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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Hexbeam: by K4KIO Help


Reviews Summary for Hexbeam: by K4KIO
Hexbeam: by K4KIO Reviews: 151 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $669
Description: A six band, broadband, G3TXQ- designed, hexagonal beam with performance on par with a two element Yagi but a much smaller physical footprint is fully tuned and ready to go. This is a plug and play antenna, not a kit. It can be assembled in an evening with no measurements or tuning needed. No traps or coils are required and a single coax feeds all bands. Available for Bands 20 – 6 meters in various combinations. All steel components are stainless and non metallic components are UV resistant. Mount on a push up mast or rooftop. The sturdy aircraft aluminum base plate has never been reported to fail by hundreds of users. A “no questions asked” 30 day refund offer comes with each beam.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.k4kio.com
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AE5GG Rating: 5/5 Aug 3, 2017 18:03 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Company & Product!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
In all the companies that I have dealt with in over 35 years as a ham none of them beats the quality of construction and personal service that I received at KIO Technologies! They are fantastic! I had a few questions along the way and found Leo to be very responsive and extremely kind. I highly recommend this product! I also found the materials and instruction manuals, in addition to the website to be very helpful!

Here are some installation points that I would like to pass along:

I built the KIO Hex Beam using a 5' antenna mounting pole inserted into a heavy metal umbrella stand (which I kept in our outdoor table for greater stability). One person could easily build the Hex Beam.

After completing my installation, I measured the SWR on all bands and found it to be surprisingly far better than I expected on all bands (I purchased 20 through 6 meters).

After reading the comments I did spray paint the fiberglass arms with black UV protection paint. I found this useful as I had to collapse the fiberglass arms to get the antenna through a series of trees as I navigated the antenna to its mounting position. (The spray paint helped me to quickly identify where to re-extend the fiberglass arms as you could easily see the difference between the part that was painted and the unpainted portion which was inserted into the next larger fiberglass pole.)

I purchased the ice chords for enhanced stability in windy conditions as well as the occasional ice storms that we get in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. I’d recommend this to anyone in any location for enhanced support of the fiberglass arms.

I would recommend putting some coax seal over the connection points for each band as they attach to the center pole. I did this to reduce the amount of possible corrosion from weather and, more importantly, to reduce the chance that the nuts might loosen as the antenna moves under very windy conditions.

The KIO Technology website will tell you that you can install 20 through 6 meters and even benefit from low SWR on 2m. Well, using my antenna analyzer, I found it to be well within acceptable SWR limits on 1.25cm (USA 222-225MHz) and 70cm (USA 420-450MHz). Leo pointed out that the radiation pattern on those last two bands was not as clean as the others so he didn’t add that to the manufacturer’s recommended available bands. But in my opinion, the antenna is good from 70cm through 20m – that’s 9 bands (or minimally 7 bands if you stick to KIO’s recommendations and you purchase all available bands). But even if you exclude the 220 and 420 MHz bands – it’s still a FANTASTIC VALUE!
 
KK5JY Rating: 3/5 May 9, 2017 18:15 Send this review to a friend
Electrically Excellent, Support Excellent, Materials so-so  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just decommissioned my KIO hexbeam after four years of continuous service. I used it on two different masts, and electrically, it is excellent. Even in the EZNEC+ models, the hexbeam at 20' beats a rotatable dipole at 30' for maximum forward gain at low angles. My real-world experiences match the models. The hexbeam designs in general offer excellent SNR and significant amounts of gain and directivity.

My experiences talking with Leo are also top-notch. He is always willing to answer questions, even years after a sale. I would gladly do business with him again.

My only complaint about the hexbeam is the material selection. The KIO used black rope, which I assume is dacron-covered nylon, like many of the antenna ropes sold in ham shops. Unfortunately, the rope is a little thin for continuous service, and after four years outdoors, my antenna was starting to have ropes fail from UV exposure, and most of them were quite stiff and weathered. I have thicker ropes of the same material and construction that are still very flexible and fresh after the same amount of outdoor exposure.

Also, the resin in the fiberglass on my KIO suffered substantial UV damage after four years of exposure. This affected mainly the tops of the arms.

The wires and their insulation were still in fantastic shape after four years, as was the hardware on the center post, and all the stainless hooks that hold the ropes to the fiberglass. The only issues I had were with the fiberglass and ropes.

If I were to install a new hexbeam, I would still go with KIO, but I would make a couple of changes. First, I would paint all of the fiberglass with an enamel finish, several days prior to initial assembly. Second, I would replace all of the structural ropes with thicker ones of the same lengths, for longevity.

