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Re: [TowerTalk] New antenna system

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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] New antenna system
From: "Floyd Sense" <>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 18:25:33 -0500
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Well, as a new SteppIR owner, I can't resist inserting myself into this "lovefest". While the SteppIR is certainly a good product and their customer service is indeed first-rate, it seems to me that a cult has developed around the SteppIR that doesn't tolerate any negative comments or thoughts. When I obtain a new product, I usually try to learn as much as possible about how it works and what its limitations are - and there are always limitations. Reading the comments on this forum would lead one to believe that there are none with the SteppIR, but that would be incorrect.

When checking out my new 3 element SteppIR, I noticed that the SWR was higher at one point on one band than elsewhere. So, I used the controller function to change the length of the driven element to reduce the SWR and sure enough, that worked just as expected. So then I thought - why not do the same for the driven element on all the segments of all the "antennas" in the controller. In doing that, I found that the controller software is not capable of storing all those changes to just one element per "antenna". If you are a real modeler/experimenter figuring to play around with different antenna definitions, how many experimental antennas can you configure and store? Apparently, not many - a known problem in the software (known to FM, not to you). Researching this problem led me to another after chatting with FM support. Oddly enough, the antenna dimensions FOR THE EXACT SAME FREQUENCY IN THE EXACT SAME BAND are DIFFERENT when you are in "Amateur" mode vs. "General Freq" mode. What's more, the dimensions for at least one point on one band are better in the Amateur mode than in the General mode. So what? Well, if you're using the PC or your rig to control the SteppIR frequency, you MUST run the controller in General mode.

When I asked a related question on the SteppIR Yahoo forum, one wag explained to me that a .3 dB difference is insignificant. It certainly is to me, but I'll bet it isn't to you if you're interested in implementing your modeling results.

The SteppIR has a few other "warts" that you won't read about, but no need to go into them here. I'm just amazed that it took this long for someone to come up with this revolutionary design at an affordable price. But my amazement doesn't blind me to the shortcomings.

Just to keep to the purpose of this reflector, my new SteppIR sits on top of a guyed Rohn 25 and all of the new and used pieces/parts of the tower installation were obtained from folks on this reflector.



See: 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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