[TowerTalk] Please Help Me Decide on a Tribander or Monobanders

Jim Brown jim at audiosystemsgroup.com
Thu Apr 18 17:41:18 EDT 2013

On 4/18/2013 2:06 PM, Wayne Willenberg wrote:
> I am now in ham nirvana because I have to start making up my mind on which
> antenna(s) to put on the 15’ mast.  Here is my first dilemma.  Should I put
> up a tribander (10, 15 and 20M) or 3 monobanders.  My intuition said there
> was no way a tribander with the same 20M boom length could beat 3
> monobanders having a 20M antenna with the same boom length.

Your intuition is right on. :)  There's another fine option to consider, 
it's in your price range, it offers the best of both worlds, AND it 
works just as well on the WARC bands and 6M. I'm talking about a 
SteppIR.  I have the small 3-el (no trombones) with the added 6M element 
that covers 20M-6M. It's an optimized monobander on every band, 
4-elements on 6M. It's also light enough that a strong guy on the tower 
can handle it by himself. And it's modular, so it can be built and 
tested on the ground, then you take off the elements, pull it up, and 
put it back together. That way you don't have to weave the elements 
through the guy wires as you bring it up.

You can, of course, go for one of the  larger SteppIRs if your tower, 
your neighbors, and your budget allow it. I am VERY happy with mine. The 
DB-series antennas get you 40 and 30 with gain, but they're a LOT bigger 
and heavier, there's more to go wrong, and they are a lot more work to 
install. SteppIR is not great for customer service, you'll wait a while 
to get it, but they're very good antennas.

Another major advantage of the SteppIR Yagis is that you can reverse 
them in about 5 seconds, or set them bi-directional in that same time. 
That's VERY handy when the band is open to JA and South America at the 
same time (which often happens in Calfornia), or to EU and VK at the 
same time.

73, Jim K9YC

More information about the TowerTalk mailing list