I found the best portable antenna yet!

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I found the best portable antenna yet!

Unread postby Tier4GEVO » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:12 am

Wanting to get better performance from my scanner, I invested in the Smiley Antenna Super Stick II 160 Mhz. After many tests, it picks up about the same as my 5/8 Wave Traintenna in the same position. Definitely outperforms my Diamond RH77CA and stock antenna. For only $30 shipped I highly recommend it!
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Re: I found the best portable antenna yet!

Unread postby J3rsdm5 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:13 am

Tier4GEVO wrote:Wanting to get better performance from my scanner, I invested in the Smiley Antenna Super Stick II 160 Mhz. After many tests, it picks up about the same as my 5/8 Wave Traintenna in the same position. Definitely outperforms my Diamond RH77CA and stock antenna. For only $30 shipped I highly recommend it!

What would you say is your average range with the RH77CA vs Smiley? With my RH77CA I get about 10 miles, and for reasons I fail to comprehend, my 55 inch Maxrad MHB5800 with a ground plane disc only gets 13 miles (about at Howell), and it's not even intelligible until about 7 miles. (Just past Brighton)
Do you know what the best possible antenna is that I could purchase, yet not any taller than 10 feet? (To sit on the floor. My antenna sits on my desk, and at 55", it barely touches the ceiling.)
I would spend large amounts of money to hear activity at Plymouth. At that point, I would start streaming online to complete the Plymouth sub scanner coverage.
Thank you!
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Re: I found the best portable antenna yet!

Unread postby hoborich » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:09 pm

What would you say is your average range with the RH77CA vs Smiley?


As they say in the commercials, "Your results may vary". :D
See my other reply to your post in Railfanning. You need to get your antenna outside, somehow. Nothing is going to work well on your floor or your desk. It's not a matter of money. It's a matter of antenna location and height.
I don't know how much transmitter power the railroads use. I do know the dispatchers select and use antenna towers in the general vicinity of the train they are talking to. Which tells me they are using a low power system.
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Re: I found the best portable antenna yet!

Unread postby KC8RBK » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:13 pm

Most mobile commercial radios come standard 20-50w output. Obviously the engines are only 15' in the air but dispatchers are usually much higher which is why you can hear them so much farther away. Detectors from what I've been hearing lately are using dipoles for an antenna at 10' with only a couple watt transmitter. They're really only designed to be heard a couple miles away so the engine crew and recorders can hear the report.
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