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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: 159MSRP: 669
Description:
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
More Info: http://www.k4kio.com
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
351594.9
AE7KB Rating: 2018-06-01
5 Year Report Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After five long years baking in the Arizona sun, I collapsed the mast and removed the Hexbeam to replace the coax and perform a detailed inspection. The station was running fine when I took it down.

I upgraded to the universal mast mount system but the antenna itself required only minimal maintenance and adjustment.

Tucson isn’t famous for it’s ice and snow but the summer sun down here relentlessly destroys almost everything over time along with our fair share of high winds but this antenna just begs for more.

Thanks Leo K4KIO for one tough antenna. Money well spent.

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Earlier 5-star review posted by AE7KB on 2013-02-17

All things considered, this could be the best overall deal on directional antennas. All previous reviews are 5.0. Not much I can say that hasn't already been said. I'm not one to reinvent the wheel. Great signal and audio reports from the start. People keep asking me what amp I'm using.

Bill AE7KB
KK4WL Rating: 2018-03-08
Great. Seems as good as my TA33 Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
It took me 3 hours to assemble. The only ant I have ever assembled that I did not have to tune.I put my rigexpert on it before I put it up on tower and all 6 bands were 1.3 or less in the center. I thought that such a silly looking ant could never work as good as the published specs. Boy was I wrong.
I am completely satisfied with the performance and construction. I have made over 400 DX contacts in the first month with ant at 35 feet.

I painted the spreaders. If you don't paint them like is recommended they will be damaged by the sun. Plan on it.
A great ant and great company.
Thanks to Leo K4KIO for such good service.
73
KI6EQW Rating: 2017-10-31
California Sun is doing it in.. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Concur with AE5GG's remarks. Support cords have failed, and fiberglass is heavily oxidized by the sun. Replaced cords with larger diameter material, but I am waiting for band wires/fiberglass spreaders to fail. May replace it then with the same, or move to a SteppIr urban beam. Antenna has worked well for me.
AE5GG Rating: 2017-08-03
Fantastic Company & Product! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
In all the companies that I have dealt with in over 35 years as a ham none of them beats the quality of construction and personal service that I received at KIO Technologies! They are fantastic! I had a few questions along the way and found Leo to be very responsive and extremely kind. I highly recommend this product! I also found the materials and instruction manuals, in addition to the website to be very helpful!

Here are some installation points that I would like to pass along:

I built the KIO Hex Beam using a 5' antenna mounting pole inserted into a heavy metal umbrella stand (which I kept in our outdoor table for greater stability). One person could easily build the Hex Beam.

After completing my installation, I measured the SWR on all bands and found it to be surprisingly far better than I expected on all bands (I purchased 20 through 6 meters).

After reading the comments I did spray paint the fiberglass arms with black UV protection paint. I found this useful as I had to collapse the fiberglass arms to get the antenna through a series of trees as I navigated the antenna to its mounting position. (The spray paint helped me to quickly identify where to re-extend the fiberglass arms as you could easily see the difference between the part that was painted and the unpainted portion which was inserted into the next larger fiberglass pole.)

I purchased the ice chords for enhanced stability in windy conditions as well as the occasional ice storms that we get in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. I’d recommend this to anyone in any location for enhanced support of the fiberglass arms.

I would recommend putting some coax seal over the connection points for each band as they attach to the center pole. I did this to reduce the amount of possible corrosion from weather and, more importantly, to reduce the chance that the nuts might loosen as the antenna moves under very windy conditions.

The KIO Technology website will tell you that you can install 20 through 6 meters and even benefit from low SWR on 2m. Well, using my antenna analyzer, I found it to be well within acceptable SWR limits on 1.25cm (USA 222-225MHz) and 70cm (USA 420-450MHz). Leo pointed out that the radiation pattern on those last two bands was not as clean as the others so he didn’t add that to the manufacturer’s recommended available bands. But in my opinion, the antenna is good from 70cm through 20m – that’s 9 bands (or minimally 7 bands if you stick to KIO’s recommendations and you purchase all available bands). But even if you exclude the 220 and 420 MHz bands – it’s still a FANTASTIC VALUE!
KK5JY Rating: 2017-05-09
Electrically Excellent, Support Excellent, Materials so-so Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I just decommissioned my KIO hexbeam after four years of continuous service. I used it on two different masts, and electrically, it is excellent. Even in the EZNEC+ models, the hexbeam at 20' beats a rotatable dipole at 30' for maximum forward gain at low angles. My real-world experiences match the models. The hexbeam designs in general offer excellent SNR and significant amounts of gain and directivity.

