What wideband Antenna to get ?

usnasa

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hello All
I live in NYC , I have the homepatrol 2 radio and Im looking for an outdoor antenna that will do wide band 25 - 1300 MHZ and there are some P25 digital channels in my area that I would like to listen to as well can someone please help me
 

prcguy

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What specific frequencies are you most interested in? The advertisements of 25-1300MHz are basically a lie but some antennas can do well across a fairly wide range. What band or frequencies are your P25 digital on?

hello All
I live in NYC , I have the homepatrol 2 radio and Im looking for an outdoor antenna that will do wide band 25 - 1300 MHZ and there are some P25 digital channels in my area that I would like to listen to as well can someone please help me
 

usnasa

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local frequencies in my area police , fire , EMS , aircraft Port Auth police
and for the P25 digital are 160.0000 thru 174.000 and 416.4500 thru 420.0000

thank you
 

prcguy

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I don't see any 700/800 stuff listed so I think a Discone would be a good candidate, its got consistent performance from the VHF air band through about 500Mhz but they have some problems in the 700/800MHz area. The Diamond D130 series is known to be good quality and will last a long time outside. There are smaller Discones with whips and gadgets hanging off them that I would avoid but there are other brands of Discones that are the same basic size as the D130 and that's the size to target for what you have listed. They will receive 700/800 stuff if that comes up in the future but reception will be somewhat degraded in that frequency range.


local frequencies in my area police , fire , EMS , aircraft Port Auth police
and for the P25 digital are 160.0000 thru 174.000 and 416.4500 thru 420.0000

thank you
 

usnasa

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I don't see any 700/800 stuff listed so I think a Discone would be a good candidate, its got consistent performance from the VHF air band through about 500Mhz but they have some problems in the 700/800MHz area. The Diamond D130 series is known to be good quality and will last a long time outside. There are smaller Discones with whips and gadgets hanging off them that I would avoid but there are other brands of Discones that are the same basic size as the D130 and that's the size to target for what you have listed. They will receive 700/800 stuff if that comes up in the future but reception will be somewhat degraded in that frequency range.
and it will do the P25 stuff and what cable would you recommend ?
 

prcguy

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Antennas are frequency selective and not mode selective. It depends on what frequency the P25 traffic is on. Cable depends on the distance, if you will have a short run like 20-30ft you can get away with some smaller cheaper cable. If its 50ft you would want to upgrade. More than 50ft something bigger, etc. Higher frequencies like 700/800MHz will have much more cable loss compared to VHF, etc.


and it will do the P25 stuff and what cable would you recommend ?
 

usnasa

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ok well the p25 traffic i would like are 160.0000 thru 174.000 and 416.4500 thru 420.0000 in that area am i better with the mini dicone antenna because space is the issues thanks
 

prcguy

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Mini Discone not good. A Discone is a very specific design that will be at least 1/4 wavelength long on the downward radials. To work down at VHF air band the downward radials are usually about 30" long + or - a little. A mini Discone is one that works at higher frequencies like 400MHz on up and they stick a whip on top to try and tune some other lower frequencies but its a big compromise.

A Discone is inherently very wide band over about an 8:1 ratio, the tuned whips they have to stick on the mini versions will only work well over a few specific frequencies plus they usually outright lie about the specs. The more common size Discones with 30 something inch long radials are a standard that work well over the entire frequency range you have mentioned so far. A mini or any other type of antenna will not.


ok well the p25 traffic i would like are 160.0000 thru 174.000 and 416.4500 thru 420.0000 in that area am i better with the mini dicone antenna because space is the issues thanks
 

cpfinlay

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For your particular use-case, I would recommend a tuned dual-band antenna, which would have "gain" in the bands you want (unlike a wide-band antenna) and would help reduce interference from out of band signals. Something to consider in a dense RF environment is interference from unwanted signals. If you decide to go with a dual-band antenna, make sure it's tuned for Public Service frequencies and not Amateur Radio bands.
 

prcguy

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How is a tuned dual band going to get lower fed UHF, public service UHF, public service VHF, higher end VHF fed and air band? They would usually be tuned over a very narrow range like 150-155 and 460-470MHz and everywhere else they would be degraded.

