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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | Hy-Gain AV-680 Nine-Band Vertical Help

Reviews Summary for Hy-Gain AV-680 Nine-Band Vertical
Hy-Gain AV-680 Nine-Band Vertical Reviews: 13 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $549.95
Description: 9-band vertical covers 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10/6 Meters No radials, traps, ground or tuning Handles 1500 Watts
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Hy-Gain AV-680 Nine-Band Vertical.

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KG7I Rating: 3/5 Jun 24, 2018 23:51 Send this review to a friend
My Experience and tips for tuning  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased an AV-680 several weeks ago, the box arrived and I excitedly opened it and began reviewing the manual.

The first thing I noticed is that the manual is difficult to follow and needs a lot of work to make it easier.

I stumbled through, having to swap screws at times as their are many lengths that if you use one longer than specified you are then short later. First tip is to order some NoAlox anti-oxidizing conducting paste. Once you get this antenna up you don't want to be taking it up and down, and corrosion between tubs and connectors would destroy its performance.

I paused my assemble to wait for my tube to arrive. I did check over the components and opened the box containing Matching Box. It rattled and I could hear parts moving around. So I removed the 4 screws and discovered that 1 of the coils was broken free, all the leds were broken as well as some other components. I contacted Hy-Gain and they sent out a replacement.

Once it and the paste arrived I continued assemble. Several of the small 3/8" tubs that make up the radiators for the 6-17 meter stubs were either undersized or bent and took significant work to fix so that the joining stubs would go in the ends.

Also the placement of these was not clear the first pass through and I discovered that I did not have the 17 meter stub oriented right with respect to the tube with the loading coals and had to loosen and reposition all the 6-17 meter stubs.

I did not have any missing parts. and once assembled, placed it on a temporary pipe along side my deck railing so that I could tune it without the difficult task of placing on the 8' mast.

When Tuning, I connected an MFJ 269C to the antenna through a 125' long RG 213U coax and ran it through the paces to see where everything was tuned. First pass, this is what I found:

80 Meters - 1.4 SWR at 3.8mhz (not bad)
40 Meters - 1.0 SWR at 7.07mhz (Low in the band)
30 Meters - 1.2 SWR at 9.6mhz (outside the band)
20 Meters - 1.0 SWR at 12.9mhz (way outside the band)
17 Meters - 1.0 SWR at 17.9mhz (outside the band)
15 Meters - 1.0 SWR at 20.7mhz, but 1.4 across the band
12 Meters - 1.2 SWR across the band
10 Meters - 1.5 SWR at 28.2mhz but 2.5 or better across the band
6 Meters - 1.0 SWR at 51.7mhz and 2.5 or less across the band.

Based on where I wanted each bands center point using the manual, I needed to adjust as follows:
40M - shorten 12.9"
30M - shorten 10.5"
20M - Shorten 13.9"
17M - Shorten 2.5"
15M - Shorten 5"
6M - Lengthen 4.5"

This meant taking the antenna off the temporary mast and laying it down again. It took 2 of us and then it was still precarious. I made some initial adjustments on the 6-17M radials, put it back and retested. Then took it down again and made more adjustments and put it back up.

At this point I got smarter. With the antenna in a horizontal position, laying across 2 wooden supports of our deck. I tested the antenna again and found that although the SWR was a little higher, the dip was in the same spot. So at this point, I did the final adjustments on the 6-17M radials to get it exactly where I wanted (several incremental adjustments, but since I didn't have to take it up and down it went quick).

Then I began trimming the 20-40M radials in smaller steps until it was tuned where I wanted it. This was MUCH easier than putting it up and taking it down.

When we finished, then we mounted it on the permanent mast. In my case its on a hillside that slops down from our deck. I used and 8' 2"OD galvanized pipe, buried 2.5" deep in rocky dry ground. It was tricky to get the antenna vertical and then balance and lift it while slipping it over the pipe.

This puts the ground radials on the uphill side, almost touching the ground but the downhill side radials are 8-9' in the air.

Once it was up, I reconnected the antenna and rechecked the tuning. And this where it landed.

