I am seeking suggestions to improve my rail band setup. Overall I am pleased with reception but it would be nice to clean up some of the lower level signals. I am limited to attic mounted antennas and a ~75’ min cable run. Right now I am running:
- Tram 1410 attic mounted - estimate 1.4 dBi gain for the tram at 160 MHz based on my cad model
- Commscope RG6 at 75’ - around 2 dB insertion loss per supplier datasheet.
- Kenwood TM-281 - recent edition to my setup. Significant improvement vs my scanners. Thanks to RR forum for the suggestion.
- Smaller collinear antenna, such as Laird FM1560 or DPD Traintenna. Laird lists the antenna as 2.1 dBi. Does not seem worth it vs the discone.
- A taller collinear. Laird offers a ~ 5 dBi version but at 107” it would only fit in my attic at a slight angle. I need to do the math but it would likely be 25 degrees from vertical. Such an angle would account for around 1 dB polarization mismatch loss along some portions alongside the horizon.
- Better coax, such as LMR400. That would give me 1.3 dB loss. Not a significant improvement vs my current coax. And running new thick coax is a pain and undesirable.
- Add a preamp at the discone. Potential to buy back the 2dB or coax loss. However, with the discone I would likely need to add both an fm filter and a pager band filter before the preamp - maybe adds 1-1.5 dB rolled up loss before the preamp. Even with a narrow band antenna I may still need both of these.