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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | Hy-Gain AV-18HT Hy-Tower Help

Reviews Summary for Hy-Gain AV-18HT Hy-Tower
Hy-Gain AV-18HT Hy-Tower Reviews: 37 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $999.95
Description: 53-foot vertical antenna - been reintroduced
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Hy-Gain AV-18HT Hy-Tower.

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W7MBR Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2018 08:25 Send this review to a friend
The only antenna I will ever need  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased the Hy-Gain Hy-Tower two years ago second hand including the 160 meter loading coil. Radials were placed every 3 degrees and connected to the DX Engineering radial mounting plate, a must. I used over 6000 feet of number 12 stranded copper wire including two 150 foot copper water lines and 6 eight foot copper clad ground rods. About 80 feet of hard line feeds the antenna RF from the shack. I installed the cement base exactly as described in the instruction manual. Lots and lots of construction time, but boy was it worth it! In my 58 years as a Ham Radio Operator the Hy-Tower performs as well if not better than any of the multitude of antennas I have put up. Most of the time it equals or exceeds the beam's performance especially on DX contacts. 80 and 40 meters have never been better either. Remove one bolt and two men can easily lower the antenna if it's ever necessary. Wind and weather are never a worry either. It also exhibits more bandwidth than any vertical I have ever used. I simply cannot say enough good about the Hy-Gain AV-18HT Hy-Tower. It is superb! You can check out my installation on QRZ.COM. Thank you for reading my review. W7MBR
N9MB Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2017 12:38 Send this review to a friend
Super Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Many years ago I was an at&t cable repairman. While on a repair call I spotted an old Hy-Tower sitting in the side yard of the home I was working at. Out of curiosity I asked the lady living there about it and was told that it was her husbands, an SK, and said if I were interested in it to just take it for free because she just wanted it to be gone. I couldn't pass on the offer but told her that if she wouldn't take some compensation I couldn't take the antenna, we settled on $100.The base section was completely buried, overgrown and unrecoverable so my boys and I cut the mounts off of the base with a SawZall and dis-assembled the rest of the antenna. I poured the concrete base with 3/4 galvanized bolts, made a mounting plate from 3/16" steel and purchased some insulators to mount it on.

I would guess that the antenna was made around 1960 due to it's condition. My old friend D L Hinkle, AJ5Q (SK) used one of these for DX'ing back around 1977 so I knew that the antenna had potential!

I have been using this Hy-Tower for the last 25 years and have honestly worked the entire world with it. I even mounted a tri-band 144-220-440 vertical and a 220 mHz 4 element beam on the tower section with no degradation in performance!
KI7M Rating: 4/5 Apr 18, 2017 22:20 Send this review to a friend
Good to very good  Time owned: more than 12 months
This Hy-Gain Hy-tower has been around at least since the 1950's. Look back in old QST's and CQ's, you'll find it advertised.

The antenna will perform wonders if you do a reasonable job of installing it. The instructions have been updated, so has the design of the base witch is much better in my opinion. I've had at least three of them and I just bought and am putting up my new one now. It now cost around $940 at the lowest I've seen it. Shipping is extra of course. Never had any luck phasing a pair of them but them I get phased with phasing as LB Cebik said. (miss his great write ups). My failing there of course.

The hy-tower will please most people especially if they want just one 'not so conspiculous' antenna. Yes, a 54' antenna can be less noticeable than say a beam on a tower or many other if it is in the back yard behind a tree or house, etc. They can cover most portions of 40/20/15 meters. 10 meters being so broad no single antenna will do that whole band without a tuner. 80/75 meters is like 10 needing to use a tuner, it's just too broad. But of course a lot of people on 80 concentrate on portions like CW or the DX regions, the upper area with nets or AM'er, local rag chewers or such where you can certainly get by without the tuner.

The hy-tower is especially good for DX (long distance stuff) on 80 and 40 meters and can surprise you with how consistent you can break a large pileup. I've done it more times than I remember and always come away with 'this is a heck of a DX antenna'! Or how did I bust thru that?...

One thing that always bugged me is the instructions telling the builder to use multiple 8' ground rods only a short distance from the vertical. Ground rods need to be separated twice their length (8' rods should be 16' apart for proper lightning strike protection). Read the Polyphaser and ARRL Lightning protection write-ups, all ham should if you put up an antenna. And flat, wide copper strap has less inductance than large ground wires like 4/0. The hy-tower is tall enough you should be knowledgeable about Lightning.

I've heard some people complain a vertical works for DX but not so much for 'local' communications between states, etc. I never found that true for the most part, the hy-tower was good for both local and distance. You also hear people say verticals are noisy compared to dipoles or other horizontal antennas. True and false from my experience. I've been impressed by my hy-tower being about as quiet as my dipoles while my slopers seemed to be noisier than the hy-tower.
I should qualify my statements by saying my use of my hy-towers has usually been on 40 and 80 meters since I usually had beam and/or quads on the higher bands.

