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Reviews Categories | Antenna Rotators & Accessories | VBI-360 BEAM HEADING DISPLAY UNIT Help

VBI-360 BEAM HEADING DISPLAY UNIT Reviews: 20 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $250.00
Description: : The VBI-360 is again in production after long being out of production, since ~1994. There were no repair or upgrade services available since that time and it was only through a friend's unit that I got started with the repair and map upgrades: "W3FRG VBI Display & Repairs." The VBI-360, as designed, is a unique display unit that can be connected to most antenna rotors giving a graphic display of an antennas beam pattern on a great circle map presentation. The unit has a variable beam display, 0-90 degrees, which allows for a direct match to the beam width of your yagi. There is also the Long Path display feature allowing the 180 degree LED to be activated. Two options which truly upgrade the original VBI design are the “VBI PLUS - MultiDirectional”, which automatically displays the multiple beam configurations of the SteppIR© Yagi and the “90 Degree offset” for antennas offset by 90 degrees on a common tower. Full descriptions of these options, and more, can be found on the web site. All necessary items are included, cables, manual, two yr warranty, etc. Currently being offered are full color maps, map upgrades, new display units & repairs. The original size display unit is 16” x 16” x 1” with a custom 24” x 24” x 1” display unit also available.
Product is not in production.
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AE7G Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2014 23:29 Send this review to a friend
great device great service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I agree with the prior comments.

Apparently the digital version is no longer available but no big deal as the analog version will perform the same functions.

This is a sophisticated piece of equipment as it has to be able to work with many different types of rotors.

Had some initial configuration issues but Tom as usual is extraordinarily helpful. Plus I got to play electronic sleuth.

Got it all sorted out over a weekend and it looks great and works fine.

It is helpful and fun to be able to know at a glance exactly where in the world my antenna is pointing.
N0CU Rating: 5/5 Jan 16, 2013 19:12 Send this review to a friend
Deserves a 6 out of 5  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently acquired one of the original displays that was built back in the 70s. It appeared to be working, but it had no instructions on how to connect it to the rotator. I sent Tom an email asking for info on how to install it. He responded in less than an hour- answered all of my questions and emailed me a copy of the Instruction Manual. This is pretty impressive service, but when you consider that it occurred on Christmas day, it says a lot about Tom's commitment to his customers. I had the display connected to the rotator and working perfectly in less than an hour. The next day I ordered a new map. Tom had it thru the printer's shop and in the mail within 24 hours. I wish this level of service wasn't so hard to come by nowadays!
VE3YF Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2012 03:16 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have a digital controller (AlfaSpid) and gets tough to figure out where the antenna is actually pointing without going to a chart or map. Then comes the Global Beam Display by Tom W3FRG. Now my problem has been solved, I can see exactly where the antennae are pointed. I ordered the 24" x 24" version and no problems to see the display. Even has the Longpath bearing as well. Product was shipped very fast and it was very well packaged. I had quite a few questions for Tom through the whole process of ordering to receiving the display and Tom was very quick to respond, within a couple of hours. Toms product is very well constructed in a nice metallic frame, and top notch construction. This is a much needed accessory to my shack, and will outlast me.

Excellent product and compatible with most rotators and computer programs.

Totally satisfied customer.

73 De Mike
W1WN Rating: 5/5 Jan 12, 2012 13:31 Send this review to a friend
The only thing better than the display is the service  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned the larger 24" x 24" display for about a year. It was the analog design which was the one offered at that time. Tom the owner and designer was more than helpful at the time of order and in a short time the display arrived packaged expertly and precisely as he had shown me in the predelivery emails. The hookup to the Yaesu rotor was simple and seamless and in a few minutes after following the straight forward alignment process, the display was tracking the rotor precisely.

Fast forward one (1) year. I decided to order a different Rotor Controller than the one supplied with my Yaesu G-1000DXA, so that I could have computer control without paying the extremely high price Yaesu wants for the board that goes in their controller. The after marker rotor controller worked well in directing the beam, but would at first not cause the lights on the VBI display to come on. I emailed Tom. More than 50 email exchanges later, Tom had come up with a way to have the beam display light up when the rotor controller was operational. Unfortunately, the display would not accurately track where the beam was. This was NOT the fault of the VBI display, nor was it the fault of the after market controller. It was just one of those things. The after marker controller was not designed to work with the display. After another 50 emails, I decided to return the controller and purchase a Green Heron Controller which interfaces with the rotor and the display perfectly.

