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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Directional (Yagi, quad, etc.) | Cushcraft A50-5S 6 Meter Beam Help

Reviews Summary for Cushcraft A50-5S 6 Meter Beam
Cushcraft A50-5S 6 Meter Beam Reviews: 24 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $169
Description: 5 element 6 meter beam 50-54 MHz, 10.5dBi gain, 24 dB F/B, 1000 watt rating, 12 foot boom, 11 lb, 2.9 sg ft wind surface area
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Cushcraft A50-5S 6 Meter Beam.

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N3IBX Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2014 21:15 Send this review to a friend
Good DX Getter  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hello, I am writing this to describe my experiences with the five element Cushcraft yagi after having the three element version up for a year. Firstly, the 5 element beam is more directional then the 3 element antenna so you'll be on your rotator more than the somewhat broad 3 element antenna. It more than makes up for this by getting more power into the airwaves. I haven't worked any Europeans from my FN20nh location yet, but am hoping to one day during a good E opening. I've noticed that some DX that used to take a lot more time to work in the pileups now only takes one or two calls for them to come back to me. Ground wave "line of sight" seems to be a little over 100 miles where on the 3 element it was approaching 100 miles. This of course depends on conditions, but I can reliably work around 100 miles every day.
Overall, for the money ($189.95) as of this writing, it is a good value. I would recommend this antenna tas a move up from a smaller antenna or as a excellent starter antenna for 6M work.
Did I mention that it can be turned with a small TV type rotor obtainable for $100 or less?
Hope to work you on six meters!
W1FV Rating: 2/5 Jun 18, 2012 12:24 Send this review to a friend
Quality has gone downhill  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a tale of two A50-5S beams.

One was purchased over ten years ago. That one has been mechanically solid but, as noted elsewhere, Cushcraft's element dimensions are pretty far off the mark for the low end of the band (50.0 to 50.5 MHz). Gain and especially F/B can be improved by modifying the parasitic element dimensions.

I bought a second A50-5S a year ago to stack with the first. The new one is one step above junk mechanically. The quality of the boom-to-element brackets is poor. Not one element lines up perpendicular to the boom when you tighten down the brackets. The elements are all skewed and it is impossible to get them parallel in one plane. It's quite obvious visually when it's up in the air. Sorry to say Cushcraft quality has really gone downhill.
W3HKK Rating: 4/5 Jul 14, 2011 20:41 Send this review to a friend
Good job at 5-15 ft!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my 2nd review of the same antenna, but now I have 1 yrs experience with it. No repairs/damage to date. Just added a rotator so no more Armstrong!

In one year on 6m cw and ssb running 100w with this antenna between 5 and 15 ft high ( just raised it to 15 ft yesterday!) Ive found the antenna to perform very well stateside and with DX. SWR runs around 1.5:1 on the cw-ssb parts of the band. And it easily works CA, OR, NV, WA, BC, ID, MT, ND, SD, AZ, NM, as well as the closer in stuff in TX, FL and New England plus the Canadian Maritimes. Have worked C6, KP4, HH, HP, HK, 9Y4, and LU (via TE skip) Have worked EA8, CT1, EA, F, ON5, IS0, 9H1,EA6. Not bad for hts of 5, 10 and 15 ft above the ground plus having to beam thru the house's roof to work anything west of me.

You dont need a tower to work 6M and have fun. that said, 15 ft is better than 10 ft and 10 ft was better than 5 ft. But they all work all over the US and enough DX to keep you interested.