A hy-tower requires radials, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Any vertical should have radials. Maybe a 1/2 wavelength vertical will work without them but you can bet it would work better with them. A hy-tower can be surprising with how short the radials are you can get by with and how few. The last few years there have been articles showing use of few radials short like 1/8th wavelength to several half waves. Basically I think the more radials the better. And I believe in 1/4 wavelength radials but for something like 80 or even 160 meters you can't always get enough space. Put out what you can and see the contacts come in. And maybe build in more radials as time goes by.

Finally, of all the verticals I've seen or heard of, the hy-tower has got to be the best all around vertical on the market. I have heard that statement for perhaps my whole 40+ years as a ham and I still believe it. The Hy-Tower is just that good.

One qualification why I put 4 as my rating. Hy-Gain used to be one of the most solid companies building antennas but now that MFJ has them, plan on doing a little minor off the shelf engineering. They haven't ruined the hy-tower but some of the parts may be missing or just plain wrong. And don't expect Hy-Gain to answer back or even publish and email address to contact them and complain. But then I'm a guy who never exactly put anything together without trying to improve on it. For the most part, I didn't have to do that with this antenna other than playing with the SWR plots to fit my needs. That's antennas and DX chasing, right?

(God, is this the last radial I have to put in?...check out my review of the DX Engineering radial plate for an explanation)

KB5RU Rating: 5/5 Oct 16, 2015 01:59 Send this review to a friend
Excelent  Time owned: more than 12 months
I installed my Hy-tower in 1984. I designed a full size element for 160 meters and added it so mine works from 160 to 10 without coils or traps. I live on our farm so space is not an problem. Over time I have installed many types of antennas and the Hy-Tower has different advantages over them. The antenna is virtually maintenance free compared to the rhombic, bi square, sterba curtain and long wire antennas. The Hy-Tower will out perform the inverted V, windom, and dipole if you have a good ground. It will out perform a full wave loop at distances of 200 miles or more. My ground system consists of 8 random length solid copper uninsulated number 8 wires buried 4 inches below ground level and terminated with a 6 ft ground rod driven below ground level. This Hy-Tower is my primary antenna and is used every day. Not bad for a 32 year old antenna that has been in continuous service at the same location.
KB5RU Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2015 07:07 Send this review to a friend
Best Vertical  Time owned: more than 12 months
I put up two in 1980 and had them phased broad side and end fired for forty meters. The worked great! The ground system was made of six radials on each antenna of number 8 solid copper ground wires buried four inches deep and terminated with a eight foot ground rod driven below ground level. In 1986 a tornado twisted one of them down. I put it in the barn and connected it's ground system to the other Hy-tower. The remaining Hy-tower is my main antenna and is used every day. The feed point Z is 35 ohms at resonance on every band, It is the standard by which all new antennas are measured at my location and is seldom weaker. It out performs inverted Vs, dipoles, other verticals and various beam antennas.

I added a 160 meter element to mine that is not ether of the ones produced by Hy-gain and it works great.

If you want a antenna that will last you a lifetime this is it.
K7BUC Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2014 03:25 Send this review to a friend
Solid Performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
My HyTower is installed on a desert plateau 200' from the hamshack, 25 ft above the shack, and fed with Andrew LDF 5-50 hardline. There are 90 radials attached to a DX Engineering stainless steel radial plate which fits under the HyTower perfectly. It is a quiet antenna once you get past about 45 radials. It must have a secure concrete base as described in the easy to follow instructions.
The HyTower is most effective on 80 and 40 meters, but is a very reasonable performer on 20, 17, 15 and 10.
I have owned other verticals (Butternut HF6V etc) and the HyGain HyTower AV-18HT is far better on both transmit and receive.
Overall this is a very effective antenna.
K7BIT Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2013 20:37 Send this review to a friend
Great tenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ok so its not so simple to setup, you have to build some solid foundation for it and remember to keep the concrete higher than your dirt line so water and mud do not short out your antenna during the winter, and build several spark gaps to keep lighting problems under control, use a pair of baluns one open to coax on base of tower, then one isolator at station, you need at least 32 100' ground wires, I ran 120 x 100' fence charging wire works great even after 5 years, use 10 10' 3/4" copper ground rods around the base, build a 1 1/8' 4'x4' box and drill in holes to run 5/8" rebar which you will wire then weld together with your three HG mounting poles. Dig 5x5x5' hole square the sides, drop frame box in hole, level box, make sure the base (triangle) is perfectly level, anchor then pour concrete, wash off crud, then let cure 1 week. Now assemble the tower, paint sections alternating red and white, put small 12v red strobe at 25 ft level, attach your 160 (40M trap and wire), get a friend to help walk the tower up, stand up 160 pole (tv Mast) with pully tighten and put spring on to hold tension in wind. Wire up base to tower balun, then us buryflex or Tm 400 to shack and 2nd balun. Wire to Alpha Delta lighting arrester with proper ground. (5 10' outs just outside shack), connect to tuner, fire up radio and get prepared to talk to the world.

