RadioReference on Facebook   RadioReference on Twitter   RadioReference Blog
 

Go Back   The RadioReference.com Forums > Scanners, Receivers and Related Equipment Forums > Antennas and Associated Hardware > Scanner / Receiver Antennas


Scanner / Receiver Antennas - For discussion of any type of receiving antenna used by a scanner or receiver base, mobile or handheld.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2018, 2:13 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 126
Question 2 model discone scanner antenna advice/suggestions

Does anybody here know anything about the Comet DS-150S Discone Base Antenna? Is this a good scanner antenna for my receiving on my Uniden BCD536HP in my frequency scanning ranges of:

150-174 Mhz, 450-470 Mhz, 806-1300 Mhz

I am really quite fed up with most of the other brands of discone antennas out there that all look & are built very similar to this and that I've more than likely already bought & tried out over the last 10 years. I still have yet to find & purchase a good discone antenna that receives scanner frequencies clearly on my public safety scanner without the annoying distortion on my analog frequencies. The Comet DS-150S Discone Base Antenna I have not bought or tried yet for my public safety scanner receiving & was wondering what others here who have or do currently use it have to say about its receiving performance & clarity? I just found out about today by browsing the web for other scanner antennas.
The other discone antenna that I am also considering buying & am also wondering about as well is the Harvest D130N 25-1300 Mhz Discone Wide Band Base antenna which costs less than the Comet DS-150S & runs from $59.00 to $70.00 without included coax cable.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2018, 2:43 AM
mmckenna's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: WTVLCA01DS0
Posts: 7,925
Default

I don't know about the Comet, never used one. I tend to avoid the "amateur/hobby" brand stuff.

What I do have is a Diamond D130NJ that I scored for free. I didn't really need it, but I put it into use at home connected to a Motorola VHF CDM750 for personal and work stuff. For a "free" antenna it's worked well. I pulled down my old antenna and gave it to a friend that needed one. I figured the Diamond would work "well enough" for a year or so until I could find something better.
That was 7 or 8 years ago.
It's lasted just fine.
https://www.theantennafarm.com/catal...c005f8645feefd

At work I have a better antenna, a Telewave ANT280. This is a high end discone, ran about $1400. I've got it mounted at one of my high sites. It serves a couple of purposes (as needed). It's primarily used with a remote receiver that's connected to the network and allows me to monitor my various systems remotely. In a pinch, I can use it as a backup antenna for the VHF or 800MHz repeaters I have at the site.
This antenna has been up there about 6 years with no issues. It's way overkill for hobbyists. It's heavy, big, and expensive.

So, based on your experience, I'd suggest that unless you are seeing physical failures of your antennas, you might be expecting too much of them.
Discones have zero gain. Their benefit is that they are extremely wide band, which is good for scanner listeners. The lack of gain can be an issue, though. Especially if you are running the wrong type of coax. The low gain doesn't do much to help get a strong signal to your radio. Add in really long/too small coax and you just compound the problem.

The solution is one or more of the following:
1. Go to a different antenna design, specifically one with gain. That can be hard to find on VHF, UHF -and- 800MHz. You might need more than one antenna combined.
2. Go with higher grade coax cable. Especially at the higher frequencies. Coax losses can be high.
3. Reduce your coax length. Longer coax adds more loss. That means less signal gets to your receiver.
4. Preamplifier, preferably near the antenna.

Also, don't rule out faulty coax. Old, weathered or damaged coax can be a big issue. Improperly installed connectors, lack of weatherproofing, etc. will always cause issues.

So, before you spend more money on antennas, make sure the cable is up to snuff.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2018, 2:59 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Posts: 359
Default

A true discone design receives equally poor over a wide frequency range.
The only ones that work decent have a vertical radiator that will be resonant at one or two bands
A simple ground plane or dipole will easily out perform a discone on any one band.
PAR still has the MON-3 scanner antenna listed on their web page
and it is actually built to be resonant at the three specific bands most scanner listeners need so it would be MY choice for manufactured
antennas.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2018, 3:06 PM
jonwienke's Avatar
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4,957
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOTEX View Post
A true discone design receives equally poor over a wide frequency range.
The only ones that work decent have a vertical radiator that will be resonant at one or two bands.
No. The vertical radiator is resonant at a lower frequency range than discone itself, to extend the usable range of the antenna.
__________________
Uniden scanner internal GPS installations--making mobile scanning work the way it always should have.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2018, 5:07 PM
majoco's Avatar
Member
  Shack Photos
Shack photos
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2,533
Default

