Best 3 element beam?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by VE4BLB, Jan 23, 2009.

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  1. VE4BLB

    VE4BLB Ham Member QRZ Page

    How does the SteppIR compare to a "standard" cushcraft or Hy gain beam?
    Would the advantage of 1 to 1 SWR offset the added cost?
  2. KD7QPW

    KD7QPW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good question as I am in need of the same answer.. I've been looking into getting a tri bander (10, 15, 20m) 3 or 4 element beam and have been looking into the Cushcraft's due to cost.. I can't really afford to drop 1k plus on just the beam.. I need to get a larger rotor also.. J.
  3. WB4TJH

    WB4TJH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the SteppIR is a very good antenna, but it reminds me of a Rube Goldberg machine. There are too many things that can go wrong, and it's way overpriced for the gain it gives. If you want a beam that will stay up in the air with minimal maintenance for the next 30 years, and deliver the best bang for the buck, get yourself a Mosely tribander. That's the only tribander I will ever own. They work, and keep on working for decades. Ask anyone who owns one. About the only thing you usually have to do to them is replace the coax after a few years. Mosely antennas are tried and proven. Get a TA-33 and be done with it.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  4. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    A SteppIR that changed element SPACING as well as element length would be a REAL antenna. (And even more of a Rube Goldberg!

  5. WB4TJH

    WB4TJH Ham Member QRZ Page

    That really would be an incredible antenna, I would bet...with a price tag to boot. I know of Mosely tribanders that are 40 years old and still working just fine.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  6. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    all things considered, they are still just a tri band antenna .... on a short boom:rolleyes: that doesn't stand up to even a little wind......... and rather expensive too. my mosley is built like a tank:)
  7. K6AER

    K6AER Ham Member QRZ Page

    Judging from the posts none of you have any experience with the SteppIR design. I have had my four element up for more then 5.5 years here in Colorado. Snows, ice storms, hail, including 4 lighting strikes and intense UV in that period and the antenna keeps on working.

    Now for the Myth busting.

    Comparing a three element SteppIR to a Mosley tri-bander is like comparing a Mercedes to a Chevy.

    With the SteppIR you can go bidirectional or 180 degrees at the touch of a button. All the Mosley can do is be pointed with much rotor ware and tare.

    Your VSWR is always flat. The Mosley has only a one sweet spot on each band.

    Your Mosley doesn’t cover the WARC bands, period.

    Element spacing is not critical if you can adjust the element lemgth. Element spacing on a typical tri-bander is critical for the elements are fixed. In another words, the antenna design is a huge compromise except in the sweet spot.

    The Mosley has poor front to back ratios. The SteppIR is always over 25 dB on any frequency.

    Typical front to side on the SteppIR is over 33 dB.

    The SteppIR has monobander performance on each band with out of band rejection to prevent adjacent band intermod. Not with the Mosley or any trap beam and I might add log periodics.

    True high power capability. SteppIR is rated for 3+ KW. Forget full legal power with trap antennas.

    As for wind capability, none of the 7 SteppIR’s in the path of hurricane Katrina were lost or damaged. The elements bend back instead of braking off.

    The next statement speaks for its self. More SteppIRs have been sold in the last five years then all the other HF beam manufactures combined. When Peter-I could choose any antenna for Antarctica they took SteppIR beams and verticals.

    Yes there are expensive but what is the cost of monobanders on a rotating tower for 20-6 meters? Considerably more.

    When you listen to pileups getting busted on 20 meters you will find the SteppIR’s at the head of the pack.

    One last item, The SteppIR customer support is the best in the business.
  8. K4UUG

    K4UUG Ham Member QRZ Page


    remember a dummy load has a good low 1 to 1 swr and try to dx with it !:D
  9. WB2HNP

    WB2HNP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Get a Mosley TA-33 -- it will last longer than you do -- and it'll burn a hole in the sky for you!

    73, Robb NN2RL
  10. KQ9J

    KQ9J Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My Cushcraft A3 has been working perfectly since 1983. That includes several moves and a tree falling on it once. FWIW.
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