All told, I have over 100 email exchanges with Tom as he helped me on weekends, New Years day and in the evenings to resolve a "problem" that had absolutely nothing to do with his product. He was just being helpful. Oh, his charge for all this time, trouble and advice: Zero, Zilch, Nada.

So if you want a one of a kind display order this. You get so much more than just the product.

Dave, w1wn
W0MU Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2011 06:32 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Product  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
You could not ask for a nicer looking large visual display for your rotor/beam. I ordered the larger 24X24 size and it looks beautiful. Hams and non hams alike all are very impressed with the product.

I ordered it the the SteppIR interface which will show if you reverse your beam or are in bi directional mode which is very handy!

I use mine remotely with PSTROTATOR another fine software package.

Tom was very communicative during the entire process and made sure the unit was working 100 percent.
W6HB Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2011 17:15 Send this review to a friend
Classy and functional addition to shack  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Tom sold me a refurbished 16" unit that works fantastic. Mine tracks to an old HD-73 rotator and allows me to "point and shoot" instead of having to check for beam headings on a piece of paper and squint at a control box. I had him make up a custom map with a black background that really stands out. When I saw some wrinkles in this he even remade the map in vellum. The LED for the home location is white and the heading LEDs are red. Note that for those of you who have long boom beams, the beam width displayed is adjustable. Expect a class product and Tom will not disappoint!
K6CTA Rating: 5/5 May 16, 2011 18:48 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Product and Customer Service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently took delivery of the new I2C Beam Heading Indicator, which now provides an interface for rotors using RS232 protocol. This is a great product, and Tom's support and help goes above and beyond what a normal manufacturer provides. The I2C program and settings can be changed at any time using a simple terminal program on a PC. I changed the beam width and polling settings very quickly with no issues. The indicator looks great on the wall in the shack. Even though my rotor control has digital readout, and I know the headings of most areas, you can't beat the VBI for its high "coolness" factor. And visitors always comment on it. Plus, it's just plain fun. Highly recommended!
KC6AWX Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2011 11:59 Send this review to a friend
Great Product - Customer Service Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had an old Vector beam Indicator that would not work with the Rotor-EZ serial port of my rotor. Tom, W3FRG, tried to help me getting it working through numerous test and phone calls. he also contacted Idiom Press but they were no help at all. The Idiom should be something else!! At any rate, I sent my old Vector to Tom, W3FRG, and he changed out the map to one of his colorful choices that I selected and upgraded the board to work with the SteppIr and the serial port. He also installed an ERC rotor control in my control box. This also is an excellent product. The customer service I received was excellent and my every wish was taken care of. This is an excellent product and Tom, W3FRG, was great! I would recommend this to all!! An excellent addition to the Shack and by far better than the original!! Thanks again - Tom!!!
K4ROZ Rating: 5/5 Aug 24, 2010 07:03 Send this review to a friend
GREAT ADDITION TO SHACK  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When people look at the picture of my shack, or when they visit in person, the first question they usually ask is "What is that framed map of the Earth with the red LEDs around the globe?" I explain that it's my VBI 360 Global Beam Display that shows the direction my antenna is pointing and also the long path to the same QTH. I use it with my Yaesu rotor and SteppIR beam. It works flawlessly and is a beautiful addition to my shack. Dealing with Tom is indeed a pleasure. I am ordering a few more to give as gifts to the guys who worked so hard to help me put up my tower and put together my SteppIR. Boy, will they be excited when the displays arrive at their door!
WA4FLZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2010 04:25 Send this review to a friend
Does a wonderful job of indicating beam azimuth.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had a VBI-360 for over 10 years. For several years with a Yaesu 2800 rotor, now with a Tailtwister and Green Heron controller. Works very well. I use a SteppIR beam and it also displays normal, 180 degree, and bidirectional heading quite accurately. I am very pleased with this display and it looks great in the shack.
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