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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
K1GHC Rating: 2021-02-08
My KIO hex failed Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After owning one for a few years I can report that the design is not robust enough to handle heavy ice and snow. My KIO hex failed (bent) at the center post after a recent ice storm.
N0GM Rating: 2021-01-08
Very good directional stealthy antenna Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
HexBeam did a great job on a 8 foot mast in the Dec 10M contest running only 100W. I heard a station in Oregon and swung the beam around as he transmitted — he went from audible to inaudible to pounding in when I was aimed at him, so that little antenna really demonstrates directionality. Was able to pick up stations in Argentina and Chile out of the muck and snag them on the first call instead of sitting for a long time on club stations with the KW & stacked yagi’s. The best thing is, my neighbors can't even see it, it's under the tree line and kind of a camouflage shape. Also, Leo helped me when I initially set it up wrong and helped me thru my mind fog to fix the issue. Very pleased, in fact I bought one for my summer hangout.
KJ8U Rating: 2020-12-30
Great performer, great value, great purchase Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Really loving my KIO Hexbeam! I have it on top of 33' mast with a Yaesu G450 rotator. The mast is shared with one end of a 130' EFHW and a Comet GP-3 UHF/VHF antenna. It is attached to the side of my house up to 20' then has two levels of guys for the last 13'.

The ease of assembly was fantastic. I was delighted with the combination of light weight and self supporting structure. The fiberglass telescoping poles slide into each other about 8" to pre-set hose clamp stops and do not need any additional connections. The support cables are made up with hooks that connect to an eyebolt on the central post and to the end of the tubes (clamped in place with a hose clamp,) on the other. The antenna driver and reflector are a single unit (spacers built in line,) and thread through rubber protected wire guides.
After collapsing my mast to head height (from the top of my roof,) I was able to lift and install the antenna into the rotator by myself. I bought the universal clamp kit and a 12" section of galvanized 1.5" pipe to mate with the rotator. The antenna has handled 35-40mph wind gusts with no problem. I feel confident about leaving it up in all but a hurricane.

I get amazed signal reports from other hams. I operate barefoot at 100w and on SSB am regularly getting better signal reports back than what folks with 600-1000w are sending. I primarily operate FT8 and immediately started making QSOs with lots of countries I could never work before.

I do a ton of research before making antenna purchases and it's wonderful to find that the product exceeds expectations. As the solar cycle progresses, I look forward to adding additional bands to the 20m set I started with. The ability to save cost and purchase it with only the 20m wire set, but easily add additional bands cheaply was a big draw with this antenna.

I had a DIY rotatable dipole and a DIY 20m moxon that this has replaced. Both of those antennas suffered from strength to weight issues and had unbalanced response to wind gusts. The hexbeam has better tensegrity and feels much more robust. I'd purchased fiberglass snow flag poles with the intent of building a DIY hexbeam, but after this purchase am extremely glad I did not.
AH6FC Rating: 2020-10-21
Impressive Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Very impressive.

I've been in the process of working on an antenna system that I can effectively hide from the HOA Nazi's (no offense to Nazi's)...thus bought a mono-band (20) Hexbeam...primarily to see how it would perform at a low height. For comparison sake, I've been using a SteppIR vertical, which I have hidden very well, but my baseline was a rather large Optibeam...39 foot boom at 70 feet. I've been missing real DX'ing...withouth lots of struggle. Anyhow:

The antenna, at 10 feet is clearly about 2 - 3 dB over the vertical (which has about 40 radials). Even at 10 feet, the performance is impressive. Very broadbanded as well.

SWR 1.2: 1 while on sawhorses and still 1.3:1 at that (impressive) 10 feet. (I understand these work best at 30 - 40 feet).

I have the spreaders painted black / green and draped with el cheapo plastic green vine leaves...does blend in to the environment quite well.

Assembly: less than one hour...granted, monoband, but very fast and easy. On a push up mast it is a 1 man job.

If you live in ice and snow, hard to say. But for the price, it is a stellar performer. Wish it was a little smaller so I can hide a bit better, but that is a different issue.

Very impressive.

