What's a good antenna for monitoring railroad?

baj76

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I have a SDS100 and GRE 500....What's a good antenna for monitoring railroad in the Columbus Ohio area? thanks
 

hiegtx

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ive heard great things about the Diamond RH77CA
Also take a look at the RH789. It's a telescoping antenna, with markings on the antenna showing how many segments to extend for various frequency bands. While it's available in both an SMA mount as well as a BNC, you'd need to get the BNC version, and use the SMA->BNC adapter that came with the scanner. The SMA mount on the SRH-789 would not properly fit the recessed antenna connector on the scanner. You could use the BNC version on either your SDS100 or the PSR-500.
 

626hawkeye

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Any thing that is 1' 5 1/2" will your for a portable and a Dipole is my preference for base totaling 2' 11". I make my own Antennas.
 

N6JPA

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I have a SDS100 and GRE 500....What's a good antenna for monitoring railroad in the Columbus Ohio area? thanks
I use a ham radio VHF/UHF dual band radio for monitoring and it works great. universal-radio.com has dual band antennas for sale.
:)
 

wa8pyr

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I have a SDS100 and GRE 500....What's a good antenna for monitoring railroad in the Columbus Ohio area? thanks
The Smiley Antenna 5/8 Slim Duck 160, hands down. I've got two (one I've had since the late 1980s), and you can't beat them. I bought one with the proper connector for the Icom F3161DT-RR railroad radio I use for RR monitoring and it's superior in every respect. The other has a BNC connector and goes on whichever scanner I feel like using at that moment.


I also have a few other 5/8 Slim Duck antennas, one for the VHF ham band on my XTS5000 and another on a scanner, plus another which I bought used at R&L Electronics in HAMilton, OH cut for the VHF aviation band which I use on an air band radio scanner.

You can buy them with your choice of connector, although I usually stick with the BNC so I can use it on any radio (the Icom and the XTS5000 were the exceptions).
 

Ubbe

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Smiley calls their antenna 5/8 which should be 46 inches long but thiers are only 9 inches. So it must be extremly shortened and not much effective antenna area left. Any tuned antenna to a narrow frequency range are better than an antenna for another frequency or a broadbanded one. It feels like it probably could be more efficient if it where a 1/4 antenna that was shortened. Their claim of 6dBd gain are ridicolous. A full lenght 5/8 antenna optimum maximized could have at most a 4dBd gain.

Remember that a 1/4 antenna has more omni direction vertically than a 5/8 that compress the directivity in hight to focus more to the horizon and gets more critical of an upright position. That's why you find very few gain antennas for portable use.

/Ubbe
 

wa8pyr

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Smiley calls their antenna 5/8 which should be 46 inches long but thiers are only 9 inches. So it must be extremly shortened and not much effective antenna area left. Any tuned antenna to a narrow frequency range are better than an antenna for another frequency or a broadbanded one. It feels like it probably could be more efficient if it where a 1/4 antenna that was shortened. Their claim of 6dBd gain are ridicolous. A full lenght 5/8 antenna optimum maximized could have at most a 4dBd gain.

Remember that a 1/4 antenna has more omni direction vertically than a 5/8 that compress the directivity in hight to focus more to the horizon and gets more critical of an upright position. That's why you find very few gain antennas for portable use.
They're helically wound so yes, they are physically shortened. Even so, every one of the band-specific 5/8 Slim Duck antennas I have works considerably better than a 1/4 wave, and light years of improvement over a stock scanner or HT antenna.
 
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wa8pyr is correct also basically "and I say basically because there are exceptions" the rail service infrastructure is ground based so you want your antenna to maximize your scanners reception toward the horizon.
 

RadioDitch

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Another benefit to Smiley Antenna designs is they're modular. So if you have multiple radios, or acquire a new portable that has a different attena connection type, you don't have to buy an entirely new antenna. You just buy the appropriate connection from their site, unscrew the base connector you originally purchased, and attach the new one.

Link:
 
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