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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Omnidirectional: verticals, mobile, etc | Radio Shack Discone Help

Reviews Summary for Radio Shack Discone
Radio Shack Discone Reviews: 43 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $59.99
Description: Item # 20-043
Our best! Omnidirectional, rugged stainless steel construction, wide 25-1300MHz receive coverage. Also for transmitting on 50, 144, 220, 440, 900 and 1296MHz Ham bands. Resonator and tunable whip for best 50MHz performance. About 44" high, overall. Fits mast up to 1" in diameter. Accepts PL-259 connector.
Product is in production.
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N4UE Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2005 16:29 Send this review to a friend
Great first impression!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was in the market for a Discone antenna. I was going to make one, since I have a machine shop. I started searching the WWW for different models and found that the Diamond has some good reviews.
I must admit that some of the reviews here for this RS antenna, had me concerned. I went to the local RS today, and they had a couple of these antennas. Althought the price was $69,99, I was VERY impressed with the quality. (Maybe I got an 'older' one?)

I paid $350+ for an M2 6m JHV and it is the biggest POS I have ever had the misfortune of buying! This RS antenna is extremely well made. All the hardware is SS and there are several extra pieces! Honestly, I couldn't make one for this price.

I will give another evaluation after I get it installed and test it with my MFJ259B and also with a variety of receivers and transmitters.

So far, so good!


K3GI Rating: 5/5 Feb 15, 2005 03:57 Send this review to a friend
Been up 10 years  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mine has been on my roof for about 10 years. No problems whatsoever. I use it for scanner monitoring. It has seen some duty as a transmitting antenna. It has no gain, but--hey--that's its design. Excellent for what it is.
ALEX_NS6Y Rating: 0/5 Feb 14, 2005 19:47 Send this review to a friend
Piece of Junque!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
OK folks this is what I think has happened: RS was probably selling one made by Diamond etc and WAS a good antenna. Maybe a year or two ago, they got a cheaper model - cheaper and junkier really in ONE area - the plastic part that seperates the top and bottom, that must be an insulator for it to work, and that's made of some very weak plastic in mine, that I got a year ago, and which BROKE IN HALF.

Heck I'm KEEPING the elements, they're very well made!

What does this mean to the antenna-buying public? What it seems to me to mean is, you might not want one of the new ones, but one of the older ones that was sold a few or several years ago, might just be a SUPER antenna!

All in all if I had to do it again I"d just have gotten the Diamond one.
KC2IGY Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2005 19:17 Send this review to a friend
5+ years  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've has this antenna on my roof for over 5 years, and it's still in one piece. The anetnna has survived blizzards, ice storms, and 50+ MPH winds. Performance wise, it makes a great receiving/scanner antenna, and works very well for talking on FM repeaters.
K1CJS Rating: 4/5 Feb 14, 2005 13:58 Send this review to a friend
Good receiving antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had one of the Radio Shack discone antennas for slightly over 3 years now. I use it for a portable workhorse antenna. I have put it together and taken it apart regularly for portable one and two day useage on the 6 meter, 2 meter and 70 cm. bands as well as use as a scanner antenna, and I have not had any trouble with the elements breaking or falling off.

I do agree that the elements could be better made, but the rolled stock used for the longer elements resist bending better than bar stock would. If bent to the extreme, both types will break.

It all comes down to this: you get what you pay for. If you want a stronger discone antenna, pay the difference and get the antenna from Diamond or another antenna manufacturer. The Radio Shack model is good for the money.
YEPSURE Rating: 3/5 Feb 14, 2005 10:35 Send this review to a friend
This IS a fragile antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Yeah, don't listen to those of us who have put our discone's on a pole, totally isolated from falling branches, hurricanes, tornado's or whatever, yet still had the cheap 45 degree radial's break despite just sitting all by itself up in the air!

Those posts that say this is not a fragile antenna simply have not experienced the failures the rest of us have. The radial's are hollow, which is a big manufacturing mistake. The radial's have a habit of breaking off where the threaded stub mates with the radial. The Shack does this apparently to save money, which is well and good, but the fact remains that this antenna is FRAGILE, period.

If you haven't experienced the breakage I've described then consider yourself lucky. However, the rest of us haven't been "rough" with our antenna's as it has been implied (although some have noted accidents with them). Barring these accidents the antenna is cheaply made, and although more expensive, your money would be better spent purchasing the Diamond or Icom version, which is made with better materials. Having had both the Radio Shack model and the Diamond version, I can say with experience there is a quality difference between the two.

If you choose not to listen to those who have had breakage issues then you subject yourself to a very skewed reflection of the true quality of this product. If people only listen to one side of any issue regardless of good or bad then your just fooling yourself, plain & simple.
N4KMA Rating: 4/5 Feb 14, 2005 08:20 Send this review to a friend
Good Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had mines for about 8 years or more. Never have had a problem with it.
N4VNV Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2005 08:13 Send this review to a friend
OLD MODEL IS GREAT!  Time owned: more than 12 months
To follow-up my first posting of Oct 2003. Now it's Feb 2005, my R/S Discone is STILL GREAT! The problem seems to be the newer models are not built as well as the older ones like mine. Put it together over ten years ago.
ALEX_NS6Y Rating: 0/5 Feb 14, 2005 07:35 Send this review to a friend
Just say NO  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
OK got my new antenna built and took the discone inside for a postmortem. In two pieces as it fell into two pieces as I picked it up! There's a plastic sleeve sort of thing that isolates the "hat" half on the top and the "cone" radial part on the bottom, and that had broken in half!! I'd say, if you have access to a lathe and some solid fiberglass material like they make circuit boards out of, make a new part and it should last a long time, but as it is, it didn't last a year just sitting on my patio. I can't imagine this thing lasting long out on a roof up on a pole like a lot of people set up their scanner antennas.

Now I have some nice rods to make some other kind of antenna with lol. I might use one for the 1/4 wave I just built, since I don't see the brass tubing I used lasting long.
ALEX_NS6Y Rating: 2/5 Feb 12, 2005 03:32 Send this review to a friend
Neat at first but the romance fades  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I"ve had mine for almost a year, outside on a ground floor patio of an apartment building. That place gets some wind, rain, dust, leaves, and a daily visit by a maniac with a leaf blower. At first it worked great, but so did a an old, beat up, 1/4-wave with 3 radials. The discone seems to be very sensitive to objects in its near field, and the primitive 1/4 and 3 radials job would even work well *indoors* where it was surrounded by stuff! The only time I had trouble with the basic 1/4 wave was when the leaf blower guy, I guess, knocked it over and left it that way, the radiating element was over to the side touching the ground! Insert some profound comment about symmetry here hehe. The discone's central "hub" is loose, some radials were loose, and simply because I put some boxes of stuff on my porch, transmitting on 2-meters my IC-2100H is sensing a high SWR and only putting out 1-1/2 watt when I have it set to 5 watts. Smart radio, dumb me!

This discone is on borrowed time as far as I am concerned, I think I may be much better off with a j-pole.
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