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Reviews For: Hexbeam: by K4KIO

Category: Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA

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Review Summary For : Hexbeam: by K4KIO
Reviews: 181MSRP: 669
A six band, broadband, G3TXQ- designed, hexagonal beam with performance on par with a two element Yagi but a much smaller physical footprint is fully tuned and ready to go. This is a plug and play antenna, not a kit. It can be assembled in an evening with no measurements or tuning needed. No traps or coils are required and a single coax feeds all bands. Available for Bands 20 – 6 meters in various combinations. All steel components are stainless and non metallic components are UV resistant. Mount on a push up mast or rooftop. The sturdy aircraft aluminum base plate has never been reported to fail by hundreds of users. A “no questions asked” 30 day refund offer comes with each beam.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K5ML Rating: 2023-05-16
Seven Year Review Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Seven Year Review

After being up for 7 years, the KIO hexbeam is still in
fine physical condition and working as well as it did when it was brand new.

There has been only one minor glitch. A few weeks ago, I noticed that the beam was about 30 degrees off course. A check of the antenna revealed that the hex screws that hold the base plate on the mounting post had come loose. Rotating the antenna back on course and using the hex wrench that came with the antenna to tighten the screws solved the problem.

The new sunspot cycle has me appreciating the KIO beam more than ever. Working DX on 10,12 and 15 meters is not a problem. Most of the DX stations I call come back on the first or second call.

Over the almost 66 years I’ve been a licensed ham, I’ve had lots of antennas. The biggest was a 4-element quad on a 30’ boom, atop a 51’ crank-up tower. It worked great, but it taught me an important lesson: big antennas come with big headaches. Like sports cars and convertibles, I had to own one of each get them out of my system.

One of my transceivers is an IC-7300. It and my hexbeam have a lot in common. Both punch way above their weight. Both are compact, and both deliver exceptional performance per dollar. Better yet, the hex beam doesn’t require the expenses of a big tower or rotator. It won’t keep pace with a 4-element wide spaced beam, but you won’t be disappointed either. Just be sure to buy one with good physical construction.

Five Year Review

Over 5 years have passed since installation and the KIO hexbeam is working fine. Only had one malfunction when the antenna was about a year old. A connection between the 20 meter element and the cord broke and left part of the element hanging vertically. I e-mailed Leo a pic of the problem, he FedExed me a new element and didn't charge me.

I'm very pleased with the performance of this antenna. Last night during a Russian DX contest I worked 19 stations in Asiatic and European Russia, on 20 meter CW in 2 hours. It was just another night on the air with the hexbeam. Working the world is no problem even though the baseplate is only 20' high.

The antenna continues to be in fine physical shape despite the heat/radiation of the Arizona sun and numerous monsoon storms. Below is my original review from 2017.
Updated on 8-23-2021

Made Possible by a Blinding Flash of the Obvious

First, a little background: After being QRT for 23 years, I decided to become QRV as I approached the golden age of 65 in 2007. The major difference would be that this would be the first time I would have to confront HOA restrictions complete with CC&Rs and an attending Gestapo. For that reason I believed that having a beam was out completely out of the question. I began by running 500 watts and using 3 very stealth, low-level wire antennae: A loop around the property wall and over the roof, an inverted-L, and a G5RV about 12’ high. Each antenna was tuned with a separate Johnson Matchbox. I may have been one of the few hams to ever have stacked Matchboxes.

Once I got on the air I began looking for the next best thing to a beam. I talked to my long time friend Dennis, W4USR and met Orrin, K9KEJ on 20 meters. Both were using ZeroFive verticals and both had consistently loud signals. I bought a 41’ ZeroFive, put 40 radials under it and it worked great. Later I bought a second, shorter ZeroFive, added 40 radials and put it on the other side of the property. Using those 2 verticals I heard 321 DX entities and worked 318 in 9 years. I still have both verticals and they are great for working DX.

However, no vertical monopole, no matter how efficient can compete with a well-designed gain antenna. I knew that from back in the days when I had beams and quads. While using the verticals I talked to lots of hams using hex beams from all over the world. They all had great signals and I just wished I could put one up. I would tell old friends renewing their interest in ham radio to put up a hex beam if they want to put a good signal on the air. But for me it just seemed out of the question.

