[TowerTalk] Force 12 Antenna Question

K7LXC at aol.com K7LXC at aol.com
Thu Mar 23 12:53:08 EST 2006

In a message dated 3/22/2006 12:40:25 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,  
towertalk-request at contesting.com writes:

>  I need to make a decision as to whether to use my Force 12  XR-5 beam or
my Cushcraft A-4 and an A-3WS.  The Force 12 supposedly  has only 2
elements per band and does not brag about a lot of gain. Is this  just
not that great of a beam?? The Cushcraft is no peach either I am  sure
but given just the choice of the Cushcraft  pair over the XR-5  what does
the brain trust here recommend.
    First, the gain figures quoted by Force 12 are  realistic. They use the 
same type of testing that we did during our tribander  antenna test (the book 
of results is available at _www.championradio.com_ 
(http://www.championradio.com) ) and it  basically corroborated our results. The same cannot be said about 
the  A-4. We didn't test it specifically but you can't go by the gain figures 
 from Cushcraft, or any other manufacturer by that matter. (Okay F12 and  
SteppIR figures are basically legit.)
    Second, the A-4 is a trapped antenna with all the  compromises and 
potential problems inherent in the design. Of course the XR-5  has design 
compromises but is a generation or two newer design.
    Third, the A-4 was designed before the days of  computer modeling while 
the XR-5 has gone thru dozens, if not hundreds, of  design iterations in order 
to achieve the designer's vision. Newer designs  typically offer more gain and 
more uniformly across the bands than the older  cut-and-try ones. 
    Finally, gain is a function of boomlength - not  the number of elements. 
    If it was my station, I'd use the XR-5 over the  CC in a New York minute.
Steve     K7LXC
Professional tower services for amateurs
Cell: 206-890-4188

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