Review: AntennaCraft Y5-7-13 high-band, broadband Yagi

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#1

Dimensions
Boom length: 60 inches
Maximum width: 36 inches
Maximum depth: 4 inches
Turning radius: 42 inches

Technical specifications
Channels: 7 - 13
Number of elements: 5
Impedance: 300 ohm (coax matching transformer required)
Gain: 6.9 dBd
Beamwidth at half-power points: 56 degrees
Front-to-back ratio: 13.3 dB

Other
AntennaWeb color code: Red Zone
Claimed range: 60 miles
Shipping weight: 4.7 pounds
Cost: $22.00 - $28.00

Comments
The Y5-7-13 is a cost-effective solution for urban, suburban and near-fringe viewers who already have a UHF antenna and need to add a high-band VHF antenna for the post-transition. It's a good alternative for those who don't require the high gain and deep-fringe capability of the Winegard YA-1713 high-band Log-Yagi. When combined with a medium-range UHF antenna using a UVSJ or other band combiner, performance is comparable to that of some all-channel antennas approaching the $100 range.

Compact in size and weighing about 3 pounds, the Y5 won't contribute a serious amount of wind load on a mast, is fairly unobtrusive above the roof and small enough to be aimed correctly within most attics.

AntennaCraft, located in Burlington, Iowa, claims a range of 60 miles and rates the Y5 for the AntennaWeb Red Zone. The zone claim is fair, but this distance will be obtainable only with line of sight to the transmitters and a very tall mount -- in other words, optimum circumstances. In most applications, a Y5 should provide reliable reception up to 35-45 miles when mounted outdoors.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#4
Jay, I was thinking of suggesting the addition of UVSJ as an brief entry in the Reviews threads, as well as to the acronym list...

Anyway, UVSJs are similar to splitters in that they're both commodity products. Pico Macom is the gold standard, of course, but the company halted production some time ago, so "real" P-Ms have been hard to come by for quite a while now. I've seen some chatter recently about a production re-start and that they'll soon become more widely available, though.

Pico Macom claims insertion loss of 0.5 dB on its UVSJ. Tru Spec, Holland and other brands run about 0.7 dB. The difference is, basically, nothing. Compare either to the 3.5-dB hit from the Winegard CC-7870 VHF-UHF separator/combiner; that's no better than how a splitter in reverse would perform! Channel Master claims an 0.5 dB loss on its 0549 combiner, but it costs $9 instead of $4.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#5
Pico Macom UVSJ

Either Solid Signal has a huge stock or this is not the one you are talking about Don.

That said, many folks in Gainesville, FL are running this one with great results, since it is a 2 antenna town due to not having a central tower farm. So everyone has separate UHF and VHF antennas for best performance, using this model to combine.

Pico Macom UVSJ UHF VHF Band Separator/Combiner for Antenna (UVSJ) | UVSJ [Pico Macom]

-----------------
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#6
I have a dumb question here so please forgive my ignorance in advance. Is there a difference in mounting heights for combining UHF and VHF antennas? Or can you mount a VHF in one location like the roof, combine it with a VHF in the attic? :brushteeth:
 

1inxs

DTVUSA Member
#7
I have a dumb question here so please forgive my ignorance in advance. Is there a difference in mounting heights for combining UHF and VHF antennas? Or can you mount a VHF in one location like the roof, combine it with a VHF in the attic? :brushteeth:
Not really a dumb question. I would imagine this thought has crossed the minds of many. You can combine the signal of UHF and VHF antennas from different locations. For successful results you want to make sure there is separation. You don't want the signal diffraction from one antenna to interfere with the signal of the other antenna.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#8
Either Solid Signal has a huge stock or this is not the one you are talking about Don.
Looks like the P-Ms may be back in stock over there. I bought one from them last year when they had the same description and illustration shown in your link target, but what I got was a Holland instead. It works fine.

Solid Signal caught a bit of flak from the OTA/DTV boards at the time over the bait & switch, so they changed the photo not too long afterward. As I said earlier, Picos and Hollands are so similar that virtually no one will notice the difference. 0.2 dB is your basic margin of error.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#9
I have a dumb question here so please forgive my ignorance in advance. Is there a difference in mounting heights for combining UHF and VHF antennas? Or can you mount a VHF in one location like the roof, combine it with a VHF in the attic? :brushteeth:
1inxs has it right. Maybe another way to understand this is if you combine antennas with a diplexers, you don't need to have the same coax length to each antenna. A UVSJ is a diplexer not a simple combiner.
http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-rece...r-splitters-combining-antennas.html#post19228
A UVSJ blocks reception from the other antenna on the other band by about 20db. So even if a UHF signal coming from the VHF antenna reaches the UVSJ out of phase, it's so far down in level it doesn't matter too much. A real purist would probably make them the same length, but in reality it makes little difference.

