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GMRS Antenna for base (kenwood 8180)

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Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Messages
29
Location
lockport, ny
#1
Hello all,

I'm not to the GMRS hobby and I'm on the hunt for a UHF antenna for GMRS. I do have my license/radio. I want the best performing antenna (RX & TX) I can get.

Currently I have a homemade UHF Omni-Directional on a kenwood tk-8180 and I'm not 100% satisfied with the antenna's performance.

here's a link to a similar antenna which I currently have Installed: Dual Band VHF UHF Base Antenna (Ham, Commercial, MURS, GMRS, FRS) DBJ-1 | eBay


thanks in advance
 

HummerMike

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 22, 2015
Messages
94
Location
Abbeville, S.C.
#2
Yes, what you are running now is basically a UHF J-Pole in a PVC pipe. You will get a lot of reply's like the Ford vs Chevrolet debate. I like the HUSTLER G6-450. It has a good amount of gain and is solid built. I currently run the G6-440 on UHF Ham Radio. Just google Hustler G6-450 for a vendor. Around $240.

Mike
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Messages
29
Location
lockport, ny
#3
Yes, what you are running now is basically a UHF J-Pole in a PVC pipe. You will get a lot of reply's like the Ford vs Chevrolet debate. I like the HUSTLER G6-450. It has a good amount of gain and is solid built. I currently run the G6-440 on UHF Ham Radio. Just google Hustler G6-450 for a vendor. Around $240.

Mike

thanks man i looked it up. I did find it a bit cheaper than $240 US but it's still crazy expensive.
With that said... i don't mind paying if the quality and performance is there to back up the price-tag.


looking at the specs on this hustler, its very similar performing to my current set up. with the exception of it being 3 ft longer and supporting 100w. My antenna i think does 40w's and is 5 ft (5/8 wave?) and db is 5dBd.
I'm not sure how much of a performance gain i would get from this antenna.

for my clarification and understanding, can someone elaborate on the performance differences between these 2 antenna's ?




Product Line:Hustler Base Model G6-440 Vertical Antennas

Vertical Antenna Height: 7.25 ft.
Antenna Material: Fiberglass/Aluminum
Antenna Power Rating: 100 W
Band Coverage: 70 centimeters
Frequency Coverage Range: 440-450 MHz
Vertical Antenna Gain: 6.0 dBd
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,226
Location
Point Nemo.
#4
Hello all,

I'm not to the GMRS hobby and I'm on the hunt for a UHF antenna for GMRS. I do have my license/radio. I want the best performing antenna (RX & TX) I can get.

Currently I have a homemade UHF Omni-Directional on a kenwood tk-8180 and I'm not 100% satisfied with the antenna's performance.

here's a link to a similar antenna which I currently have Installed: Dual Band VHF UHF Base Antenna (Ham, Commercial, MURS, GMRS, FRS) DBJ-1 | eBay


thanks in advance
Deciding what you need would depend on a number of variables. None of us can make a recommendation without knowing how to answer those questions. Antenna choice isn't about just picking the "best". The best antenna will be different based on location, usage, budget, mounting, skill level, etc.

Location?
What is the topography like around you? Are you in the bottom of a valley, or up on a hill? How far off is the horizon? Since UHF tends to be mostly line of sight, using a high gain antenna from the bottom of a valley can be less than ideal.

Usage?
What are you trying to do with this antenna? Are you trying to hit a distant repeater? Are you trying to cover a small town? Or, are you out on the flat lands and what as much wide area coverage as you can get?

Budget?
How much money are you willing to spend to get the "best"? I spent $1500 - $2000 on individual antennas before. Then again, depending on your location and budget, you may need something different. Kind of hard to tell without some information to work off of.

Mounting?
What are you going to mount this antenna to? Is it a broomstick nailed to the side of a barn? Is it a 100 foot self supporting tower? Is it a TV antenna mount? Undecided? The type of mount can limit how big an antenna you can install.

Skill level?
Have you ever done this before? Are you trained in tower climbing? Are you comfortable climbing up on your roof in late fall/early winter? Know a guy with a bucket truck?

