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Thinking about an upgrade soon (Base antenna)

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IdleMonitor

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I've used an Antron 99 for a while now and it's proven itself (to me anyways) that it's a cheap viable option that works good enough for both local and DX. However does have a tendancy to pick up a lot more static then desired. No biggie when the skip is rolling, but local chatter (within say 20 miles or so can be a challenge) But I may be looking for a upgrade at some point. No amps, or extra power used. Just a simple operator at stock power. Just transmitting 26/27 MHz.

What are your thoughts on the Sirio Gainmaster antennas? Gain-Master, the new reference in its class of antennas is it worth paying over $200 CDN (New) ?

Another antenna that I can purchase for a reasonable cost ($100 CDN Used) is a Jetstream JTV 680 JTV680 Jetstream Antenna HF Vertical Aluminum 6 - 80 Meters 23.4 Feet High 250 Watts Max.JTV680 Jetstream Antenna HF Vertical Aluminum 6 - 80 Meters 23.4 Feet High 250 Watts Max.

I am not looking at comparisons with any other antennas, just these ones mentioned only.
 

PrimeNumber

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How high do you have your current antenna mounted? Height is your #1 friend for local CB (and 10m, and VHF) action. You may be better off putting your money into more height for the A99 than into a new antenna.
 

IdleMonitor

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How high do you have your current antenna mounted? Height is your #1 friend for local CB (and 10m, and VHF) action. You may be better off putting your money into more height for the A99 than into a new antenna.
Currently it's mounted on 2 5ft poles joined together for about 9.5 ft in total on my roof. Total height from the top of roof to ground is 22ft so about 31.5 ft to the bottom of my antron currently. Running with RG8U coax.

I used to be using only 1 5ft pole amd adding the extra 5 ft pole made a big difference receiving a station about 15 miles away from a S3-5 to a solid S9 signal.
 

prcguy

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The Jetstream and its cousins from Comet and others work well as a 24ft long dummy load. One of the best CB antennas ever made was the Hy-Gain Penetrator, which has been reintroduced again. It has no gimmicks, no wild BS gain claims and is well made. I had one for nearly 40yrs and finally retired it just a few years ago. Retail is around $150 US on the new version.
prcguy
 

PrimeNumber

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Currently it's mounted on 2 5ft poles joined together for about 9.5 ft in total on my roof. Total height from the top of roof to ground is 22ft so about 31.5 ft to the bottom of my antron currently. Running with RG8U coax.

I used to be using only 1 5ft pole amd adding the extra 5 ft pole made a big difference receiving a station about 15 miles away from a S3-5 to a solid S9 signal.
Height is king, but it sounds like you have about all the height that's practical for a roof mount. FWIW, the bottom of my A99 is at 22ft AGL and 20mi is pretty easy with it, but that's over flat coastal plains. You're already using decent coax, so that's not an issue. Sounds like a new antenna is the next step and as prcguy points out, the Hy-Gain Penetrator has a fine reputation.
 

prcguy

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Not only is height King, but getting the antenna 1/2 wave above ground or multiples of that will work even better. If you model various vertical antennas over an average earth ground and look at the main lobe, it points up slightly where most of the energy is not quite at the horizon. Getting as high as possible and at 1/2 wave intervals like 18ft, 36ft, 54ft, etc will bring the main lobe down closer to the horizon compared to random heights.

I've done this over the years and its noticeable but you may have to fine tune the height with someone monitoring at a distance since the highest radiation point may vary with different antennas. Its usually near the base on most antennas where the RF current is highest.
prcguy

Height is king, but it sounds like you have about all the height that's practical for a roof mount. FWIW, the bottom of my A99 is at 22ft AGL and 20mi is pretty easy with it, but that's over flat coastal plains. You're already using decent coax, so that's not an issue. Sounds like a new antenna is the next step and as prcguy points out, the Hy-Gain Penetrator has a fine reputation.
 

helvis

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I have used both the SPT500 and the Sirio Gain Master. I wish the city code enforcement didn't make me take the 500 down. I was very happy with it. I gave my Sirio Gain Master to my friend and he is working DX low power and making contacts. My SPT 500 went to another friend and he is having the same results. If I didn't live in a such a salty environment and have a loser code enforcement officer I would go SPT500.
 

IdleMonitor

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Currently i get nothing less then 2-3 s-units of static on the radio with my antron. I am aiming at trying also trying to lower my noise floor. Living in the centre of town with power lines also around me doesn't help either. That's what hinders my local use. DX no problem skip is all over the static noise so it doesn't bother me then.

I've got the antenna grounded, I've got tvi filters on and i have feritte filters all inline as well. As well as an antenna tuner. I've taken all the necessary steps to make the most of my base station so far.

Funny thing also. With my tvi filter in place I still go through my neighbors tv. Went as far as buying a filter for her line and still go through it. Mind you her tv is a tube style tv and not a more modern flat screen tv with better filters in it.
 
