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Reviews For: Butternut HF9V

Category: Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop

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Review Summary For : Butternut HF9V
Reviews: 72MSRP: 604.95 USD
Work 9 popular bands; 80 thru 6 meters with a single, highly efficient vertical radiator only 26 ft. tall!
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
NU4B Rating: 2019-12-02
Nice multiband antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I chose the HF9V mainly because I'm familiar with Butternut products and they have served my purposes well in the past.
Price: I found the HF9V priced between the Cushcraft R9 and the Hy-Gain 680 for the base antennas. Any additional items were not included.
Shipping and packaging: DXE had the antenna in town in 2 days. Unfortunately UPS tried to deliver it to the wrong address which caused a delay of a couple days. The packaging was excellent.
Inventory: Everything was accounted for including extra hardware.
Manual: I found the updated DXE manual very good and I had no problems understanding what to do. ( Having had a HF2V previously, I was familiar with the general build.)
The build: The build was over 4 days with some breaks in between. The first morning included installing the ground rod, antenna base, radial plate, and attaching the radials. I used the DXE radial plate and 32 32' radials. The same evening I built the top of the antenna with the bottom half built the following morning. The 3rd morning the antenna was put together, attached to the base, the radials were spread, and the coax was run. That afternoon I started the tuning which went into the 4th day since I ran out of day light. The only glitch was a tube which holes were just a tad off. It took literally 30 seconds to correct. Other than that no problems were experienced with the build.
Tuning: An antenna analyzer will make things really easy. I used a RigExpert AA54 and had no problems, even with the dreaded 17 meters. I didn't obsess over SWR and these were my results for my targeted CW frequencies inside the shack:
3.010 mhz - 1.26:1
7.025 mhz - 1.18:1
10.125 mhz - 1.14:1
14.025 mhz - 2.1:1
18.075 mhz - 2.1:1
21.025 mhz - 1.31:1
24.900 mhz - 1.6:1
28.025 mhz - 1.8:1
50.100 mhz - 1.8:1
I found it fairly easy to unbolt the antenna at the base, lay it down, and make the needed adjustments at the top half of the antenna. While it is a bit unwieldy, the antenna is not very heavy.
The results: I operate at QRP levels so there are many variables that go into making a QSO. So these are my general results:
Time on the air - Oct 25, 2019 - Nov. 30, 2019
Power out - 5 watts
Condition - SFI from 66 to 71, sunspots 0 except for 1 day in late October which I believe was 13.
Around 300 Q's were made including 225 in the CQWWCW contest and 25 in the OK/OM contest. Most QSO's were from stations in a 5300 mile radius, but several were outside that range. (Obviously there were many times I didn't make the QSOs) All the contacts were made from 80-15 meters, so far no Q's have been made on 10, 12, or 6 meters.
I did make 3 10 watt QSOs. A VK3 station calling CQ LP on 20 meters, a Comoros Islands station on 17M, and an 80 meter contact with TX7T were worked.
Remembering this is an omni-directional antenna on both transmit and receive I have no doubt running 100 watts or higher will result in many contacts. At my power level catching band openings was very important as marginal openings were unproductive.
Overall impression and final notes: I have found the antenna, building it, and operating from it very satisfying. I've been able to work some new DXCC band fills and really enjoyed the DX contest even though I had to scrape to get through on some of the Qs. I did use a MFJ 1026 when a band was noisy to save the hurt on my ears. As of yet I haven't guyed the antenna and have had no problems. (That may change as we approach the spring storm season.)
W3PYF Rating: 2019-08-26
Don’t understand negative reviews - mine just works Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I am using my second Butternut, having given away the one I bought in the 1980s to a ham down on his luck when I had bought a home with a 50’ tower. Then I had a luck downturn, and ended up buying a used one in 2008 on Craig’s List after giving up on an inferior Cushcraft R7.

Living in a rented little suburban cape in 2008, I didn’t want to bury radials, and so I mounted it on a 5’ Radio Shack length of TV mast driven into the ground, and used the same twin-lead radials shown in my saved 1980s literature. The radials were just 4 feet above the ground, so it was going to be a pain to mow under. But wasn’t sure it would work well at all.

It worked GREAT! I followed the directions for assembly exactly, and my MFJ antenna analyzer showed it was really close except on 80 CW. I guyed it in the middle of the coil section with “parachute” cord, anticipating tough north-of-Boston winters.

