For anyone considering the choice between a wire beam (such as a hex beam, spiderbeam, optibeam, etc.) or a traditional aluminum beam, it might be useful to have a list of the pros and cons of each. I have now used both the spiderbeam and hex beam antennas in addition a couple of aluminum yagi antennas as well and this information comes from trial and error with these antennas. If anyone has any additional items to add, feel free to do so. Maybe this can help someone in their decisions: Wire Beam Pros: Light weight Low wind load Possible to utilize light or medium duty masts, towers, or rotators instead of more expensive heavy duty counterparts Possibly easier to use NN4ZZ Hex Lock or similar hinges due to less antenna weight on the hinge Flexible in wind Many types of wires, ropes, clamps, and supports to choose from Non conductive support arms/booms Possibly less expensive and easily obtainable construction materials May be easy to use for experimenting or proving concepts May be easy to use for portable operations Can be excellent choices for towers or masts which can telescope, retract, or tilt It has been mentioned that insulated wire is quieter during RX Wire Beam Cons: Successful antenna function seems to be more dependent on weather Depending on specific weather at your QTH: UV deterioration of fiberglass, rope, wire Possible destruction of antenna due to heavy snow and ice loading Periodic or constant guy rope, wire, or fiberglass adjustments, re-tensioning, etc. Possible requirement of a tilting or telescoping tower or collapsible mast for more frequent maintenance Possible requirement of tower climbing and safety gear when going up the tower for more frequent maintenance Possible necessity of hiring boom truck more frequently if antenna is inaccessible Possibly more expensive than thought if maintenance time and costs are factored in Time spent tying many, many knots may be undesirable Joints between support sections, cords, wire, etc. can be problem areas; too meager and structural integrity fails; too robust and the wire beam weight saving concept is nullified due to heavier rope, wire, and clamps, which can crush support arms Aluminum Beam Pros: Can be heavier duty and more robust Can support its own elements and boom without support cords Less affected by UV and other harsh weather in contrast to cords, wire insulation, etc. Can sometimes survive heavy snow and ice more favorably Possibly may more easily be used as a capacitance hat atop a tower for tower shunt loading May be a better choice for towers or masts which cannot telescope, retract, or tilt May be a better choice in more severe weather environments Antenna does not detune when support ropes or cords become saturated with water Aluminum tubing seems to respond favorably to screws, clamps, rivets, etc. Aluminum Beam Cons: Can be substantially heavier Can have higher wind loading May require heavier duty masts, towers, or rotators Possibly more expensive May be harder to use for portable operations It has been mentioned that aluminum beams may be noisier than wire beams constructed from insulated wire I'm sure things can be added or removed from the list or even disputed but this is just a post for discussing the various factors and it should be interesting. In 7 land, I've seen the snow and ice destroy a nice hex beam and the ice cords were installed. Although my home made spiderbeam was not destroyed, the same ice and snow has each year required me to make repairs to it. My experiences with both antennas have proven that they are wonderful performers on air but keeping them on air through snow, ice, and wind becomes challenging. Aluminum beams are not immune to snow and ice failure either. I am trying two of them presently and will see how they do. So far, the largest has survived the wind and snow just fine. I just installed the smaller one.