Colorado Antenna question.

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Warbirdhunter

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Has anyone in the forum used the Radio Shack discone antenna? I stopped by abqscan's store but he was not there. Is it better or worse then the other cheap outdoor antenna that radio shack sells? I listen to the state system and EDACS. If that helps. I also live in a condo complex so it would have to fit on a balcony.
 

n5ims

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I have one and it performs OK, generally quite similar to other discones, but it's built to fall apart, not to last. Mine currently has only three of the elements remaining on it. The issue is those cheap crimp on tubing elements. A bird farts nearby and the crimp will start to fail. Get one with solid elements and you'll be much happier (and often will save money since they can be found for half what RS charges for that discone).
 

Warbirdhunter

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I have one and it performs OK, generally quite similar to other discones, but it's built to fall apart, not to last. Mine currently has only three of the elements remaining on it. The issue is those cheap crimp on tubing elements. A bird farts nearby and the crimp will start to fail. Get one with solid elements and you'll be much happier (and often will save money since they can be found for half what RS charges for that discone).


Thank you Sir for taking time to answer. I'll have to search around and see who has the best and smallest discone for my balcony.
 

lostguy

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I have had mine up for about a year and am still happy with, it has held up against some pretty strong winds. It works pretty well with DTRS, vhf hi/lo and some aircraft. Not the best in the world but not too bad either.
 

Cryptolog

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I like my Diamond wideband discone but it may be too large for your balcony.
 

jimmnn

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DTRS and EDACS no mention of anything else like VHF or UHF I'd say small directional yagi you'd get much better gain with that could easily fit on the deck. But the big question is why do you need an external antenna at all, most metro DTRS sites (at least all you need) and certainly EDACS systems can be received from your urban location with a quality rubber duckie.

Such as; Antennas

Jim<
 

Warbirdhunter

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Thanks all! Jim why I am thinking about a discone antenna is simple. So I have the ability to monitor more in Colorado. From DTRS to avation type thing. But based on the discones I have seen. There is no way I could have one on my balcony and not have my HOA pitch a fit. They already did with the one I have.
 

rfburns

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Discones are good lightning rods. Don't mount one where it is close to being the highest conductor around. Jim is right, if you only want 800 one of the quality 800 rubber duckies would be a good choice. Do you have any bars lit up when not receiving a signal? If so, adding an antenna with higher gain could actually result in a higher BER on a digital system or a lower signal to noise ratio on an analog system.
 

rfburns

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If you want to have a better acft antenna, a simple quarter wave with a ground plane under it would do well and you would still likely hear quite a few DTR sites with a lot smaller profile than a discone. Only issue might be if you were trying to hear one of the EDACS simul systems from a distance.

BTW, I've had a Diamond discone for ten or more years and the only problem I've had is one snapped off radial which is now about 2" shorter than the others. I forget how I did it, but it was my fault it broke off. Probably snagged it going up the ladder or something like that.
 
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abqscan

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Charles, sorry I wasn't working when you came by. I would stay away from a discone antenna, their not really good at picking up anything specific. The RS version is built very cheap and will start falling apart after a year. I bought a DPD productions OmniX antenna, and couldn't be happier with it.
 

Warbirdhunter

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Charles, sorry I wasn't working when you came by. I would stay away from a discone antenna, their not really good at picking up anything specific. The RS version is built very cheap and will start falling apart after a year. I bought a DPD productions OmniX antenna, and couldn't be happier with it.
No worries Erik. The people that where there praised you heavily :p. It was just a last minute thing. I will Check out that link. Thanks!!
 

blue5011

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I have had a R/S Model: 20-176 Outdoor VHF-Hi/UHF Scanner Antenna in the air for over 21 years, it is still functioning as it is supposed to. Last summer I added another newer 20-176 to my setup. I use both for monitoring VHF, UHF, and the Minnesota ARMER (800mhz) system. Couldn't be more pleased. My Uniden BCD996XT is on one and my Icom PCR2500 is on the other. The BCD996XT easily receives the 800mhz from tower sites 30-40 miles away (MN is rolling to flat terrain). At $29.99, the antenna is a steal, in my book. I can also used them for 2m/440 ham band transmit, if needed.
 