80M 3.5mhz(15.2SWR)- 3.8mhz(3.0)- 3.85(1.3)- 3.9(3.0)- 4.0(15.6SWR)
40M 7.0mhz(7.8SWR) - 7.2(3.0) - 7.29(1.3) - 7.3 (1.0)
30M 10.1mhz(1.3SWR) - 10.15(1.2)
20M 14.0mhz(1.2SWR) - 14.1(1.1) - 14.35 (1.7)
17M 18.068mhz(1.4SWR) - 18.168(1.2)
15M 21.0mhz(1.2SWR) - 12.450(1.4)
12M 24.89mhz(1.3SWR) - 29.99(1.2)
10M 28.0mhz(1.8SWR) - 28.3(1.3) - 29.3(1.9) - 29.7(2.2)
6M 50.1mhz(3.0SWR) - 52.5(1.0) - 54.0(2.4)

As you can see 80M is has a very sharp dip, 40M much broader if I get the antenna down I'll probably tweak 40M, the rest are usable across the band, with the dip tuned for voice region
Z35O Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2018 05:40 Send this review to a friend
A bit complicated to assemble but it does a great job  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owe it for few years and I'm happy with the antenna. It can be assembled in one day, needs a space for it and a bit of attention. Identify all parts first to avoid problems. Watch your eyes while assembling.

Since it would be mounted on a roof of a 7 storey building, the pre-tuning was carried out in an open field for which I needed an assistance of two more people. The tuning was straight forward and completed in 5 to 6 cycles (each time it was down I tweaked several bands simultaneosly). Then it went on top of the roof covered in aluminum corrugated sheets. First testing was disastrous but with Tom' assistance I found the problem in the matching box. It was a cold solder of one of the teflon wires to the pcb which was fixed. At the end the SWR was a close match to the pre-tuned values. It needs guying with 3 or four ropes at 2/3 of its height to avoid swinging and wear at tube joints.

As per the specs, 80m has narrow bandwidth and you need an external tuner or tuner extender (MFJ914) for it. The 200KHz wide 40m band is within 2:1 or less. All other higher bands are better. 6m remained unchecked as I got no equipment for it.

What I hear on my FT1000MP I can work. It is a multiband vertical with its limitations, but for me and my conditions the performance is great.
N2EVI Rating: 3/5 Jun 12, 2018 17:08 Send this review to a friend
Missing parts caused issues  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The antenna wasn't that hard to assemble. Between instructions and a great YouTube video it went together rather easily. The problem was missing parts. It took almost 2 months to get HyGain to send the correct parts. The first shipment had only a few of the correct parts I requested in it. The second shipment had extra parts. At least they shipped enough materials that I could finally finish assembling the antenna. I have enough leftover materials that if I damage a radial I can replace it with out contacting HyGain again.
KG7MWW Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2018 19:09 Send this review to a friend
Follow Up on Antenna Install & Use  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Emailed Hy-Gain on my concerns about the wire coil section, and they said it is designed correctly and is a low load point so it shouldn't be an issue. It hasn't been at all. The antenna works fine so far and has withstood a number of 40+ mph wind storms quite well. It tends to bend a lot in high winds, which looked scary at first, but always stands up straight after the wind dies down. So far no issues with performance or tuning, and it has held up really well in some strong storms.
N8OBU Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2017 15:53 Send this review to a friend
whole day project!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
the hardest part of this antenna is the way the instructions are written you will need an very long place to build it i suspended it from the garage roof to build it and that was a great help! print off a 2nd manual so you don't need to flip to the figures you can lay them out count the parts i think it gets a bad rap over people thinking it would only take a hour to build spend a day do it right the first time don't rush pay attention to the wording it will take two people to handle this antenna and it will work as it should when built right mine was missing no parts i had put a few in wrong my fault not hy gain r&l has the best price pick up some no ax too you will need it
N4MIT Rating: 3/5 Oct 17, 2017 13:01 Send this review to a friend
Un-impressed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I does work but just not up to all the hype. My 125' endfed wire works better in most instances.

DX Engineering is #1 in customer serice. When the antenna arrived there were some incorrect parts. I contacted HyGain/MFJ and confirmed that they had a run of incorrect parts with this antenna. They said that they would ship out replacements. I contacted DX Engineering to see if they could get HyGain to expedite/overnight the replacements but HyGain would not comply so DX Engineering overnighted/saturday delivery a complete antenna on their nickle. Now that is customer service!

If a vertical is all you can have then I guess this one is as good as any, but it's no replacement for even a lowly dipole. I'm hoping when conditions improve I'll find more value in this antenna.

