All hexbeams have about the same gain, SWR and other electrical performance. Most cover bands 20 – 6 meters. The main differences among them are in the type of construction, quality of parts, difficulty in assembly and, of course, the prices. We provide below, a table of prices for the six band version of hex beams followed by a summary of each manufacturer’s hex beam. Links to the websites are provided also.
|DX Engineering||Hexx-5TAP-2||$860||5 Bands|
|MFJ Enterprises||MFJ-1846||$560||6 Bands|
|MFJ-1856||$730||6 Bands, 3 el/band|
|NA4RR||NA4RR Hexagonal beam||$540||6 Bands|
|KIO Technology||KIO Hexagonal beam||$399 – $674||1 – 6 Bands|
Offers a five band and a monoband hex beam. DX Engineering does not offer six meters on its hex beam. The quality is typical of DX Engineering products, excellent. The beam requires full assembly as there are over 200 parts that must be put together by the user. The wires are already cut with fixtures on them but the cords must be measured, cut and fixtures attached. It is estimated that a weekend will be required to get the beam ready to raise onto a mast.
Offers several varieties of hex beam. The quality of components is consistent with what you find in other MFJ products. E.g., the wire is #18 ga bare wire instead of thicker #14 ga insulated wire of other manufacturers, wire guides are plastic clips screwed into the spreader arms instead of stainless steel, the spreader arms are thinner. The MFJ beam requires full assembly as there are hundreds of parts that must be put together by the user. A weekend, at least, will be required to assemble the hex beam.
The MFJ Hex beam is available with 30 and 40 meters (MFJ-1848) but it should be understood that these are dipoles wrapped around the frame and thus offer no additional gain. They increase the size and weight and are non-directional.
MFJ offers a three element hex beam (MFJ-1856) with improved gain by a couple dB and better F/B than the two element hex. But for this you must have about 55% more space as it is considerably larger than the conventional 2 element hex. (17 ft turning radius vs 11 ft for 2 element hex).
Offers various combinations of the hex beam bands, 6 – 20 meters. The spreader arms are solid fiberglass rods rather than tubes as used by all other hex builders. Rods are stronger for the same thickness. But for the same weight, are actually not as strong as tubes. Little information is available on the quality or time of assembly of the different models.
Radiowavz offers a hex beam for all bands 40 – 10 meters but it is twice as large as the other hex beams discussed here and costs over $1,700.
Copies the design of the KIO beam in nearly all particulars except the baseplate which uses tubes rather than U bolts. A standard piece of pipe is welded to the baseplate and used as the socket for the center post making it a bit wobbly as the fit is less than snug. A number of other differences from the KIO hex beam have been made in an effort to reduce the cost, such as the use of plastic insulators rather than Teflon. All wires and cords are fully assembled and ready to install. It is a plug and play beam and can be assembled in an hour or so.
Offers all combinations of bands 6 -20 meters. It is the first broadband hex still in business and the highest quality components are used. E.g., all insulators used throughout are Teflon rather than plastic and the beam is capable of 2,000 watts power. Wire guides are aluminum with rubber coating and fastened with stainless clamps. All parts are tight fitting and corrosion resistant. A universal mast clamp is available to make the hex beam fit any size mast. The KIO hex comes with a 30 day no-hassle return policy. It is plug and play and can be assembled in an hour or so.