Posts Tagged ‘Hustler 4BTV’

Java in the morning with a splash of radio.

 


Once again tucked some radio time in early this morning, 40m seemed to be coming to life a bit more than yesterday. Have not checked the space weather yet but sometimes it's better that way. I have provided a snap shot from the Reverse Beacon Network on 40m this morning calling CQ. No takers but the new Hustler 4BTV seems to be doing well. 



 

It’s crunch time for the Hustler 4BTV……checking SWR!

 

Once the Hustler 4BTV was up it was time to see if laying the radials, burying the coax and putting the antenna mount in concrete was all worth it. The SWR checks are next, kinda the "where the rubber meets the road" In the Hustler manual as well as the DX Engineering manual basic setup measurements are given to get you started with the antenna. In the DX Engineering manual, you are informed that these measurements are based on a no radial setup. For this reason, don't be alarmed at the resonant frequency most likely will be where you don't want it.


This is not an issue as you can adjust the traps to remedy this situation. The Hustler manual informs owners that trap adjustment voids the warranty with Hustler, BUT if you purchase your Hustler vertical from DX Engineering they will still honour the warranty. I purchased my antenna in Canada and I decided to adjust the traps and take my chances. I did read the manual very carefully regarding trap adjustment and it's no big deal to do.
One BIG advantage in regards to checking and adjusting the SWR is to have an antenna analyzer. It will save you time and frustration. I have the MFJ 259B an older unit but it works great, it does not give me a sweep graphical view but I can easily plot the SWR by checking the SWR at certain frequencies. I do have the Funk Amateur FA-VA4 but for the life of me I just can't figure out how to work it.
With the antenna analyzer connected I was pleased with the rough results, below are the rough readings:

 

10 meters 

            28.000 1.1 to 28.900 SWR 1.2

For this reason, 10m was not touched. 


15 meters

             21.897 SWR 2.0
             21.426 SWR 1:3
             21.116 SWR 2.0 


From the above SWR numbers, the 15m trap has to be lengthened. 


20 meter 

            13.711 SWR 2.0
            13.997 SWR 1.3
            14.222 SWR 2.0


From the above SWR, the 20m trap also has to be lengthened. Before this is done the manual advises that first double check the 20m SWR after adjusting the 15m trap. 


40 meters

              6.982 SWR 2.0
              7.050 SWR 1.8
              7.168 SWR 2.0

 With the 4BTV there is no 40m trap to adjust but I can in this case make the final section of the antenna longer. Again I have to recheck this SWR when the 15m trap is adjusted and if the 20m trap still needs adjusting I have to check 40m again before any section adjustment is made.
Before any adjustments are made to any trap it is advised to mark on the tubing the factor position of the trap just in case you have to start all over again. With each of the 3 traps marked to the factor position, I proceeded to adjust the 15meter trap and make it longer. Longer meaning between 1/16 to 1/8 longer (or shorter if needed) I had to make 2 adjustments to the 15m trap to get my desired results.  I mainly use CW and and now and again FT8, therefore I wanted my best SWR results between 21.000-21.100. 

Below is the final results.

 21.000 SWR1.4 

 21.060 SWR 1.3

 21.100 SWR 1.4 

 

I then looked at 10 meters and it had not changed at all.

28.000 1.1 SWR

28.150 1.1 SWR

28.190 1.1 SWR

I then checked the 20m section of the band with the antenna analyzer and was very pleased to see that now no trap adjustment was needed. Below are the final results for 20 meters. 

14.000 SWR 1.1

14.030 SWR 1.3

14.100 SWR 1.4

I was not as fortunate with 40 meters the new SWR after adjusting the 15m trap was:

      6.976 SWR 2.0
      7.013 SWR 1.8
      7.219 SWR 2.0


The final section of the mast has to be made longer and one of my concerns was, is this going to mess around with the 10,15 and 20m SWR? I did not have too much extra length to play with in the final section. I ended up stopping when I had about 1.5 inches of tubing inside the lower mast section. I did not want to take any more out. Below are my final results for 40 meters. 

7.000 SWR 2.0

7.025 SWR 1.9

7.073 SWR 1.8

7.106 SWR 1.9

After the final 40m mast adjustment I was pleased to see the SWR for 10,15 and 20m was unchanged.  Now 40m is not the best result but the Icom 7610 tuner handles the SWR without issues. My property is small and the longest radial I could put out was 20 feet. I could have put out some longer ones but it would have zig-zagged all over the place. There are a total of 30 radials and about 8 are 20 feet.
Coming up in the next post...how does the Hustler 4 BTV stack up against the EndFed antenna? 




 




 
 

 

 



 
 



 

 



 

The Hustler 4BTV is up and running!