If you ask 10 people what the "best" antenna is, you'll get at least 11 different answers. There's more to the decision that just picking what you think is best. There is some engineering involved and skills required. Most of all, it's pointless for us to recommend a specific model if it's outside your budget.

Throw us a bone here, we can probably point you in the right direction.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
7,535
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
#5
Most of the Ed Fong antennas are J-pole types with about 0dBd gain at best. A 5dBd gain omni UHF antenna is going to be a good 7ft tall at the very least.

There should be a very noticeable improvement going from your Ed Fong thing to the Hustler type, however the Hustler G6-440 is made for amateur frequencies and not for the GMRS range. There used to be a commercial version of the Hustler that covered GMRS and there are plenty of others that work similar or better.
prcguy


thanks man i looked it up. I did find it a bit cheaper than $240 US but it's still crazy expensive.
With that said... i don't mind paying if the quality and performance is there to back up the price-tag.


looking at the specs on this hustler, its very similar performing to my current set up. with the exception of it being 3 ft longer and supporting 100w. My antenna i think does 40w's and is 5 ft (5/8 wave?) and db is 5dBd.
I'm not sure how much of a performance gain i would get from this antenna.

for my clarification and understanding, can someone elaborate on the performance differences between these 2 antenna's ?




Product Line:Hustler Base Model G6-440 Vertical Antennas

Vertical Antenna Height: 7.25 ft.
Antenna Material: Fiberglass/Aluminum
Antenna Power Rating: 100 W
Band Coverage: 70 centimeters
Frequency Coverage Range: 440-450 MHz
Vertical Antenna Gain: 6.0 dBd
 

HummerMike

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 22, 2015
Messages
94
Location
Abbeville, S.C.
#6
Just to clarify, if you decide on the Hustler, it will be a model G6-450-3. That will cover GMRS. This antenna is solid built. Great for Omni directional. I also agree with Mmckenna, If all you need is to hit a specific repeater, a Yagi will do fine, but you lose all directional. Also the higher the better with UHF especially.
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Messages
29
Location
lockport, ny
#7
Deciding what you need would depend on a number of variables. None of us can make a recommendation without knowing how to answer those questions. Antenna choice isn't about just picking the "best". The best antenna will be different based on location, usage, budget, mounting, skill level, etc.

totally agree with all your points here. which is why i made the post to help figure it all out =)


Location?
What is the topography like around you? Are you in the bottom of a valley, or up on a hill? How far off is the horizon? Since UHF tends to be mostly line of sight, using a high gain antenna from the bottom of a valley can be less than ideal.


western new york. i'm low sea level compared to rest of the immediate area. 600ft above SL vs rest of area which is around 630 - 700ish ASL.

I was big in to 11 meter's for a while and have a base station i set up. currently set up with a crank 30ft with an imax 2000 enjoying the view on top of that =)
I guess you could say i'm ok with standing up tall antenna stuff. roof's are also not an issue


Usage?
What are you trying to do with this antenna? Are you trying to hit a distant repeater? Are you trying to cover a small town? Or, are you out on the flat lands and what as much wide area coverage as you can get?


distance, and wide coverage area is my game. (mostly) I should note i live in the country side so population isn't as dense here.

i mostly want to do simplex but also would like to try some distant repeaters. from what i gather on mygmrs.com. the nearest repeater is just to far away. I would most likely need to set up my antenna 60+ ft in the air to even have a chance at this repeater (hamburg ny). which to my understanding is against FCC rules.


Budget?
How much money are you willing to spend to get the "best"? I spent $1500 - $2000 on individual antennas before. Then again, depending on your location and budget, you may need something different. Kind of hard to tell without some information to work off of.

although not operating with an unlimited budget. i would say for conversations sake, believe there is no budget and i'll make the judgement from there. but a quick answer, do i want to spend $2000 bucks, hell no. would i spend $500 hmm maybe. would i like the antenna to be free and also make me coffee, toast and bacon in the morning, of course, but lets be realistic :)




Mounting?
What are you going to mount this antenna to? Is it a broomstick nailed to the side of a barn? Is it a 100 foot self supporting tower? Is it a TV antenna mount? Undecided? The type of mount can limit how big an antenna you can install.

mounting options, whatever required. as i stated above, i currently have a 30ft mast i home-built. i also have a tripod on the roof with a 15ft. this is a moot point, since i can and should be able to fabricate anything required for mounting as i have done in the past for 11 meters.


