Today we got the first storm warning of this season and so I went out to secure the DX-88 with 4 guy-wires. At the same time I did a new tuning round because I have noticed that some of the bands have moved since the last adjustment. This time I have managed to get 30 meters working.
It has now been eight years since I have retired my Hy-Gain DX-88 antenna declaring it dead for good. I was standing with a broken base element for the second time and I decided not to spend any more time and money on it but try a new antenna, a Butternut HF2V covering 160, 80, 40 and 30 meters.
I took a few photos of my Butternut HF2V vertical antenna during my winter holidays 2010/2011. You can click on the images to get higher resolution photos. Enjoy!
More than three years ago that I have mounted my Butternut HF2V multi-band vertical antenna outside and left it suffer from the windy and humid Danish climate. The settings and performance that I could achieve back then are documented in several blog posts, e.g.Tuning the Butternut HF2V.
What has happened with the Butternut HF2V since then? Well, nothing really… During these three years, the antenna has been standing and performing very well without any need for fixing or tuning it. I have done a visual inspection and tightened the guy ropes every now and then, but that’s all. In order to document it I have taken a few photos and made some SWR scans.
Often I receive emails from people asking for the dimensions of the HF2V elements because they want to build one themselves. Well, here are the dimensions for all the coils and capacitors. Good luck with your experiments!
As you can see on my HF2V pictures, my HF2V is mounted in between a lot of trees. There is even electric fence only 10 meters from it. Nevertheless, it performs very well both on the RX and TX side. It has also been standing for more than a year now and can cope well with the winds on the Danish west coast.
Like with any other multi-band vertical the different bands are coupled with each other. This means that modifying the settings on one band will influence the others. This effect is worst on the low bands (40 and below) and less noticeable on the higher bands. If you only have the basic two-band HF2V there are only two bands/parameters to adjust and you can easily get through the alignment by doing a few iterations on each band. However, if you have the 30 or the 160 (or both) extensions mounted, aligning all 3 or 4 bands can become an endless process.
After my DX-88 died in a winter storm, I have decided to give the Butternut HF2V a try. This antenna is a 10 meter long vertical for 80 and 40, with extensions available for the 160 and 30 meter bands. I was rather curious about it since this is the only vertical antenna that provides the four lower bands in one package. Moreover, having used the HF6V previously, I had quite high expectations to this one. Although rather expensive, my success with antenna have been very satisfactory so far. As a bonus it even works well on 15 meter band with flat 1.2 SWR between 20-22 MHz.