Fast forward 11 years through multiple savage winters (including the 6’ snow of 2015) to May 2019, that old Butternut and 11-year-old radials are still working great, except the 15 meter stub is broken. I took it down, cleaned the joints and installed new bolts, replaced the broken 15 meter stub, and re-erected it with a 6’ length of saved Radio Shack TV mast from 11 years earlier (devised a kind of tilt-over with the old 4-foot mast and stainless hose clamps) Couldn’t find a twin-lead source so I cleaned the ends of the old radials and reinstalled them, and a single 67’ copper wire radial for 80 CW.

The 2019 June/July weather is hot, so I ran the coax to my air conditioned office, and attached my Elecraft KX3 - 15 watts CW. And darned if it doesn’t make contact after contact all over Europe and South America. Just for kicks, I decide to check into ECARS on 7255 SSB - I rarely try SSB with the KX3 - and get a surprising S9 report.

When the weather cools, I will move the coax and KX3 to my “sunroom” shack where my TS940S feeds 40 and 80 meter common-feedline antenna up 20 feet for high-angle short-range communication (the Butternut isn’t very good for under 400 miles - too low radiation angle

Now, band conditions in 2019 aren’t anything like they were in 2008. They truly suck. Forget about 80 meter DX like back then, but 40 still has flashes of life, and 30/20 still live.

I find this a very credible antenna. At today’s $600 price, it would take an act of faith to pick it over a cheaper antenna. And I am sure those who decry its need for antenna analyzers and other complaints have their own experience. I’ve just found my two Butternuts - one roof mounted in the 1980s, and mine ground mounted up 4-6 feet with in-air radials - really works. Works well. But then again, I work 99% CW. Your results may vary.
LX1DH Rating: 2019-01-01
Still working well after 20 years Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased this antenna long time ago. She survived two moves. It is an antenna that must be reinforced in the middle. I added three aluminum "L" to stabilized the junction and since then it has held up well in storms. The antenna is difficult to adjust but once done, it works on all bands. Even on 80m, I can use it on the whole band with a tuner.

The antenna is mounted on the ground and requires multiple radials cables of different lengths. I buried them under the grass.
K7BJS Rating: 2016-03-15
Additional Data Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I purchased this Antenna from DX Engineering, the phone help was outstanding.
I assembled the antenna using their recommended Copper paste, the recommended radial plate, 20 omni directional counterpoise / ground radials with landscaping hoops to hold the wires down.
The grass has overgrown the wires and are not noticeable anymore.
Please read the instructions, they are well written, but you can get overwhelmed during the tuning process.
Do tune with an antenna analyzer, no room for guessing here.
I have made recent contacts to Southern Argentina, on 10 meters.
Not bad for a ground mounted vertical.
Now that the weather is warming up, I am going to re tune the antenna and pick up those other bands that I did not initially tune for as I just got my General License.
Again, I really like this piece of equipment.

Earlier 5-star review posted by W9BJS on 2016-03-11

I got licensed in October 2015,and went through the gambit of antenna shopping, for verticals. In my location, I have to be sensitive for home owners association issues. You Know the drill. I listened to the rants about counterpoise versus no counterpoise.
There are a number of fine vertical antenna manufacturers out there, and I looked at them all. Honestly !
I wanted a simple(not here), inexpensive(not so much),and a well performing antenna system.
When I buy something I try to buy the best for the current need and for the near future.
I honestly did not want to spend the money, however, I ordered the Butternut, and downloaded the manual for study.

When it arrived, I studied the instructions "AGAIN", then followed the instructions and the recommendations for building and installing this unit.
Finished unit pictures can be seen on my QRZ page. Due to the weather, and my license at the time, I did not tune all the bands, rather just the ones that I knew I was going to use right away.
I have 20 thirty three foot counterpoise radials, just under the grass, the only part besides tuning that I did not like..

Use an antenna analyzer on this antenna for set - up. If not then don't buy this antenna, you will do you and your equipment a major disservice.

Since I have been on the air, I have learned that there are a bunch of these out there, if not in use, torn down and stored, people are just not getting rid of these antennas when they move on from it.

