ST2 or discone

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davenlr

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In theory, the Antenna craft ST2 being a half-wave dipole should have some gain over an ST4 or Diamond discone. I currently have a discone (the old discontinued radio shack version). Does anyone have both antennas installed, and is the ST2 a good performer? My discone does quite well on VHF and UHF but doesnt fare real well in the 800 range, and is pretty useless in the 27-45 Mhz range. Only picks up in the 50-54 6 meter ham band (which is what I have the whip tuned to). Was looking to replace or supplement with an ST2 if it has better low band and 800 Mhz coverage, while maintaining the good Air band (civil and military) reception of the discone.
 

lotsofradios

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I have the ST2 antenna. Good antenna especially for the price. Also have the current radio shack discone RadioShack Outdoor Scanner/Ham Discone Antenna : Scanner Antennas | RadioShack.com Both antennas are at about 20' Both pick up our local 800 MHz trunk system about the same with full bars signal strength.

Most of the time I am listening to the Civil Air band 118-136 MHz VHF Mil band 136-144 MHz and UHF mil band 225-380 MHz. On all the VHF freqs the two antennas are dead even. On the UHF Mil band the discone does slightly better every time.
 

davenlr

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You notice if you check Radio Shack, neither their discone you linked, or the ST2 is available? Radio Shack needs to just close their doors...they are next to useless except for overpriced cell phones.

I ordered the ST2 to compliment my discone per your comments. It will allow me a higher mounting option than I have with my discone, so if they are even, the extra height should get me better ground reception from the airport, which is just BARELY coming in now (its not far, but behind a hill). Thanks for taking time to reply.

Dave
 

LIScanner101

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Since the ST2 is a cluster dipole antenna with rather long main elements it's bound to do much better at low band than any consumer discone.
 

davenlr

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Yea, I hope so. Im going to use the ST2 for my BCT15 to scan 10M FM, and low band, and civil aircraft bands. Ill leave the discone on my overpowered P25 trunking system down the street :)
 

lotsofradios

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You notice if you check Radio Shack, neither their discone you linked, or the ST2 is available? Radio Shack needs to just close their doors...they are next to useless except for overpriced cell phones.

I ordered the ST2 to compliment my discone per your comments. It will allow me a higher mounting option than I have with my discone, so if they are even, the extra height should get me better ground reception from the airport, which is just BARELY coming in now (its not far, but behind a hill). Thanks for taking time to reply.

Dave
It was available 4 months ago because that is when I bought mine from a local Radio Shack. I was just in that same Radio Shack 2 weeks ago and they had at least 1 on the wall.

I just checked RadioShack website again, I see it is not available for ordering online. If you use the Find Nearby link and check your local area you'll probably find them in the store. Just checked the site and every RadioShack within 50 miles of me has them instock.
 

davenlr

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I used the "Find Nearby" link and none of the stores within 50 miles of me have it. I was going to pick up another one, before they are all gone...but Ill just wait and replace it with the Diamond version when I need to. Im trying to find a 40' tower around locally. Found an 80' one, but its still up, and guyed, and they want it taken down. Im not sure Im up to that by myself :)
 

vagrant

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Rather than increase your elevation, and all of the costs related to a tower, why not use those funds to purchase an antenna, or antennas tuned to the bands/freqs you want to listen to. A yagi, or log periodic will provide you with directional gain toward your intended target. Even if you do pick up a tower, the right antenna is a good choice. DPD Productions has some nice antennas that cover a wide range of frequencies. You could make your own tape measure yagi tuned to the frequency range you want to hear, for a few dollars.

I have both the RS Discone and the ST2. Fortunately, I am in a good spot to pick up what I want using those antennas. I also want to confirm the ST2 is definitely better on lower bands than the discone.

* Do not forget some quality coax. It makes a difference. Filters too if you have FM/AM BCB interference.
 

davenlr

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Good suggestions vagrant, but the tower is for a A3S triband yagi for 10/15/20 meters. and a high gain UHF yagi for TV DXing...the scanner antenna is mounted on a 15' tripod with a 20' mast next to the house. The only thing a little additional height would gain me with the scanner, is being able to hear the airplanes at the airport while they are on the ground, as there is a ridge between me and the airport that is about 150' higher than I am about 2 miles away. The airport is about 6 miles away.
.
 

davenlr

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I am going to answer my own question...we currently have a landmark hotel burning down in Hot Springs National Park. I am 60 miles from Hot Springs, with large hills between. I have the discone hooked to a new 536HP with RG8 coax, and the ST2 hooked to a BCT15 with the coax it ships with. The ST2 is 10 feet lower than the discone. I am able to listen to the fire department repeater with some noise, on the ST2, and dont even get a hint of a signal on the discone. This is on the 450 band. So at least on UHF, the ST2 blows the discone out of the water.
 

