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| | |-+  High gain base station antenna recommendations?
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Author Topic: High gain base station antenna recommendations?  (Read 13945 times)
datainmotion
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2012, 06:37:40 PM »

I use Icom PCR-100s for all 3 feeds. I also use a Uniden BC785D and a Radio Shack Pro-2006 for aviation scanning. My Uniden BCD996T performs well on this band too. However, all of these are past end-of-life so you'd have to look to e-Bay, Craigslist or others for them.

I would stay away from modern GRE receivers as many if not all of them suffer from easily-overloaded front-ends on VHF. I would focus on non-trunking base models, but avoid the "cheapies" (under $100 new).

Does that help?
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TomCat4680
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2012, 06:42:56 PM »

Well I'm going to have to respectfully disagree about the GRE scanners. My Pro 106 works pretty good in the car with my WSM-225 airband magmount (5 db gain VHF/8 db gain UHF). I never have to use the attenuator and the only time I have to turn down the squelch to keep it from breaking up is with the Ground Control freq at KFNT, for example. I didn't have any overload at KMBS or KDTW either, but I wasn't at either for more than an hour.

I'll look into your suggestions though.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 10:44:26 AM by TomCat4680 » Logged

Scanners: Radio Shack Pro 106, Radio Shack Pro 96, Maycom AR-108AE

Antennas: Diamond D-130J mounted 30' AGL (base), Waters & Stanton WSM-225 (mobile),
Diamond RH77CA (handheld)
datainmotion
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2012, 06:55:18 PM »

I bet your Maycom works best of the three on aero though, huh?  wink

And please don't misunderstand me about the GREs - I like those better than any other brand for trunking...
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TomCat4680
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2012, 07:46:27 PM »

I bet your Maycom works best of the three on aero though, huh?  wink


Yeah but it's a tiny mofo and kind of hard to hear, see the display, and program.


And please don't misunderstand me about the GREs - I like those better than any other brand for trunking...

I agree, I use them both mostly for public safety, my D-130J picks up tons of it too. Smiley It'd probably pick up more if I had the right cable.  undecided

« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 09:22:25 AM by TomCat4680 » Logged

Scanners: Radio Shack Pro 106, Radio Shack Pro 96, Maycom AR-108AE

Antennas: Diamond D-130J mounted 30' AGL (base), Waters & Stanton WSM-225 (mobile),
Diamond RH77CA (handheld)
Squawk 7700
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2012, 08:57:00 PM »

I use mostly the Uniden 350C and 355C. Here is a snapshot:
http://flic.kr/p/9dKK25

Photo of my DPD Vertical (Painted).
http://flic.kr/p/6ZfXKZ

Ken
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Feeder:
KHWD Ground/Tower
KOAK Del/Gnd/Twr
KSFO NORCAL App Rwy 28L/R
KSFO Tower/Ground
NORCAL Approach (KOAK)
NORCAL Departure (KSFO/KOAK)
KSJC NORCAL Approach #2
ZOA Oakland Center (35/40/41)


RJTT App/Dep
RJTT Tokyo Control
RJTT Twr/TCA
TomCat4680
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« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2012, 09:00:31 PM »

I use mostly the Uniden 350C and 355C. Here is a snapshot:
http://flic.kr/p/9dKK25

Photo of my DPD Vertical (Painted).
http://flic.kr/p/6ZfXKZ

Ken

That's a lot of scanners. I'll add those to my "list".
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 09:20:31 PM by TomCat4680 » Logged

Scanners: Radio Shack Pro 106, Radio Shack Pro 96, Maycom AR-108AE

Antennas: Diamond D-130J mounted 30' AGL (base), Waters & Stanton WSM-225 (mobile),
Diamond RH77CA (handheld)
datainmotion
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« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2012, 11:58:57 PM »

I use mostly the Uniden 350C and 355C. Here is a snapshot:
http://flic.kr/p/9dKK25

Nice stack!

