Discone Antenna

shirsch101

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Looking to replace my very old discone antenna with one of the following, would appreciate comments

Tram 1411
Comet DS150
Diamond D130
Diamond D300

I scan all bands so I would like a wide band discone

Thanks
 

mmckenna

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would appreciate comments

Tram 1411
Tram, cheap Chinese antennas for cheap Chinese radios.

Comet DS150
I've never used one of those, so no opinion. As for the Comet brand antennas, not impressed with them.

Diamond D130
Diamond D300
I have a Diamond D130 with the N connector. I scored it for free. I put it up on my roof to use as a temporary VHF antenna, figuring I'd get a better antenna and replace it.
That was 10 years ago. Still up there, still has all its elements, still working just fine. Periodically I'll put it on the antenna analyzer, and it still looks like it did when it was new.
 

ko6jw_2

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The Diamond with the N connector is the way to go. They are advertised as 25-1000MHz antennas. They are not. The discone part is good from 100MHz to up into the 700-900MHz range. Except for ham radio there is nothing higher anyway. The lower frequency range is covered by the spike and loading coil on top of the antenna. Not part of the discone. Diamonds tune up at about 50Mhz for six meter use.

When you say wideband what doe you mean? In theory, discones cover about a 10:1 frequency range. They can be built for HF as well as VHF and UHF. Low band coverage or CB will be limited or non-existent no matter what is claimed.
 

minasha

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Being the discone antennas have 0 gain are they really a good choice?
 

mmckenna

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Being the discone antennas have 0 gain are they really a good choice?
It depends on what you are doing with them.

Yeah, 0 gain. The main benefit to them is that they have a very wide useable bandwidth. That's useful for scanners. For most stuff, it's fine. Remember that most public safety radio systems are designed for portable radio coverage in their jurisdiction, so high gain antennas may not be necessary for local stuff.

If you have one or two bands you mainly listen to, you'll get much better performance with band specific antennas.
 

jonwienke

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Gain only gets you 3dB or so unless you're using a yagi or LPDA. But you can lose 20dB or more using a dipole or ground plane antenna out of band. So a discone is actually better than most people think; you don't gain the 3dB, but you don't lose the 20dB, either.
 

DS506

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I considered all of those. Very happy with the Diamond 130 with UHF connector I installed earlier this year for my first dedicated scanner antenna.
 

R0am3r

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Looking to replace my very old discone antenna with one of the following, would appreciate comments

Tram 1411
Comet DS150
Diamond D130
Diamond D300

I scan all bands so I would like a wide band discone

Thanks
This isn't on your list, but consider the MP Antenna discone.
 

TailGator911

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I can also vouch for the Diamond 130J, and I have the Diamond 220r mini discone for the RV. Excellent coverage. Indestructible. Reliable. Best in the Biz.
 

R0am3r

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I have one. I don't recommend it.
Why don't you recommend the MP Antenna discone? I've got one sitting at 30 feet and it seems pretty decent on reception. The construction is solid and has survived several Upstate NY winters. What am I missing?
 

prcguy

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I put it side by side with an old Radio Shack Discone and I think the Radio Shack works a little better. The MP advertises to 6GHz but its got the same problem above about 500Mhz that all Discones of this size have, the radiation pattern starts to point upward after about 500MHz. I tested some signals in the 800 and 900Mhz band with the MP then swapped it with a small Maxrad brand Discone about 9" tall and signals came up right about 10dB with the small Discone on the same mast at the same height as the MP. 10dB is a substantial amount of gain to be lost at any frequency.

If you like the MP Discone drive over here and you can have mine for $40.

Why don't you recommend the MP Antenna discone? I've got one sitting at 30 feet and it seems pretty decent on reception. The construction is solid and has survived several Upstate NY winters. What am I missing?
 

R0am3r

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I put it side by side with an old Radio Shack Discone and I think the Radio Shack works a little better. The MP advertises to 6GHz but its got the same problem above about 500Mhz that all Discones of this size have, the radiation pattern starts to point upward after about 500MHz. I tested some signals in the 800 and 900Mhz band with the MP then swapped it with a small Maxrad brand Discone about 9" tall and signals came up right about 10dB with the small Discone on the same mast at the same height as the MP. 10dB is a substantial amount of gain to be lost at any frequency.

If you like the MP Discone drive over here and you can have mine for $40.
Interesting feedback and strangely familiar circumstances. I replaced my aging Radio Shack discone with the MP because the Shack antenna was deaf. I never played them side-by-side so there was no science to it. But I can honestly state my reception range improved significantly and I can monitor everything in my own county and all of the bordering counties in Upstate NY. With the exception of ADS-B, I seldom monitor above 470 MHz. I'm not sure what the pattern looks like at 1090 MHz, but I can track aircraft from the Canadian border to Pennsylvania. Bottom line - my experience with the MP has been all positive. To each his own, but to thine own self be true...
 
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shirsch101

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So in most opinions the Diamond D130 is the one to go with?
I currently have a discone it is very old and storm damaged but still works good. For the life of me I can not remember the make and model. It only has 4 down planes a whip and a star pattern ground plane.

Thanks for everyone's help
 

vagrant

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Yes, go with the Diamond D130 for constant outdoor use. I have a Tram and it works, but I only use it for temporary stuff when camping. Also, you noted that your old discone still works well, so your coaxial cable is probably fine.

Your old discone sounds like it is missing some of the elements if it only has four. The more elements the better, but most of the price friendly versions have eight. Have fun with your new Diamond D130.
 
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