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View Full Version : Crushcraft MA5B or the Hex Beam?



KB4MNG
06-01-2012, 02:30 PM
I was really sold on the hex beam until I came across information on the MA5B. I think I like the ma5b better. It seems more sturdy and flat swr. Do you think the hex will greatly out perform the ma5b? I also like the cost of the the ma5b, less than $500.

KB4MNG:cool:

WB2WIK
06-01-2012, 03:38 PM
Depends what you want to do.

The MA5B is very complicated compared with a Hexbeam (lots of parts, critically assembled and tuned). It also is just a rotary dipole on 12 and 17 meters, whereas a 5-band Hexbeam has gain on 20-17-15-12-10m. The operating bandwidth of a Hexbeam, especially on 20 meters, is wider/better; the MA5B doesn't really cover the whole 20m band, because it's quite shortened by loading.

However, they both work!

AD7N
06-01-2012, 04:12 PM
"They both work" is a good way of putting it, but I wouldn't underestimate the strength of a hex beam!

Sure, aluminum tube might be more "sturdy", but a well-built hex can have the snot kicked out of it and still perform.

K4KIO's commercial version of the G3TXO Hexbeam is fantastically built, and much cheaper than the "original" design:
http://k4kio.com/Purchase.html

A 5-band, 20m-17m-15m-12m-10m is only $619, and as WB2WIK mentioned has better gain on 17 & 12. K4KIO's hex also has a 5/5 on eHam with 51 reviews, partially because of the 5-star customer service that K4KIO provides: http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/8150?page=6

For a hundred bucks more, you get a FULL 2-element yagi on 17 and 12, as well as the standard 20-15-10. It's rugged as all hell, and if it does break you have lighting fast and supurb customer service. It's also a lighter wind-load and symmetrical, which will reduce the strain on your antenna rotor.

AE7F
06-01-2012, 06:40 PM
I was really sold on the hex beam until I came across information on the MA5B. I think I like the ma5b better. It seems more sturdy and flat swr. Do you think the hex will greatly out perform the ma5b? I also like the cost of the the ma5b, less than $500.

KB4MNG:cool:

Of the two, I would choose the hex beam, for exactly the reasons WB2WIK specified.

I also like the recent "flat" hex beam:
http://www.foldingantennas.com/gb.html

I eventually just built a spider beam and it works very well.

KO6WB
06-01-2012, 09:42 PM
Reading the manual the MA5B never uses three elements on any band. The best it can do is two elements on 20,15 and 10. The gain by their figures isn't very good.
The hexbeam is your best bet.
Good luck on your choice.
73
Gary

KA7NIQ
06-01-2012, 10:06 PM
I was really sold on the hex beam until I came across information on the MA5B. I think I like the ma5b better. It seems more sturdy and flat swr. Do you think the hex will greatly out perform the ma5b? I also like the cost of the the ma5b, less than $500.

KB4MNG:cool:
I live here in the Tampa Florida area. We have lots of winter only Ham Residents, who want a small, good performing antenna. The KIO Hex Beam is seen all over my area. In fact, I only recently learned there was another Hex Beam made by Traffie.
I think the Traffie Hex Beam is a bit smaller, from what I have heard here. I would want a Hex Beam vs a Cush Craft MA 5
But because everyone here in the Tampa area I know uses the KIO Hex Beam, if they use a Hex Beam, that would be my choice.

G3TXQ
06-02-2012, 10:11 AM
Comparison in Section 2 here:
http://www.karinya.net/g3txq/hexbeam/broadband/

I've owned both; the hexbeam is a noticeable "step up" on the MA5B.

73,
Steve G3TXQ