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Reviews For: Cushcraft D3W

Category: Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA

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Review Summary For : Cushcraft D3W
Reviews: 17MSRP: $225
WARC band rotatable dipole
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
VE7NZ Rating: 2017-08-27
Update - it was the balun, not the D3W Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Final update to my previous posts. Turns out I had not properly sealed the lugs on the balun that you connect the feed wire to between the balun and the antenna (or I had sealed in moisture). Problems were caused by rust. I cleaned and resealed everything and it works great now. The capacitive effect of the other antenna on the tower still happens and I found the secret was to measure the resonant point on the tower and then compare that with the resonant point at near ground level. Then I adjusted the length by the % change required on the tower (e.g. going from 10.000 MHz to 10.100 MHz is to shorten the length by 1%) but scaled that figure by the % difference between the tower and ground. Now all is well. SWR on all three bands 1.3:1 or better.
W0BKR Rating: 2014-09-21
New Review Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I obtained a replacement antenna, different production run and it works fine (so far). The one I had before, would be intermittent on rcv and could not find the problem.

No help from MFJ either (surprised?).

You need to support the elements as they droop quite a lot.

It isn't a beam but better then a stationary wire antenna. Hopefully, this one will last a while.
REMOVED_K3KO Rating: 2013-01-12
OK so far Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The manual dimensions didn't add up to the full quoted length. The first length length was illegible except for the metric equivalent. Using the metric equivalent gave 96". When put up at 45' with this 96" dimension, every band resonated way too high.

Changing length to 98" helped. The distance between traps had to be changed to 10 7/8" to get it to resonate on 17M.

Interesting that a note before assembly to MFJ asking just what the dimension in question should be yielded either I don't know or 98" from a very old CC manual. They just build them and haven't a clue about its engineering.

Added plastic window screen over drip holes. Had a case where mud wasp built his house inside the trap making it useless.

We will see how well it holds together.
Egads did the price go up.
WU0R Rating: 2011-10-12
Poor QC and Questionalble Assy Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Well, I took on trap for 17 meters apart, and the coil portion is bowed like 1/2 inch. It was assembled incorrectly, likely when the rivets were installed. Not sure if that is what is causing the high SWR, as I suspect it shift more inside the trap housing causing detuning on one side of the antenna.

Call to "Cushcraft" (MFJ) yield little help.

ASked if they would send me a replacement and take this one back, of course not. They want excessive amount of money for a trap.

I ordered a replacement and will try and reassemble the other 17 meter trap, as the spacers came out with the inductor. Don't think it should do that, but who knows. No one at "Cushcraft" seems to know.

So, back in the dark as to why the antenna isn't showing lower SWR on 17 or 30 meters. Since installation, it was always on the high side near 2.0: 1 and had to use a tuner. Now it is above 4 and 5 to 1. I suspect a spacer may have shifted internally due to the bowing of the internal inductor.

