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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Directional (Yagi, quad, etc.) | Cushcraft A503S Help

Reviews Summary for Cushcraft A503S
Cushcraft A503S Reviews: 22 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $99.95
Description: Enjoy the new popularity and exciting contacts on the 6 meter band with one of the S-series Cushcraft Yagis. The A503S, A505S and A506S may be mounted vertically for FM use.
Product is in production.
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N8FVJ Rating: 5/5 May 22, 2018 21:53 Send this review to a friend
Great 6 meter Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had this antenna many years ago. Bought another one. Easy assembly, good design & construction.

I tuned the gamma match stub for a flat 1 to 1 SWR on 50.125mHz.

I know it is only about 8dB gain, but it is also a wide enough beam to hear weak stations off to the side vs missing all together with 5-8 elements and a very narrow beam. Receivers are so sensitive now that ultra high gain antennas are not necessary except perhaps moon bounce. Simply use 1KW out on 6 meters with an amp and this 8db gain antenna. They will hear you & you will hear them.

A bargain at $139 shipped.
K6RB Rating: 3/5 Dec 29, 2012 18:36 Send this review to a friend
Good antenna, lousy company  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The A50-S3 is a pretty basic antenna. The manual is okay with respect to the boom and element assembly. However, the part they call the ReddiMatch is a small rod parallel to one side of the driven element where it specifies an X dimension and a SET dimension. The X dimension is supposedly the amount you pull out the inner tube, and the SET dimension is the position of the tuning strap that connects the outer tube to the driven element. The ReddiMatch as sent was sealed on both ends, so there was no way to set dimension X. I tried to call Cushcraft for 3 DAYs straight - the phone was busy from 9 AM to 5 PM and rang without message machine at other times. I sent a trouble ticket which was acknowledged but never answered. So, I just went ahead and mounted it on the mast, and played with the dimensions of the driven element and tuning strap until I got something I could work with. I will NEVER deal with MFJ, Cushcraft, or any other Martin F. Jue companies, again. They have absolutely no concept of customer service.
KD5PDN Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2012 06:42 Send this review to a friend
Stealthy 6M beam  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This antenna was selected for an attic installation because it requires only a 6 foot radius to turn. I found a sweet spot where it just fits in my attic and it functions as a stealth antenna.

It sits atop a Yaesu G-450A rotator and hooks up to my second antenna connector on my Kenwood TS-480 which rememembers which connector to use for 6M (sweet).

I have used this now for 6 months. It was a fun build, being small enough you can do it in an evening indoors. It acheives the SWR the factory specs give it - use the manual to tune the lengths of the elements for optimization.

6M band can vary and I would say it has 1/10 the activity of a 40 or 80 M band - probably because 6M requires it's own antenna as most multiband antennae can't do this band. It's fun though when the band is open and you can hit states across the USA on 100W.

Still waiting to make my first international contact but it's just a matter of time. Good antenna.
KJ6QVB Rating: 4/5 Jan 28, 2012 18:45 Send this review to a friend
Gets the job done 30' up  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased used for $65 on ebay, I cleaned it up and replaced one missing element with an identical diameter aluminum pole. Put it on top of a 30' Army surplus tower with an old tv rotator. It seems to be working ok with my Heathkit SB-110A the SWR is 1.4 to 1 across the band but only 2 contacts so far because 6 meters isn't happening right now. Glad I didn't spend twice as much on a new one!
N5XTR Rating: 4/5 Jun 15, 2010 07:31 Send this review to a friend
A good antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this antenna to replace my vertical dipole at home for 6 meters. It is my favorite band and the June VHF QSO Party is my favorite contest. Bought the A503s from Universal Radio who had it $10 cheaper than anyone else and they actually had it in stock. I put it up on a 35' mast and a small TV rotator, CDR from the 70's. I had a great time testing this antenna against my vertical dipole and I ended up taking the vertical dipole out of service. Even though the receiving stations could still copy me just fine on the dipole, the Cushcraft delivered a much better signal. This is probably due to the gain of the yagi but still any improvement on 6 meters will pay off big time. I made over 700 contacts this year to over 200 grids from DM83 using this antenna. Many stations asked my power and number of elements, I had lots of reports of 20 over 9. I can only give this antenna a 4/5 because I know there are better antennas out there but I haven't tried them. Also I set the match in accordance to the manual but it was a little off but not bad, SWR got better when it was raining, HIHI.
KZ3X Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2010 04:34 Send this review to a friend
Sturdy and performs  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had a A503S since the late 1980's and I have had absolutely no trouble with it. After following the directions for assembly, the antenna SWR was right on the button.

