all three driven elements and a mechanical nightmare, and the craftsmanship, at least back in the early 80s was somewhat lacking, in my opinion. On to the review. First, the assembly saga, then initial impressions. The antenna arrived seven weeks sooner than promised. That certainly made my day. It arrived undamaged with ALL parts included. The instructions were explicit and excellent. As previously posted by another reviewer, it is refreshing to see a person's name (the company assembler) taped to the boom. There were NO surprises during my assembly process. I measured the elements, and just as stated in the instructions, the measurements were true for each element. You should believe the instuction that tells you it was previously assembled; the individual rivet holes are drilled after the antenna is assembled at the factory, so don't try to second guess the instructions. What makes this antenna so good, is the fact that when you receive it, you can be sure the measurements are as per specification. (Although you should always check to make sure.) I assembled the elements first, then the boom. In my situation, I chose to assemble the whole antenna on the 6 foot rooftop tower prior to moving it up to its final resting place 25 feet above the roof or 46 foot above the ground. The SWRs on the 6 foot tower are as follows: 20 mtr: less than 1.7 across the band and less than 1.3 at 14.280. 15 mtr: less than less than 2.0 across the band and less than 1.3 at 21.260. 10 meters: 2.0 at 28.960, 1.5 at 28.400, and 2.0 at 28.080.
12 and 17 meters both show a swr of 3:1. Obviously, an external tuner is required for the WARC bands. As a side note: My IC-746 built-in tuner has no trouble handling 10 thru 20 meters anywhere within the bands. OK. I said this was a C3-E. The extra 10 meter reflector element may very well offer increased F/B ratio. I just can't bear out that claim because of the present low height of my antenna. As soon as I can get it up the tower to 46 foot, I will post an addendum. I am happy with this antenna and have NO complaints or misgivings concerning the purchase price; the craftsmanship, the quality, and the performance to date has exceeded my expectations.
K9YH Rating: 5/5 Mar 1, 2001 10:49 Send this review to a friend
Reply to PA9DX  Time owned: more than 12 months
Martin, the C-3 I have came with stainless U-bolts for the element to boom mounts. I have had it up in NW Indiana in ice storms, blizzards, and sub-zero temps for the past 4 winters, and it still performs flawlessly. I recently moved, and it is going back up after a cleaning, on an 80' tower. I am looking for a second C-3 to stack, if anyone wants to part with one!

Bob - K9YH
W2PA Rating: 5/5 Jan 21, 2001 13:02 Send this review to a friend
Quality product and personal detail  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm very impressed with both the quality of this antenna and the very personal attention to detail exhibited by the individuals at this company.

After researching multiband yagis from various manufacturers, I decided to order a C3S a little after Thanksgiving 2000. All the suppliers told me to expect 7 to 8 weeks delivery time since they only stock a small subset of F12's line and usually have to order each one. Since I wanted to get it before the holidays, I called F12 direct and spoke to a very friendly and helpful person who was able to guarantee me a ship date in mid-December. One week before that ship date my C3S arrived at my house; I was very surprised! I called them to thank them for the fast service and learned that they went through a "triage" of sorts, putting priority on those that they knew were needed for the holidays. Amazing. (By the way, my credit card was not charged until after it shipped.)

The C3S fits in a 4-foot-long box, was UPS shippable, and arrived with no damage or missing pieces. When we opened the box to begin assembly, we saw that someone at Force-12 had written "Merry Christmas" very artistically on the driven element in red and green marker with little wreaths drawn on either side. The boom had a little label taped to it that said "Built by.." and the name of the assembler; another indication of the personal attention and pride with which these people do their work.

The element pieces are bundled together for each half-element eliminating the search for parts. You basically un-telescope each element, slather on some noalox (provided) and rivet them in place as you go. It's hard to make a mistake. A couple of the elements can be tuned for different coverage choices but again, in this case the number of holes is different - you notice this and (in case you're not closely following the directions) are tipped off to what's intended. The only tool you need that you might not have is a riveting tool. But Force-12 can sell you one or you can get one at most any hardware store for about $10 or $15.

I mounted the antenna on the house on a short roof support - about 35 feet above ground (maybe a tower is next). It was therefore easy to mount the boom first, then put each element on. While the assembly of the antenna took only about 2 hours, mounting the thing took the rest of the afternoon. It's meant to be mounted on a 2-inch OD mast, so don't get anything else. While mounting the elements I noticed another personal touch. These antennas are fully assembled at the factory so that everything is aligned, measured, and checked before shipment. Thus when you get it, the element-to-boom brackets are already in place and lined up. Anyway - I found that each bracket was clearly labelled by someone who very neatly and precisely engraved hand written letters that look like they were drawn by a draftsman (sorry... draftsperson).

It's been up now for about a month and I've had the holidays to thoroughly test it out. The SWR minimums turned out a little high in the bands on 10 and 15 and a little low on 20 (strange) but overall acceptable. I attribute the unexpected behavior to my pitifully low mounting height. One of the side benefits of this antenna is that it works on 12 and 17 with a tuner and while it doesn't perform as well as on the bands for which it's designed, it actually exhibits a directional pattern and works quite well.

I chose the C3S over several 3-element trap designs because I was convinced of the efficiency of the trapless, full-size design - Force-12's basic design philosophy. For the same boom size, you basically are giving up some front-to-back ratio for increased forward gain. It seemed reasonable to me, and the simplicity of the construction was attractive too. From my experience on the air, their performance claims seem to be true. I'm amazed at the reports I'm getting and the number of pileups I get through quickly just running 200W. They've got such an array of products, many based on a common "core" design, that it'll take you some time to figure out which one to pick. But in the end you'll have an antenna suited for your particular situation (sort of the way ordering cars used to be). I chose this particular model because I had an idea of the maximum size I wanted, and the C3S seemed very close in performance to the C3.

The price seems a bit high at first glance - until you take into account the design/performance advantages, the ease of assembly, the personal attention to detail and service. Every ham radio equipment manufacturer should operate this way. As I improve my station I'll be buying antennas from this company for the foreseeable future.

Chris, W2PA
N5LB Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2000 08:56 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
The design of this antenna is excellent in both mechanical and RF performance. In nearly 35 yrs in ham radio this is best commercial design I have used. It has survived several tropical storms and near miss hurricanes. The model I bought has reinforced elements for a higher wind rating. This antenna went together as advertised and worked first time as advertised. I bought this at the Dallas hamfest a few years ago after talking to one of the owners of F-12. It took a couple of weeks longer to get here than I expected, but it was well worth the wait. The F-12 people are first class antenna designers.
KW6EZ Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2000 23:18 Send this review to a friend
Works good, Lasts a long time  Time owned: more than 12 months
Put up the C4 4 years ago at 45'. Run 100 watts, Kenwood 450...This one cranks...Routinely gets through pileups...Very happy with the performance and ease of installation...Good customer service...Still working great after 4 years...73, Ross
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