[TowerTalk] [Bulk] Re: antenna choices for K4XS

Bert Almemo balmemo at sympatico.ca
Sat Apr 11 12:15:15 EDT 2015

Cushcraft A3 and A4S are cheap designs with inferior materials, especially
boom-to-element clamps, which are basically just a cheap muffler clamp. One
of my friends A4S lost the reflector as it wiggled its way off the boom!!
Another ham had a boom section split lengthwise and lost the boom section
and the reflector. Very expensive for what you get and I wouldn't buy any of

73 Bert, VE3NR

-----Original Message-----
From: TowerTalk [mailto:towertalk-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of
john at kk9a.com
Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2015 11:26 AM
To: Grant Saviers
Cc: TOWERTALK at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] [Bulk] Re: antenna choices for K4XS


I meant to say that the boom crushes from the element clamp on my A3. If you
leave it too loose the element will spin. The aluminum is very soft compared
to the 6061-T6 that I use for my homebrew beams however for the price and
size I have not complaints about the performance. My A3 is 15 years old, I
wonder how the new MFJ ones are? 

John KK9A 

On 2015-04-11 10:24, Grant Saviers wrote: 

> I'm using an A4S for field days that started to show various sags and
bends after up 7 years in an exposed site, maybe 70mph peak winds. It is
weak at the boom to mast and at the elements at the boom so cutting and
double wall sleeving got it all straight. Maybe $30 of tubing from DXE. Trap
boots now need replaced, available from MFJ (btw mine was original CC). The
stamped "C" shape boom to element clamps also splay with use so the elements
loosen. Two 6-32 x 2" SS machine screws on the "C" flanges keep this from
happening. An enthusiastic FD assembler squashed one element by
overtightening the through bolts, so some more cut and double sleeve fixed
that and made it more assembler proof. Overall an ok antenna if tweaked a
bit. I can't speak to what MFJ "value engineering" has done to it.
> Grant KZ1W
> On 4/11/2015 5:17 AM, john at kk9a.com wrote:
>> I also own a Cushcraft A3, but I have only used it for field day type 
>> setups and it's currently in a box in Aruba. The aluminum tubing 
>> crushes when you tighten the element clamps and in my opinion it is 
>> not heavy duty but I have had many contest wins with it so I have no 
>> complaints. I used a different A3 during the ARRL DX Phone contest 
>> last month. It was mounted at 33'. One element fell off a couple 
>> weeks before the contest but it was repaired. Running barefoot I made 
>> over 6200 QSOs in a weekend so it works reasonably well. You can read 
>> more about this contest effort here -> 
>> http://lists.contesting.com/archives//html/3830/2015-03/msg02222.html 
>> [1] John KK9A To: TOWERTALK at contesting.com Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] 
>> antenna choices for K4XS From: Bill via TowerTalk 
>> <towertalk at contesting.com> Reply-to: Cqtestk4xs at aol.com Date: Sat, 11 
>> Apr 2015 07:52:16 -0400 Ed is right about not having to spend money 
>> to have a big signal. Although I bought my M2 stuff new, the four 
>> Cushcraft an
are all used. The A-3 tribander cost me $75. The three high stack of A-3WS
antennas were all second hand and I think the three high stack for 12/17
cost me around $500 total and that includes the 30 meter adapter kit for the
top one. The signal is second to none on 12 and 17....for $500. Bottom line,
like Ed said...you can spend big bucks for antennas or you can be
resourceful and do it on the cheap, but still have a good signal. K4XS
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