Just Got A Wonderful Base Antenna

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NC1

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Maybe if someone has a few extra $$ sitting around, they could get one, disassemble it, and post pictures of what's inside.

It is anybody's guess as to what is shoved in the tube. Is it a well crafted tri-band antenna?
Or is it speaker wire with some steel wool balls shoved on it, and a coil just because?

I am a bit curious, but not enough to part with the funds.
 

SOFA_KING

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Well put, Jonwienke. It's the antenna maker, not the Op.

I want the OP to be happy. And it sounds like he is...for now. But if it's all sugar and warm fuzziness, and pretend everything is great, and you can't discuss or respectfully comment about the technical stuff, what can anyone learn here? Nothing.

There is plenty to be discussed and debated without insulting anyone. So far as I can tell, everyone wants to make positive contributions that hopefully will help the OP. And we all understand (I hope) that not everyone necessarily has the understanding and experience some of the others do. That's the point in sharing. It's not offensive, just technical discussion about a product that appears to be fraudulent, and maybe some better evaluation techniques. Hey, maybe the thing has some secret new design. Doubtful, but taking one apart would be enlightening...one way or the other. That's part of the discussion.

Phil
 

mmckenna

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I am a bit curious, but not enough to part with the funds.
I agree, if it was cheaper, I'd get one, put it on the antenna analyzer and see what it does. Then disassemble and see how it's built.

Looks like a dipole, not a ground plane. That would put the impedance somewhere other than 50Ω

I'm not going to do it because of the price. And I'm not going to do it because this is one of many similar "miracle" antennas on e-Bay. No point in doing this for one antenna and not the others. Lets leave that to someone like Consumer Reports.... yeah, right.


And I agree, no one seemed to be bashing the OP. The "snake oil" comments are 100% directed at the e-Bay seller.
 

Mike_G_D

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Haven't posted in a while but...

I have to agree with Sofa_King, jonwienke, and the others labeled "critical" or "snarky".

This is primarily a hobby site so isn't usually expected to be as critically scrutinized as a professional oriented site. Still, there are many participants here who are either very knowledgeable hobbyists or professionals who have accumulated a lot of that knowledge by their own research and/or traditional schooling not to mention long hard years of experience.

I, for one, would rather look at such individuals as a valuable resource and try and tap into that for my own edification and benefit than treat them as "annoying nit-pickers" ruining my "fun".

Were I the OP, and assuming I was armed with only a limited knowledge of antennas, I would, firstly, have asked the folks on here (and other sites) about this "cool thing" and gotten their opinions to ponder and think about before plunking down my money. Given the nature of this item, I would post questions most likely in the "Antennas" section or maybe in the "Beginners" section if I was really a neophyte in terms of antennas. Now, on the other hand, had I already purchased this antenna as the OP did, and gotten "great results" using it, and felt the need to express my feelings about it I would think about doing so in either (again) the "Antennas" section or the "Reviews" section. I would also not reprint the add for the antenna, rather, I would simply state something like: "Hey folks, just bought this antenna which seems to work great for me. Seems to work much better than what I used to use (wherein I would describe what I used to use for comparison). Here is the link to the add on (wherever). I am not knowledgeable about antennas so took a chance but am getting what I perceive as great results." I might also add: "What are your thoughts?". If I did the later, I would expect a critical response, not necessarily critical in the sense of deliberate "snarky-ness" but still, some kind of technical critical analysis. Given that I admitted to purchasing said item with little to no foreknowledge, I would, most likely, expect some criticism concerning my purchase.

Yes it is, unfortunately, easy to get "snarky" when one is very knowledgeable about something and is dealing with someone who is just the opposite. I try not to do this when asked legitimate and well-meaning questions but have slipped up more than once I have to admit. But, overall, I personally think it is a very wrong thing to do and should be avoided ("snarky" response to a legitimate question).

However, it is even easier (and should be expected, I think) to be "snarky-leaning" when presented with something like "Hey guys, really excited that I just bought this super-doohicky that is working so fantastically for me! Much better than what I had before!" Then reprint the entire add for the "doo-hicky" and then NOT explain what I used to use to compare it with. If one does that, I kind of think one should expect some heavy criticism.

There seems to be a tendency to equate "being critical" with "being deliberately mean". Yes, sometimes that's true which is very unfortunate but, I think, it's usually not the case (intentionally, anyway). If we cannot criticize what is written here (by this I mean properly analyze in a critical fashion) at all because it may be perceived as "mean" than how are we to proceed?! How are the less knowledgeable folks out there that may be reading these posts expected to learn and make better choices? If no critical posts were allowed to what the OP stated and all one had to go by were posts like "Hey great! Glad it works for you!" and similar then no one learns anything except that it was great for the OP!

