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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | HUSTLER 4BTV Help

Reviews Summary for HUSTLER 4BTV
HUSTLER 4BTV Reviews: 108 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $119.99
Product is in production.
More info: http://WWW.NEW-TRONICS.COM
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M0XMH Rating: 4/5 Mar 8, 2019 12:18 Send this review to a friend
Siting is important  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've tried to ask the site manager for EHam to allow me to change my original review of the Hustler 4BTV. Alas I didn't get a response. So here is an update in a new review . .

I moved the antenna to another site in the garden which improved its performance quite noticeably. Due to illness, I had time last year to play with the siting and noted when it was moved to its original placement, the antenna was not getting out anywhere near as well as it is now elsewhere.

I have changed nothing in the antenna radials pattern or materials, the mounting or whatever else is as it was and needs to perform well - except the previous siting of it.

I'm able to consistently reach out to mainland Europe at 10W SSB and just beyond on FT-8 with good signal reports on PSK Reporter. I can hit the East coast of the US with the right band conditions and with 10W or above, with some reasonable results on FT-8.

However, I'm unable to report on SSB phone performance as despite holding a full UK licence for over 5 years, I have yet to get anyone, anywhere to respond to a QSO for me so that I can have some idea how the antenna is getting out in this mode.
M0KTY Rating: 5/5 Jan 16, 2017 16:37 Send this review to a friend
Fuss free antenna!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I decided to purchase a 4BTV after reading the reviews posted here and in conversation with other operators who already had the antenna.
I hate spending money on any Amateur antenna as I enjoy constructing them myself. I performed an inventory on making one myself and concluded that there was about 10% saving for all the effort and probably a lot of hassle. The instructions are easy to follow and I measured accurately the spacings for the tube lengths WITHOUT radials. The antenna is mounted on a 4' aluminium tube with 18 inches sticking out of the soil. It was mounted into a concrete base and has a 4' copper earth rod hammered into the adjacent soil with a large 10mm earth strap attached to the mounting bracket of the antenna. No other radials. The VSWR on all bands was less than 1:1.3 and tunes up on my Kenwood TS590S without needing the internal tuner on 40m, 20m, 15m and 10m.
As an added bonus it also tunes up on 6m using the internal AMU.
It has been installed over 12 months now and been battered by the SE England coast weather without problem.
I have noticed on some older antenna that reports of the black plastic trap cover has split? So far these are intact with no evidence of cracking or splits. I did send of to obtain the aluminium joint compound hustler recommend and also copper grease for the nuts and bolts and jubilee clips. The only problem I have had is two of the spider CAP hat radials got knocked off (not sure if seagulls have landed on them or wind) but this was easily rectified by adding a wide diameter washer to the screw side of the radial fixing. If you need details email me through Eham or my call sign. Overall a great antenna, super value for the money and would I buy another one? Hell YES!
K1VCT Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2016 13:33 Send this review to a friend
*** UPDATE ***  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is an update to my previous review.

I've been looking for a nice day to get up on the flat roof and add a second set of radials to my 4BTV. In so doing, I was able to find some nice 1/4 inch rings, that had ample space for lots of wires. Four rings were prepared, one set of radials per ring, and those were tightened up to the Hustler base.

Well, folks, that changed things considerably. IT DID NOT CHANGE THE RESONANCE, not one bit. I recorded all the previous (and somewhat low in frequency) resonant frequencies for 10, 15, 20 and 40 meters. Before I added the extra radials I "thought" I had sharp "SWR notches". I'm using a RigMaster AA-54 to view everything, and no... I was viewing just viewing each band at a time, not the whole spectrum, which will obviously look like sharp SWR notches.

What I found was that the tuning of the segments and traps was now much more critical, since the acceptable SWR range was now much narrower. I've been told that's a good thing! Or so they say in the both the DX-Engineering and Hustler manuals.

At any rate, the antenna went up and down countless times as I raised the resonance of each band with trap adjustments.

Trap adjustment is not hard, but a little goes a long way. The 10 meter trap actually takes a fairly good amount of movement for show movement in resonance. I had to adjust it in increments of 1/2 inch or so, then fine tune, and it was only low by about 500kc. Since I don't plan (currently) of working CW I tuned for the middle of phone section of each band, based on the range allowed to Extra class licenses. The other traps each needed almost minute changes to make fairly substantial difference in resonance. About 1/4 inch max, in tiny nudges of the trap covers makes a big change. Once you get close, you can fine tune with the segment lengths.

