Hex-Beam and others

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Hex-Beam and others

Post  KB3LAZ on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:50 pm

So, as I sit here with a lot of time on my hands (I only work 28 hours a week). I have been planing how to rebuild my shack once back home. I have come up with ideas for the radios. Dedicated stations for Ragchew, Contesting/DX, and AM; however, antennas are another thought.

My thoughts are as follows:

6 band hex beam at 60' (50' of Rohn 25G that I have laying around + 10 foot of mast). I know that there are some topics of what adding 6m does to the pattern on other bands but it seems negligible. From what I read the good reviews all over the net highly outweigh the bad. Also, it is lightweight, cheap, and multi band.

A 2m beam (horizontal, likely and M2) 8' or so under the hex as it can not go above it due to design, or so I am to understand. What I have seen recommended is at least 6' spacing. Thought this will lead to a bit of change in patter again it should, or so it seems, be negligible.

~265' OCF dipole at 45' for 160/80/40m stateside work.

And finally a 40m monoband vertical with decent radial system.

Add that with my radio and shack choices and I'll be pretty well tapped out for a year or two for hobby funds upon my return.

Any thoughts or suggestions on my idea for a setup? It surely will be better than any other permanent install I have ever had at my home QTH.
avatar
KB3LAZ
Moderator

Posts : 26
Join date : 2013-06-28
Age : 30
Location : Alicante, Spain

View user profile http://www.kb3laz.com/

Back to top Go down

Hex beam and longwire dipole

Post  KK4ami on Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:50 am

I'm with you on your antenna choices. However, I have been trying to build my own. Trying to get the support poles for a hex beam (not cheap!). They have to be long and light. Can you find a bunch of fiberglass/graphite 30 foot poles for about $100 a piece? Maybe steal them from a high school track team? Razz

KK4ami
Charter Member

Posts : 8
Join date : 2013-07-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hex-Beam and others

Post  N8YX on Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:03 pm

What I would do with 60' of Rohn 25 is to mount a 5-element 6M beam atop it. Then mount a T-frame above that and attach 2M and 440MHz vertically polarized yagis of 11 (2M) and 21 (440) element construction. Place this tower close to the house and feed the antennas with LMR600.

Next, head to your friendly neighborhood Classifieds and score yourself 70-100ft of Rohn 45 along with a TH-11DX and suitable rotator, erect the tower/beam about 100ft or so from the house then add a Tennadyne log-periodic for 140-450MHz 6-10 feet above the TH11DX.

Get hold of an RCS-4, Drake CS-7 or similar remote-controlled coax switch then buy 4 or 5 Alpha-Delta 160-30M slopers (or build 4 or 5 copies of an equivalent). Install the switchbox a few feet below the top of the tower, install the slopers to favor Europe, Africa, South America and Japan...possibly the South Pacific if you have 5 coax ports on the remote. Cable everything up; use LMR400 jumpers for slopers to switchbox. Feed the TH11 and switchbox with LMR400 or better and the Tennadyne log-yag with 7/8" hardline up to a drip-loop/slack section of LMR400 or 600.

You'll thank me.

N8YX
Charter Member

Posts : 26
Join date : 2013-07-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hex-Beam and others

Post  KB3LAZ on Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:48 pm

ATM it will have to be one tower only. Looking to go the cheapest route for the most coverage atm without going with one antenna such as a G5RV. Plus tbh I am curious about the hex to boot. An antenna farm might be an option in the future. Say about 5 years.

Once again, tbh, anything will be an improvement over my last antenna setup. Even more so over the current lack of a setup. I do like your idea for future planning.

_________________
"I can not shake the taste of blood in my mouth"
avatar
KB3LAZ
Moderator

Posts : 26
Join date : 2013-06-28
Age : 30
Location : Alicante, Spain

View user profile http://www.kb3laz.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Hex-Beam and others

Post  N8YX on Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:27 pm

I'm eventually going to do that setup with three 80-100ft towers along with a 30 footer in a triangular array if I can get the right amount of land:

Nearest the house will be the 6M Yagi and atop it on an H frame will be vertically polarized Yagis for 2, 223 and 440 along with a horizontally polarized 1.2GHz Yagi. 4 or 5 A-D SWBC DX Slopers will be attached to this tower and steered by a remote switchbox; they will be used to feed a bank of SW receivers.

