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Reviews For: Hy-Gain AV-680 Nine-Band Vertical

Category: Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop

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Review Summary For : Hy-Gain AV-680 Nine-Band Vertical
Reviews: 15MSRP: 549.95
9-band vertical covers 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10/6 Meters No radials, traps, ground or tuning Handles 1500 Watts
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W0AAL Rating: 2023-07-19
Very Happy With Results Time Owned: more than 12 months.
It's now been 6 years since my first review and I'm still very pleased with my Hygain AV-680 antenna. It's lived up to my expectations, and much more. This antenna has been great for DX, and the propogation is only improving. Concerning my earlier comment of 40m, I do use an external LDG tuner, so I can work the entire band. The only weakness is on 80 meters where it tunes to a very narrow window.


I'm new to ham radio and was aware of the current sun cycle, so I knew propagation could be a real challenge. That's why I decided on the AV-680 9 band vertical. I wanted the option of moving around the bands as the conditions vary. I read the previous reviews, but took a chance on this antenna, and I'm very happy with the results. When you first get the antenna, it might look a little overwhelming to build. However, if you read over, then read again, and understand the instructions, it's not so difficult. Additionally, you should take a complete inventory of all pieces and parts in the package. Separate the hardware and label accordingly. Also note that you will have some extra spokes, nuts, screws, and washers after the build. And you should also purchase a tilt-base system to help raise and lower the antenna for maintenance. I purchased an R9 tilt-base from DX Engineering which works well. I also purchased a MFJ-259c antenna analyzer. Tuning is fun when you have the right equipment. However, I can't imagine tuning 9 bands without it. Concerning the antenna's performance, my rigs internal antenna tuner can handle the entire spectrum on 6, 15, 17, 20, and 30 meters. I tuned 10 and 12 meters, but I just don't use them. My only real complaint is on 40 meters, where the window for tuning is fairly narrow. So, I just tuned it for SSB around 7.255 Mhz. Was listening to a Dave Cassler video, and he commented that 40 meters on his Butternut vertical also had a narrow tune window, and he pointed out that this was an inherent problem on verticals. So, I won't deduct any points off the antenna rating for that gripe. Again, really happy with this product.
KN6JVS Rating: 2023-07-08
Excellent antenna for my situation Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Love this antenna, had no issues with parts, all was there , put it together in 5 hours and mounted on a 43 foot tall Rohn TV mast.

SWR is spot on all across. one thing I have not seen anywhere , and MFJ tell's me it's because QST magazine won't let them advertise is the GAIN. they tell me they see 3db of gain.

my only issue is my property is nect to power lines in the backyard , so I do pick up more noise than a typical vertical that is more isolated. but the 7300 and a couple of other items from MFJ and LDG , keep it down .
KN0CK Rating: 2020-11-08
Tricky to tune, but great when it is... Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
The AV-680 I have was GIVEN to me - the Ham that originally bought it not only had issues putting it together and tuning up fine, but also moved to a restrictive covenants neighborhood in Florida that pretty much put an end to his days on HF with this antenna. I put this AV-680 together in about a days time using two 'horses' in the garage and one about 6' - 8' outside the garage to suspend the entire thing. I installed the smaller elements (or 'spokes' as the manual refers to them) for all the bands from and above 40m and installed the 80m spokes at the site where I eventually mounted it permanently.

I can assure you that you WILL need a pivot point on your antenna mast (I homebrewed mine from military grade mast and military grade U-clamps to hold everything together and used a 7/16" heat treaded bolt and self locking nut for the pivot). Being able to pivot the antenna made it A LOT easier to bring it to the ground to trim the 'spokes' for each band until the VSWR was where I wanted it for each band. In retrospect I would add a locking 'pin' (a second hole between the two masts) and use a longer 7/16" bolt and self locking nut to hold the antenna into place while tuning until you use the U-bolts to tighten everything up for final. It was a bear for me to lift the antenna vertical and then install the U-bolts each time - that 'pin' would have been A LOT easier.