The performance of this antenna outstanding! I always get complements on my signal for the power that I am running all the time.
I am impressed with each and every long distance contact the I make. I am in the phone bands primarily, and that is what I am tuned for.

I am running a Yeasu FT-991 usually with the power turned way down.

It's not a beam, for sure.
If I had it to do all over again, I don't believe that I would do it any differently!
I like this antenna system, Again the performance is just outstanding.
W5WSS Rating: 2015-11-03
DXE- Butternut Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
DX Engineering recently acquired the brand. I included with the antenna their DXE brand radial plate/W their UHF coaxial splice connector mounted to the Plate body,DXE Radials(60),Jet lube SS-30 assembly paste, and their pre assembled 100ft DXE 400MAX w/their newly patented UHF silver connectors.
The performance of this classic multi band vertical antenna with the combined DXE RF Radial system is excellent...The contacts are excellent! I also included a Balun Designs Max choke model 1115DU at the antenna feed point.
NE8P Rating: 2014-12-01
Still My Pick Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had three HF6/9V's over the last 30 years. Just ground mounted the third one since I've moved to a new short-term QTH and can't put up the tower/tribander.

I still think this is one heckuva vertical antenna. Just played in the CQWW CW contest on 10 meters and worked 105 DXCC entities in eight hours of operating (with 500 watts.) That's pretty darn good! On the other end of the spectrum, it works surprisingly well on 80 meters also (acknowledging it's rather limited bandwidth) as evidenced by logging FT4TA and needing only about 15 minutes to do so.

However, know that a good radial system is very much a part of the recipe. I use fifty, fifty foot radials.

Highly recommended.....

Mike, NE8P
M0NST Rating: 2014-11-22
mod Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
fir the 17m section had plastic insulator melting so replaced with cermic tile cut and drilled now swr 1.2 on 17m antenna now perfect.
good mod wish I decided earlier

Earlier 4-star review posted by M0NST on 2014-07-31

cheap replacement caps found here if you break one higher kv that original here my results now if bencher had made it more durable better assemble had redo the q coil connectors badly soldered , the rg 11 also badly soldered pl259 as well as the soldier crimps, use copper its a better quality of cable than steel caps weak but now got the antenna tuned within acceptable limits. If the manual and above had been done properly I would have given it a 5. but tuning needs analyser and a lot of patience. 6m will be raised a little at some point but its acceptable for now. Be careful on 30m coil the cap is very brittle. Here is my new results. Im a lot happier now with it:-

Measured within Band Actual Measured Best SWR Near Band Comments Percentage out
Freq SWR R Xs Lowest Poss SWR Band Freq R Xs
160 M 1.800 Low 2.0:1 160M off by 0 KHz 0.00%
Ctr Freq 1.900 High 2.0:1 0 KHz Bandwidth at 0.000 Center Freq.
2.000 Ctr of Band 0.000 200 KHz Bandwidth Needed to cover full band

75/80 M 3.500 9.4 Low 2.0:1 3.689 80M off by 0 KHz -0.05%
Ctr Freq 3.723 1.4 High 2.0:1 3.757 69 KHz Bandwidth at 3.723 Center Freq.
4.000 16.2 Ctr of Band 3.723 500 KHz Bandwidth Needed to cover full band

60 M 5.3305 Low 2.0:1 60M off by 0 KHz 0.00%
Ctr Freq 5.3678 High 2.0:1 0 KHz Bandwidth at 0.000 Center Freq.
5.4050 Ctr of Band 0.000 75 KHz Bandwidth Needed to cover full band

40 M 7.000 1.5 Low 2.0:1 6.906 40M off by 27 KHz 13.37%
Ctr Freq 7.100 1.1 High 2.0:1 7.347 441 KHz Bandwidth at 7.127 Center Freq.
7.200 1.3 Ctr of Band 7.127 200 KHz Bandwidth Needed to cover full band

30 M 10.100 1.7 Low 2.0:1 10.065 30M off by -2 KHz -4.00%
Ctr Freq 10.125 1.5 High 2.0:1 10.181 116 KHz Bandwidth at 10.123 Center Freq.
10.150 1.6 Ctr of Band 10.123 50 KHz Bandwidth Needed to cover full band