Then, on the afternoon of April 15, 2016 I started thinking, “There must be some way I can put up a hex beam and screen it from view.” And that’s when I realized it might be possible to put one on the patio roof, in the center of our house, where it would be screened from the front of the house and nearby neighbors. I got out the tape measure and measured the dimensions of the patio roof. Eureka! The small turning radius of a hex beam made it doable. I wanted to kick myself for not thinking of this option years ago.

Shortly after that blinding flash of the obvious, I placed order with Leo, K4KIO for a 6-band hexagonal beam. I know several of Leo’s very satisfied customers and they all sang his praises. The kit arrived about week later and everything was in order. No missing pieces, great materials and clear instructions. When I did have question, an email or phone call to Leo was quickly answered. It was a great buying experience.

I painted the poles a flat matte green. Friends I know who have hex beams and did not paint their poles strongly recommended it.

The mast holding the beam is secured to the roof with a Rohn FRM 125 flat roof mount. The roof mount is anchored in place with concrete blocks and a single set of 3 guy wires. You can see how it looks on my page, although the roof mount and guy wires are not visible.

The beam became operational on the morning of May 14. A quick check of SWR on all bands found no problems. It worked fine right out of the box. Although the baseplate of the beam is only 20’ high, it works great. The first call to a JA was immediately answered with a 5-9 report on 20 SSB. A week or so later there was an Asian CW DX contest. In less than one hour I worked 6 HS stations in Thailand. That was a first for me.

How does the hex compare with the vertical? A crosstown check on ground wave found the hex be to stronger on all bands as follows: 2 S-units on 20 meters, 4 S-units on 17, 3 S-units on 15, 5 S-units on 12 and 6 S-units on 10. On skip, it averages 2 S-units better on 20 and 17, sometimes much more, sometimes no difference, depending on conditions. On 15, 12 and 10 the difference is significantly more. I get through pileups much faster than before. Not long ago, I worked LY5A in a pileup on the first call on 20 SSB. He gave me a 5-9. After working him, realized that I forgot to turn the amp on and worked him running just 20 watts.

You can buy less expensive hex beams. It’s also possible to homebrew one and save yourself a bundle. However, for the quality of the materials, the service, antenna performance and the total buying experience, Leo and his K4KIO hexagonal beam are very hard to beat. Quality is like buying oats. If you want fresh, clean, good oats you have to be willing to pay a fair price. However, oats can be had a whole lot cheaper…. once they have been through the horse.

Thank you, Leo. You have made a lot of hams very happy.

Posted on 2-9-2017
AB4PP Rating: 2023-04-20
Very Satisfied // Very Good performer Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I saw this antenna at a friend's house and he was impressed with it's coverage. I decided to purchase and put up in my yard. I have no HOA's and picked a spot in the back between some trees. I put a 4x4x10 in the ground in concrete to mount it on. I had some brackets made up at a local metal shop and was able to put a 45 foot push up mast up with a G-450-A rotor on the bottom and a thrust bearing up at 6 foot. I put the antenna together after painting the fiberglass rods green with rustoleum paint. With the antenna on the ground on saw horses I aimed it NE and was able to work European and Russian countries with very good signal reports. I mounted the antenna on the push up mast and raised it to the 40 foot level. When properly aimed I was amazed at the signals I picked up in comparison to both my vertical and my carolina windom up at 60 feet. I hear stations on the hex beam I do not hear on the other two antennas and usually work anyone I can hear. Running 100W on my K3S I am very impressed with the contacts I have made. I did put on the ice kit since we get some ice storms here during the winter months. We have had several ice storms and there has been no damage from any of those. I have had it up for four years and have not had to take it down or make any repairs. It has sustained some very strong winds and stayed up. I did guy the mast on rings at three levels and that seems to help with the winds. The antenna is resonant on all the bands and needs very little tuning. I wish it had a 40/30 meter element for some of those contacts. Overall I have been and am still very satisifed with the antenna.

