14859Re: [hex-beam] Tuning the Hex Beam
- Jun 23, 2014I have been ask to discuss the connectors that I designed for my hex beams. They have made tuning very easy. You simply unscrew the retaining screw for the wire, cut the wire or add wire, insert the wire back in the connector and tighten the screw. They are very strong and I even use them as end insulators for my 40 meter dipole.
Description of Easy Connector
I start with a piece of insulating material. That can be plastic or just about anything you have or can purchase. I have a supply of scrap StarBoard that is used in the boating industry on dashboards and other places in the sun. Use a UV resistant material if at all possible.
I cut the insulating material to 1.25 inches by .75 inches. I am using either 1/2 or 5/8th inch thick material. I drill one whole through the thickness of the material at one end for the rope to pass through. I then drill a small hole (just big enough for the wire to pass through easily) from the opposite end back to the rope hole. The last hole is drilled from the top of the material between the rope hole and opposite end with a small hole that can have a threading tap run through it to create threads. I usually use a drill bit size smaller than recommended for a 8 X 32 screw. Tap the hole for your securing screw and you are done. I have included a photo of one of the connectors.
Now, CAUTION. Those who have not read a lot about hex beams should follow this procedure to tune your Hex. It is not a beam and you don't tune it the same. I like using an antenna analyzer to give me feedback about my tuning and it should be done right at the antenna. This is my procedure and others may do it differently.
1. Remove all the wires for the bands except the highest band (I have 5 band beams) I install the 10 meter driver and director. Then cut or add wire only to the DRIVER until I get the SWR and resonance where I want it. IMPORTANT do not cut the Reflector until you have tuned the driver for your freq. and best SWR. (the reflector has very little effect on SWR) Once you have the freq. and SWR where you want it, take the 10 meter wires down, measure the driver's length (both sides added together) then make the REFLECTOR 5% smaller (YES 5% SMALLER). There have been threads that explain why that is the way it is. When the 10 meter wires are the correct lengths, put them back on the beam.
2. Now put the 12 meter wires on and do the same thing you did with the 10 meter wires. Pruning or adding wire to get the SWR and freq. you use the most. Then again take them off, measure the driver and cut or add to the reflector to make it 5% smaller or shorter than the measured length of the driver. For those of you who math is a mystery, take the Length of driver X .95 = the Length of the Reflector.
3. Continue adding and tuning 15, 17, then 20 meter wires using the same process. Remember that the ratio of the lengths of the driver and reflector or very important for performance. I reiterate, the reflector should be 5% smaller than the driver.
4. You will find that some wires are too tight, others too loose. Just move a couple of the retainers on the fiberglass spreaders in or out to get a good fit that is not too tight.
Your Hex should work well, be very low in SWR and will surprise you at how well it gets out over the horizon to DX land.
On Monday, June 23, 2014 11:17 AM, "Ameer Khan pulimath@... [hex-beam]" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear OM John,
I am interested to know more about insulated connector designed by
you, which will ease the tuning of the wires.
Please provide the details..
On 23-Jun-14 10:06 AM, John Weisinger ysingers@... [hex-beam] wrote:
>I noticed your question about tuning your hex
beams. I have built three and tuned all three to
very low swr. My opinion is that many don't take
the time to tune their antennas because their new
transceiver tuners will make it look like a good
match. I am an old timer and want my antenna to
be resonate on the frequency I use and when you
tune the hex to the freq. you use it will have a
very low swr. Mine are all about 1.1 to 1. Most
of the Hex beams have directors that are resonant
below the ham band and therefore give higher than
1.5 to 1 SWR. If you use the analyzer to help
you you will find it quite easy to get the
antenna right where you want it.
>I designed an insulated connector between the rope
and the wire that makes tuning very easy. You
just loosen the set screw, pull the wire out, cut
it, then put it back in the connector and tighten
the screw. Tuning goes fast and easy. If you
decide to tune your hex, let me know and I will
share with you the process I have used each time.
>Have fun. Leo's Hex are really great. You will
>John - W5BGP
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