I own a 3 el. SteppIR. Went through exactly the selection process
you're experiencing now. Some thoughts:
* Fixed element spacing can be accomodated, to some degree, by
element tuning. The antenna gives you a reasonable half-power
beam width, and good f/b on all frequencies, 20-10. I doubt
that any beam on similar boom length will beat the SteppIR
* A 3 element monobander...or 3-3 element monobanders on a common boom,
like the current crop of 'tribanders', will likely equal the
SteppIR. EXCEPT that the vswr bandwidth may not be where you
want them, and may require iterative tweaking to get them where you
want them. With the SteppIR, you just put it up and tune it from
* Stepper motors are highly reliable. Ask fluid motion about crash
parts, if a tree attacks the antenna. you'll find they're reasonable.
* They have no 30/40m solution, except for the bigIR vertical. I've been
thinking of a CC 40, with 2 30m elements inside it, on the same
boom. SteppIR appears to be limited by the size of the molded motor
housing. They can't accomodate bigger spools without tooling a new
housing. I'd love it if they did. 2 els on a 24' boom would be ideal.
* My 3 el steppIR stood up to a nasty VT winter in 2002-2003, and I took it
to move to MD. Hope to have it up again this Summer.
Good luck with your decision.
Jim Jarvis, n2ea
See: http://www.mscomputer.com for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather
Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions
and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.
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