Wire sets

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Wireset

Assembled wire set with the reflector coiled in the middle and the two half driver wires coiled on the ends.

General

The wires of course, are the reason for the existence of all the other components. The wires ARE the antenna. On a hexagonal beam, there are two wire elements for each band and these operate exactly like a two element beam for each band. The big difference is that the wires are scrunched up to take up less space and the frame of the hexagonal beam is designed to achieve this odd configuration of the wires. You can buy already assembled and tuned wire sets for one or more bands here.

Each band of the hexagonal beam requires two elements; a driver wire and a reflector wire. The wires are configured into the shape shown here for each band. The tips of the driver wire are connected to the tips of the reflector wire through fixed length insulator cords called tip spacers. The driver wire is cut into halves and where it is cut, the ends are connected to the center post terminals. This is the feed point for the band. So at the end of the day, when you assemble a wire set for a band, you wind up with a big loop with each end of the loop tied to the terminals of the center post. The loop looks like the shape shown at the right. Each band looks like this but the higher the frequency band, the smaller the loop, of course. And each wire set has a different feed point although all the feed points are connected by means of coaxial cable on the center post. The table on the Specifications page provides the lengths of wire sections and tip spacers for all the bands.

Follow this procedure for each band starting with 6 meters.

Wireset sketch

The 20 meter wire set as viewed from overhead with no spreader frame shown for clarity.

1. Measure wires

Lay the wires out on the driveway or floor and with a tape, measure the reflector and two half drivers to the table values. Allow 1/2 inch for each end so that the wire for each half driver and each reflector is cut one inch shorter than the table value. When ring terminals are installed on each end, the length will be very close to the table value. Be as precise as possible as an inch can make a difference in resonant frequency.

2. Attach terminals

Solder ring terminals on each end of each wire section. Six ring terminals are required for each band.

3. Tip Spacers

Measure the two tip spacers to the Wire Specifications Table value plus 4 inches for knots and cut.

4. Assemble wire set

Tie each tip spacer cord to one end of each half driver and thence to an end of the reflector. Check the length of the tip spacer when knotted to be sure the distance from the tip of the ring terminal on the end of the half driver to the tip of the ring terminal on the reflector matches the value in the Table. The tip spacer distance is important to the performance of the beam but If you are within 1/2 inch, that is close enough. Roll the wire set into loops about 6 inches in diameter, put it into a plastic bag and label it for the band.

5. Repeat steps 1 – 4 for each band’s wire set.

Other comments

Separate tables are provided for wire that is insulated by pvc and wire that is bare. If you depart from the use of 14 or 16 gauge wire you will need to make adjustments of the lengths of the wires. If you use 12 gauge wire, the table lengths need to be multiplied by 1.004. If you use 18 gauge wire, the table lengths need to be multiplied by 0.998.

Each band is tuned for the middle range of the band except for 6 meters which is tuned for the bottom of the band. It really is not necessary to fine tune the wires for the CW part or the SSB part of the band as the broadband design makes the wires perform well across the entire band. However, if you want to do any fine tuning, the proper approach is to change both the driver wires as well as the reflector wires by the same amount. The amount to be increased is the same percentage as the percentage reduction in frequency that you want. There is an inverse relationship between the frequency and lengths. To increase the frequency by 1%, reduce the reflector wire by 1% and reduce each half driver by 1/2 %.

The tip spacers should be made of non-metallic cord that is resistant to UV so it will not degrade and come apart. Dacron is good for this although Kevlar with Dacron covering is better since it does not stretch. When installed, the wire sets should not be taut as there is no need and this just unnecessarily increases the likelihood of breakage. Therefore, the tip spacer cords need have only modest strength.