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Maco V58 Assembly Review

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  #25  
Old 11-01-2010, 02:32 PM
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621, I agree mounting the mast inside of BA1P is the most common way of installing the V58.

After posting I went on the Internet looking for a newer version of the manual and I found a review that had a real closeup and clear picture of the base mount. I see where the C13P clamp screw tightens up against the mast inside and allows the mast to go up more than the 2" inches I originally thought.



My manual also describes placing C13P bracket over the mast and placing BA1P down inside with the screw tight against the base of the antenna---and it the less common install.

621, I also read that BA1P is tapered a bit, is that true?

Your last comment is what I've been waiting to hear someone talk about. With the manual as questionable as it is, I could never figure out how Maco wanted one to measure the overall length. If this was also a question for other's and they understood the instructions in error, then I wondered how they got their V58 to work right without a lot of trial and error tuning and we don't hear much along those lines.

Did you happen to re-measure the length after you got the SWR set right, and note the difference? If you didn't, that is fine, but I would really be interested to hear how that all worked out. If not, maybe Charles Electronics will give us a clue to the question if they allow their new manuals to be published on CBTricks.
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Last edited by Marconi; 11-01-2010 at 02:50 PM.

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  #26  
Old 11-01-2010, 03:50 PM
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Marconi,

I honestly did not re-measure it after fiddling with it, I got it under a 1.5 after putting it up, taking it down, putting it up, taking it down several times to gradually adjust the length in the 1/4" increments as stated in my manual (I did not have a big latter or it set up lower to tune it at ground level so I had to take it down when I needed to make adjustments, it was only 20 feet high to the very bottom of the antenna). After a while of that, I started going in much larger increments until I seen some changes in the real high SWR, once I finally got it under a 1.5 where I operated I pretty much left it alone as I did not feel like taking it down again. I think I tried to keep notes on my adjustments the last time I set it up & tuned it, but it started to take so long I stopped keeping track as I just wanted to get it done so I donít know where I ended up.

My mounting location has been less then ideal with trees all around, mounting the antenna at the roof line where the gutters are, etc. so some of that could have contributed to my SWR problems & I canít blame the antenna or manual, I just have not been in the greatest locations to mount an antenna of that size & donít have a tower yet or high enough mast pipe. Thatís the main reason I am not using the V58 now. But with some confusion in the manual, I was never sure if it was the surroundings around the antenna or something not set quite right.

As for the BA1P being tapered:

The BA1P bottom tube which you can see in my photo in one of my previous posts is not tapered at all. That tube by itself measures 12Ē long, & 1.5Ē in diameter at both ends. I have the antenna apart completely as I was cleaning all the tubing a while back & I just measured it.

The black insulator goes in that tube, and then the first vertical radiator element tube goes in that, none of which is tapered, just standard tubing bolted together to form the base assembly.

Yeah, that picture you posted of the antenna mounted looks like how I had mine. Iím not familiar with the other mounting method. I donít think either copies of my manual described it.

Wish I could have been more help on my tuning experience with better details.

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  #27  
Old 11-01-2010, 04:47 PM
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I understand 621, I've been down that road before when some frustration set in and I thought I was just chasing my tail. But, could I just try and jar your memory a little.

Do you recall what overall length you started with, and/or the frequency you wanted?

Which points did you use to measure that overall length?

Do you recall which way you ultimately went to get to your tune, longer or shorter?

During the process, did you also move the tap point?

Good luck 621, if and when you try this one again. Those big radials probably do need to be as far away from "stuff" as possible in order to really be sure they are not being ill-affected.

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  #28  
Old 11-02-2010, 08:56 AM
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Iíve been trying to remember for you Marconi! I canít, so I had to go digging for my notes! The info I was going to give you from my memory would have been totally wrong, so Iím glad I found them & did not go the memory route, haha.

Iíll be honest; I am probably in the wrong section here since I use the antenna on the CB band.

Ok, you made me search (dig through a mess) for my notes as I could not remember where I started! I found my notebook (took me a while), but my tuning info is a bit vague & not really completed, but Iíll try to describe my results before I gave up writing anymore down. The SWR was not as bad as I made it out to sound, but it still was not very good when I started. I think I got frustrated more then anything because it took so long taking the antenna down to make a small adjustment then put it back up, I was out there for a good part of the day by my self fooling with it, I think it was getting dark so I just wanted to get it finished quickly.

My original V58 manual which I am looking at right now states for 27.0 Mhz the overall length is 240Ē & that is where I started. That way there was no guessing on the measurements for the center of the band since I had trouble tuning it in the past guessing for the center of the band & I wanted a good starting point. 27.0 Mhz is pretty much CB channel-4 (5Khz under four) so I knew my SWR should be acceptable on channel-1 if everything was set as the manual suggests.