To the left of the apex and spaced 150-200ft away another tower will support a Pro-67B...perhaps a Pro-96-3. Atop it will be mounted the Tennadyne, Create or similar 140-500MHz log-yag (mounted horizontally) and three 160-30M slopers will run in various directions from this tower. It will also be used to support a few fixed-pointed VHF/UHF directional antennas or omnis.

To the right and 150-200ft out, a tower with a 13-32MHz log-yag atop it will be erected. Mounted on top of that is an H-frame with long-boom 2M, 222 and 432MHz Yagis - all horizontally polarized - and a Tennadyne or Create 50-1300MHz log-yag mounted vertically. This tower will also support 160-30M slopers (one of which will be oriented north for circumpolar work) along with fixed-pointed directional and omnidirectional VHF/UHF antennas.

In the center of the triangle, the 30 footer will be set up with an az-el rotor and H/V/RHCP/LHCP Yagis for 2M, 432 and 1240MHz...along with a selectable RHCP/LHCP receiving array for 260MHz. All of these will be used for satellite work.

I'm patriotic to a fault and will have two flagpoles mounted out front; one for the U.S. flag and another for the state flag. Of course, these will hide Zero Five or similar random-length verticals. One of these will be tuned with an AH-2 remote tuner while the other will employ a prototype Cubic ST-4 remote, itself controlled by an Astro 150R or Astro-DR.

N8YX
Charter Member

Posts : 26
Join date : 2013-07-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hex-Beam and others

Post  KK4ami on Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:21 pm

Good Grief,
With all those towers, flagpoles and slopers attached to the lawn, you are going to get car sick spinning around trying to mow the lawn. I like the idea of the hex beam because its light so it doesn't need much of a tower, it is fairly wind resistant, it's close to being invisible and it can be multi-band, from 6m up to about 20 meters.

KK4ami
Charter Member

Posts : 8
Join date : 2013-07-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hex-Beam and others

Post  N8YX on Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:57 pm

KK4ami wrote:Good Grief,
With all those towers, flagpoles and slopers attached to the lawn, you are going to get car sick spinning around trying to mow the lawn.

Not at all.

The front portion will always be mowed and need not be very large - 80ft from road's edge to the porch and 100ft wide would be fine and can be handled with a push mower if need be. Or I could retain my current lawn service at $10 for the entire yard.

The rear can be set up in sections. Mow a section about as wide as the front and maybe 50 feet deep. Then mow a strip out to the center tower and from there mow two strips out to each of the big towers; each tower gets a 6ft clearance circle mowed around it. Brush-hog the entire yard once a year to minimize dead underbrush build-up. Catenaries - coax/control cable support spans - at 10ft elevation run from the house tower to the center tower, and from the center tower to each of the outlying towers. You orient the wire antennas to minimize interaction with them.

Any dense vegetation growth (especially thorny things) serves as a natural a$$-hole barrier and one can position cameras for coverage along the access lanes. Anti-climbers installed on each tower base will keep would-be adventurers and copper thieves off the structures.

N8YX
Charter Member

Posts : 26
Join date : 2013-07-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hex-Beam and others

Post  KK4ami on Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:13 pm

Aww Heck, that's one I never even thought of, you mentioned keeping people off the towers. Will towers on your land effect your homeowners insurance any?,

KK4ami
Charter Member

Posts : 8
Join date : 2013-07-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hex-Beam and others

Post  KJ6BSO on Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:57 am

Hex beams work pretty well and have the advantage of being able to cover more bandwidth than a yagi. Of course, there's no free lunch: they don't have as much gain as a yagi. They do often have a better F/B ratio but, IMHO, that's not nearly as important as some make it out to be. Another problem with hex beams is that they are rather fragile. The fiberglass spreaders are delicate compared to the aluminum elements of a typical tri-bander and don't hold up well to ice or high winds. Out here in southern California, ice is not an issue but high winds sure can be, especially when the Santa Ana's get going in October and November!

KJ6BSO
Charter Member

Posts : 2
Join date : 2013-08-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hex-Beam and others

Post  N8YX on Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:14 am

KJ6BSO wrote:...The fiberglass spreaders are delicate compared to the aluminum elements of a typical tri-bander and don't hold up well to ice or high winds. Out here in southern California, ice is not an issue but high winds sure can be, especially when the Santa Ana's get going in October and November!

Which is one reason why I'm going with Real Deal Steel (or aluminum). Icing is a problem in Ohio, as are strong winds. Usually of the straight-line variety, but we get the occasional weak tornado in this part of the state.

kk4ami wrote:Will towers on your land effect your homeowners insurance any?

No, and I'm not going to buy property in an area where this will be an issue.