The end caps are crap. 4 are tore like paper. My other antennas that use them don't exhibit that, only the D3. I had to order them too, of course MFJ won't give you a handful to replace the crap that is on the antenna. Should have used a wire antenna.
W7ZJ Rating: 2011-07-28
Quality control needed Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
The D3W antenna was purchased new from an Ohio based retailer in April of 2011, and was promptly received and assembled during a brief warm spell in the spring. The first problem I noticed was what seemed like an excessive droop on the elements. We are talking about more than 3 feet from the feed to the end of sag. Flip the dipole upside down..(drain holes up) and the sag was less than 1.5 foot. Tom at Cushcraft was very quick about assisting my project and shipping new traps to replace the original traps which were very loose and allowed the excessive play in the elements and caused the sagging elements. The new traps arrived and I was ready to go after reassembly. I fashioned a temporary pully to take the antenna up to 40 feet on the tower for testing and things went well, the SWR on 17M was 1.7 a bit high but not terrible...30 and 12 were flat, so onto the mast it went and then mounted my TA33 10 feet below the dipole. Now the dipole is working and at 60 foot up I am a happy camper for about 2 weeks.
The antenna developed an intermittant erratic SWR on 17, then later on 12...and 30 too. Jumping from flat to 4 to 1 as the breezes blew. Pissed off I went up the rohn 45 and did what I had to do to get the dipole down without taking down the beam, wrestled it to the ground and began the autopsy of the antenna.
All of the screws which hold the exterior of the trap to the element were loose..all of them 4 traps 4 screws I kept digging and dissassembled each trap and began working on the improvements to the construction of the trap coils in particular the attatchment to the elements which were all loose. Additionaly the wire enamal on the coil was not sanded off the attatchment area completly. These oversights during constuction may seem minor to a factory worker putting these things together but they need to understand how critical these details are for conducting RF. Please.. please.. please.. MFJ, educate your assemblers on this issue to save Hams like myself uneeded risks to remove your product from antenna support structures!
The improvements to the dipole included nothing more than rechecking and insuring solid connections inside the traps, a very small drop of epoxe on the screws going into plastic and stainless star washers used at all connections. While I had the dipole down I used correct size clamps for the element tips. The antenna is back up at 60 feet. my results on 30M concure with other reveiws of the dipole, The antenna is performing well now for 3 months.
Buy one if you are willing to do the needed quality checks, you would be best to dissassemble the traps and do a complete check, get em right before you head up the tower.
My feeling is that this is a shame to buy a brand product and have these kinds of issues, I do not feel that MFJ is unaware of the production problems, you dont have to read far back in the review sections for all of their antenna products to figure out that my experience is not unique. Please MFJ as a safety issue, correct your assembly production problems to eliminate multiple trips up support towers to rectify poor quality workmanship. Thank you for reading I hope this is helpful information. Tom W7ZJ
N9AVY Rating: 2010-10-29
2 buck fix Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought a used D3W at a hamfest last year and it looked to be it good shape. Put it up on tower last year and all was fine. After a few months, it developed intermittant problems on 12 & 17 m; The SWR would jump from 1.2 up to 3:1. DX stations on 12m would just disappear into the noise. Last week it was taken down and examined closely. What I found may have been a problem created by previous owner. Inspected the traps as part of the "autopsy" and found that each trap had a #8 stainless sheet metal screw which appeared to have been overtightened; every one was spinning in the hole. A trip to hardware store for larger screws (#10) fixed the problem. Reinstalled D3W this morning and it now works better than before.
G0EML Rating: 2010-09-28
wonderful antenna Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Having read the eham reviews about the D3W Rotary dipole i went a head and purchased one, boy am i pleased i did so, Wonderful just Wonderful
not having a great deal of space, i was to mount it just about 1 meter above my cushcraft A3S, in line with the driven element of the 3 el yagi, not a problem, so do not worry about your other antennas even the SWR was good on all the 3 Bands, the best DX for me was Japan on 17 meters about 12 Contacts to date, USA, over 30 contacts p47, VU, 5B4,ve,and almost all of europe, must say if i can hear them i can work them, have worked stations on 12 meters, and 30 but think 17 meters is stunning, and only had the antenna about 6 months,
go on get one you will not be dissapointed
73 Ray G0EML
N0AH Rating: 2008-04-05
Exceptional performance out-weighs headaches Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I wasn't sure about 30M with this antenna with all of the tuning problems. But tonight, I really put the antenna to the test while working and then listening to 6W1SJ for 30 minutes of observations. The time was 03:50Z-04:20Z 6 APR 08.

Here are the following results:

Degree Heading........Average S-Units:

330 5-9

According to, the beam heading from my exact QTH to this general location is 303 degrees. Having the dipole positioned parallel to this heading was great news when I found out this was the proper heading.

It has taken awhile to get use to the antenna on the rotor but it is really performing well. The band was very stable at the time I recorded these results.

6W is 7,170 miles from my QTH-

OE6MDF Rating: 2008-02-12
Works great! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Since I installed my D3W 3 years ago, my wkd DXCCs on the WARC bands increased rapidly (I used only non rotable wire antennas before).
I have not expected too much from the antenna on 30m, but my expectations are exceeded totally. Especially on 30+17m. Mounted only 1m above the A3S with 40m add on kit.
LA9BM Rating: 2007-05-04
Super antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is not a monster beam but a very good small antenna. Have been using a delta loop before and I could hear the different when connecting the D3W to my rig. Signal was stronger and it was more 'punch' in the bands. My first QSO on this antenna was BS7H after days of calling (delta loop). Antenna is mounted only 2 1/2 feet above the yagi and in paralell to the boom of the yagi for less interfernce. The recommended coil was not successful. A 1:1 balun works much better but SWR is a bit high on 10 Mhz (too close to the yagi?).
If you can't put up a big antenna, the D3W is a good choice.