kc0kp

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Thanks all! Jim why I am thinking about a discone antenna is simple. So I have the ability to monitor more in Colorado. From DTRS to avation type thing. But based on the discones I have seen. There is no way I could have one on my balcony and not have my HOA pitch a fit. They already did with the one I have.
There is a blanket FCC preemption to HOA rules for satellite TV and through the air broadcast TV. Tell them you listen to satellites with it or Channel 9 .
RFburns is right, these antennas are a menace with static electricity. It is not just lightning either. Dry wind going around the elements will generate enough static electricity to easily damage a radio.
If you do use a discone, put a 100K resistor across the coax connection at the antenna to drain off electricity to ground. It will hurt sensitivity slightly but it will keep the voltage down to protect your radio. It will not protect you from a nearby lightning strike but not much will.
I used the Diamond for several years. It hears all frequencies equally poorly but better than not having an antenna at all. It has negative gain compared to any quarter wave vertical. A good multiband ground plane will be a lot better.
 

Warbirdhunter

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I have had a R/S Model: 20-176 Outdoor VHF-Hi/UHF Scanner Antenna in the air for over 21 years, it is still functioning as it is supposed to. Last summer I added another newer 20-176 to my setup. I use both for monitoring VHF, UHF, and the Minnesota ARMER (800mhz) system. Couldn't be more pleased. My Uniden BCD996XT is on one and my Icom PCR2500 is on the other. The BCD996XT easily receives the 800mhz from tower sites 30-40 miles away (MN is rolling to flat terrain). At $29.99, the antenna is a steal, in my book. I can also used them for 2m/440 ham band transmit, if needed.
That is the antenna I am using now. I think it works great. I just thought I would ask people here if the discone would work better. I agree for the low price it works great!

There is a blanket FCC preemption to HOA rules for satellite TV and through the air broadcast TV. Tell them you listen to satellites with it or Channel 9 .
RFburns is right, these antennas are a menace with static electricity. It is not just lightning either. Dry wind going around the elements will generate enough static electricity to easily damage a radio.
If you do use a discone, put a 100K resistor across the coax connection at the antenna to drain off electricity to ground. It will hurt sensitivity slightly but it will keep the voltage down to protect your radio. It will not protect you from a nearby lightning strike but not much will.
I used the Diamond for several years. It hears all frequencies equally poorly but better than not having an antenna at all. It has negative gain compared to any quarter wave vertical. A good multiband ground plane will be a lot better.
Yeah I've been though that fight. It's called the OTARD rule. I nicely sent that into my HOA. I have not heard anything back. So either they agree they have no standing. Or they are reloading :wink:.

I got an idea from another member here yesterday. I brought my antenna inside and hung it upside down in my bed room due to the 6' coax I have. So far works well. I just need a longer coax. So I should be going to Erik's Radio shack again soon. Thanks all!!
 

rfburns

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I just need a longer coax. So I should be going to Erik's Radio shack again soon.
I would stay away from RS coax especially at 800 mHz. Maybe you could get away with a very short length, but I'd go to HRO for better quality coax.
 

Warbirdhunter

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I would stay away from RS coax especially at 800 mHz. Maybe you could get away with a very short length, but I'd go to HRO for better quality coax.
They are much closer. Do they have the connectors needed to take the male N connector to the female BNC to the scanner?
 

04Z1V6

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Yes, I was in on Friday and got one from them and a few other things. Give them a call 303.745.7373.
 
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lazierfan

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Great. Thank you Sir!
If they are low or no stock, try:

BUY.com direct ship to my home no tax no PayPal fees:



N - to - BNC Female $7.24
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Yagi 301111 antenna $48.54
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Thirty miles away from the transmitter- 5 full bars of reception on my GRE-600.
The antenna is directional but for the 700-900 mHz area, cannot be beat. It's grounded through the coax port in my UPS. I rely on this antenna for my feed.
 
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