Now if you decided to combine them with a simple combiner, you need to have the coax the same length to each antenna. This is because each antenna UHF vs VHF will pick up some of the other bands signal. If the coax is different lengths, then the signal will reach the combiner a different times causing mulitpath.

Do you mind if I move the posts related to this in the thread to a new thread? It's an excellent question and would be good to find linked in it's own thread.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#10
I didnt know that AntennaCraft was US made until last week. Smacks head.

Great review DonM! Although, I thought you and Piggie were of the bigger is better school and go straight for the 10 element (or greater) VHF High antennas.

Id thank you but I seem to give more thanks than recieve (I guess that is how it works)
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#11
I didnt know that AntennaCraft was US made until last week. Smacks head.

Great review DonM! Although, I thought you and Piggie were of the bigger is better school and go straight for the 10 element (or greater) VHF High antennas.

Id thank you but I seem to give more thanks than recieve (I guess that is how it works)
Bigger is better if you need bigger. My Gainesville Prescription is a Y5-7-13 for WNBW and a U-75R for the UHF, unless you live in the SW, then you use DTV2BUHF with the screen removed.

We have one VHF on Ch9 that puts out a whooping 2 to 3 KW 10 miles west of town. And the UHF's are scattered over an arc from SSW to West. The U-75R is wide enough to pull them all in.

So one doesn't need any more VHF in town with no amp. And if you put up a larger UHF you would need a rotor due to beam width.

Both Winegard and AntennaCraft are located in Burlington, IA and make their antennas there. One of the last things you can buy American in consumer electronics.

Are those big antennas?
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#13
Do this, and other VHF High Television Band antennas, receive FM signals well?

Are VHF Low/VHF High combo antennas better for FM generally?

Thanks Don!
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#15
Do this, and other VHF High Television Band antennas, receive FM signals well? Are VHF Low/VHF High combo antennas better for FM generally?
A qualified yes, and yes: As always, it depends on what the owner wants to accomplish. I use the Y5 for analog FM through the Winegard CA-8800 mentioned in a separate post. In this dry climate, the combination nets clean FM stereo out to about 50 miles and mono out to about 75 miles from an attic mount. YMMV, of course. High-banders aren't designed for the FM band, but since they are a quarter wave for that set of frequencies, they are of use to a casual FM listener who only seeks local stations.

Having said that, I wouldn't recommend this approach to either DXers or those interested in Hybrid Digital FM. Only an antenna designed for low band VHF will do for such enthusiasts; a 2-13 antenna will beat a 7-13 high-bander for FM every time. The gain difference would be crucial to HDFM listeners more than about 25 miles away from the transmitter.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#16
I wrote that in the linked thread. That a high band outside will outperform a dipole hung on the wall inside. But it's location, not the right antenna. I am sure you could mount a 2 meter or 1 1/4 meter ham ground plane on the roof and do well on local FM stations that are just a little bit too far for an inside antenna. I would not surprise me if you hooked up a 70 cm collinear vertical to an FM radio it would help.

The real point here is anything that will conduct electrical current is an antenna. But unless it's the proper length with the proper feed system it won't work nearly as well.

On receive many things are very tolerant.

Good example.

Go string a 40 meter antenna for the CW part of the band (7.1 MHz). Then pull out a 15 meter exciter and drive it into that antenna. You will find up in the upper SSB part of the band (around 21.3 MHz) your reflected wave is extremely low. Dipoles will resonant at odd positive harmonics, not sub harmonics. So if I tried to feed 3.05 MHz into that dipole the reflected wave would be off scale. It also won't resonant with a decent feed point impedance as even harmonics. If I tried to feed 14.2 or 28.4 MHz into the dipole it would show a high reflected wave as well.

But that said, receivers are much less picky. They prefer a resonant feed for maximum transfer of the signal into the feedline, then the receiver. However they will appreciate any antenna you give them to some degree.

On that same dipole, if I am Short Wave Listening (no transmitting) I can use it fairly well across most of the common SW Bands below about 10 MHz down to about 4MHz. It also works fine up around 21 MHz. Much much broader range of reception.

But if you get to when the antenna is a full wave length around 21 meter SW band, I can switch to my 20 meter dipole and hear a marked improvement in SW stations.

Now you say, wait, full wave length dipoles and vertical resonant! Yes, but a full wavelength dipole has an extremely high input resistance and little energy is transferred to the coax.
==============

Now back to a high band beam.

The directors are 1/4 waves. And yes a 1/4 wave will resonant, but much prefers to be over a ground plane. But there is no feed point on them so they should resonant to a degree. Some of this captured energy is feed into the active elements. But I would be surprised if it's even above 0dbd of gain. It would be interesting to see it analyzed on an antenna range or software.
 

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