As always, your mileage may vary...
N4MIT Rating: 1/5 Aug 31, 2017 18:58 Send this review to a friend
Incorrect Parts  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well Hy-Gain/MFJ has done it again. I ordered the AV-680 with all intentions of putting it together on the holiday weekend, but...

2 pieces of tubing are the wrong size. They are supposed to be 3/8"od x 5/16"id x 44". What I got looks to be 1/2"od x 3/8"id x 47" with no slots to clamp it down. It just won't work. This is part of the Stub section a 5/16" x 6" rod is supposed to slide inside to join the 2 sections together. It fits like a BB in a boxcar. I contacted DX Engineering (vendor I purchased from)for help with MFJ. I'll be back to update when they get the right parts to me.
W0AAL Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2017 18:23 Send this review to a friend
Very Happy With Results  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I'm new to ham radio and was aware of the current sun cycle, so I knew propagation could be a real challenge. That's why I decided on the AV-680 9 band vertical. I wanted the option of moving around the bands as the conditions vary. I read the previous reviews, but took a chance on this antenna, and I'm very happy with the results. When you first get the antenna, it might look a little overwhelming to build. However, if you read over, then read again, and understand the instructions, it's not so difficult. Additionally, you should take a complete inventory of all pieces and parts in the package. Separate the hardware and label accordingly. Also note that you will have some extra spokes, nuts, screws, and washers after the build. And you should also purchase a tilt-base system to help raise and lower the antenna for maintenance. I purchased an R9 tilt-base from DX Engineering which works well. I also purchased a MFJ-259c antenna analyzer. Tuning is fun when you have the right equipment. However, I can't imagine tuning 9 bands without it. Concerning the antenna's performance, my rigs internal antenna tuner can handle the entire spectrum on 6, 15, 17, 20, and 30 meters. I tuned 10 and 12 meters, but I just don't use them. My only real complaint is on 40 meters, where the window for tuning is fairly narrow. So, I just tuned it for SSB around 7.255 Mhz. Was listening to a Dave Cassler video, and he commented that 40 meters on his Butternut vertical also had a narrow tune window, and he pointed out that this was an inherent problem on verticals. So, I won't deduct any points off the antenna rating for that gripe. Again, really happy with this product.
W4ABW Rating: 3/5 Jan 5, 2016 12:29 Send this review to a friend
I want to increase my rating  Time owned: more than 12 months
Since I posted my initial review of this vertical I have had some very good experiences with the antenna.

The parts shortages keep me from giving it a 4 as that hasn't changed.

I now have 39 Qs on 30m and 14 Qs on 40M. That's not a lot but all but 1 qso was with DX stations.
I do have a LP for the other many, many contacts I have made along with the vertical. I could have made lots more but I already have a lot of DX confirmed on 30m and 40m.

Tom at MFJ has been excellent too. Tom always says "what do you need, its free, and how can I help you". Always fast delivery too.

Al, W4ABW #1 DXCC Honor Roll

NK2W Rating: 0/5 May 15, 2015 10:21 Send this review to a friend
A Disaster!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Never have I regretted any ham radio purchase more than this antenna. EVERYTHING about this antenna was a negative experience.

The matching unit arrived with cold solder joints and broken wires, discovered only because I opened it due to ‘rattling noises’ inside it. The noises turned out to be broken ty-wraps used to hold the baluns which broke loose I imagine during shipment. Hy-gain replaced the unit after two weeks after I sent it to them at my expense.

The construction was at best difficult, at worst nearly impossible due to the absurdly high degree of errors and misprints in the manual. Parts were called out incorrectly, diagrams labeled incorrectly, references made incorrectly… Had I not had 50 years of experience I might have given up.

Erection of this monstrous web of spider-like ‘radials’ is in my view near impossible without a few strongmen, a gin pole, and ingenuity. And don’t forget that after you finally raise the antenna you’ll likely have to lower it and raise it again… and again… to tune it.

That’s if you can tune it at all.

I couldn’t, because the matching unit hy-gain sent me as a replacement DIDN’T WORK! When I connected my antenna analyzer I got a flat response (no curve) because the matching unit was OPEN!

I gave up and junked the antenna.

I used to swear by hy-gain. Now I swear AT it.
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