Skill level?
Have you ever done this before? Are you trained in tower climbing? Are you comfortable climbing up on your roof in late fall/early winter? Know a guy with a bucket truck?

skill level, i would say "advanced beginner" -- i'm a quick learner if pointed in the right direction with a kick in the butt. also, yes to all these except trained tower climbing.
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Messages
29
Location
lockport, ny
#8
Just to clarify, if you decide on the Hustler, it will be a model G6-450-3. That will cover GMRS. This antenna is solid built. Great for Omni directional. I also agree with Mmckenna, If all you need is to hit a specific repeater, a Yagi will do fine, but you lose all directional. Also the higher the better with UHF especially.

thanks man, i will investigate this.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,226
Location
Point Nemo.
#10
totally agree with all your points here. which is why i made the post to help figure it all out =)
OK, that gives us a place to start...


Location?
western new york. i'm low sea level compared to rest of the immediate area. 600ft above SL vs rest of area which is around 630 - 700ish ASL.

I was big in to 11 meter's for a while and have a base station i set up. currently set up with a crank 30ft with an imax 2000 enjoying the view on top of that =)
I guess you could say i'm ok with standing up tall antenna stuff. roof's are also not an issue.
OK, so the reason I asked that is because often people look at antenna gain figures only. They figure more must be better. It doesn't always work out that way. There are situations where a really high gain antenna can work against you. Back when I was active on GMRS (and still am a bit on amateur) I used low gain antenna. I'm located in the bottom of a valley with 1000 - 2000 foot high hills all around, none more than a few miles in any direction. The only direction that doesn't have hills is the Pacific Ocean. In that specific case, using a high gain antenna would have been a waste of money. Since my "radio horizon" was pretty close, and in most cases above me, a lower gain, lower cost antenna was all I really needed.
Vertical omni-directional antennas get their gain by flatting out the radiation pattern and focusing it more towards the horizon. Think of a lighthouse. A 500 watt bulb in a lighthouse wouldn't do much on it's own, but when you focus that light just at the horizon, it works pretty well. That works great for a ship out on the horizon, they see a bright light (strong signal). But, if you are on a hill top, you'll still see the light house, but the light won't be as bright since it isn't focused in your direction. On the flip side, if you are on a hill a few miles away and you need to see that light, a 500 watt light bulb that is allowed to spread out a little bit more will be easier to see. Lower gain antennas are like this, they don't compress the radiation pattern so much, allowing more of the RF energy to spread out above and below the horizon.

In your case, a higher gain antenna makes sense. In my case, a lower gain/lower cost antenna worked well.

So, I'd recommend looking for a higher gain antenna.


Usage?
distance, and wide coverage area is my game. (mostly) I should note i live in the country side so population isn't as dense here.

i mostly want to do simplex but also would like to try some distant repeaters. from what i gather on mygmrs.com. the nearest repeater is just to far away. I would most likely need to set up my antenna 60+ ft in the air to even have a chance at this repeater (hamburg ny). which to my understanding is against FCC rules.
OK, see above, higher gain antenna will send more of your signal out to the horizon, which sounds like what you want.
As for mounting height, you are good up to 200 feet, unless you have an airport nearby, then the FAA gets involved.


Budget?
although not operating with an unlimited budget. i would say for conversations sake, believe there is no budget and i'll make the judgement from there. but a quick answer, do i want to spend $2000 bucks, hell no. would i spend $500 hmm maybe. would i like the antenna to be free and also make me coffee, toast and bacon in the morning, of course, but lets be realistic :)

$500 is a reasonable budget for a hobbyist. Does that include the coaxial cable, or just the antenna?

