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Author Topic: Replacing Diamond X-50a 2m/70cm  (Read 3828 times)
N4SRN
Member

Posts: 297




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« on: January 26, 2017, 09:50:29 AM »

After ~5yr, my Diamond X-50a antenna appears to be going bad on me. I haven't used it since I traded out my Yaesu FT-897D for an Elecraft K3S, and am only now giving it a try after installing a Yeasu FTM-400XDR. The NOAA AM Weather on 162.4 came in poorly from 23 miles away and KMHT ATIS on 119.55 was barely audible from 6.5 miles off. SWR read by my minVNA meter is >5 on 2m.

Coax or antenna, it's got to come down from the roof.

It's 5.6ft tall and I could probably get by with up to 10ft before my wife got TOO ticked off. Just a stick - nothing more. Is it worth a bump to a Diamond X-300N? Looks like 1.8-2dB. The coax HRO gave me when I was a n00b was RG213 run from peak of 2-story home to ground at Lightning protector, then back up to 1st floor window entry - 50ft. Any useful bump in coax? Looks like 3dB for LMR600.

Thanks for thoughts!

Bret/N4SRN
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Bret/N4SRN
Bedford, NH  USA
ONAIR
Member

Posts: 3504




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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2017, 10:32:12 AM »

After ~5yr, my Diamond X-50a antenna appears to be going bad on me. I haven't used it since I traded out my Yaesu FT-897D for an Elecraft K3S, and am only now giving it a try after installing a Yeasu FTM-400XDR. The NOAA AM Weather on 162.4 came in poorly from 23 miles away and KMHT ATIS on 119.55 was barely audible from 6.5 miles off. SWR read by my minVNA meter is >5 on 2m.

Coax or antenna, it's got to come down from the roof.

It's 5.6ft tall and I could probably get by with up to 10ft before my wife got TOO ticked off. Just a stick - nothing more. Is it worth a bump to a Diamond X-300N? Looks like 1.8-2dB. The coax HRO gave me when I was a n00b was RG213 run from peak of 2-story home to ground at Lightning protector, then back up to 1st floor window entry - 50ft. Any useful bump in coax? Looks like 3dB for LMR600.

Thanks for thoughts!

Bret/N4SRN
  You probably will see a difference, but it won't be anything extreme. Also, I recommend using the best coax you can afford.  If you really want to see a major improvement on vhf/uhf, put up a small beam with a rotor!  The increase in range would be substantial.
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N8EKT
Member

Posts: 580




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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2017, 06:45:58 PM »

5 years of service isn't very good for as much as you spent.

A better made dual band vertical like a hustler G6270, or  cushcraft. 270 or 270B will likely last longer and work better

All dual band antennas are a compromise

Mfj sells a nice little dual band beam that would be a lot better than any dual omni
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K6LCS
Member

Posts: 1979


WWW

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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2017, 07:37:47 PM »

When the X-50 was new, were you accomplishing what you wanted from the setup?

What have you determined is the "failure point" of the antenna setup?

Clint Bradford
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
N4SRN
Member

Posts: 297




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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2017, 09:39:31 AM »

When the X-50 was new, were you accomplishing what you wanted from the setup?

What have you determined is the "failure point" of the antenna setup?

Clint Bradford

Now don't I feel silly. I walked my Antenna Analyzer from rig outwards, and found that after the Lightning Arrester, SWR was fine - under 1.17 144-148 MHz. Must be it went bad or had a minor blow-out. No signs of melting of weatherproofing on outer taped-over junctions, but the GDT was blown.

But I DID start thinking a small Yagi/Rotor on my chimney. Maybe I'll talk my wife into that - maybe not!

Thanks guys!

Bret/N4SRN
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Bret/N4SRN
Bedford, NH  USA
W8JX
Member

Posts: 12080




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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 05:55:39 AM »

You mention that weather radio reception was a bit weak. A higher gain antenna like X300 will make it worse because as gain increases in band it gets more deaf out of band. Best thing you can do it raise x50 higher for better coverage and out of band reception. Another 15 or 20 feet would help a lot and more than a bigger antenna at current height for out of band needs.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
KD5BVX
Member

Posts: 106




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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 08:29:34 AM »

You mention that weather radio reception was a bit weak. A higher gain antenna like X300 will make it worse because as gain increases in band it gets more deaf out of band. Best thing you can do it raise x50 higher for better coverage and out of band reception. Another 15 or 20 feet would help a lot and more than a bigger antenna at current height for out of band needs.