My experiences talking with Leo are also top-notch. He is always willing to answer questions, even years after a sale. I would gladly do business with him again.

My only complaint about the hexbeam is the material selection. The KIO used black rope, which I assume is dacron-covered nylon, like many of the antenna ropes sold in ham shops. Unfortunately, the rope is a little thin for continuous service, and after four years outdoors, my antenna was starting to have ropes fail from UV exposure, and most of them were quite stiff and weathered. I have thicker ropes of the same material and construction that are still very flexible and fresh after the same amount of outdoor exposure.

Also, the resin in the fiberglass on my KIO suffered substantial UV damage after four years of exposure. This affected mainly the tops of the arms.

The wires and their insulation were still in fantastic shape after four years, as was the hardware on the center post, and all the stainless hooks that hold the ropes to the fiberglass. The only issues I had were with the fiberglass and ropes.

If I were to install a new hexbeam, I would still go with KIO, but I would make a couple of changes. First, I would paint all of the fiberglass with an enamel finish, several days prior to initial assembly. Second, I would replace all of the structural ropes with thicker ones of the same lengths, for longevity.

Given that such simple things would substantially improve the longevity of the hex, and given that mine was fairly well worn out after four years, these seem like things that would be integrated better into the manufacturing process up front. I'm sure it's a trade-off of cost vs. average service life. That said, for an antenna that is nearly $1000 when fully-loaded with options, four years just doesn't seem like a good service life.
AG5GP Rating: 2017-04-29
Good antenna, but.... Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have owned the KIO hexbeam for about 8 months. I will say its radio performance is outstanding, but the design and structure does not withstand sustained winds in the 30-40 mph environment very well. My hexbeam is mounted on a 55 ft tower with a hygain rotor. During our frequent Oklahoma windstorms, the spreaders are constantly bending and swaying as well as the antenna elements. The wind stress on the elements have caused them to loosen the screws multiple times on the terminal posts and results in coming off the post entirely. Additionally, the spreader support cords are continually slipping off the eyehook on the center post even when bending s-hook closed. There is simply too much bend in the spreaders which in time will cause a lot of "loosening" in the entire antenna. I have had to lower the tower for maintenance on the antenna now about once a month since I have had it. Also, in the strong winds here, the center post has become loose twice now and the set screws that hold it to the mounting bracket have to be retightened on a regular basis. While I really like the radio performance of the antenna, I would not recommend it for areas where gusty high winds are experienced.
KB0SDQ Rating: 2017-04-27
Fantastic antenna and very good price Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I purchased my hexbeam from Leo and so glad I did. mine has all bands 20 thru 6 on top of a fifty foot rohn 25G tower Before it was raised I had it in my yard on a four foot pipe, and I was working spain and other countries. Now that it is at 55' wow I am getting compliments on the signal even worked some 10 meter to Sweden. I would recommend this beam for all. I did have a few questions and sent them to Leo and he helped right away, He stands behind his product. Thanks and 73
De Doug KB0SDQ
W1XYZ Rating: 2017-02-20
I have two of them Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I became a believer soon after placing the FIRST K4KIO hexbeam at the top of my mast, well above my precious NBS 5 element 10M yagi. I deleted the 10M loop on the hexbeam to avoid interference, and kept the 6M in place. This setup has served me well for several years though I am concerned with degradation from weather and UV. For that reason I have painted the glass fiber rods with black paint to protect them from UV, and I have beefed up the catenary lines with much heavier phillystran like line that I have a higher confidence with. My SECOND hexbeam is at my lab several towns away, connected via Remoterig back to the home station. This second unit is a six band version and I did have to play with it to get 12, 10 and 6 to behave. I would recommend this antenna although I would strongly recommend beefing up the lines and painting the arms first. They are easy to put up and can be assembled sideways on the end of the mast of a tilt over tower quite easily by spinning the beam on the mast. Another enhancement I would make is to get rid of the closed loops and make them open loops with clamps. This will make assembly and disassembly much quicker and save all the tedious threading through that has to be done.

