Home 2m Base Antenna

tibadoex

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Ok - It's time to choose my base antenna for my 2 meter setup at home. Besides cost, what would be the best performer. Any plus or minuses for installing either antenna below. I realize the Diamond is dual band and CommScope is not. What is the difference between a commercial vs consumer antenna?

Diamond X700HNA with 9 dB of gain & 70 cm band for future expansion

CommScope DB224-E with 6dB of gain with Omni coverage
 

nd5y

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Diamond and almost all other ham/scanner/consumer-grade antenna manufacturers lie about gain.
9 dB referenced to what? It's physically impossible for a 24 ft. vertical antenna to have 9 db gain over a dipole.

The DB224 is a 4 stacked dipole array spaced about 3/4 wavelength center to center.
That actually does give you 6 dBd gain (referenced to a dipole) omnidirectional when the elements are staggered around the mast.
If you stacked two of them (8 bay) you would get 9 dBd. That would be over 40 ft. long

If you mount all 4 elements on the same side of the mast you get an elliptical pattern with about 9 dBd in the direction the elements are pointing and about 0 dBd or less to the rear.
 

vagrant

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Quick answer: The Diamond X700HNA is what you should get of the two. It weighs less and will cost much less to install. Spend the money saved on some LMR-400 coaxial cable or better.

Long answer: The CommScope weighs about 30 pounds more and that's without the mast to hold everything. The Diamond is omni directional and the CommScope could be, if you set the elements in a omni pattern like north, south, east and west. The CommScope is often used with a repeater system and all elements pointed in one direction for maximum gain, or slightly askew (Two aimed south and two aimed SSE) to make a wedge coverage shape, as an example. There are other things you need to consider when installing that type of antenna as well. Others will probably chime in on that aspect.

I also should point out that you may not need a $300+ antenna. You need to consider how you will use it. If you plan on using it to talk on local repeaters, a sub $100 antenna may work fine. If you plan on using it for simplex coverage as well, then the Diamond may be beneficial. Alternatively, for maximum focused TX and RX, a vertically polarized Yagi would be best which requires a rotor and more. Still, you need to consider the weather environment of your location.

Consider this: If you have a mobile setup now in your vehicle and you can hit the repeaters and talk simplex to who you want, then a sub $100 antenna on a mast at your home will typically work much better than your mobile setup. This is due to the additional gain the antenna offers, as well as its height above average terrain.

That Tram 1480 k9wkj mentioned is not a bad antenna. I have one and it works well. I used 3M 88 tape and then coax tape on the joint after putting it together. No problem with water. For $50, and you may find that for $50 shipped, it is an inexpensive test antenna that may be a fine solution for you. Of course where I live most repeaters are around 3600' - 5500' ASL, so it is easy to TX and RX into them. One must experiment.
 
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nd5y

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What is the difference between a commercial vs consumer antenna?
Higher cost, higher quality, higher wind rating, higher chance it will survive a lightning strike (if installed and grounded properly). Commercial antennas are usually based on proven decades old designs.
 

AK9R

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Diamond and almost all other ham/scanner/consumer-grade antenna manufacturers lie about gain.
Diamond and Comet typically state the gain of their antennas in dBi, though they usually do not make that clear in their advertising.

the 24ft tall is just to many joints and to much flex
Unless one desperately needs the additional gain, a shorter, single-piece antenna, such as the Diamond X30 or X50 or Comet GP-1 or GP-3, would be a better choice than wrestling with a 24 foot tall antenna.
 

WB9YBM

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From what I've experienced, the commercial antennas are built a bit more ruggedly. On ham antennas, the best bang-for-the-buck I've been able to find is the Ringo Ranger--although there are other antennas I haven't tried yet that might serve, too.
 

chief21

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The Commscope antenna, with its relatively high gain, will have a fairly flat pattern that wouldn't be the best if you live in a hilly environment (unless, of course, you happen to be on a prominent ridgeline).
 

alcahuete

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I have used the X510 (little brother to the X700, which wasn't even thought of at the time) for 25 years, 10 of which have been in the ridiculous heat and wind of the Mojave Desert, and have not had a single problem at all. It bakes in the sun, had no problem in the snow and ice we had a few years, and took a 74 MPH wind gust last year without even breaking a sweat. I have performed absolutely no maintenance on it at all. If it breaks, I'll just replace it with a 700.

Performance has always been outstanding. At my old house, with the HOA, I had the X510 on a 10' mast, with about 2' stuck in the ground, and I was still working simplex out to 60+ miles...8 ft off the ground. Could hit any repeater I wanted.