On a side note, I just checked a newer manual at the link below & for the V5/8 it shows for 27.0 Mhz the overall length is 248Ē, I wonder why its 8Ē different in mine? Which is it really? Or did they make changes to there antenna, or just the manual again? Maybe there measurements were off?
http://www.macoantennas.net/assembly...072810_Web.pdf

On to my notes:

I know I measured from the VERY bottom of the antenna to the VERY top tip of the antenna for my overall length measurement as I always have, even though I was unsure of that step.

I noted my start at 240Ē for 27.0 Mhz. (keep in mind my antenna was very close to metal gutters, trees, etc. so tuning could have been affected from reactance to those objects.)

Checking SWR on CB channel-1 (where it should have been good) shows it was about a 3.0:1
Checked on channel-40 shows it was a 1.6:1

Next I lowered the vertical element 1/4" & the SWR went up as expected so I went back, for some reason I did not note the SWR readings other then it went up so I knew I had to raise the antenna length. Which was expected to get it better on channel-1.

Next I went back to 240Ē & from there raised the antenna length 1/4", checked SWR on channel-1 & 40 but it was about the same as when I started, maybe went down a hair, but not really noticeable if anything, & maybe my imagination if I did see a difference!

I raised the antenna length another 1/4Ē two more times & it was about the same, maybe came down a hair, but again, not really noticeable if anything.

Since I was not seeing any results I raised the antenna length by 1Ē, I checked the SWR on channel-1 & it came down to about a 2.2:1
On channel-40 it was about a 1.1:1

Getting better so I raised the antenna length by another 1Ē, checked the SWR on channel-1 & it was still around a 2.2:1
On channel-40 seemed to come down a little & was almost flat & seemed under a 1.1:1

Again, raised the length by another 1Ē, SWR on channel-1 came down to a 2.0:1
Channel-40 still a 1.1:1 or less

Decided to raise the antenna length another 1Ē, SWR on channel-1 came down to about 1.7:1
Channel-40 went up to a 1.2:1

Thatís where my notes stop, I think I may have made another few fine adjustments then left it alone, but I donít remember what the final SWR was. My main frequency is channel 33; I was good there so I canít see tuning much more. I just wanted to get channel 1 as good as I could as I like to be able to go to any of the 40 channels with a decent SWR. So in the end it was probably acceptable through channels 1-40. But I think t was still a little high on channel-1 by the time I was done (over a 1.5 on channel 1).

So I had to go up 4.75Ē inches (probably a little more that I did not note down, so maybe 5Ē or slightly more) to get the SWR acceptable. So overall final height around 244.75Ē to maybe 245Ē or so. But some of this tuning could be from reactance of nearby objects. Seems closer to the newer V5/8 manual? All the changes to the manual really make me wonder, unless the newer antenna is a newer design or something. Now if I would have measured from the bottom of the hole of the C13P clamp instead, then it would have been a little closer to 240Ē, somewhere around 243.25Ē or so.

Well, not the greatest info on my tuning & certainly not complete, but at least I found the notes!

Since my end result was about where I wanted it, I donít think I adjusted the tap point on the ring; I have before, but not sure during this particular setup.

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  #29  
Old 11-02-2010, 12:27 PM
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Very good info 621. The only physical difference I see between the new manual and the old is CE's only suggest the single mount idea where the mast is installed inside of BA19. The wall thickness of the tubing is also thicker @ .050". That may have some affect on the overall length dimension, but it would surprise me if it was noticable during tuning. The 27.0 mhz length of 248" seems to be a bit long and it is way out of portion relative to the other frequency differences noted between 26 and 33 mhz.

So, I'm still not sure how the new V58 length will finally tune out, but Maco still shows the arrow to the bottom being the very bottom and I would agree that is the point they mean for the bottom. One thing is for sure, your observations are correct, you had to go longer when starting at 240". However, if you had been measuring at the bottom of the bolt in C13P you would have been close to where you ended up in overall length while using the 240" inches and measuring from the very bottom of BA1P.

The increased wall thickness seems like a good thing for the durability of the V58, because it may be thicker that what Maco ended up using before they sold out. I've also read that the .50" wall thickness telescopes best and makes a better fitting antenna.

The new instructions still note that Charles Electronics will not be deburring the tubing, I wonder if they have resumed making compression slots in the tubing, the parts list doesn't show it? I would pay extra for both slotting and deburring services if it was an option.

This old 240" for 11 meters in the manuals may go back to the days when Maco advertised this antenna strictly as a 10 meter antenna. IMO this helped them get around the government mandate regarding safety with all aluminum vertical antennas during the CB craze days. It may have also been a wise marketing idea to help them get better situated in the growing 10 meter vertical antenna market as well---back when all the 10 meter and export type radios were first hitting the US market strong.

Good work 621, I'm sure glad you kept your notes.
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Last edited by Marconi; 11-02-2010 at 09:49 PM.

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  #30  
Old 11-03-2010, 06:34 PM
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Yeah, if I would have measured from the C13P hole instead, it would have definitely been closer to the 240Ē from the start.

I did not even realize (probably did not pay attention) that the tubing on the newer ones is thicker then the old ones, that definitely seems good. My antenna has been through some rough conditions & I am surprised itís still in one piece; it managed for at least 9 years or so. But thicker walled tubing definitely sounds good to me.

It would be nice if they at least offered to de-burr the tubing and slot it where needed. Mine really was not too bad with burrs, it was actually pretty clean in that area, but I did have to cut the slots in some of the tubing so the clamps could easily compress it together.

I definitely want to set my V58 back up one day in a good location, and away from interfering objects if at all possible, hopefully that will go smoother!

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  #31  
Old 11-06-2010, 07:28 PM
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I might be a little late here but i just bought a new Maco V58. I have it 90% assembled and also changed out that exposed wire that attaches to the ring with an insulated wire of thicker gauge. Silicone was also applied to where the wire comes out the back of the so239 connector. I live in San Francisco by the Ocean and we get lots of fog and Moisture and The rains. I applied a good amount of Marine silicone on all the crimped parts of the ring so water does not migrate inside. Special silicone that wont corrode Aluminum. Also on the vertical radiator except on the bottom part for final adjustment and groundplanes. The antenna comes Slotted. Not De burred which I did. Easy task. I'm Planning on putting her up next week using my MFJ259B Analyzer into LMR400. Bottom section not tapered Definitely straight.
This antenna is well constructed and thick walled. I will try and post my measurements as soon as i put her up. I have been very Ill and I'm recovering. Best regards and Wishes to all from LightFoot off the Coast Of San Francisco........

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  #32  
Old 11-06-2010, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundir View Post
I might be a little late here but i just bought a new Maco V58. I have it 90% assembled and also changed out that exposed wire that attaches to the ring with an insulated wire of thicker gauge. Silicone was also applied to where the wire comes out the back of the so239 connector. I live in San Francisco by the Ocean and we get lots of fog and Moisture and The rains. I applied a good amount of Marine silicone on all the crimped parts of the ring so water does not migrate inside. Special silicone that wont corrode Aluminum. Also on the vertical radiator except on the bottom part for final adjustment and groundplanes. The antenna comes Slotted. Not De burred which I did. Easy task. I'm Planning on putting her up next week using my MFJ259B Analyzer into LMR400. Bottom section not tapered Definitely straight.
This antenna is well constructed and thick walled. I will try and post my measurements as soon as i put her up. I have been very Ill and I'm recovering. Best regards and Wishes to all from LightFoot off the Coast Of San Francisco........
Good luck Thundir. Don't forget we have a question about the new manual---whether the 248" overall length for 27 mhz is correct or a mis-print. 248" inches just does not seen to fit with the other frequencies around 27 mhz and the number use to be 240" inches, right or wrong. It's too close to the 26 mhz number and too far away from 28 mhz.

Let us know what you find out and what points you use to measure your overall. I think after this discussion that I agree the measurement is likely the very bottom of BA1P, just like it shows in the new manual with an arrow pointing to the bottom.

Some tips!!! It has been my experience with several other antennas, that when I get close to resonance and my SWR is good, 1/4 inch moves may be too much, and you might go right past your sweet spot. You just have to be careful at that point if you want to try and get the best bandwidth and match.

BTW, if you look real close at the SO239, where you've told us you caulked around the outside of the bottom, you might notice that the 239, being prone to leaking water into the coax can easily leak water in from the top. This is where the center pin goes thru the insulator. On some connectors you can actually twist the center pin inside the connector, it's that loose. You may want to consider putting some of that caulk on the top where the wire connects also. I use epoxy up there and last pretty good.

I use a product inside of my connectors called Stuff, which I get from AES on the Internet. It is designed to shield water from getting into the connectors and it does not harden or damage the connectors or the coax.

When you start sealing your antenna it might be wise to consider that you could seal it up to well which might present a problem for water getting out as well as getting in. Personally, I've always elected to leave my tubing open, except for the top element, so if I get condensation inside the tubing---it has a way to get out as well.

Condensation can occur inside of tubing that is otherwise sealed up---which is simply due to changes in temperature and not just rain. Also, if a tube is sealed up well on the bottom side of the joint and a small hole exists in the upper side---then rain water can get inside and then not get out easily.

Just my opinion, but I wouldn't overdue caulking a vertical antenna. Only the radials and the coil, which might lay horizontally, can and will collect and hold water. I never cap my horizontal radials for this reason. I mainly worry about rain water getting in the coax thru the connectors, which are not water tight, and the V58 is very prone to this problem if the connector is not well sealed inside and out.

Another point is, I have found non stainless steel hardware that I seal up before and the seal did not keep the water out, it held the water in, all around the hardware and destroyed it in quick fashion. I like the clamps that Maco uses except the nuts and bolts will not hold up. Maybe "all" stainless steel hose clamps are better since the tubing is slotted and that would be a good investment if the antenna stays up for a long while.

Good luck and I wish you well in health too. Keep us posted.
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