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Yagi vs Quad

Help with installing an Antenna, or just choosing the right antenna to go with your radio, or your mobile.

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RodinKy
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Yagi vs Quad

Post by RodinKy » Friday, 27 October 2017, 7:34 AM

Are there any advantages of a Quad over a Yagi Beam? Looking to installing a larger antenna in the spring and trying to get my ducks lined up. Thanks in advance.


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Re: Yagi vs Quad

Post by The DB » Friday, 27 October 2017, 13:56 PM

Their are those that will insist that quads are better than yagi antennas and they will tell you to ignore anyone who says otherwise. The reason they came to that conclusion is that quad's are generally designed to have more forward gain. That doesn't mean a yagi antennas can't be tuned to get close to, or depending on the antenna/installation, even more forward gain than a quad, but commercial yagi antennas are rarely tuned that way, while quads generally are.

Their are several points that these types of antennas are tuned to. With yagi antennas, forward gain is often sacrificed for front to back and front to rear ratios, something that with four or fewer elements the quad design is naturally better at. In most cases, tuning said antennas to have a higher front to back/rear ratio is actually better than having more forward gain. This is why they are generally factory tuned for more forward gain than yagi's.

I have set up and used both types of antennas on multiple bands, some of which were home made and tuned. Looking back on them, I can't really tell you that I noticed much of a difference. Sometimes the quad seemed to be a superior antenna, and at other times the yagi worked better.

The only recommendation between the two is, if you plan to use four or fewer elements, I would go with the quad. That is where you are more likely to see a difference if you will notice one at all.


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Re: Yagi vs Quad

Post by MDYoungblood » Friday, 27 October 2017, 15:02 PM

Back in the 70's I ran a Avanti Moonraker IV and was very happy with it's performance but since I had so many locals in close proximity I can't say how great the rejection was but it shined on forward gain. JJD put up a real quad made by Lightning, "Google" their website, but I'll let him tell you about it.

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Re: Yagi vs Quad

Post by jessejamesdallas » Friday, 27 October 2017, 17:45 PM

Yep. I had a Lightning L4 quad, which are suppose to be a full wave length, and had vertical and horizontal polarization (which is nice) but high winds kept giving me hell breaking wires... First year wasn't too bad, but after a while I guess the wires just got weak and it seemed like about once every 3 or 4 months I was bringing it down to fix a wire...Finally we got a bad storm that had some 60-70 MPH+ wind gusts that basically turned it into a pretzel...

To replace it, I bought a MaCo 4 element shooting star, which looks like the L4, and also has dual polarity, and it's been up now several years and I haven't had to bring it down to repair anything!

Between the two as for as reception and transmit go's, I would give the L4 a bit of a advantage over the MaCo...but not enough to make me ever want to go back to a quad...

The quad was lighter in weight, and had slightly better signal, but also had more disadvantages like taking longer to get tuned-in, and didn't handle high winds very good...It did survive a couple of ice storms ok, but I have talked to several people who live further north that get more Ice storms than we do, and they said the ice build up on theirs ended up being "Quad-Killers" , so something to think about if you live in the north.

The MaCo on the other hand, tuned allot easier, and lower than the quad, and I have had no problem's getting dx and local contacts just like I did with the quad...The quad IMO had less "white-noise" than the MaCo, but still not enough to make me want to put another back up.

Oh...and then there's the cost! The Lightning L4 will set you back $509 (only available from Lightning)....The MaCo 4 element "shooting star" is around $350... (can be found all over the place, so shop around!) Cubex Magnum 4CB $507 (vertical or horizontal, not a dual polarity antenna...it's "either/or")

My L4 quad: Image

My MaCo shooting star: Image
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Re: Yagi vs Quad

Post by PA629 » Friday, 27 October 2017, 21:22 PM

jessejamesdallas wrote:
Friday, 27 October 2017, 17:45 PM
Yep. I had a Lightning L4 quad, which are suppose to be a full wave length, and had vertical and horizontal polarization (which is nice) but high winds kept giving me hell breaking wires... First year wasn't too bad, but after a while I guess the wires just got weak and it seemed like about once every 3 or 4 months I was bringing it down to fix a wire...Finally we got a bad storm that had some 60-70 MPH+ wind gusts that basically turned it into a pretzel...