So if that's any indication, I would think the X700 will perform quite well, and save you some money in the process.
 

N4DJC

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The Comet GP-1 works really well, as with any antenna higher is better. It's well built and compact enough for most applications. Since the coax connection is inside the antenna, it's a little better protected from the elements.
 

Golay

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If you mount all 4 elements on the same side of the mast you get an elliptical pattern with about 9 dBd in the direction the elements are pointing and about 0 dBd or less to the rear.
I tried to send this in a private message, but you seem to have some sort of blocking going on so I'll post it here.
The directivity on this sort of antenna depends on how far from the mast the elements are. According to the instructions that come with the antennas I've worked with, with the element a 1/2 wavelength away from the mast, the antenna is omnidirectional.
At 3/8th and 1/4 wave away from the mast, there is directivity as you say.
The distance between the elements and the mast was adjustable on the antennas I've used.
 

Ubbe

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According to the antenna manufacturer Kathreins calculations it looks like this, if the reflecting material behind the antenna are at least a 1/4 wavelenght wide. Less impact on the directivity with less reflector width:



/Ubbe
 

jaspence

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Many hams use the Ed Fong antenna with good results. Mine has been up for several years with one change of coax and gives good coverage with 25 watts.
 

bill4long

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Ok - It's time to choose my base antenna for my 2 meter setup at home. Besides cost, what would be the best performer. Any plus or minuses for installing either antenna below. I realize the Diamond is dual band and CommScope is not. What is the difference between a commercial vs consumer antenna?

Diamond X700HNA with 9 dB of gain & 70 cm band for future expansion

CommScope DB224-E with 6dB of gain with Omni coverage
I would go for the Diamond X510. The gain difference is negligible for the X700s and those thing flop around in the wind a lot. The X510 flop somewhat too, but not nearly as bad. Should get many years of good service. The Comet GP9 is the Comet equivalent, but I like the hardware a litter better on the Diamonds. I've owned the X-30, X-50, X-300 and X-510. Excellent antennas for ham radio. I would get N-connector on the antenna side. And use LMR-400 coax at least. If you want a 2m only vertical omni, the Hustler G7-144 is my choice.
 
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N8FNR

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Many hams use the Ed Fong antenna with good results. Mine has been up for several years with one change of coax and gives good coverage with 25 watts.
And with the Ed Fong antenna you also get 70CM. Each one is individually tuned by him or his students.
 

spanky15805

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X700HNA for mostly rx, some tx. Mount it on a fiberglass mast, just the top 2 feet with the dc ground connected. Bill4 mentioned amount of antenna movement in the wind. Yes they do! It has made me winch more then once. I check it about every two years and no cracks noted. Not a fan of the little phillips set screws but they are tight when inspected. If you happen to listen outside of 2 meter/440, you should be impressed with the usable frequency range.
 

spanky15805

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And use nothing less then LMR-400 under 100 feet and LMR-600 over 100 feet. Yes, db loss per 100 feet has other products for purchase but you also have to take into consideration shielding. 400 & 600 are rated at 100%. This will help keep out alot of rfi as the coax snakes thru the attic, up walls or in a crawlspace. Are my 2 cents tax deductible?
 

meplat

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Ok - It's time to choose my base antenna for my 2 meter setup at home. Besides cost, what would be the best performer. Any plus or minuses for installing either antenna below. I realize the Diamond is dual band and CommScope is not. What is the difference between a commercial vs consumer antenna?

Diamond X700HNA with 9 dB of gain & 70 cm band for future expansion

CommScope DB224-E with 6dB of gain with Omni coverage
Hi. I would add this. While everyone wants an antenna with gobs of gain, and there are times when you might need that, they aren't always necessary.

I assume that your 2 meter radio is FM. Are there specific repeaters that you are trying to reach? How far away are they? How high off the ground will your antenna be mounted? Are you using a radio that puts out 5w or 50+ w?

I ask because if most of them are with 30 to 40 miles, I wouldn't worry about gain, unless you are using an HT. There are several factors that affect range, but something like a $40 to $50 j pole might work for you. They are almost bomb proof, have a small footprint, and are easy to put up. There are a bunch on the Web to look at. Arrow makes a popular one, or you can make your own out of aluminum or copper.

Just another thing to mull over.
 

bharvey2

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All things being equal, I think the OP would be better served with the Comet or Diamond over a J-Pole. A Diamond X30A would be just a little more cost than the Arrow J-Pole, about the same size and wouldn't suffer the sensitivity to less than ideal mounting conditions that can plague a J-Pole.
 
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