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Author Topic: 2 Meter Vertical, recommendations?  (Read 2567 times)

Posts: 3592

« on: December 02, 2011, 03:30:33 PM »

OK, I'm in the market for a new 2 meter base antenna.  Will either mount it on the chimney, or hoist it up a 70 foot tree on my property.  Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Posts: 1003

« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2011, 03:40:43 PM »

There's an article in the December QST on a copper antenna for 2m/440 that's designed to be hunt in a tree. Check it out!

also - when are you going to sign in with your callsign ?

Fred, KQ6Q

Posts: 12628

« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2011, 04:03:26 PM »

OK, I'm in the market for a new 2 meter base antenna.  Will either mount it on the chimney, or hoist it up a 70 foot tree on my property.  Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

I have a Hustler G7 that has been up for close to 20 years. It has been trouble free, performs well and has survived 80+mph winds and a few severe ice storms.

Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..

Posts: 5639

« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2011, 04:52:23 PM »

I second the vote for the G7. Probably the only thing more rugged is a Stationmaster.

A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.

Posts: 3289

« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2011, 06:16:16 PM »

I recommend either the Hustler G6-144 or G7

Posts: 2415

« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2011, 10:04:17 PM »

Stick with Hustler, Comet, Diamond.  (Or even better, The commercial antennas like a Stationmaster)  AVOID the "clone" antennas. Sometimes you do get what you pay for in the end.   I have tried a number of the offbrand clones with poor results.

Posts: 17483

« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2011, 07:38:35 AM »

My IsoPole has served me well for over 20 years.  Well, except for one joint that I didn't treat
with anti-corrosion compound when I first installed it and can no longer pull apart, but that
is true of any antenna.

A good first step is to decide how much gain you need, then ignore any claims from the
manufacturers.  In any properly-designed omni vertical gain is a function of the radiator
length.  Anything with an element length around 3 feet will have a gain of 0dBd, as much
as the marketing departments hate to see such a number.    It just means it has the same
gain as a dipole, which isn't surprising because it IS a dipole, or equivalent.  This category
includes common J-poles, ground planes, and end-fed half wave radiators such as the
Ringo.  (Note that some antennas will be longer overall due to matching or decoupling stubs.)

The next major step up uses a radiator around 8' long, which is 2 x 5/8 wave on 2m.
These have a gain around 3dBd and include the Ringo Ranger, IsoPole, a number of the
fiberglass "stick" designs or two stacked dipoles mounted on a single mast.

To get an honest gain of 6dBd you need a radiator over 20' tall.  A common example is
four dipoles stacked vertically on a mast (though, due to the effect of the mast, the
resulting pattern might not be omnidirectional) or the Stationmaster-series antennas.

You'll find some antennas that fall between these categories, and the the gains can be
estimated by relative length.  Multi-band antennas are often a bit worse than single
band antennas.

Within any one category the antenna performance will be about the same, unless the
design doesn't properly decouple the feedline, in which case the common mode currents
can distort the pattern and reduce gain.  This tends to be a particular problem with
J-poles and end-fed half wave designs.

The next question is how well the antenna will survive over time.  Common problems
are corrosion from salty air or various industrial pollutants (or hot gasses coming out
of your chimney), high winds, and weakening from repeated flexing.

Personally I've found that the 8' antennas seem like the best compromise between
performance, cost and ease of installation, though in many cases the shorter versions
are quite adequate, particularly if your primary interest is working local repeaters.
I've had the IsoPole up on a TV push-up mast that wouldn't support one of the longer
antennas, at least not without much better guying.  I've got a couple of commercial
stacked dipole arrays in the barn, but never have bothered to put them up for several

1) they require a larger mounting mast than what I have available
2) they would require more manpower to install
3) they wouldn't give me any practical improvement in operation for the types of
contacts I make.  I can already cover the county (and much of the three adjacent ones)
with 5 watts output, and hit repeaters on most of the assigned channels.  But I live on
a hill, and on 440 I use a two-radial ground plane antenna stuck on the inside of my
office window and still get good results.

If you want to maximize your coverage, height is more important than antenna gain.
A lower gain antenna up high can outperform a high gain antenna at a lower height.
If your support isn't sturdy enough, you might not be able to get a longer antenna
mounted on the top of a mast where a shorter antenna will work.  So you may want
to first plan what support you can manage, then choose an antenna accordingly.  If
you are going to pull it 70' up in a tree, it should work well regardless of the type of
antenna you choose.
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