How do you like that DPD Aero antenna? I have an Omni-X that I bought recently and have been pretty happy with it.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 12:01:27 AM by datainmotion » Logged

TomCat4680
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« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2012, 09:54:10 AM »

Just wondering do any of you guys use airband preamps? If so which is the best one? I've looked them up and found 15 db gain ones and 20 db gain ones. Not sure if 15 is enough for me to get 5x5 2 sided comms from KFNT and ZOB Flint RCAG or if I'd need 20...
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Scanners: Radio Shack Pro 106, Radio Shack Pro 96, Maycom AR-108AE

Antennas: Diamond D-130J mounted 30' AGL (base), Waters & Stanton WSM-225 (mobile),
Diamond RH77CA (handheld)
K5PAT
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« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2012, 10:13:53 AM »

Here are some good quality air-band preamps;

https://www.scannermaster.com/LNA_AIR_Pre_Amplifier_p/24-531043.htm

http://www.grove-ent.com/preselectorstuners.html

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/preamps/5654.html

If you use a wide band preamp you may need an air band filter in front of it to filter out FM broadcast
 and other strong signals which may overload the preamp.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 10:15:35 AM by K5PAT » Logged

TomCat4680
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« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2012, 10:18:46 AM »

Here are some good quality air-band preamps;

https://www.scannermaster.com/LNA_AIR_Pre_Amplifier_p/24-531043.htm

http://www.grove-ent.com/preselectorstuners.html

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/preamps/5654.html

If you use a wide band preamp you may need an air band filter in front of it to filter out FM broadcast
 and other strong signals which may overload the preamp.

Yeah like I said, I was looking at the airband only ones (not wideband, I read those are crap and plus all I want to amplify is airband anyway) on Scanner Master, that's where I got my WSM-225 (and their SR-202 Sport Synch Radio, I highly recommend it btw). I was just wondering, theoretically, if 15 db gain (i.e. WRP-125) would be enough (after I got a new outdoor antenna and new cable) or should I spring for 20 db (i.e. the LNR-Air)?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 10:33:48 AM by TomCat4680 » Logged

Scanners: Radio Shack Pro 106, Radio Shack Pro 96, Maycom AR-108AE

Antennas: Diamond D-130J mounted 30' AGL (base), Waters & Stanton WSM-225 (mobile),
Diamond RH77CA (handheld)
K5PAT
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« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2012, 11:01:19 AM »

Tom,
     Just to give you a point of reference:

     At my KMSY feed I am approx. 6 miles from KMSY. The antenna is a KB9VBR J-pole mounted on a 30' push-up pole. Coax is about 70' of LMR-240 cable (mini-RG/8).  NO PREAMP.  Receiver is an old radio Shack PRO-2006.
    Ground is flat- Louisiana flat. I probably have line-of-site with the ATC antennas.
I am able to receive 98% of the ground vehicles and planes on the ground, plus 100% of ATC and planes airborne.

     With your location 15 miles from the airport, I  would concentrate on raising my antenna to maybe 50' in order to get the
most height. Height is going to be your most important element in receiving anything on the ground. All the amplification in
the world won't help if you don't have a signal to amplify.  If there are any tall buildings or hills between you and the airport, that will reduce the signals even further.

     My suggestion is to work it in stages. 
First get a good antenna (yagi, if possible), ground-plane or J-pole if yagi is not available. Put it up as high as possible and put some good coax on it.
Second, see what you can and cannot hear and if the ground signals are scratchy, but you can hear them, then try the preamp. (20 db)

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TomCat4680
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« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2012, 11:30:38 AM »

Tom,
     Just to give you a point of reference:

     At my KMSY feed I am approx. 6 miles from KMSY. The antenna is a KB9VBR J-pole mounted on a 30' push-up pole. Coax is about 70' of LMR-240 cable (mini-RG/8).  NO PREAMP.  Receiver is an old radio Shack PRO-2006.
    Ground is flat- Louisiana flat. I probably have line-of-site with the ATC antennas.
I am able to receive 98% of the ground vehicles and planes on the ground, plus 100% of ATC and planes airborne.

