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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | Hy-Gain DX-88 Trap Vertical Help

Reviews Summary for Hy-Gain DX-88 Trap Vertical
Hy-Gain DX-88 Trap Vertical Reviews: 15 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $369.95
Description: Trap Vertical, Ground Tunable
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Hy-Gain DX-88 Trap Vertical.

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SM6TKG Rating: 4/5 Apr 18, 2019 09:37 Send this review to a friend
Good Performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this antenna now for more than a year.
It is a very nice performer.
Worked 160 countries during a year including most of the large expeditions. Over 100 countries were worked with 100w remaining with 1KW. Remember the low sunspot numbers now, purely CW...

Mine is ground mounted with about 36 radials on/in ground, 4m to 15m of random length.

The antenna performs really well and with the amplifier I usually gets right through the pile up, escpescially in 40m.

Initially it was installed on a very ppor place with both metallic fences, a shed and bushes really close but still performed good.

The drawbacks are
- You really need an antenna analyzer to adjust it. The numbers given in the manual is not relevant. Start to get it decent on 80-30m, and the the others
- It is not mechanically very stable, top heavy and the traps needs to be tighten after some use. You even need to dismantle the traps to tighten the screws.
- Max power of 200W on 30M, I have problems even on that level and run it only on 100W on 30m
- It is not possible to have it perfect on SWR on both 80 and 40m CW. I have optimized for 80M CW and let the tuner handle the somewhat hight SWR on 40M

For beeing a small compromize antenna it is really great performer. I even consider keeping it now when my new house allows me to replace it with a tower and large yagi. But be prepared for some adjusting now and then..

We have three DX-88's in the familly and they all share the same performance and issues
WB0FTY Rating: 3/5 Mar 16, 2016 13:59 Send this review to a friend
Decent Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The reason for the 3 is it took 3 weeks and a day to get warranty parts from Hy-Gain which to me is unacceptable.

We finally got around to installing it and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to tune. 80 m like on most verticals are extremely narrow at 50 kc. On 40 m it is pretty much the CW or the SSB protion of the band but still tuned up 1/6 or less across either portions. The rest of the bands are all below 1.6 to across the whole band. All in all it seems to do slightly better with the contacts I have made so far compared to the Hustler 5BTV.

I just could not rate it higher than 3 because of their shipping or lack of shipping on the parts. I had the antenna 97% put together or it would have went back in a heart beat. Just not a way to do business in my eye's because I am done with Hy-Gain.
KE7SA Rating: 3/5 Jul 25, 2012 22:07 Send this review to a friend
Update  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Here's an update of my initial review. 3 weeks later MFJ responded to my ticket. They offered to send a new tube section. They sent it 2 day priority. I had to wait nearly a week before I could check it out. The tube was identical which means either one or both of the trap assemblies on either side was about 1/4 to 1/2-inch total too long. Their solution was to cut the tube(s) on the trap side to make it fit and the holes align. To me this is like buying a new car, the doors don't close and the manufacturer wants you to grind the door frame. But, this is an antenna, and it's quicker to take the tube off, spin it 90 degrees, custom drill the top holes to match, reapply the penatrox, reassemble and lightly re-tune the antenna. I just find it very difficult that anybody selling a product would ask a customer to modify it right out of the box. Are all the DX-88s like this? As for performance, the 62 radials are snugging into the grass and sod real well. However, measured performance is still about the same. Just okay, meets electrical specs, can hear and work dx, nothing spectacular. I still think it's all about location.
HB9PL Rating: 4/5 May 21, 2012 10:11 Send this review to a friend
Performs fairly well  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've purchased my DX-88 some years as there was no alternative for the installation of a directional antenna. Mounted on a corrugated tin-plated steel roof it is very good performer on 40 and 30 meters. Average on 80, 20, 17 and 15. Usable on 12 and 10 meters, but then what can you expect from a multiband vertical?