To replace it, I bought a MaCo 4 element shooting star, which looks like the L4, and also has dual polarity, and it's been up now several years and I haven't had to bring it down to repair anything!

Between the two as for as reception and transmit go's, I would give the L4 a bit of a advantage over the MaCo...but not enough to make me ever want to go back to a quad...

The quad was lighter in weight, and had slightly better signal, but also had more disadvantages like taking longer to get tuned-in, and didn't handle high winds very good...It did survive a couple of ice storms ok, but I have talked to several people who live further north that get more Ice storms than we do, and they said the ice build up on theirs ended up being "Quad-Killers" , so something to think about if you live in the north.

The MaCo on the other hand, tuned allot easier, and lower than the quad, and I have had no problem's getting dx and local contacts just like I did with the quad...The quad IMO had less "white-noise" than the MaCo, but still not enough to make me want to put another back up.

Oh...and then there's the cost! The Lightning L4 will set you back $509 (only available from Lightning)....The MaCo 4 element "shooting star" is around $350... (can be found all over the place, so shop around!) Cubex Magnum 4CB $507 (vertical or horizontal, not a dual polarity antenna...it's "either/or")

My L4 quad: Image

My MaCo shooting star: Image
Image

(Click on images to make bigger)
As one of those people living farther north (on the shores of Lake Erie), my home brew 4 element quad has been up for 2 winters now with no problems, and we certainly get our fair share of lake-effect snows and ice storms. Then again, my quad's hubs were machined out of solid aluminum at a local machine shop, and my spreaders are a combination of solid fiberglass rods scavenged from golf course flags and 6061-T6 aluminum tubing. I'm also using #12 wire instead of the usual #14 most people use.

I used to have a 4 element yagi up horizontally on one of my towers, a 2 element quad on my 2nd tower, and an Imax on the houses's chimney. As I'm a bit south of the city where my locals are, the quad worked well as my antenna for local talking, just pointed it north and left it there. The yagi was a DX monster until a minor (?) lightning strike damaged it. I redid my entire antenna system at that time, redid my grounding system, moved the Imax off the house. I built the 4 element quad (vertically polarized) and put it on one tower, then put the Imax on the 2nd tower. I now use the Imax for local talking and the quad for DX.

Just my $.02
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Re: Yagi vs Quad

Post by RodinKy » Saturday, 28 October 2017, 9:57 AM

Thanks to everyone for their input. I've been comparing the Lightning L4 and the Maco Asteroid. Specs about the same except for size and weight. I will carefully weigh the facts before I make up my mind. JJD, nothing you read on Lightnings site indicate any trouble but I suppose they wouldn't put those out there in their reviews section. Thanks for the insight, I would have never considered an ice storm.

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Re: Yagi vs Quad

Post by jessejamesdallas » Sunday, 29 October 2017, 7:00 AM

RodinKy wrote:
Saturday, 28 October 2017, 9:57 AM
Thanks to everyone for their input. I've been comparing the Lightning L4 and the Maco Asteroid. Specs about the same except for size and weight. I will carefully weigh the facts before I make up my mind. JJD, nothing you read on Lightnings site indicate any trouble but I suppose they wouldn't put those out there in their reviews section. Thanks for the insight, I would have never considered an ice storm.
No...I seriously doubt you'll see negative reviews of their product, on their web site! lol

Theres a few pictures of my L4 on Lightnings site in the "customer testimonials" link...and what I thought of the L4 at the time...It's not a bad antenna by any means, it's just has a few flaws which I pointed out to Lightning, and they said they would pass the information along to their shop...(which I doubt never happened)

Another problem I ran into putting the L4 together was with these screws they supplied that hold the spreader's together...They are small sheet metal type screws that kinda go in at a angle and act like a wedge to hold the fiberglass spreader rod in place once you insert it in its holder...sorta hard to explain, so long story short, I ended up scrapping those screws and just got some small screws and nuts, then drilled out the hole so I could insert my nuts and bolt to hold the spreaders in place...