     With your location 15 miles from the airport, I  would concentrate on raising my antenna to maybe 50' in order to get the
most height. Height is going to be your most important element in receiving anything on the ground. All the amplification in
the world won't help if you don't have a signal to amplify.  If there are any tall buildings or hills between you and the airport, that will reduce the signals even further.

     My suggestion is to work it in stages.  
First get a good antenna (yagi, if possible), ground-plane or J-pole if yagi is not available. Put it up as high as possible and put some good coax on it.
Second, see what you can and cannot hear and if the ground signals are scratchy, but you can hear them, then try the preamp. (20 db)



I don't think 50' is possible unless I can talk my landlord into letting me put up a new freestanding tower. Also the only tall buildings around here are in downtown Flint which is to the south of me; which is nowhere near KFNT, which is to to the southwest of me. It's pretty flat here too. In fact they call the entire region (probably a 20-30 square mile radius) Genesee Valley. Also with my D-130J the signals already ARE "scratchy but I can hear them"; so more height probably isn't even necessary.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 10:12:46 PM by TomCat4680 » Logged

Scanners: Radio Shack Pro 106, Radio Shack Pro 96, Maycom AR-108AE

Antennas: Diamond D-130J mounted 30' AGL (base), Waters & Stanton WSM-225 (mobile),
Diamond RH77CA (handheld)
K5PAT
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« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2012, 11:45:39 AM »

Tom,
    I re-read your original post and I guess I was hoping for too much out of your situation.
Since you say you are hearing ground stations weak and scratchy, I would purchase the best preamp available (20db) and try it with your present equipment.  If that improves reception, then you could try changing to better coax, LMR-400 or similar. That may give you 3-4 more db of gain.
   A Yagi antenna may be too much for your chimney pole mount, but I have seen home-made ones on this forum which are light, cheap and easily made.
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TomCat4680
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« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2012, 11:49:38 AM »

Tom,
    I re-read your original post and I guess I was hoping for too much out of your situation.
Since you say you are hearing ground stations weak and scratchy, I would purchase the best preamp available (20db) and try it with your present equipment.  If that improves reception, then you could try changing to better coax, LMR-400 or similar. That may give you 3-4 more db of gain.
   A Yagi antenna may be too much for your chimney pole mount, but I have seen home-made ones on this forum which are light, cheap and easily made.

Well Flint Approach/Departure and Cleveland Center Flint RCAG come in weak and scratchy, Flint Tower/Ground are even weaker and scratchier. LMR-400 is equivalent to RG-8. My cable run is about 70 feet so wouldn't LMR-240 (RG-8X) be better; the manual to the Pro 106 (page 16) specifically says you should use RG-8X for runs between 50' and 100'; and plain RG-8 for 100' or more.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 11:52:27 AM by TomCat4680 » Logged

Scanners: Radio Shack Pro 106, Radio Shack Pro 96, Maycom AR-108AE

Antennas: Diamond D-130J mounted 30' AGL (base), Waters & Stanton WSM-225 (mobile),
Diamond RH77CA (handheld)
K5PAT
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« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2012, 12:25:27 PM »

Tom,
    You are trying to squeeze out the maximum signal strength at your location, so the lower loss in your cable, the better.
LMR-240 is equivalent to "Mini RG/8" and has higher loss than LMR-400 or RG-8.  Be careful where you buy the RG/8. Some sources sell inferior cable.  LMR-400 is much higher quality cable and costs a little more, but may be worth the price in your situation.
     The Pro-106 manual was merely suggesting that you can "get away with" smaller cable if your length is less than 100', but if you are  seeking max performance, stay with the lower loss cable.
    I ran across this thread from a few years ago which has lots of good info from Dave on antennas.
http://www.liveatc.net/forums/listener-forum/airband-yagi-antenna-designs/
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