Fine tune went well, and I've got the lowest part of the dip in resonance very very close to the middle of my desired operating range.

Here's what I also found out - they tell you to adjust 10, then 15, then 20 meter traps, and finally the extension above the spiders for 40 meters. In practice, I adjusted 10 meters, then adjusted 15 meters and found I needed to back and tweak 10 meters again. The 15 meter band then required additional but very slight tweaking. Moving to 20 meters, it got adjusted, and I rechecked 10 and 15 meters and they had not appreciably changed, if at all. Finally 40 meters was set, and every band was double checked. Nothing else changed. That was good, because mounting the 4BTV on its base, was beginning to tire me out a bit!

Someplace in the mix, I stripped a band clamp, but "repaired it" by squeezing the housing for the screw. Fixed ok and back in place.

And finally, lacking goo for the trap covers, I made sure they were pushed down solidly, then gave 'em a few wraps at the upper edge with some Co-Ax Seal tape. I don't think water ingress will be an issue.

Long update, I know, but hopefully some of what I passed along will help somebody else.

The 4BTV has been GREAT so far. I'm in SE Florida, and so far SSB contacts all over the east and west coast of the USA, to Costa Rica, Columbia, Croatia and Italy, Cape Verde Isles, Madeira Isls, and Osaka Japan, all possible when running the AL-800 at about 400watts. My closest contact was in the daytime, about 60 miles away, but it was fairly poor. At 250 miles, daytime contacts are very good, allowing me to work stations in central FL.

Many thanks to all who helped me along the way!
WA4JM Rating: 5/5 Nov 2, 2016 12:05 Send this review to a friend
Still Performing Great!  Time owned: more than 12 months
It has been more than 7 years since my last comments about the 4BTV. I recently took it down, wiped all the green stuff growing on the antenna (I live in Florida) with a Mr. Clean wipe. Then I tightened any loose hose clamps, put it back up, swept it with the MFJ analyzer and found everything well within range <1.5:1 on all bands. NOTE: This antenna is ground mounted with 8 radials of various lengths. My plan is to lay more down this winter to get the number to at least 32.

So...I tested the antenna on 15 meters during the CQ DX Contest and managed to work 5 DX stations within 10 minutes. If I could hear them they could here me.

This is a very good antenna for those with or without limited space. Take your time and make sure you have radials attached BEFORE you worry about checking the SWR. You will be happy with the results.

Also, for some reason it is not as noisy as my dipole that runs parallel with power lines.

73, WA4JM
K7DXT Rating: 5/5 Sep 9, 2016 07:48 Send this review to a friend
Best Deal Going if Set up Correctly  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've always wanted to love verticals but have never been able to get one to really work well. They are cheap, easy to put up, and have a small foot print. They don't get the neighbors too excited, and can work a variety of bands…all in one small package.

But my real life experience has been mediocre at best…and that only on maybe 10 or 15. Forget it with 40 meters…until now. We moved onto a 50' wide lot about two years ago that had too many obstructions for me to use my typical set up of multiple inverted V antennas.

I had purchased a new 4BTV from DX Engineering a year or more prior but never set it up. About a year ago, I built a shed/ham shack in the back yard that had a metal roof. I decided to mount the 4BTV at the apex of the roof (about 15' up), and I ran between 2 and 4 cut to frequency radials for each band that come off and down at a slight angle from the base of the antenna. I suspect the roof itself is working as a nice ground plane in addition to the radials.

It was a pleasant surprise to hear great reports back on 40 meters. I also had an end fed wire antenna up and swapped back and forth. Everyone said the vertical was much better.

The only problem I'm having is that it doesn't seem to 'hear' as well as it talks. On the 'High Noon Net' on 40 each day, I can barely hear the net control, but they tell me I've got a great signal. On 10, 15, and 20, it really seems to do well too.

It doesn't seem to me that one vertical is all that much greater than another, and I don't think you need to spend $500 to get one to work. Verticals just seem to be compromised antennas from the get-go, but they can be made to work, and work well under the right conditions. AM broadcast stations have been using them for the last century.
WA4KNT Rating: 5/5 Nov 12, 2015 14:07 Send this review to a friend
A new 4BTV install  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After being held into inaction by weather and real life, I finally got my new 4BTV up in the air, using the DX Engineering tilt mount. Due to my space limitations, it is attached above ground to a vertical pipe and limited radials. I still have to tune the antenna, but after checking the antenna with my analyzer, found all bands marginally usable right out of the box!

