See below for details!
W9KNI Wins the World in the 2009 CQ DX Marathon,
Bencher, Inc. wishes to congratulate its Vice President, Bob Locher, W9KNI, for his winning the world in the 2009 CQ DX Marathon, as shown from final results published in the June 2010 issue of /CQ Magazine/. After having come in second in the 2008 running, losing a tie breaker to winner OM3EY, in 2009 Bob won it all. Operating from Grants Pass, Oregon, Bob worked 281 CQ countries and all 40 CQ Zones, all contacts made in calendar year 2009 -- a notable achievement given the conditions at the bottom of the solar sunspot cycle, and especially considering how far removed Bob is from the American East Coast and Europe.
Using all Bencher Antennas
Bencher is particularly gratified to note that Bob's antennas were all Bencher products. Bob used a thirteen year old Skyhawk Triband Yagi for 20, 15 and 10 meters, the new Skylark Duo-bander for 17 and 12 meters, a three element 40 meter yagi (a development antenna not yet released) for 40 meters, and an HF9V vertical for 80 and 30 meters. These extremely reliable antennas use no moving parts and have no lightning issues, and offer instant band changing. All Bencher yagis feature optimized element spacing for each band.
Bob's personal paddle for CW contacts was a Bencher BY-4.
Again, we commend Bob for his winning effort.
Bencher Skyhawk - Gain Aerial Superiority!
Are you interested in HF DX'ing and HF Contesting? For those in the know, few thrills equal hearing an exotic DX station with long path flutter responding to your call on a frosty morning, or cracking a towering pile-up for an all time new one. Working your way through your own pile-up in a major contest is sure to keep a big grin on your face. Far away friendships and the thrill of flinging your signal across the world are the special rewards of HF DX'ing.
While these thrills can be experienced to some extent with modest equipment and antennas, knowledgeable operators have learned from experience that money spent on antenna systems offers more payback in performance and operating pleasure than any other component of your station.
Experienced DX'ers and Contesters know that a well designed single tower system can give outstanding performance without the headaches of maintaining a more substantial antenna farm. Even at 40 feet above ground, a good tribander will give capable performance on 20 meters, and be quite competitive on fifteen and ten meters. Raise that antenna to 60 or 70 feet and you will a reckoning force on most band openings.
Putting up a proper tower for a yagi is, in most cases, neither a simple nor inexpensive exercise. Continued maintenance of the system can be trying and very expensive, especially for the amateur unable to do his own climbing. Whether you climb or not, getting it done right the first time is fundamental to this aspect of our wonderful hobby.
If your DX antenna farm consists of a single tower, the design of your system and selection of the antennas is critical to performance and reliability. For most DX'ers, the selection of a competitive triband yagi is the most important single decision to be made in the design of a single tower system.
What are the features you really want and need? Let's go over them. And when you are done, you will find that your list bears a remarkable resemblance to the Bencher Skyhawk.
- You insist on band-opening performance, a triband yagi that makes no compromises with full sized monobander performance, consistent with boom length. Note Well: In spite of the claims of aggressive marketing departments, any tribander that uses traps cannot possibly meet this goal.
- You demand an antenna built from the finest materials for the job - an antenna designed to last for many years of maintenance-free operation, an antenna designed from the start to resist the ravages of ice storms and ultra-violet radiation. And you won't settle for anything less than all stainless steel hardware. Note Well: To cut costs, most antenna manufacturers use plated steel for U-bolts. If you believe that this is a false economy, insist on all stainless hardware.
- You want an antenna that reflects the latest computer-optimized trap free designs for maximum bandwidth, reduced windage, and to forevermore part company with the losses and blown trap problems that plague trapped antennas. Note Well: Traps not only reduce the SWR bandwidth of an antenna, but they also reduce the GAIN bandwidth and the FRONT TO BACK bandwidth of any antenna. And traps are lossy - according to the ARRL Handbook, each trap attenuates RF from 1/2 to 1 1/2 dB.
- You surely would like an antenna that does not require boom struts or guys, so that other antennas such as a forty meter monobander can more easily share the antenna mast space. Designing a boom using struts or guys saves on expensive aluminum tubing and increases profits - but chews up mast space that is a good deal more expensive for the antenna owner.
- You want an antenna that offers minimal windage for its size, one that is torque balanced for winds, so that your rotator will last too. Torque balancing costs a little extra - but if it saves one trip up the tower in dead of February to replace a busted rotor, it is cheap at triple the price.
- You want an antenna that is easy to assemble and does not require adjustments atop the tower, an antenna where the elements are truly locked in place and won't slip their dimensions during a January blizzard.
- You really really want an antenna that requires absolutely NO tuning or adjustment in the installation - put it up, hook up the coax and start working DX!
- A major bonus in a tribander design would be the capability of being
able to operate on 12 and 17 meters, even if at reduced performance
If the antenna you want on your tower sounds like this, you are ready for Skyhawk, the antenna designed to the highest set of standards. Mastery of the bands is waiting for you from your Bencher dealer.
Bencher Skyhawk - 3 bands, 20, 15 and 10 meters, with 10 full sized
elements, 3 full sized elements for 20 meters, 3 full sized elements for
15 meters, and 4 full sized element s for 10 meters.
Overall Boom Length: 24 feet
Wind Load: 8.5 Square feet
Turning Radius: 22 feet
Weight: 75 pounds
Wind Survival: 90 mph with no ice
Boom Diameter: 2 inches
Feed: Single Feed Line, 50 ohm
Balun: 2.5 KW, included
Maximum Power Rating: 2.5 KW
Effective Boom Length: 23 feet
VSWR: less than 1.4:1 between 14.0 and 14.35 mHz., measured at feedpoint
Front to Back: >20 dB across the entire band
F/B peaks at 14.150 mHz. at 21 dB
Gain: Better than 7 dBi across band
7.4 dBi at 14.350
Effective Boom Length: 15 feet, 6 inches
VSWR: less than 1.5:1 between 21.0 and 21.45 mHz, measured at feedpoint
Front to Back: >16 dB across the entire band
F/B peaks at 21.350 at 24.5 dB
Gain: Better than 7 dBi across band
7.6 dBi at 21.45 mHz.
Effective Boom Length: 16 feet, 9 inches
VSWR: less than 1.5:1 between 28.0 and 28.9 mHz, measured at feedpoint
Front to Back: >14 dB across the entire band
F/B peaks at 28.5 at 15 dB
Gain: Better than 7.7 dBi across band
9.2 dBi at 28.9 mHz.
- All Stainless Steel hardware, INCLUDING mast to boom U-bolts; Anti-
seize compound included
- EZ-mount system for attaching antenna to mast - your tower climber
will LOVE you for it.
- Fully wind compensated.
- All parts deburred.
- Stainless steel pop-riveted element locking.
- NO user adjustments - assemble it and put it up!.
- Ships UPS.
- 2.5 KW balun included.
- Carried at better Amateur Radio Dealers Worldwide.
Note: Skyhawk represents the first product of a new line of antennas from Bencher, with other revolutionary designs to follow.
This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 14 October, 2007.