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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
W4ABW Rating: 2016-01-05
I want to increase my rating Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Since I posted my initial review of this vertical I have had some very good experiences with the antenna.

The parts shortages keep me from giving it a 4 as that hasn't changed.

I now have 39 Qs on 30m and 14 Qs on 40M. That's not a lot but all but 1 qso was with DX stations.
I do have a LP for the other many, many contacts I have made along with the vertical. I could have made lots more but I already have a lot of DX confirmed on 30m and 40m.

Tom at MFJ has been excellent too. Tom always says "what do you need, its free, and how can I help you". Always fast delivery too.

Al, W4ABW #1 DXCC Honor Roll

NK2W Rating: 2015-05-15
A Disaster! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Never have I regretted any ham radio purchase more than this antenna. EVERYTHING about this antenna was a negative experience.

The matching unit arrived with cold solder joints and broken wires, discovered only because I opened it due to ‘rattling noises’ inside it. The noises turned out to be broken ty-wraps used to hold the baluns which broke loose I imagine during shipment. Hy-gain replaced the unit after two weeks after I sent it to them at my expense.

The construction was at best difficult, at worst nearly impossible due to the absurdly high degree of errors and misprints in the manual. Parts were called out incorrectly, diagrams labeled incorrectly, references made incorrectly… Had I not had 50 years of experience I might have given up.

Erection of this monstrous web of spider-like ‘radials’ is in my view near impossible without a few strongmen, a gin pole, and ingenuity. And don’t forget that after you finally raise the antenna you’ll likely have to lower it and raise it again… and again… to tune it.

That’s if you can tune it at all.

I couldn’t, because the matching unit hy-gain sent me as a replacement DIDN’T WORK! When I connected my antenna analyzer I got a flat response (no curve) because the matching unit was OPEN!

I gave up and junked the antenna.

I used to swear by hy-gain. Now I swear AT it.
NC3Z Rating: 2014-05-03
Pleasantly Surprised Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
May 2014

We are retiring and moving from the DC area to eastern NC in early 2015. So in preparation I sold my tower and beams early, but I wanted to stay on the air but wanted something that was not going to take a long time to install or remove so I decided on dipoles and a vertical. The dipoles are fan dipoles up in the trees and the vertical was the AV-680 mounted on a 14' mast out by the old tower base since I still had the underground coax runs. I made the mast tilt over to facilitate tuning.

I ordered the AV-680 from DXEnginnering as I have always had good support from them. Fortunately I had to use them once the AV-680 arrived. Upon unboxing the interior cardboard box that held the Matching Unit box rattled. The box was as the far end of the main box and directly inline with all the aluminum tubing with no additional protection. Somewhere in shipping the main box was probably dropped on that end causing the weight of all the tubing to drive into the Matching Unit, even though there was no external sign of being dropped it broke the matching unit. A quick contact to DXE and they took are of contacting HyGain on my behalf and had a new Matching Unit dropped shipped to me in a few days.

Other than that the assembly was easy, instructions were clear enough and all the parts were there. Using a AIM 4170 antenna analyzer made short work of tuning all the bands. Some took a lot more tuning than the manual indicated but they all finally tuned up fine.

So far the performance has been acceptable. Switching back and for between the dipoles (flat top at 45')and the AV-680 shows some interesting results. Sometimes both are equal, sometimes the dipoles are better, sometimes the AV-680 is better. On a few occasions I have been able to copy stations that the dipoles cant here, and sometimes the dipoles hear stations the AV-680 cant. Good reason to have both types of antennas.

I did make my own guy ring and guyed the AV-680 just for some peace of mind. Also after tuning up 80M I modified the 80M cap hat to work on 60M. Simply replace the 8 80M rods with 4 16" rods made from the spare rods Hygain sends. I have a 60M resonant element in my dipole and the signal reports follow my report above. So if you want a 60M vertical here is a simple mod that is easily restorable.
W8ASA Rating: 2013-12-20
Bad Service From Hy-Gain/MFJ Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Got one for our club station (W8DGN). We put it together and installed it in a really nice, high location. When we plugged in the coax to try it out, NOTHING! NADA! I called HyGain, and (Tom?) said it was a common mode problem with the matching unit, and we probably needed to re-solder the PL259 internally. No problem. We did that and again NADA! He said to return it. We did, and they received it on November 23. He said they don't repair them, but would send a new matching unit. Well, it's now December 20 and we still haven't received the replacement. We have a good-looking vertical 50 feet in the air and can't even use it. Thanks, MFJ! I'll revisit this review once I can actually have some experience with the antenna. I have an AV-640 at home and love it...
WP4MZR Rating: 2013-02-21
Still testing it, so far so good. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought this antenna back in January from R&L. Their service was top notch.

The antenna tubing has a nice finish, no sharp edges.

I had two minor issues during assembly. First, there was some missing hardware. Contacted hy-gain and R&L and the parts were received within a few days. The other problem was related to the matching box not showing to be DC grounded. After some troubleshooting, I found a cold solder on the inductor that provides the DC short. A quick re-solder of the joint took care of it.

The tuning of this antenna can be a little tedious. In my case, the antenna was resonating way below the ham bands and it took a lot more cutting than specified in the manual.

I don't have another antenna to compare its performance, but so far with 100W, if I can hear it, I can work it.

It works perfectly on 15 meters, covering the entire band with 1:1 SWR. My only wish is for the antenna to have better SWR bandwidth on 75 and 40 meters.