Here's why:
At UHF frequencies, you will lose a lot more signal in your coaxial cable than you would on CB frequencies. Where 50 feet of RG-8 coaxial cable may have been acceptable for your CB antenna, you really want something better for GMRS.
At 27 MHz, 50 feet of RG-8 type cable will lose about 0.5dB of signal just to feed line losses, that's before it even reaches your antenna. That works in both directions, so not only do you lose transmit power, but you lose some of your received signal. Or, for 4 watts RF output from your CB, 3.6 watts actually make it to the antenna.
Not a big deal, perfectly acceptable and reasonable.
Now, change that to 462MHz:
Feed line losses jump to 2.29dB for a 50 foot run. If you were running a 4 watt GMRS radio (I know, you'll run more, but humor me), you'd get 2.4 watts out at the end of the cable. And, again, that works both ways, so you lose nearly 35% of your power both on TX and receive.

For GMRS, you really need to be looking at a higher grade coaxial cable to counteract the feed line losses. This can get a bit expensive, but it's something you need to figure in.

Let's take Times Microwave LMR-600 cable. It's about as big as you can go and still work with it in a residence. Larger than this and the bend radius gets to be large
LMR-600 would give you less than 1dB loss for a 50 foot run at 462MHz. Or, about 18% loss.
LMR-400 is popular with the hobby crowd. It's OK cable, but you can do better for a bit more cost. At UHF frequencies, LMR-400 is still going to lose about 27%, so not necessarily a good choice.

If your coaxial cable runs are longer than 50 feet, then your losses increase with it. At UHF frequencies you need to be looking at high grade cable.

So, figure $150 for cable and supplies, and that still leaves you with $350 for a good antenna. That's still pretty reasonable.

To be fair, there are better coaxial cables available than the LMR-600. If I was doing a similar installation, I'd run nothing less than 1/2 inch Heliax cable. It's a rigid/corrugated cable that can be a bit tough to work with as it's kind of stiff. It's slightly better than the LMR-600, but might not be worth the extra cost and struggles for hobby use.

Also, pay close attention to how you connect this coax up to the radio and antenna. The stiffer cables like LMR-600 or 1/2" Heliax are rarely used to directly connect to radios and antennas in the professional realm. It's usually a really good way to snap off antenna connectors. It's common practice to use a short run of a smaller, more flexible cable to act as a jumper between the radio and coaxial cable run and between the cable run and the antenna. This will protect the antenna connector on your radio and allow you to move the radio around as needed. You don't want to try connecting LMR-600 directly to the radio. You will regret it.



Mounting?
mounting options, whatever required. as i stated above, i currently have a 30ft mast i home-built. i also have a tripod on the roof with a 15ft. this is a moot point, since i can and should be able to fabricate anything required for mounting as i have done in the past for 11 meters.
UHF is mostly line of sight, so the higher the better when you are down on the flat lands. Look on line for a "distance to horizon" calculator. That'll let you put in your antenna height and tell you how far off the "radio horizon" is. Make sure to figure in the height of the antenna at the other end.

Skill level?
skill level, i would say "advanced beginner" -- i'm a quick learner if pointed in the right direction with a kick in the butt. also, yes to all these except trained tower climbing.
OK, just wanted to make sure I didn't waste all this typing if you were a 70 year old Grandma who only drives to church on Sundays. Sounds like you are in the right place to do this.



So, PRC made a good suggestion for a reasonably priced antenna. Personal opinion on my end is that I wouldn't go through all this to put up a Chinese made antenna in a place where you get snow/ice and maybe high winds. I've looked at the Tram/Browning brand mobile antennas and I'm not impressed with the quality. Their base antennas might be better, but I'm not sure. What you can find on low cost antennas is that when they are at the factory, they don't spend a lot of labor on actually getting them tuned properly for the intended frequency. This can lead to problems. If you are going to go through the effort to install a base antenna at 30 feet (or higher) and want it to last many years, then you might want to look at a true commercial antenna, not a hobby/amateur grade antenna. While many of them work well, the longevity of them might be in question. It's a decision you'll need to make. If you are comfortable with a $500 budget, then I'd consider going with something better than a $70 Chinese made antenna.

