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What base antenna is the best bang for the Money?


rodro123
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I’m thinking of a new base antenna. The ones that I have in mind are as follow. If you know anything of them let me know I will mount on a 40 foot pole. I’m only doing GMRS. They range from $190 to $900. Do you own any? I live in Wisconsin so I can pick up the first two but the third I would have to pay shipping.

 

https://www.shopwiscomm.com/DB404-B-Commscope-Omni-Exposed-Dipole-Antenna-450-470-Mhz-59-db-P5783211.aspx

 

https://www.shopwiscomm.com/MFB4605-PCTEL-MAXRAD-Fiberglass-Base-Omni-Antenna-UHF-460-470-Mhz-5db-P2179087.aspx

 

https://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=1151-4n

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Only 1 question... rodro123 lives in Wisconsin, where there is actually winter. Being metal and a lot of nooks and crannies I'm wondering how the DB404 will perform with snow/ice/wind loading?

We have a similar dipole antenna on our ambulance station. It's been there for at least 15 years. It works fine in the wind and snow and ice of the Adirondack mountains.

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We have snow, ice, and 90MPH wind in Nebraska as well, and the DB antennas all work just fine. ...some for over 30 years.

 

Side mounted DBs with top and bottom mounts never go anywhere, but the ones that are mounted by just the bottom mount only will tend to bend over in those 90-100MPH January winds if they are ice loaded.

 

Interestingly enough, the ice doesn't de-tune them too much. it tends to make them resonate at a slightly lower frequency, but not totally out of band.

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I'll toss in the dissenting opinion. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a DB404 dipole. Proven design with good spec's.

 

It's probably overkill for a home "base antenna". Especially if it's being mounted at the top of a 40 foot unsupported and un-specified "pole".  I'd be concerned about ANY 40 ft. pole for a home antenna. I'm also thinking that a base antenna in GMRS is mostly going to be used to control a distant repeater. If so, the repeater's location and antenna situation is more important than the base radio's antenna.

 

Use any decent 5 or 6 dB gain omni fiberglass antenna, and quality coax, and you'll hit 90% of the repeaters that you'd ever get with a DB404. You'll also save yourself a few trips outside during the ice and snow to see if your 40 foot pole is still standing vertical. You will probably save a few hundred dollars also.

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I'll toss in the dissenting opinion. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a DB404 dipole. Proven design with good spec's.

 

It's probably overkill for a home "base antenna". Especially if it's being mounted at the top of a 40 foot unsupported and un-specified "pole".  I'd be concerned about ANY 40 ft. pole for a home antenna. I'm also thinking that a base antenna in GMRS is mostly going to be used to control a distant repeater. If so, the repeater's location and antenna situation is more important than the base radio's antenna.

 

Use any decent 5 or 6 dB gain omni fiberglass antenna, and quality coax, and you'll hit 90% of the repeaters that you'd ever get with a DB404. You'll also save yourself a few trips outside during the ice and snow to see if your 40 foot pole is still standing vertical. You will probably save a few hundred dollars also.

Thank you Radioguy7268 I do like the response.

 

 

This is the 40 foot pole I have bought it a few years ago for my second place in upper Wisconsin I bought it for a TV antenna but still no reception so it’s just laying there. I have all the Guy wires and all. I will be mounting it 50 feet from my house in SE Wisconsin and 60 feet from the electrical overhead wires. This is a spring project.  I like it because one man can lift it up no equipment needed to lift it. It is very well made.

 

https://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=H40&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=h40&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-p6h2rjO5gIVUfDACh1nRQdOEAQYAyABEgJRbvD_BwE

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I was assuming you had a tower, and wanted the best of the best.  Since you are talking about a simple push-up pole, I will have to agree with Radioguy7268 that the DB404 would be overkill, and might tend to overload the support pole when iced.  The DB404 would survive the ice, but might not survive the fall to the ground when the pole snapped.

 

My next best recommendation for you would be to look into a Comet CA-712EFC for about $150. Much lighter weight. With the money you save on the antenna, and since you are going about 120-150 feet for the coax run, I would take that saved money, and put it into an extremely low-loss coaxial cable such as LDF4-50A Heliax or similar.  If you can save 3dB of loss in your coax cable, you will literally be doubling your power to the antenna.

