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Reviews For: W8AMZ ZS6BKW /G5RV

Category: Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop

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Review Summary For : W8AMZ ZS6BKW /G5RV
Reviews: 28MSRP: $ 68.00
10/80 METERS
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K8BZ Rating: 2023-03-21
Excellent Time Owned: more than 12 months.

W8AZM is SK but members of his family and possibly others have still been selling this antenna at ham radio swaps in Michigan. I'm not sure will continue to do so. But the same design is available from other sources. And the antenna is easily made from available designs on the web.


I have been using various types of wire antennas since 1971, which include single band dipoles, trap dipoles, end fed wires, Carolina Windoms and others.

Before the addition of the WARC Bands I was using a long wire or G5RV for 40 and 80 meters and a tri-band Yagi for 10, 15 and 20 meters. After the addition of the WARC Bands I was using various types of wire antennas that required re-tuning the antenna with band changes.

The goal was to minimize the tuning required for band changes and allow operation on all the bands at high power levels. The extra tuning was a disadvantage in contests and DXing when the rare ones were spotted on a new band.

After reading the claims of the ZS6BKW type G5RV I was more than a little skeptical but since my previous G5RV expired I thought I had nothing to lose by trying it. It was shorter than the conventional G5RV and I already had the required 70+ feet of 50 Ohm feed line.

To my great surprise and pleasure the antenna performed better than the stated specifications claimed. SWR and bandwidth were excellent on bands not requiring a tuner. The current antenna has been up and in use now for over 4 years and is showing no signs of wear and tear or deterioration from exposure to the elements. I recently purchased a second antenna to use for Field Day.

I can't imagine why anyone would want a trap dipole or Carolina Windom with the availability of a ZS6BKW type G5RV.

There is only one issue I have found with this antenna. When the 600 Ohm ladder line is wet from rain or heavy dew the SWR increases significantly. Usually not to the point of being unusable, but sometimes (infrequently) to the point where the internal tuner in the transceiver can't handle the mismatch. But the external tuner does handle the mismatch easily. Shortly after the rain stops or the heavy dew burns off, the antenna returns to normal operation. A minor inconvenience when compared to the overall excellent performance of this antenna.
NB8P Rating: 2019-05-08
durable and highly effective, flexible HF antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is not your standard hamfest G5RV - in construction or tuning. The construction is top notch. With everything from horse paddock crimps and heavy duty insulated wire, to epoxy-filled connector transitions, this antenna is built to last for a long time. The tuning is brilliant. I put it on an MFJ analyzer and found that the claims are all true: it will give you 3:1 SWR with a 50-ohm match (somewhere) on the 40, 20, 17, 12 and 10-meter bands, and is perfectly tunable on 80, 60, 30 and 15. Sight unseen I thought it was a little pricey, but having now hung and operated one, I can tell you it is an absolute bargain.
N1ZLE Rating: 2016-10-08
Very Happy Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Excellent build quality! been very happy with it. Installed in the woods, not as recommended, performance has been as advertised. Flat SWR on 40, 20, and minimal on other advertised bands. Run full legal limit with no issues, Did I mention the build quality? If you can still find a new one, get it!!
WD8T Rating: 2016-01-15
Very Pleased Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I put this antenna up back in June as a flat top at 50' and am very happy with performance. I can work any DX I can hear with 100 watts from my FTDX-1200. As others have said I don't need to use a tuner on 40, 20,17 or 10 meters. The antenna is very well made and a good bargain IMHO.
AD4XV Rating: 2015-09-21
Very Good Multiband Wire Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had my ZS6BKW Optimized G5RV for over a year now. I was trying to find a good multiband dipole to get me on as many bands as possible. I think for a multiband wire this is one of the best antennas out there. At 92 feet long and able to use it on 80M-6M its great! On 80M my SWR is about 5:1, but external tuner can match it up, 15M and 10M are a little high on SWR but tuner can make them work also.

Now the down side. When you need a tuner to match the antenna up, you are losing forward output power. Multi band antennas are a compromise one multiple bands and not as good as a dipole on those bands. I have put up three Double Bazooka antennas since installing the ZS6BKW, and they have lower base noise levels and high signals received. I also get better reports when switching between the ZS6BKW and Bazooka.

Overall, Very good multiband antenna if that is all you can put up, and the price is much less thank others out there. W8AMZ's products are well built!
KE8BG Rating: 2015-09-06
Great antenna, better than G5RV Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
No tuner needed with my solid state rig on 40 20 17 and 10. I used to use an mfj tuner with the g5rv on every band for max power.
Feels good breaking pile ups with a wire.
I don't even have the ends up in the air yet. Just using it as inverted V.
VK3CRG Rating: 2015-04-06
Works a treat! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I put this antenna up as a temporary solution when I bought my new home in 2012. It's only on 3 x 6 meter (18 foot!) poles in my backyard. I only run 100w barefoot and am constantly getting through pileups and getting comments about my signal on DX contacts. Considering I'm in VK (Australia) and have worked countless countries, my "temporary" antenna is still up after over 3 years of relentless Australian sun and the elements. I strongly suggest adding an "ugly balun" to the coax before the antenna. It works really well and is extremely well built. I've recommended this antenna to many friends and I've heard no complaint yet. Nice simple cheap way to get on air and all you need to do is follow the instructions and you'll be very happy.
W4MPL Rating: 2015-03-11
Antenna works great! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I purchased this antenna last June 2014 as a result of the reviews here. Purchased it off E-Bay and due to HOA restrictions, painted it with camouflage paint. Installed in up about 30ft in an Oak tree, in an inverted "V" configuration. I'm 100% satisfied and have worked a number of countries, the farthest so far is 6,300 miles away. This antenna coupled with my Yaesu ftdx1200 which has great sensitivity allows me to have no problem hearing the stations.
KD8YGW Rating: 2015-02-14
Great antenna! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I absolutely love this antenna. I put it up on 12/19/14 with the help of another guy (AC8XI) in our club (USECA) and, in those less-than-two months, I've worked 72DX. I live in Michigan so, except for Canada, all of my DX are at least a thousand miles away. I've worked K1N twice (10 and 20) and New Zealand twice, European Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, St. Helena in the South Atlantic, etc. I'm using an Icom 718--a hundred watts and a nice rig, but it's not a Ten Tec or the like. The antenna appears to be well-built and it's at the end of RX8 coax.
K1EY Rating: 2014-12-12
Great Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is the first wire antenna I ever bought. It was delivered quickly and has been up almost two years. I've worked all over the world with just 100W on this and some amazing QRP contacts as well.