This installation has the traps for, 10, 15, 17, 20, 30 and length for 40. The only real fly in this out of the box condition, is 40 meters is about 500KC long! The others are also a small amount long except 15m. It is just a small amont short. I hope to get the tuning done shortly, but I must say that my antenna's traps were very close to being on frequency. Thanks DX Engineering.

I may add more comments after the tuneup is finished. The quality and ease of building by one person went very well.

VE6ND Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2015 04:47 Send this review to a friend
Quality at it's best  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just installed another one, three radials per band, not perfect but it works.
I've had several of these since the 70's however the trap design is better than it was, as the old formed taper eventually cracked under fatigue.
I'm not getting why people are retuning the traps to an extent where you have to adjust all parameters.
Every one that I installed only required adjusting the length of the tube sections or the counter poise.
Either you have the traps upside down (which I've seen) or some other factor. Either way you are doing something wrong.
Only thing is, they should include penetrox faith the antenna.
Great antenna, with a proven design for almost 50 years, only Mosley and Newtronics can say that.

K9RE Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2014 16:39 Send this review to a friend
A Best Buy!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just installed a new 4BTV and couldn't be happier with the performance! This is my second one. I finished the installation in the middle of the November phone SS and had a blast working stations from coast to coast; FL to BC, Maritimes to SD and everywhere in between on 40-10m. Most stations came back to me on the first try. I could hardly believe how well it worked!

My new 4BTV is ground mounted and I decided to get serious about radials this time after reading articles by Rudy Severns and Jerry Sevick. I got the DX Engineering radial plate and some of their accessories to make the job easier. You can install the antenna without one, but the plate makes for a neat and efficient installation that's easy to work on. I also got the S/S hardware package, U-bolt, Never-Seez, and Penetrox to protect everything. Mounting the plate about an inch above ground keeps it out of the dirt and makes attaching wires a breeze.

Currently I am using 24 radials of various lengths. I have eight 10 footers and sixteen 20 footers. I will be adding another eight 15 footers. Why the odd lengths? Partly to accommodate the limitations of my QTH and partly to help ensure the system works efficiently on all bands.

I used the manufacturer's instructions for the dimensions, but I followed the recommendations in the DX Engineering manual in other respects. The manual is really well written and I highly recommend getting a copy. My installation has a low VSWR at resonance on all bands but it approaches 2.5:1 at the upper band edge on 40. The other bands are pretty flat right across. So far I have not changed any of the settings as the antenna works well enough as is. When warmer weather comes I may do some tweaking.

My first 4BTV lasted for many years, but I never got good performance out of it because I wasn't aware of how important it is to install a radial system. Stations came in strong and I would call them back, but they never heard me. Putting in a good radial system makes all the difference!

I like the construction of the Hustler 4BTV. It's rugged and comes with S/S hardware. I prefer it to the Hy-Gain 14AVQ, which I have also owned, for two reasons. It's a little taller, which to me indicates it will be slightly more efficient, and the trap covers are made of better material. I had a problem with the Hy-Gain trap covers splitting. The Hustler traps are much better in this regard.

This antenna is an "oldie but goodie"-- it's a good value and a great performer if you install it with an effective ground system.
N4SJW Rating: 4/5 Oct 31, 2014 06:32 Send this review to a friend
Good antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had our club's 4BTV up in my back yard for several weeks and compared to my 170 ft horizontal loop, it did quite well and at times did better. I had it tied to a fence post and my radials were abt 100 ft of chicken wire attached to the split rail fence. Worked abt 20 countries and noise level was interestingly lower than the horiz loop.

My only concern is the spider assembly and "tubes". They are quite flimsy and I knocked off 2 of them in normal setting up and lifting the antenna. They are held by a 6-32 screw with very little surface area. When I took the antenna down after about 6 weeks in dry climate (Denver metro area), one of the screws was already starting to show some corrosion. I will likely buy a 6BTV in the near future to avoid the spider assembly issues. The 4BTV is good antenna and value. I have no hesitancy in recommending it.
W2LTD Rating: 5/5 Oct 3, 2014 11:49 Send this review to a friend
Great value  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have this antenna ground mounted near the house(there was an existing pipe which once held a dish...saved me some effort) With about 20 ground radials. I've hit Belize, Canary Islands, Brazil, Cuba, Spain, and several western states on 10 meter SSB with no problems. Fairly easy install IF YOU FOLLOW DX ENGINEERING INSTRUCTIONS. This antenna was recommended by a friend and it sure was a good choice.
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