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Earlier 5-star review posted by W1XYZ on 2015-05-28

Though not a high gain antenna, the Hexbeam from K4KIO does the job on my small tower. I mainly DX on 10M, and one of the very nicest things about this antenna is that I do not have to have another parasitic 10M element anywhere near my 5 element 10M yagi. If anything, placing the hex beam above the yagi spaced by about 20' seems to work well and does not seem to interact with 10M operation. It is a great convenience to be able to switch over to 20-12M and instantly operate. I have purchased two of these antennas, the second after the first failed on erection. The clamps on the fiberglass spreaders were too tight and one of them snapped. On the second Hex I put aluminum anti-crush sleeves inside each of the spreaders at the clamp end to prevent this. K4KIO out to consider this measure. Another thing I learned was the fiberglass is very prone to UV and therefore must be painted. Yet another tweak is the compensating catenary that should be well anchored using additional hose clamps so it cannot walk up the arms and loosen. Hex number 2 has stayed in the air for a couple of years now and return loss measurements with my Agilent Fieldfox suggest some stretching of the elements and frequency shift toward the lower ends of bands. This is to be expected. I am rebuilding the failed Hex beam now and plant to mount it above the first one. This could be worthwhile, or not, but it's easy to try since the Hex is fairly light in weight and the wind load is moderate too.
NN2X Rating: 2017-02-10
Compared with my mono banders Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have the Hex Beam for 4 years, (Ice), snow, wind, all very good..

The performance..

Compared with my MONO Banders against the HEX Beam....

My Mono banders are
20 meters / 24FT boom
15 Meter / 12FT Boom
10 Meters / 12ft boom

I compared for 3 months, and in my property


Bottom line...The Hex Beam (K4KIO) either did as well, or sometimes better on longer skips. The Hex Beam is 1OFT Lower...Look at my QRZ Page, the set up is still there..

I am sorry that the software analysis does not align with the my results...What can I say...

You waist your money if you purchase any other antenna that supports 5 bands unless at least the boom length is 30 ft boom (When compared to Hex Beam). And I don't care how they craft / design the antenna, you can't be better than my mono banders...However, the K4KIO Hex beam was equal to my mono banders..

I have no skin in the game, I never met the owner..Nice fellow I am sure...I was a skeptic when this first came out..Not now of course...

I have been a Ham operator for 40 years, consulted as an RF Engineer for Lightning Bolt, and many commercial antenna manufactures..

Added bonus...A Yagi Antenna, generally requires a tower, heavy rotor..My Hex Beam, only needed TV Rotor, and Mast...That cost total $120.

I had other Ham operator witnessed the performance as well...

Again...Sorry for the truth!

NN2X

Tom





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Earlier 5-star review posted by NN2X on 2014-01-14

Ice Storm here in Dallas, and winds. The ice was at least 1/2 inch, or maybe more...No damage, no issues...None...!

Besides the great performance, durability, and very light..Many antennas are strong, however, they weigh like a tank...

Bottom line...what a great antenna...performance, and with stand the most challenging weather conditions..
K3XT Rating: 2017-02-09
OK for 4 years then fell apart Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This 6 band hexangular beam antenna worked great for 4 years then in the Florida sun fell apart. After seeing both support ropes and band wires dangling downward I took down the antenna for repairs. This antenna is held together by many black cable ties that broke open. The ones that did not fail could be pulled apart by slight hand pressure. I replaced all the cable ties on the antenna. Because the cable ties broke this put pressure on the individual flex-weave band wires that started chaffing on the deteriorating rubber coated aluminum P clips on the spreaders. All the rubber P clips were also replaced. Now I see my 15 meter wire has broken so can not operate 15 meters. At $45 per band wire set (all 6 need to be replaced) it is time to go to an 8 band beam antenna with almost the same wind load.