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3dB gain vs. 6dB gain antenna

Greg43545

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May 3, 2009
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216
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NW Ohio
Got some opinions on this on another site and would like to see what the members here recommend?

I just received my MXT400VP3 Micromobile Bundle with a MXTA25 3dB Gain Antenna and plan on using it as a base unit, mounting the antenna approximately 25 feet up on a Tri-pole TV antenna tower.

I know there is an MXTA11, and an MXTA26 6dB Gain Antenna available for use with the MXT400.

Is there that much difference Performance wise, that it would be advantageous for me to upgrade my antenna from the 3dB gain to the 6dB gain antenna? By performance I'm speaking of increased range and clarity of signal.

If so, which would be the best to choose? The MXTA11, or the MXTA26 ?
 

pb_lonny

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In theory it would improve both TX and RX. Practically, it depends on your needs.

Do you need to hear fringe stations better?
 

Greg43545

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Do you need to hear fringe stations better?

I live in a rural area, most surrounding terrain is farmland fields with some woods interspersed for miles around, line of sight will be much better than say what the urban or suburban terrain would be.

I would like the capability of being able to contact my handheld mobile(s) locally, AND being able to use a repeater 13 miles away to contact other base and mobile radios " near the edges of that coverage " IF necessary.

With that being said, in your opinion, would the 6dB gain antenna be advantageous to what I'm proposing the radio to perform?

If so, which would be the best to choose? The MXTA11, or the MXTA26 ?
 

mmckenna

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Looking at those Midland antennas, there is NO way in Hades that antenna gives 3dB of gain, unless they are comparing it to no antenna at all. Those short 'low profile' antenna give about the same gain as a 1/4 wave at best.

For a base installation, you'll do better with an actual base antenna. You can use mobile antenna, but you'd need to provide a ground plane under it. You can do that with an NMO Base Adapter that will include some ground radials on the mount. But you'll get longer lifespan and better performance out of a dedicated base antenna.

Antenna gain can be a double edged sword. More gain isn't always better in every application. Since you show as being in Ohio, I'm guessing things are relatively flat. Higher gain antennas can work well in those locations.
The antenna achieves the gain by focusing more of the radiated energy out towards the horizon. Lower gain antennas won't do this as well. In your application, the higher gain antenna would put more signal out towards the horizon and give you some better coverage. As long as there are no hills/mountains in the way between you and the repeater, 13 miles shouldn't be an issue.
 

Ubbe

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Sep 8, 2006
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Stockholm, Sweden
The MXTA25 are low profile antenna if you do not have the space to fit a standard antenna. The MXTA26 are a 5/8 antenna and you can see that it needs to be 32 inch tall to perform as one. They usually have a 2dB gain over a standard 1/4 wave antenna. The MXTA25 are a compact antenna that in no way can contain a fully working 5/8 wave antenna, it's a compromise to make it small, and if that 3dB difference between antennas could be trusted, then it attenuates 1dB compared to a 1/4 wave antenna, that looks to be reasonable.

/Ubbe
 

mmckenna

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The MXTA26 are a 5/8 antenna and you can see that it needs to be 32 inch tall to perform as one.
The MXTA26 appears to be a 5/8 over 5/8 colinear design. A simple 5/8th's wave would be about 14 inches tall.

After seeing a few people use these Midland antennas, I'm not impressed. Rebadged Chinese junk. Confusing spec's and claims intended to mislead those that don't understand radio.
 

Greg43545

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May 3, 2009
Messages
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Location
NW Ohio
Looking at those Midland antennas, there is NO way in Hades that antenna gives 3dB of gain, unless they are comparing it to no antenna at all. Those short 'low profile' antenna give about the same gain as a 1/4 wave at best.

For a base installation, you'll do better with an actual base antenna.
Do you have a recommendation for an actual base antenna?
 

ka3jjz

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Jul 22, 2002
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Another thing to consider here is that the gain figures don't have a reference point. For example, a notation mentioning dbi (db gain over isotropic) is more meaningful than just a db statement. You can't really tell much with those 3db vs. 6db statements. Mike
 
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