I can also assure you that this is a fairly Hi-Q antenna and the resonant points - - even with the capacity hats - - are VERY narrow (50kHz to 80kHz max per band...80m is probably 40kHz wide where you want it on that band - mine is really tuned for 75m). But once you get it tuned for each band where you want it it's pretty solid and the reports were good compared to by Hustler 6BTV - but the 6BTV has a much broader VSWR response for each band it operates compared to the AV-680. I tuned this antenna over a period of 4 months as I had time over this Summer, and a little into the Fall to make it right for Winter operation - I accomplished that mission just a few days ago. I wish I recalled the lengths I had to trim or add, but some bands (like 20m) only needed three spokes for its capacity hat and you could just exchange one of the spokes from 20m and install it on the 40m capacity hat and it would be perfect for the resonance at 7.200 and good about +/- 40 kHz from there. The worst band to tune was 80/75m and I found you needed ALL the spokes installed and only trimmed one down (as you need - results vary where you want it resonant) and I achieved resonance at 3.970 MHz of 1.0:1 trimming about 2" off one spoke of the (now) 75m capacity hat and having the tap wire on the coil installed at the very bottom of the loading coil. It took me - - and I'm not kidding - - about 12 times of lifting and lowering that antenna using the pivot was a lot easier than lifting that gangly antenna off its ground mounted mast (like I originally started to do in the beginning) and then laid the antenna on horses to tune it and then raise it back into place. 80/75m (in my case 75m) took me about 8 of those 12 times to get it right. Looking back, the other bands fell into place easily and I didn't have to adjust 10m or 6m at all - what's in the directions will get you there without a fight. For the record I used a MFJ-269B to tune this antenna and then checked it with my other radios and Daiwa cross-needle VSWR meter to verify the results - worked perfect.

This antenna is TALL - you WILL need some kind of non-metallic guying (I used some small rope normally used for camping) and guyed it in two places at about 15' up on the antenna and pulled it it until it was not only stable but straight - it looks great when it's not moving around a lot.

I can also tell you that this antenna experienced the full force of the Derecho (straight line winds) that happened in Iowa this past August. This antenna withstood 130 mph winds for over 45 minutes. While I lost many tall pines and other trees on my land, that AV-680 took that wind for that long without ANY issues. Didn't bend, didn't break, didn't de-tune...Just took the wind until the destruction stopped. My 6BTV also took that wind without any issues, too.

While 160m isn't within this antenna's capabilities, I'm listening to 160m meters right now with my Icom 705 and it's running perfect - I hear everything on 160m as if it were tuned perfect there - just don't try to transmit with it. All bands tuned, it's a great antenna - great reports with it when I use it for the morning nets using my Collins KWM-380 and 30L-1. But it's not for the faint of heart to tune this up unless you can bring it to the ground MANY times and raise it vertical as many times.

73 de Marty, KN0CK
VE3RWY Rating: 2020-08-20
Antenna OK but... Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought this vertical from DX Engineering in July 2020. I'm happy to say all the parts were there and even a few parts, nuts and bolts were left over. Product was well packaged and there was no damage.

I realize muli-bands can be tricky and I had this up and down several times to dial it in where I wanted it. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get 20M to resonate. I opened up two support tickets with MFJ (Hy-Gain) and did not receive any response - not good.

20m was actually resonating around 13,300 MHz. I read several other posts where other purchasers had the identical problem with 20m. Hy-Gain tells you to shorten only one spoke on the 15" capacitive hat so as I shortened it, the frequency came up but the SWR also started to rise on 40m and 80m. Eventually, I trimmed 12" off the 15" spoke for 20m and this brought my resonant frequency right in the middle at the cost of losing 80m altogether. There was no longer any 80m resonance.

I discovered the secret to getting support is to pick up the phone!
KG7I Rating: 2018-06-24
My Experience and tips for tuning Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased an AV-680 several weeks ago, the box arrived and I excitedly opened it and began reviewing the manual.

The first thing I noticed is that the manual is difficult to follow and needs a lot of work to make it easier.

I stumbled through, having to swap screws at times as their are many lengths that if you use one longer than specified you are then short later. First tip is to order some NoAlox anti-oxidizing conducting paste. Once you get this antenna up you don't want to be taking it up and down, and corrosion between tubs and connectors would destroy its performance.

