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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Directional: Yagi, quad, rotary dipole, LPD, etc | Hexbeam: by K4KIO Help


Reviews Summary for Hexbeam: by K4KIO
Hexbeam: by K4KIO Reviews: 108 Average rating: 5.0/5 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.hex-beam.com/
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W2RMS Rating: 5/5 Jun 20, 2014 07:27 Send this review to a friend
Awesome antenna and service!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is my first directional antenna so i have nothing to compare it to. Ordered it few months ago. It was sitting in the boxes until around March of 2014. Assembled it first in the back yard. Using Glen Martin 4.5 foot roof tower and a 5 foot mast. So around 10 feet off the ground. Tested it with my MFJ-269 and it was mostly below 1.4:1 on all six bands! Took it apart, painted the spreaders with olive "military" color paint for UV protection as well as "blend-in" factor. Put the roof tower on my roof (3-story semi, about 30 feet up). So the antenna is now around 40 feet off the ground. Assembled it again on the roof (around 40 minutes with a friend of mine). SWR may have changed a bit on some of the bands but it is still below 1.6:1 everywhere and 1:1 on few bands. I have a picture on my QRZ page if anyone is interested.
Due to the painting of the spreaders the antenna is completely invisible at night. I actually thought that it was stolen the first night after final assembly because i looked up and it wasn't there. I'm using it with the Elecraft K-Line. Before i bought the KPA500 i was running with just a K3/100 and usually the first question from a DX station was: what amp are you using?
In the wind it seems to just sit there. I have a 10m vertical aluminum antenna 18 feet away from the HexBeam and its painful to watch it in the moderate winds.
I'm using am older CDE HAM IV rotator which i upgraded with an ERC board for RS232 capability. Controlling it with HRD is simply awesome. Point and click. It sure is an overkill for this very light antenna but i already had the rotator.
Service from Leo is unbelievable! I've gotten e-mail replies from him on a Saturday, 5-10 minutes after i sent it!
All in all its an amazing package, especially for someone with real estate restrictions.
 
KA4MAY Rating: 5/5 Jun 11, 2014 05:51 Send this review to a friend
Complete Satisfaction  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the 5-band Hexbeam with the 6-meter option in May of 2014. I chose this product for the following reasons: 1) I live on a lot with large trees that do not have enough clearance for larger antennas, and 2) It represented the best value for the gain, front to back ratio, and bands provided for the dollars spent.

When the unit arrived, I was impressed with the care that the components were packaged and organized. I took my time with the assembly, which was very easy due to the quality of the instructions.

I placed the hexbeam on my 14-foot "test pole" and was pleased with the SWR curves on all bands from 20 through 6 meters. On-air testing and comparisons with my Butternut vertical within minutes demonstrated that while the gain of this antenna is not overpowering, on reception, rejection of signals from unwanted directions is outstanding. Even at this low height, DX from many areas of the world previously inaccessible to me have been easily placed into my logbook.

The only caution I can pass on to potential buyers is that if you are using a non-standard mast size, as I have, a little ingenuity will be necessary to securely mount this antenna.

Support via e-mail has been outstanding, all my questions before and after purchase have been quickly and thoroughly answered.

I am very happy with this product and enthusiatically recommend it to other amateurs with space limitations.

Thank you,
Mark, KA4MAY
 
W5NRF Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2014 07:36 Send this review to a friend
Doing is believing  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After working off a (good) dipole, often trying without luck to contact a DX station, I wanted a beam antenna. A week of diligent research which included these reviews led me to the KIO, not the cheapest or most expensive Hexbeam, because of positive comments about their company.

I'm one of the over-the-hill "boys", but I assembled it by myself in 3 or 4 hours, then had help putting it and a rotator onto a 34' Rohm telescope. Guying with Dacron cord 4 X 3 with roof eve difficult but very important.

Within the last 4 days and some 15 hours total, often with poor band conditions, I have talked to, newest first: Brazil, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Kuwait, Belgium, Spain, Austria, Bulgaria, Nicaragua, Greenland, Japan, Croatia, Romania, Italy, Slovenia, Russia, Lebanon, Jamaica, New Zealand, Argentina, Cuba, Poland, and Jordan, and many US stations. A 756PRO and 400 watts.