Given that such simple things would substantially improve the longevity of the hex, and given that mine was fairly well worn out after four years, these seem like things that would be integrated better into the manufacturing process up front. I'm sure it's a trade-off of cost vs. average service life. That said, for an antenna that is nearly $1000 when fully-loaded with options, four years just doesn't seem like a good service life.
 
AG5GP Rating: 2/5 Apr 29, 2017 10:40 Send this review to a friend
Good antenna, but....  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have owned the KIO hexbeam for about 8 months. I will say its radio performance is outstanding, but the design and structure does not withstand sustained winds in the 30-40 mph environment very well. My hexbeam is mounted on a 55 ft tower with a hygain rotor. During our frequent Oklahoma windstorms, the spreaders are constantly bending and swaying as well as the antenna elements. The wind stress on the elements have caused them to loosen the screws multiple times on the terminal posts and results in coming off the post entirely. Additionally, the spreader support cords are continually slipping off the eyehook on the center post even when bending s-hook closed. There is simply too much bend in the spreaders which in time will cause a lot of "loosening" in the entire antenna. I have had to lower the tower for maintenance on the antenna now about once a month since I have had it. Also, in the strong winds here, the center post has become loose twice now and the set screws that hold it to the mounting bracket have to be retightened on a regular basis. While I really like the radio performance of the antenna, I would not recommend it for areas where gusty high winds are experienced.
 
KB0SDQ Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2017 01:13 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic antenna and very good price  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased my hexbeam from Leo and so glad I did. mine has all bands 20 thru 6 on top of a fifty foot rohn 25G tower Before it was raised I had it in my yard on a four foot pipe, and I was working spain and other countries. Now that it is at 55' wow I am getting compliments on the signal even worked some 10 meter to Sweden. I would recommend this beam for all. I did have a few questions and sent them to Leo and he helped right away, He stands behind his product. Thanks and 73
De Doug KB0SDQ
 
W1XYZ Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2017 07:30 Send this review to a friend
I have two of them  Time owned: more than 12 months
I became a believer soon after placing the FIRST K4KIO hexbeam at the top of my mast, well above my precious NBS 5 element 10M yagi. I deleted the 10M loop on the hexbeam to avoid interference, and kept the 6M in place. This setup has served me well for several years though I am concerned with degradation from weather and UV. For that reason I have painted the glass fiber rods with black paint to protect them from UV, and I have beefed up the catenary lines with much heavier phillystran like line that I have a higher confidence with. My SECOND hexbeam is at my lab several towns away, connected via Remoterig back to the home station. This second unit is a six band version and I did have to play with it to get 12, 10 and 6 to behave. I would recommend this antenna although I would strongly recommend beefing up the lines and painting the arms first. They are easy to put up and can be assembled sideways on the end of the mast of a tilt over tower quite easily by spinning the beam on the mast. Another enhancement I would make is to get rid of the closed loops and make them open loops with clamps. This will make assembly and disassembly much quicker and save all the tedious threading through that has to be done.
 
NN2X Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2017 05:58 Send this review to a friend
Compared with my mono banders  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the Hex Beam for 4 years, (Ice), snow, wind, all very good..

The performance..

Compared with my MONO Banders against the HEX Beam....

My Mono banders are
20 meters / 24FT boom
15 Meter / 12FT Boom
10 Meters / 12ft boom

I compared for 3 months, and in my property


Bottom line...The Hex Beam (K4KIO) either did as well, or sometimes better on longer skips. The Hex Beam is 1OFT Lower...Look at my QRZ Page, the set up is still there..

I am sorry that the software analysis does not align with the my results...What can I say...

You waist your money if you purchase any other antenna that supports 5 bands unless at least the boom length is 30 ft boom (When compared to Hex Beam). And I don't care how they craft / design the antenna, you can't be better than my mono banders...However, the K4KIO Hex beam was equal to my mono banders..

I have no skin in the game, I never met the owner..Nice fellow I am sure...I was a skeptic when this first came out..Not now of course...

I have been a Ham operator for 40 years, consulted as an RF Engineer for Lightning Bolt, and many commercial antenna manufactures..

Added bonus...A Yagi Antenna, generally requires a tower, heavy rotor..My Hex Beam, only needed TV Rotor, and Mast...That cost total $120.

I had other Ham operator witnessed the performance as well...

Again...Sorry for the truth!