Cost wise $1000 for antenna, baluns $400, Concrete short load $250, frame box $350, 160 mast and pully $100, ground rods $140, 12000' radial wire and u stakes, $500. Some locations like Prossor WA require $2000 for engineering fee, and permit for $500 in addition to this. Check your local zoning and county requirements they love to hose ham people. I am lucky I live in nowhere so its not a problem.

Because these things are natural lighting rods, wire up a shorting block for safety when your not on the air.

Great antenna if you can afford it. really performs in all bands including 160M if you do a good job installing and build 120 radials. Makes large difference. BTW its a folded antenna the center wire doubles the length. buy it with all the stubs and the 160 M 40 M trap kit it works the best.

Clear signals and Clear Skies K7BIT, BTW N7QNM and I both have pictures on FB in the albums we have lots of pictures of the process and towers.
KJ4KBC Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2013 11:20 Send this review to a friend
Very good Vertical  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased the Hy-tower about three months ago and just got around to putting it up last month. I've finally gotten around one thousand feet of radials laid out and have also attached the HY-Tower by radial to a water line that runs some distance and terminates in a deep well. I don't think I'll ad anymore radials as the first DX Contact made with this antenna was Brisbane Australia sun up on 40 meters with just 100 watts!Several stations were calling but he came back to me first time! All the work was worth it! On 80 meters it works good out to 500 miles and really good beyond that. I live in the country and in an area without much man made noise. Even though the Antenna is quiet it's sensitive to H-F signals. I have the trap dipole option for 160 meters but haven't put it up yet. I hope to get to it soon and I'll comment on it. I haven't used it on 20 or 10 meters yet but it I have listened on both and the reception seems real good also. I don't have the stub for 17 meters but the SWR on this band maxes at 2.6 and my auto tuner brings it to 1.1 easily. Probably won't purchase the stub. As stated earlier, This antenna is a lot of work to erect. Digging the hole, setting the base in concrete(3200 lbs.!!) and paying attention to the instructions! I only had to redo assembled items about 10 times and correct assembly errors because of spot reading the instructions. The instructions are good and everything fit with no shortage of parts once I started reading everything fully. Mine is set to the SBS band portions and the SWR is low! If it wasn't for the warc bands I could sell my tuner! I do have good ground though on rich farmland. So, I guess that's it in a nutshell. High quality, good instructions. And so far a great Vertical. I've sold the AV-640 and the Gap Titan! 73's
NJ5G Rating: 4/5 Feb 22, 2013 06:10 Send this review to a friend
17M stub, parts supplied vs instructions  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased and installed the 17M stub kit for my Hy-Tower. It came with everything required or needed for assembly and installation. One short coming is that the instructions/parts list don't match the supplied parts.

A small stainless steel bolt and square nut are supplied which the instructions say to put through a hole that does not exist. A hose clamp is provided to do what the hole and bolt used to do once upon a time. A phone call to Hy-Gain tech support determined the problem. The instructions are obsolete, sort of in between the old and new assembly process. No harm, no foul, the superfluous "gift" hardware is cheerfully accepted.

The Hy-Tower works on 17M now. The tuning of the stub is easy but relatively sensitive, i.e. small changes in length make substantial changes in resonance. A tall ladder (12 ft)makes it easy to adjust the stub without repetitively tilting the antenna over and raising back up.

My Hy-Tower is not ground mounted. It is on top of a gable roof (2.5:12 pitch)of an all metal barn. It has no radials and depends on the barn as a counterpoise. I guyed it at the top of the tower section (24 ft point) so as to not stress my home brew mount and to bolster wind survival as I am in the heart of tornado alley in Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain. (I didn't use a cubic yard of concrete in the base.)

I added a DIY RF choke between the base of the tower (electrically active portion) and the grounded roof in order to drain off static charge. It made no change to the tuning of any band.

It should be noted that this antenna covers 12M just fine with no added stub. I have and soon will install the 160M kit, after which this "5" band antenna will cover 8 bands; 160, 80, 40, 20, 17, 15, 12, and 10 meters.

N0AZZ Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2013 03:38 Send this review to a friend
Without a Doubt The Best Vertical Made  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had mine up for over 4 1/2 yrs and it was installed as the instructions called for exactly! I have had all kinds of multi-band verticals and none of them even come close the the AV-18HT NOWHERE!

I have yagis on all bands UHF-40m (3 elements on 40m) mounted at least 60' on 40m 80% of the time on DX the HyTower will do as well as the yagi. I have 3 antennas that I can use on 80m but it is the very best of all DX NA I use a dipole as well for 160m plus an Inverted L.

I do have a good radial field as I live in the country on a farm so space isn't as problem. If your looking for a vertical and want the best this is it.

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