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Reviews Categories | Antenna Switching, Phasing, Controllers | Hi-Z Receive antenna array phasing controllers Help

Reviews Summary for Hi-Z Receive antenna array phasing controllers
Reviews: 11 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Receive antenna arrays for 160, 80 & 40 meters
Product is in production.
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OK1RD Rating: 5/5 Feb 16, 2018 01:34 Send this review to a friend
Time owned: more than 12 months
I was first licensed in the year of 1964 and spent on the bands all the years on the TopBand mainly where I have confirmed and verified 351 DXCC countries all the time. So that I invited opportunity start operation on the new 60m band. It took me back over 50 years ago when I started operation on 160m band. As still keeping low bands QTH with 7 Beverages system all around for the 320m each long. I decided to use them for reception on 60m band as well. But I found during the first year / season / of using them that the length of 320m is too long for Beverage for use on 60m band. There were feeling perceivable gap in reception between Beverages. I have good practice with 8 circle RXing passive antenna on 160m band so I decided to buy active RXing antenna Hi-Z 8 circle from DX - Engineering company one well-developed by Lee - K7TJR. Because the antenna was not offered for 60m band I bought 80 meter version. With the aid of Lee, I modified Hi-Z 8 to 60m band. Now important for another users. My first idea was situated the Hi-Z 8 in my home QTH but during the antenna testing one did not work properly. We were so unhappy with Lee because he was very much co-operative with me. We tried to do our best but still nothing much compare to my Beverages. I was just about to give up my effort. Then one idea has stroke me and I took the system / BTW very easy to move / and shift one to my remote the EME QTH. Suddenly when the system moved there a miracle occurred ! The one started to listen week signals. I came into result that the Hi-Z 8 circle needed to be installed in proper environment, it means far away from everything and on strongly conductive ground. What are my experiences with the Hi-Z 8 circle and comparison with other systems it means Beverages 320m long and 2 element Moxon type Yagi antenna at 30 mtrs high.

I have had in full use these systems on 60m band for 14 month e.g. 2 low bands seasons. I spent more time by listening and watching on screen follow signals level now more and more popular FT8 mode. I prefer CW of course but FT8 shows maybe real signal strength what makes comparison easier. I confront many many times my Beverages and Hi-Z 8 and found that in 80% of cases / I made even statistic / was Hi-Z 8 better than long Beverages in correct direction towards DX station. Do not talk about gap between long Beverages where the Hi-Z 8 was always better. This experience told me that not always longer Beverage is better. Further the Hi-Z 8 is always more silent then Beverages and spite of higher signal level from Beverages the decoding was deeper in -dB it means better from Hi-Z 8 antenna system. Also the Hi-Z 8 always started listen DX earlier than one came from Beverages. As far as comparison between 2 element Yagi and Hi-Z 8 is concerned there was not so big difference, sometimes systems were on the same level but Yagi was not better any time.

Finally, thanks to the Hi-Z 8 circle antenna I worked and was issued by award WAS 60m as the 1st HAM outside from U.S.A.. It was really challenge to reach one because only 100 W or less was used on both sides what means very high demands on reception.

I wish all good luck with Hi-Z 8 circle antenna, from my experiences I can say a good word for this RXing antenna. Just be aware about QTH were the one is situated.

73, Jarda OK1RD & OK7XX on 60m band

PA5MW Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2018 02:32 Send this review to a friend
Stellar performance, period.   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For the 2017/18 winter contest season our contest station was upgraded by implementation of a Hi-Z 4-8 Pro 8-Circle RX array. It was setup in the 34m(113ft) diameter layout, serving also 40 and 80m.

As with every top performing product you need to provide sufficient (as in low noise environment) space to enable its full merits. From others we already learned that if you are already used to beverage top performance, a new system like this does not deliver 'the extra' in a backyard less than 60m (200ft) close to buildings/houses. But then again; you do not take an F1 car to your local in-town-racing but to a real race track.

Our QTH has several acres of field few months (only) available during winter time to install it remote from the houses at abt 150m (500ft). A simple etup of 4 times 7m50 (25ft) thick fiber poles created a stretched out rectangular top-wire from which all 8 RX vertical wires were hung. The positions are the typical 45degree intervals starting at QTF 0 deg. Due to the recent extreme storm in Europe and maybe some initial wire stretching/sloping, the bottom part of the 8-C vertical wires were dangling/touching the grass for the first meter(4ft) or so but that did not seem to matter all too much? Two reversible 300m long (880ft) beverages where installed to cover Asia/S-America and USA/M-East.

