Need replacement for discone.

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bobruzzo

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I have been using a Diamond discone for almost 2 years now. Basically satisfied. It performs VERY well on vhf and uhf, but as we all know getting up into 800mhz it doesnt perform well. Currently it is connected to my BCT15X which is scanning all conventional (with exception of 1 small LTR system) police, rescue, fire, security, casino, maintenance etc......I am thinking about replacing the discone with something better for the bands I listen to on this radio. Ideally an antenna that will go from 30mhz up to UHF (512mhz). I am using a BCD996P2 for monitoring all local P25/800mhz which is working out very good using an 800mhz mag mount antenna on small ground plane on my roof right outside my window. I am on 2nd floor. The discone is very good for what I use it for but I may be able, with a BETTER antenna to pull in those weaker signals that the discone barely hears. I live in central Rhode Island. I can hear the fire departments over in eastern (Windham county) Connecticut with discone....a little weak from here but still usable. And I can hear very well into southeastern Mass. So does anybody know of an antenna that will be more suited for 30-500 mhz??? Years ago when I was an active amateur radio guy I used a dual band vertical for my scanner which worked very well, but at the time I lived on a decent hill with good elevation. Plus ham radio antennas are optimized for just those ham bands. It's too bad the Uniden rigs dont have multiple antenna jacks! One antenna I have my eye on is the "OMNI-X" from DPD Productions. Even though its a wider band antenna than I want I am wondering if it is better than the discone?
 

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bobruzzo

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Look into diplexers and triplexers.

Triplexers

View attachment 84035
Yes I did give this a thought a few months ago, but I have very limited antenna real estate. I have 2 antennas and masts mounted to back of garage, and no more room. I was able to sneak up a mobile mag mount for 800mhz on the house, but its small and you dont see it.
 

mmckenna

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Look into diplexers and triplexers.
If I was building out a system, that's what I'd do.

Low band is kind of picky about antennas. "All band" antennas, aren't. It's hard to cram a decent low band antenna to anything that works well in the higher frequenices.

I'd put up a dedicated low band antenna for your <50MHz stuff, a dedicated high gain VHF antenna and a dedicated high gain UHF antenna.

Cramming all that on 2 masts behind your garage would be a challenge, but not impossible.

One nice thing you can do with the triplexers/diplexers is to put it at the antennas and only need one feedline back to your radio equipment. That lets you invest in better cable but still only need one run.
 

bobruzzo

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If I was building out a system, that's what I'd do.

Low band is kind of picky about antennas. "All band" antennas, aren't. It's hard to cram a decent low band antenna to anything that works well in the higher frequenices.

I'd put up a dedicated low band antenna for your <50MHz stuff, a dedicated high gain VHF antenna and a dedicated high gain UHF antenna.

Cramming all that on 2 masts behind your garage would be a challenge, but not impossible.

One nice thing you can do with the triplexers/diplexers is to put it at the antennas and only need one feedline back to your radio equipment. That lets you invest in better cable but still only need one run.
I hear ya. Well I can sacrifice the lowband because the reception is although readable, WEAK. While scanning around one night on lowband I stumbled upon a few lowband fire freqs from over in eastern CT, so I saved them just for the heck of it, but don't hear much on them. I am more interested in improving the reception of my conventional stuff on my BCT15X. I also am using a BCD996P2 for 800mhz and P25 stuff and the mag mount is working perfectly so I dont need to replace that. If I had the bucks I would run a separate vhf and uhf antenna and use duplexer. But the co$t is prohibitive now. The coax alone is $$$$. I currently use a 50' length of LMR400 running from discone to radio. So I probably just wanna get a single better antenna.
 

prcguy

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I would also recommend keeping the DIscone for VHF air through 512MHz and supplementing that with an 800MHz antenna and diplexer. Here is an 800MHz omni antenna I've been looking at, its 24" long and should be around 4dBd gain and its really cheap. You could make a little arm that sits out from an existing mast maybe 2ft and stick this on it. The only reason I have not picked up this antenna is because I don't listen to any 800 stuff at home, although my main scanner antenna is a large Discone for VHF/UHF and a tiny one for 700MHz on up.

 

Ubbe

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I use these kind of clamps, and the threaded rods can be bought seperatly at different lenghts to get further away from a mast pole. These costs only $3 a pair at my local store and when used at the top of a pole I can have two antennas at either side of the pole and the distance would be sufficient between them even with the clamps default lenghts.


Or this kind of mounts. Used with U bolts clamped to a mast


/Ubbe
 

bobruzzo

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I use these kind of clamps, and the threaded rods can be bought seperatly at different lenghts to get further away from a mast pole. These costs only $3 a pair at my local store and when used at the top of a pole I can have two antennas at either side of the pole and the distance would be sufficient between them even with the clamps default lenghts.


Or this kind of mounts. Used with U bolts clamped to a mast


/Ubbe
Excellent idea! I may be able to use this.
 
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