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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Wilson SY-1 Help

Reviews Summary for Wilson SY-1
Wilson SY-1 Reviews: 10 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: 5 element trapped triband beam (10-15-20M), 26' boom, 27' longest element, 4 elements on each band)
Product is in production.
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WB5HAK Rating: 5/5 May 5, 2019 17:48 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Antenna!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had my Wilson SY-1 up from new in 1979 until the mid 1990's with NO issues at all. I have put up monobanders since I moved in 2001, but still have the Wilson and am preparing it to give to a friend to get him on the air. You can still get parts, even trap kits from to repair the old Wilsons. This beam was a full 4 elements on 10-15-20, unlike the later SY-36 that was only 3 active elements on 20M. If you can find one, buy it, fix it up and you will have a nice, easy to rotate and maintain beam!!
VE7ABC Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2018 18:25 Send this review to a friend
Excellant  Time owned: more than 12 months
I never owned a SY-1, but I did own it's bigger brother the SY-36. It served me extremely well from 1979 to 2015. Other than bringing down once for a move(I replaced all screws and nuts at the time with SS parts), the antenna never once let me down. Working with only 100 watts and only at 50 feet, I worked a ton of DX, and contests. Like others have said, built like a tank and other than the bottom end of 20 CW, never had the need for an antenna tuner. It's now I believe in 9Y land, as my new QTH isn't friendly to towers and beams. Sure miss the old girl.
KR1U Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2018 16:09 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my System 1 in late August, 1979 and installed it atop a Rohn 25G 68' foldover tower in Sept. 1979. It is now July 2018 and she is still going strong 39+ years later. Here in New England, it has seen more than its share of hurricanes, heavy winds, tropical storms, heavy ice loading and all mother nature has thrown at it and has stayed up and intact..never been down for any maintenance at all.. SWR is still as flat as day 1 and I can still hear and work
stations other locals can't with their large yagi's. Busting huge pileups with the first call or two is great fun with this outstanding antenna.
I know I am on borrowed time and really should consider a new antenna before winter sets in as corrosion must be a factor by now. I wish I could get parts for this beauty but those days are unfortunately over. I could not say enough about this has exceeded all my expectations for nearly 4 decades. Well done Wilson !!!!!
VE4LS Rating: 5/5 Nov 9, 2016 14:03 Send this review to a friend
Built Like A Main Battle Tank!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my Wilson System 1 used about 1990 when I lived in the city and it was my first Yagi. I had no idea of how old it was before it came my way.

At that time, I paid $250 for it and replaced a lot of the corroded galvanized hardware with more galvanized hardware and used "Penetrox" conductivity enhancer and anti-seize compound at each aluminum to aluminum point of contact.

The performance was very impressive and getting my first 5x9+ report on a first call to a station in Poland was a real validation of my decision to put up a 50 ft Delhi tower and Ham IV rotor.

For 4 years, the antenna performed just great and I was finally able to move to a semi-rural location, reinstall the System One and replace a few more rusted galvanized fittings.

The antenna was in the air from the spring of 1994 to June 2016 when it was taken down for a rotor repair of the calibration potentiometer (Norm's Rotor Repair did a great total overhaul service job.)

Through the summer, I was able to replace almost all hardware with stainless steel, and apply "Penetrox" to all fittings once again.

The big breakthrough came when I learned that spare parts for the SYS-1 were available through and their companion site

They have new trap kits, rubber end caps for the traps, mast to boom fittings, tubing end caps, aluminum tubing, stainless nuts, bolts, and washers .... you name it. By the time I was done with the rebuild, the antenna looked new. Thread locking compound was used everywhere this time around.

Unfortunately, I still had to use some galvanized hardware items such as large U Bolts that were just not available to me locally in stainless steel.

The topic of a balun was one I debated for some time and elected to go with a simple aircore balun of 7 turns wound on the inside of some white PVC pipe about 5 or 6 inches diameter with pvc end caps. Winding on the inside worked great for holding shape.

Now we get to the meat of the matter ..... "How does it play?"

Well, I went with the recommended factory element spacing and length measurements selected for 14.200 Mhz. I had no way to check the resonant freq while the monster was on the ground, so there was a considerable "cross my fingers, toes, and buttock cheeks for good luck," and hope that it would be OK when it went up on the tower.

When I checked, it has an almost flat SWR dip at 14.211 Mhz ...... sure can't moan about an 11 KHz difference.

I continue to be very impressed with the performance, how rugged this antenna is, and the ability to null out unwanted stations is just as important as pointing it toward a targeted section of the world.

The construction design is worth speaking to.

I live in an area where high winds and ice are common. This brute has withstood everything Mother Nature has thrown at it for 26 years, plus whatever time it spent before it came to my custody.

This antenna comes very highly recommended by me, and it is a beast to put up on the tower, like the Energizer Bunny .... it keeps going, and going, and going.

Kudos to Gizmotchy and antenna parts outlet for making it possible to pretty much turn this into a "zero-time airframe" that will last me for another 26+ years. Also worthy of mention is Norm's Rotor Service who gave me a super-smooth running Ham IV with enhancements.