4/20/23 Just read my review and others on the K4KIO hexbeam. I still have it up and use it everyday. It has survived several wind storms over the years it has been up. I have it guyed and adjust the guys whenever we are having a threat of heavy winds. I also installed the ice kit and that has helped I am sure with several ice storms. I am still very satisfied with my Hexbeam.My rating remains the same after all these years.
N7DTY Rating: 2023-03-18
Good Performance - Universal Clamp Eliminated Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I've had this up for almost a month and it works awfully well, especially compared to the various long wire antennas I have tried. I purchased this antenna last Fall, but installation slowed down due to the onset of Winter. Leo is very good about responding to emails and answering questions. Not quite sure about some users getting it up in a few hours. It took me a whole lot longer than that. I purchased a used free-standing 32' tower on C/L, which I had to refinish. And I installed a cable lift system using a worm gear winch. I also designed a pivoting mast at the top of the tower than enabled me to assemble the antenna at ground level, raise it to about 12' high after assembly, then use the pivot to move it to a straight position using a ladder, and finally raise the tower to the vertical position. The bottom of the tower has heavy hinges attached to concrete with the lower part of the tower also fastened to a shop building after raising. I have two sets of 4-guy wires for the upper 20 feet. The antenna ends up being about 35' high. While the cost of the antenna was about $900, the used tower and all the other hardware brought the total cost to about $2800. I did modify and strengthen some of Leo's antenna parts, which may or may not have been necessary. I epoxied the fiberglass spread arms rather than relying on SS hose clamps. And I added a few bolts and strengtheners here and there. But overall I am very happy. I am reasonably optimistic that winds and ice will not be an issue, but only time will tell. My system for raising and lowering the mast and pivoting it has been very easy to work and quick. Having a system like this requires you have a fair amount of space to work in. I put together a 37-page PDF of pictures and information on my project which I will try to post. Pictures work a lot better than words sometimes. Would be glad to send it to anyone who is interested. Email:

3-7-22. This is an update. Regrettably, I have reduced my rating to 3 stars. We get winds here regularly. After a typical wind event with 42 mph gusts, the antenna shifted in the bracket and I had to lower it to realign it. But as I looked at the heavy-duty universal mounting clamp as well as the upper center post and its attachment to the base plate, I think this needs some improvement in terms of strength and rigidity, at least for winds in our range. The heavier universal clamp that I purchased for my 1.9" OD mast is offset and it creates problems for mounting a full-assembled antenna. The teeth on the clamp do not bite well and the clamp itself and the fixing bolts really are not strong enough. The clamp is not self-aligning and if you try to fix a fully-assembled antenna to the mast, it is extremely awkward and hard to get vertical as well. Because the clamp, base plate, and center post are such a critical part of the antenna, I felt I needed to lower my rating. I wish it were otherwise.

6-25-22. This is a second update. I think that KIO has listened to some of the comments on the mast clamp design, which I was having trouble with. Leo has completely redesigned the center post so that it is a single length of round tubing and does away with the older heavy duty mast clamp. I think if I had the new center post, I would be giving a 5 star review. However, he was helpful in doing some modifications of the older design so I could eliminate the mast clamp and drop an antenna tube attached to the bottom of the base plate into my top mast on my tower. I installed the new parts today. I think it is a significant improvement. The whole project took a couple of hours, including lowering and raising the tower. It is much straighter, but more importantly, I think it will be stronger and do a better job in the winds we have at my location. On air performance has continued to be good. I recently added an AL-811 with my ICOM IC-7300 with good results.