When I was active on GMRS, I used ComTelco base antenna at my house. I'm a few miles from the ocean, so corrosion is always a concern. Not usually high winds and no snow/ice loading, so not really a problem for me. Since I was down in a valley, I went with a 3dB gain base antenna. It was about 24 inches tall and worked well for me.
I'd suggest you look at something from the commercial market, USA made and backed up by a reputable company.
Maybe fish around over at www.tessco.com for some of the commercial stuff.
Another option is over at "The Antenna Farm". They are a reputable company:
Some brands to consider:
PCTel
Laird http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/laird-technologies-fg4607-8031.html
RFS

What you invest in your antenna system (coaxial cable, mounting, antenna) is going to pay off in the long run if you plan on sticking with GMRS for the long term. However, if you go cheap, figure on lower performance, frequent repairs/replacements, and an overall shorter lifespan of the system.

A few other points to consider.....

When comparing antennas, make sure you are comparing them on the same level ground. If a manufacturer only quotes "dB" on their antenna specs, it's not a complete specification and it's a warning sign. Make sure you compare dBi to dBi, and dBd to dBd. dBi and dBd are NOT the same thing!

Consider lightning protection. It's required by the National Electric Code. It an entirely different discussion than the antenna choice one, so I won't go into it here. If you are going to stick any antenna up in the air, then you need to have some form of lightning protection. Direct lightning strikes are not the only thing you need to be concerned with. Nearby strikes can induce enough energy into your nearby antenna to damage your radio, even start a fire. Even high winds can generate static electricity that needs to be properly dealt with. Any damage by a lightning strike to your home will likely not be covered by homeowners insurance if your installation doesn't meet the National Electric Code.

You can use the highest cost antenna, biggest coaxial cable, but if you do not properly waterproof your outdoor connections, it's all going to get damaged quickly. Water inside your coax cable will wreak havoc with your system. Running a layer of electrical tape around your connections isn't enough. You really need to pay close attention to this. There are some good practices and products out there, but again, that's a topic for another discussion.

Most of all, do it safe. None of this equipment does you any good if you fall, are electrocuted, or otherwise injured during installation.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
1,015
#11
OK, that gives us a place to start...




OK, so the reason I asked that is because often people look at antenna gain figures only. They figure more must be better. It doesn't always work out that way. There are situations where a really high gain antenna can work against you. Back when I was active on GMRS (and still am a bit on amateur) I used low gain antenna. I'm located in the bottom of a valley with 1000 - 2000 foot high hills all around, none more than a few miles in any direction. The only direction that doesn't have hills is the Pacific Ocean. In that specific case, using a high gain antenna would have been a waste of money. Since my "radio horizon" was pretty close, and in most cases above me, a lower gain, lower cost antenna was all I really needed.
Vertical omni-directional antennas get their gain by flatting out the radiation pattern and focusing it more towards the horizon. Think of a lighthouse. A 500 watt bulb in a lighthouse wouldn't do much on it's own, but when you focus that light just at the horizon, it works pretty well. That works great for a ship out on the horizon, they see a bright light (strong signal). But, if you are on a hill top, you'll still see the light house, but the light won't be as bright since it isn't focused in your direction. On the flip side, if you are on a hill a few miles away and you need to see that light, a 500 watt light bulb that is allowed to spread out a little bit more will be easier to see. Lower gain antennas are like this, they don't compress the radiation pattern so much, allowing more of the RF energy to spread out above and below the horizon.

In your case, a higher gain antenna makes sense. In my case, a lower gain/lower cost antenna worked well.

So, I'd recommend looking for a higher gain antenna.




OK, see above, higher gain antenna will send more of your signal out to the horizon, which sounds like what you want.
As for mounting height, you are good up to 200 feet, unless you have an airport nearby, then the FAA gets involved.