20 M 14.000 1.4 Low 2.0:1 13.478 20M off by 261 KHz 74.43%
Ctr Freq 14.175 1.3 High 2.0:1 15.393 1915 KHz Bandwidth at 14.436 Center Freq.
14.350 1.3 Ctr of Band 14.436 350 KHz Bandwidth Needed to cover full band

17 M 18.068 1.8 Low 2.0:1 18.035 17M off by 21 KHz 21.50%
Ctr Freq 18.118 1.5 High 2.0:1 18.244 209 KHz Bandwidth at 18.140 Center Freq.
18.168 1.5 Ctr of Band 18.140 100 KHz Bandwidth Needed to cover full band

15 M 21.000 1.5 Low 2.0:1 20.778 15M off by 226 KHz 50.33%
Ctr Freq 21.225 1.1 High 2.0:1 22.125 1347 KHz Bandwidth at 21.452 Center Freq.
21.450 1.1 Ctr of Band 21.452 450 KHz Bandwidth Needed to cover full band

12 M 24.890 1.1 Low 2.0:1 24.587 12M off by -34 KHz -34.00%
Ctr Freq 24.940 1.0 High 2.0:1 25.225 638 KHz Bandwidth at 24.906 Center Freq.
24.990 1.1 Ctr of Band 24.906 100 KHz Bandwidth Needed to cover full band

10 M 28.000 1.3 Low 2.0:1 27.409 10M off by -477 KHz -28.03%
Ctr Freq 28.850 1.5 High 2.0:1 29.338 1929 KHz Bandwidth at 28.374 Center Freq.
29.700 2.4 Ctr of Band 28.374 1700 KHz Bandwidth Needed to cover full band

6 M 50.000 1.4 Low 2.0:1 47.272 6M off by -2496 KHz -62.39%
Ctr Freq 52.000 2.2 High 2.0:1 51.737 4465 KHz Bandwidth at 49.505 Center Freq.
54.000 3.4 Ctr of Band 49.505 4000 KHz Bandwidth Needed to cover full band
50.549 1.1
Earlier 4-star review posted by M0NST on 2014-07-30

I give it a 4 due to the fact im not happy yet with its tune the tuning could be better got 16 wires 10m long buried plus 3m x2.4 m of mesh under patio as earth for it , I want to get 18m and 20m lower swr any tips here's my results so far
75/80 M 3.500 9.8 Low 2.0:1 3.678
Ctr Freq 3.723 1.1 High 2.0:1 3.768
4.000 16.2 Ctr of Band 3.723

40 M 7.000 1.5 Low 2.0:1 6.917
Ctr Freq 7.100 1.3 High 2.0:1 7.347
7.200 1.4 Ctr of Band 7.132

30 M 10.100 1.3 Low 2.0:1 10.063
Ctr Freq 10.125 1.1 High 2.0:1 10.191
10.150 1.4 Ctr of Band 10.127

20 M 14.000 1.5 Low 2.0:1 13.526
Ctr Freq 14.175 1.4 High 2.0:1 15.423
14.350 1.5 Ctr of Band 14.475

17 M 18.068 1.8 Low 2.0:1 18.038
Ctr Freq 18.118 1.7 High 2.0:1 18.243
18.168 1.7 Ctr of Band 18.141 1.6 all through band form 100
15 M 21.000 1.5 Low 2.0:1 20.780
Ctr Freq 21.225 1.1 High 2.0:1 22.100
21.100 -21.450 1.2:1 Ctr of Band 21.440

