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Thread: Portable Repeater Antenna

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    Default Portable Repeater Antenna

    I've got my little repeater all ready to go. But I still need an antenna. Ideally this would be something that I could just plop down on the ground. I've seen tripod bases for antennas online; which are the best models and where do I buy one? 70 cm band.


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    What is your budget like?

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    I mean...I want to do it right but not spend unnecessary quantities of money for a diminishing return of actual antenna performance?

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    If you are spending someone elses money, look at these.

    http://www.blueskymast.com/

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    A drive-over type mast is probably what you are looking for. This has a flat plate at the bottom, which you drive over and use a car's weight to pin it to the ground. You can probably find them in collapsible lengths of about 20-30 feet, maybe taller, I don't know for sure.

    For the antenna you want something light with a little gain but not so big it flops about in the wind. A Diamond X-50 or something like it, are about 6 foot vertical fiberglass. The smaller Comet or Diamond antennas are nice and cheap if you break it it's not the end of the world, and they are light and small which is good for portable use. A heavier duty commercial antenna would be more durable, but also more top-heavy...

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    Hmmm.

    What's the best source of simple tripod antenna masts?

  7. #7
    Will No Longer Registered

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    Get a REAL antenna..... one of the most important parts of a radio repeater.

    Comet , Diamond, are just a small gauge piss poor steal wire with really bad copper plating inside a cheep fiberglass tube.

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    REAL antennas weigh too much. A stationmaster will be close to 100 lbs. even a short one will be 30-40 lbs. One of the X-50's probably weighs 10 lbs at the very most, so it won't be wavering in the wind or bending the mast excessively. If you are talking a permanent install, then by all means you want real good grade commercial stuff, but for a temporary/portable use where it doesn't stay outside all the time you want a very light and portable solution.

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    syntrx No Longer Registered

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    There are also options like this, if you don't mind spending $200 or whatever Sti-Co is asking for it:

    http://www.sti-co.com/antenna-produc...mpact-portable

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    For an antenna you could use a maxrad MFB series, they are light weight and perform well. They are available I'm unity and three DB gain.

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk 2
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    Will No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnus View Post
    For an antenna you could use a maxrad MFB series, they are light weight and perform well. They are available I'm unity and three DB gain.
    Just another junk antenna with a small gauge steel wire, with copper plating, inside a fiberglass tube.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    Just another junk antenna with a small gauge steel wire, with copper plating, inside a fiberglass tube.
    So what would you suggest for a temporary, low power, size and weight limited installation then?

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    We had great results using a Cushcraft AR-450 (tunable to 470 if you need) on 464/469.500 using a 25W Quantar in P25 this last weekend at a MLP* convention. The stand was a standard satellite dish tripod, but we are going to be looking into speaker stands for future setups. The hotel was the SeaTac Hilton, which has a conference center set into the hill behind it, we setup the antenna outside the hotel ground level meeting rooms and had good coverage for the whole hotel and conference center.

    I saw stands like this:
    http://newsuperantenna.com/PT3-Super...-for-Antennas/

    for portable antenna stands, these just look like heavy duty speaker stands with a telescoping pole put on them and guy wires.

    * I am not a Brony, I just rent radios to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    Just another junk antenna with a small gauge steel wire, with copper plating, inside a fiberglass tube.
    And yet, they radiate RF just fine. The core of an antenna radiator is irrelevant, RF travels on the outer skin of a conductor.
    Like OP said, there's no need for it to be hurricane proof or take 20 years of UV exposure, it's a temporary antenna.

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    If you want an extremely light antenna, and gain is not a huge factor (ie using the repeater at local events) Sinclair has this: http://www.tessco.com/products/displ...98&eventPage=1

    For a bit less coin, but with 3db gain, at 1.25lbs, Laird has this to offer: http://www.tessco.com/products/displ...85&eventPage=3

    Of course you're paying commercial prices - for commercial grade gear. You said you want to do it right, and others have pointed out the importance of a good antenna. After all, it's half of your repeater. Couple this with good quality coax/flexible heliax, and you're set.

  16. #16
    Will No Longer Registered

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    Way overpriced trash.......

