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Best aerial for ATC range reception

dannews

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Dec 6, 2007
Messages
12
#1
Hi there,
What's a good option for a small to medium sized aerial to receive ATC communications? I"m in a built-up area, so interference could be an issue.

Also, if someone knows of a clamp device that I could use to clamp it to my apartment balcony rail that would be awesome.

Dan
 

popnokick

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Mar 21, 2004
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1,867
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Northeast PA
#2
The wire version of this antenna (scroll down the RR Antenna Wiki page when you get there) is very good with civilian and even milair comms & ATC. You can put it together for about $10 and 15 min of time. Hang it on your balcony away from metal objects and run the coax in to your scanner. You'll need an adapter to go from the "F" connector on the cable to your radio's antenna socket.
https://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Homebrewed_Off-Center_Fed_Dipole
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Messages
9
#4
The Diamond X700HNA. Can hear aircraft out to 150 miles fro my garage setting on lava. Needless to say, we don't see much green.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
426
Location
Los Angeles County
#5
The Diamond X700HNA. Can hear aircraft out to 150 miles fro my garage setting on lava. Needless to say, we don't see much green.
that's 2m/440 band, not airband antenna, aircraft are easy to pick up, it's the ATC ground stations that are a challenge, try an airband yagi such as Arrow Antenna's
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
84
Location
Columbus, Ohio
#6
If you are trying to ONLY get the airport (singular) ground traffic, a good yagi will keep interference out from directions other than in the path to the airport. Omnis are great and I love a good discone but a yagi will help with ground stations.

S.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Messages
9
#7
Uplink, you are 100% correct. Free antenna, I'm not complaining. I was surprised with the by the antenna performance considering it was tuned for 144-148/420-450 from the factory. Someday I'll put an Anritsu on it to see what it's freq/swr really are. Maybe thats why it was free?
 

xms3200

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Jul 18, 2018
Messages
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Location
Cleveland, Ohio
#9
iMONITOR, from your experience, do you suggest the D220R or the DPD Omni for VHF airband only. I only listen to VHF 118-137Mhz, which gets your vote....I am ready to purchase. Thanks for all replies.
 

iMONITOR

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Sep 20, 2006
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MACOMB, MI.
#10
iMONITOR, from your experience, do you suggest the D220R or the DPD Omni for VHF airband only. I only listen to VHF 118-137Mhz, which gets your vote....I am ready to purchase. Thanks for all replies.
For airband only, I'd go with the DPD Omni as it's tuned for that. The Diamond D220R is more of a catch-all with wider band coverage of: RX 100-1,600MHz, TX 2m, 70cm, 904MHz, 23cm, 50W. But as you can see it is not optimized for airbands but it does perform well.

For VHF aircraft only you might also want to consider the:

Sirio GP 108-136 LB/N VHF Aircraft Band 108-136mhz Base Antenna (Type N Connector)
https://www.amazon.com/Sirio-Aircraft-108-136mhz-Antenna-Connector/dp/B00BS18U8E


Sirio GP 108-136 LB/U VHF Aircraft Band 108-136mhz Base Antenna (U Connector / SO239-PL259 type)
https://www.amazon.com/Sirio-Aircra...VRS9ZAB4FTS86S00WEWA&qid=1557753231&s=gateway



1557753563310.png

Another consideration would be a Yagi:

Sirio WY 108-3N 108-137 MHz Air Band 3 Element Yagi Antenna (Type N Connector)
with Gain: 4.85 dBd - 7 dBi, but it is directional.

https://www.amazon.com/Sirio-108-3N-108-137-Element-Antenna/dp/B07FZJBRWV


1557753946592.png
 

xms3200

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Messages
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Location
Cleveland, Ohio
#11
I have used the DPD productions indoor blade VHF antenna as well as the Centre Fire Antena for airband with my Icom A25C handheld and to my surprise....there was absolutely no difference in reception. Do you think the Sirio might work better?
 

iMONITOR

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MACOMB, MI.
#12
I have used the DPD productions indoor blade VHF antenna as well as the Centre Fire Antena for airband with my Icom A25C handheld and to my surprise....there was absolutely no difference in reception. Do you think the Sirio might work better?
Probably not. It's very likely you need to get your antenna up higher. How far are you from the airport you're trying to receive? Do you have any powerful FM broadcast stations in your area? If so you might need a FM notch filter. The strong broadcast stations can desensitize your scanner.
 

xms3200

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Cleveland, Ohio
#13
I live 4 miles from the airport and hear it clearly. I am trying to receive Cleveland center (ZOB) RCAG stations and there is where the problem lies. I tried it from my flat roof, no difference....am I doomed with no reception from the RCAG's.
 

iMONITOR

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#14
I live 4 miles from the airport and hear it clearly. I am trying to receive Cleveland center (ZOB) RCAG stations and there is where the problem lies. I tried it from my flat roof, no difference....am I doomed with no reception from the RCAG's.
Are these the frequencies you're using?

1557765574960.png
 

xms3200

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Cleveland, Ohio
#15
119.325, 119.725, 119.875, 120.075, 120.325, 132.825, 132.925...all of these are loud & clear from the airplanes at FL 350, but none from the RCAG
sites. Thank you for helping me.
 

iMONITOR

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MACOMB, MI.
#16
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Messages
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#17
xms3200, they mount the unity gain, RCAG antennas on fiber-cast poles to help pull the "E" lobe up to close the top of the "doughnut" hole at the same time it lifts very bottom lobe up off the ground. I've read that it could be anywhere from .1 degrees up to 10 degrees. So i guess the antennas have some type of electrical "up tilt" built into them, a similar concept of "down tilt" commercial broadcasters use.
 

AirScan

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Feb 13, 2007
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#18
xms3200,

119.325, 119.725, 119.875, 120.075, 120.325, 132.825, 132.925...all of these are loud & clear from the airplanes at FL 350, but none from the RCAG sites.
You can find the Cleveland RCAG sites in the database. If you click on the little arrow beside the name then select "View Subcategory Details" it will show the position of the RCAG on a map. It looks like the only one in Ohio close to Cleveland would be 120.775 from Chardon, 36 miles east of the airport. Even that would be a stretch as most only have a range of around 10 to 15 miles over the ground.

https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=2232
 

xms3200

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Jul 18, 2018
Messages
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Location
Cleveland, Ohio
#19
xms3200, they mount the unity gain, RCAG antennas on fiber-cast poles to help pull the "E" lobe up to close the top of the "doughnut" hole at the same time it lifts very bottom lobe up off the ground. I've read that it could be anywhere from .1 degrees up to 10 degrees. So i guess the antennas have some type of electrical "up tilt" built into them, a similar concept of "down tilt" commercial broadcasters use.
Boy!!!! I sure hope I am being dazzled by "sheer brilliance" and not baffled by...."you know the other", I don't think the guys who installed the RCAG antennas knew so much about them.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Messages
9
#20
Ha, point. Sheer brilliance, maybe not so much, they were climbing towers. The engineer seemed to have his act together. Went to the jampro page to see what is a standard down tilt is (2 degrees)
 
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