73 es Aloha,
AC6BW Rating: 2020-06-29
Excellent Performance Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I wanted an upgrade from the sub-par 2 el yagi which I was using, to an antenna that would provide better gain and F/B ratio. I only have about 15 ft maximum turning radius available at my QTH, due to some structures, so a hex beam is about the largest antenna that I could install. After reviewing several hex beam manufacturers, I decided to go with the K4KIO hex beam, mainly due to the recommendation and results of one of my friends.

I'm very happy that I did. The KIO hex beam has been the single best improvement to my station in several years.

The quality and construction of the materials and the antenna structure are very good. I followed the recommendations in the manual, and applied a couple of coats of grey rustoleum spray primer paint to the spreaders. I assembled the antenna, with the help of a friend, on my back lawn, using a portable tripod mounted mast to support the antenna. This came in handy. The antenna went together easily in one afternoon, with no problems.

Raising the antenna onto the roof was a bit unwieldy, but I had a crew of a few guys, which helped. We simply folded up the tripod, and walked the tripod, with the antenna still mounted to it and extended to about 6 ft, over to the roofline, where the other helpers raised it onto the roof.

I have the KIO hex beam mounted on a 35 ft Rohn 9H50 push-up mast, bolted to the eve of the house. I use a Yaesu G450A medium duty rotator on the top of mast. Coming out of the rotator, I use a short 2 ft, 2" aluminum pipe that mates into the hex beam's universal mast clamp. This setup works fine. But a word of caution, if you do something similar, just be aware that the hex beam weighs 26 lbs, and has a 5.1 sq-ft wind load. You will need a couple or 3 helpers to extend the mast, while keeping the guys taught. The 9H50 push-up mast is actually over its limit supporting the weight of this beam, and the G450A rotator is near the limit of its wind load capabilities. But, both seem to handling the load very well, so far!

As far as performance, I am very impressed! The F/B ratio is at least 3 S-units on all bands, and the side rejection is even better. The gain is much better than my old 2-el yagi at the same height, given that yagi was essentially a rotatable dipole! I primarily work DX, and I run 1300W on CW and SSB, and up to 600W on digital/RTTY. The antenna is rated at 2 kW PEP, and handles the power with ease. What I really like about this antenna is it simplicity, and full size elements, without having to worry about traps. I installed the antenna at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, but even so, I've been able to hear and work stations that were difficult with my older antenna. I've been increasing my DXCC totals, and that was the goal! I can't wait to see the results when conditions start improving in the next solar cycle.

I've had this antenna in service now for about 15 months, with no problems. I may decide to take it down at the 3-4 year mark, just to check it out and service it, if needed. I'm interested in how well the paint and fiberglass spreaders have held up to the CA sun. I'll probably do an update to this review at a later date.
N4NUI Rating: 2020-05-12
Works well and good service Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Because I had limited swing room and wanted some directivity and F to B ratio over my wire antennas I bought Leo's Hex Beam. I was very happy with the performance. The FB and directivity is good enough that I also used my wire antennas so I didn't miss calls from the back of the beam. I had this up on a RS TV masts in a "U" shaped support structure with the rotor at the bottom on my upper deck and the thrust bearing at the top so there was 6' of mast above the roof peak. This put the base of the antenna at a little over 30'AGL. We had a horrific wind storm with 85 mph gusts and the bracket for the thrust bearing in the support structure failed and the mast pipe bent over at the rotor. The K4KIO Hex was holding up to the wind but not to being smashed into a tree. I ordered a new center post stub, a 6-meter wire set, and a heavy duty universal mast clamp from Leo. I ordered a new set of spreaders from Max Gain. I bit the bullet and bought a 20' length of 2" diameter heavy wall aluminum pipe (18 pounds) for the new mast. I had used some marine clear UV paint on the original spreaders but at this altitude and heat there was some shedding apparent on the original spreaders after two years. This time I used a painters solvent to first clean the new spreaders then 0000 steel wool, then sprayed on Krylon bright white "Fusion" paint on the suggestion of the Krylon tech rep. When a neighbor asked about the up-side-down umbrella over my roof line after the initial installation I just said, "I am catching cosmic rays to power the house." Hi Hi
K0KER Rating: 2020-03-26
Best antenna for the money, possibly for anything under $2,000. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased my 5-band K4KIO Hexbeam almost ten years ago and was immediately impressed with its directionality and gain. The first installation was on a push up mast which worked great until ice from an ice storm made the support lines so heavy that the mast bent and dropped the Hexbeam to the ground. (One fiberglass pole needed to be replaced, and Lou sent it the next day.) The mast solution was a crank up, crank over tower I picked up used from a fellow ham. On the tower, the Hexbeam, at a height of 35 feet, has been up now for seven years without problem; the SWR is very low on all five bands, and I found that not raising the tower to its maximum height produced lower SWR and better overall results. I have worked stations all over the world using only 100 watts. The only "problem" which isn't a problem, is that it is so directional, it doesn't listen off the sides very well. So, I use a Titan DX vertical as my initial listening antenna. Once I hear a station I want, I look it up on, get the bearing and point the Hexbeam to it. It usually takes less than four calls to make the qso; it regularly breaks through pileups against stations using amplifiers. In fact, I call my Hexbeam the great amplifier equalizer. I cannot recommend this antenna highly enough.
AE0MO Rating: 2019-07-30
Great Antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
All I can say if you want a directional antenna without spending a lot of money on a tower and big rotor that doesn't take up a lot of space This is the antenna for you. I have had it for over 2 years and it has worked flawless. Great product it has survived high winds and ice. Great people to work with also
KE5WIQ Rating: 2019-07-25
Still the Best Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Very few products deserve this kind of review. My hex has been up for more than 5 years. Finally pulled it down to deal with corrosion on push-up pole parts: experience shows it is better to deal with this kind of maintenance while things are intact. As for the antenna, I expected a mess in the Texas sun, high winds, etc. Here is what I found:

