[TowerTalk] Antenna Selection Assistance

Rick Stealey rstealey at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 28 15:16:46 EDT 2008

SteppIR 3 element.
I have the US Tower 72 footer, freestanding.  
You get 3 elements, 5 bands, instant 180 degree reversal of the pattern.  A bi-directional mode which is very useful except when you need maximum gain.  Been up 4 years not a single glitch of any kind.  IF there should ever be a problem thats why you have a crank-up isnt it, so you can get to the antenna easily?  And if you do you won't find a better person to have on the other end of the phone than Mike, the owner of SteppIR.  
Some other things to consider, hard to put a number on them - you simply don't turn the antenna much, less wear on the rotor.  Your connections are all weather protected.  IF you suspect a heavy ice load you can retract the elements and then IF the fiberglass should break there is only fiberglass damage, and that's all you have to replace.  But see the picture on the SteppIR web site if it is still there showing the K2XT antenna with NO ice on it, with the pines here loaded and almost bent over to the ground.  The ice just slid right off the SteppIR (different temperatures may have resulted in snow build-up but I haven't seen it yet in 4 years in NJ).  It's only fair to say, however, that my SteppIR doesn't beat the 24 foot HyGain beams it replaced, but also keep in mind that I didn't have WARC bands, and lived in fear that those HyGains with all that torque were not going to stay up.  One day when I looked up and saw my mast bent at a 10 degree angle I knew they had to come down.  SteppIR - 3 element has been entirely satisfactory.
I see Steve says there have been motor failures.  I am sure he will agree that does not necessarily mean the motors are unreliable.  Ask Mike what the overall failure rate is, and compare that with failures that could occur on conventional beams (corrosion, loose joints, mistuned).  Remember you can tweak your SteppIR after it is in the air if you want to !!

Rick  K2XT

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