I paused my assemble to wait for my tube to arrive. I did check over the components and opened the box containing Matching Box. It rattled and I could hear parts moving around. So I removed the 4 screws and discovered that 1 of the coils was broken free, all the leds were broken as well as some other components. I contacted Hy-Gain and they sent out a replacement.

Once it and the paste arrived I continued assemble. Several of the small 3/8" tubs that make up the radiators for the 6-17 meter stubs were either undersized or bent and took significant work to fix so that the joining stubs would go in the ends.

Also the placement of these was not clear the first pass through and I discovered that I did not have the 17 meter stub oriented right with respect to the tube with the loading coals and had to loosen and reposition all the 6-17 meter stubs.

I did not have any missing parts. and once assembled, placed it on a temporary pipe along side my deck railing so that I could tune it without the difficult task of placing on the 8' mast.

When Tuning, I connected an MFJ 269C to the antenna through a 125' long RG 213U coax and ran it through the paces to see where everything was tuned. First pass, this is what I found:

80 Meters - 1.4 SWR at 3.8mhz (not bad)
40 Meters - 1.0 SWR at 7.07mhz (Low in the band)
30 Meters - 1.2 SWR at 9.6mhz (outside the band)
20 Meters - 1.0 SWR at 12.9mhz (way outside the band)
17 Meters - 1.0 SWR at 17.9mhz (outside the band)
15 Meters - 1.0 SWR at 20.7mhz, but 1.4 across the band
12 Meters - 1.2 SWR across the band
10 Meters - 1.5 SWR at 28.2mhz but 2.5 or better across the band
6 Meters - 1.0 SWR at 51.7mhz and 2.5 or less across the band.

Based on where I wanted each bands center point using the manual, I needed to adjust as follows:
40M - shorten 12.9"
30M - shorten 10.5"
20M - Shorten 13.9"
17M - Shorten 2.5"
15M - Shorten 5"
6M - Lengthen 4.5"

This meant taking the antenna off the temporary mast and laying it down again. It took 2 of us and then it was still precarious. I made some initial adjustments on the 6-17M radials, put it back and retested. Then took it down again and made more adjustments and put it back up.

At this point I got smarter. With the antenna in a horizontal position, laying across 2 wooden supports of our deck. I tested the antenna again and found that although the SWR was a little higher, the dip was in the same spot. So at this point, I did the final adjustments on the 6-17M radials to get it exactly where I wanted (several incremental adjustments, but since I didn't have to take it up and down it went quick).

Then I began trimming the 20-40M radials in smaller steps until it was tuned where I wanted it. This was MUCH easier than putting it up and taking it down.

When we finished, then we mounted it on the permanent mast. In my case its on a hillside that slops down from our deck. I used and 8' 2"OD galvanized pipe, buried 2.5" deep in rocky dry ground. It was tricky to get the antenna vertical and then balance and lift it while slipping it over the pipe.

This puts the ground radials on the uphill side, almost touching the ground but the downhill side radials are 8-9' in the air.

Once it was up, I reconnected the antenna and rechecked the tuning. And this where it landed.

80M 3.5mhz(15.2SWR)- 3.8mhz(3.0)- 3.85(1.3)- 3.9(3.0)- 4.0(15.6SWR)
40M 7.0mhz(7.8SWR) - 7.2(3.0) - 7.29(1.3) - 7.3 (1.0)
30M 10.1mhz(1.3SWR) - 10.15(1.2)
20M 14.0mhz(1.2SWR) - 14.1(1.1) - 14.35 (1.7)
17M 18.068mhz(1.4SWR) - 18.168(1.2)
15M 21.0mhz(1.2SWR) - 12.450(1.4)
12M 24.89mhz(1.3SWR) - 29.99(1.2)
10M 28.0mhz(1.8SWR) - 28.3(1.3) - 29.3(1.9) - 29.7(2.2)
6M 50.1mhz(3.0SWR) - 52.5(1.0) - 54.0(2.4)

As you can see 80M is has a very sharp dip, 40M much broader if I get the antenna down I'll probably tweak 40M, the rest are usable across the band, with the dip tuned for voice region
Z35O Rating: 2018-06-23
A bit complicated to assemble but it does a great job Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I owe it for few years and I'm happy with the antenna. It can be assembled in one day, needs a space for it and a bit of attention. Identify all parts first to avoid problems. Watch your eyes while assembling.