$500 is a reasonable budget for a hobbyist. Does that include the coaxial cable, or just the antenna?

Here's why:
At UHF frequencies, you will lose a lot more signal in your coaxial cable than you would on CB frequencies. Where 50 feet of RG-8 coaxial cable may have been acceptable for your CB antenna, you really want something better for GMRS.
At 27 MHz, 50 feet of RG-8 type cable will lose about 0.5dB of signal just to feed line losses, that's before it even reaches your antenna. That works in both directions, so not only do you lose transmit power, but you lose some of your received signal. Or, for 4 watts RF output from your CB, 3.6 watts actually make it to the antenna.
Not a big deal, perfectly acceptable and reasonable.
Now, change that to 462MHz:
Feed line losses jump to 2.29dB for a 50 foot run. If you were running a 4 watt GMRS radio (I know, you'll run more, but humor me), you'd get 2.4 watts out at the end of the cable. And, again, that works both ways, so you lose nearly 35% of your power both on TX and receive.

For GMRS, you really need to be looking at a higher grade coaxial cable to counteract the feed line losses. This can get a bit expensive, but it's something you need to figure in.

Let's take Times Microwave LMR-600 cable. It's about as big as you can go and still work with it in a residence. Larger than this and the bend radius gets to be large
LMR-600 would give you less than 1dB loss for a 50 foot run at 462MHz. Or, about 18% loss.
LMR-400 is popular with the hobby crowd. It's OK cable, but you can do better for a bit more cost. At UHF frequencies, LMR-400 is still going to lose about 27%, so not necessarily a good choice.

If your coaxial cable runs are longer than 50 feet, then your losses increase with it. At UHF frequencies you need to be looking at high grade cable.

So, figure $150 for cable and supplies, and that still leaves you with $350 for a good antenna. That's still pretty reasonable.

To be fair, there are better coaxial cables available than the LMR-600. If I was doing a similar installation, I'd run nothing less than 1/2 inch Heliax cable. It's a rigid/corrugated cable that can be a bit tough to work with as it's kind of stiff. It's slightly better than the LMR-600, but might not be worth the extra cost and struggles for hobby use.

Also, pay close attention to how you connect this coax up to the radio and antenna. The stiffer cables like LMR-600 or 1/2" Heliax are rarely used to directly connect to radios and antennas in the professional realm. It's usually a really good way to snap off antenna connectors. It's common practice to use a short run of a smaller, more flexible cable to act as a jumper between the radio and coaxial cable run and between the cable run and the antenna. This will protect the antenna connector on your radio and allow you to move the radio around as needed. You don't want to try connecting LMR-600 directly to the radio. You will regret it.





UHF is mostly line of sight, so the higher the better when you are down on the flat lands. Look on line for a "distance to horizon" calculator. That'll let you put in your antenna height and tell you how far off the "radio horizon" is. Make sure to figure in the height of the antenna at the other end.



OK, just wanted to make sure I didn't waste all this typing if you were a 70 year old Grandma who only drives to church on Sundays. Sounds like you are in the right place to do this.



So, PRC made a good suggestion for a reasonably priced antenna. Personal opinion on my end is that I wouldn't go through all this to put up a Chinese made antenna in a place where you get snow/ice and maybe high winds. I've looked at the Tram/Browning brand mobile antennas and I'm not impressed with the quality. Their base antennas might be better, but I'm not sure. What you can find on low cost antennas is that when they are at the factory, they don't spend a lot of labor on actually getting them tuned properly for the intended frequency. This can lead to problems. If you are going to go through the effort to install a base antenna at 30 feet (or higher) and want it to last many years, then you might want to look at a true commercial antenna, not a hobby/amateur grade antenna. While many of them work well, the longevity of them might be in question. It's a decision you'll need to make. If you are comfortable with a $500 budget, then I'd consider going with something better than a $70 Chinese made antenna.