For your particular use-case, I would recommend a tuned dual-band antenna, which would have "gain" in the bands you want (unlike a wide-band antenna) and would help reduce interference from out of band signals. Something to consider in a dense RF environment is interference from unwanted signals. If you decide to go with a dual-band antenna, make sure it's tuned for Public Service frequencies and not Amateur Radio bands.
 

cpfinlay

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How is a tuned dual band going to get lower fed UHF, public service UHF, public service VHF, higher end VHF fed and air band? They would usually be tuned over a very narrow range like 150-155 and 460-470MHz and everywhere else they would be degraded.
The degradation was my point, but in looking back at the post I don't know of any dual band that is tuned for the OP's desired "160.0000 thru 174.000 and 416.4500 thru 420.0000 " (to your point). So disregard, OP... apologies for not reading more carefully.
 

prcguy

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The OPs needs go out of range for any dual band I have seen and that's not unusual for many people. If you venture into the VHF or UHF air bands or the fed bands at extreme ends of VHF and UHF it throws a wench into things and for that a Discone is usually a good fit. Unless they have distant 700/800MHz stations and then options get thin or complicated for good reliable reception. If you are willing to compromise and miss an amount of stuff then there are plenty of other antennas that will pick up some things ok, some not that well.

I've seen and measured the differences between Discones and narrower band antennas and personally would not want to miss out on a lot of action due to the antenna.


The degradation was my point, but in looking back at the post I don't know of any dual band that is tuned for the OP's desired "160.0000 thru 174.000 and 416.4500 thru 420.0000 " (to your point). So disregard, OP... apologies for not reading more carefully.
 

cpfinlay

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I've seen and measured the differences between Discones and narrower band antennas and personally would not want to miss out on a lot of action due to the antenna.
Having lived in a dense RF environment in the past, "missing out" on unwanted signals was precisely what I was getting at. I was attempting to address a very specific request and didn't consider other potential use cases. But yes, I understand your point and I am sure a discone will suffice.
 

prcguy

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From what you have mentioned as your target frequency ranges I think a "regular" size Discone is a good choice. The Diamond D130 series is known to be good and there are other brands that should work fine but I don't have any other brands to suggest at the moment. There was recently some testing done on a Tram Discone, which can be had in the $40 range but it didn't seem to test that well. Radio Shack used to make one that worked OK and the price was good but they have gone out of business. Maybe someone else can share a brand that is known to be good with a reasonable price.

I use a number of Discones here but they are kind of exotic and pricey for most people. I've had a Diamond D130 many years ago and it worked well for me, but I can't remember what happened to it. I may have given it away to a friend.

so a A Discone antenna is what im looking for then do you have one in mind sir ?
 

prcguy

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I also live in a very dense RF environment, Los Angeles, CA with repeater sites up the street and all around me. I don't recall any problems with scanners unless I try and use a preamp in line, then it all caves in except for the overbuilt system I recently put together with a pair of Discones for low and high frequency ranges and filtered preamps.

I've used a hand held scanner in Manhattan 30 floors up and it was not happy getting lots of interference but that is the nature of that type of receiver. If the OP has a scanner that gets overloaded in Brooklyn with the stock antenna, then he will have to use some filters or figure out a cure no matter what antenna he uses.

Having lived in a dense RF environment in the past, "missing out" on unwanted signals was precisely what I was getting at. I was attempting to address a very specific request and didn't consider other potential use cases. But yes, I understand your point and I am sure a discone will suffice.
 

jmsanders83

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I absolutely love my Diamond D130NJ Wideband Discone. I have it mounted in my attic, with LMR400 down to the radio room, and it catches local transmissions very well, and faint signals very well too.

I can monitor Chicago PD Dispatch and Grand Rapids MI PD dispatch all the way from Brookfield, WI. Google it, it's pretty far.

I'm regularly monitoring airband traffic over Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio.

I have strong TV stations not too far away, and in my old house I lived a 1/2 mile away from an FM and AM station, no problems.
 

WB9YBM

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Typically a low-gain antenna (quarter wave or half wave) have broader bandwidth than gain antennas (like beams), although you might be sacrificing a bit of range; as an alternative have you considered multi-band antennas?
 
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