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Reviews For: CushCraft 26B2 Boomer

Category: Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Directional (Yagi, quad, etc.)

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Review Summary For : CushCraft 26B2 Boomer
Reviews: 8MSRP: 429.95
2m broadband vertically polarized array
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KA3CFA Rating: 2014-12-27
Outstanding! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I put these up in the late summer of 2013 and I couldn't believe how they performed. My ground elevation is 1280 and they are on a 53' Rohn 25G tower. I live 30 miles south of Pittsburgh and I am surrounded by hills in all directions. I have a 21 foot gas pipe which is .199 OD for my mast and the "stacks" are at 65'. I can easily talk ground wave, simplex FM, 130 miles or more. They have survived 65 MPH winds, snow and ice storms.
Take the time to tune them separately, and then together on the cross boom with the co-faze harness connected. I spent almost 3 hours tuning them on the ground using a 12 foot mast pipe and my MFJ antenna analyzer. Gamma matches are tough to tune especially when you have a pair and a co-fazing harness to deal with, but the time spent getting the SWR down almost flat really paid off up in the air on the top of the tower. I can reject unwanted signals down to nothing from the sides. This antenna is really great for the money. I'm turning them with a Yaesu DX1000 rotor. I bought them because I had a single 13 element and knew how well it performed and I thought that the pair would help with rejection and gain. A lot cheaper than the M2 yagis and perform just as well, if not better.
VE3FST Rating: 2010-01-09
Awesome 2 meter antenna system Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I ran a pair of 13B2 Cushcraft antenna's in Oshawa Ontario 5 years ago . I custom made the feedline from a hardline used for cell towers . The center conductor was 1/2 inch wide and we custom made the boom that seperated the two beams at 57' in the air . I was able to talk direct into West Virginia and enter repeaters within a 500 mile range + . After selling my home , I guess another ham talked the new owner into taking them and my 95' tower down . If you want to have lots of fun on 2 meters , this will do it anytime. These have very good rejection of signals when you turn them . 73's Pete
K8TJ Rating: 2009-08-24
OUTSTANDING Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Unbelievable antenna. First contact was on a repeater in St. Louis, MO... 500 miles away from my QTH. Hearing Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay all well over 220 miles away from my QTH here near Flint, MI. Mounted at 102'. Very narrow beamwidth but works just fantastic. Purchased it used for 50 bucks !
W5HG Rating: 2007-01-13
Super Beams Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had mine for about 16 years now. They hear very well. Sometimes I stay up late at night and give a call out to stations that are weak only to find out that they are 200+ miles away. You can get into Net Meetings from so far off that its hard to believe. The beam width is very narrow and sometimes hard to follow someone in a mobile when they get 50 to 75 miles out. I've had mine up at 80 feet with a Diamond dualband ground plane on top. When someone calls that is weak on my ground plane, I find out where they are and then put the beams on them , they come up like they were right here with me. I've never had a bit of problems yet. I imagine the coax is about time to go after all these years. Good money spent.... As with all these reviews...just my two cents. This is a great site and enjoy it very much.
W4NBO Rating: 2004-12-25
Nice Beams Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Had these up since 1994. They are a superb antenna for long haul vertical work. Wish I had them higher in the air. I overdo my connections (tape, coax seal, clear acrylic) to keep water out and coat my joints with clear acrylic. The thing just keeps working. Sometimes wish they would go bad so I would have the motivation to raise the tower a bit. These are very directional thus attesting to their gain. I once heard some guys on WSJT JT44 doing moon bounce on this antennna when the moon was on the horizon. Im sure they were horizontally polarized while I was vertical.
KI4ECW Rating: 2004-07-31
Buy One Today!!! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I've been using the 26B2 for about 6 months. I can work repeaters 125 miles away with only 25 watts and 250 miles away with 50 watts. If I can hear it, I can talk on it.

My QTH is the Cumberland Plateau as it begins eastern Tennessee. I cover ALL, that's right ALL, repeaters within 250 miles north, south, and west of my location -- from Louisville, KY to Birmingham, AL to Jackson, TN.

The rugged Smoky Mountains of southeastern TN block some of the signal eastward but I still get repeaters 125 miles in that direction with 50 watts.

I've talked ground wave FM simplex to Cincinnati, OH, the Florida panhandle, and into Arkansas and east Texas running 165 watts. If I hear 'em, I talk to 'em -- 350-400 miles away. This is NOT during band openings -- it's when I get ready to talk!

The front to back discrimination is exceptional. Also, the side to side ratio is great, too. You can pinpoint your signal and not worry about causing interference to other repeaters or bothering your other local hams.

The antenna is easily assembled in a couple of hours, well made, and has a 1.1/1.2:1 SWR across the entire 2 meter band.

The system is well made and recently survived 90 mph winds during very severe thunderstorms. (My dual band ground plane didn't!) Its also survived some pretty good snow and ice this past winter.

I have the 26B2 mounted on a 50 foot Rohn tower and use a heavy duty Archer TV rotor to turn it without any problem.

Don't waste your money on anything else -- buy the Cushcraft 26B2 boomer and run with the big boys!
KG4LFZ Rating: 2003-03-30
great ant.!!!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had the ant. on the ground for a while, while my rotor was getting fixed. Got the tower up, and came in a worked a repeater about 80 miles away on 25 watts. Keyed up on a repeater freq. that was in southern TN, and can key it up with 75 watts. that a 170 mile trip!

Love this ant. I would recommend it for a serious FMer.

WB5VNX Rating: 2002-08-26
Great system! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This antenna system rocks! Although the version I have is some 10 years old, I had stored it in my garage that long before assembling it, there may have been some design changes that I’m unaware of in recent years.

The system went together well. Elements bolt on and you don’t have to worry about centering or spacing. I assembled on the ground – hoisting it up was a bear though. The use of tag lines and balancing on top of a guy was the only way I could manage it. 4 people helped me with the mounting. The end caps on the cross boom fell off about a week later, cracked from old age. Alignment of the two beams in a non-skew kind of way was difficult and it seems that I had to tighten the clamps excessively. A through hole at the stacking boom mount point would prevent this.

A major complaint is that Cushcraft uses some not readily available sized U bolts in their constructions. One of the cross boom to mast mount U bolts got some messed up threads about halfway down because I had to let loose of the assembly before I had both bolts in place since I was working alone on top of the tower. Not noticing this I ended up with a damaged U bolt that I eventually had to saw off and replace. Lucky for me a friend had left me a spare U bolt that just happened to fit. I’m currently in the process of ordering some spare ones from Cushcraft – the holes drilled in the mast mount plate don’t accommodate what is commonly available from many web suppliers. So a word of caution would be to be very careful how you treat the U bolts, mess one up without a spare and you’ll have to abort the installation.

SWR isn’t flat on the entire band. I’ve got it at 50’ right now and the SWR ranges from flat at one end of the band to 1.5 at the other. While on a test stand at 8’ I was getting 1.4 at the peak of an S curve shaped SWR curve. However now that it is up on top I’m not about to take it down and try to drop the dip down in the band.

Performance is pretty outstanding. With 50W I can work repeaters at 130 miles full quieting although s indications are just about zip. I’m feeding through 150’ of 9913 coax too. I sort of wish they would have used N connectors but I guess that is wishful thinking. Overall an excellent antenna and it beats the HyGain 214’s stacked I had previous hands down in performance.