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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
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.