    Quote Originally Posted by AFleetingGlimpse View Post
    If you want an extremely light antenna, and gain is not a huge factor (ie using the repeater at local events) Sinclair has this: http://www.tessco.com/products/displ...98&eventPage=1

    For a bit less coin, but with 3db gain, at 1.25lbs, Laird has this to offer: http://www.tessco.com/products/displ...85&eventPage=3

    Of course you're paying commercial prices - for commercial grade gear. You said you want to do it right, and others have pointed out the importance of a good antenna. After all, it's half of your repeater. Couple this with good quality coax/flexible heliax, and you're set.

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    http://www.allcan.com/product_info.p...f71tkeurmae492

    You could try one of those with a decent gain mobile antenna. I use one of these for public service events for the "base" or net control radio and they work good.

    What do plan on using for feedline? I think quater inch hard line would work pretty well.

    I'm doing a similar project, I just recently bought a commet GP15, I'm going to use my GP6 as a portable repeater antenna.

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    Will, do you have anything helpful to add? We're all very impressed with your baseless disdain for various antennas, but you haven't said anything about what antennas aren't held as trash in your esteem. What would you recommend?

  19. #19
    Will No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by okto View Post
    Will, do you have anything helpful to add? We're all very impressed with your baseless disdain for various antennas, but you haven't said anything about what antennas aren't held as trash in your esteem. What would you recommend?

    And yet, they radiate RF just fine. The core of an antenna radiator is irrelevant, RF travels on the outer skin of a conductor.
    Like OP said, there's no need for it to be hurricane proof or take 20 years of UV exposure, it's a temporary antenna.
    okto, Seems YOU are not impressed. Have you ever worked on an antenna range? A lot of what I have learned about different antenna designs came from the actual antenna range testing. And over 50 years in the industry.

    On your other statement, but the poor construction, piss poor plating, poor solder joints, and rust, which makes the antenna discontinuous and a piss poor radiator.

    Now, let us get back to the actual application: UHF, VHF? Base or Repeater?
    Last edited by Will; Sep 26, 2013 at 11:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    okto, Seems YOU are not impressed. Have you ever worked on an antenna range? A lot of what I have learned about different antenna designs came from the actual antenna range testing. And over 50 years in the industry.
    *shrug* You could have been in the industry for a thousand years, and still your contributions to this thread would still be unhelpful and annoying.

    WHAT KIND OF ANTENNA WOULD YOU RECOMMEND INSTEAD, OUT OF YOUR APPARENTLY EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE?

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    Quote Originally Posted by okto View Post
    *shrug* You could have been in the industry for a thousand years, and still your contributions to this thread would still be unhelpful and annoying.

    WHAT KIND OF ANTENNA WOULD YOU RECOMMEND INSTEAD, OUT OF YOUR APPARENTLY EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE?
    Why are you yelling?

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    I have to agree. Will, you have shot down so far all the positive suggestions in this thread to the OP. Since none of the suggestions given seem to meet with your approval, I also would like to know what you would recommend as a solution to the OP. He has specified his use case (portable repeater), and frequency band (70 cm UHF). At least three other members have asked this question in this thread so far.
    Last edited by Alpha; Sep 27, 2013 at 11:44 PM.

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    I'm a big fan of the Arrow J-Pole for portable repeaters; its dual band but its a good bargin and its easy to break down.

  24. #24
    iamjason No Longer Registered

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    If you're really into spending someone elses money and you want something bomb proof (which I think might be Will's agenda) you can get a RAMI-254EXT-LB (or an OE-254 NSN 5985-01-063-1574). http://www.rami.com/product-view.php?pid=141 Expect to drop a couple grand.

    Cobham for masts (again, if you have the money to burn): http://www.cobham.com/about-cobham/a...ion-masts.aspx

    Oh, this is for 70cm Ham. Unless you providing mission critical communications and have the budget of a small government I don't see why any of the suggested "cheap but enough to do the job for a temporary Ham application" antennas won't work. For mobile setups I've never run into any problems with compact versions of Celwave (like the BA6110-1) or even cheaper Diamond antennas.
    Last edited by iamjason; Oct 16, 2013 at 03:18 AM.

  25. #25
    flecom No Longer Registered

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    Quote Originally Posted by AFleetingGlimpse View Post
    For a bit less coin, but with 3db gain, at 1.25lbs, Laird has this to offer: http://www.tessco.com/products/displ...85&eventPage=3
    I've had great luck with Laird antennas... purchased a few from Tessco over the years and they haven't let me down yet

    but then again Will wouldn't approve