6M is the "Undiscovered Band".
W9RAS Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2010 19:12 Send this review to a friend
Good Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my A50-5S back in 1986 and it is a good performing antenna and ruggedly built...In 2001 we were hit by an F3 tornado this took out 18 of 23 LARGE trees in and around our lot some over 3 ft. thick ,my tower all antennas ,our lawn shed, parts of the roof of the house and put me in the hospital for two days ...After getting home I picked up the parts of the A50-5S in the yard straightened them out ,replaced one broken element and put it back on the air it worked fine ...Recently this fall the SWR was really getting high and I was putting up a new tower so I decided to re-work the old 5 element cushcraft... I came across the W5WVO modification lengthening the boom by 6 feet ...SO I did that and also made a new gamma match ...The new gamma match and a better coax connector on the beam cured the high SWR problems the old aluminum coax connector was corroded ...The W5WVO Mod works GREAT ! I right away noticed the beam width was tighter I was now sometimes able to turn the antenna and null out some nasty line noise that we get occasionally and signal reports from stations who I had worked before said my signal was definitely stronger than the stock beam was when it was working properly ...I highly recommend the 5 element cushcraft antenna AND the W5WVO mod ...Watch the SWR if it goes up after several years it may be time to replace the gamma match tubing and the trouble some aluminum coax connector ...I used some teflon shrink tube I had for the gamma match 3 layers it works great but I only had one small piece and I have no idea where to buy it ( Ebay ? Maybe ? ) other types of tube should work or order a new plastic gamma match tube from MFJ for it ... just my 2 cents worth ...HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL ! BOB W9RAS
K3ROJ Rating: 5/5 Sep 5, 2010 13:20 Send this review to a friend
My only 6 meter beam  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this antenna in a hurry from HRO in New Castle, Delaware for our local club to use on Field Day a few years ago. It worked very well and no doubt it is directional with gain. I now use it at home using a miltary portable crankup mast used at one time for lighting purposes. I crank it up about 20 feet and listen for beacons and leave it pointed south usually. Just a few weeks ago I worked many stations in the Caribean and the Lesser Antilles, then worked many in the USA. It is a hot antenna for being 12 feet and well worth the investment. The trick to making many contacts on 6 meter DX is to use CW since some stations come and go so quickly making it impossible to use voice.
KC2HZW Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2009 05:28 Send this review to a friend
Solid Performer  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Reading through some of the other reviews it seems to me that people miss the point. The A505-S is not an M2 antenna. No one said it was. To review the antenna, I think we should look at the manufacturers specs and see if the antenna performs as Cushcraft claims. In my experience, it does. The basic antenna is a decent design and works as it was designed. Carefully assembled, the SWR was perfect and the band width as specified. For me, it is an improvement over the 3 element home brew I was using before. It is more selective and hears ground wave quite well.

Can it be improved? Sure. As others have pointed out the gamma match is a weak spot. The beauty of amateur radio is that you can experiment. Modify the gamma match or make a T match. KI6LO took the time to model the antenna and changing the element length and spacing on the existing boom got a much more desirable antenna for DX. He was kind enough to share the results with me and it is a different antenna.

Want to use the elements and lengthen the boom? Try this article and make a 23 foot boomer out of it.
I plan to do that over the winter for the 2010 Es season. Then I will see how it compares to the long boom M2. (Which has some problems of its own in the rain.) Make contacts and have fun!
WY3X Rating: 4/5 Jul 17, 2008 07:53 Send this review to a friend
Working great since 1995  Time owned: more than 12 months
I guess I have an "older" model, the A50-5 (no "S"). It weighs a lot considering the band it's cut for! (Maybe dirt daubers have built nests in the ends of the elements?) Almost double the weight of an M2 6M5 I have (that won't tune above 49MHz for squat). It would be a 5 were it not for the coax connector setup being flimsy, but otherwise, it's a great antenna! My score in the 2008 ARRL June VHF contest will attest to it- over 80,000 points (quite good for being in a virtual black hole of VHF operations)! -KR4WM
WB3ILM Rating: 5/5 Jul 17, 2008 07:12 Send this review to a friend
Best there is  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had an A50-5 for more than 20 yrs. Has worked for me and as for junk , no way put up and only had it down 4 times to clean and adjust. #1 for me!
KA1JY Rating: 1/5 Jul 17, 2008 04:13 Send this review to a friend
fly weight junk  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It is hard to believe how low the expectations are of the people giving this antenna a good review. Personally I have never seen any cushcraft antenna worthy of a 2/5. The products they manufacture are junk. Somewhere along the same quality as radio-shack.
Typical CC antenna. Fly weight hardware. 6-32 bolts and wimpy connection points. This won't last long and is strictly a toy. Worth every bit of 1/2 of what they charge. If you need an ulta-light weight toy 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 EVERY cushcraft product. 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 a joke. 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. Oh and the ground 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 disposable toy 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 real antenna for 6.
W0RMS Rating: 5/5 Aug 1, 2007 21:21 Send this review to a friend
Nice Beam  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Very nice beam for the money...I work most all stations I hear with the A50 at 30 feet and running 100 watts. Been a ham for 40 plus years and just got around to trying 6 really having a ball!!!!
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