newbie - discone antenna?

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Dec 31, 2009
I am posting on behalf of my grandad who has recently purchased a second hand realistic dx-394 B model reciever. Currently he is using thick wire as an antenna from the reciever to a tall pole mounted in the opposite side of the garden which works pretty well, but he would prefer a proper antenna. He has bought a radio magazine and was looking at the following:

HF Discone (wideband / hf sensitive)
freq: 0.05 - 2000MHz
180cm in length
16 radials

Would this be appropriate to pick up shortwave, 10 - 20 metre bands and over general coverage. It will be mounted onto a concrete fence post in the garden. He would like a good all round antenna to work with the reciever any ideas welcome.

thank you.



Wiki Admin Emeritus
Jul 22, 2002
Bowie, Md.
No, that's a bit of marketing hype there. While it would work, the wire antenna he has now is likely to work better. There are several ways to improve what he has there, and it depends greatly on where he is, how much work you are willing to do and just what he's trying to hear. It sounds like he's mostly a day listener (20 meters is 14 mhz, and you can go lower than that - down to 9 or 10 mhz during the winter season, and there really isn't much above 16 meters - 17 mhz - these days anyway...).

One of the best ways to get a better - and quieter - bang for the buck is the PAR EF-SWL antenna, which uses a transformer to isolate the coax lead in from the antenna, and is quite a bit quieter than just a plain wire. Noise is definitely the enemy on shortwave.

I understand some of the PAR antennas were out of stock because they had a huge government order for the military in both Iraq and Afghanistan - but they are still, AFAIK, making the SWL antenna, and here's one distributor...(anything in blue is a link)

Par Electronics EF-SWL End Fed Dipole SWL Antenna. Par EF-SWL.

All you would need is the coax, some tape and waterproof sealant (to guard against water intrusion at the coax plug), and a bit of wire for grounding. It's been universally praised, and for good reason - I've yet to hear of someone saying it DIDN'T work for them. Dale Parfitt (who is the president of PAR) is legendary with his customer service.

You want reviews? OK, you got 'em

MT What's New

PAR Electronics EF-SWL Antenna Product Reviews

We also have a wiki article with TONS of other ideas...

HF Antennas - The RadioReference Wiki

Just be careful if your grandfather lives near an urban area. Too long of an antenna, and the 394 will overload. Extra filtering would be required - but that article above also has links for that as well.

In fact you might be wise to have both antennas - the original one and the one, whatever you choose. It's entirely possible that a signal coming in poorly on antenna a will come in better on b. Propagation can be finicky that way sometimes.

73 Mike


Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Mar 22, 2005
Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.
Your granddad already has a proper antenna so the best advice I can give is; if it ain't broke don't try to fix it.
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