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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Omnidirectional: verticals, mobile, etc | Diamond 500 HNA Help


Reviews Summary for Diamond 500 HNA
Diamond 500 HNA Reviews: 9 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $259.95
Description: A 3 Section Dual Band 144/440 Base Antenna
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.rfparts.com/diamond/index.html
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W8DCD Rating: 2/5 Jan 25, 2011 20:41 Send this review to a friend
Save your money  Time owned: more than 12 months
ok antenna for sunny and windless applications. Antenna is sold as a repeater grade antenna. NO way. Broke within 2 years. Twice in 10 years. Very difficult to work with manufacturer to get repaired. Great gain. Buy a huster or spend $1000+ for a real antenna.
 
NL7SX Rating: 5/5 Aug 14, 2006 13:01 Send this review to a friend
large 3 section dual band vertical  Time owned: more than 12 months
Winds here in the canyon reach 50-60 mph occasionally and the antenna bends significantly but no problems after 2 years. The gain compares favorably with Shakespeare's best base antenna (5018- Galaxy) of about the same length. I've also installed the longest Diamond 2M and 70CM monobanders at 50' down on the desert and have had no problems with them for about 10 years.
 
N1ZPO Rating: 2/5 Apr 5, 2006 17:01 Send this review to a friend
Not for Repeaters...  Time owned: more than 12 months
DON�T GET THIS FOR A REPEATER...

My local club has changed this antenna out three times in seven years. It does good for the first year and a half or so and then the problems start. We have not had any problem with the fiberglass or joints. It�s the inside elements that are the problem. It has STEEL crimp connectors to connect the copper and brass elements inside! Duh..!! This is a problem.... since they rust!

The spacers that hold the elements in the radome are open cell foam, just like a dish sponge. Moisture condensates inside the antenna, then the next day it�s vaporized by the sun, rises to the top of the antenna and is trapped by these spacers. All three antennas that we have taken down have corrosion problems in the upper sections.

And it is not ridged enough for it length (17'), it almost folds over at 40 - 50 MPH winds. Since most repeater antennas are up high and in the open, winds like this are common in most areas. The problem is when it whips this much, it is no longer vertically polarized. Also it can�t help the connections inside :)

Now all that said...
It is a nice antenna, if you aren�t going to use it for a repeater you should be happy with this antenna but keep in mind it is BIG

The spacers that hold the elements in the radome are open cell foam, just like a dish sponge. Moisture condensates inside the antenna, then the next day it�s vaporized by the sun, rises to the top of the antenna and is trapped by these spacers. All three antennas that we have taken down have corrosion problems in the upper sections.

And it is not ridged enough for it length (17'), it almost folds over at 40 - 50 MPH winds. Since most repeater antennas are up high and in the open, winds like this are common in most areas. The problem is when it whips this much, it is no longer vertically polarized. Also it can�t help the connections inside :)

Now all that said...
It is a nice antenna, if you aren�t going to use it for a repeater you should be happy with this antenna but keep in mind it is BIG
 
K3EKO Rating: 5/5 Oct 17, 2004 03:30 Send this review to a friend
Excellent choice for dualband omni  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is such a great antenna that I would recommend it to anyone who asked.



http://k3eko.com/diamond.jpg

73

Frank K3EKO
 
N8EKT Rating: 5/5 Jul 26, 2004 11:42 Send this review to a friend
THE BEST DUALBANDER BY FAR!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
THIS ANTENNA IS THE ONLY DUAL BAND BASE ANTENNA I WOULD RECOMMEND!!
SUPER HEAVY DUTY COMPARED TO ALL OTHERS!
REMEMBER TO USE THREAD LOCK ON ALL SET SCREWS OR SOLDER THE SECTIONS TOGETHER, AND THIS ANTENNA WILL SERV YOU WELL FOR MANY YEARS!!
ACTUAL GAIN IS ABOUT 9DB OVER A DIPOLE ON 440MHZ AND 6DB OVER A DIPOLE ON 2METERS
 
K2SDD Rating: 2/5 Feb 21, 2004 10:54 Send this review to a friend
You Might Want To Think Twice  Time owned: more than 12 months
If you are you planning to purchase a Diamond 500 HNA antenna FOR USE ON A REPEATER I just want to warn you that my experience with this antenna has been only BAD. Before you invest in a lot of grief as I did, please read my "Product Review" (here on eHam) of the Decibel Model DB-224 antenna. I sincerely wish to appologize for being the one to present you with this bad news. I ignored the advice about this antenna from the more experienced hams and I have no expectations that you will not make the same mistake that I did but at least I wish to give it a try.
73 de Mike, K2SDD

Again: I really am sorry.
 
K9FTB Rating: 5/5 May 10, 2003 11:22 Send this review to a friend
Tough & Good  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this guy up about 30' at the base since 5/01. It's been through a Rochester, NY ice storm here a few weeks back and lots of blowing winds, snow, etc. I guyed the mast (mounted to my chimney) at the base of the antenna and I've been very happy with the antenna, mechanically, since installation.

The gain and performance is much better than my G7-144 Hustler. I'm pleased the range and the reliability of the Diamond. I used Davis coax with an N connector at the antenna end and haven't had any issues except reliable performance since installation.

At the recommendation of the Diamond rep at Dayton in 5/01 I used marine wax to quad wax the outer shell before installation. I guess it's helping.

