by W1GQL

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     How Well Do

     They Work?


They sing its praises. WA2JJX has even written a poem about his hex. Click here.


Click here to see what results homebrew hex users are reporting when they put their hexbeams on the air.


Who Has

Built One?

Click here to find out who has built a homebrew hex, see some pictures and get some ideas.



Great Links


Click here to explore the website of the wonderful commercial version of the Hexbeam. It is extremely well-built.


Click here to visit the Hexbeam Users Group on the web. I subscribe to a digest form of the postings that gets emailed to me regularly. If you are interested in the Hexbeam, you should definitely join the group.


Here is a link to Holger Hannemann's wonderful "Reflected W" site. Lots of information on Modeling and building a Hexbeam.







What is a Hexbeam? - an Introduction

     My name is Dave Billheimer. I live on the coast of Maine. My call is W1GQL. I have been a ham for over 50 years, almost all of it on CW. In August 2004 I had a QSO with Joe Italiano, N9PH, and Joe told me that he was turning "Martha" my direction. That got my curiosity up and I asked him about Martha. Joe told me that she was a homebrew Hexbeam made with bamboo poles that he had bought at K-Mart. Since Martha Stewart sells through K-Mart, Joe had dubbed his new antenna Martha in her honor.

      I asked Joe to email me details about the Hexbeam since I had never heard of one before. Playing with antennas has been a major part of my ham radio activity all these years and I was looking for a new antenna project, having just finished designing and testing my reversible parallel slot antenna.

     Joe told me that the Hexbeam was originally designed by Mike Traffie, N1HXA, and that it is essentially a two element wire beam with the elements bent in the shape of a the letter W, positioned with one of the W's inverted. invertws (1K) The center points of the two W's being quite close and the spacing between the outer tips of the wires being critical. He explained that most Hexbeams are made like the one in the logo picture at the upper right of this screen. They look like umbrellas that have been caught in the wind, so that their bows have been bent up the wrong way. This shape allows the commercial Hexbeams made and sold by Mike Traffie to be multiband. The lower bands wires are placed at the top where there is more room between the spreaders and each higher band is placed a few inches lower, each requiring less room.

     I have been since been told that the Mike Traffie was not the first to make a hexigon shaped beam. They were first mentioned in the 80's in the UK, and were an an adaptation of a "Reflected M" antenna. I believe Mike came up with his design independently and Mike seems to have been the first person to come up with the multi-band version with the bowed spreaders.

     The Hex has a number of things going for it.


  • A small turning radius. A 20 meter Hex has a radius of less than 10 feet.
  • Light weight. One of mine weighs about 4 pounds.
  • Handles wind well. Its symmetrical shape helps.
  • Can be turned with a small TV rotor. Mine is an Archer from Radio Shack
  • Has low SWR across entire band.
  • Does well at low heights. Many ops report good results between 20 and 30 feet.
  • Has full length elements. Needs no lossy coils or traps.
  • Requires no matching network. Can be fed directly with 50 ohm coax.
  • Seems "quieter" than other antennas. Many people have commented on this.
  • And the list goes on....


     This website will help you build your own Hexbeam. The section entitled "Hexbeam Characteristics" may be the most interesting. A lot of the feedback I get is about my comments in that section. The links in the right hand column will lead you to information on how to actually build a Hexbeam. You will find information on a lot of different type of spreaders you can use, about how long to cut your wires, how to feed your Hex etc. If you have ideas on any of the construction items, I will GLADLY add them to the page and give you credit.

     Feel free to email me with any questions you have. Take pictures while you build you Hex and I will HAPPILY feature them on the page. Make this your place for telling the world about what you have done. Have fun! You can email me at W1GQL(at)midcoast.com. (Replace the (at) with @)



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Thanks to Dry-Rain for helping with the looks of this page.


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