I don't know how it works, above my pay grade, but I suspect it is magic. It blew me away, and you won't find any company easier to work with.
 
K8BZ Rating: 5/5 May 29, 2014 17:16 Send this review to a friend
All reviews are Spot On!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This antenna meets and in most cases exceeds all of the claimed assembly, specifications and performance. I purchased the 6 band version with 6 meters included. Assembly was completed without assistance in about 2 1/2 hours. The antenna was tested on the ground with an antenna analizer and had good center of resonance and reasonable band width, although not necessarily in band centers, but it gave me confidence that it would be fine when mounted on the tower.

This antenna replaced a Cushcraft A3S, 3 element tri-band yagi that gave me good performance for 9 years. After the antenna change I found the MAXIMUM SWR ACROSS THE BAND, as follows:

20 meters 1.3 to 1
17 meters 1.4 to 1
15 meters 1 to 1 across the entire band
12 meters 1.2 to 1 across the entire band
10 meters 1.4 to 1 from 28.005 to about 28.300 and a flat 1 to 1 for the remainder of the band.
6 meters 1 to 1 from the low band edge and did not raise to 1.5 to 1 until reaching 51.370 Mhz.

The KIO Hex beam has a great deal more rejection of signals off the side and back of the beam than the A3S. The difference was more than slight. With the A3S, if a signal was S-2 off the front of the beam I could usually count on at least hearing the signal from any other side or back of the beam. Not so with the Hex. There are sharp nulls at 90 and 180 deg.

In the 5 days since this antenna went up here is a small sampling of stations worked:

JT1DX SM3EVR JA2DHF E51KJW OH4MDY UT7UJ BV3EK Z36T LZ2014KM XE1XR EY7AD OH0CC OU5UK TM4U JW/W2NAF SV9CVY IW1GGR E73Y

Some of the above had decent pile ups calling and I had no trouble getting through. I use an amp but most of the above were worked at 100 watts.

I have a 1.5 KW tuner that I can completely bypass on 20 through 6 meters with the KIO Hex Beam.

I have found the eHam.net reviews to be very helpful when considering a major purchase. I read most of the reviews of the KIO Hex beam before I made the pruchase and I was expecting a good performing antenna just based on the reviews I read. It's not often that I can say I was "blown away" by the performance of a product when I had great expectations in the first place. But I was "Blown Away".

When I first started seeing photos of these antennas showing up on QRZ.com pages I thought they were the pretty ugly. But I have a whole new appreciation for them now and I'm getting quite used to the goofy looking things.
 
K4ELO Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2014 14:46 Send this review to a friend
Bargain antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have to thank Leo for an excellent product. Simple to assemble with quality parts. Built it a few weeks ago and finally got it up today.

My other antennas are 2 super loops at 45'. The hex beam is at 36'.

On 17M today listening to EU stations. They were 4 to 6 S units stronger on the hex beam compared to the loops. Weak EU stations on the hex beam were not even heard on the loops. Plus, the hex beam is quieter on rx than the loops.

Maybe half the gain of an expensive beam but a small fraction of the cost. I'll be working more dx now.

73
Wayne
K4ELO
 
KY6N Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2014 12:19 Send this review to a friend
Great! and good value.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am a very happy customer.

The K4KIO Hex beam is so simple to assemble that I had one of my maintenance employees put it together while I was working on the rotor.
The employee had never seen a Hex or any other beam. I handed him the box, as received, and said "just follow the instructions".
In a little over an hour he had it all together. We did some final adjustments to balance out the arms, tightened all screws and it was ready to go up.
It required no cutting or drilling and no radio related skill....I put it up and it worked perfectly on every band.
Doesn't get better than that....
...and I have worked the world with it.
I have had big towers and long boom mono band beams.....yes, they work better....but the cost and work to put them up and keep them up is huge.
All in all, for a minor amount of money and effort I think the K4KIO Hex beam is great.
It is also a low visual impact antenna. If it is located among or near trees....it almost disappears.
 