Honest critical well-informed thinking and analysis is extremely important especially to technical discussions and concerning technical items that cost money to buy and probably MOST especially for the benefit of those less knowledgeable concerning the subject who may be making purchasing decisions based on the related discussion.

-Mike
 

bigcam406

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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.
exactly. i honestly dont think the OP had enough experience to know what is what when it comes to antenna technology,so he posted what was listed on the ebay ad to give us members a description of what he bought. and he was really happy with the results. lighten up folks.the way it was handled by a certain few is enough to turn away the OP from ever asking another question again
 

jonwienke

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You're advocating taking bad advice from inexperienced people???
 

SOFA_KING

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Bigcam406,

No, it's not time to shut anything down. Suggesting that really shows disrespect and some sort of superior attitude. I'm sure the moderators can, and will, make these calls without your direction. How you perceive the situation is not how many others here see it, and that is only your problem. Don't make it anyone else's problem. If anything causes flame wars around here, it someone telling other people what to do without any right to do so.

Mike_G_D nailed it. Learning can be rewarding if you let others share.

Phil
 

Ubbe

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Judging from the text I would say it is 4 full 1/2 wave dipoles joined together. Someone mentioned that it is a fan dipole.

If the tuned frequencies of the dipoles corresponds with the frequencies you are monitoring, then the antenna will work better than a discone antenna.
If you use an amplifier at the antenna it will give a constant impedance to the coax and it will work even better.

Will it be cheaper to build one yourself and be more efficient to use a better coax? Probably, but $50 are well spent money
if you don't want to deal with the hassle if you don't have the time, material or knowledge to do it.

/Ubbe
 

dcisive

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Wow I'm thinking several folks here need a couple of nice stiff drinks or need to back off the coffee just a tad. I know absolutely nothing...........right.......just been at the scanning hobby since the mid 80's. Had a well established SW and Scanning room setup when I lived in California with a nice roof antenna for the scanner which was 30ft above the roof itself with great reception. I also erected a competent long wire shortwave antenna and had digital RTTY translation gear and more back in the day. But if you guys want to spout off about your amazing technological knowledge that's fine with me. I don't claim to know everything, but I'm also by no means a newbie either. I happened upon this antenna add and compared it to many others on Ebay. It seemed as tho it might be an interesting option to the built in antennas. Yes it was a trial and an experiment. Sure I'm not terribly familiar with nor involved with buying from Ebay, so if that was a crime then I've sinned.

I mentioned I am a tinkerer and do love to try different things out. So I've ordered a Diamond 130J to check out as I've mostly been curious to try out a discone, and the Diamond has a good reputation. I elected to go with the LMR-400 cable with N and BNC connector to assist in eliminating any potential loss as the cable will only be 18ft anyway. Should be interesting. I'll be sure to share my impressions with you all even though some of you would rather write me off as some kind of fool perhaps. I enjoy this hobby as much as you all do and don't try to go out of my to tick anybody here off. Just share my impressions or experiences with a given product. I only posted the blurb from that Ebay guy as I KNEW the next thing I'd get asked is who and what it was I was discussing and you'd want more details. Forgive me for my trespasses on here, I was just trying to contribute some "interesting" or fun possibilities.
 

jonwienke

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If you're as experienced as you claim, the the bit in the description about having 4 ground planes should have been an obvious red flag, when the photo showed none.
 

SOFA_KING

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Are you going to put that new Diamond discone inside the house on the mic stand next to your computer?

That says it all. Talk about dowsing yourself with gasoline and lighting a match.

Check out time. Nothing left for me to discuss here. It's now a wasted thread.

Phil
 

mmckenna

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Wow I'm thinking several folks here need a couple of nice stiff drinks or need to back off the coffee just a tad. I know absolutely nothing...........right.......just been at the scanning hobby since the mid 80's. Had a well established SW and Scanning room setup when I lived in California with a nice roof antenna for the scanner which was 30ft above the roof itself with great reception. I also erected a competent long wire shortwave antenna and had digital RTTY translation gear and more back in the day. But if you guys want to spout off about your amazing technological knowledge that's fine with me. I don't claim to know everything, but I'm also by no means a newbie either. I happened upon this antenna add and compared it to many others on Ebay. It seemed as tho it might be an interesting option to the built in antennas. Yes it was a trial and an experiment. Sure I'm not terribly familiar with nor involved with buying from Ebay, so if that was a crime then I've sinned.

I mentioned I am a tinkerer and do love to try different things out. So I've ordered a Diamond 130J to check out as I've mostly been curious to try out a discone, and the Diamond has a good reputation. I elected to go with the LMR-400 cable with N and BNC connector to assist in eliminating any potential loss as the cable will only be 18ft anyway. Should be interesting. I'll be sure to share my impressions with you all even though some of you would rather write me off as some kind of fool perhaps. I enjoy this hobby as much as you all do and don't try to go out of my to tick anybody here off. Just share my impressions or experiences with a given product. I only posted the blurb from that Ebay guy as I KNEW the next thing I'd get asked is who and what it was I was discussing and you'd want more details. Forgive me for my trespasses on here, I was just trying to contribute some "interesting" or fun possibilities.

