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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 03-27-2017, 1:28 PM
   
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Default SCALA Antenna

What is a SCALA antenna? How would one differ from any other omnidirectional antenna?
What are the normal application they are used for?

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Old 03-27-2017, 3:44 PM
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SCALA is an antenna manufacturer and they make many types of high quality antennas. Which one are you referring too?
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Old 03-29-2017, 1:22 AM
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I'm guessing that you mean a "SCADA" antenna -- it's simply any sort of antenna that's used for SCADA -- Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition, basically remote control or telemetry type stuff.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCADA

Scala *was* an antenna company, but they merged & then got absorbed years ago into what's now this:
Home - Kathrein USA

One cool thing I remember about Scala from back in the day -- they made the primary VHF omnidirectional base antenna for the FBI. It was a design that tended to blatantly stand-out due to several loading coils, *and* it just wasn't popular with any other government or commercial users, so *if* you knew about this, it made it pretty easy to spot unmarked FBI offices back in the 1980s & 1990s until these antennas were replaced by more common-looking models.
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Old 03-29-2017, 8:55 AM
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Were the FBI antennas stacked coaxial collinear types? I could not find a picture but I think I've seen them in the past. Were they basically gold colored versions of these Kreco collinears? Kreco Antennas - Stacked Co-Axial Antennas
prcguy

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Originally Posted by Hooligan View Post
I'm guessing that you mean a "SCADA" antenna -- it's simply any sort of antenna that's used for SCADA -- Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition, basically remote control or telemetry type stuff.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCADA

Scala *was* an antenna company, but they merged & then got absorbed years ago into what's now this:
Home - Kathrein USA

One cool thing I remember about Scala from back in the day -- they made the primary VHF omnidirectional base antenna for the FBI. It was a design that tended to blatantly stand-out due to several loading coils, *and* it just wasn't popular with any other government or commercial users, so *if* you knew about this, it made it pretty easy to spot unmarked FBI offices back in the 1980s & 1990s until these antennas were replaced by more common-looking models.
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Old 03-29-2017, 9:05 AM
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The only time I have ever seen a Scala or Kreco multi bay coaxial antenna in real life was a railroad yard in the late 1970's.
I have never seen one on any federal building where there was a FBI office. I don't know where Hooligan came up with that but it wasn't true for the whole country.
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Last edited by nd5y; 03-29-2017 at 9:13 AM..
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Old 03-29-2017, 10:11 AM
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I have several of the Kreco stacked coaxial collinear antennas, one on 2m amateur, one for 220 amateur, one I cut down for UHF amateur, and two new in the box cut for the 160MHz range. Those would make the ultimate railroad base antenna but I don't do much RR monitoring.

In my travels, a Kreco antenna of any kind is rare on the west coast but fairly common on the east coast, especially in PA, MA, NY, NJ, etc.
prcguy

Edit: I just remembered I also have two Kreco VHF coaxial dipoles on 2m, one of their ground planes on 2m, a brass and an aluminum UHF ground plane, three of their 100-800MHz Discones and misc parts from other Kreco antennas. You might say I'm a Kreco fan. My only Scala antennas are a 450-470MHz Yagi and a big log periodic for the FM broadcast band.

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The only time I have ever seen a Scala or Kreco multi bay coaxial antenna in real life was a railroad yard in the late 1970's.
I have never seen one on any federal building where there was a FBI office. I don't know where Hooligan came up with that but it wasn't true for the whole country.

Last edited by prcguy; 03-29-2017 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 03-31-2017, 4:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
Were the FBI antennas stacked coaxial collinear types? I could not find a picture but I think I've seen them in the past. Were they basically gold colored versions of these Kreco collinears? Kreco Antennas - Stacked Co-Axial Antennas
prcguy
Yes, though I don't recall any specific color to them.
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Old 03-31-2017, 6:46 PM
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Yup, that's one of them and I bet it cost a bundle. They are usually bright gold color when new.
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Yes, though I don't recall any specific color to them.
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Old 03-31-2017, 9:15 PM
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Remember well. Roof top Scala antenna started out gold in color, with age, weathered to copper color. Chicago division unmarked FBI (RA) offices back in the 1980s & 1990s having the "bologna style" antenna also had certain vehicles located in the office parking lot that had a black Cellular Look-Alike Sti-co Trunk Lip Mount, Superband, VHF Antenna. Both, dead giveaways. The Division "Cave" location did not have the easily identifiable Scala roof antenna, used RT wire circuit. Never saw a Scala antenna other than at certain FBI sites.
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Old 03-31-2017, 9:21 PM
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I've seen a few Scala VHF base antennas like this on one of our local mountain top repeater sites in So Cal but they are not at the building that houses the FBI repeaters.
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Remember well. Roof top Scala antenna started out gold in color, with age, weathered to copper color. Chicago division unmarked FBI (RA) offices back in the 1980s & 1990s having the "bologna style" antenna also had certain vehicles located in the office parking lot that had a black Cellular Look-Alike Sti-co Trunk Lip Mount, Superband, VHF Antenna. Both, dead giveaways. The Division "Cave" location did not have the easily identifiable Scala roof antenna, used RT wire circuit. Never saw a Scala antenna other than at certain FBI sites.
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Old 03-31-2017, 9:37 PM
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In Chicago, in past years, most federal stations located at high density sites were connected to a combiner/multicoupler system controlled by M or a RF site management company. Didn't have a dedicated antenna.

Highest AGL Scala antenna I saw in the Chicago land area was 30'.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:54 PM
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Highest AGL Scala antenna I saw in the Chicago land area was 30'.
Yeah, I should have been a little more specific -- the Scala antennas I saw that were related to FBI were at various resident agencies, the secret "off-site squad" offices, & radio repair shops -- used as base station antennas, but not repeater antennas, which I presume to have been Stationmasters.
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Old 04-03-2017, 4:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
I've seen a few Scala VHF base antennas like this on one of our local mountain top repeater sites in So Cal but they are not at the building that houses the FBI repeaters.
prcguy
They had SCALA VHF antennas on the LA and west LA Federal buildings, but they may have been 'replaced' by something different. Also had them on hospital HEAR systems.

Excellent antennas. They do not make them like that anymore, sad...
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Old 06-02-2017, 6:59 PM
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Default FBI SCALA

As a technician in public safety radios for almost 40 years, I have seen numerous FBI sites on mountaintop locations with the dead giveaway Scala. You won't see them on your per say local field office, but rather a stationmaster type stick. The Scala was used more years back, now with the new combiners they have migrated to high end sticks in most of the newer construction. Keep in mind the Feds buy the best, we're paying for it. Scala was always a high end $$, probably one of the most expensive available. I have also seen the USCG with them at several sites, Cadillac Mt in Maine for one. That site was installed for communications with both FBI and the DEA in a joint drug effort in trafficking. The single antenna could handle several repeaters and or simple stations at the same time, and were very wideband. Todays technology has pretty much made them go away in most applications, but still a top of the line antenna if you can ever get your hands on an older version.
I was lucky enough to get one the feds left behind laying in the brush when the site was moved to another location. Didn't take long to get the bungie cords tied up!
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