^ ^ ^ This is good info to know. I'm going to keep it in mind for my setup and try making some adjustments first before moving to a larger antenna.
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Mark
W8JX
Member

Posts: 12080




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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 08:49:08 AM »

You mention that weather radio reception was a bit weak. A higher gain antenna like X300 will make it worse because as gain increases in band it gets more deaf out of band. Best thing you can do it raise x50 higher for better coverage and out of band reception. Another 15 or 20 feet would help a lot and more than a bigger antenna at current height for out of band needs.

^ ^ ^ This is good info to know. I'm going to keep it in mind for my setup and try making some adjustments first before moving to a larger antenna.

BTW, do not worry about coax. 213 is fine for your current run distance. Once again the single biggest thing you can do to help is raise antenna as even using 213 you will gain more than you loose if you raise antenna and lengthen coax a bit to do it.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
NY7Q
Member

Posts: 64




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2017, 03:43:50 PM »

I bought the x50a in 1998 or 99 and it still is working FB. not one problem in all these years. looks new.
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W8JX
Member

Posts: 12080




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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2017, 05:20:17 PM »

I bought the x50a in 1998 or 99 and it still is working FB. not one problem in all these years. looks new.

If you want a "broad band" antenna to pick up weather and business band and such the X50 is antenna you want and up as high as possible.
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
N7TEE
Member

Posts: 49




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2017, 09:50:14 AM »

Bret,

If you want an antenna that is guaranteed for ten years try http//www.jpoles.com.  I have had one up for over ten years here on the central Oregon coast.  It has been at twenty feet and I have been able to talk from Newport to Florence about fifty miles.

Dave
N7TEE
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W8JX
Member

Posts: 12080




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2017, 03:52:35 AM »

Bret,

If you want an antenna that is guaranteed for ten years try http//www.jpoles.com.  I have had one up for over ten years here on the central Oregon coast.  It has been at twenty feet and I have been able to talk from Newport to Florence about fifty miles.

Dave
N7TEE

Jpoles are greatly over rated and little more than radiating dummy loads and a waste of effort to put up outside when good coverage is desired.  I have had a x50 clone made by Maldol that has been up for over 20 years and I have had no problems with it and it has seen 20 below to 90+ many times too.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
FORMER_K2OOL
Member

Posts: 13




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2017, 11:41:50 AM »

Replace the X50 (dummy load) with a nice Diamond x510 or a Comet Gp-15.I have had my Gp15 for 15 years!
The X50 is a mediocre antenna at best,it seems to have a water leak problem from what I hear.....everyone gets to this point at some period,dont feel bad.
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W2NAP
Member

Posts: 279




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2017, 08:22:14 AM »

When the X-50 was new, were you accomplishing what you wanted from the setup?

What have you determined is the "failure point" of the antenna setup?

Clint Bradford

Now don't I feel silly. I walked my Antenna Analyzer from rig outwards, and found that after the Lightning Arrester, SWR was fine - under 1.17 144-148 MHz. Must be it went bad or had a minor blow-out. No signs of melting of weatherproofing on outer taped-over junctions, but the GDT was blown.

But I DID start thinking a small Yagi/Rotor on my chimney. Maybe I'll talk my wife into that - maybe not!

Thanks guys!

Bret/N4SRN

had that happen to me on my repeater some time ago. worked fine for long time then one day it hit the fan, turned out the polyphaser was the problem
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I AM THE VOICE OF THE VOICELESS!
LA9XNA
Member

Posts: 185




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2017, 11:04:27 AM »

My recommendation for a Diamond antenna is the X30. This is a good all around antenna with a very circular radiation diagram.
It is very robust mechanically, and will take more beatings than any of the other antennas from Diamond.
To extend the life of an fibreglass antenna, use wax based car/boat polish on the fibre glass outher sheath. When the original outer coating is gone the antenna will get high SWR rather quickly.
If you decide to use one of the longer antennas with a screw joint on the outer tube, use liquid rubber or self vulcanising tape over the joint. A friend of mine have an X300 up for over 10 years without  waxing the antenna or any problem with water in the antenna. This is on the westcoast of Norway with rain half of the year and lots of wind.
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