Why aren’t the X-shaped elements on the HDB91X connected to anything?

Look at our top-selling HDB91X antenna and you’ll notice something weird. It has quite a few of the same X-shaped elements as our HDB8X... but… they’re not connected to anything. Several customers have noted this and wondered if their antennas are defective. I have to admit I wondered it myself when I reviewed the thing.

There’s nothing wrong with your antenna and yes, it’s supposed to be like that. It all comes down to “economy of scale.” To keep costs down, the X-shaped metal piece was designed to do two different things. On the HDB8X it acts as an active element, picking up UHF and VHF signals. On the HDB91X, a very similar part acts as a passive director, focusing signals from a long distance on a single antenna element at the back of the antenna. Because the X-shaped elements are passive on the 91X, they don’t need to be connected. The presence of these passive elements with no wires or connections makes this a yagi antenna; if it had wires it would technically be a log periodic antenna.

So don’t worry, your antenna isn’t broken, it’s not missing parts. It’s doing exactly what it should be doing, and the X-shaped parts at the front are definitely important, they’re definitely worth keeping there.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.