Just Got A Wonderful Base Antenna

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dcisive

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Sorry Sofa, but I don't know what snake oil this guy put in his antenna, but it's sure working rather well. I'm not only receiving channels that I'd not received at all before, but the ones I typically did get are cleaner with less noise level. I mounted it on a small mic tripod I wasn't going to use anymore and placed it behind my computer setup. I raised the main antenna portion above the level of the computer and screen as it sits in the corner of the room behind my extended L shaped desk which is quite large. To me it was worth the $50 just to get to this level and not have to deal with anything outdoors and drilling holes in my home. I realize you guys are aficionados at antenna technologies and don't feel this could possibly be any good. You're certainly entitled to feel however you wish. All I know is it's working for me. Back in the days of analog and the Radio Shack 2006 (If I got the model right) which was top of the line back then made by GRE, I had a room in a home on the coast (Half Moon Bay) dedicated to both shortwave and scanner monitoring and put together a outdoor scanner antenna on a 20ft mast guy wired to both the roof and chimney. So all in all it was over 40ft up and very nice and stable. Man that sucker had some ears. I was able to hear San Francisco and Oakland police and activities regardless of the coastal range of mountains(hills) which I was told would obliterate my listening there. Ahh the old days.......
 

dcisive

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I was just wanting to share my experience with this new antenna. There are literally thousands of antenna's to choose from in the world for our purposes. This was just another of many. I'm ok with what it brings to the table. I wasn't however expecting to get slammed for it. If it didn't work well I certainly would also bring that to the attention of others as well. I've got a drawer full of SMA and BNC antenna's I've accumulated since the mid 80's when I was fanatical about the hobby back then as well. Some work exceedingly well, and others are just boat anchors. it's a bit ironic that for a portable, none have ever exceeded the capabilities of the well known Radio Shack model that is collapsible and has the coil in the center. it's been around forever and is respected as pretty much a top performer. Duckies in general do tend to be a compromise with weaknesses somewhere in the ranges. So far this base one I got does well from the 120-900 range rather perfectly it seems in my area anyway. It's lowered the noise floor considerably and is consistent from morning through the evening in the quality it delivers of reception. That's about all I wanted to accomplish.
 

mmckenna

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You know what? If it works for what you want, you hear what you want to hear, and you are content with the price you paid, then it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

Yeah, the write up is snake oil at it's best. Yeah, it's probably pretty expensive for the materials.

But, that's one way we learn. Don't sweat it.
Keep in mind, though, if this antenna improved things that much for you, imagine what a better antenna fed with higher grade coax could do. Probably better, but in most cases, public safety radio systems are designed to talk to a hand held portable radio with a little flexible antenna worn on an officers belt. Simply getting your antenna outside is going to make a big difference. You don't need huge/expensive antennas to hear your local agencies, just something sufficient.
 

SOFA_KING

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"I got your special tube right here!"

Sorry, had to be said.
You forgot the classic Andrew Dice Clay "Oh!" at the end of that statement. :D

Did anyone catch the telltale installation flaw?

COMPUTERS generate NOISE on radio frequencies. Some generate A LOT OF NOISE. So if you mounted this new "Snake Oil" antenna ABOVE your computer, all you might have done was decrease the noise floor.

Here is the problem with the whole evaluation from start to finish:

- You can't fairly evaluate an antenna unless you use the EXACT same location and feedline to compare results.

- Nothing around the antenna under test can move.

- You can't have EMI/RFI noise generating devices anywhere near your setup without those devices skewing the results.

- And if you are really being fair about evaluating different types of multi-band antennas, you need a wide range of test frequencies and know if tropo conditions could be effecting the test results.

Anything else is worthless data. One fixed test bed, outside where nothing can interfere, move or change around the antenna environment, is the only fair way to compare.

And by the way, none of this is opinion. It's standard engineering practice. There are people here who know this. Sure, we all want you to enjoy the success of better reception, but if you post the mumbo jumbo (like you did) to promote the product...and then post a flawed test procedure, people will call you out on it.

There are people who might be influenced by the post you made promoting the "snake oil" product. That is how all this urban legend stuff starts. Learn the real facts about antennas, and learn the best practices about fair evaluation methods, then post some meaningful results. Anything else is going to be challenged by those who actually know this stuff.

Phil
 

mmckenna

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You forgot the classic Andrew Dice Clay "Oh!" at the end of that statement. :D
"I got your special tube right here! OH!!!!"

Hows that?



And by the way, none of this is opinion. It's standard engineering practice. There are people here who know this. Sure, we all want you to enjoy the success of better reception, but if you post the mumbo jumbo (like you did) to promote the product...and then post a flawed test procedure, people will call you out on it.
I grew up across the street from an EMI engineer, could have had a job doing that stuff if I'd wanted.

It's truth, what he said. There's a lot that goes into testing antennas.


By the way, hows that sofa treating you?
 

SOFA_KING

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"I got your special tube right here! OH!!!!"

Hows that?





I grew up across the street from an EMI engineer, could have had a job doing that stuff if I'd wanted.

It's truth, what he said. There's a lot that goes into testing antennas.


By the way, hows that sofa treating you?
That's better!

I was lucky enough to be around the antenna test range and anechoic chamber when I worked at /\/\ Mother. I would have loved that job, but there were no openings at the time. Maybe if I stayed longer, but downsizing and offshoring had already began. Fun stuff. On the next job I did some home made antenna range testing in the back of the building I worked in, but nothing as elaborate as what /\/\ did.

