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Commercial Radio Antennas Please keep discussion related to professional, commercially used antennas and antenna systems for the two-way radio industry. Topics for the use of these antennas on amateur bands are accepted here.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-20-2011, 5:48 PM
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Default Real Stationmasters??

I bought two listed on Craigslist. Upon inspection both are 150-159 and both have Motorola placards;one has a Dodge Phelps placard as well.Blueish end caps at tip. I did not know of a Motorola/Phelps connection;I always thought a real Stationmaster was Phelps.
I tested them with NOAA coax end to the ground and they sound good.
Can't find real data sheet or anything other than the "how to rebuild one" link.
I'll put up faded placard pics tomorrow. I think I'm going to tree one of them with 400 or 600
Thanks for any info......
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Old 11-20-2011, 6:32 PM
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Motorola rebranded antennas from Phelps Dodge and others. I believe the VHF Super Station Master was fairly wide band like the 150-159MHz you mentioned and the regular Station Master was only a few MHz wide. They are both about 21ft tall and probably 5.25dBD gain.
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Old 11-20-2011, 7:07 PM
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Thank you sir!! They aught to do a great job. I was lucky to be able to save them. Yes, they are long but surprisingly light and easy to handle.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:40 PM
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be nice to put a stationmaster on murs from a high location. bet that would get out!!!
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:04 AM
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Here are some pics. Mot placard has Model 6073
Working great on VHF air just propped against the garage with my test jumper and 106.
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Old 11-26-2011, 3:42 PM
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Your antennas look a little worse for the wear. The "blue caps" are actually brass that has oxidized. What is of concern is the loss of the white gel coat with bare fiberglass showing. This means water can migrate through the fiberglass and corrode the inner copper elements. Go to a marine supply and get some fiberglass gel coat repair paint and recover the sleeve. Do not use any other kind of paint as it may contain metal as a coloring or weather proofing agent. Make sure any insect cretins have not blocked the weep holes around the coaxial connector.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:07 PM
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Thanks for the tips!! I just assumed the caps were Bakelite and did not really look that close. We have a big rain event minutes away so they are going into the garage. Looking at the caps again they do appear to be a Bakelite type plastic. I could not remove anything with a fingernail but will scrape a bit with a knife to see for sure.
I agree on the coating. I used to sand Antron 99's a bit and just spray them with Krylon clear but when testing their paints a while back for just this reason their paints were higher in metal than others tested.
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Old 01-13-2012, 9:34 PM
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Also true station master antennas are 10DB.
They where better to use than the 6DB DB420 UHF and DB224 both are good antennas but the Station Master was better.
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Old 01-13-2012, 9:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddrousa View Post
Also true station master antennas are 10DB.
They where better to use than the 6DB DB420 UHF and DB224 both are good antennas but the Station Master was better.
You're mixing the specs for the UHF antennas into a discussion about the VHF antenna. The 22 ft VHF stationmaster was rated for around 5db gain, omnidirectional.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:21 PM
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Not only is the DB420 a UHF antenna its 9.8dBD gain omni and not 6dB gain. Also, the Stationmaster is not necessarily better and an exposed dipole array has a little more gain for the same length as a Stationmaster.

After a major snow and ice storm on one of our local mountain top repeater sites (Santiago Peak 5,700ft high), many fiberglass Stationmaster antennas were in pieces on the ground where the aluminum exposed dipole arrays were still in good shape on the towers.
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Originally Posted by buddrousa View Post
Also true station master antennas are 10DB.
They where better to use than the 6DB DB420 UHF and DB224 both are good antennas but the Station Master was better.
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Old 01-15-2012, 8:38 PM
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Too add to the discussion of a Stationmaster being better than its aluminum exposed dipole array, I went on a service call to a govt VHF repeater today and one of the problems was the antenna match was questionable at almost 2:1. After climbing the tower I found the 21ft fiberglass real Stationmaster had a big chunk blown out of the top from a past lightning hit and the antenna is now trashed.

I'm told this is the second time this has happened in about two years and it will be replaced with an aluminum exposed dipole array which will not suffer from the same problem.
prcguy

QUOTE=prcguy;1681112]Not only is the DB420 a UHF antenna its 9.8dBD gain omni and not 6dB gain. Also, the Stationmaster is not necessarily better and an exposed dipole array has a little more gain for the same length as a Stationmaster.

After a major snow and ice storm on one of our local mountain top repeater sites (Santiago Peak 5,700ft high), many fiberglass Stationmaster antennas were in pieces on the ground where the aluminum exposed dipole arrays were still in good shape on the towers.
prcguy[/QUOTE]
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Old 01-15-2012, 9:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
...After climbing the tower I found the 21ft fiberglass real Stationmaster had a big chunk blown out of the top from a past lightning hit and the antenna is now trashed...
That's not an unusual story, how that antenna met it's end. You can hardly swing a dead cat around some local mountain tops without hitting a broken stationmaster.

They have their uses, and some applications where they absolutely shine. Long life on an icy mountain top, or as the highest point on a high tower is not one of them.
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Old 01-15-2012, 9:48 PM
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Something to be said about a good ole 210-C4 or its Bluewave equivilent. I have a DB antenna in the yard here and I would never put it on a mountiantop. Why put a fibreglass vertical on a mountian top only to have to replace it a couple of years later? Or after the first lightning strike?
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayn1n32008 View Post
Why put a fibreglass vertical on a mountian top only to have to replace it a couple of years later? Or after the first lightning strike?
Sometimes you have to. If it's got the radiation pattern that you need, and nothing else will do... It's possible to get long live out of a fiberglass antenna, but it requires tip support. Some of the DB antennas are pretty tough. The DB806 is a pretty rugged antenna that I wouldn't hesitate to put on top of a tower. A Super stationmaster, not so much. You use a StormMaster for that.
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Old 02-03-2012, 1:35 PM
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Here are some data sheets from a 1990 Celwave product catalog I have on the VHF Stationmaster and Super Stationmaster antennas. As mentioned in previous posts, the original producer of the Stationmaster series antenna was Phelps Dodge which sold this business to Celwave which is now part of Radio Frequency Systems (RFS). These data sheets may help with additional technical details. Given the specified bandwidth, your antennas are likely a model PD220 or PD620 VHF Super Stationmaster. The PD200 Stationmaster has a narrower operating bandwidth of 1.5 Mhz. I purchased a PD200 new back in the mid 1990's and had it custom made and tuned for the VHF railroad band. It's an excellent antenna . I have only used mine for receiving purposes. I've also included a photo of the brass tip on the top of my PD200 as a comparison. It's a bit oxidized too, but is close to the "as received" appearance. Unfortunately, I currently live in a location where the Stationmaster antenna can't be mounted due to restrictions. It's annoying to have such a great antenna and not be able to use it. I would love to be using it right now for my live radio feed! Ugh!
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Old 10-27-2013, 7:18 AM
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Default Stationmaster Antenna

I have a question about the station master antenna.

1) Where does a person obtain the ground plane for the Stationmaster antenna? I see them in some of the pictures that are posted online but unable to find them or even the plans to build a set of ground planes.

thanks in advance.....
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Old 10-27-2013, 9:06 AM
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Station Masters were good for side mounting on tall towers, you wanted an exposed dipole such as a Decibel on top. Seen sites were all that was left after a direct hit was the base and the radials, you would find shredded Fiberglass around the tower base (maybe).
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