 

If you do decide to go with the Comet for GMRS, be sure to order the model with the "C" on the end.  The popular CA-712EF is a Ham antenna tuned for 430-450 MHz. The one ending in "EFC" is the commercial version, tuned for 460-470 MHz.

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Only 1 question... rodro123 lives in Wisconsin, where there is actually winter. Being metal and a lot of nooks and crannies I'm wondering how the DB404 will perform with snow/ice/wind loading?

 

I lived in upstate NY (Tug Hill area) for most of my life. All my NY GMRS repeaters run this antenna and all my SAR repeaters run the DB224 (same design) and never had an issue. I have one antenna that is about 20 years old and yearly PM checks are always fine.

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  • 3 months later...

Sorry if I am reviving a thread that is several months old but since I am trying to connect with rodro123's repeater I will ask about the best base antenna as well. But I think I know the answer already:

 

DB404-B - The thing is I am limited to attic mounting my antenna. And given the height limitations (almost but not quite 6 feet to the inside peak) of my attic, I can't find any other antenna that would even come close to the abilities of the DB404 and still fit in my attic.

 

The 2 antenna's I have tried so far are a Browning BR-6140 (Unity gain) and a Harvest BC200 (advertised 6.5dBi gain) antenna. The Browning can't make the connection much at all and the Harvest can half way connect but it is not solid enough to be useable. Too much break up.

 

And at this point I can't seem to find anything else that will fit both my requirements: Connect to the repeater AND fit within the confines of my attic.

 

Just thought of a 3rd "requirement". Meet the minimun standards for WAF.....  ;)

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If you only want to connect to the repeater, I.e. unidirectional, go for a good quality, high gain, yagi, or, if you can find one, a parabolic reflector. Because you will mount the antenna in an attic, you may not need an antenna that can survive -40° and hurricane force winds. But, beware of low-priced antennas.

I would like to simplex with my Brother who is 12 miles away as the crow flies in another direction. So then I am curious about a utilizing a rotor.

 

The one I have on my CM4228 on the roof (And NO I am not going up on the roof again. The last time was up there was 20 years ago and frankly, my courage level is not to trying it now in my 60's) has a digital readout on the control box in the house so it's easy to aim. If I could employ something like that I could pull this off. I only need to cover 3 compass headings.

 

Hmmmm......

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Well, kt seems you have actually answered your own question.  Since rooftop antennas are allowed where you live, the real issue is getting the antenna mounted on the roof.  It is understandable you do not want to go climbing around up there, so why not hire someone to do it for you?

 

Mounting the antenna is the simple part. There are all kind of antenna mounts that might work. But, there is one very simple approach you can try just to test: Mount your candidate antenna, I'd start with a simple ground plane 1/4 wave, on one end of a 10 ft piece of 1" PVC (Sched 40 is good). Then, about 3 or 4 feet up from the base of the PVC pipe, attach something to the pipe to increase its diameter so it won't fall in to a plumbing pipe vent. Then, just drop the pipe into a vent pipe. Done.

 

Sort of like this (I think they actually drilled a hole through the mast and one side off the vent pipe and used a bolt. But, you could use a pipe-clamp and some pieces of bent coat hanger just as well)....P1011725.JPG

 

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  • 3 months later...

I’m thinking of a new base antenna. The ones that I have in mind are as follow. If you know anything of them let me know I will mount on a 40 foot pole. I’m only doing GMRS. They range from $190 to $900. Do you own any? I live in Wisconsin so I can pick up the first two but the third I would have to pay shipping.

 

https://www.shopwiscomm.com/DB404-B-Commscope-Omni-Exposed-Dipole-Antenna-450-470-Mhz-59-db-P5783211.aspx

 

https://www.shopwiscomm.com/MFB4605-PCTEL-MAXRAD-Fiberglass-Base-Omni-Antenna-UHF-460-470-Mhz-5db-P2179087.aspx

 

https://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=1151-4n

I've used a number of antenna's from Ed Fong and all work great for me and they are under $50. You can contact him via: edsatennas@gmail.com

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