Since it would be mounted on a roof of a 7 storey building, the pre-tuning was carried out in an open field for which I needed an assistance of two more people. The tuning was straight forward and completed in 5 to 6 cycles (each time it was down I tweaked several bands simultaneosly). Then it went on top of the roof covered in aluminum corrugated sheets. First testing was disastrous but with Tom' assistance I found the problem in the matching box. It was a cold solder of one of the teflon wires to the pcb which was fixed. At the end the SWR was a close match to the pre-tuned values. It needs guying with 3 or four ropes at 2/3 of its height to avoid swinging and wear at tube joints.

As per the specs, 80m has narrow bandwidth and you need an external tuner or tuner extender (MFJ914) for it. The 200KHz wide 40m band is within 2:1 or less. All other higher bands are better. 6m remained unchecked as I got no equipment for it.

What I hear on my FT1000MP I can work. It is a multiband vertical with its limitations, but for me and my conditions the performance is great.
N2EVI Rating: 2018-06-12
Missing parts caused issues Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
The antenna wasn't that hard to assemble. Between instructions and a great YouTube video it went together rather easily. The problem was missing parts. It took almost 2 months to get HyGain to send the correct parts. The first shipment had only a few of the correct parts I requested in it. The second shipment had extra parts. At least they shipped enough materials that I could finally finish assembling the antenna. I have enough leftover materials that if I damage a radial I can replace it with out contacting HyGain again.
KG7MWW Rating: 2018-02-14
Follow Up on Antenna Install & Use Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Emailed Hy-Gain on my concerns about the wire coil section, and they said it is designed correctly and is a low load point so it shouldn't be an issue. It hasn't been at all. The antenna works fine so far and has withstood a number of 40+ mph wind storms quite well. It tends to bend a lot in high winds, which looked scary at first, but always stands up straight after the wind dies down. So far no issues with performance or tuning, and it has held up really well in some strong storms.
N8OBU Rating: 2017-11-11
whole day project! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
the hardest part of this antenna is the way the instructions are written you will need an very long place to build it i suspended it from the garage roof to build it and that was a great help! print off a 2nd manual so you don't need to flip to the figures you can lay them out count the parts i think it gets a bad rap over people thinking it would only take a hour to build spend a day do it right the first time don't rush pay attention to the wording it will take two people to handle this antenna and it will work as it should when built right mine was missing no parts i had put a few in wrong my fault not hy gain r&l has the best price pick up some no ax too you will need it
N4MIT Rating: 2017-10-17
Un-impressed Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I does work but just not up to all the hype. My 125' endfed wire works better in most instances.

DX Engineering is #1 in customer serice. When the antenna arrived there were some incorrect parts. I contacted HyGain/MFJ and confirmed that they had a run of incorrect parts with this antenna. They said that they would ship out replacements. I contacted DX Engineering to see if they could get HyGain to expedite/overnight the replacements but HyGain would not comply so DX Engineering overnighted/saturday delivery a complete antenna on their nickle. Now that is customer service!

If a vertical is all you can have then I guess this one is as good as any, but it's no replacement for even a lowly dipole. I'm hoping when conditions improve I'll find more value in this antenna.

As always, your mileage may vary...

Earlier 1-star review posted by N4MIT on 2017-08-31

Well Hy-Gain/MFJ has done it again. I ordered the AV-680 with all intentions of putting it together on the holiday weekend, but...

2 pieces of tubing are the wrong size. They are supposed to be 3/8"od x 5/16"id x 44". What I got looks to be 1/2"od x 3/8"id x 47" with no slots to clamp it down. It just won't work. This is part of the Stub section a 5/16" x 6" rod is supposed to slide inside to join the 2 sections together. It fits like a BB in a boxcar. I contacted DX Engineering (vendor I purchased from)for help with MFJ. I'll be back to update when they get the right parts to me.