This past weekend the IARU world contest was in action and I planned to enter the CW category. The contest morning started just fine for me BUT in the corner of my radio room, a boxed Hustler 4BTV was calling my name. The weather outside was great, the mounting base was installed and the ground radials (all 30 of them) were also installed. As I was making CW contacts my mind at the same time was spinning. The weather here has been sunny and clear for very few days and the upcoming week looked once again rainy. The same little voice in my head was telling me " Mike a contest situation is great for testing a new antenna"
Well, a few hours into the contest I jumped off the operating chair and decided it was time to finish the 4BTV install! The little voice in my head had won out. Just the day before I had marked the antenna tubing with the rough measurements for length setup between sections. The only thing left was to put the section together and tighten things down with the provided screw clamps or as I call them hose clamps.
Copper paste


I did purchase copper paste to use on the pipe-to-pipe connection for good connectivity and help stop corrosion. In no time the antenna was together and ready to be mounted on the ground pipe. I was delighted with how light this antenna is, making it easy to lift and install.
The initial SWR was somewhat close to what was written in the DX Engineering manual, there was just some fine-tuning that needed to be done. I wanted my configuration to be in the CW area of the bands. Thank goodness I have an antenna analyzer, this made very short work of fine-tuning the antenna. I will make another post regarding the details of the SWR and adjustments.
Once the antenna was set up SWR-wise in the area of the bands it was
Marking the antenna sections

off to the contest again to see how it stacks up to the Endfed antenna I have been using for 2 1/2 years. Using the new antenna I started calling (CWing) "CQ CONTEST" and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Now having said that this was the first time using the antenna so a fair comparison would be over the course of a month or so with varying propagation conditions. 

More to come regarding tuning, assembly and results.

Hustler 4BTV continued.

The days finished product

 Once again we had a nice weather friendly antenna installation day on Monday. It was time to run the coax out to the vertical antenna mounting pole. I chose to run RG8X coax, the main reason for this was I had lots of it on hand. From the house to the the vertical I dug a trench about 16 inches deep and I was fortunate the ground was nice and soft and tree root free. 


The RG8X coax was placed in 3/4 inch PVC electrical pipe and at each end for the PVC pipe I affixed ENT tubing. This is very hardy plastic tubing that usually is encased in concrete and used to pass electrical wires in. Now you may wonder why I did not just use ENT for the complete job? The main reason is I had PVC pipe on hand and ENT here is either sold in 10 or 30 foot rolls. If I chose 30 feet I would have a majority of it leftover and ENT is pricey as well. 

I now attached the base section of the Hustler 4BTV to the ground pipe but before doing so I ordered from DX Engineering the SO-239 add on kit. This is a fantastic kit made of stainless steel and allows a PL-239 connection and it can be mounted in 3 different directions. Also for all the connections I picked up some pure copper anti seize compound. This allows great connectivity and also very good for all stainless steel connections. 


As an added precaution I wrapped the screw located on the bottom of the 4BTV antenna with self amalgamating splicing tape. I also wrapped the PL-239 connection with the same tape. I find water has a way of getting in at the most inconvenient times so I like to make it very difficult for this to happen. 

My next step is to install the radials and tomorrow the weather man is telling me it's a great weather day to put down some radials.






Moving along with the Hustler 4BTV install.


Now I realize in my last post regarding the new Hustler 4BTV installation I said my next step was to dig the coax trench from the house to the base of the antenna BUT rainy days have taken over here. Oh for those of you who read this blog on amateurradio.com site click this link to read the first instalment regarding the new antenna. I have changed my blog address and my last post to the amateurradio.com site did not fully make it.

Now where was I....today I decided to start cutting radial wires. I purchased 150m (500 feet) of 14 gauge stranded green wire and the radial production line began. I am using ring terminals for 1/4-20 bolts and I choose to purchase 10 gauge terminals as I can solder 2 14 gauge radial wires to them. My property is small and I have certain areas where the radials can be 25 feet and other spots only 4 feet. I am putting out as many as 500 feet will allow me and if I need more then I will purchase another roll of wire.......but that stuff is not cheap!! 

I have been doing some reading on the internet regarding the radial length. The consensus seems to be if your vertical is ground-mounted (mine is) and the radials are just below the ground (mine will be) then length theory  is..make them as long as you can but being in the ground and not raised radials certain lengths are not important.

And so it begins….

And so it begins


In April I posted that my birthday gift had arrived which was the Hustler 4BTV vertical antenna. Well, this week the installation began and weather permitting I can move closer to the complete installation. We have been having more days of rain than sunshine for June along with some vacation time away from home the antenna had to wait. A few days ago I began by installing the support pole for the antenna. To me this is one of the most important steps as the antenna is no good to me if it falls over, begins to lean or becomes loose and unstable. 

 


The hole was about 4 feet deep and I used fast-setting concrete, this product is poured into the hole and you then add water and stir. I placed my 1 5/8 metal post in the hole, made it level and waited. I decided to use a metal post used for fences as this was readily available at the building supply store. It was also a lot cheaper than buying a 10-foot piece of metal electrical pipe (called EMT). 

Making certain it's level

 

As advertised the concrete was dry in about 40 minutes, having said that I also had to fully understand once the concrete was mixed with water I have very little time to make sure the support pipe was level before things started to harden.  

 


Once finished I added a cap that was temporarily taped in place but will become permanent once the job is complete. At this point that was it for the day as it was very hot and humid out as well I wanted to leave the concrete overnight just to make sure it was fully set.

The finished product

 

 

The next step in the dig a trench from the house to the antenna base for the coax. 


Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

 
We never share your e-mail address.


Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on AmateurRadio.com!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!


  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor




Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: