Originally Posted by prcguy
For best aircraft reception you want your gain at the horizon because within any range where the aircraft is at a high angle it will be very close with no obstructions. An antenna with -30dB gain will work great at high angles but at 100 or 200mi out the angle to the aircraft will be very low.
This is very true. But what if you don't live in open area, and your targets aren't down at the horizon? Or behind a hill or building down at the horizon? What if you just physically can't get your antenna mounted high and can only achieve just a few feet off the ground? A dipole or quarter wave would have most of the receive rf coming through miles of obstructions, if you could hear it at all.
I try to make the antenna fit the environment. For most, the textbook approach of getting the angles down low works very well - no arguing with that. For me however, most of an antenna's capabilities designed for low look angles is wasted.
With the antenna I describe and use, I'm not concerned with gain. And the big issue that makes this antenna work better than you would think is that the feedline is actually part of the antenna, and fills in the overhead nulls and actually brings the higher look angle down lower.
In real-world use, many dipoles mounted up high are not performing as well as they should if one doesn't decouple it from the feedline with a choke, or has interactions with the mast.
So yes, I agree with you wholeheartedly providing the low-angle antenna suits your environment.
Since antennas are so easy to build, especially the one I describe, try it and see if it fits the environment.
I've seen many budding enthusiasts afraid to actually experiment for themselves and just see if what we are talking about works or not, limiting themselves to standard issue rubber duck because they are afraid that their antennas aren't textbook perfect.
Get out there and string up some wire!