12 M 24.890 1.0 Low 2.0:1 24.500
Ctr Freq 24.940 1.0 High 2.0:1 25.205
24.990 1.2 24.853 1.2 24.940 1.1:1

10 M 28.000 1.3 Low 2.0:1 27.313
Ctr Freq 28.850 1.6 High 2.0:1 29.305
29.700 2.5 28.309 swr 1.3

6 M 50.000 1.3 Low 2.0:1 48.020
50.200 1.2 :1
High 2.0:1 51.612
54.000 3.5 I have not finished tuning yet will have another go tomorrow will raise 6m a it and try and get 20m down any tips
in uk we do not have the 7.2-7.3 MHz part of band.
due to the amount of tuning and not completely understandable instructions (a lot hazy in places ) I had to repair this several times as I have retuned(fine tuned) it now about 150 times . sometimes this ahs thrown the antenna out a lot , I have my manual tuner in bypass mode for tis antenna so these are native figures, I used mfj269pro for taking he readings . any help for getting 20m and 17m down lower would be greatly appreciated as I would like tom use my ft857d on this antenna as well as "my boat anchor" the ts530s which I a brilliant radio , reason being putting a switch in to switch between radios some relay system, and the 857d don't like swr being greater than 1.5:1 as a rule where the ts530s handles that with ease
The radials are buried.
the resulst are a cut and paste form the xls spreadsheet made by ac8de but with my results in.(avail in the yahoo group) .
oen tip for you guys I have found don't always move the mount sometimes just adjust the coils for fine tuning(ie stretch of compress a little). movie the up or lower swings the swr to much
NN6CH Rating: 2014-09-23
Great All band Vertical Time Owned: more than 12 months.
MY dad owned two - one permanently mounted, one just for Field Day

I have had mine for 6 years.

I am in an antenna restricted neighborhood, so I have the HF9V behind a palm tree on my property.

This thing works and works and works.

I have DXCC on 6 bands and WAS on 7 bands using this antenna exclusively.

It may seem a bit more expensive than others, but this antenna really works, I can not recommend it enough
VE9AA Rating: 2013-10-14
good all around antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Would probably give it a 4.5 to 5 if literature and pictures were better and tuning instructions were clearer. I can see that this would be an *extremely* frustrating antenna to tune without a graphing antenna analyzer of some kind. I used a aa-230pro, and even then it was about 15 trips up and down the ladder plus it had to come down 3 times to tweak 6, 10 & 15m, unreachable from the stepladder.

I have mine at 8' (just on the edge of a shed roof) with 2 sloping radials per band. (40m radials do double duty on 15m, and no radials needed for 6m). They slope down to about the 5' mark onto fencepoles (wooden) on the back of the property. I won't ever do on the ground radials again. Too much loss and too much hassle with the lawn tractor and corrosion :-)

swr on 20m is broad and close to 2:1

Performance is pretty good for a unity gain antenna.

This weekend I ran 100w and worked the MAKROTHEN RTTY TEST, SAC SSB Contest, PA QP, AZ QP, NA RTTY Sprint and general DXing. I compared it to a CW-160 all band OCF dple @ 25', and other wire ground planes at 10-12'. It was always as good and in some cases better than every other antenna.

Worth the money (I guess?) but expensive to buy and get shipped to your door in Canada.

If you need one antenna, this'll do it. It's quite adequate but no barn burner / pileup buster.

Be prepared for lots & lots of trips up & down the ladder and you'd be well advised to use something more than a normal bare bones SWR meter and radio. (unless you really enjoy going up and down a ladder !)

If you ground mount it, you'll still need to take it up and down a few times to access 10-15-6m

73 de Mike VE9AA
W4VKU Rating: 2013-08-17
Fantastic performer with excellent ground Time Owned: more than 12 months.
First of all, i own 2 butternuts. They are HF9V and HF9V-X. Do not try to do elevated radials on this multiband antenna. It is an exercise in frustration. It will work so so with a so so ground.

However, i installed it right in the salt water at 8Q7 and it was a killer antenna. 40m LSB was like radio telephone everyday at grayline with 400w. It fared comprable with a 2 element steppir on 17m, polar path.

Putting it together takes time,since one needs to
apply the conductive grease. Use surgical gloves
when you put it together and tune it, to avoid
the mess in your hands.

Tuning is a pain i agree. Start with 80m and then
go higher. I did not care to get 10m to play.
However, 80m thru 12m was good. I run 200ft of
LMR 400 and that helped smooth out the high SWR.

Also tear down for shipping is not easy. One needs to be meticulous in removing and packing.
I broke the 30m doorknob cap due to shipping stress. Not a fault of the antenna, but careful
packing is the key.

They are good performers, but under the best
conditions. The antenna did not do to well on a
sandy beach, with the 6 radials on the sand. It
did pretty good on 20m, but not on 40m . So it
is ideal if placed in a perfectly conductive
ground. But for that matter, any vertical will
work well in that situation.

But, without any autotuner, not worrying about
carrying control cables etc, this is an excellent

The HF6V going is around $150 for a good used one
these days.

I will use it again for future expeditions in a
phasing setup and if you have a HF6V-X to sell
at a reasonable price, pse drop me a note :)

Good luck & 73s