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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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The X300NA is On The Air

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I received the Diamond X300NA today.   Took me about an hour to put it together on the kitchen table (trying to be quiet since baby was sleeping).   The instructions were very simple.   The antenna went together very easily and is actually simple to put together.

I can’t really give a performance comparison for multiple reasons.   First off, the antenna is only 4 feet off the top of the deck table.   Second, I didn’t have a previous transmit antenna at this location to compare with.

On receive, it performs as well or better than my scanner antenna on 150-174 mhz and 450-475 Mhz.   800 Mhz performance, as anticipated, is terrible.   I haven’t gotten a chance to compare 2m / 440 Mhz signals since I haven’t listened to any 440 Mhz amateur repeaters in a long time and I only monitor a few 2m frequencies.   I’ll try to test it out a little more this evening.

I really need to get this antenna up over the roof of the house.   As it is now, the majority of the antenna is below the roofline and close to the house.   If I could get a 21-foot fence rail as a mast, mount it on the ground at the side of the house with a proper support at the eave, I’m sure it would do great.   This will be my only alternative at present, and it’ll probably be at least a month before i get that accomplished.

Written by Mike

April 7th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

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Awaiting the Arrival of the Diamond X300NA

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Diamond X300

Diamond X300NA

I’m awaiting the arrival of a Diamond X300NA 146/440 Mhz base antenna.  This is Diamond’s mid-range base antenna for 2m/440.  The NA designator means that the antenna is terminated with an N-Connector rather than an SO-239.   Looks to be of solid construction, and I’ve heard and read good reviews about the antenna.

Given my restricted space and the fact that I’m not prepared to put up a tower, this will likely be mounted to a piece of PVC pipe sticking out of the deck table [replacing the umbrella] until a permanent location is decided upon.

I chose this antenna because of its solid construction and the fact that not only can it be used for 2m/440 activity but it can also be used as a scanner antenna for 150-162 Mhz and 450-470.   Sure, it is not designed / tuned for those parts of VHF/UHF but is close enough to still outperform a typical omni scanner antenna.    The reason for choosing an antenna with an N-connector is because I run LMR-400 with N-connectors for my coax system and N-connectors reportedly are better to use at UHF and higher frequencies due to less loss.   I’ve also read much material that debates this.    I chose an N-connector anyway.

I’ll update once I receive the antenna and proceed with putting it up in the air.

Written by Mike

April 4th, 2010 at 10:37 pm