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Author Topic: best 2 meter VHF beam  (Read 6877 times)
N9FME
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Posts: 75




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« on: November 03, 2011, 08:05:28 PM »

I need some help in picking out a new VHF antenna. Currently I have a refurbed hy-Gain VB214. It is starting to develop high SWR..approx 2:1 around 145Mhz and it seems to get much higher pretty soon after this point.

I'm looking to either buy another new one or possibly some other antenna all together..Currently I have my beam at about 50' so I'm just wondering what the best antennas would be for me to consider..Thanks in advance for your suggestions

Greg
N9FME
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1078




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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2011, 09:33:58 PM »

Hello, Why not try to find out what is happening to the antenna you have. Might be a simple problem, like water getting into the fittings, corrosion, bad connections etc. It might be very rewarding to you to find and correct the problem, then to buy a new piece of equipment when a problem arises.

Just an opinion.

73s

K2OWK
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K9KJM
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Posts: 2415




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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2011, 10:53:18 PM »

I really like the M2 antennas, A 2M12 is a great all around two meter yagi:
http://www.m2inc.com/index2.html

http://www.m2inc.com/index2.html  They make them larger and smaller too.

All that being said, The Cushcraft 13B2 is also a proven performer at somewhat lower cost.....

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KA4POL
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Posts: 2128




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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2011, 11:49:00 PM »

You did not say what your intentions are on 2m. From the defective antenna I conclude you are not a repeater person  Grin

My experience with antennas for 2m makes me recommend the ones from http://www.f9ft.com/indexe.html like the Pro-XL 144 / 50 L 17 elements Yagi or the Pro-XL 144 / 18 XL 2 x 9 elements Yagi depending on your interests. I hope you got no problem with a French manufacturer  Cheesy
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KQ6EA
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Posts: 609


WWW

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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2011, 10:07:57 AM »

All the references I can find on this antenna call it a "214FM", so I'm going to assume it's cut for the higher end of the band.
I also found an Australian site that showed how he rebuilt it after the original non-stainless parts severely rusted and caused him problems.
If you really want a new antenna, I agree that the M2 antennas are great. They take some care in building, but if you get the correct elements in the correct places, and make sure they're centered in the boom, they work wonderfully.
I also have a couple of antennas from Gulf Alpha which are equally good, but ordering antennas from him is an exercise in patience!
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K3GM
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Posts: 1826




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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2011, 05:38:49 PM »

I use and like the Directive Systems K1FO yagi.
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AE5QB
Member

Posts: 273




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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2011, 12:18:46 AM »

Check out this gentleman's work:  http://www.g0ksc.co.uk/
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KM3F
Member

Posts: 526




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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2011, 03:25:21 PM »

What is you major 2m mode of interest?
A good 2m beam usually won't cover the whole band without the match going up.
If you like weak signal work, 2 lower gain antennas stacked will be better for gain 'and' beam width so you don't have to run the rotor so much to find the other station like you might with a long john type..
The better antennas have usually T match with a Balun. These antennas a bit more prone to match upset in winter snow and ice accumulations, so that may be a consideration.
The M2, Directive systems type are good but use the T match systems.
For FM you would need an antenna mounted in the vertical plane unless all your repeaters are within your strong signal area.
Last, since you may be replacing or repairing, do consider fresh LMR 400 or some other low loss coax and use the ultra flex type at the rotor and seal the connectors well from water intrusion.
Good luck..
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KB1GMX
Member

Posts: 830




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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2011, 06:13:36 PM »

>A good 2m beam usually won't cover the whole band without the match going up.

That's not true.  you can cover all of 2M with a decent beam and still have about the gain of a narrow tuned one. 

The real problem is a horizontal beam is useless for FM where verything is vertical and a vertical one is almost as useless for CW/SSB where everything is horizontal.

However if your doing weak signal a good rugged beam is a valuable tool.  I prefer K1FO designs and also the G0KSC OWL (optimized wideband low impedance) designs.  The current beam here
is a small 11 element that covers all of 2M with acceptable match and is of the OWA(W4RNL) design school.  It's advantage for me is when covered with ice it doesn't detune so bad that
144 is unusable and rain doesn't bother it and it's within half DB of the best 11 element designs.
I consider half a DB a fair trade for rugged and ice tolerant.

T-match is fine usually and I had a Cushcraft 2M15 boomer with it that was great in the ice
before the antenna got totally destroyed, but narrow band designs like the M2 do not like
ice at all. 

Since the person that posted the question is up in W9 land ice is a real important issue.
If the current antenna did the job I'd look at reworking it first with new stainless hardware.
That is assuming the problem is not cable related.

Allison
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KD4LLA
Member

Posts: 465




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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2011, 11:36:39 AM »

I have the exact same antenna and can't understand what could go wrong with it, other than where the coax connects to the elements.  I suppose the boom could get bent or collapsed...  I would look at the coax...

Mike
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K3SZY
Member

Posts: 31




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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 07:08:24 AM »

Go with a DSFO 144-12 from Directive Systems.  You won't regret it.  Solid antenna with great gain, flat SWR, great support. Snow and rain do not affect match.  It is a K1FO design antenna.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 07:14:04 AM by K3SZY » Logged
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