I'd buy this guy again. Try http://www.wb0w.com/ for very competitive pricing.
 
N9FG Rating: 5/5 Jan 2, 2003 10:01 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Choice  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I got my first 500HNA about 9 months ago. I liked it so well that a month later I got another one for my cabin. The antenna at the home qth is mounted on top of a tower at 40' and fed with 1/2" andrews heliax. The antenna at the cabin is only at 30 feet (on a rohn push-up mast pipe)and is fed with Belden 9913F.

Performance of both antennas has been exceptional! These are by far the best verticals I've used on UHF/VHF. (I've had my share of ringos, j-poles, etc.) Installation was straight-forward and easy - excellent instructions, parts machining and packaging.

The antenna at the cabin had no problem surviving 90 mph tornado winds this summer. Icing this winter has had no effect on swr or performance.

Great job Diamond!




 
K2ANE Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2002 12:14 Send this review to a friend
When All Else Fails....Spend!!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months


Living on a mountain top has its advantages and disadvantages. For one, anything standing takes a beating. Up here we build stuff very conservatively and anchor things securely to the ground via lots of cement and deep footings. It is not uncommon to get winds in excess of 70 miles per hour sustained, sometimes lasting for days, thanks to those Canadian highs and lows.


It is because of my past experience with a Brand X antenna that I decided to bite the bullet and dig deep into my wallet to put up only the best. What is the old maxim? You get what you pay for or is it you pay for what you get? My last bargain basement no-name dual band 144/440 antenna lasted about 4 months when one day I went outside while the gentle breezes were blowing around 30 mph and found it laying over, having broken off at its base. Another hundred bucks down the drain.


Up here beams are out of the question and with the elevation are sort of an overkill on the VHF/UHF frequencies. My VX5R is more than enough to bring up repeaters 90 miles or more away, including 6 meter ones with the rubber duck. Therefore, in need of a new base dual band antenna, I chose the Diamond X500HNA. The HNA is the "N" connector model. It is just over 18 feet in length and has an advertised gain of 8.3 and 11.7 db for 144 and 440 respectively.


I chose this particular model because the ad copy said it was good for 90+ mile per hour winds. It is also several pounds heavier than its equally DB rated cousin, the X510NA, which led me to believe it was beefed up in the appropriate places for greater wind loading. Hoping for the best, I splurged on this unit.


I paid $239.95, shipping included from www.kjielectronics.com. It came in an absolutely gorgeous 8 foot long heavy duty cardboard shipping container direct from California that was a work of art in of itself. Upon unpacking the antenna I was taken aback by the magnificent craftmanship of the metal parts. They were beautifully machined and not like the casted pieces of junk the bargain basement dual bander had. The finish was flawlessly chromed too.


I checked out how to assemble the three sections and was very gratified to see that screws were used to interconnect the vertical elements. The original junker I had used Allen set screws and you guessed it, one of them was missing necessitating a fruitless 80 mile round trip to various hardware stores trying to find a replacement. I wound up soldering two of the sections together.


K2XL and I assembled the Diamond without any difficulties. The sections screwed pefectly together using the supplied wrenches. The weather seals seated perfectly. We mounted it to the same mast that had previously held the Brand X antenna. This was done in January when natures elements tested us all. Everything went like clockwork, then it was time for the proverbial "smoke test." I used my IC-706MK IIG to feed it and had my Yaesu YS-500 SWR/Wattmeter inline.


Knowing what the SWR/Power results were like with the previous antenna, I was especially curious of what the comparisons would be. No disappointments on this score. The IIG put full power out, about 55 watts into the Diamond on 2 meters where before the Brand X did about 35. The SWR on the Diamond at 2 meters was never more than 1.3 to 1, with it being flat for most of the band. On 440 my IIG squeezed out 18 watts into the Diamond which was the most it was ever capable of (into a dummy load). The SWR for all intents and purposes was flatter than a pancake. The old X'er was never better than 1.8 to 1 and for most of the band was well in excess of 2 to 1, never exceeding 15 watts output from the IIG. The SWR was equally as bad on 2 meters, to a fault. Almost needless to add, the Diamond visibly showed more gain on received signals than the comparatively long Brand X did.


In March I had a good test of the Diamond's ability to survive a windstorm. We had a sustained event of three days where the gusts did exceed 70 mph on the first day and night. My fingers became numb from crossing them, hoping the antenna would survive. I could have tilted it over but decided to go for broke. Later that month I woke up one morning to find the Wx windy and the Diamond encased in ice from top to bottom and as the wind blew, I could hear the ice creaking. Now that did test my patience and I carefully tilted the antenna over and removed the ice. The specifications call for winds of 90 mph plus but without ice. Why tempt the fates.


So, in summary, the Diamond took a heavy duty beating from the elements up here on the mountaintop and survived. I'm hoping that will be the case for future winters and generally any inclement weather. We get some tremendous thunder and lightning storms accompanied by high winds in the spring, summer and fall. So far they have been a cake walk for it. It is true, you get what you pay for. I recommend this antenna for extreme conditons, otherwise a Brand Xer would be okay if you are inside a dome in a peaceful valley and don't mind inferior performance. All in all, it is a no-tune plug and play delight.


Happy Hamming de K2ANE/2


 


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