Nothing wrong with that in my book, that's often how I learn. As for the stiff drink, I'll take you up on that....

Again, -most- of us were talking about the cleverly worded e-bay page from the seller. The guy has the gift of gab and spun a good tale. Good salesmen can do that.

Let us know how the discone turns out. While they are very broad banded, that comes at the cost of gain. I agree with whoever said that if the e-Bay antenna is actually what it looks like, a dipole in a pvc pipe, then it may actually outperform the discone on the frequencies it's resonate on.

I'm not usually a big fan of discone antennas since my work puts me on very specific frequencies. I'm more interested in a properly tuned antenna for the frequency I'm working with.
Still, for hobby use, a discone is a good choice if you listening is going to take you all over the spectrum.

If you can, get the discone outside and above the roof line of your house. Building materials used in many homes will shield RF to some degree, and that can impact your performance.

You're the guy who has to listen to the radio, no one else. If you are happy with the performance, that's all that matters.
 

dcisive

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The discone will indeed be mounted on a vertical mice stand, no biggle, a pole is a pole. It will be at least 12 feet from any nearest computer. The stand will be placed in a opposite corner of the room on a wall that faces outdoors with a window. Speaking of the window, when I look out it, I can literally see many of the mountain tops that house the transmitters used for all the public safety and such. I myself am on a mountainside that looks unimpeded upon the entire Salt Lake Valley floor about 1000 feet above the valley floor which is an altitude of about 5300ft above sea level. The mountain tops where the transmitters are located are about at the 10-11,500ft range. It's also one reason with one of the simple basic digital TV antennas placed near a window in our living room we get over 35 channels perfectly. I'm not permitted by my wife to drill ANY holes in our home to the outside, which of course is the ONLY way this thing would get placed outdoors. Oh well......Gotta do what I gotta do. I'm anticipating however even with the limitations it will greatly exceed the capabilities of the stock 536 whip as well as that hand made wonder from Ebay ;-) I don't mind giving you a report of how it goes. I'll be getting it Friday and will assemble and road test it. Friday nights around here are pretty brisk on the scanner.
 

bigcam406

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Bigcam406,

No, it's not time to shut anything down. Suggesting that really shows disrespect and some sort of superior attitude. I'm sure the moderators can, and will, make these calls without your direction. How you perceive the situation is not how many others here see it, and that is only your problem. Don't make it anyone else's problem. If anything causes flame wars around here, it someone telling other people what to do without any right to do so.

Mike_G_D nailed it. Learning can be rewarding if you let others share.

Phil
"Pot....meet Kettle"
 

sparklehorse

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<snip> I'm not permitted by my wife to drill ANY holes in our home to the outside, which of course is the ONLY way this thing would get placed outdoors. <snip>
Drill a hole through the bottom sash rail of a window. You only have a couple inches of wood to get through, and it's an easy hole to fill when you sell the house.

.
 

slicerwizard

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I'm also by no means a newbie either.
So anywhere in that wall o' text that made up your initial post where you state what antenna you were using before this wonder antenna? Wait, I see you've just added "stock 536 whip"; so the old antenna is low and near noise sources?


I only posted the blurb from that Ebay guy as I KNEW the next thing I'd get asked is who and what it was I was discussing and you'd want more details.
I'd think a non-newbie would just post a link to the item. Posting all that nonsense made it look like you were pushing the item. BTW, I love the "third element for the 800-900 MHZ band, (This is the new popular Law Enforcement& Fire frequencies, Cell phone bands..." - welcome to 30 years ago!


Speaking of the window, when I look out it, I can literally see many of the mountain tops that house the transmitters used for all the public safety and such. I myself am on a mountainside that looks unimpeded upon the entire Salt Lake Valley floor about 1000 feet above the valley floor which is an altitude of about 5300ft above sea level. The mountain tops where the transmitters are located are about at the 10-11,500ft range. It's also one reason with one of the simple basic digital TV antennas placed near a window in our living room we get over 35 channels perfectly.
So in other words, a wet noodle would get the job done. You're telling us that it's a great antenna because it's picking up line of sight signals! Now you did say that there is less noise, so either a) your original antenna is garbage or badly located, or b) you had some front end overloading going on and this new antenna is deaf enough to eliminate it?

It's too bad you're not at least hooking these antennas up to an SDR to see what's really going on.
 

dsalomon

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I just asked "Lowbander" to post a picture of the antenna prior to insertion into the PVC tube. I said I wanted to see the construction before buying. I'll update with a pic if he actually does it. If he is unwilling to, that's a confirmation (at least to me) that it really is snake oil.

73 - David, AG4F
 
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