15m + 400w + snow/rain + Hexbeam = *sigh*

It’s the EA PSK63 contest. I had a decent run yesterday and this morning I was up nice and early to carry on my 15m single band entry. It snowed overnight, it’s raining now and very damp outside.

After twenty minutes I was working a run of Japanese stations and my IMD meter started beeping at me. A quick check showed my SWR at over 2:1 and I knew exactly what had happened.

The broken 15m element on my Hexbeam

The broken 15m element on my Hexbeam

The other end of the broken 15m element on my Hexbeam

The other end of the broken 15m element on my Hexbeam

I’ve worked another fifty or so on 20m but my heart isn’t in it, this was going to be a good single band entry and I really don’t want the same thing to happen to the 20m element.  I will do a temporary fix as soon as the snow on the ground clears but I’m hoping that the new plastic spacers I’ve asked the manufacturer for will stop this happening again.  Of course, I’ve been confident after previous fixes so there’s no guarantee.

In honour of this, I’ve created a new category on the blog, “Broken aerial” where you can read all about my aerial woes.


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  1. Gzzzzzzt…… buzzzzzzz….. fizzzzzzzz…. 😉

  2. Do you use a “original” Hexbeam or did you made your own?

    73 de PA1JIM, Jim

    1. Hi Jim,

      It’s a commercial product, the ‘Broadband Hexbeam’ made by Ant, MW0JZE – Here’s his web site: http://www.g3txq-hexbeam.com/

      There’s a blog entry all about when I swapped my Cushcraft for the Hexbeam here: https://qso365.co.uk/2012/05/replacing-my-cushcraft-ma-5b-with-a-g3txq-broadband-hexbeam/

      On the whole, I love the aerial but it’s demonstrated one problem, it can’t handle 400w of data at a very high duty cycle in the rain. It’s absolutely fine in the dry but I’ve broken it four times now when it’s been either raining or snowing. I hope that these new spacers will resolve the problem but if not, I’ll be using standard dog-bone insulators.

  3. thats very interesting, i was considering one of thease im surprised that you damaged it with 400w so easy.
    Maybe it would be ok with a slight reduction in power
    i will check back and see if you have any updates
    73’s de Neil G0rnu

    1. Hi Neil,
      It’s only under certain circumstances – 400w of data at high duty cycles in the wet.

      However the new custom made PTFE spacers should resolve the problem. If you’ve not already read it, see my additional post here: https://qso365.co.uk/2013/04/fixing-the-hexbeam-again/

      73 Keith.

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