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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
K5ML Rating: 2017-02-08
Made Possible by a Blinding Flash of the Obvious Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
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 QRZ.com 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.
LU5OM Rating: 2016-10-23
The best 6 band solution! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had it for a year+ until a neighbour complained my "satellite dish" was interfering with her cell phone. Ah! Neighbours seem to prefer Yagi-Uda antennas in this neck of the woods.
Mine was probably too high (22 mtrs), but an excellent performer on the 6 bands.
Would I buy it again? Yes, indeed, if I find a way to install it at much lower heights.
Manuel
LU5OM
CT4IK
WG9U Rating: 2016-08-17
Absolutely Amazing! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
While I've only owned my K4KIO Hexbeam antenna for a short time, I've made over 125 contacts within two weeks, almost all DX OSOs, but I'll get to that later.

For many years I've been very skeptical concerning the claims surrounding hexbeam antennas. Just recently I moved from Florida to Northern Alabama, almost on the Tennessee border. I have a lot more property now, however, I have not had the opportunity to put up my crank up tower. That being said, I decided to look for a compromise while I wait for fall to erect my tower. After looking through the myriads of mid sized triband beams, and various hexbeam reviews, I decided on K4KIO Technologies for my purchase.

I looked at various hexbeam offerings and prices and was particularly impressed with the reviews for hexbeams concerning the ability to run them without a tower. What caught my eye concerning the K4KIO hexbeam was the customer service comments. Those reviews proved to be quite accurate. Leo at K4KIO was extremely helpful and very responsive.

I decided upon a configuration of 10, 15, 20 meters. In retrospect I should have also purchased the 6 meter option. An interesting customer service note here; Leo realized that I had placed a separate order for a 10 meter kit in addition to my antenna order. I had inadvertently left the 10 meter band off when I place the initial order, and realizing what I'd done I ordered one of the add-on kit options to rectify the oversight on my part. Leo promptly emailed me and stated that he noticed the second order and would go ahead and install the 10 meter option. That might not sound like much, but I've dealt with a lot of manufacturers and most would have just shipped the kit separately. Not Leo.

It took me all of one hour and forty five minutes to assemble the antenna. This even included an adjustment to the 15 meter band wire to remove a little slack, which was very easy. I also painted the spreaders the day before assembly, which I highly recommend.

The overall materials and construction of the antenna is excellent! I was very impressed with the quality of the materials and the practically "bulletproof" pre-assembly that K4KIO had performed. It is basically a "plug & play" design that they have come up with. The ONLY item that was not in the kit was the Balun. I used a Comtek 1:1 isolation balun for my antenna. The antenna when together quickly and easily, AND everything to make the job a snap was included. There was no need to modify any item(s), drill holes, or deal with parts that did not quite fit. Everything in the kit was perfect and to spec! What a pleasant surprise!

I placed my hexbeam on a Rohn H9H50 push-up mast and secured it with a 3-way 14 gauge 6 strand, 4 segment SS guying system using aluminum turnbuckles. The mast sits atop a Glenn Martin 4.5 foot roof tower mounted on an 4 foot elevated deck. A Yaesu 450A rotator is mounted in the base and turns the entire mast without issue. The antenna sits approximately 40 feet above ground level.

So much for the configuration. While I purchased the hexbeam as a compromise antenna until my tower went up, I was quite surprised by the performance. NO, it is not a full size, massive multi element beam , nor did I expect it to perform as such. However, this 2 element hexbeam has greatly exceeded my wildest expectations. I won't bore everyone with the the technical details of gain, front to back lobes, etc, others can take up that cause. It suffices to day that the proof is in the on-air, real-time performance. The K4KIO hexbeam has been outstanding in breaking through "pile-ups"... I've received many, many 59 reports and even in bad band conditions it's been a solid performer. I was very surprised by the reception ability of the antenna. Even with my heading toward Europe, I could hear stations 90 to 180 degrees off of my beam heading. I never had that kind of reception with a tribander, but in fairness the lobe is more focused. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful capability to have. I have also not seen an significant "detuning" issues in rainy conditions, which was a concern for me initially.

After several months of using the hexbeam in all kinds of weather, band conditions, etc, I have found it to be a very reliable and effective antenna. We've have several severe thunderstorms in this area and in 60+ MPH winds it has been rock steady.

In conclusion, if you have limited space (turning radius of 21 feet), no tower, need to keep your cost down, and you need an excellent performer, this is the antenna for you. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed with this antenna and/or the service from K4KIO Technologies. If you wish to see the antenna config I current have go to my QRZ page and take a look.
KE5KDT Rating: 2016-08-11
Years of good service Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is my second review after years of ownership. Support from Leo has always been outstanding and quick. I took it down to refurbish some clamps and put in the factory made aluminum center conductor pole which was a significantly better piece of equipment. I lost my stainless steel cap nuts and a call to Leo and he sent me a new set, gratis.
A couple of things I found that helped get it all set up was putting permanent cords between the tips of all spreader arms. It made wire adjustments much easier and I kept alignment better. I also put about 1 1/2 inch pieces of split fuel line in all the P-clamps for the band wires. Over time, I have found the original rubber pieces in the P-clamps breaks down and the wire rubs on the metal clamp. I wrapped all the band wire connections at the pole with electrical tape and then sealed them all in the thick black rubbery tape sealant. I used a 50 foot push up pole, at about 38 feet, with the rotor at the bottom to lessen the weight on the mast, making extending the mast easier. I used a two section push up pole at about 20 feet with a block and tackle fixed to the top to incrementally raise the 50 foot pole. The block and tackle, from Harbor Freight for less than $10, was tied to a large 12 inch wooden wood clamp that has the screw handles coming out of either side. I could clamp the pipe section and then easily hoist it up as far as is would go and clamp it with the built in mast clamp while releasing the wood clamp and moving it down to repeat the step. I put long cotter pins through the mast at every level to insure it did not slip. Using this method you can erect the mast with very little lifting. For safety, I put guys at two levels and extended the mast without the antenna to get all the lengths correct and fixed in place so no more adjustments were needed when putting it up with the antenna attached. Even with the terrible band conditions we have been experiencing the hex is working like a champ and the SWRs are fantastic. Everybody should own a hex especially if you don't have the luxury of tall towers, big beams, and lots of money.
K6DS Rating: 2016-07-18
So happy! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Antenna Great! Leo Great! What more is needed to tell you that this is THE antenna!

Just got the KIO hex up 35 feet three days ago. In basically dead band conditions, was the only six-land station to bust a pile-up to contact DL5RBW. Did it with only 100 watts. Just love this thing and the support that Leo gives.

No moving parts and no adjustments to be made. So user friendly and so well built. The instructions are flawless. If you are considering a Hexagonal beam... get hold of Leo, you will not regret it!
VK5ZZ Rating: 2016-06-24
Sensational Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Do yourself a favour. Buy one.
I just finished putting it up. I only have it about 3.5m off the ground but the SWR meter doesn't move on all bands 20,17,15,12 and 10.
Good reports already, LP to Europe with very ordinary propagation.
The purchasing experience was faultless. The antenna arrived at my front door in South Australia inside 2 weeks with standard USPS shipping.
Very pleased.
WQ5O Rating: 2016-04-01
Great Antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought the K4KIO hex beam back in December 2014. Put it up at about 30 feet on a pushup mast in my back yard. Fortunately I have an acre so space isn't an issue. It worked great! Was working DX right away. I live in SE Wisconsin so ice and snow are common in the winter. It survived the winter of 2014-15. We had a windstorm associated with a thunderstorm in July and that took the antenna down. The mast failed (bent the mast like a pretzel) but luckily the antenna never hit the ground. I considered this a temporary installation until I could set my tower back up. I have since re-installed my 50 ft Universal Standalone Tower with the Hex up at around 55 ft. Still working great. We had an ice storm along with a lot of snow/wind a couple weeks ago and the hex did fine. I have the ice supports installed. I have installed all the bands on the antenna; 6-20 meters. I had previously had a Cushcraft A4S with the 40 meter add on kit on that tower and the Hex performs as well or better than the A4S. While I don't have 40 meters the other bands are great. The Hex is light weight,easy to install and a very good investment. I run a Flex 6500 with an AL-811 amp (use it only to break pile ups). I would recommend this antenna to anyone looking for a compact, light weight, low maintenance antenna.
KB6G Rating: 2016-03-26
Still works great after 3 years Time Owned: more than 12 months.
So I have been happily using my K4KIO Hexbeam for about 3 years and it continues to work flawlessly. I recently had a friend with a drone take a video of it. You can see it on my QRZ site. To summarize, here are the best features:

