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Tennadyne T 6 vs Mosley TA 53 Vs Hex Beam

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KA7NIQ, Dec 25, 2011.

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  1. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    All 3 work all 5 hf bands, what one would you take, and why ?
    I have located both the Tennadyne T 6 and the Mosley TA 53 locally used.
    I can get the Tennadyne T6 for 200.00, or the Mosley TA 53 used for 300.00
    The Hex Beam ( I would buy the KIO version of the Hex Beam) will be over 600.00
    I have NEVER ever been able to find a used Hex Beam locally, of any make.

    I have a Cush Craft A3 S with 40 meter add on kit I have decided to sell, and not put up.
    I must have a warc band capable beam, especially with the sunspots coming back.

    I had a Cush Craft ASL 2010 Log Periodic that came along for the ride when I bought my tower, but it has a really big turning radius, and it's 10 sq ft windload is too close to my towers limits.

    I have a 55 ft Aluma Tower, but many trees/power lines around, so raising and lowering the antenna will be a hassle.

    In fact I MAY have to rent a bucket truck to even erect the antenna.
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'd go for the TA-53, presuming it's in perfect condx and everything's there and labeled.

    Why? Because it's a better beam. It has more gain, a tighter pattern and better F/B.

    Then, getting a beam up 55' blows away almost anything else you could do (with wires, verticals, etc) so any kind of beam will be an improvement over not having a beam.
  3. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hex beam...
    I'd go with the TA-53 too even if I had to buy it new.
  4. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Kind a hard to tell really. The T6 has the greatest turn ratio, the hex beam the least. The F/B ratio for the TA-53 is not impressive. The T6 is better in this regard and the Hex beam doesn't really tell you much about theirs. The gain is slightly lower for the Hex Beam and the Mosley seems to put out better numbers then the T6. This could more likely be attributed to marketing then actual performance. The Hex Beam and the T6 would not require fine tuning or so say the Hex Beam folks. If I had to choose (and I wish I could) then I might favor the T6, but that's just me and other folks will have their choices as well.
    Good luck on your decision, either way it would be a good one to make.
    Hope this helps
  5. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's interesting, you own a T6, and I read where you have installed the TA 53.
  6. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    At first glance, the hexbeam seems more expensive, but after you factor in the cost of a tower and the beefy rotor system required to operate other antennas, the hexbeam wins.
  7. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very very true! Nearly every Ham I have talked to loves their KIO Hex Beams, for this exact reason. I live near Tampa Florida, and the KIO Hex Beams are very popular here.
    But I already have a 55 FT Crank up, fold over, Aluma Tower. Plus, I already own a Ham 4 rotor, and I am not deed or antenna restricted. My problems are power lines/trees.
    I need to measure my trees heights, and make sure my 55 ft tower will put me over the top of them.
    If not, the smaller Hex Beam may be better for me, since it's small boom will put it further away from the trees ?
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I actually have a T8 now, although I still have the T6 as well. Not a lot of difference, although the T8 has a smoother SWR curve across the bands. In that regard, though, the T6 was good enough.

    I've installed lots of Mosley beams. When new, they're perfect. When used, I'd be very sure whoever took it apart did a good job of that and labeled everything, as the color coded tapes they use to show you how to assemble it can wear off and then you have a mystery pile of stuff.
  9. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can get the Mosley TA 53 used in excellent condition for 300.00. Mosley has an upgrade for it called the TA 54 that extends the boom out to 21 feet, giving you 4 elements on 5 bands !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Turning radius is 16.7 ft, maybe I can manage that ?
    The dam thing weighs 80 lbs though, but wind load is a manageable 6.7 sq ft.

    I heard one of these on 17 meters the other day, some Ham in Colorado had one. He started off with the TA 53, and bought the TA 54 kit. He said the difference was worth it, and he really liked the stock TA 53 too.
    Next year, he plans on the 40 meter add on for the TA 54.
    My GOD, 4 active elements on 5 bands, and 40 meters too, and built to survive Armageddon. What's not to like about the Mosley TA 54 ?

