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Thread: Cushcraft R-9 and the Hy-GAIN AV-680

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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Annapolis MD
    Posts
    12

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    After reading the above it seems that the StepIR BigIR vertical may be the better way to go, even with the 1K price tag for multi band antenna that works. Considering that you can adjust it on each band to be a 1/4 or 5/8 wave vertical
    .
    Reg W3REG, licensed 60 yrs

  2. #22

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    I hope they beefed up the base mounting clamp. My AV-640 clamp lasted 3 windstorms with winds to 60mph then U bolts broke.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    St Croix, USVI, USA
    Posts
    1,048

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    Quote Originally Posted by WB2WIK View Post
    But only do well on frequencies where it has a reasonable low takeoff angle, which means the radiator must be 5/8-wavelengths or less. A 43' Zero-Five vertical is terrible on 10m, 12m, 15m and not great on 17m because it's simply too long to produce a useful radiation angle unless you want to work aeronautical mobiles.

    It's great on 60m and pretty good on 40m and 30m; passable on 20m and might be usable on 80m if you add a matching coil at its feedpoint. But a single length vertical radiator can never cover much spectrum efficiently as once it becomes "too long" to produce a low-angle signal, it starts to become a dummy load.

    We installed a 43' Zero-Five (at over $400) and a $159 Hustler 6BTV trap vertical over the same radial field locally at Field Day. The Zero-Five surpassed the cheap 6BTV on 40m, and the difference was pretty obvious. On 20-15-10m, the 6BTV clobbered it. Three dozen witnesses to the effects of a good antenna design, vs. just tossing up a fixed radiator length and keeping your fingers crossed.
    This should be posted somewhere obvious in flashing red letters.

    I am so SICK of the "Oooo, 43 foot vertical, it's perfect, ooooo!" It's NOT a good all-band antenna, it never WILL be a good all-band antenna, it CAN'T be a good all-band antenna.

    I found a decent compromise with a 25' wire ground plane. But it's still very sub-optimal on 10m. It works "meh" on 12 and pretty well on 15. I've been thinking of extending it to a 1/4-wave on 40m and reinstalling my 4BTV, but for some reason the local noise is ridiculous on the Hustler and nowhere near as bad on the GP.
    The new signature restriction is bollocks.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by W3REG View Post
    After reading the above it seems that the StepIR BigIR vertical may be the better way to go, even with the 1K price tag for multi band antenna that works. Considering that you can adjust it on each band to be a 1/4 or 5/8 wave vertical
    .
    Reg W3REG, licensed 60 yrs
    Unless you add a specialized matching network at its base, 5/8-wave wouldn't be such a great choice. But it can also be adjusted for 3/4-wavelength on the higher bands, and that should provide a good match for 50 Ohm coax, just like 1/4-wave would.
    What if soy milk is just regular milk introducing itself in Spanish?

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by K8JD View Post
    Has anyone got the equipment to range test the two antennas and actually give us a mV/M reading at one mile with one KW CW going into each the antennas, on each band specified, one after the other, mounted in the same spot !
    Otherwise it's just subjective guesswork, comparing antennaas !
    I'd be happy to. Just send me the KW amp, and the antennas...

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by K8JD View Post
    Has anyone got the equipment to range test the two antennas and actually give us a mV/M reading at one mile with one KW CW going into each the antennas, on each band specified, one after the other, mounted in the same spot !
    Otherwise it's just subjective guesswork, comparing antennaas !
    That's a good idea; however making a measurement at ground level mostly indicates how strong the ground wave signal is, and we don't work much ground wave on HF. In fact, I've almost never made a ground wave contact on HF other than working vertically polarized mobile stations who are very closeby (like in my neighborhood).

    A lot of the signal, even from a good vertical, is at 10-15-20 degrees above the horizon, and that's where most of the contacts come from. You'd need to be pretty high above ground to make that measurement, and if one vertical has a takeoff angle that's slightly different from the other one, making a direct comparison may not mean much since "both" might be very good performers, just at slightly different angles.

    For verticals like the ones in question, I'd wonder more about ease of tuning, variations in resonance with weather conditions, feedline decoupling, robustness against wind and other WX, power handling, and lots of stuff. Regardless of specifications and claims, I'm dubious about verticals that are "self supporting" at 90 mph when they're over 25' tall and made of fairly small diameter aluminum tubing.
    What if soy milk is just regular milk introducing itself in Spanish?

  7. #27

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    Throw up a rotatable dipole with a TV rotator and some aluminum tubing scraps from old antennas.

  8. #28

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    My 43 footer has survived 90mph straight line winds

    Quote Originally Posted by WB2WIK View Post
    That's a good idea; however making a measurement at ground level mostly indicates how strong the ground wave signal is, and we don't work much ground wave on HF. In fact, I've almost never made a ground wave contact on HF other than working vertically polarized mobile stations who are very closeby (like in my neighborhood).

    A lot of the signal, even from a good vertical, is at 10-15-20 degrees above the horizon, and that's where most of the contacts come from. You'd need to be pretty high above ground to make that measurement, and if one vertical has a takeoff angle that's slightly different from the other one, making a direct comparison may not mean much since "both" might be very good performers, just at slightly different angles.

    For verticals like the ones in question, I'd wonder more about ease of tuning, variations in resonance with weather conditions, feedline decoupling, robustness against wind and other WX, power handling, and lots of stuff. Regardless of specifications and claims, I'm dubious about verticals that are "self supporting" at 90 mph when they're over 25' tall and made of fairly small diameter aluminum tubing.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by W0AAT View Post
    My 43 footer has survived 90mph straight line winds
    I believe the well-made ones (like Zero-Five, et al.) will do that just fine.

    But many HF verticals aren't just straight or tapered lengths of aluminum tubing: They have substantially more wind loading by virtue of traps, stubs, parallel elements, capacitance "top hats" and other items which cause them to be a much larger obstacle to wind forces, which in turn causes them to fail.

    I've had just about every kind of HF vertical fail when unguyed. Just takes time and the right conditions.
    What if soy milk is just regular milk introducing itself in Spanish?

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by KA7RRA View Post
    Can someone explane to me why the New Cushcraft R9 sells for 639.00,and the HY-GAIN AV-680 sells for 539? they look like the same antenna

    What is the difference between the two?? they are both new and both are 9 bands
    They aren't identical, even if that appears so. The dimensions are quite different The R9 is 31.5', whereas the AV-680 (apparently) is 26' tall. IMHO only, the CushCraft antenna is the better (sturdier) of the two. But since they all come out of (ostensibly) the same manufacturing plant, you have to be wary, since you (the purchaser) will be the final (if any) quality control.

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