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Desktop Discone Antenna

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dlbrock

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Russiaville, IN
In the never ending pursuit of being able to pickup more communications I am currently looking at the following desktop discone antennas.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sky-Scan-Double-Discone-Desktop-Scanner-Antenna_W0QQitemZ160018437636QQihZ006QQcategoryZ40979QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Another option:

http://www.radiobooks.com/products/sedd.htm

Does anyone have an opinion on what to expect from these? Would it be better than the Radio Shack Full Range whip antenna? I have a BC296D scanner.

Thanks in advance for your replies!

Doug
 

ka3jjz

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Bowie, Md.
Personally I wouldn't put all that much stock in either discone. Indoor antennas are always something of a compromise, as they're subject to attenuation due to metal siding, wiring, flashing, ect. At least the radiobooks site is explicit about it not working like an outdoor antenna, and to me, that's a plus. In fact that first link looks a little like a NilJon ripoff - not very surprising, actually.

Now if you could put those kinds of antennas outside on a balcony - now that might be worth something. Diamond antennas now sells a mini discone as well - it's sold by Universal Radio, and supposedly it was reviewed in CQ Magazine. In addition, our Wiki has the plans for an offset fed dipole which is only about 5 or 6 foot in height (it's a homebrew version of a Grove antenna). It's made out of copper tubing (from what I remember of the discussion, the wider diameter the tubing, the more broadbanded it becomes). For a stealth application on a balcony, that might well be ideal. 73s Mike
 

dlbrock

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Russiaville, IN
Thanks for the info. After looking around I think I am going to add the Seeker 800 to my collection. I have the Diamond RH77CA and wasn't all that impressed. I use the Radio Shack full band whip antenna now and while it's the best I have tried it's too big and bulky. I have read good things about the Seeker 800. My main listening frequencies are between 866 and 868 mhz.

If anyone has had a bad experience with the Seeker 800, please let me know.

Thanks,

Doug
 

kb2vxa

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
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Hi Doug and all,

Getting straight to the point;

"Does anyone have an opinion on what to expect from these?"

Not much.

"Would it be better than the Radio Shack Full Range whip antenna?"

No.

"I have a BC296D scanner."

Irrelevant, we're talking antennas.

As for the rest of the discussion I refer you to the countless threads and opinions on antennas. There is no point in going over it again when there is so much written, so much to read. I will say one thing however, they're not discones. They're discone/groundplane hybrids and with small size you don't get the best of both worlds, you get a poor compromise of each. (Diamond makes an excellent full size hybrid well known for it's rugged durability.) That "double discone" bit is marketing psychology better known as snake oil. The idea they try to convey is "If a discone is good a double discone is twice as good." but it's just a trick of the tale, there just ain't no such animal.
 

Halfpint

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Slightly NE of the People's Republic of Firestone
dlbrock said:
In the never ending pursuit of being able to pickup more communications I am currently looking at the following desktop discone antennas.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sky-Scan-Double-Discone-Desktop-Scanner-Antenna_W0QQitemZ160018437636QQihZ006QQcategoryZ40979QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Another option:

http://www.radiobooks.com/products/sedd.htm

Does anyone have an opinion on what to expect from these? Would it be better than the Radio Shack Full Range whip antenna? I have a BC296D scanner.

Thanks in advance for your replies!
Quite frankly I tend to agree with ka3jjz! Neither one of those two seem to be anything more than just `comealongs'. The so-called `Double Discone' isn't really even actually a discone but rather appears to just be a plain old dipole dressed up to look like a discone. And the [SIZE=-1]Scanmaster Desktop Discone is such a hodge-podge of miscellaneous bits-n-pieces it was probably put together out of someone's junkbox and after it was done, when someone said, "Gee that looks neat.", they decided to see just how many suckers they could sell it to. As much as I happen to like, and use discones, *I* wouldn't give a plug nickle for either of those two miscarriages / nightmares. You could probably build something better yourself.

Just an `Olde Fart's' 2¢ worth.

[/SIZE]
 
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