Or be careful what you bid for on ebay ;-)

Having been after a decent antenna for some time, I recently managed to buy a used Cushcraft X7 yagi on ebay.

The X7 is a fairly big beast, with a 5.49m boom and the longest element being 11.33m in length and should, hopefully, give me a bigger signal on 20, 15 and 10m.

I was fortunate in that the antenna was delivered by the seller and had only been split into semi assembled sections.   GM4NHI has an excellent review of the X7 and photos of the large number of components in the antenna on his site.

The semi assembled X7 as delivered

The semi assembled X7 as delivered

The balun and nuts and bolts

The balun and nuts and bolts

Being such a large antenna required a fair bit of space for assembly.  The photo below shows the boom assembled, and what we thought was the elements in the right order. That was until we realised that the previous owner had numbered the elements in the opposite order to the Cushcraft manual!

Boom assembled

Boom assembled

The next stage was to attach the elements and the balun to the boom.

Boom with the elements and balun attached

Boom with the elements and balun attached

The feed system was then installed.  This took a little more effort than initially expected due to the tight fit of the feed-straps, which required some of the elements to be loosened.

X7 feed-straps

X7 feed-straps

The antenna is currently semi built, with the ends of the elements not attached so that the semi-built antenna can be stored without any damage to the elements.  The plan is to get the antenna on the air for CQWW CW. The next steps will involve….

  1. Making some replacement U-bolts as the orginal ones weren’t stainless steel and have rusted.  Unfortunately I have been unable to source any of the correct size so they will be homemade.
  2. Investigating rotator control cable lengths and limitations
  3. Borrowing a trailer tower to mount the antenna on
  4. Buying a rotator