Looking for good base antenna for Uniden SDS200

crippledchicken

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I have an old Radio Shack Discone antenna I've had for years I think, I paid about $80.00 for it and I'm using RG6 Quad coax. Any recommendations on a new base antenna which, is pole mount like I have now would be appreciated! :)
 

trentbob

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I'm actually using Radio Shack VHF High, UHF 800 megahertz ground planes. I got my first one in the late 60s for $5.95 at my local Radio Shack. Later they added two 4-inch radials in a V shape for the 800 megahertz. I've always used that antenna until either tree branches or hurricanes disposed of them and then I would just replace it.

When Rat Shack closed I grabbed everyone I could find. I use LMR 400. Honestly it sounds to me like you have a great setup right now. Can't think of what kind of more expensive discone you could replace it with? I guess you could get improved reception with a newer improved antenna?
 

SkiBob

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It is my experience that ohms is not important when you are receiving, which is the case with your SDS200.

We really need more information to give you helpful advice on how to improve your antenna performance.
-What is your target set of frequencies?
-What is your antenna height?
-How long is your coax?
-What does the area landscape look like? Hills, Ozark mountains, flats, trees etc?

Let us know and we will be glad to help :)
 

mmckenna

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The one I have seems to be performing pretty good maybe I'll just keep it is the coax suitable being 75 ohm instead of 52 ohm?
If the antenna is working, then stick with it. A new antenna of a similar design probably isn't going to work much better unless there is a physical issue with your antenna.

50Ω impedance vs. 75Ω impedance is a hot topic for some hobbyists.
Truth is, your discone doesn't provide a perfect 50Ω across the spectrum. And likely neither does your scanner.
In a perfect world where both the antenna and radio were exactly 50Ω, the use of 75Ω cable would add a tiny bit of loss.

In other words, don't get hung up on it. If the RG-6 is working, then go with it. Don't rip and replace with 50Ω cable thinking it's going to make a big difference in performance.

What I would suggest:
Take your antenna down and inspect it carefully. Pay close attention to where the coax connects. If it was not waterproofed properly, there can be some corrosion in there that will impact performance. Also closely inspect the insulator for cracks/damage. Make sure the elements are still tightly installed.
Also look closely at the coaxial cable. Pay close attention to the inside of the connector. Look for signs of water intrusion, corrosion, etc. If there's any signs of that, figure that water got inside and migrated down the cable.
Also, go over the length of the cable looking for damaged jacket. Any where the jacket is damaged, cut, abraded, etc. can be an entry point for water. Any signs of that would be a red flag.

If the coax and antenna are in good shape, reinstall the coax and waterproof it well while it's easy to access. Reinstall it.

If there's any questions at all about the coax, replace it with new stuff. RG-6 is cheap. If it is damaged, that will improve its performance.
 

trentbob

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That's very sage advice of course. Something I always did was if you do find elements loose you can use a little Loctite when you screw them in tighter. Often I found things were not loose because they were rusted so bad but I guess that's not a good thing huh? LOL.

Being a dinosaur I've always used a product called coax- seal if you're going to replace your coax due to damage... It's imperative though that you wrap your connectors and treated areas with electrical tape first before applying the coax- seal or you will end up with a gooey mess if you ever try to undo it. The tape will allow you to just remove it much easier.

It is inevitable, overtime, that connectors rust and coaxial gets compromised.
 
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