Quote:
The only ones that work decent have a vertical radiator that will be resonant at one or two bands
The major advantage of a good discone is that they are not resonant on any band. Also they end to have a vertical polar diagram that favours the horizontal rather than the vertical.
__________________
Cheers - Martin ZL2MC - Palmerston North
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2018, 5:15 PM
prcguy's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,230
Default

A Discone has about the same gain as a 1/4 ground plane, which is not any better or worse than most other band specific scanner antennas. The only problem a Discone has is about half way through its inherent 8:1 frequency range, the pattern shifts upward so 800MHz reception is not that great at the horizon.

A Discone is a great antenna and will do things no other scanner antenna can, like give consistent 1/4 wave ground plane performance over the entire VHF air band, the entire 2m amateur band, the entire VHF public service band, 220 amateur and commercial, the entire 225-400MHz mil band, 400-420MHz Govt band, 440 amateur band and at least the 450-470 commercial/public service band and probably the entire 470-512Mhz T band.

Depending on the brand and model most scanner Discones will start to have the upward pattern shift somewhere in the upper 400Mhz range or maybe a little higher. If you want the best of everything and need 800MHz get a Discone to cover VHF through UHF and a separate high gain 800 antenna then combine them with a diplexer.

I suspect a Discone would work at least as good if not better than a PAR MON3 except maybe on 800MHz.
prcguy

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOTEX View Post
A true discone design receives equally poor over a wide frequency range.
The only ones that work decent have a vertical radiator that will be resonant at one or two bands
A simple ground plane or dipole will easily out perform a discone on any one band.
PAR still has the MON-3 scanner antenna listed on their web page
and it is actually built to be resonant at the three specific bands most scanner listeners need so it would be MY choice for manufactured
antennas.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2018, 5:31 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Somwhere in South Pacific
Posts: 320
Default

Why it have to be Discone ? here is another option, well made in US antennas.
DPD Productions - Base & Mobile Antennas for Radio Scanners: VHF, UHF, NOAA, Low-Band, 700 MHz, Police, Fire, Public Safety
I am using Omni-X and extremely happy with build and performance another option would be one of the LP Base antennas. Check it out
Attached Images
 

Last edited by questnz; 01-06-2018 at 5:40 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2018, 6:04 PM
prcguy's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,230
Default

The Omni-X will not have a consistent gain and pattern across a wide band of frequencies like a Discone. It will peak on some bands and others will be worse performance.

Maybe the DPD guy can chime in, but the Omni-X appears to be a fat dipole, probably in the 225-400 range with a thinner dipole for VHF air and one for 2m amateur, all sharing a common feedpoint.
prcguy

Quote:
Originally Posted by questnz View Post
Why it have to be Discone ? here is another option, well made in US antennas.
DPD Productions - Base & Mobile Antennas for Radio Scanners: VHF, UHF, NOAA, Low-Band, 700 MHz, Police, Fire, Public Safety
I am using Omni-X and extremely happy with build and performance another option would be one of the LP Base antennas. Check it out

Last edited by prcguy; 01-06-2018 at 6:08 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2018, 8:55 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 126
Default

Thanks to everybody here so far who has commented on my post regarding choosing a scanner antenna.

I am going to check out & look into the PAR MON-3 scanner antenna but I have to email the company first for a quote. A couple of other choices that I am considering are the Tram 1487 VHF Land Mobile Base Antenna & finally, a kind of build my own antenna type deal by where I would purchase a Nagoya GPK-01 or similar ground plane kit & then either the MP Antenna 08-ANT-0860 or the lower cost MP Antenna 08-ANT-0865 that I would simply attach & screw onto the NMO on the ground plane kit which will then be on an outdoor antenna mast about 35 to 40 feet high with approximately 35 to 50 feet of RG8X coax cable from the antenna to my digital scanner.

I am thinking that I need to get & stay away from the Discone Scanner Antennas & choose differently as for I have had very little luck or signal improvements with any of the many previously owned brands of look alike Discone Antennas that are on the market/web such as the previously mentioned Comet DS-150S & the other originally mentioned Harvest D130N Discone Antenna.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2018, 6:07 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 1,020
Default

It doesn't matter what discone you try, they all perform equally. The difference is the mechanical build, if they will last for years or not and if elements vibrate loose in the wind or breaks when a bird sits on them.

