From my ramblings here, you’ve no doubt noted that I’ve been digging into VHF through some six-meter activity. I’ve worked a couple of contests and found a sporadic-E opening or two. Given that interest along with the small size of beams for six-meters, I began looking at options that would fit my operating requirements — mostly around contesting that could easily be taken down and stored between those contests.

Screenshot (13)
Yagi 3-element beam at 30′ and 10 degree elevation.

Yagi vs. Moxon

After a fairly thorough review of lots of options, I decided to purchase the Par Electronics Stressed Moxon, SM-50. As of today there are 47 eHam reviews of this antenna with the average rating of 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5. It gets good reviews! I also have spent a bit of time looking at Moxon antennas and deploying my own 15 meter version in quite a few contests over the past several years. I know the utility of the Moxon. They are compact and they work great.

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Moxon 2-element at 30′ and 10 degree elevation.

To help me in the selection process, I compared the 3-element Yagi to the 2-element Moxon. Here’s the azimuth plots at 30 feet high with a 10 degree elevation angle. You can readily see that the Moxon has a wider beamwidth along with a vastly improved front-to-back ratio. For contesting, I really like the broader beamwidth so that I can hear more stations without turning the beam. Gain, while important for DXing, seems to me to be less important for contesting.

The exact numbers were as follows: Yagi, beamwidth 55 degrees, gain 15 dBi; Moxon, beamwidth 78 degrees, gain 11.5 dBi.

So, all of that along with the promise of easy setup and storage sold me on this antenna.

Antenna Setup

When new hardware arrives at my ham shack, it is a great day! I’ve snapped a few photos of the packaging, the unpacking, the assembly, and the operation at the top of my pushup mast.

I am very impressed with the ingenious engineering and construction of this antenna. The parts are all top quality and well constructed and machined. I particularly like the choice of materials for strength, proper insulation, or in the case of aluminum parts, the conductivity. It all fits so nicely together and the simple construction quietly demonstrates all the thought that went into this antenna. It is truly ingenious and, as a result, elegant.

I will also note that the assembly instructions match the thought put into the antenna. They are short and simple, but there is clear thought placed on all the key steps to help you catch the potential error before you make it. Very well done.

I know I’m going to have a blast with this antenna. My next step will be to acquire a rotator, cable, and controller. Since this antenna is so light, it won’t take much. As always, my ham radio adventures continue.

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Update from 17-July-2016

Followers of this blog will note that I replaced the Stressed Moxon with the Innovantennas 3-element Yagi in April 2015.

Then in July 2016, I replaced the Cheap Yagis and the 3-element LFA. I put up Diamond antennas for working satellites and returned the Stressed Moxon to the pushup mast. Works great and actually fits better in my side yard with minimal windload.

BTW – the SM-50 comes with a bracket for 1.5″ masts. Par Electronics will also make custom brackets for whatever size mast you have in place. For me, it’s a 1.625″ fence post. They made the perfect size. I highly recommend their products and service.

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