The narrow bandwidth on 80 meters is a disadvantage, but the problem was successfully eliminated with a remote-controlled variable capacitor connected parallel to the 80 m coil which is next to the base (See my article on page 36 of QST, February 2006) With this modification, I can easily tune the antenna over the entire 80 m band for lowest SWR.
KA2X Rating: 4/5 Jan 14, 2011 18:35 Send this review to a friend
Re-furbing my 20+ year old DX-88  Time owned: more than 12 months
After experiencing SWR jumps that required more & more frequent re-tuning of my DX-88, I took it completely apart for an inspection & a good cleaning. I found the main cause of the problem to be a badly corroded connection in the base assembly. This was caused by a missing screwhead which was broken off the screw that connects the base tubing to the coax terminal. I re-built the base using parts available from Hy-Gain.
Then, to complete the re-furb,:
- I replaced any of the stainless hardware & clamps that were stained.
- I scrubbed all the mating aluminum surfaces down to bare metal using red Scotch-Brite pads(available in the paint section of your Hardware Store).
- I coated all mating aluminum & stainless surfaces with aluminum oxide inhibitor - like NOALOX OR PENTROX (available in the electrical section of your Hardware Store).
Total cost was around $100 & about a week's labor plus another week waiting for parts.
KB6HRT Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2009 11:48 Send this review to a friend
Very GOOD antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Over all this is a very good antenna, the DX88 works very well on all bands tested, It replaced an R-8 antenna that worked well on 6-40M I now have 80M with the DX88 and can add 160M down the road, The DX88 compares very well with 2 dipoles I have on the property, this antenna was easy to tune, I was going to put up another antenna I had already installed around 80 radials in the yard, radials help any vertical a lot as I found out with the R-8 which I have been using for about 4 years. The R-8 does not require radials, but I moved it to the center of the radial field a week before I installed the DX88 for comparison to see how it would perform, it sure woke up the R-8, then when I installed the DX88 it performed as well as the R-8 on most of the higher bands but on 40M it surpassed the R-8 on 40M and I now have a good 80M option for 80M at night time that is right up there with my 2 dipoles. I am very happy with the DX88. I have had a R-6000 a MFJ P 6-20 vertical another R6000 an a Screwdriver antenna on the roof and a R-8 ground mounted with out and with radials and now the DX88. The radials made a bigger difference than the type of antennas used but the DX88 when to gather easy an tune easy............KB6HRT
AB7R Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2006 10:38 Send this review to a friend
Strong antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had this antenna for a few years and worked great with a good radial system.
Found it to be very stout and strong. But replaced it with a BigIR vertical.

Fred...cannot find an email address for you. Contact me at I have a new condition base section for the DX-88 (pre MFJ). You may be able to use it to fix yours.

KA1YUW Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2003 23:06 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this antenna for many years now. It does what Hy-Gain advertises. I have worked a lot of dx on all bands. I have 50 radials, 14 feet long. Someday I plan to get the 160 meter addon.
VK2CZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2002 21:38 Send this review to a friend
Good starter  Time owned: more than 12 months
It is a good all-rounder, but lacked that 'spark' performance I was wanting. Two things I did to it which may not be everyones cup of tea:
1. I removed the 10m trap and replaced it with a 700mm tube section. 10m performance is abysmal in all verticals, plus I have a 16m yagi on 10m. Interestingly, the only other band tuning affected by this mod was 30m, and the antenna sleeving on the 30m adjustments just makes it.
2. Mounted the feed point about 3m above ground, and had all the radial catenary down to the ground. It's a bush block and plenty of space.

This made the antenna physically longer which noticably improved its TX perforamnce on all bands. The higher feedpoint improved DX signals noticably. The only other note was about the weak base tubing. I used the old capacitor clamp off the 10m section to bolt the 40/80m capacitors to the main support boom in TWO places. Much more rigid and no guy's.

A tiny design flaw too. In VK we can run 400w on 30m (unlike 200w in the USA), so those itty-bitty coax capacitors do heat up.

If I work you on 80~12m this is it. David Burger VK2CZ, Sydney
VK8NAT Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2002 04:11 Send this review to a friend
Great value... and performance!  Time owned: more than 12 months
As others have said it is hard to give a vertical a 5.... BUT! The DX88 was a piece of cake to put together; easy to errect; a snap to connect and worked without any problems! This is the second DX88 I've owned.... the first one was used for about 6 years without any issues and excellent performance, and then like an idiot I sold it to "upgrade"..... disheartened by poor performance I lost the ham bug.... then bought a Yaesu FT817.... and a secondhand DX88.... and bang! My first contact was with a NZ on 21MHz at 5 watts..... I haven't looked back since and have been enjoying the ability to contact almost anyone I transmit to!! Isn't that the job of an antenna??? The the Hygain does the job VERY well!

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