- Fiberglass poles were shedding. This was expected, but I did use Krylon UV protectant. Better to use a more substantial non-transparent paint. The protectant did bond to the fiberglass, with some areas still intact. Leo has a recommendation on his web site, and I went with a similar green primer/paint to blend in with nearby trees and hopefully to absorb less light and heat than black. I could have reused the poles, but had already bought a replacement set based on expectations.

- Some of the center post rivets were missing. I'm handy, so I sent an e-mail to Leo asking what type of rivets were best. He responded the same night, saying he no longer uses them and instead bolts the pieces together. He has a nice solution on his site, but sent specs to do it while the antenna was still intact. I'm an engineer - this is good continuous improvement.

- The wire harnesses and support cords were good to go back up.

This was a quick job, with the antenna looking good as new. The antenna performance, ease of maintenance, and incredibly-good support will keep me using it unless I go monoband one day. Even then I can't see doing without the K4KIO hex.

Earlier 5-star review posted by KE5WIQ on 2014-03-18

I'll line up behind the 5's. This is a well thought-out product, and Leo & team really do stand behind every word. My installation is shown on my QRZ page @ ng5ng. E-mail me or ask on-air if you have any questions.

The beam doesn't work miracles, but it comes close. It is quiet, has gain, great nulls, and by golly, pulls in the DX. It needs no tower (see my qrz or the Yahoo group for lots of others), and a small rotator.

I don't have a long period of use yet, but the beam just made it through two days of 40+ mph winds plus one heck of a shear wind that completely took out another ham's beam antenna down the road, not to mention many fences in the neighborhood. Guessing it was a prolonged gust well over 60 mph. Short of getting a SteppIR or multiple monobeams, you can't go wrong here.
KI5DYI Rating: 2019-05-20
Better than I imagined Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Looked at the reviews and talked on the air to some folks that seemed to love them. Thunderstorm wrecked my antennas so I pulled the card out and called. The best customer service I could imagine. Wanted to try it at a portable event and he got one ready and rushed it to me. Just 20m but then I ordered the other bands and installed them. Buy all the bands at once if you can, it will lesson installation time. Quiet...when I had it on the ground on a bucket made 2 contacts on 20m, one to Cuba and one to Canary Islands. Its now on 25 foot pole awaiting to put on my 45 foot tower. At 25 foot it is picking up all those weak ones I wasn't hearing. Almost no noise....Can't wait to get it up on the tower. It is already exceeding my expectations by a quantum leap. I wished every company had the customer service that this one does.