NN2X

Tom



 
K3XT Rating: 2/5 Feb 9, 2017 13:35 Send this review to a friend
OK for 4 years then fell apart  Time owned: more than 12 months
This 6 band hexangular beam antenna worked great for 4 years then in the Florida sun fell apart. After seeing both support ropes and band wires dangling downward I took down the antenna for repairs. This antenna is held together by many black cable ties that broke open. The ones that did not fail could be pulled apart by slight hand pressure. I replaced all the cable ties on the antenna. Because the cable ties broke this put pressure on the individual flex-weave band wires that started chaffing on the deteriorating rubber coated aluminum P clips on the spreaders. All the rubber P clips were also replaced. Now I see my 15 meter wire has broken so can not operate 15 meters. At $45 per band wire set (all 6 need to be replaced) it is time to go to an 8 band beam antenna with almost the same wind load.
 
K5ML Rating: 5/5 Feb 8, 2017 19:58 Send this review to a friend
Made Possible by a Blinding Flash of the Obvious  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
First, a little background: After being QRT for 23 years, I decided to become QRV as I approached the golden age of 65 in 2007. The major difference would be that this would be the first time I would have to confront HOA restrictions complete with CC&Rs and an attending Gestapo. For that reason I believed that having a beam was out completely out of the question. I began by running 500 watts and using 3 very stealth, low-level wire antennae: A loop around the property wall and over the roof, an inverted-L, and a G5RV about 12’ high. Each antenna was tuned with a separate Johnson Matchbox. I may have been one of the few hams to ever have stacked Matchboxes.

Once I got on the air I began looking for the next best thing to a beam. I talked to my long time friend Dennis, W4USR and met Orrin, K9KEJ on 20 meters. Both were using ZeroFive verticals and both had consistently loud signals. I bought a 41’ ZeroFive, put 40 radials under it and it worked great. Later I bought a second, shorter ZeroFive, added 40 radials and put it on the other side of the property. Using those 2 verticals I heard 321 DX entities and worked 318 in 9 years. I still have both verticals and they are great for working DX.

However, no vertical monopole, no matter how efficient can compete with a well-designed gain antenna. I knew that from back in the days when I had beams and quads. While using the verticals I talked to lots of hams using hex beams from all over the world. They all had great signals and I just wished I could put one up. I would tell old friends renewing their interest in ham radio to put up a hex beam if they want to put a good signal on the air. But for me it just seemed out of the question.

Then, on the afternoon of April 15, 2016 I started thinking, “There must be some way I can put up a hex beam and screen it from view.” And that’s when I realized it might be possible to put one on the patio roof, in the center of our house, where it would be screened from the front of the house and nearby neighbors. I got out the tape measure and measured the dimensions of the patio roof. Eureka! The small turning radius of a hex beam made it doable. I wanted to kick myself for not thinking of this option years ago.

Shortly after that blinding flash of the obvious, I placed order with Leo, K4KIO for a 6-band hexagonal beam. I know several of Leo’s very satisfied customers and they all sang his praises. The kit arrived about week later and everything was in order. No missing pieces, great materials and clear instructions. When I did have question, an email or phone call to Leo was quickly answered. It was a great buying experience.

I painted the poles a flat matte green. Friends I know who have hex beams and did not paint their poles strongly recommended it.

The mast holding the beam is secured to the roof with a Rohn FRM 125 flat roof mount. The roof mount is anchored in place with concrete blocks and a single set of 3 guy wires. You can see how it looks on my QRZ.com page, although the roof mount and guy wires are not visible.

The beam became operational on the morning of May 14. A quick check of SWR on all bands found no problems. It worked fine right out of the box. Although the baseplate of the beam is only 20’ high, it works great. The first call to a JA was immediately answered with a 5-9 report on 20 SSB. A week or so later there was an Asian CW DX contest. In less than one hour I worked 6 HS stations in Thailand. That was a first for me.

How does the hex compare with the vertical? A crosstown check on ground wave found the hex be to stronger on all bands as follows: 2 S-units on 20 meters, 4 S-units on 17, 3 S-units on 15, 5 S-units on 12 and 6 S-units on 10. On skip, it averages 2 S-units better on 20 and 17, sometimes much more, sometimes no difference, depending on conditions. On 15, 12 and 10 the difference is significantly more. I get through pileups much faster than before. Not long ago, I worked LY5A in a pileup on the first call on 20 SSB. He gave me a 5-9. After working him, realized that I forgot to turn the amp on and worked him running just 20 watts.

You can buy less expensive hex beams. It’s also possible to homebrew one and save yourself a bundle. However, for the quality of the materials, the service, antenna performance and the total buying experience, Leo and his K4KIO hexagonal beam are very hard to beat. Quality is like buying oats. If you want fresh, clean, good oats you have to be willing to pay a fair price. However, oats can be had a whole lot cheaper…. once they have been through the horse.

