A decent 30 foot push up mast can be bought new for under $100. You will
need to use guy ropes and probably will need help in getting the hexagonal
beam mounted on the mast.
Coupling the hexagonal beam to a mast
You can see how the beam can be coupled to a push up mast or a tower
Some say the ideal height for a hexagonal beam is 40 feet. Actually, there
is no ideal height although 40 feet provides quite good performance for DX
as well as shorter distance performance. Generally for DX, higher is better
and if you can get your antenna 50 feet high, go for it. But if you can only get
it up 20 feet, it is still going to perform quite well.
Flanges and adapters
If you locate the rotator at the bottom of the push up mast as many owners
do and mount the hexagonal beam directly on top of the mast, this
generally is a one inch (ips) fitting (1 1/4 inch O.D.) and will work perfectly
with the flange that comes standard on any hexagonal beam purchased
from us. See some ideas about how to attach the beam to a mast.
The rotator can also be installed at the top of the mast but this will make
guying requirements that much more important. If you do mount the rotator
at the top, a short section between the rotator and the hexagonal beam
(called the mast) must fit our standard one inch (ips) flange. The actual
inside diameter of the standard flange is 1.315 inches. Alternatively, you
can order a special large diameter flange for your baseplate which is 1.9
inches, inside diameter. This is available from us for an extra $19. You can
find Schedule 80 pipe made of 6061-T6 aluminum that is 1.9 inches O.D.
and 0.2 inch wall thickness, a perfect fit at places like Online Metals.
Use of steel guying cable is fine but you must be concerned about
resonance with the radiator wires of the hexagonal beam. You can get
information in the ARRL Handbook about breaking the guy cable up into
sections to avoid resonance at the different bands of your hexagonal beam.
But the simplest solution is to just use non-metallic guy ropes which
avoids interaction issues entirely. Such non-metallic guy ropes are
available from www.radioworks.com or other ham supply houses.
If you are in a relatively new subdivision, you are likely to encounter legal
barriers to erecting your hexagonal beam either in the form of zoning
restrictions or deed covenants applicable to everyone in that
neighborhood. Check this out in advance and do the necessary research
on your alternatives before buying a hexagonal beam or any supporting
Many hexagonal beam owners use a light duty rotator normally designed
for TV antennas. If you are locating the rotator at the top of the mast, this
light duty rotator will probably be satisfactory. But if you are rotating the push
up mast as well as the antenna, such a rotator might be under a bit of
strain and you might wish to consider a low end beam antenna rotator
such as those offered by Yaesu, Hy Gain or others.
There is no need to duplicate the well written and thorough warnings and
cautions published in several ARRL handbooks on the subject of antennas
and towers. Likewise, any towers or antennas in proximity with electrical
lines pose a particular hazard that must be kept in mind. There are many
sad stories about such lines or towers falling or other wise coming into
contact with high voltage lines with fatal results to the careless amateur. So
|Getting your KIO Hexagonal Beam up in the air
A Picture is worth a thousand words.
And here are some photos, of some of our customers' mounting arrangements that should be helpful to
you in deciding on what's best for your own situation.
W1JWC uses a roof mount tripod bolted on his
deck as a foundation for his push up mast. Note
the rotator and the thrust bearing at the top of the
tripod. The thrust bearing allows the mast to turn
in the tripod and bears the weight of the mast
and the antenna. The mast is also guyed up
Click to Enlarge
K7STD is using a simple push up mast
obtainable from Rohn or Channel Master to
support his American flag. He could improve its
appearance by taking that strange inverted
umbrella off the top :). The mast is being rotated
at the bottom.
KG6PRO has mounted his rotator at the top of a
push up mast. Note his use of a MFJ choke balun
strapped on the center post of his Hexagonal
Beam by K4KIO.
Note the good job of sealing the coax connectors.
VK2GJC has a rotator mounted at the top of his
mast which is attached to the side of his house.
His Hexagonal Beam by K4KIO is less than 30
feet off the ground.
K4KIO uses a 30 foot push up mast with a thrust
bearing and Yaesu G-450A rotator. Both are
mounted to a 4 X 4 post with home brew
brackets made of stock aluminum from Lowe's.
ZS6RJ uses a small Radio Shack type rotator.
Note in the next photo his choke balun made of
several ferrite beads slipped over the feedline and
held in place with electrical tape.
IK2WPO uses a small rotator on a guyed mast to
support his Hexagonal Beam by K4KIO. Note
how he has looped the coax cable just below the
base plate to allow the mast and antenna to turn
Specializing in Hexagonal Beams for the DX Enthusiast
9A3VV uses a push up mast and a Radio Shack
type rotator. His mast is guyed with metal ropes
but he has taken precautions to be sure none
are resonant with the bands on the hexagonal
AI4SR gets spectacular results from his temporary
installation mount. But you need to try for a little
more height than this :)
The hexagonal beam is relatively light and quite well
suited for an inexpensive push up mast or a roof
mounted tripod arrangement. Roof towers or push up
masts can be obtained from a variety of sources on
line. Just google these terms and you will easily find
N0AN's tower is more like it and at nearly 60 feet
no one would think of being without the proper
safety belt. That is KI0Q on the tower.
W8JER shows how a Rohn tower can be winched
up from a tilted position. He also shows how
several VHF antennas can be mounted below a
hexagonal beam. See more of his photos here.
K4RVN uses the Glenn Martin Hazer system to
raise his hexagonal beam to the top of the
tower. This is a mini-elevator that raises the
beam up and down the legs of the tower by
hand or by an electric motor. He had to move
the rotator base plate out a little further on the
Hazer than normal so that the hexagonal beam
spreader arms cleared the legs of the tower
but reports that it works great.
K5CJL does a little classier job with his push up
mast and Yaesu G-450A rotator mounted on a
4X4 post. Notice the camouflage paint, the guy
ropes and the post sunk in cement.
Hours: Mon - Fri 8:30 - 5:00 CT
Sales & Support: 1-888-694-3923 (Toll Free)
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JE2FUP has a roof-mounted hexagonal beam.
His rotator is nested down inside and he has
guyed the structure against wind gusts. Note
also, the footing that protects his roof from the
legs of the mini tower.
K2EDW uses a Glenn Martin roof tower to mount
his hexagonal beam. Notice his use of a thrust
bearing at the top and a Yaesu rotator nested