Anticipating the SteppIR UrbanBeam Yagi

I’m hoping that my UrbanBeam will ship today – I’ve been told that it “should”. I’m reading the manual and would put it together as soon as I receive it – with hopes it could go up as soon as next weekend.


Dan, AC6LA has these animated EZnec plots on his web site, and this is what convinced me to serious consider this beam.

I’ve been building most of my Yagi’s and Moxon’s for years, but multi banding them always means suffering at least 1 dB gain – which means they end up being no better than an Extended Double Zepp gain wise. They do still have directionality, but at my QTH I never have a problem with close neighbors – even in the entire SF Bay Area. I am sure that those on the East Coast have it much worse as the population density of hams there is more than what we have on the West Coast.

My “Holy Grail” antenna wise has been to have only two antennas, one for the high bands and one for the low bands. Because my Inverted L works great on 160, 80 and 30M, and because the UrbanBeam (if it does live up to its specifications and Dan’s EZNec plots), this means I will be able to have 160 – 6M with 2 antennas.

The only crux with all of this is whether I will keep the 40M Phased Array up. My tests with the Cushcraft D40 (which is also a shortened 40M dipole like the UrbanBeam) shows that the phased array is better on the SP and the dipole better on the LP. This is very important, because we are on our way to the day where even 20M won’t be open.

I did have a SteppIR 2 element yagi way back in 2006 or so and it was a great antenna. I did find that not treating the fiberglass with a UV spray was a bad idea – after a couple years up, there was this white powder on the fiberglass tubes. I never had a problem with that antenna, and since then, I have worked with Arduino and Raspberry Pi with Stepper motors, and so I have warmed up to having moving parts in my antenna(s).

Its an expensive antenna, but because I am now pretty much retired from DXCC, I was able to sell my “backup” KX3 Line and use the proceeds for this antenna.

I have two Spiderbeam heavy duty aluminum push up masts, so I have plenty of “support power”. In fact, I even have an interesting idea for a “tubular tower” design that would more than double the strength of just having one. I’ll document that in my next blog.

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