Best antenna for airband

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pokey

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I am in west Milton and have a hard time picking up PIA air frequencies. I can get some of the one way communications from the air but cannot pick up any ground or tower communications. Is there any antenna that would enable me to do so from this distance?
 

navaidstech

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Meadowvale, Ontario, Canada
I am in west Milton and have a hard time picking up PIA air frequencies. I can get some of the one way communications from the air but cannot pick up any ground or tower communications. Is there any antenna that would enable me to do so from this distance?
The radios at PIA run 20 watts (ATIS is 5) and the antenna towers are about 60 feet up. You should have no issues picking up Tower and Apron frequencies as they are on the towers themselves (apron antennas are on top of the AMU tower while the ATC Tower phased dipoles are just below the cab.)
What antennas do you use? How high are they?
 

pokey

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I am just using either the stock antenna on my 396xt or the Diamond RH77CA. I imagine I would have to go to an external antenna? If so, what would you suggest? Thank you.
 

navaidstech

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Meadowvale, Ontario, Canada
I am just using either the stock antenna on my 396xt or the Diamond RH77CA. I imagine I would have to go to an external antenna? If so, what would you suggest? Thank you.
Yeah... definitely go external.
I'm using a discone up about 30 feet and even then the reception is so so. You need height and an antenna that will be sensitive close to the ground like a collinear. You could also try a simple 3 or 4 element beam but then you'll be limited to the direction where the beam is pointing at.
Start simple and take it from there. Start with a half wave vertical whip and if that doesn't work then gound plane, discone, beam or collinear.
Look around Kijiji and ham swaps (kwarc.org) to see if anyone is willing to part with antennas.
 

mrweather

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I'm near Streetsville and using a Diamond X50A in my attic. ATIS is readable but not strong, but tower comms are fine. Height and an antenna with some gain are definitely your friends.

Unfortunately, unless you're very near to the airport a handheld scanner and stock duck antenna will be more or less useless.
 

02blackss

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Brampton, Ontario
I have a DPD Productions custom tuned 118-136 Mhz air band antenna. If you are serious and really want to pull in a good signal, get a tuned antenna. It doesn't hurt that my antenna is up 125 Feet either. I am also fairly close to the airport.....Bloor and Fieldgate area in Mississauga. Every single channel at YYZ comes in at 100% for me..

cheers,

Jason
 
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