We just enjoyed the CQWW-160CW contest. So how does it perform?

The 8-C shack operation box at first seemed just 'an ugly black little box' with no text printed on it anywhere. A 'very light' rotation knob and 8 amber colored leds and that was it. During the next 48 contest hrs with 3 operators both these proved to be just perfect; minimal visual/manual stress vs maximal operational comfort.

On-air it was immediate apparent that the 8-C would deliver about 6-8 dB less gain vs the relatively high output of the loooong beverages. But was much more quiet, offering a clear signal to noise advantage. Directing it towards some 150-200m distant houses some 2-4dB extra noise was noticed. On loud signals one can rotate through 3 directions to work the other station, with one clear maximum. At very weak signals only one direction can be found. The long beverages delivered a much louder signal in every of their 4 directions; distant DX would be delivered with their typical punch along with a different sounding, more lively constantly changing sky noise. The quieter 8-C would have a more constant background noise level, offering less listening fatigue.

In a direct comparison between the 8-C and the long beverages both offered the same result at decoding & making that QSO with remote DX. Occasionally the one or the other was clearly better, probably due to the incoming sky wave angle rotation.

However, since the 8-C was quieter, one would often prefer its offered' listening comfort'.

On CQ (RUN-mode) the beverage, offering between 10-15dB less F/B than the 8-C and having several small vertical lobes, would allow you to hear any nearby European callers. The almost surgical pattern of the 8-C provided a clear risk by not hearing any of those at all. Only by rotating the knob an 90deg to 180deg offset caller would suddenly appear at S7 - S9.

At weak distant signals the beverages sometimes would offer a quick QSB vs a slower QSB at the 8-C.

Working important s.c. 'Multiplier DX stations', with their typical large pile-up QRM, the 8-C was chosen in 90% of the time to make the QSO.

At weak local European QRP signals the sharp & clean 8-C pattern offered the best option for a quicker reliable QSO, whereas it would be impossible to hear and/or complete a QSO on the very noisy beverages.

Conclusion: one can not have too many RX antennas and the Hi-Z 8-Circle is here to stay.
NO9E Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2013 04:56 Send this review to a friend
Excellent for its size   Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a triangular version used because at that time K7TJR could not sell. The array came damaged. I send it to K7TJR and he fixed it + updated for shipping costs.

My array is on a side of a vertical with elevated radials. K7TJR said it would not work but it does pretty well. F/B is about 15db. Probably could optimize but this is good enough. The array works well for 160-40m with some directivity on the higher bands. No problems since installation despite radials being close and a kW.

The array has 6 positions. In 160m contests often changing one position makes a difference between copy and no copy. Also, 6 positions help identifying local noise. By switching the array I can point to a bad router of my neighbor on the left side, bad TV of the neighbor of the right side, and line noise in front of the house.

I used to have K9AY. The triangular array blows it away. Narrow beamwidth, deeper nulls, consistent performance regardless of weather + more frequency coverage.
WD4ELG Rating: 5/5 Dec 9, 2012 20:47 Send this review to a friend
Awesome  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The system is operational and it is WORKING!

My goal: DXCC on 160 (currently at 85). Get to 250 on 80 and 40, WAZ on 80 and 40. "Stretch goal" is WAZ on 160.

My QTH: 1 acre rural, woods behind me but no permission for beverages as the hunters are often trekking through the area.

My order from HiZ and my installation:

HiZ 4 element with 60 foot spacing, preamp, 75/50 transformer, 300 foot RG8 coax. Elements located in the woods, at least 10 feet from any large (100 foot high) oak trees. NO resonant antennas anywhere near the system

Comparison antennas (no formal measuring gear):
160/80 meters: inverted L, 90 ft vert and 32 ft 80/40 meters: off-center fed 135 foot dipole at 64 feet
40 meters: 43 foot vertical

In the shack:
* Flex 3000
* DX Engineering RTR-1 separate receive antenna switch
* 300 foot LMR400 coax from shack to remote antenna switch box
* The inverted L and 43 foot antennas have remote tuners at the base

Customer service:
* VERY helpful over the phone prior to AND after the sale.
* During assembly, I had some questions, Lee and Dick were extremely responsive (they called me on a Friday evening at my request via email). Turnaround time is measured in HOURS, not days.

I ordered the complete system from them: antennas, controller, cables, pre-amp, transformer. Everything arrived in 5 business days.

Assembly instructions:
* Easy, even for an ADD person like me.
* I pained the elements matte black. VERY stealthy
The entire setup is quite rugged and built to last.
* I was GLAD I ordered the FULL KIT (including the vertical elements). It saved me a LOT of time and hassle, and I would do the same in a HEARTBEAT.

Initial observations:

40 meters:

* The noise level is 5 dBm higher on this band with the HiZ than with the 43 foot vertical; I suspect this is due to the pre-amp, as I have seen similar behavior on other bands where I used a preamp; the Flex 3000 receiver is already very sensitive and the noise level is already around -125 dBm. Obviously, I live out in the country!

* I did some testing with MW0ZZK signal in Wales, UK on SSB on 40 SSB at 10 PM local time. I was not looking for signal strength comparison, but S/N (as we discussed) and F/B. The F/B was SHOCKING. S9+10 to S1 when switched from NE to SW direction. The S/N at peak did seem a bit better with the HiZ than the 43 footer…the signal also did seem a bit stronger on the HiZ. What I also noticed (as thunderstorms approach from the west and southwest tonight) was that the static noise dropped down with the HiZ when pointed NE (as expected).

* I was able to hear and work T6LG in Afghanistan on 40 CW. I could not hear him on the off-center-fed dipole. I could occasionally hear him on the 43 foot vertical in between static crashes, but not enough to get a QSO. I heard him on the HiZ; not so much that his signal was stronger (same S4 as on the vertical), but the noise dropped away and I could get a QSO through. Bearing 030 degrees, not at the NE peak on the HiZ.

* 3B8CF is normally strong even on the off-center fed dipole. Tonight he was barely readable even on the vertical. When I switched to the HiZ antenna, his signal literally jumped out of the noise. Although the noise floor went up a bit, his signal went much higher than the noise. Very impressive. Bearing 045, the NE peak on the HiZ. I changed directions on the HiZ just to see what happened to his signal, and it disappeared completely.

80 meters

* The noise level is same between with the HiZ than and the inverted L and the OCF dipole. I was not expecting that.

* I did some testing with OK3XJ in Czech Republic on CW. Again not looking for signal strength comparison, but S/N (as I discussed with Dick and Lee, and read on their web page) and F/B. The F/B on the HiZ was again stellar. S8 to S0 when switched from NE to SW direction. The S/N seemed close between the inverted L and the HiZ, maybe a slight edge on the signal strength on the HiZ. There was only a slight reduction in t-storm static with the HiZ. What was interesting was that there was not that much static on the inverted L to begin with on 80.

* I did a similar comparison on CX3LW on CW, Uruguay. I noticed NO difference in S/N between HiZ and Inverted L. This is EXACTLY as expected, since CX3 is 160 degrees…NOT at that peak of the Southeast Lobe on HIZ at 135 degrees. So the CX3 station was almost in that “gap of coverage” that we know exists with four-square antennas, and with HiZ, at 90, 180, 270 and 360 degrees.

160 meters
* Conditions were poor since the end of the WW CW DX contest in November, nobody was apparently on the air tonight. I need to perform additional testing.

Additional notes:

* 60 feet element spacing versus 80 has minimal impact on 160 meters but a dramatic improvement on 40 (which is what I wanted).

* A fundamental concept (and required reading) is to understand the definition AND implications of S/N, F/B and RDF. There is a terrific explanation on HiZ website regarding these concepts, and it helps to understand why the setup works so well. It also explains the limitations so that the buyer has realistic expectations with the setup. There is no magic here. Once you understand what is happening and why, you will be better educated and excited about what HiZ provides.

Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss my situation. I am happy to share and learn.

