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Old 06-05-2013, 10:25 PM   #9  
Pete Higgins
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: California, 58 miles @112 degrees from Mt. Wilson
Posts: 242
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As promised by Solid Signal, my $60.04 delivered HDB8X 8-Bay Bow Tie Antenna arrived this afternoon. It was double boxed in a heavy duty brown corrugated cardboard outer box and a thiner white corrugated cardboard inner box. The two 4-Bay panels were stored back-to-back in the white box with the cross beams loosely assembled and tie wrapped to them. There was also an assembly & installation manual and one rubber boot in a plastic bag.

The assembly & installation manual “What's Included” section lists:
(2) Mast Clamp Braces
(2) Regular Braces
(2) Sections of Antenna
(3) Weather Boots
(I only received one boot but that is all that is needed. Each length of 4-bay panel BALUM to combiner coax came (loosely) attached to their respective panel's BALUM and had a boot installed on each end.)

If you know how the antenna goes together assembly is straight forward, tool-less and easy. As with a lot of assembly manuals, however, the three listed steps (A, B & C) were not intuitively obvious. Fortunately, the manual listed a link to an assembly video: http://www.xtremesignal.com/hdb8x.html that can also be found on YouTube @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=BWfW1ncmOr4 (Thank you Mike!). I would strongly suggest that anybody assembling this antenna for the first time watch the video. FYI, to make mine look like the one in the manual & video I had to unscrew the combiner, rotate it 180 deg. and reattach it. Also, to have all the wing nuts on the back side of the antenna I had to reverse a number of the lower brace bolts. Fortunately, both sides of the metal mounting brackets (square tube clamps) have square cutouts to keep the plated carriage bolts from turning.

I am impressed with the way this antenna is designed. First off, the 16 individual 8” elements appear to be stamped from 1.66 mm (~0.065”) sheet aluminum. The matching harness inter-connecting the 16 elements appear to be formed from a relatively heavy 3.88 mm (~.153”) aluminum wire. Each element is held in place and in contact with the matching harness by a Phillips head screw into the plastic stand-off. This means that after a few years service when oxidation forms, unlike my Channel Master 4228 that has the wire elements riveted to plastic brackets, I should be able to remove the screws and clean all the contact areas. The element to harness contact area is a generous 11.12 mm (0.437”) wide. The BALUM is also bolted to the harness making all pressure contact areas accessible for cleaning. The 32 round through boom reflector tubes are 8.18 mm (0.322”) thick X ~19 long. They are capped at the outer ends by a curved plastic extrusion that may mask progressively longer (~1”) rods at the center of each 2-Bay panel. The square supporting tubes measure 18.38 mm (0.723”). There is a lot of hardware provided to build this antenna that appears to result in a relatively robust design.

When fully assembled, the overall antenna is 32 1/2” tall X 47 7/8” wide X ~5 1/4” deep.

Hopefully, this weekend I'll have time to get it mounted and on the air.
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