The sofa? I need to get off of this sofa. There is now a permanent indentation where my butt sits. :D

Phil
 

goodmore

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I have the antenna that started this post. It is in my attic aside of the discone. When listening to the local p25 dispatch channels I actually prefer the smaller antenna being questioned in this thread. 5 bars on all the towers and not as much interference or distortion. Less is better in my case. Well worth my money in my opinion. Is it the best antenna out there? Far from it. But there is a place for it in my opinion.
 

SOFA_KING

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I have the antenna that started this post. It is in my attic aside of the discone. When listening to the local p25 dispatch channels I actually prefer the smaller antenna being questioned in this thread. 5 bars on all the towers and not as much interference or distortion. Less is better in my case. Well worth my money in my opinion. Is it the best antenna out there? Far from it. But there is a place for it in my opinion.
Mounting any resonant antenna next to a discone will interfere with its performance. I actually learned that the hard way. They should be in the clear away from any metal structures for at least 25' all around it. I can't speak for the "snake oil" antenna, but the general rule is some clearance should be observed.

So is this thing just a multi element J Pole or something? I suspect it is. The Super Scanner and ST-2 were modified fan dipoles. I like that design, but prefer my modified discone.

Pretty much done here. Nothing to see...move along.

Phil
 

mmckenna

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I have the antenna that started this post. It is in my attic aside of the discone. When listening to the local p25 dispatch channels I actually prefer the smaller antenna being questioned in this thread. 5 bars on all the towers and not as much interference or distortion. Less is better in my case. Well worth my money in my opinion. Is it the best antenna out there? Far from it. But there is a place for it in my opinion.
There are also cases where a lower gain/less efficient antenna work better on simulcast systems. So, it would be useful to know if you were listening to a simulcast system or not.
 

bigcam406

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im glad the OP is happy with his purchase and its working to his satisfaction. i have tried lots of antennas for my scanners and there is always one that works the best when it shouldnt. why cant we just be glad that a fellow member is happy and having success with his purchase instead of criticizing the hell out of it. i really wonder about this place sometimes.......
 

jonwienke

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why cant we just be glad that a fellow member is happy and having success with his purchase instead of criticizing the hell out of it
For the same reasons we frown on attributing droughts or plentiful harvests to witchcraft or animal sacrifices.

Having a correct understanding of RF behavior and antenna design principles helps one avoid being scammed, and choose the actual best option for a given situation. The fact that the antenna is working for the OP DOES NOT mean that it should be generally recommended, or that another, less costly option wouldn't work even better.
 

bigcam406

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the post i read described what he bought. he was happy with its performance. just because it goes against the grain of "experts" on here doesnt mean he deserves to get bashed the way he did by a certain few. he was happy he found something that worked well,and he thought he would post about it. i doubt he will ever do that again.
 

jonwienke

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the post i read described what he bought. he was happy with its performance.
You forgot to mention spamming the thread with a bunch of hyperbolic snake oil from the seller.

And you're ignoring the fact that a crappy antenna will offer crappy performance in most cases. Just because it worked OK for the OP doesn't mean it will work well in any other situation.

Would you rather learn something once in a while, or be uncritically fed every bucket of BS from every online snake oil salesman?
 

Timmeh-31

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For the same reasons we frown on attributing droughts or plentiful harvests to witchcraft or animal sacrifices.

Having a correct understanding of RF behavior and antenna design principles helps one avoid being scammed, and choose the actual best option for a given situation. The fact that the antenna is working for the OP DOES NOT mean that it should be generally recommended, or that another, less costly option wouldn't work even better.
Wow. Really?

Listen, I get the whole "best practice" thing, and if one can avail themselves of the best/brightest/biggest/shiniest, then by all means go for it.

But honestly equating someone's personal and subjective satisfaction over a product with a torches-and-pitchforks knee-jerk response to superstition is hyperbole run amok. It's not hurting you or anyone else personally for this guy to like his antenna. If one wanted to take the approach of "Gee, if you were happy with this antenna, you might very well be ecstatic over this one over here...", that would be one thing. But this salty, snarky, crap-talking approach is (or at least should be) beneath this community. We're supposed to be here to help, not be judgmental jerks.

Remember what Mom used to drill into us, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?" More of this, please. Thanks.
 

jonwienke

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But honestly equating someone's personal and subjective satisfaction over a product with a torches-and-pitchforks knee-jerk response to superstition is hyperbole run amok. It's not hurting you or anyone else personally for this guy to like his antenna.
You might have a different opinion if you got that antenna, and it didn't work for you. Being "nice" is not the same as being helpful. The antenna was advertised as having four ground planes, when the accompanying photos clearly show it has none. The coax cable supplied with the antenna was touted as being superior, when in fact it has much higher loss than other similarly-priced options. There were several other gross inaccuracies in the ad copy as well.

The whole point of this forum is to share accurate and useful information. Turning a blind eye to the dissemination of snake oil and misinformation sows confusion and does a disservice to everyone who comes here looking for knowledge.
 

goot1360

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not the same experience!!

yea i just bought the exact same antenna from him to! (ITS GOING BACK TOMORROW!!) did not improve anything!! my stock antenna that came with my bcd536hp work at least the same! but (not better) ill give the ebay seller some cred. i googled his address for kicks. and the guy has a freaking radio tower coming out of his house!! that you could climb up!!
 

KC4RAF

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HE wasn't bashed on here; "... doesnt mean he deserves to get bashed...". What got bashed was the seller and the antenna being sold!
The so-called "experts" are usually the ones who have SOME knowledge of how an antenna operates. Some on here have worked in the communications field for quite some time. This forum isn't made up of a lot of newbies. I for one am a retired electrician/electronics tech that has a few years in the aforementioned fields.
Again, no body bashed the OP. The antenna is of unknown material, and build.
 
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