Help me pick a 2 meter base antenna

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rob_2012

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I am really new to all this, but I am thinking of putting together a small low power base radio (75watts) in my house, but since I want in for emergency use I am going with a mobile unit with battery power. My question is the antenna selection and cable (70' run). On the antenna alone I am limited to $80 can anyone suggest a good antenna for this setup?
 

gewecke

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I am really new to all this, but I am thinking of putting together a small low power base radio (75watts) in my house, but since I want in for emergency use I am going with a mobile unit with battery power. My question is the antenna selection and cable (70' run). On the antenna alone I am limited to $80 can anyone suggest a good antenna for this setup?
That's a pretty meager budget to work with, there's 2 meter only antennas that are less than $100 but your coaxial cable alone will be $40-50 so maybe more saving is needed here.

73,
n9zas
 

rob_2012

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actually I am trying to keep the antenna purchase to under $100 I know the cable will cost another $50 or so depending on cable type. But right now I would like to order just the antenna.
 

LtDoc

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Almost any antenna will 'work' if it's made for 2 meters. A 1/4 wave ground plane has a negative gain factor. A 'J'-pole antenna has a unity gain factor. That's because gain is figured by comparing to a 1/2 wave antenna. That 1/4 wave is shorter than 1/2 wave so has a negative gain, the 'J'-pole IS a 1/2 wave antenna. Either will work.
I also like 'Comet' brand antennas and happen to have one of the 'GP' series. It does just dandy for my particular location and purposes. It's not cheap, so your $$ restrictions rule it out.
I would suggest using a very good coax for VHF/UHF stuff. That "very good" refers to the amount of loss of the coax for the length of run you'll have. Considering the economy now, I find that 'Times Microwave' LMR-400 is a good deal (depending on the seller naturally). It definitely can make a difference on what you are able to hear/'hit'. Feed line isn't -more- important than antenna, but it's still important.
The best advice I can think of is to get that antenna as high as possible/practical no matter which antenna you end up with.
If you're really limited with your budget, try making an antenna. That doesn't always mean it'll be cheaper than a 'store-bought' one, but it certainly can be.
Good luck and have fun at it, that's the main thing, right?
- 'Doc

(I have one of the 'Arrow' 'J'-poles, it does what it's supposed to do. It was also cheaper than I could have made it, but that's a comment about my making things!)
 

SCPD

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Make your own Stationmaster

Open up this link, and re-do the formulas for 2 meters instead of 440.
I've been told that this is all a Stationmaster is.
I've made two of these for 460-470, and they play better than 9dB $300 Maxon's.
There is a better link somewhere that explains it better, but this should be good:

Build A 9dB, 70cm Collinear Antenna
 

AlaskaMike

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I can't really add much more beyond what the others have already said, except to stress that the more you can put into the antenna, the better. Definitely use the highest quality coax you can afford, and try to get the antenna up as high as possible. That part can't be over emphasized.

When I was building my 2m base station I read everything I could about building repeater sites. There is *so* much documentation available online. All the goals you are trying to achieve are part of what every builder of a repeater is also shooting for. Antenna performance and efficiency, station reliability, etc are all critical to repeater sites, so it is very much to your benefit to see how they approach these things.

Good luck,
Mike
 

rob_2012

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I have one of these, GP-3 - Comet - HamCity / Ham Radio Equipment and love it! I had a home made J-pole, easy to do for around $30ish and talk decent, but I went from hitting 4 repeaters with 5 watts with the J-pole, to hitting 7 repeaters with 5 watts.
Well I think you guys sold me on the GP-3, the price says $84.95........and this is close to my antenna budget so I am liking this suggestion.

I also like the idea of building my own also.......BUT I think at this time I will just buy one unless I find a link with all the right math for a 2 meter, I hate to build it wrong then I just through away $30....but its a good idea since I am a diy person!!

If I get the GP-3 will this type of antenna need a lighting ground wire and a lightning arrestor on the coax?
 

rob_2012

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Open up this link, and re-do the formulas for 2 meters instead of 440.
I've been told that this is all a Stationmaster is.
I've made two of these for 460-470, and they play better than 9dB $300 Maxon's.
There is a better link somewhere that explains it better, but this should be good:

Build A 9dB, 70cm Collinear Antenna

I calculated this based on 146MHz and using the 8 sections its too long but the instructions say you can use 4 sections so then I come up with about a 10' 5" length approx, I am wondering how strong this will be using a wood reinforced with 3/4" PVC? Maybe I can make the bottom half the PVC with 1.5" diameter?

not sure.........
 

ropin4gold

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Build you one of the "Copper Cactus" J-poles. I have one I build about 5 years ago and it works great. Easy to build too. Just get it up high in the air and you will be good to go.
 

SCPD

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I calculated this based on 146MHz and using the 8 sections its too long but the instructions say you can use 4 sections so then I come up with about a 10' 5" length approx, I am wondering how strong this will be using a wood reinforced with 3/4" PVC? Maybe I can make the bottom half the PVC with 1.5" diameter?

not sure.........
Make sure to use schedule 80 PVC. Look at the end of it, you'll see why.
 

mrweather

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If I get the GP-3 will this type of antenna need a lighting ground wire and a lightning arrestor on the coax?
Absolutely. My Comet GP-15 is on top of my 30' tower (whose legs are bonded and grounded) and the coax feedline has an arrestor (bonded to the tower ground). Nothing will protect you from a direct strike but you do the best you can.
 

rob_2012

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KD0LWU

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One of the first things I learned is hams don't worry that much about SWR as CBer's do, the radios are built a lot better, the finals are stronger and the radios shut down if they are unhappy, normally at least.
That said, I built a J-pole using the specs, knowing the target area for repeaters in my area and talked on it for a year with no problems using a VX-7r HT.
A used SWR meter can be had for around $50 if you really want one, it is the right way to do it I have to say, if you look around some.
 
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