AA8IA Amateur Radio

Diamond X300NA Performance

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I’ve had the Diamond X300NA antenna in operation for a little over a week.   It’s fed with 50 feet of LMR-400.   So far the performance is better than I expected, but not as good as I had hoped — the latter being me just having higher expectations than I should have.

The antenna is installed about 5 feet above the deck table on my back deck, mounted to a piece of PVC, which is stuck into the table and through the base where the umbrella used to go.   Obviously the antenna location/height is subpar.   It is within 5 feet of the eaves of the house to the East, and most of the antenna really isn’t even above the roofline to the east.

Given the current installation, it’s performing extremely well.   From a reception standpoint, it receives VHF 150-174 and aircraft better than the two scanner antennas I have here, both of which were mounted about 5 feet higher.    And since this antenna is tuned for 146 Mhz, that’s saying a lot.    On 440 Mhz I believe it is doing equally well on receive.   It doesn’t hear UHF from Pittsburgh area very well, but this is only because of the close proximity of the antenna to the house and its low height [not reaching above roofline].   If I could get the antenna up just another 10 feet [which is my goal here within the next few weeks], I’m sure it’ll work brilliantly over into PA.

From this location I can’t really compare transmit performance.   I didn’t have a 146 / 440 transmit antenna up at this location before.   I do know that access is full quieting into any of the local repeaters from Wheeling to Salem and out into Harrison Co.   I haven’t tried to access any Pennsylvania repeaters, but I’m sure the performance isn’t as good in that direction.

The antenna was extremely easy to put together and went up without a hitch.   I’ve got no complaints with it.   However, I will be sure to take down the antenna before winter and inspect it / waterproof  it.   I expect this antenna will last a long time and give me many years of good performance.   I really like this antenna better than the Cushcraft ARX2-B simply because it’s tougher.   I’m sure it’s performance is likely comparable to a Ringo II though.

Written by Mike

April 19th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Posted in Antennas

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