W4RCY Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2014 12:06 Send this review to a friend
Excellent!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Excellent Service, Quality, Design, & function. Very easy to construct, Flat low swr on all bands, quite with 'BIG EARS". Excellent DX signal reports. Can be mounted on a pole. After installing on a 30 ft push pole, I immediately went in the shack and worked 5 ZLs, several Russian Stations, Europe and SA from Tenn. with 100 watts. This Bird does Sing. I think it is the best low budget directional antenna available. My Thanks to Leo. The only antenna that I have owned that will possibly outperform a Hex Beam was a large Quad, it was more costly, required a tower. and weighed considerably more.
 
KE5WIQ Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2014 07:10 Send this review to a friend
Well-Earned 5  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'll line up behind the 5's. This is a well thought-out product, and Leo & team really do stand behind every word. My installation is shown on my QRZ page @ ng5ng. E-mail me or ask on-air if you have any questions.

The beam doesn't work miracles, but it comes close. It is quiet, has gain, great nulls, and by golly, pulls in the DX. It needs no tower (see my qrz or the Yahoo group for lots of others), and a small rotator.

I don't have a long period of use yet, but the beam just made it through two days of 40+ mph winds plus one heck of a shear wind that completely took out another ham's beam antenna down the road, not to mention many fences in the neighborhood. Guessing it was a prolonged gust well over 60 mph. Short of getting a SteppIR or multiple monobeams, you can't go wrong here.
 
KC9RNK Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2014 19:11 Send this review to a friend
Ice Cords, Thanks Leo!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Living in Chicagoland I figured spending the extra money for the ice cords was a good idea. Last week we had a wet heavy snow that was downing tree branches with ease. I looked up at the Hex Beam and immediately started to worry. The beam was LOADED with ice and snow, inch or so on spreaders, 1/4 inch on wires and support cords. Not what I wanted to see. It gets worse! 20 to 40 mile an hour wind gust! The Hex Beam was hanging in there!! This lasted 2 days! Ice finally melts, beam was in perfect shape, and below 1.3-1 SWR on all bands before storm. This is my second review on this Hex Beam. I'm very happy with the quality build of this beam. The way the weather has gone this last winter all over the states, even if I lived in HI, I would get the ice cords...you never know anymore, do we?
 
KENWOODUSER Rating: 5/5 Mar 7, 2014 10:38 Send this review to a friend
Excellent 6-band beam  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
OVERALL
This is a good antenna and I am very well pleased with it. If you can get past the look of a hex beam and can get one up in the air, you will appreciate the performance. Do not overlook the fact that it only requires a very inexpensive and modest mast and/or rotator. Those can be important criteria because while there are larger beams with more gain, they also require a serious (and often expensive) support structure.

STRENGTH
This antenna has held up just fine in the elements. It has seen wind, rain, snow, etc. I especially like the quality, strength, and flexibility of the wire sets.

TUNING
No need for a tuner. Just jump around the bands and pull the trigger.

ASSEMBLY / INSTALLATION
The antenna is currently installed atop a Us-Tower MA-40 mast. The mast was a beast to install but that's another topic. The actual hex beam install only took a couple of hours and went together well. I was able to carry it by hand over to the tower mast. With the mast retracted to around the 20ft level, scaffolding was then installed. A rope was tied to the hex beam and a person on top of the scaffolding hoisted up the antenna. We then placed the antenna on the mast. Yes, the MA-40 could have been tilted over as well, but that may require a winch or the raising fixture because the mast is very heavy.

Instructions are easy to follow. It's really a very simple job.

KIT DESIGN
I haven't built the other kits on the market but each have their good points and also things that can be improved. This kit is simple and the center hub is nice but I don't like the way the spreaders clamp to the hub plate. There are a few other things I think could be improved, also.

PERFORMANCE
This antenna performs extremely well. It sits at about 45ft above ground, which helps tremendously. It will bust pileups and exhibits good gain, FB ratio, etc. For its designed bands, and in specific ways, this antenna easily outperforms the ground-mounted vertical situated close by. It's quiet on receive and packs a punch on transmit. This antenna has no problem bagging DX.

SUMMARY
A very good multi-band beam antenna that requires only a modest support structure. It is reasonably priced and holds up in the weather quite well. It's also very easy to build and install.
 
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