1. Small footprint I have a 50 X 100 foot city lot
2. Only up 20 feet. This actually helps provide a higher takeoff angle which clears a 15 degree hill on the North. (See Video)
3. No issues with wind, rain, etc. But I am in Southern California. No snow.
4. Has amazing front to back ratio. Have gone from barely copyable to S9 by rotating.
5. Uses a TV rotator. I'm using a Hy Gain AR500 rotator; about $100. May no longer be available but you don't need anything stronger.
6. Only use a telescoping mast from DX Engineering. I used the 5 section 34 foot mast but only have it up 20 feet, so I space the sections to strengthen the mast and no guy wires; just patio cover post for support. This mast ships UPS since it is less than 10 feet collapsed.
7. Although is only specified at 5 dB gain, this means very little. Even an expensive Steppir at best is only 1 S unit stronger. Even if space were not a problem, I'd still go for a Hexbeam! It's trouble free and as you've read, the support is fantastic! Also the design is brilliant. All the bands (I have everything except 12 meters) don't interfere. I started putting up just 20 meters to try it out, and then as I added additional bands, there was NO interaction between elements. Each element is matched only on it's band, and off resonance looks like an open in parallel with the resonant element. Most of my bands are matched below 1.5:1. I could trim the elements but why bother? I use a tuner because it's in the station, but it's not necessary!
8. No Maintenance! (Can Steppir say that?)

9. That's all I can think of but I'm sure there is more.

I run an Elecraft K3 barefoot and get out all over the world without using my AL 811 amp. I prefer not to use the amp re neighbors close by.

BTW I had a little more space I'd put my $$ into a 40 and 80 meter 4 square vertical array. My buddy works the world on 40 and 80 with separate 4 squares and gets great reports on 80 all over the world!

73

KB6G
W4PR Rating: 2016-03-25
Excellent with stunning results Time Owned: more than 12 months.
1. Support: Leo was great. I was not convinced this antenna would work for me. I called him several times and he was very patient. He did not try to "sell" me but explained what the antenna was and what options were appropriate for me. He even talked me out of getting the set of "ice cords" because of where I lived.

2. Assembly: Everything is pre-cut and the instructions are straightforward. Other than a couple of optical illusions on my part, two of us followed the instructions and tested it on a ground tripod.... in 2 hours! Flat SWR across the bands it covered. I have it on a pole on the side of my house at about 34 feet. I turn it with a Yaesu 450 rotator and the windloading is almost non-existent.

3. This replaced an 11 element yagi I had taken down five years before. (I had been posted outside the US). It is directional with good nulls off the sides. The gain on receive and transmit is far beyond my expectations. It is not the 11 element beam I had, but it isn't too much off. I can work anything I hear, and I hear almost anything that is posted on the DX spotting sites. I have had it up for 18 months and have worked over 100 countries. I do have a linear but I seldom need it.

4. Wear and tear: I got on my roof this past weekend to inspect the antenna. Other than some tape seal that I had installed, the antenna showed no wear at all. The SWR is consistent.

Great antenna. Thanks Leo!
KG7HZT Rating: 2016-03-19
Love it! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I haven't had this antenna up long (1.5 months), but it is quite a performer. Very easy set up. I was transmitting with the antenna on a couple of sawhorses in the backyard in about 1.5 hours. The instructions were very clear. It is now mounted about 15 feet AGL on the garage with a Yaesu rotator. Working the world!