Outdoor Antenna Recommendations

mikethe88

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I live in rural area and most of my sites are in the 151.00 thru 159.00 and looking for recommendations for good outdoor antenna. Now have a Tram 1410 and have mixed results. Thanks
 

mmckenna

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Discone antenna can be a good option if you want to use the entire capability of your scanner.

If VHF is all you -need-, then a dedicated VHF antenna will easily outperform a discone on the VHF bands.
While a bit out of the ordinary, VHF marine antenna can be an effective antenna, especially if you can find a used/cheap one. They are designed to work well in the 156-162 range in less than ideal conditions.

But as Whiskey said, it's kind of hard to make a good recommendation without knowing your budget. Prices can range anywhere from the Tram/Browning bottom of the barrel up to several thousand dollar for commercial quality base antennas.
 

Ubbe

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I live in rural area and most of my sites are in the 151.00 thru 159.00 and looking for recommendations for good outdoor antenna.
I'm in a similar situation and use Diamonds F23H. I use it to also receive both UHF and VHF-LO with great success. It comes with a cutting chart that will allow you to cut it to 155MHz to receive that 151-159MHz range the best.

/Ubbe
 

merlin

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Tram 1410 is a discone, scanning 100 Mhz and up they are hard to beat. Being VHF and up, your performance is related to height, higher is better.
For VHF only, a decent dedicated VHF vertical. VHF 'J' pole are cheap, VHF marine varies from cheap to expensive.
Commercial can go up from there.
Use a good grade of coax, especially for 50 foot lengths or more.
Use a lightning arrestor.
 
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mikethe88

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What's your budget? Why not consider a Diamond discone?
Thanks for the reply. Budget is $ 0-$200. Was using my 144/440 ham antenna and it was ok, but I needed it for my HAM radio, so I went with the Tram. I persume the Diamond would be better with the top whip and loading coil. Not planning to do any TX, have my HF and above antenna.
 

mikethe88

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Thanks for the reply. Budget is $ 0-$200. Was using my 144/440 ham antenna and it was ok, but I needed it for my HAM radio, so I went with the Tram. I persume the Diamond would be better with the top whip and loading coil. Not planning to do any TX, have my HF and above antenna.
AND, using RG-58 coax, 50' run, 25 feet in the air
 

lu81fitter

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As mmkenna says above, if you are only interested in VHF, a dedicated antenna to that band would work the best.
Maybe a simple 18 inch whip on a ground plane kit.

Laird Technologies QW144 - $14.95 : The Antenna Farm, Your two way radio source

and this.

Laird Technologies MBCN - $36.95 : The Antenna Farm, Your two way radio source.

You can get more elaborate if you want. I use that ground plane kit with this.

Larsen NMO150/450/758 - $55.95 : The Antenna Farm, Your two way radio source

It works well for all of my listening. VHF-Hi thru 860.xxx
Don't overcomplicate it. But as it was said, height will be your friend. Use the best coax you can get your hands on financially. The radio is only as good as the antenna.
Good luck.
 

mmckenna

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AND, using RG-58 coax, 50' run, 25 feet in the air
50 feet of RG-58 isn't doing you any favors. On VHF frequencies, you are likely losing almost half what your antenna picks up just in feed line losses. You may want to consider upgrading your coaxial cable as part of this.

The discone antennas have zero gain, and the top whip is only designed to give them some level of performance on low band since the average hobby discone isn't going to work well there.

If VHF is your only interest, go with a VHF only antenna and skip the discone. If you want to make use of all the capabilities of your scanner, then the Larsen NMO-150/450/458 that lu81fitter mentioned above would be a better choice. It'll at least give you some gain on UHF and 7-800MHz.
 

Ubbe

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AND, using RG-58 coax, 50' run, 25 feet in the air
It's more than a 3dB loss, half the signal. Use at least RG6 with less than 1,5dB loss and it doesn't cost much either that everybody should afford. The Diamond F23 are something like $150 with 7,5dBi gain and will be within your budget incl the RG6.

/Ubbe
 

KC3ECJ

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It's more than a 3dB loss, half the signal. Use at least RG6 with less than 1,5dB loss and it doesn't cost much either that everybody should afford. The Diamond F23 are something like $150 with 7,5dBi gain and will be within your budget incl the RG6.

/Ubbe
Yeah, go with quad shield.
I've found I even have significant losses on 150mhz at 50 feet with only double shield 75 ohm.
 
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