I achieved VUCC in the early 1990's using my FT-726R running 10 watts on 6 meters on CW and SSB just to see if I could do it. The tower was usually cranked up to only 30 feet at this time. The antenna was fed back then with 9913 coax and I am now using a combination of SMR 600 and 400 feedline. Anything I hear I can usually work running 100 watts. Of course it won't perform as good as a 30 foot boom 6 element model, but you can have a lot of fun with this antenna on the bands.

I live in a very high wind area that also gets its share of sleet and freezing rain and I can honestly say this antenna never let me down. The winter of 2010 was particularly bad with at least a half a dozen Nor'easters, some with gusts as high as 60 mph+ and it never missed a beat. Now, if the sun spot cycle would just get going.....
N8LB Rating: 2/5 Aug 21, 2009 19:02 Send this review to a friend
gamma match deteriorates  Time owned: more than 12 months
After several years my gamma match gave me problems. This is the third time I will be redoing it...may go to hairpan match.
G0OTT Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2009 10:22 Send this review to a friend
Solid performance in 6' boom  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Bought this second hand, as it was setup the performance was terrible, high swr poor f/b ratio ect.Downloaded the pdf manual and set about putting it right.All measurments now correct(It was miles off), still cant tune it.Had to rework the gamma match, once this was done I sealed the gamma with amalgamating tape.
This small aerial really works well with good f/b exellent side rejection and useful forward gain.
My first season on 6m and enjoying it very much, worked most of europe some africa and carribean so cant complain too much:P
Bottom line, If you want something small and effective give one a try.
Regards Darren
WD4AFY Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2008 18:29 Send this review to a friend
Great inexpensive antenna for 6 meters  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using Cushcraft Antennas for many years. I worked all states on 6 meters with my original Cushcraft A50-3 that was around 20 years old. I sold my 6 meter equipment and A50-3 back in 1999 and temporarily got out of ham radio due to having to care for a gravely ill parent.

I became active in ham radio again in 2004 and purchased 6 meter radio equipment and a Cushcraft A50-3S. The A50-3S gives great performance for the money on 6 meters. It's a good antenna for beginners as well as those who wish to work the world. The new antenna comes with stainless hardware, is lightweight, and does not take up alot of space. The antenna is well made, very simple to assemble, and easy to adjust. There ar better 6 meter beam antennas available, but for its price range, I rate this antenna a 5.
KA1JY Rating: 1/5 Jul 19, 2008 04:49 Send this review to a friend
poor quality  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Fly weight hardware. 6-32 bolts and wimpy connection points. This one won't last long and is strictly a toy. If you need an ultra light weight antenna for a field day that you plan on tossing out when the day is over then this is the antenna for you. If you need something that is rugged and will stand up to ice and winds and stay on the tower for years steer clear of the A503. I put this one up just to check out 6 meters. It does work. Plan on tuning the gamma match the pre-measured adjustments are not close. Also plan on cutting the driven element U-bolt. It comes with in a 1/8 inch of the feed point. Probably why the gamma adjustment is so far off.
I broke the feed point bracket with a 3 inch 12 point box wrench. Pretty wimpy hardware. The shield side crimp on the bracket let go when I hand tightened the pl259 connector to it. Also the gramma match end clip does not clamp to the driven element because the both holes are not drilled correctly.
Again it is a ultra light weight flimsy antenna but it does work. The design is basically a wide band application and it proved to be fairly broad with expected lower than optimal forward gain and front to back. A reasonable compromise if you need wide band. The elements can be re-arranged if you prefer slightly higher forward gain. I plan on using it until I can find a good rugged antenna for 6.
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