Thank you, Leo. You have made a lot of hams very happy.
 
LU5OM Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2016 06:56 Send this review to a friend
The best 6 band solution!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had it for a year+ until a neighbour complained my "satellite dish" was interfering with her cell phone. Ah! Neighbours seem to prefer Yagi-Uda antennas in this neck of the woods.
Mine was probably too high (22 mtrs), but an excellent performer on the 6 bands.
Would I buy it again? Yes, indeed, if I find a way to install it at much lower heights.
Manuel
LU5OM
CT4IK
 
WG9U Rating: 5/5 Aug 17, 2016 07:46 Send this review to a friend
Absolutely Amazing!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
While I've only owned my K4KIO Hexbeam antenna for a short time, I've made over 125 contacts within two weeks, almost all DX OSOs, but I'll get to that later.

For many years I've been very skeptical concerning the claims surrounding hexbeam antennas. Just recently I moved from Florida to Northern Alabama, almost on the Tennessee border. I have a lot more property now, however, I have not had the opportunity to put up my crank up tower. That being said, I decided to look for a compromise while I wait for fall to erect my tower. After looking through the myriads of mid sized triband beams, and various hexbeam reviews, I decided on K4KIO Technologies for my purchase.

I looked at various hexbeam offerings and prices and was particularly impressed with the reviews for hexbeams concerning the ability to run them without a tower. What caught my eye concerning the K4KIO hexbeam was the customer service comments. Those reviews proved to be quite accurate. Leo at K4KIO was extremely helpful and very responsive.

I decided upon a configuration of 10, 15, 20 meters. In retrospect I should have also purchased the 6 meter option. An interesting customer service note here; Leo realized that I had placed a separate order for a 10 meter kit in addition to my antenna order. I had inadvertently left the 10 meter band off when I place the initial order, and realizing what I'd done I ordered one of the add-on kit options to rectify the oversight on my part. Leo promptly emailed me and stated that he noticed the second order and would go ahead and install the 10 meter option. That might not sound like much, but I've dealt with a lot of manufacturers and most would have just shipped the kit separately. Not Leo.

It took me all of one hour and forty five minutes to assemble the antenna. This even included an adjustment to the 15 meter band wire to remove a little slack, which was very easy. I also painted the spreaders the day before assembly, which I highly recommend.

The overall materials and construction of the antenna is excellent! I was very impressed with the quality of the materials and the practically "bulletproof" pre-assembly that K4KIO had performed. It is basically a "plug & play" design that they have come up with. The ONLY item that was not in the kit was the Balun. I used a Comtek 1:1 isolation balun for my antenna. The antenna when together quickly and easily, AND everything to make the job a snap was included. There was no need to modify any item(s), drill holes, or deal with parts that did not quite fit. Everything in the kit was perfect and to spec! What a pleasant surprise!

I placed my hexbeam on a Rohn H9H50 push-up mast and secured it with a 3-way 14 gauge 6 strand, 4 segment SS guying system using aluminum turnbuckles. The mast sits atop a Glenn Martin 4.5 foot roof tower mounted on an 4 foot elevated deck. A Yaesu 450A rotator is mounted in the base and turns the entire mast without issue. The antenna sits approximately 40 feet above ground level.

So much for the configuration. While I purchased the hexbeam as a compromise antenna until my tower went up, I was quite surprised by the performance. NO, it is not a full size, massive multi element beam , nor did I expect it to perform as such. However, this 2 element hexbeam has greatly exceeded my wildest expectations. I won't bore everyone with the the technical details of gain, front to back lobes, etc, others can take up that cause. It suffices to day that the proof is in the on-air, real-time performance. The K4KIO hexbeam has been outstanding in breaking through "pile-ups"... I've received many, many 59 reports and even in bad band conditions it's been a solid performer. I was very surprised by the reception ability of the antenna. Even with my heading toward Europe, I could hear stations 90 to 180 degrees off of my beam heading. I never had that kind of reception with a tribander, but in fairness the lobe is more focused. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful capability to have. I have also not seen an significant "detuning" issues in rainy conditions, which was a concern for me initially.

After several months of using the hexbeam in all kinds of weather, band conditions, etc, I have found it to be a very reliable and effective antenna. We've have several severe thunderstorms in this area and in 60+ MPH winds it has been rock steady.

In conclusion, if you have limited space (turning radius of 21 feet), no tower, need to keep your cost down, and you need an excellent performer, this is the antenna for you. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed with this antenna and/or the service from K4KIO Technologies. If you wish to see the antenna config I current have go to my QRZ page and take a look.
 
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