Leo Shoemaker

What cable to Use?

Now that I have a hex beam, what kind of feed line should I use? All hex beams should be connected to the user’s radio by coaxial cable. Your coax feed line should have an impedance characteristic of 50 ohms because this is the closest standard cable impedance to that exhibited by a hexbeam at resonance and is also the …

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What mast for your Hexbeam?

Many new hex owners excitedly report working DX when they hooked up their radio to the hexbeam still on the picnic table where it was first assembled.  That’s great but still, getting it as high as possible is going to give much better results. The higher, the better for a hex as well as any horizontal antenna. When you compare …

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What makes the Hexbeam such a hot antenna?

What is it about the hexagonal beam that has made it so wildly popular? It’s nothing more than a two element beam, isn’t it? There are lotsa beams out there with more gain. The thing looks ungainly to say the least and draws looks of vague skepticism from neighbors who already suspected something weird was going on there and now …

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Hexbeam vs Dipole

How does the hexbeam compare with a dipole? The dipole is actually a pretty good antenna. You can build one with very little expertise and only a few dollars, using trees as masts. They perform well in many cases and for the low frequency bands such as 80, 40 and 30 meters, they are usually not competing with directional antennas …

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History of the Hexbeam

The original HEXBEAM was developed by Mike Traffie, N1HXA, in the early nineties. It is true that an “M” over “W” configured yagi antenna that resembled a butterfly was earlier tried successfully. But the advanced electrical design, the characteristic nesting concept and central terminal post that enable the multi band functionality along with the basic hardware design were all developed …

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Hexbeam vs Vertical

How does the hexbeam compare with a vertical antenna? There are a bazillion verticals sold by various major ham manufacturers. These antennas boast coverage on all bands frequently and can be quite pricey. Some have top hat arrays of spikes and mini whips. Some claim to operate without ground wires normally needed to augment the ground for a vertical. Their …

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Your Hexbeam on 40?

With the waning sunspots and declining propagation on the higher HF bands (20 – 10), many guys are turning more to 40 meters. If they have a hex beam, they know how effective it is on 20 – 10 meters so the thought naturally comes to mind, “Why can’t I have a hex beam on 40 meters?” This is a …

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Front to Back Performance of a Hexbeam

Directional antennas perform better in one direction than others. If you can rotate the antenna, you will be able to target any area of the planet with the best performance of the hexagonal beam. This is a great advantage over fixed wire antennas that have generally good performance but usually in only a few directions of the compass. And it …

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Down sunspots

High frequency radio propagation is greatly influenced by sunspot cycles. The reason for this is that the upper ionosphere which reflects the HF radio waves and gives us the skip for DX, is especially energized by increased radiation from the sun during the sunspots. When there are a lot of sunspots, high frequency radio is hot! You can work the …

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Hexbeam vs Spiderbeam

Both are Yagi directional wire beams. The Spider beam is built on a cross shaped frame. Maybe the Spider beam is sort of a cross beam? And of course, the hex is built on a, well a hexagonal frame. Both work very well. The Spider beam is a three element beam for several bands and two elements for the other …

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How does a Hexbeam work?

A hexagonal beam is a form of the Yagi antenna which is based on parasitic principles developed early in the last century in Japan for achieving gain in one direction. Alright, so how does a Yagi work then? Well, a two element Yagi has a driver and a reflector made of aluminum tubing that is mounted on a boom and …

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Rain on my Hexbeam

How come the SWR on my hex beam goes up when it’s raining? Good question. Many hex owners discover when it is raining that their SWR is higher than usual, maybe by almost a point. Then when things dry up, the SWR returns to normal. They scratch their heads wondering if water got into the center post or if the …

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SWR of my Hexbeam

“During the last century, a great many hams worked a lot of DX until they got their hands on a SWR meter and found out they couldn’t.” Bill AE7KB How come the SWR on my hex beam is not as flat as Joe Blow’s? Well, that’s a common discovery and we might as well dive into this very misunderstood subject. …

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Hexbeam Interaction

Many users of the hexagonal beam are constrained space wise and must operate their hex close to other antennas, usually on other bands than the hex. Their natural question is “Should I be concerned that the hex will interact with the other antenna?” Interaction is generally mutual. That is, if one antenna causes problems with another antenna, it is also …

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Thrust bearing for my Hexbeam?

“What in the world is a thrust bearing? Guys tell me I need one for the mast I am planning to use but I don’t know why.” Well, a thrust bearing is basically a device on the top of the tower at left that your mast sticks through to allow the mast to be anchored and still rotate. Or it …

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Paint my Hexbeam?

Should I paint my hexagonal beam? There are a couple reasons why you might want to consider painting your hex. One is to make it more stealthy. Painted black, it can blend into a background of trees especially in wintry weather when leaves are gone. Another reason is for protection from sunlight. If you are using a KIO Hexagonal beam, …

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Hexbeam Feed Cable

How do you keep your hexagonal beam coax feed cable from tangling with the guy ropes? Pretty easy. Keep in mind that the hex itself, and sometimes the push up mast itself, are both rotating but the guy ropes and rings are not. So the key is to allow enough slack between the bottom of the hex and the highest …

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Trouble shooting my Hexbeam

The best way to trouble shoot your hexagonal beam is to do it on the ground before raising it onto the mast or tower. Many new hex owners in their enthusiasm to get the beam on the air leave out the simple tests that should be done before it has been installed on the mast/tower. And then when they get …

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