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IdleMonitor

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I have used both the SPT500 and the Sirio Gain Master. I wish the city code enforcement didn't make me take the 500 down. I was very happy with it. I gave my Sirio Gain Master to my friend and he is working DX low power and making contacts. My SPT 500 went to another friend and he is having the same results. If I didn't live in a such a salty environment and have a loser code enforcement officer I would go SPT500.
How did your Sirio work out for you?
 

w2rea

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Hy-Gain Penetrator

Another vote for the Penetrator, excellent antenna for $150.00. Check the DX Engineering website.
 

JayMojave

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Yo: Yes another vote for the Hy-Gain Penetrator 5/8 wavelength SPT500.

A good 5/8 wavelength ground plane antenna at 20 to 30 feet high, or higher is really hard to beat. These antennas will take high winds, work well with their low angle of radiation, and have better performance than the fiberglass non ground plane antennas, and have less interference to consumer electronics. And is time proven over many years.

There are other 5/8 wavelength antennas out there.

Good Luck.

Jay in the Mojave
 

prcguy

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Getting your antenna up higher and getting away from one that has a wider lobe that extends downward, or that lights up the coax with RF (Antron 99 and others without ground radials are known for this) will help reduce your signal getting into the neighbors TV and appliances.

In the majority of the US, TV channels 2 through 6 are gone, which accounted for much of the TVI problems from CB 2nd and 3rd harmonic problems and TV front end overload picked up through the TV antenna. Most people seem to be on cable or satellite TV, which are far less prone to interference.

But you can still blast right through the TV set and into its circuits or into interconnect cables to VCRs, DVDs and surround sound systems if they are within the blast zone of your antenna pattern.
prcguy

Currently i get nothing less then 2-3 s-units of static on the radio with my antron. I am aiming at trying also trying to lower my noise floor. Living in the centre of town with power lines also around me doesn't help either. That's what hinders my local use. DX no problem skip is all over the static noise so it doesn't bother me then.

I've got the antenna grounded, I've got tvi filters on and i have feritte filters all inline as well. As well as an antenna tuner. I've taken all the necessary steps to make the most of my base station so far.

Funny thing also. With my tvi filter in place I still go through my neighbors tv. Went as far as buying a filter for her line and still go through it. Mind you her tv is a tube style tv and not a more modern flat screen tv with better filters in it.
 

John_S

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I'm surprised no one mentioned...

The IMAX 2000 from Solarcon. Most of the benefits of a 5/8ths antenna without the large set of radials. Almost as easy to set up as the A-99. The Super Penetrator, along with all the other HyGain antennas, are now MFJ products and the quality has slipped...issues with parts mismatching and missing parts. Such a shame as Hy Gain used to be top notch antennas...had 3 of their products on amateur bands and really liked them.
 

prcguy

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I have not seen the new version and MFJ is known for their legendary quality, or lack of, but I can't imagine they could screw up the Penetrator antenna all that much. The build quality has to be better than an IMAX and how many IMAX antennas will be around after 40yrs like a Hy-Gain Penetrator?

I've also read reviews where someone swapped a Penetrator for an IMAX in the same spot and the IMAX could not hear things the Penetrator used to on ground wave.
prcguy


The IMAX 2000 from Solarcon. Most of the benefits of a 5/8ths antenna without the large set of radials. Almost as easy to set up as the A-99. The Super Penetrator, along with all the other HyGain antennas, are now MFJ products and the quality has slipped...issues with parts mismatching and missing parts. Such a shame as Hy Gain used to be top notch antennas...had 3 of their products on amateur bands and really liked them.
 

John_S

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Well I did say most of the benefits...

I don't think it would be unrealistic to get 20 years out of an A-99 or an IMAX...they're basically constructed from the same materials. A friend still uses his that is 20 years old and still going strong...except now on 10, 12, 15, and 17 meters. And as far as ease of installation goes, you can't beat these 2. And as far as MFJ's QC issues, there are lots of users and reviews from dissatisfied hams over the last few years, unhappy with parts that need to be modified to fit or hardware that was missing. I put a lot of antennas together from both Cushcraft and HyGain and never had a problem or a missing part...but that was long before MFJ sucked these 2 companies up. For what we pay for antennas, this is inexcusable. But if you want to start talking about high performance vertical antennas for 11 meters, my vote would go to the Sirio Vector 4000, at 32' tall. This antenna will put signal where no other vertical will...been there, done that. Only problem with it is that it needs modification to reinforce the vertical radiator at the section joints. But once that's done, you have a pretty amazing piece of aluminum up in the air. Wished I had one of these a few months ago when 10 meters was hot.
 

John_S

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As far as the noise issue goes...

It's probably more an issue with synthesizer noise and there's no way to get rid of it other than changing radios. More signal helps, so that you can back down the RF gain to some degree. Outboard DSP unit may help take the edge off, but with the prices for better ones, you might as well buy a different radio.
 

IdleMonitor

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It's probably more an issue with synthesizer noise and there's no way to get rid of it other than changing radios. More signal helps, so that you can back down the RF gain to some degree. Outboard DSP unit may help take the edge off, but with the prices for better ones, you might as well buy a different radio.
I did buy a new radio a few months ago. Picked up a President Grant 2. I sold my Cobra 2000 to the lad that gave me the antron. ;)





 
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