n4yek

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I am going to answer my own question...we currently have a landmark hotel burning down in Hot Springs National Park. I am 60 miles from Hot Springs, with large hills between. I have the discone hooked to a new 536HP with RG8 coax, and the ST2 hooked to a BCT15 with the coax it ships with. The ST2 is 10 feet lower than the discone. I am able to listen to the fire department repeater with some noise, on the ST2, and dont even get a hint of a signal on the discone. This is on the 450 band. So at least on UHF, the ST2 blows the discone out of the water.
Did you swap the radios between the antennas to make sure it isn't the scanners that receive different?
 

davenlr

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Did you swap the radios between the antennas to make sure it isn't the scanners that receive different?
Yep, I did, and the ST2 was almost full quieting on the 536, which obviously has a better receiver in it than the older BCT15. Because of this, I have decided to just leave the ST2 on the new scanner, and hooked the discone to the old one (which I only use for monitoring aircraft and other misc. stuff.).

Using a 12' tripod, and Im going to put it on the roof when it gets warmer, and that will raise both antennas up another 15 feet. from their current location on the with the tripod mounted on the ground.
 

nyair1

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I have the ST2 antenna. Good antenna especially for the price. Also have the current radio shack discone RadioShack Outdoor Scanner/Ham Discone Antenna : Scanner Antennas | RadioShack.com Both antennas are at about 20' Both pick up our local 800 MHz trunk system about the same with full bars signal strength.

Most of the time I am listening to the Civil Air band 118-136 MHz VHF Mil band 136-144 MHz and UHF mil band 225-380 MHz. On all the VHF freqs the two antennas are dead even. On the UHF Mil band the discone does slightly better every time.
I have that Radio Shack discone also. I just upgraded mine 2 years ago when i moved. The one i replaced was probably 15+ years old. Held up in the snow and winds of Buffalo winters without any problems. Just make sure you use loctite on the rods when you put them into the center section. Its mounted at about 30ft on the side of my house. Been a super windy year and it is still all in one piece. I do alot of Milair listening and i figure i have a 225-250 air mile range with it. I used really good gauge quad shield rg-6 coax without any problems. I have thought about adding one of those DPD omni-x antenns. I have heard good things about them for milair.
 

lotsofradios

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I have that Radio Shack discone also. I just upgraded mine 2 years ago when i moved. The one i replaced was probably 15+ years old. Held up in the snow and winds of Buffalo winters without any problems. Just make sure you use loctite on the rods when you put them into the center section. Its mounted at about 30ft on the side of my house. Been a super windy year and it is still all in one piece. I do alot of Milair listening and i figure i have a 225-250 air mile range with it. I used really good gauge quad shield rg-6 coax without any problems. I have thought about adding one of those DPD omni-x antenns. I have heard good things about them for milair.
Thanks to a local friend who got me a good deal on where to buy a Create Log Periodic I now have 1 in my attic. That blows away the discone plus very good VHF airplane coverage. In attic don't worry too much about winds here in Florida. It is a bit pricy but with it in the attic I can hear well over 200 miles. I would like to put it outside but at almost $300 for the antenna I am a bit cautious.
 

llwade

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I currently have a discone antenna on the roof but will be going to the ST2 this Summer. Main reason is I am tired of finding the lower elements in the yard. I have lost 4 in the last two years. I don't like having to get the ladder out and replace fallen elements. I just hope the ST2 will handle the stiff winds resistance, here in Illinois.
 

nmelfi

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Dave, you ST2 should be doing better. I have mine twenty feet up and can hear GSP tower and ground airliners and ground ops on my BCT15. GSP is twenty miles from me with a 1800 foot moutain in between. Check that coax, I use belden solid copper quad shield with digicom compression fittings. I love my ST2 although I am looking for a log periodic on a rotor just to see what I can recieve.
 

davenlr

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Dave, you ST2 should be doing better.
The ST2 is doing great. 60+ miles on UHF. Are you saying the discone should be working better? Its not picking up much past 25 miles on any band. With the two at the same height, I get 2 bars on ATIS from the Airport on the Discone, and 5 bars on the ST2.
 

nmelfi

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The ST2 is doing great. 60+ miles on UHF. Are you saying the discone should be working better? Its not picking up much past 25 miles on any band. With the two at the same height, I get 2 bars on ATIS from the Airport on the Discone, and 5 bars on the ST2.
No I was referencing in a older post that you could not here planes on the ground at six miles. My BCT15 and a scantenna hears planes on the ground fine at Greenville-Spartanburg Airport 20 miles away with a small mountain in between.
 
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