As you seem to have poor signal strenght at your place, bad quality on analog signals, a discone or 1/4 GP are not suitable. As you want to receive 150-175 and 450-470 I would try a dual band amatuer radio antenna made for 145 and 440MHz with some gain. A diamond X300 has 6dB and 9dB gain respectivly on those frequencies and probably some gain left in your frequency ranges. The size of the antenna will pick up a lot of RF and perhaps even the 800MHz frequencies will come in better than a discone. You could get a seperate 800MHz antenna connected with a diplexer or could first try the antennas in parallell to test.

Low RF signal levels are ideal for use with an amplifier, especially on 800Mhz. Those must always be used with a variable attenuator and perhaps also a FM trap filter.

/Ubbe
__________________
TRX-2 BCD536 HP1 BCT15 BC246 BC346 BR330 UBC3500 Pro2006 Pro2042 Optocom OS545 Scout PCR1000 ICR2500 IC75 DX394 AR8200 IC-R2 IC-R10 UBC780 MD380 CS580 CS750 Pro96 Perseus ADCR25 AcecoSC1plus RTL-SDR
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2018, 1:08 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 126
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubbe View Post
It doesn't matter what discone you try, they all perform equally. The difference is the mechanical build, if they will last for years or not and if elements vibrate loose in the wind or breaks when a bird sits on them.

As you seem to have poor signal strenght at your place, bad quality on analog signals, a discone or 1/4 GP are not suitable. As you want to receive 150-175 and 450-470 I would try a dual band amatuer radio antenna made for 145 and 440MHz with some gain. A diamond X300 has 6dB and 9dB gain respectivly on those frequencies and probably some gain left in your frequency ranges. The size of the antenna will pick up a lot of RF and perhaps even the 800MHz frequencies will come in better than a discone. You could get a seperate 800MHz antenna connected with a diplexer or could first try the antennas in parallell to test.

Low RF signal levels are ideal for use with an amplifier, especially on 800Mhz. Those must always be used with a variable attenuator and perhaps also a FM trap filter.

/Ubbe
Thanks Ubbe for that extra added advice. I appreciate it.

I will now too consider the Diamond X300 Dual Band Antenna. I looks similar to the Tram 1487 antenna however I see that the Diamond X300 is Factory adjusted with (no tuning required). I see that I can get it with either a (UHF) Connector or a (N) Connector. Which do you recommend for the connector for better clarity & receiving performance quality? Note: I will only be receiving & not transmitting on this or any chosen scanner antenna.
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2018, 1:19 PM
mule1075's Avatar
Member
  Audio Feed Provider
Audio Feed Provider
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington Pa
Posts: 1,688
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorwinScansNM View Post
Thanks Ubbe for that extra added advice. I appreciate it.

I will now too consider the Diamond X300 Dual Band Antenna. I looks similar to the Tram 1487 antenna however I see that the Diamond X300 is Factory adjusted with (no tuning required). I see that I can get it with either a (UHF) Connector or a (N) Connector. Which do you recommend for the connector for better clarity & receiving performance quality? Note: I will only be receiving & not transmitting on this or any chosen scanner antenna.
Might want to look into the diamond x50c2 also commercial version of the x50a
__________________
Uniden BCD536HP/436HP/796D/250D Motorola HT1000/GM360
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2018, 1:54 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 126
Default

OK, so the Diamond X300 Dualband Base/Repeater Antenna will for sure pick up my programmed frequencies in the ranges of 150-174 Mhz, 450-470 Mhz & trunked frequencies in the 800-1300 Mhz range? I am not looking to purchase a antenna for Ham Radio use or Amateur Radio use at all in any way but instead for public safety monitoring/receiving in my specified frequency ranges.
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2018, 2:07 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 1,020
Default

Yes, there's the x50 with half the heigh and half the signal but migh be sufficient. I have heard great comments from users of amateur antennas used out of band for scanner use. Not sure about that 800MHz performance though.

I hope people with experiance of dual band antennas can comment on that. I only use directional antennas with amplifiers as most stuff I listen to comes from one general direction obscured from hills.

/Ubbe
__________________
TRX-2 BCD536 HP1 BCT15 BC246 BC346 BR330 UBC3500 Pro2006 Pro2042 Optocom OS545 Scout PCR1000 ICR2500 IC75 DX394 AR8200 IC-R2 IC-R10 UBC780 MD380 CS580 CS750 Pro96 Perseus ADCR25 AcecoSC1plus RTL-SDR
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2018, 2:51 PM
mmckenna's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: WTVLCA01DS0
Posts: 7,925
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorwinScansNM View Post
Thanks Ubbe for that extra added advice. I appreciate it.

