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[TowerTalk] Butternut HF-5B Butterfly Beam

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Butternut HF-5B Butterfly Beam
From: (Bill Coleman AA4LR)
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 97 14:00:11 -0500
On 3/10/97 9:13, Gene Smith at wrote:

>Anybody have any experience with the Butternut
>HF-5B Butterfly beam?

Sorta. I have experience with its immediate predecessor - the HF4B, which 
covers 20m, 15m, 12m and 10m (ie no 17m).

>This is a small five
>band beam on a six foot boom and two 12 foot
>elements and sells for $300.

While most beams are flat, the Butternut is 3 dimensional. Although the 
elements are 12.5 feet long, the ends are nearly 6 feet tall. It is 
actually more sizable than it seems. At 17 pounds, it is lightweight. I 
have no idea what the total wind loading is, but with all the matching 
network elements and the vertical and sloped components, it is probably 
sizable for an antenna of these dimensions. Turning one with a small 
TV-style rotator isn't a problem, though.

>I really don't want to compare it with an A3S
>or any other beam. 

I REPLACED my HF4B with an A3S. The A3S has double the dimensions, and is 
three elements rather than just two, so you'd expect it to be a better 
performer. The A3S doesn't support 12m or 17m.

> I would like suggestions
>as to how this small beam would compare against
>a vertical.  Basically I'm either going to put
>a vertical on the top of my house or the Butterfly

The HF4B was my first beam. On 20m, there's not much front-to-back, but 
there is some null off to the side. On 10m, the front-to-back is better. 
A vertical will offer no front-to-back or side null, so you do get some 
benefit. In my opinion, any beam should work as well or better than a 

The HF4B was clearly designed as a tribander, with the 12m matching 
components added on. The tuning instructions I received were rather poor. 
I managed to get a good match on 20, 15 and 10 without the 12m 
components. When I tried to add the 12m components, 20 and 15 were badly 

I later had a conversation with a ham who was using his on 12m. To get 
the match, you had to modify the components by compressing the center 
loading coil. This was mentioned in the instructions, but no specific 
dimensions were given. Note that 12m will act in reverse, since the 
reflector for 20,15 and 10 becomes a director for 12m.

I never did try to get 12m to work, so I used the beam as a tribander for 
about 4 years.

I still have it. The complete HF4B is sitting in the box the A3S came in. 
I'm willing to sell it for about a third of the price of a new HF5B (ie 
$100), plus shipping.

Bill Coleman, AA4LR, PP-ASEL        Mail:
Quote: "Not in a thousand years will man ever fly!"
            -- Wilbur Wright, 1901

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