Hustler 5-BTV Vertical Antenna
I am considering the purchase of a Hustler 5-BTV vertical antenna. Can you guys who own one tell me if they work good, ground mounted, without radials? Thanks very much!
Ground mounted without radials? No. I've installed at least ten of these over the years at various locations and without radials, they're a problem.
With radials, it's a very good antenna.
If you have enough room for the vertical to have a chance to work (uncluttered and unobstructed for 30-40' around it), then you have enough room for radials!
The Hustler antenna seem to receive OK without radials. However they don't seem to transmit very well at all without them.
I installed installed my ground mounted 6btv without radials and I heard signals from around the country and around the world. I didn't work many of them though.
I've since added 60 radials to the antenna and not only am I working many more stations, I can hear more too. The radials made the s/n ratio much better and I can hear and work many many more stations. I wouldn't consider putting the antenna up without radials.
I love the 5-btv antenna. I agree with the gentleman above about ground radials. I put mine up in the middle of winter with snow on the ground and used it a few weeks without radials. It worked well for me but of course after a few radials it got even better. It is easy to put together and there are so many accessories and additions you can add to it. I highly recommend the antenna. If you decide to buy one there is a BIG price difference depending where you buy it so make sure and check prices through a few different retailers. Good Luck!
The Hustler 5-BTV is a quarter-wave (1/4-wave) vertical antenna. RADIALS REQUIRED -- that is actually PART of the entire antenna system.
I am considering the purchase of a Hustler 5-BTV vertical antenna. Can you guys -- who own one -- tell me if they work good, ground mounted, without radials?
Think of a 1/2-wave wire dipole rotated 90 degrees and shoved into the ground -- from a visual point of view -- that is basically what a 1/4 wave vertical is all about!
DX Engineering has a very good web site for Hustler/Newtronics BTV antenna information and FAQ.
IF you desire a vertical antenna with minimal or no radials -- look at the Cushcraft R5, R6000. R7, R8 antennas. These are half-wave (1/2 wave) verticals and have a couterpoise system with a mathcing box.
These ideally work best when mounted on an 8 to 10 foot mast -- above ground OR on roof.
Counterpoise wires will have voltage (so out of reach from children and pets is good idea) -- Cushcraft ships Yellow Warning Flags on the counterpoise wires for this reason.
IF this explaination is beyond your current understanding -- get an Antenna Handbook and learn the basics of HF antennas.
Last edited by W9GB; 03-26-2008 at 09:11 PM.
I've got a 5BTV or 6BTV (80-10, no 30 meter coverage M ounted on a steel "T" fence post (Farmer style) grounded to a "woven wire fence" (think sheep, dog or small cattle fence) and grounded to that. It does OK. No additional radials. Fence is bout 39 " high and steel fence post is drivin about 2 Ft into the graound. You asked for experiences, and that's mine. Could it be better? Probably. Does it work? Just fine.
Ham radio is something you DO and LEARN. NOT something you BUY!
I've had a 6BTV for about a month now, and it's not all it's cracked up to be...
First off, It takes a lot of tweaking to get a decent match across the bands on this thing, and as others have said its a real pain to use without radials...
If you can spare the room... 40 foot min in all directions then put down as many radials as you can....
The 5BTV must have radials, regardless of how it's mounted.
I have a 5BTV mounted on a 15' 1" steel mast with a DX Eng. (thanks guys!!!) tilt base (at the 15' level due to the geometry of the property and HV lines in the area) and: (8) 10M, (4) 15M, (4) 20M, (4) 40M, and (0) 80M radials (2x 80M radials are going in next weekend if I have time). The antenna receives and transmits great like this (but I don't xmit 80m on it yet) although it's a bit directional E-W, again due to the radial geometry necessary to put a vertical on the property. It is a PITA to tune in any case, but especially that high in the air even with a tilt base (scaaary pulling on tubing on a ladder that high).
I didn't ground mount it because of the neighborhood cats that run in the yard and the possibility that someone might be next to it when I'm at the CP and don't know it, or the gardener damaging it accidentally. You can't cover the 5BTV in PVC like the 6BTV unless you remove the capacity hats - which isn't such a great idea.
If I were to do this again, I'd throw a BBQ or 2 for the neighbors and just deal with the YL's stink-eye about putting a beam up.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by KI6NNO; 03-26-2008 at 10:13 PM.
Reason: fount a typo
If it's ground mounted, you don't need 'tuned' radials. Make them as long as you can, and put down as many as you can - at least 20 if at all possible.
The 5BTV actually comes from the factory tuned for rooftop installation. To get it to tune on the ground, most people have to adjust the traps. This is a pretty delicate, but not difficult procedure, but it would be best to have an antenna analyzer around - see if you can borrow one, or maybe somebody in your club has one. You'll need to get the trap adjusting procedures from the vendor. I found that DX Engineering does a great job of helping with this antenna.
NOTE: I believe this antenna works better roof-mounted. However, that requires at least 3 tuned radials per band, and it's hard to put radials on a roof so they won't trip anybody.
Now, as for performance. Verticals work - they tend to pick up more noise than horizontal antennas, but they'll also hear more DX if it's above the noise. The bandwidth on 80 meters is pretty narrow, but useful with a tuner. It's not a yagi at 50 feet, but it will do very well for stateside QSO's and a little DX, particularly on the higher bands when they're open.
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Without radials forget it. Still not happy with it; all the comments on difficulty tuning, requiring radials to work (and lots of them), are all true.
I won't have another. This summer I am going up with a horizontal loop. Ma Bell is going to dig up my radial field to lay optic cable so I will wait for them to mess it up and then let them by the replacement.
I bought this to replace a Butternut and the Butternut never gave me the trouble this one did.
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