When I was active on GMRS, I used ComTelco base antenna at my house. I'm a few miles from the ocean, so corrosion is always a concern. Not usually high winds and no snow/ice loading, so not really a problem for me. Since I was down in a valley, I went with a 3dB gain base antenna. It was about 24 inches tall and worked well for me.
I'd suggest you look at something from the commercial market, USA made and backed up by a reputable company.
Maybe fish around over at www.tessco.com for some of the commercial stuff.
Another option is over at "The Antenna Farm". They are a reputable company:
Some brands to consider:
PCTel
Laird http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/laird-technologies-fg4607-8031.html
RFS

What you invest in your antenna system (coaxial cable, mounting, antenna) is going to pay off in the long run if you plan on sticking with GMRS for the long term. However, if you go cheap, figure on lower performance, frequent repairs/replacements, and an overall shorter lifespan of the system.

A few other points to consider.....

When comparing antennas, make sure you are comparing them on the same level ground. If a manufacturer only quotes "dB" on their antenna specs, it's not a complete specification and it's a warning sign. Make sure you compare dBi to dBi, and dBd to dBd. dBi and dBd are NOT the same thing!

Consider lightning protection. It's required by the National Electric Code. It an entirely different discussion than the antenna choice one, so I won't go into it here. If you are going to stick any antenna up in the air, then you need to have some form of lightning protection. Direct lightning strikes are not the only thing you need to be concerned with. Nearby strikes can induce enough energy into your nearby antenna to damage your radio, even start a fire. Even high winds can generate static electricity that needs to be properly dealt with. Any damage by a lightning strike to your home will likely not be covered by homeowners insurance if your installation doesn't meet the National Electric Code.

You can use the highest cost antenna, biggest coaxial cable, but if you do not properly waterproof your outdoor connections, it's all going to get damaged quickly. Water inside your coax cable will wreak havoc with your system. Running a layer of electrical tape around your connections isn't enough. You really need to pay close attention to this. There are some good practices and products out there, but again, that's a topic for another discussion.

Most of all, do it safe. None of this equipment does you any good if you fall, are electrocuted, or otherwise injured during installation.
To the OP, this is pretty much my view as well on this subject and his advise is spot on.

mmckenna is a incredible asset here on the forums as he goes into great detail to help ANYBODY out, and it's accurate info.

I also run both a Comtelco VHF and a laird UHF commercial fiberglass antenna's here at home. They have been up for YEARS and although the fiberglass is starting to look rough, they still work great and have not leaked water into the coax (like some cheap ones will do over time) and I could throw them away tomorrow, and enjoyed having them!

Good luck!
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
7,535
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
#13
I used a Hustler G6-450-3 at one of my low in the city repeater sites many years ago along side several Celwave PD-201s and although they all worked about the same, the Hustler had corroded really bad after several years due to the bare, untreated aluminum parts.

I also had the larger Hustler G7-144 2m base antenna at home and even though it had been painted, the antenna broke in half and fell off my tower after about 15yrs, The entire antenna was severally corroded and much more than any other aluminum antenna I have and the failure was an aluminum threaded part about half way up the radiator had turned to white dust and pulled out of the mating part.

In my opinion the Hustler base antennas are not worth every penny and I think would be only usable in areas with less than 5% humidity. Mine were about 2mi from the ocean.
prcguy


For what it's worth the G6-450-3 is a great antenna and worth every penny.
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
7
Location
San Diego, CA
#14
I used a Hustler G6-450-3 at one of my low in the city repeater sites many years ago along side several Celwave PD-201s and although they all worked about the same, the Hustler had corroded really bad after several years due to the bare, untreated aluminum parts.

I also had the larger Hustler G7-144 2m base antenna at home and even though it had been painted, the antenna broke in half and fell off my tower after about 15yrs, The entire antenna was severally corroded and much more than any other aluminum antenna I have and the failure was an aluminum threaded part about half way up the radiator had turned to white dust and pulled out of the mating part.

In my opinion the Hustler base antennas are not worth every penny and I think would be only usable in areas with less than 5% humidity. Mine were about 2mi from the ocean.
prcguy
Yes, salty ocean air is rough on aluminum..
 
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