I will now too consider the Diamond X300 Dual Band Antenna. I looks similar to the Tram 1487 antenna however I see that the Diamond X300 is Factory adjusted with (no tuning required). I see that I can get it with either a (UHF) Connector or a (N) Connector. Which do you recommend for the connector for better clarity & receiving performance quality? Note: I will only be receiving & not transmitting on this or any chosen scanner antenna.
For receiving, you don't need to be concerned with tuning or adjustment, so don't let that be a selling point.

As for the UHF or N connector, go with the N connector if you can. They are better at higher frequencies and are designed to be waterproof, although you still need to properly weatherproof the outside after installation.

UHF connector will work just fine. Shouldn't be your first choice, though.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2018, 5:17 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 126
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmckenna View Post
As for the UHF or N connector, go with the N connector if you can. They are better at higher frequencies and are designed to be waterproof, although you still need to properly weatherproof the outside after installation.

UHF connector will work just fine. Shouldn't be your first choice, though.
Thanks. N Connector it will be on my antenna once I choose from my now 4 to 5 options/choices of outdoor antennas if the antenna I finally choose to buy has the option of a N Connector instead of a UHF.
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2018, 5:38 PM
prcguy's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,230
Default

Unless the X300 is offered in a commercial version its performance there will be down compared to the amateur bands its designed for but it should still work better than a Discone on commercial freqs. An X300 is not rated in any way for 800 reception and it could work worse there than a Discone. You won't know until you try it and if it doesn't work its too late.
prcguy


Quote:
Originally Posted by CorwinScansNM View Post
OK, so the Diamond X300 Dualband Base/Repeater Antenna will for sure pick up my programmed frequencies in the ranges of 150-174 Mhz, 450-470 Mhz & trunked frequencies in the 800-1300 Mhz range? I am not looking to purchase a antenna for Ham Radio use or Amateur Radio use at all in any way but instead for public safety monitoring/receiving in my specified frequency ranges.
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2018, 5:56 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 126
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
Unless the X300 is offered in a commercial version its performance there will be down compared to the amateur bands its designed for but it should still work better than a Discone on commercial freqs. An X300 is not rated in any way for 800 reception and it could work worse there than a Discone. You won't know until you try it and if it doesn't work its too late.
prcguy
Not sure if it is a commercial version or not but pricey it is for sure. This is the version of it that I am considering.

Diamond X300NA Dual Band VHF/UHF 2 Meter/70cm Amateur Ham Radio Antenna

How do I know or tell if a Diamond Antenna is is commercial? It looks to me like on the Diamond Website that the Diamond BC103 & the Diamond X50C2 are the only 2 that are rated or made for commercial frequency receiving. mule1075 had mentioned the X50C2 in an earlier post here as a consideration.
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2018, 6:31 PM
mmckenna's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: WTVLCA01DS0
Posts: 7,925
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorwinScansNM View Post
How do I know or tell if a Diamond Antenna is is commercial?.
That is an amateur antenna, as it says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorwinScansNM View Post
2 Meter/70cm Amateur Ham Radio Antenna


Quote:
Originally Posted by CorwinScansNM View Post
Not sure if it is a commercial version or not but pricey it is for sure.
A good name brand commercial antenna can run from the thousand to several thousand dollar range easily. $140 is not expensive in the commercial world. For an amateur antenna, yes.

Should work well for VHF/UHF listening. Will be interesting to hear your experience with it on 800MHz.
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2018, 12:52 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 126
Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOTEX View Post
PAR still has the MON-3 scanner antenna listed on their web page
and it is actually built to be resonant at the three specific bands most scanner listeners need so it would be MY choice for manufactured
antennas.
Contacted Par Electronics to see about this unique never seen or tried before PAR MON-3 Scanner Antenna. I finally heard back from them with a reply shown below.

We sold the design to LNRPrecision.com in 2011
You might contact them and see if they are in production.

Regards,
Dale Parfitt BSEE/MSEE
PAR Electronics, Inc.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All information here is Copyright 2012 by RadioReference.com LLC and Lindsay C. Blanton III.Ad Management by RedTyger
Copyright 2015 by RadioReference.com LLC Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions