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Which antenna to use to listen UHF aero ?

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red-dog

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Hello everyone, I would like some advice about the UHF antennas for aircraft, you think it is better to use the x-wing or a collinear antenna ?
 

ka3jjz

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The best antennas are those that are very broadbanded since the list of freqs to cover is so huge. Discones and the like are a good choice - the ScanTenna is another one (available from many places - there are numerous clones floating around). In addition, DPD Antennas have their own offerings (click on the link)

best regards..Mike
 

red-dog

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I don't know what the "x-wing" antenna is, but here is the most common UHF antenna for aviation comms in the US military:
Valcom Manufacturing Group Inc - Guelph - AS-390/SRC
Thanks Krokus for the reply, the X-WING is a cross antenna with 2 drivers (also used for SatComm) and has a lobe of radiation in the hemisphere so it should be well suited to this type of plays. (SEE PHOTO)
 

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Alliance01TX

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MilAir Monitoring

Howdy

Prior post gave several good options, and depending on your specific requirements many wide-band discones work very well along with 'cut-to-band' type antenna's. I use a AT-197 G/R type and it works fine for Milair (am) work and use a Right Hand Circluar (RHC) MilSatcom antenna for the MilSatcom (NFM) bands in the lower Mil-UHF arena....

Often I can here various MilAir ( 311.00,etc..) aircraft but can not hear the ground stations (too far away) ,although tankers and AWACS once in a while is possible...

Let us know what antenna design you pick....

Thx

Bill
 

prcguy

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The X-wing is primarily a satellite antenna but some models like the Trivec-Avant AV-2090 series has a separate vertically polarized 225-400MHz line of sight antenna built into the mast section with its own connector. The commercial/military versions are very expensive surplus and the satellite section is not much good for general aircraft reception.

The AS-390 is a good antenna and does cover the entire band but it works about the same as a good Discone and they are fairly scarce. I would sell mine if a big enough offer comes along.

For most people a Discone is probably the best choice since they are cheap. plentiful and work well, especially the AT-197.

A collinear as pictured above is only going to cover a small part of the 225-400MHz mil air band and there are not many sections in the one shown so the gain is not going to be much. But a larger version with many more elements will receive much better than any of the other antennas mentioned. They are also not a good idea for your first antenna project, especially if you don't have an antenna analyzer that covers the entire frequency range.
prcguy
 

red-dog

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Yes, I know that a collinear antenna like the one proposed by me is not the ideal solution because Em does not have enough bandwidth, however, saw the simply of construction if they can build different to cover the band concerned. Or you can build a simple ground plane using a large diameter radiator for more bandwidth.
 

CalebATC

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For most people a Discone is probably the best choice since they are cheap. plentiful and work well, especially the AT-197.

A collinear as pictured above is only going to cover a small part of the 225-400MHz mil air band and there are not many sections in the one shown so the gain is not going to be much.
+1 on the AT-197! It's a GREAT discone..... I have some saved searches on Ebay, and I haven't seen one in about four months. They are VERY scarce and you will probably not find one. They do have some ones like it though, that are newer, but they can't be found either unless your going to buy a new one.

Anyways, X-Wing is what I use for SATCOM too. SATCOM, ONLY though!

I tried a collinear- no joy. Threw that wet noodle in the shed, worked at same level or a bit below than my AT-197.
 

iMONITOR

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Hello everyone, I would like some advice about the UHF antennas for aircraft, you think it is better to use the x-wing or a collinear antenna ?
Most of the antennas these guys are telling you about are very expensive! You do not need to spend a lot of money on antennas for aircraft monitoring. In fact Radio Shack's Cat. No. 20-176, outdoor VHF-Hi/UHF antenna works great. It's only $28.99. Try it before you waste hundreds of dollars on anything else.

20-176
Outdoor VHF-Hi/UHF Scanner Antenna - RadioShack.com
 

CalebATC

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Most of the antennas these guys are telling you about are very expensive! You do not need to spend a lot of money on antennas for aircraft monitoring. In fact Radio Shack's Cat. No. 20-176, outdoor VHF-Hi/UHF antenna works great. It's only $28.99. Try it before you waste hundreds of dollars on anything else.

20-176
Outdoor VHF-Hi/UHF Scanner Antenna - RadioShack.com
PS- Add to this- ST-2 is a pretty good antenna, too, can be found at Universal-Radio.com for about $35. It was my first starter antenna! I hear the Diamond D-130 is great also!
 

abqscan

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I'm using a Diamond D-777 antenna and I'm pretty happy with it!
 

prcguy

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The 20-176 is tuned for around 155 and 460MHz, when you get to the VHF and UHF air bands the performance drops way off. A RS Discone or even a $30 Workman Discone will work much better than the RS 20-176 on VHF or UHF air.
prcguy

Most of the antennas these guys are telling you about are very expensive! You do not need to spend a lot of money on antennas for aircraft monitoring. In fact Radio Shack's Cat. No. 20-176, outdoor VHF-Hi/UHF antenna works great. It's only $28.99. Try it before you waste hundreds of dollars on anything else.

20-176
Outdoor VHF-Hi/UHF Scanner Antenna - RadioShack.com
 

kd7ckq

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red-dog,
Where did you get your formula for building the collinear antenna? I would like to try that out. I have some RG-213 laying around.
 
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