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4 element vs 5 element M104C or M105C help...

443

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Sep 25, 2010
258
109
53
Texas
Alright, I currently have a M103. And it's nice, but I want a little better rejection, and I want a little better long range RX and of course some more gain...

Question is this:

Looking at the specs on the Maco M104C and M105C, I see that 10 more feet of boom, more windload, more weight, and narrower beamwidth, only gets me the following if I go for a M105C vs just upgrading to a M104C:

M103C: 10dBd gain, 11.5' boomlength FB Seperation 25dB
M104C: 14dBd gain, 16' boomlength FB Sep 29dB
M105C: 15.5dBd gain, 26' boomlength FB Sep 31dB


SO, unless these numbers are not considered to be accurate... If I really want to stay under 20' boomlength (so I can use cheap rotor), would there really be any point in going to a M105C vs M104C...?

I can see the obvious benefit (using the specs) of ditching the M103C for the M104C, but stepping up to the M105C, for only 1.5dBd more gain, and 2dB more FB seperation, I just can't see it....

What do you guys think? I am trying to stay under $400 for Antenna, rotor, and coax.

Not sure what to do with the M103C when I get a new beam.... Maybe I will give it to a freind to enjoy.. I have owned it since 1997 or so, and it has been a great little antenna...

Beamwidth on the M103C is about 180 degreess it seems, so not much spinning necessary, but does not have the rejection of a 4 element or bigger beam or the gain.. I am really wanting more along the lines of the 4 or 5 element performance at this point.

Not minding a little narrower beamwidth... How narrow would it be for the 4 or 5 element? 90 degrees? Less? I have confirmed the M103C is about 90 degrees if I remember right for -3dB rolloff points, but really it's usuable 180 degrees for practical use.
 
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443

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Sep 25, 2010
258
109
53
Texas
bump, help. LOL, sorry wanting input on this so I can decide if I should bother installing my 3 element back in the air again at all, or just go ahead and order a 4 element....
 

Henry HPSD

19DX348
Dec 14, 2006
578
241
53
The Netherlands
www.hpsd.nl
Hi there,

Well lets give it a try,

Looking at the gain that will not be possible.
With the described boomlengths the yagis would be more in order with these numbers:
3el approx 7..8 dBI.
4el approx 8..9 dBI.
5el approx 9.5...10.5 dBI.

Dont look to much to the FB. As the gain the numbours vary along the frequency.
Unless you have a screenplot with the FB and overlay that with a "comparable" the numbers wont say too much...
(The fB could be at its weakest point for instance -20dB over 10degrees...and on the edges the FB drops over towards -40 dB. Where anohter yagi could have -30 dB over the entire back...now wich one is better?)

About the beamwidth...Yes indeed the beamwidth would become smaller with the increase of gain.

A 3el has approx:90 degrees
A 4el has approx:80 degrees
A 5el has approx:70 degrees

The gain difference between a 3el and a 5 el would only be about a half S-unit if measurerd correct. (our S meters are always way optimisitic!)

The biggest differece is going to be found in the smaller beamwidth and better overall pattern. Do not underestemate the bennefit of having a small beamwidth!...

Normally you can say:
Doubling the boomlength will add about 3dB. 2..3..dB is the first a human ear is capable of hearing.

I have two other sugestions....
I dont know your present heigth of the antenna...but heigth is important...
Overall..a 3el at 60 feet will outperform a 5 elements at 40 feet (in DXing).

Secondly how about stacking two 3el ? Stacking two 3el will give about the same results as a single 5el (when done correct)>
And when placed vertical...that will improve the pattern of the beam as there is no mast in between the elements...

Interperting that you already had your old antenna up for about 10..15 years...
Brings me the thougth that u r a "steady" person with regarding to antennas and want to have it for a long lasting solution.
Personal i would leave the thougths of "TV-rotator"
I would recommand using anything a bit large than a TV rotator for the 4elements aswell...

Kind reagards,

Henry
 
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443

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Sep 25, 2010
258
109
53
Texas
Thanks for the input. So the Gain specs they give are calculated differently or are just plain inflated I take it...

I would like a more narrow beamwidth for this antenna, putting it on vertical, will be local and DX, probably honestly more local than DX.

I can't get it more than 30-40 feet high, I am on a hill though, location in my experience is far more important than antenna height... But that's just my experience. Talking about LOCAL talking here, not DX, DX too many variables, I've had just as good of reports during good conditions swapping from 1 antenna at 30 feet to another antenna at 2 feet off the ground... so not too concerned with DX performance, if the conditions are there, it will work for me regardless of antenna height. Local is another story, to get the 100 mile away stations I need some height, but if I can't go any higher, I will just have to go bigger to help the RX/TX a little. 1/2 S-unit would be major improvement in my book, as some stations don't even move the meter, so would make hearing them much better.

As for the TV Rotator... haha,, I know people laugh, never had a bad experience. I used the same cheap rotator on my 3 element from 1997-2007 when I took it down. That rotator still works fine and is on a 25dB Dish for Wifi now. Getting a new TV antenana rotator for the new beam, just going to go with the 4 element.... I just can't see myself putting 26' of boom in the air... That's a "retard sized" antenna in my book.

Stacking the 3's, I have thought about it, but if I was going to go that far, I would need a bad ass rotator and a tower to hold it, so not going that route either,... remember my BUDGET. LOL... $400 antenna, rotator and coax... I know I could do better but that's all I am willing to part with right now.

So final conclusion, after talking to some other folks outside of this forum as well, just going to get the 4 element and be happy with that... Got to be better than what I got already, even if only a little, at least it's new, the old 3 element is bent up and raggedy from the years of service it's given, time to donate it to a local that needs a base antenna and let him enjoy it like I did.

Oh, one more thing. Yes, the antenna with rejection ALL the way across the back would be best.

I like the FB seperation / rejection of a beam, but it won't be too bad, I will likely listen in mostly with the IMAX2000 I got coming this week, should be here tomorrow, and then switch over to the beam and point it at the target station as needed.
 
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443

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Sep 25, 2010
258
109
53
Texas
You know, if everyone talking local would just switch to Horizontal polarization... Just think of how "nice" local talking would be without all that powerline stray RF noise and all the other junk...

Did a little local talking on horizontal, maybe once... LOL,, just cannot find anyone around here with both vertical and horizontal, most are on vertical only....
 
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Mr Clean

Active Member
May 21, 2005
852
48
38
My 5 element seems to have a tighter beam flat than it does vertical. I love the horz for long distance groundwave also if they are running the same on the other end. I like having vert and horz.
 

443

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Sep 25, 2010
258
109
53
Texas
Yep, thinking about maybe keeping the 3 element and put it on flat. I just don't want to put it on the boom with the 4 element so I can stay on my budget with the cheap rotator. I can stick the 3 element on a seperate pole/rotator on flat and and use it when I need it, but most I talk to only have vertical it seems...
 

DXman

Yes, that's 3100 degrees F. Nine yrs of hard work.
Apr 5, 2005
1,673
954
123
75
West Coast - Washington
Henry got the gain figures pretty much right on for the 3/4/5 elements.

From my point of view, I would go with the 5 el., it will hear better than the 3 or 4 and although the gain of the 5 over the 4 is not much, it's still has more gain.

A four is ok - a five is better!
 

DXman

Yes, that's 3100 degrees F. Nine yrs of hard work.
Apr 5, 2005
1,673
954
123
75
West Coast - Washington
A Quick story:
A guy north of me (15 miles) was using a Maco 104 on a 50' tower - when the Pacific stations were coming in strong, I was having to relay to him what they were saying. He just could not hear a lot of them like I could.

Now, the next summer, he install a 5 element on the same tower and through the next winter he was able to hear all the stations that I was hearing - never had to relay for him again!

So the only thing that changed was; he went to a bigger antenna.
 
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443

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Sep 25, 2010
258
109
53
Texas
Yeah, that little bit of extra gain probably helped him, but still can't see gaining 10 whole feet in boom length for just that little bit of gain.

Going to keep my 3 Element, put it on flat about 1/2 wavelength (maybe a little higher) above ground for DX and locals that have Flat.

Getting a 4 element to put as high as I can get it on vertical for lolcal talk and some DXing.

Moving my Imax 2000 to the other side of my shop on a longer piece of coax to still be able to use it when I don't feel like turning the beams, but get it out of the way of the 2 beams so they don't hit it while turning.
 
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distortion

Active Member
Jan 1, 2006
106
0
26
atlanta, ga
I've used all 3 within the past few years and I'd recommend the 5. With over double the boom length, you will see ~3db gain between the 3 and the 5. You will feel a "seat of the pants" difference.

The 3 to the 4 is a decent upgrade, but if I was going to go through the trouble of upgrading, I'd go to something I would really notice.

Good Luck,
Josh
 

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