Watson W889 first impression (PSR800 & GTA frequencies)

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rockblock

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GTA, ON
First off, let me state that I am by no means an expert on antennas, I'm just publishing the results related to my own experiences.

After reading a lot of good reviews on the Watson W-889, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase one, hoping that I will see some substantial improvement over my stock ducky. Since Durham Radio seems to be the only place to buy one, I went and picked one up for a hefty $50 (tax included)

Since my main areas of interest are the TPS, Fleetnet 1 & the 800MHz Durham/York/Peel TGRPs, those are the ranges against which I tested the W889. The test was conducted from Durham region, close to the 37WHIT tower

Pros:

  • compact, 6-16" telescopic
  • solid design
  • improved signal on 800MHz - gained one full bar on TPS from 50km away, somewhat reduced noise
  • Reduced some static on Durham 800MHz
  • very minor improvements on UHF 450-470MHz by one bar (intermittent)
  • very minor improvements on Aircraft 108-137 MHz by one bar (intermittent)
Cons:

  • No manual or marking as to which elements to use for which range (unlike the Diamond RH795); it's trial & error to figure out what best works - I've noticed that 800MHz is not best achieved at shortest length but with 3 elements extended
  • no improvements on Peel & York 800MHz
  • no improvements on CB/10m/6m/1.25m
Fleetnet 1 is so powerful across the GTA that I am able to pick up a solid signal with all antennas, so no gain there

Overall, I like it's design, I did find some improvements over the stock stubby, but it's fallen a bit short of my expectations, given it's high price tag...

Is it worth $50?...well, while others would strongly agree that it is, the W889 has not convinced me (yet) - I will fiddle some more with various lengths and locations and will report back

Anyone else have a better experience? Anyone managed to map lengths to frequency ranges?
 
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EJB

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
3,341
Location
Downtown Hamilton
First off, let me state that I am by no means an expert on antennas, I'm just publishing the results related to my own experiences.

After reading a lot of good reviews on the Watson W-889, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase one, hoping that I will see some substantial improvement over my stock ducky. Since Durham Radio seems to be the only place to buy one, I went and picked one up for a hefty $50 (tax included)

Since my main areas of interest are the TPS, Fleetnet 1 & the 800MHz Durham/York/Peel TGRPs, those are the ranges against which I tested the W889. The test was conducted from Durham region, close to the 37WHIT tower

Pros:

  • compact, 6-16" telescopic
  • solid design
  • improved signal on 800MHz - gained one full bar on TPS from 50km away, somewhat reduced noise
  • Reduced some static on Durham 800MHz
  • very minor improvements on UHF 450-470MHz by one bar (intermittent)
  • very minor improvements on Aircraft 108-137 MHz by one bar (intermittent)
Cons:

  • No manual or marking as to which elements to use for which range (unlike the Diamond RH795); it's trial & error to figure out what best works - I've noticed that 800MHz is not best achieved at shortest length but with 3 elements extended
  • no improvements on Peel & York 800MHz
  • no improvements on CB/10m/6m/1.25m
Fleetnet 1 is so powerful across the GTA that I am able to pick up a solid signal with all antennas, so no gain there

Overall, I like it's design, I did find some improvements over the stock stubby, but it's fallen a bit short of my expectations, given it's high price tag...

Is it worth $50?...well, while others would strongly agree that it is, the W889 has not convinced me (yet) - I will fiddle some more with various lengths and locations and will report back

Anyone else have a better experience? Anyone managed to map lengths to frequency ranges?
Check out the discussion here:

http://forums.radioreference.com/scanner-receiver-antennas/185851-watson-881-vs-889-a.html

I was given a Watson W881. It is a solid antenna, it does an improved job with my Uniden 250. With a stock antenna I could not get the Fleetnet Brantford tower but slap on the W881 and it comes in clearly, 2 to 3 bar improvments.

That said I dont like long antennas. If you are sitting in your backyard great, but to go portable, forget it.
I

Your W889 at least gives you the option of shrinking it I guess for certain bands.