3-18-23. The HB continues to work well and I got through the winter with no damage. Had one minor ice storm with a bit less than 1/4" of ice with no issue (I installed Leo's ice cords add-ons). Also had a few typical wind events with up to 45 mph winds. Would hate to have to replace this. Even with my tilt down system, assembling a new antenna would still be a fair amount of work.
VE8AP Rating: 2023-03-17
Been an awesome antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My 3rd review I still believe this antenna is top notch and won't change rating My K4KIO failed last year in a -60c storm and it failed to the point that it's no longer in service and I have gone with other antenna's but I miss this antenna to be honest it's plug and play automatic band switching and light weight and some gain. You can't go wrong and in my case living where I live many antenna's would of failed maybe not all but most. 73's
KH6DC Rating: 2023-03-14
Awesome Antenna 10+ Years Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Had this up at about 15 feet for over 10 years and it never ceases to amaze me. Hearing 3Y0J-Bouvet Island DXpedition at +00 on FT8 and they giving me a -04 in return is a real test of this antenna. Will get another if this one breaks from the strong wind gusts. It's on a Rhon 9H50 mast with a thrust bearing and Yaesu G450 rotator at the bottom, all on a 4x4 stuck in concrete like Leo Shoemaker suggests.
K4DBC Rating: 2023-01-24
Great Antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I pulled the trigger on a KI0 hexbeam a couple weeks ago. Shipping was quick and the instructions and parts layout is fantastic.
I had an issue with 20m in that it seemed way to long. The instructions say you should have a little droop in all the elements but mine was a good four feet to long. I called the company on a Friday morning and the phone was answered by Mr. Leo, the owner himself. I told him what I had and be asked if I would measure what I had. Well evidently someone had pulled the wrong parts when assembling the 20m section and it was way off. There was no way to fix it without splicing wires into the reflector and Leo was adamant that they fix thier mistake. So early Monday morning I have the replacement and it's perfect.
SWR across all bands never goes above 1:1.25.
This is a high quality antenna and performance has been fantastic.
KK6KMU Rating: 2023-01-14
Great Antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The KIO Hex is a great product. Well made and easy to assemble. Painted the fiberglass arms white for UV protection. Had it up three years and still looks great. Great tuning out of the box. I don't even use my tuner with this antenna. Highly recommended. Great value.
KD1AB Rating: 2022-11-01
Performance of 10-years old KIO HEX Time Owned: more than 12 months.
In praise of KIO HEX
I bought my KIO HEX(HEX) about 10 years ago. I was operating from near Orlando, FL for 5 years. After next 5 years pause, I moved up to Suffolk, VA. 10 years old HEX was re-assembled and setup on top of a 40ft Aluma tower. For each of 5 HF band (20, 17, 15, 12 and 10, except 6m), ARRL DXCC certificate was received. I am not an avid dx-chaser. With 600W SSB, 300W CW and 100W Digital, if I could hear, I could be heard, too.
Perhaps HEX is not for a contester or a pileup penetrator, multi-element yagi at much higher elevation would be better. But for an occasional DX, it fits the best, in my experience.
Yoon, KD1AB
W9RAC Rating: 2022-09-11
Great Beam Antenna Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I put up a KIO Hex last week. My situation is a bit unique. I live in the forest, inside 15 ac of heavy woods. On my property is a hill in the back with around 200 foot of elevation and a plateau area at about 70 foot elevation. It requires 300 foot linier to get to the 70 foot spot. Living in the woods I have a 20, 40, 60, 80, 160 all flat top dipoles up at around 85 foot n the trees. I wanted to try something different. I ordered the Glen Martin 9 foot heavy duty tower, 9 foot mast, Yaesu G-450A rotor, KIO hexbeam, 300 foot coax and 300 ft of heavy duty rotor cable. I did the assembly at the site in the woods. The Hex Beam was flawless in its manufacture making the assembly a breeze. I could not believe it. Its flat as a pancake on the bands I chose to have, 20, 17 and 6 for local talk. I have to say its a great product. I did order a few extras to beef it up being in the woods and up 70 foot, the ice cord set, universal mast clamp. I have been getting great reports on the Hex. Comparing it to the 20 meter flat top dipole at 65 foot in real time, the HEX gets much better reports, has a better receive and is considerably quieter. Being in the forest I have generally a ZERO noise level most times but the Hex even drops atmospheric noise. A added benefit is being able to talk to the owner Leo with ease regarding questions before/during/after purchase who is a great guy! If you care to see the installation of it, and click on Hex Beam link. I put some pictures on as I went, might give you some ideas on yours depending on your location. It's been a lot of fun so far I don't see it changing. Will be a lot of fun this winter. 73 Rich

UPDATE 05/22... The life of my first Hex ended with the help of a large beech tree March 2021. I liked it enough to order a second one and keep what was left of the first for spare parts. I have the second one located in a safer area and on a tower at about 32'. Plays very well as expected. Like others have mentioned the universal mount is a joke. I mentioned it to Leo and he said has never had a complaint, I guess mine did not count? He did change the mount design from the first one, for the worse in my opinion. Beam is FLAT SWR across all bands, get very good reports. I leave it as 5 star review although be advised the universal mount is marginal. I ordered and have received a Mosley CL33m I will be putting up soon so should be interesting. 73 Rich
EDIT 9/10/2022 I changed my rating simply because of company not being truthful about optional universal mounting system having known flaws.
W5MHG Rating: 2022-08-31
Love it! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
For a long time I've heard nothing but good reviews about this antenna. I finally got my hands on one and the reviews are absolutely true. I put it up and DX was starting to come my way right away. Spain, Venezuela and New Zealand and many more. Great product!