Good day hams!
I’ve been as busy as ever making continuous improvements, and trying new things over the past month, and I’ve learned a lot along the way! It’s time to put some of this down on paper!
My Hustler 5BTV was previously modified to include 12 & 17m, I went off of KL7JR’s website. But I wanted to make the installation a little more permanent than just using zip ties, and hose clamps, so I decided to get to work, yet again, on the vertical! I thought my previous installation, while effective, was a little sloppy. (note to self: take the time to do things right the first go around!).
I also got to remembering that Hustler makes a 30m add-on kit to convert your 5BTV to a 6BTV. I really enjoy doing digital, and was missing out on one of my favorite bands. I just had to get the kit, it was like $49 (should’ve just went with the 6BTV to begin with), but to be honest, I wasn’t sure it would fit! Here’s some shots of the old installation:
It effectively removes the top aluminum tube, & replaces it with a trap & two shorter tubes. The spider web assemblies are also removed so now its just a straight vertical. I used the measurements that Hustler suggested for the spacing between the tubes/traps (1.5 inches on each gap), slapped plenty of dielectric compound between the joints this time & tightened everything up! The antenna was about 2 feet longer now, and was definitely going to need guy wires this time around, even just for a temporary setup, i’ll still use guys, I feel that this added a few pounds to the antenna, and there is a bit more sway at the very top.
Now I was posed with a problem that I could no longer use the spider web assembly up top to ‘sort of’ support the pvc pipe that was up there with a zip tie. I’ve seen many variations of how hams have attached stuff to the Hustler, and I knew I needed something that would last, and hold up to the weather over the years. I recut two pieces of elec. conduit (was colored dark grey figured it would be better), but the 3/4″ white pvc works as well, just get the schedule 40 stuff, it’s a lot thicker, the thinner walled pvc will bend too much in this application. Each piece is 2′ long, I then marked the center and cut two holes measured for ‘U’ Bolts. The elec. conduit still moves a bit, but if you apply the right amount of tension with the strings up top for the 12 & 17m wires, it equals everything out, a second hand helps in this situation. I reused a 13′ piece of wire & 9′ 5″ piece respectively.
The only difference that I’ve seen in other folks Hustler modifications is the point where they attach these additional wires. I’ve seen some add them close to where the feed point is, others have added them above the first insulator (as I did). I asked this question over on eham, and luckily, there’s two spots that you can add these wires apparently, where I added them, or at the feed point at the very bottom of the antenna, anywhere else between and they can become radials in effect I guess.
It loads up nice on 12m & 17m, the tuner is taking care of the slack until I can get my analyzer hooked up to it. All in all, an improvement that will last a bit longer than my previous attempt at this. I really enjoy the WARC bands, it seems there’s lots of DX opportunity on 17m (12m hasn’t been open that much). May not be the prettiest modification, but it’s an easy way to get these bands, other 8 & 9 band verticals from other manufacturers can be pretty expensive, the Hustler is still pretty reasonable, and this cheap mod works!
|KL7JR’s mod – initially I was confused whether to place the wires at the green arrow or aqua arrow @ the feed point|
There are other mods available to hams for the antenna as well, you can add roughly a 32′ piece of wire somewhere in between to get 30m if you don’t want to go for the 30m commercial kit, that wire can be tied off to a nearby tree or structure of some sort, just try to keep it as vertical as possible. Another ham connected a piece of wire to the very top of the antenna and formed an inverted ‘L’ with the Hustler to to get a better bandwidth on 80m (requires retuning), not sure if you could get 160m on this although I’m sure it’s possible if you have the space for a 123 ft wire, or if you are good with trap wizardry! That might be an upgrade for me in the future, but for now 8 bands is plenty!
(Edit – finally made a short video on the mod…):