Ray Makul K1XV
I have two SP7GXP antennas stacked on a Tri-Ex 70 foot Sky Needle, on a mountain side location in southern Vermont. The antennas are the 11 element 5 band for 14-18-21-24-28, (lower antenna) and a 4 element antenna for 30 and 40. The latter antenna has two feedlines, and essentially is a dual monobander on one boom. The array is turned by a Curtiss Wright prop pitch motor. The antenna at the top of the mast is a non SP7GXP for 2 meters.
These antennas were installed in October 2018 by Ray and Bobby, Radio Echo Communications. It was largely a turn key project, they assembled and installed the antennas, I took care of some on site logistics. These antennas replaced a SteppIR DB-36. The SteppIR was great when working, but it was maintenance intensive, and as the SkyNeedle is not a tilt over, nor does it have a Hazer, it meant having to rent a manlift to do anything to inspect or repair the antenna. In short, it just was not practical for this site.
While the bands are in bad shape these days, my observation is that these antennas work at least as well as the DB-36 they replaced. Since being installed, we have had days with 55 mph wind gusts, and some icing from freezing rain. The GXP antennas have come through with flying colors. I can work any station I can hear, get excellent signal reports with my 1 KW signal, and all antennas have /SWR of 1.3 to 1 or less on all bands. I give the antennas a 5 out of 5, and Radio Echo Communications a 6 out of 5 if you can employ them for your installation. I am adding to my DXCC count even at the sunspot minimum,
Because of the wind, I leave the Sky needle about 20 feet short of its maximum extended length in winter, leaving the lower antenna at about 47 feet above grade. They work fine at that height.
Ray K1XV DXCC Honor Roll