This site features the G3TXQ broad band hexagonal beam R.F. antenna for the six amateur radio bands, 20, 17, 15, 12, 10 and 6 meters. It is featured in the March 2009 edition of QST magazine and is a significant improvement over the classic Hex-Beam design.
- The hexagonal beam offers a number of features;
- Gain and front/back comparable to a two element full size Yagi beam
- Six bands with low SWR without a tuner
- Broadband characteristics
- Low weight and low wind load making possible an economical support structure
- Construction from general hardware components
- Ease of adjustment
A Bit of History
The original HEX-BEAM was developed by Mike Traffic, N1HXA, in the early nineties. Mike says his design was inspired by the snowflake. He spent much time in testing and analysis of the antenna and developed the nesting concept that uses an inverted umbrella frame to allow multi band operation. Mike invented many of the unique fixtures and components that became a byword among HEX-BEAM owners and after much experimentation introduced the antenna commercially under the trademark, HEX-BEAM. It was reviewed in both CQ and QST magazines and soon earned a reputation for being a pileup buster among its owners. For a number of years it was the only commercially available hexagonal beam. Eventually, home brewers began building the “hex beam” and for years, web sites maintained by W1GQL and DL7IO were the intellectual source for those who wanted a classic “hex beam” but preferred to build it themselves. The Traffie beam is no longer offered commercially but there are a lot of Hexbeam aficionados and the beam was quite well made so it will be heard on the air for some time. Many homebrew versions of the original Hexbeam are in service today.
This original design is a good antenna and owners of the HEX-BEAM are quite vocal about its performance as were builders of the homebrew version. I used to be one of the homebrew builders and was so enthusiastic that I published a set of guidelines like these to help others build one. But, things have progressed a little and thanks to the exhaustive work of Steve Hunt, G3TXQ, a slightly different configuration of the hexagonal beam has been discovered. Viewed from above the wires for a single bander look like the sketch to the right.
Which one is better? Well, owners of the original HEX-BEAM are very loyal. But nearly all of the companies both here and abroad who are selling hexagonal beams are selling only the new broad band hexagonal beam and homebrewers are all building that version of the hexagonal beam instead of the original classic version. The new version is much easier to build and adjust than the original classic version. And it has a broader frequency response than the original version. The only disadvantage is that the new broadband version is 22 ft in diameter vs 19 ft for the original Hexbeam.
For a more full understanding of the technical parameters of the G3TXQ broad band hexagonal beam, visit the web site of Steve Hunt, the inventor of the broadband beam. If you feel you would rather not get into building your own G3TXQ broad band hexagonal beam, I can build one for you. See the details here.