Told Lightning about that problem too...guy told me they had several people complaining about those screws, and he would pass along the info to their shop... (herd that before)

Now if you could find some plans to build your own, like PA629 did, that might be a better way to go, and use a larger gauge wire instead of that thin solid core stuff like lightning uses...IMO, if lightning used a strain-type wire instead of the solid core stuff, it might not break as easy...But I read that if you replace the solid core wire with strain type, you will need to re-tune the antenna because the strain stuff is going to throw the SWR way off.
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Re: Yagi vs Quad

Post by RodinKy » Sunday, 29 October 2017, 12:49 PM

Thanks JJD good info sounds like the L4 is a lot of trouble which I don't want or need, we do have an occasional ice storm in Kentucky. I just want one with more gain than I currently have and one that's not huge, size restriction due to oak trees on my property. If you think of any other antennas with the same specs as the L4 or Asteroid let me know so I may consider them. 73's.

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Re: Yagi vs Quad

Post by MDYoungblood » Sunday, 29 October 2017, 13:52 PM

You could look at these, http://www.gizmotchy.com/index.html , made by the same manufacturer as Maco. Jo Gunn was over rated but an excellent antenna, sorry to say that Joe passed away last month so finding one of his antennas NIB might be a challenge. There are a few others, let your fingers tiptoe through the internet, search "dual polarity beam" .

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Re: Yagi vs Quad

Post by jessejamesdallas » Sunday, 29 October 2017, 13:54 PM

RodinKy wrote:
Sunday, 29 October 2017, 12:49 PM
Thanks JJD good info sounds like the L4 is a lot of trouble which I don't want or need, we do have an occasional ice storm in Kentucky. I just want one with more gain than I currently have and one that's not huge, size restriction due to oak trees on my property. If you think of any other antennas with the same specs as the L4 or Asteroid let me know so I may consider them. 73's.
Like I said, I replaced my L4 with the MaCo shooting star which is also a dual polarity antenna...Just a bit heaver than the L4 (L4 is 22lb, the shooting star is 32lb)...

The MaCo was easier to tune, and has been threw ice, freezing rain and high winds with no issues at all...It will require two runs of coax (just like the L4) for the dual polarity so basically it will work just like the L4...

My L4 survived ice storms pretty good...High winds is what kept braking the wires...and always at the eyelets where the wire is attached to the spreaders.
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Re: Yagi vs Quad

Post by Turk182 » Tuesday, 31 October 2017, 20:00 PM

Location would definitely be a factor in the choice between the two. I would've chosen the Moonraker in a place not prone to hurricanes. My 12m/17m (WARC) yagi just survived a Cat 2 atop a 50' tower. The larger 4 band yagi was fortunately stapled to the empty lot adjacent to my property. Yes, with a decent tuner, they can be resonant to within 1.2 to 1 SWR on 11m. Gone as far as Western Canada barefoot with conditions right.
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Re: Yagi vs Quad

Post by lil-bump » Tuesday, 05 December 2017, 18:19 PM

jessejamesdallas wrote:
Sunday, 29 October 2017, 13:54 PM
RodinKy wrote:
Sunday, 29 October 2017, 12:49 PM
Thanks JJD good info sounds like the L4 is a lot of trouble which I don't want or need, we do have an occasional ice storm in Kentucky. I just want one with more gain than I currently have and one that's not huge, size restriction due to oak trees on my property. If you think of any other antennas with the same specs as the L4 or Asteroid let me know so I may consider them. 73's.
Like I said, I replaced my L4 with the MaCo shooting star which is also a dual polarity antenna...Just a bit heaver than the L4 (L4 is 22lb, the shooting star is 32lb)...

The MaCo was easier to tune, and has been threw ice, freezing rain and high winds with no issues at all...It will require two runs of coax (just like the L4) for the dual polarity so basically it will work just like the L4...

My L4 survived ice storms pretty good...High winds is what kept braking the wires...and always at the eyelets where the wire is attached to the spreaders.

You have a pm

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Re: Yagi vs Quad

Post by Radioreddz » Thursday, 07 December 2017, 16:16 PM

You may also want to check out Maco's 5 element HV antenna it's a dual polarity 5 element yagi without the quad reflector works very well

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