[TowerTalk] best medium sized tribander...

Jim Jarvis jimjarvis at verizon.net
Sat Nov 26 17:40:02 EST 2005

Keith wrote the following:

All SteppIR owners love their antennas.  May have something to do with
justification of price paid.  Comparing the 3-el to the T6 is not realistic.
73 Keith NM5G

First, Keith's right, the T6 is at best a 2 element antenna on any band.
Having had a T8 for
a number of years, I can say that it's superior ONLY to small, trapped
3 el tribanders, and then only in that the traps are inefficient. TH3's, A3
& A4's,
for example. And, like any LPDA, it offers no immunity from strong
out-of-band signals.
Like the SW bcdst on 21450...50db over s9 and more...tends to produce
interesting effects
in some radios.

By comparison, the 3 el 5 band SteppIR I had not only was a highly effective
It's the only antenna I've assembled and had working in under 2 hours...and
decommissioned for moving in about the same time.

The Bencher tribanders are effective on the 3 bands...and they've got a
wind-trim-tab, to balance out the windloading on the boom.  But they, like
all other 3 monobanders on a common boom...will not have their vswr, gain,
and f/b bandwidths aligned.  Typically they're stagger-tuned, and god only
knows where.  All we tend to measure is vswr.  They're my #1 choice for a

The advantage of the SteppIR is that you can TUNE it to optimize any factor
on any center frequency...or every 50KHz, if you want.  IF, that is, you
to bother.  I never felt the need...nor had the time to satisfy my

My 3 el SteppIR wound up costing me less than any other beam I've owned.
The cash outlay is not trivial, as Keith observes.  But there is no other
antenna I've ever owned that resold for anywhere near its acquisition cost.
There's another one in my future.

jimjarvis at ieee.org

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