73 everyone de Lee VE4LS
K9XK Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2009 13:17 Send this review to a friend
Bulletproof  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my SY-1 up for about 18 years and never had to touch it. It has survived everything that Chicago-area weather can throw at it. It just keeps going.

This antenna as excellent specs - from a forward gain standpoint it pretty much beats every multi-band yagi of comparable size. I think there are some compromises aside from that, and obviously it doesn't cover all the bands above 14mhz, but at the end of the day, if you can only have one antenna that can't be "huge", this is a good choice if you want to be loud.

At the end of the world, there will just be cockroaches and SY-1s
AB5NX Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2009 11:16 Send this review to a friend
A Great Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got this Wilson system 1 antenna in a trade have nothing in it really.I cleaned every part and put it together on saw horses setting it to manual specs.for phone operation.Mounted it on top of a 40 foot free standing tower and have worked 137 countries with 200 or less watts in a year and a half.
It's 26 foot long.After we got it up in the air the neighbors know I'm a ham operator.I have a picture of it up on
Last winter it stood up against ice and snow,In the spring we had a wind blow at 75 mph and it just keeps on working.I feel very lucky to have the Wilson sy-1,Great antenna very directional.If you can find one,get it.73's dennis
W6EEV Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2009 02:15 Send this review to a friend
The very best..and they are back!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hello to all. I've owned my SYS-1 for many years. Since the early 1990's to be exact! I went off the air in 1997 or so but kept the sys-1 in my parents garage. Well in 2008, I found it! I was so surprised. At the time I was using a Force-12 delta 6. So I contacted Tom Charles of Charles Electronics, which are the guys behind MACO, GIZMOTCHY and WILSON HF antennas. I needed some replacement parts(I couldn't find the beta tubes,the boom and some other vital parts) Well Tom, was GREAT!! He hooked me up right away, didn't charge me much money and even sent me FREE of charge new hardware baggies! So I got it back together and these are the results:

20 mtrs: First off, this antenna has NO, ZERO TRAPS on 20 meters it is a FULL SIZE 4 element 20 MTR yagi!!

I'am a ARMY MARS member and use frequencies in the 13-14 mhz area, and this antenna works it. basiclly across the ENTIRE 20 mtr band +/- the vSWR was NEVER higher than 1.5:1!

I cut through EVERYPILE UP!! running 200watts and at legal limit.

15 mtrs:
same as above the entire band auctually was NEVER higher than 1.4:1

10 mtrs
This antenna is 5 active elements here. I saw a spike , but then passed it up and down it went!

2 elements each band.
Ugly odd sized antenna
Performance was NEVER AS GOOD as the SYS-1!!

Per Tom Charles the wilson line is being reintroduced this year and you can view the antennas at the GIZMOTCHY website.

Force 12 delta 6ba
VY1CQ Rating: 5/5 Jun 22, 2008 22:49 Send this review to a friend
Oldy but a goody!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this antenna on the air for several years and recieved very good reports. It's an old hand me down from my father who had it since the early eighties and used it for years and had great satisfaction with it. He went on to using Quad antennas so I began using it on my 70 foot tower. Make no mistake, this is a large antenna measuring almost 27 feet long with 5 elements.
I can work anything I hear with this antenna. I use a little power (500 watts) which helps but most of the glory goes to the Wilson System One.
I also live in a mean environment, high winds are a constant here and freezing rain and icing are always a problem. This big old wilson has put up with it all and keeps working. I think the robust build and generally large design helps with that.

I have resently taken the antenna down to work on it and have put the five elements on a new 30 foot boom, preliminary results have been good so I'll place it on my tower at 95 feet and see if it performs as expected. The shortened elements on this antenna are a result of the traps (except the 10 meter reflector),I think the traps are necessary as the elements would prolly reach considerable spans and therefore have considerable weight to them. Its a very heavy antenna as it is (around 70 lbs.)

I definately give this antenna a five out of five, if not for capability then for longevity!

Good dxing VY1CQ
W7WQ Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2008 11:59 Send this review to a friend
NICE!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had one of these antennas when I was EL2AM about thirty or so years ago. Was up about 60 feet high and about 100 yards from the ocean. With my trusty Henry 2K4, I would get some pretty awesome reports from all over the globe. I still have that antenna (missing just a couple parts) and hope to have it back on the air soon.
AA5TE Rating: 5/5 Oct 19, 2006 07:57 Send this review to a friend
Best monster antenna ever  Time owned: more than 12 months
This antenna was a behemoth (26' boom, 27' longest element). 10M had it's own separate reflector, 15/20M had a combined trapped reflector, two trapped directors covering all three bands, and a trapped driven element.

This thing weighed nearly 60lbs assembled. I had it on a Rohn 25G tower at 40' and could work everything I could hear with 100W and just a call or two (I busted the Bouvet 3Y5X DXPedition back in 1990 on my first call AFTER rotating the antenna by hand on top of the tower due to the rotator being iced up!).

I wish I had another one of these; I stupidly sold it after getting for $100.

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