ch6. Mount Washington NH, NOAA Weather Radio
call letters: KZZ-41
frequency: 162.500 MHZ
broadcast power: 300 watts
I can also get downeast too
I get as far north as Bangor and as far east as Mt Desert Island, South into York Maine as I dont monitor father south but I think I could. and west as NH. Im going to go up another 15ft this summer but I need to get away from the tree and im not cutting it so any info would be great. I can point it North East and SOuth!
There is no exact direction on those antennas. They are amazing when they work, but for every one that works great, there are three that are junk out of the box. Since they are receive only, you do not need to worry about signal concentration. From Lewiston, depending on height, you should have no problem York to Bangor / Orono and Oxford to Hancock County.
The ST2 and others like it are vertical dipoles - radiation/reception pattern is like a donut sliced horizontally through the middle with a very small hole in the centre - the antenna is in the hole as there is very little reception off the ends - the flat side of the sliced donut is the earth's surface.
I have had experience of a similar style of antenna that the new owner said was rubbish compared to his existing 1/4 wave groundplane that I made for him. A quick inspection showed that he had not understood the instruction sheet correctly and effectively shorted out the coax cable. It's a common problem - if all else fails - READ THE FLAMING INSTRUCTIONS again and understand them. If necessary - take it all apart and start again with a different mindset - don't make the same mistake again. Unfortunately a lot of instructions are written by people who know how it all works and how to put it together but can't actually put it into words. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a bad picture, well.....
I actually have an ST2 antenna and I found it to be directional based on actual testing. One must experiment. Still, my results may or may not be the same as others due to the way it is mounted.
My ST2 is up about 30 feet above the ground. The horizontal mounting bar is about six inches down from the top of the mast. I have an ADS-B vertical omni at the top which positions it behind the upper half of the ST2. The mast sits behind the ST2 for the vertical bottom element. In my testing, I found that the direction the horizontal element was pointing offers improved gain. Hmm...you know I think it may have been directional for me previously when it was the only antenna at the top of the mast, but I really didn't do any testing then to see which direction was better.
Anyways, I also started temporarily using it for receiving APRS and it actually does show directivity of received packets where the horizontal bar is aiming based on the position mapping results. This is based on four or five months of results. I'll aim it in a different direction and report what the results are. Still, I can tell you now that it is directional for me when monitoring steady signals of different power, frequency and distance and turning the mast at and away from those transmitter locations. Others results may vary, but it is incredibly easy to test so have some fun and give it a spin.
Many antennas will have lobes in some shape or another that give some sort of directional performance to them. It depends on a lot of factors, including if the antenna is side-mounted to a mast. The mast then acts as a reflector, enhancing reception in one direction and decreasing it in the other.
I had a friend who lived not far from Lake Michigan who noticed much better reception to the west when he relocated his ST-2 to the west side of the 30' tower is was mounted to, he originally had it on the east side thinking he would hear boats on the water.
Even absent a reflector the pattern of an antenna like this will not be circular. Ground planes and discones for the most part are pretty much omnidirectional in their patterns but many other designs have stretched lobes of some sort.
I have owned and sold ST2 antennas. For a time, for every good one that went on the air, there would be several that needed tweaking or were outright poor performers. They are great for scanning. They may have slight directional changes depending on how you hang it, however your not transmitting through it so radiation patterns don't matter.