    I listen to this Ham talk about his antenna. He had a Hy Gain TH 3 mk 2, but wanted 5 bands, so he bought the Mosley TA 53.
    He felt the Mosley TA 53 talked as good as the TH 3 Hy Gain, was more broadbanded, but had poor front to back ratio in comparison to the Hy Gain.
    He was saying the TA 54 extension kit helped the front to back ratio a bit over the TA 53.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think if you want a great F/B you need a monoband beam or a SteppIR, which can be adjusted for an amazing F/B (at the sacrifice of some gain).

    The logs aren't that great, in my experience (for F/B) but it's not the most important thing for me, so I don't care, much.

    Check out the TA-53 up close and visually if you haven't already done that. "Excellent condition" can sometimes mean it's shiny and not oxidized, but it doesn't necessarily mean you can put it back together...
  11. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, I will check to be sure. He told me on the phone he marked everything.
    IF I do go with the Mosley TA 53, and my clearances to my trees etc work out, I will buy the TA 54 extension kit for a 4 element beam on all 5 bands.
    I heard one on 17 recently, and I just love the idea of 4 active elements on all 5 bands.
  12. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can't afford a SteppIR, even used, but would love to have one! IMHO, they dominate the bands for multiband beams.
    There is a lot of lightning here in Central Florida, and that concerns me with the motors and all.

    Trees are a problem here, the longer the boom, the closer that puts me to them. Maybe the KIO Hex Beam with it's shorter boom would be better, since it will be further away from the trees ? What do you think ?
  13. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    My vote goes to the kio hex beam. At this time, I m putting together a tower for a kio hex beam. It will only be 30-40 ft but hear they work ok at that height. I've done tons of research, seems its hard to beat a hex beam. Hope to order one in Feb..

  14. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, It seems darn near everywhere I go where there are groups of Hams here in Central Florida, the KIO Hexbeam is the topic of antenna conversation. I was at the recent Tampa Hamfest, eating some excellent Potato Soup in the eating area, and I heard Hams at the next table talking antennas! I clearly overheard "Why dont you just get you a KIO Hex beam" when one Ham asked for an antenna suggestion for his small QTH.
    They are extremely popular here in the Tampa Bay Florida area. In fact, the Aluma Tower Rep for my area has a KIO Hex Beam, and also suggested I get one.
    Real Estate here in Florida aint cheap, and many of us Hams just don't have room for bigger antennas, and elaborate towers.

    I must say I am embarrassed that I only recently found out there are other Hex Beam makers besides KIO. I honestly thought they invented the Hex beam, because you never hear anything about any other Hex Beam in my area.
    I now understand Traffie was first with the Hex beam, and the KIO is a bit larger, and computer modeled for better performance.
    Somehow, I had a picture in my mind of a spider beam for the Hex Beam, until I saw one at N4XK's place.
    Earl (N4XK) just loves his little KIO Hex Beam, and remarked at how easy it was to assemble, and how great it performs, for what it is.
    Earl found out about the KIO Hex Beam by local word of mouth, because so many Hams here in Central Florida use them.
  15. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I WISH I could have installed the Cushcraft ASL 2010 Log I got when I bought my Tower.
    But the long elements, and the 10 sq ft windload scared me.
    It is going to be a chore just getting an antenna UP much less back down here, because of the trees and power lines.
    The trouble free nature of Log Periodics greatly appeals to me, put them together, put them up, and leave them up.

    At the Tampa hamfest, Joe Clement was conducting a free, antenna seminar. He used to work for Cush Craft.
    He told me Cush Craft was 'proud' of the ASL 2010, and he was convinced they got every drop of performance out of it they could.
    You don't hear as many ASL 2010's on the air as the Tennadyne Logs, but owners love them.

    Still, with the introduction of the 21 foot long Mosley TA 54, Mosley seems to have raised the bar for 5 band antenna performance. Even assuming some trap loss, 4 active elements on all 5 bands, and the ability to add 40 meters, makes a strong case for the Mosley TA 54 - IF I can make it work here ?
    I am almost sure I will not have room for the 40 meter add on kit, but still, it is a Mosley, a "lifetime antenna", and I may move someday. But honestly, if I ever do move, it will be to a place where I will have enough room for a BIG Antenna, or several of them.

    I have heard it said the Tennadyne T6 has great front to side ratio, and even the little KIO Hex Beam has good front to back rejection.
    Mosley admits it pissed away the front to back ratio on the TA 53, to favor gain and bandwidth. But the TA 54 is supposed to be a little better, from what the Ham in Colorado said on the air.
    He started out with the TA 53, and upgraded to the TA 54 add on kit.
  16. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Although I'd probably also favor the 4 el on 5 bands route I'd still strongly consider the KIO Hex. With its smaller footprint and @23 lbs weight (IIRC) perhaps you could mount it 10-20 feet higher atop your tower? That might be a great way to go, too. A hex at 70 feet or so.... just saying.

    73, Jeff
  17. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Aluma Towers are "self supporting", and I don't know how much you can stick a mast above them.
    I do not want any guy wires. But you are correct, the extra height I could possibly get with the KIO Hex Beam may be the difference maker.
    Trees are all over my neighbors homes, and the branches stick into my yard.
    I have not measured the trees for height (how can you do that from the ground) but wonder how much effect they will have on an antenna ?
    I know they are not 70 feet high!
    Perhaps a KIO Hex beam high over the tops of the trees would perform as well or better then a larger antenna compromised by the trees ?

    LOL, I TRY to buy used antennas, simply because the economy here in Tampa is not great. I clean roofs for a living, and my business is way down from what it should be.
    Though I have looked for a used KIO Hex beam, I have never ever seen a used on for sale.
    I know they are selling the Chit out of them, because so many Hams here in Central Florida have them.
    People must like them, because they seem to keep them.
    Most of the used antennas I have been offered are situation where the Ham bought them from the widow of a S/K with plans that never materialized to put them up.
    Or, the used tennadyne T 6 belongs to an elderly ham who is ILL, and is downsizing to a KIO Hex Beam.
    He also has a Force 12 C 4 he is selling, but it is much too big for me.
    He replaced the tennadyne T 6 with the Force 12 C 4 because it has 40 meters.
  18. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Most beams have a good front to side ratio. On the Tennadyne logs, it's impressive; I can null an S9 signal into the noise.

    But F/B, not so much. Maybe 15 dB or so. Not like my monoband VHF yagis, which seem to be closer to 25 dB. But, that's life. Big difference between ionospheric signals and tropospheric ones, also; plus, the VHF beams are a few to several wavelengths above ground, which the HF beam isn't.

    I'd put up whatever fits and have fun. You can very accurately estimate tree height using a reference (like a 6' tall man standing in the siting path) and simple geometry, and get within a few percent.

    But unless you plan to trim trees, it is what it is; just put up the tower and find out.
  19. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Chris; A Tennadyne or Mosley for $200 or $300 would be awfully tempting to me even though it may be years before I can be in a spot where I could erect a 55' tower. I'm glad I pointed out at least the possiblity of placing a hex higher above your tower because of the lighter weight and very minimal wind load. I have also been curious about how much better a hex of any variety performs at 50-60-70 feet or so which is something you'd be able to find out firsthand for yourself as well as for me:eek:

    Unfortunately, the possiblility of finding a used hex most anywhere is probably nil.

    One thing that you might consider is buying a KIO or DXE hex piecemeal (buy the hub, then the feedpoint tower, spreaders and so on) as you can afford. They can be homebrewed as well but it's doubtful whether or not you'll actually incur much of a savings if you want to build one that will weather the weather over the long haul.

    Great thread that I'll stay tuned to, for sure!

    That F/S factor of the Tennadyne is amazing---and would make the choice all the more dificult if I was in your shoes.
    73, Jeff
  20. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Height makes a big difference, especially on 20 meters, on 17 meters too. 55 feet is not even a wavelength on 17 or 20 meters. A Ham I know replaced an aging old KLM Tribander with a "Temporary Rotatable Dipole" on his 80 ft tower.
    The KLM became strangely intermittent, so he took it down, planned to get a brand new tribander.
    That was 4 years ago, the dipole is still up!
    He talks DX all over with the rotatable dipole up at 80 feet.

    I would sure like to get my antenna up higher then my 55 foot tower. I am just not sure it will be OK to extend a pole 15 or 20 feet out of the top of my tower, even with a lightweight KIO Hex Beam ?
    I guess I could call Aluma Tower to check and be sure, but off hand, I don't think it is safe to do so, with an unguyed tower.
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