N8YX
Charter Member

Posts : 26
Join date : 2013-07-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hex-Beam and others

Post  KK4ami on Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:38 am

I kind of wondered if a tower would become an "attractive nuisance" to kids, etc.

The manufacturers say a hex beam can do fairly well in a wind and it is light enough to put up on a telescoping mast (harder to climb?) From K4KIO (Sales Hype of Course):

10 reasons to  get a hexagonal beam
rather than a conventional beam

   1. Good gain performance- Equivalent to two element yagi; some claim it is as good as three elements

   2. Better F/R- The G3TXQ Broadband Hexagonal Beam by K4KIO has superior front/back performance over
   a two element conventional yagi

   3. Low VSWR across all five bands

   4. Lower noise- Many users report that the hexagonal beam is an exceptionally quiet antenna.

   5. Smaller size- Its unique shape gives it a smaller turning radius than a conventional yagi. (11 ft vs 20 ft for
   conventional beam)

   6. Lower weight- the weight of a five band hexagonal beam is less than most comparable five band multi-
   band yagi beams.

   7. Lower wind load- the symmetrical shape makes the hexagonal beam less vulnerable to torque from
   winds

   8. Reduced mast requirements- Most owners use push up masts or roof towers

   9. No traps or tuning devices needed

   10. Better portability- Can be disassembled quickly and reassembled with no re-tuning

KK4ami
Charter Member

Posts : 8
Join date : 2013-07-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hex-Beam and others

Post  KB3LAZ on Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:34 am

KK4ami wrote:I kind of wondered if a tower would become an "attractive nuisance" to kids, etc.

The manufacturers say a hex beam can do fairly well in a wind and it is light enough to put up on a telescoping mast (harder to climb?) From K4KIO (Sales Hype of Course):

10 reasons to  get a hexagonal beam
rather than a conventional beam

   1. Good gain performance- Equivalent to two element yagi; some claim it is as good as three elements

   2. Better F/R- The G3TXQ Broadband Hexagonal Beam by K4KIO has superior front/back performance over
   a two element conventional yagi

   3. Low VSWR across all five bands

   4. Lower noise- Many users report that the hexagonal beam is an exceptionally quiet antenna.

   5. Smaller size- Its unique shape gives it a smaller turning radius than a conventional yagi. (11 ft vs 20 ft for
   conventional beam)

   6. Lower weight- the weight of a five band hexagonal beam is less than most comparable five band multi-
   band yagi beams.

   7. Lower wind load- the symmetrical shape makes the hexagonal beam less vulnerable to torque from
   winds

   8. Reduced mast requirements- Most owners use push up masts or roof towers

   9. No traps or tuning devices needed

   10. Better portability- Can be disassembled quickly and reassembled with no re-tuning

From what others have told me not all brands are created equal when it comes to wind survival. I suppose this is due to materials used. Two or three brands seem to "take the cake". K4KIO being one of them. Also it is said that keeping them below the tree line makes a difference. I'm thinking of going with 50' total rather than 60'.

Also, the broad multiband design is what attracts me. From the "experts" I have talked to the reality is to expect about 3.5 db higher than a dipole even though 5.5 is advertised. Also, you have the advantage of directive wherever you wish. For me this is more than acceptable. Particularly as my last setup was an 80m dipole fed with ladder line at 35'.

My end game plan for the next five years or so is the hex, a OCF dipole for 160/80/60/40m at about 45', and a 43' vertical with a relay and horizontal radiator to use for 160/80/40m DX. I think this will increase my previous setup by at least 10 fold.

Now if only I could make up my mind on a radio. Maybe I will get lucky and TT with have a new offering by the time I get back stateside. Either an updated Omni or an Orion replacement. As it stands now, the K3 is sitting in first place.

_________________
"I can not shake the taste of blood in my mouth"
avatar
KB3LAZ
Moderator

Posts : 26
Join date : 2013-06-28
Age : 30
Location : Alicante, Spain

View user profile http://www.kb3laz.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Hex-Beam and others

Post  KJ6BSO on Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:05 am

KK4ami wrote:I kind of wondered if a tower would become an "attractive nuisance" to kids, etc.

Yes, they can be! You need to take steps to keep kids off your tower, either with covers that make it difficult to climb the tower (the Handbook has included plans for some covers for at least 20 years now) or via locked gates on your property.

BTW, good to type at you again, Bill.

KJ6BSO
Charter Member

Posts : 2
Join date : 2013-08-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Hex-Beam and others

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum