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HY-GAIN SPT 500 PENETRATOR TUNING

All this talk about the original penetrator gets me going. I have to tell you guys, that my late 1970's Penetrator is still up and working like a champ. Only thing I did to it is put new top hat radials on it like 5 years ago. Its 45 feet up and works just as good as an Imax2000 thats 85 feet up in a pine tree. I can't remember the length off the top of my head but the perfect SWR is at 27.335mhz.
 
Set the overall length of the radiator to 22' 6" for a 40 channel radio and for a 23 channel radio set it to 22' 9 1/2"
 
Set the overall length of the radiator to 22' 6" for a 40 channel radio and for a 23 channel radio set it to 22' 9 1/2"
I've tried every single setup mentioned from various forums and have concluded that my antenna is somehow damaged, I can't get the swr below 6.0 on 11 meters and a 2.0 on 10 meters regardless of length and so far DX Engineering and MFJ (Hy-gain) has failed to communicate with me in a meaningful manner, I have talked to DX Engineering but only about the matching rod which is curved in the wrong direction, found that the Shorting rod is a little too short but still attaches but not properly! I haven't heard a thing from Hy-gain about replacement parts or a new replacement antenna that DX Engineering claimed to have messaged them about! This antenna costed me $288.84, that's alot of money for a damaged product! BTW I should have refused to accept it when it finally arrived after 3 days of being lost during shipping, the box had been opened previously before It arrived here and had been resealed with boxing tape, leading me to believe that the antenna had been returned and sold to me without the benefit of being checked out before the sale!
 
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I've tried every single setup mentioned from various forums and have concluded that my antenna is somehow damaged, I can't get the swr below 6.0 on 11 meters and a 2.0 on 10 meters regardless of length and so far DX Engineering and MFJ (Hy-gain) has failed to communicate with me in a meaningful manner, I have talked to DX Engineering but only about the matching rod which is curved in the wrong direction, found that the Shorting rod is a little too short but still attaches but not properly! I haven't heard a thing from Hy-gain about replacement parts or a new replacement antenna that DX Engineering claimed to have messaged them about! This antenna costed me $288.84, that's alot of money for a damaged product! BTW I should have refused to accept it when it finally arrived after 3 days of being lost during shipping, the box had been opened previously before It arrived here and had been resealed with boxing tape, leading me to believe that the antenna had been returned and sold to me without the benefit of being checked out before the sale!
Post some pics of what you have. Closeups, too. I think we're looking at improper assembly.
 
Post some pics of what you have. Closeups, too. I think we're looking at improper assembly.
Well, I sent pictures to DX Engineering of the parts I recieved as well as the antenna, I took that antenna apart several times and reassembled it, if anything was wrong it was because the assembly instructions were wrong along with what I looked at on various sites! The antenna was junk and I'll be sending it back, btw I've been assembling and putting up antennas since I was in my teens and this is the very 1st antenna that I've ever seen that couldn't be tuned!
 
Well, I sent pictures to DX Engineering of the parts I recieved as well as the antenna, I took that antenna apart several times and reassembled it, if anything was wrong it was because the assembly instructions were wrong along with what I looked at on various sites! The antenna was junk and I'll be sending it back, btw I've been assembling and putting up antennas since I was in my teens and this is the very 1st antenna that I've ever seen that couldn't be tuned!

You didn't say what you did to try to set the match:
You probably already know all of this .......
Did you play with the length of the antenna? If it's 2 at 10 meters and 6 at 11 meters it tells me it's too short.
You should have it at least 8 feet off the ground when setting the SWR.

I never did like that new and latest Penetrator 500, I had one bought in 2013 for $167 including shipping, and it lasted until 2020 in a wind storm at 40 feet to the base ...... the very bottom plastic piece of the antenna broke. It got replaced by a Colossal.
 
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I've tried every single setup mentioned from various forums and have concluded that my antenna is somehow damaged, I can't get the swr below 6.0 on 11 meters and a 2.0 on 10 meters regardless of length and so far DX Engineering and MFJ (Hy-gain) has failed to communicate with me in a meaningful manner, I have talked to DX Engineering but only about the matching rod which is curved in the wrong direction, found that the Shorting rod is a little too short but still attaches but not properly! I haven't heard a thing from Hy-gain about replacement parts or a new replacement antenna that DX Engineering claimed to have messaged them about! This antenna costed me $288.84, that's alot of money for a damaged product! BTW I should have refused to accept it when it finally arrived after 3 days of being lost during shipping, the box had been opened previously before It arrived here and had been resealed with boxing tape, leading me to believe that the antenna had been returned and sold to me without the benefit of being checked out before the sale!

I bought one, and I think the best I could get was 5.9 on 11 meters. And it was tested 10 feet above ground with an analyzer. Pretty sure the cause on mine was the radials were very loose, and there was no way to tighten them any further.

DX Engineering returned all my money, and paid for the ride back too.
 
Post some pics of what you have. Closeups, too. I think we're looking at improper assembly.
Lol, I don't see how anyone can put an antenna together wrong as far as actual assembly goes, it's pretty simple when following the manufacturers instructions and this isn't my 1st rodeo when putting together any antenna, anyway it's already been sent back and I've gotten my refund! I had one of the originals decades ago and it was awesome from assembly to tuning. Apparently the new ones are a crap shoot, some win, some loose and I lost!
 
I got my SPT-500 from DX Engineeing about 2 years ago and everything went together with no problems and it had that new flat strap. Everything worked well for me with the only complaint was the thing shorting out in the rain because the top insulator came upside down. After my mod no more problems and the thing tuned great. I think I had to raise and lower it 4 or 5 times in all ( 25' foot mast of 1" black pipe ) but that was easy ( 1 Man ) because I made a custom built tilting base and a winch. The antenna didn't get a fair test because skip wasn't really running a couple years ago when I decided to put the Star Duster back up because the Old time Radio Operators ( More than 1 ) told me the Star Duster was better in my valley. The SPT-500 sets in my garage waiting for me to move to a hill top. LOL end of rant !
 
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Post some pics of what you have. Closeups, too. I think we're looking at improper assembly.
Some of the new antennas were defective from the factory because of improper construction. I've heard of several that were returned because the wire from the SO239 was routed straight to the inside of the antenna at the base, instead of being routed to the stud that comes out of the black housing. So, basically, the matching network wasn't even getting any RF to drive the antenna. I know this post is kind of old, but I'm in the process right now of restoring an old Penetrator myself. Ya' gotta love those old Penetrators!
 
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@Catfish6181

Yes there is a video on YouTube that shows how they were put together wrong from the factory. I knew I assembled mine proper. Thought about buying another one, but taking it all apart, cutting slots, and paying a premium for an antenna that might work if I fix it is not worth my consideration.

Links below to parts 1 and 2.







 
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They just need to be assembled like the original P500 to work properly on 11 meters, which is what you did there. Without an electrical connection through the matching rod from the coax to the antenna mast, there is no way it could work. Poor assembly on the part of the manufacturer, for sure.
 

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  • @ Jim5570091:
    Maybe. I wasn’t impressed with just clamping the shield wire to the boom with a hose clamp. I built a l bracket with so239 female hubs. I posted a picture on the recent gallery’s.
  • @ Jim5570091:
    Well I cut the matching stubs down 1 inch at a time from about 20” down to 6”. Still no real changes.
  • @ 555 Central Missouri:
    Hello everyone, I have a old courier centurion pll 40 channel SSB, it has the extra channels and it has another switch that just moves the frequency down one channel on the dial, what is the purpose for this?
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