Mark Lunday, WD4ELG
K8PO Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2012 17:52 Send this review to a friend
Superior product  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My system is optimized for RDF and uses 21 foot elements with 80 foot spacing in a four square configuration. Compared to two 560 foot reversible beverages it has a similar pattern and S/N is better about half the time on 160M. Otherwise, the S/N is about the same. On 80M the Hi-Z four square S/N is better most of the time compared to the beverages.
The large elements provide higher output than 8 foot arrays and that is an advantage.
Customer service is excellent with same day or following day responses from emails sent.
Documentation is very good with considerable reference material on their website.
Highly recommended.
AA6VB Rating: 5/5 Oct 26, 2011 09:21 Send this review to a friend
Triangular Array - A Wonderful RX Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I live on a small city lot, no more than a quarter acre. I have tried over a dozen receive antennas over the years looking to improve the all important signal to noise ratio. Nothing gave a meaningful improvement. Along came the 3 Element Array, so I thought I'd give one a try.

Everything about my situation is a compromise. I can't get a 40 foot triangle with equal sides, one of the elements is 3 feet lower than the other two, the corner of the house blocks the line of sight between two of the elements, two of the elements are near a metal fence and one of the elements is within 50 feet of my vertical. Not a pretty picture.

Still, the system is highly directive on 160 meters where I spend most of my time. It provides a very good improvement in signal to noise ratio over my vertical and has truly uncovered another layer of signals for me. It REALLY does work, even with all the compromises in my situation. I am amazed at its performance and am VERY happy with the decision to install one.

I am able to run the legal limit with no harm to the array, even though the array is no more than 50 feet from my TX antenna - a great feature.

I was very pleased to find the array is highly directional on other bands - right up to 10 meters. It's just incredible.

There is a REAL solution for city lot owners with challenging situations. I highly recommend this array.


WD8PKF Rating: 5/5 Oct 25, 2011 09:07 Send this review to a friend
Ecellent product and Service  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I put up the Hi-Z 160 8 antenna receive array several months ago. I have had very good results with the array. The Hi-Z has usually outperformed my Beverages ( though not every time), and is usually as good if not better than my 4 square transmit ant. I had a minor problem which required service which was done in 4days! I am purchasing an 80 meter 8 element array to nest inside the 160 circle. If I did not have this array I would not have had the H40KJ in my 160 log!!
YC0LOW Rating: 5/5 Jul 8, 2011 23:23 Send this review to a friend
Makes my 160m life easier  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The real test to beat noise is surely at equatorial zone like in YC-land. Ordered one unit of Hi-Z 4sq RX Array and -after installing the system in Mt Malang (1050 m ASL), West Java- it made my 160m life easier. Tnx to Lee for cutting the phased delay line coax. 73 de Jo, YC0LOW
W4OP Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2010 18:59 Send this review to a friend
HI-Z RX PREAMP  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This review is for the hi dynamic range preamp that Hi-Z offers in a kit or built. I built mine- took perhaps 30 minutes. It is part of my Beverage antenna control system. I followed the preamp with a Mini-Circuits 2X power splitter- allowing me to use the Beverage on my IC-7700 and my Cubic 103 without switching. No signs of overload. Easy to build kit and very well documented//designed. Excellent value aleternative to the high priced products.

Dale W4OP
K9RX Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2010 10:49 Send this review to a friend
Works great - low cost - well built  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My array is spaced 70' on a side. Using the switch box, control box, antenna pre-amps and the inline preamp. 20' verticals from conduit. Works fantastic on 160 from out here in Arizona. Also works very well on 80 - 30 and even at times is better than my stacked 3/3/3 yagis on 20 (narrow beamwidth produces nice S/N at times). Well built - well protected and very well priced - more than a 50% savings off the competition.

Purchased with the intent to use it primarily on 80 with hope for 40. It works great on 80 - the 2el beam at 130' works better on 40 (although I believe during the spring/fall season, with higher static levels the array will compete with the beam). Signal level on 80 is almost identical to my xmit antenna (rotary 76' long dipole at 136') but the S/N is better on the array.

Then I tried it on 160.... having never operated 160 I was intrigued by its performance there. I installed (well - actually AB7E installed it for me) a 100' vertical section inverted-L off the tower. Installed 16 radials ~ 0.2 wave long. First night was Dec 26... since then I've worked 60 countries on 160 in 2 weeks time with 30 confirmed already through LoTW.

Check it out - you'll be happy with the savings and performance!
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