How are you going to use your scanner? Is it going to be in a radio room or are you going to carry it from room to room with you? I use my KSMA antenna, I mount it on a window and hook up a metal sheet and I use my other handmake wire hanger antenna to support this metal sheet by hooking it up on a hook on my window ledge,( It is very scientific and very sexy, lol I dont dare post pics of my shack, the art critics would have a field day with this set up, "wires are exposed!!!!!!!" :) )

I also enjoy taking my radio on the balcony and bringing the antenna outside with me, works well on the balcony.

Ovi: If you are planning on using this antenna in your car you are probably wasting time, you need an antenna mounted outside the vehicle for seemless Fleetnet or 800 meg stuff.
 

VE3RADIO

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Planet Earth
I have a really great antenna for you to use for 800... if you want it we can do a swap.. I actually have about 30 spare handheld antenna you can chose from and decide what works best.. Let me know we haven't got that coffee yet.. probably my fault (been busy)
 

rockblock

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
72
Location
GTA, ON
Check out the discussion here:

http://forums.radioreference.com/scanner-receiver-antennas/185851-watson-881-vs-889-a.html

I was given a Watson W881. It is a solid antenna, it does an improved job with my Uniden 250. With a stock antenna I could not get the Fleetnet Brantford tower but slap on the W881 and it comes in clearly, 2 to 3 bar improvments.

That said I dont like long antennas. If you are sitting in your backyard great, but to go portable, forget it.
I

Your W889 at least gives you the option of shrinking it I guess for certain bands.

How are you going to use your scanner? Is it going to be in a radio room or are you going to carry it from room to room with you? I use my KSMA antenna, I mount it on a window and hook up a metal sheet and I use my other handmake wire hanger antenna to support this metal sheet by hooking it up on a hook on my window ledge,( It is very scientific and very sexy, lol I dont dare post pics of my shack, the art critics would have a field day with this set up, "wires are exposed!!!!!!!" :) )

I also enjoy taking my radio on the balcony and bringing the antenna outside with me, works well on the balcony.

Ovi: If you are planning on using this antenna in your car you are probably wasting time, you need an antenna mounted outside the vehicle for seemless Fleetnet or 800 meg stuff.
I need it for mobility...from room to room, while hiking & in the car...I don't have a shack setup, but am looking to get a KS3 for indoors and maybe built a discone next spring...just checking out various options right now and, well, decided to start with the "best" (or most expensive) whip

I took it outdoors today through the woods and did find an improvement over the stock ducky for sure, with 1 extra bar on TPS/Durham/York 800
(my next step will be to also try a Radio Shack 800 MHz)

Again, lots of great reviews, so I'll probably need some more time to figure out exactly how to adjust based on frequency range
 

rockblock

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
72
Location
GTA, ON
I have a really great antenna for you to use for 800... if you want it we can do a swap.. I actually have about 30 spare handheld antenna you can chose from and decide what works best.. Let me know we haven't got that coffee yet.. probably my fault (been busy)
Thx, I like that...will be in touch
 

bigcam406

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
1,138
Location
oshawa,ont,canada
im using a Watson 801 on my PSR500.i noticed a big difference in reception when monitoring TPS from my location.For Fleetnet and Durham Region trunking,the signal is strong enough that i cant notice a difference from the stock antenna.i was considering trying a W881 to see if there would be any improvement for receiving TPS and York.
 

EJB

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
3,341
Location
Downtown Hamilton
I need it for mobility...from room to room, while hiking & in the car...I don't have a shack setup, but am looking to get a KS3 for indoors and maybe built a discone next spring...just checking out various options right now and, well, decided to start with the "best" (or most expensive) whip

I took it outdoors today through the woods and did find an improvement over the stock ducky for sure, with 1 extra bar on TPS/Durham/York 800
(my next step will be to also try a Radio Shack 800 MHz)

Again, lots of great reviews, so I'll probably need some more time to figure out exactly how to adjust based on frequency range
Ovi: It wont do squat in a car. Unless you point the antenna out the window and manouver it around when you are driving no antenna is gonna live up to its amount. Thats where you need a mounted, be it drilled or mag mount outside.
 
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