Beam Vs. Vertical

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KC3AZG, Sep 3, 2014.

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  1. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Consider the advantages of a beam again. If you are entirely on FM, a vertical beam would be the way to go. If you can also work SSB, the cross yagi like the Cushcraft suggested, or a real 'circular' like those from KLM can work well for both SSB and FM, In hilly country, I like the circulars.

    Take the M Squared 2MCP14 - their 'little' beam. It has 12 dbic gain. We need to convert that to real world dB over a dipole, vertical or horizontal. I would guess it comes down to about 8 dB. The vertical you're talking about is 7 dBi, or probably about 4.5 dB over a dipole. The difference between the two would be 3.5 dB. KLM's 'big' circular, the 2MCP22 has about 2 dB more gain. So that's more than an S unit greater than the vertical.

    Circular beams are perfect for satellite work, too, even if you're only doing FM birds. If that's in your plans, you might want to start building a tracking antenna system, with elevation rotor or combined elevation/azimuth capable of being computer controlled. There are some exciting 'birds' in development. The Japanese will have a ham transponder on board a satellite that will circle the Sun enroute to an asteroid encounter. Talk about DX!
  2. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ditto. Back in the 70s, (still) the only new rig I bought was an Icom IC22S 2m FM "squawk box" with a whole 10W of power. Initially, I used it mobile with a 5/8 wavelength whip antenna that had a gutter clip mount. At home w/ the antenna clipped onto the aluminum gutter, performance was poor. But then, I lived in a horrible location... tall hills in three directions (and no repeaters on those hilltops).

    One day, a buddy gave me a 3-element 11m yagi. In a couple of hours, I had 6-elements on 2m (vertically polarized). My shack was in a 2nd floor bedroom, next to the window on the gable end. I used a length of 1-1/4" OD chainlink fence rail as a mast, with gable mounts. Repeaters that used to be marginal were now full quieting. Repeaters that were very noisy were useable. It was still a crappy location but, the yagi made a HUGE difference in multipath distortion.

    Then, the novelty wore off. I haven't used 2m FM in decades. :eek:
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, a beam cures many ills.

    I've kind of lost interest in FM/repeater ops also, although I was an early adopter in the 60s and had my own first repeater on the air and working (and popular as hell, hundreds of daily users) in 1973. I've built and owned/operated 2m repeaters from coast to coast 1973 to about 2007, and then sold my last one here in southern CA. That was kind of a happy day, as activity had definitely fallen off and driving up to a remote hilltop site 45 mins away to go look at it wasn't the way I really wanted to spend my spare time anyway.:eek:

    Biggest mistake new repeater owners make: Tell anybody where the repeater is. I never did that, and never had any problems. So, I sold my last repeater to a local who wanted to own it (working fine, good coverage) and the first thing I told him was, "Don't ever tell anybody where the repeater actually is, especially not on the air."

    So, the first thing he did was tell people where it was.

    He was kicked out of that great hilltop site within a few months.:p I had the site rent-free, not even an electric bill, because it was shared with commercial services who paid for all that. That's why I kept the site a secret, figuring no good could come from other people knowing.

    "New" repeater owners aren't as savvy as "old" repeater owners.:eek:
  4. WB9UDA

    WB9UDA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't have an Amp yet. But I plan on buying the Mirage BD-34 for 2M only,
    and then run it in the mobile and base both. But if I could afford a good beam,
    I'd probably not need much added power. The problem with too much power is
    that you can talk further than you can hear, unless you also have a receive preamp.

    I have spent the last three days, getting a 20' tower put up just to hold my
    Dual Band vertical.
    If it doesn't rain (again) I hope to get the antenna up tomorrow.

  5. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    A few decades ago (1970s), I had a job installing and maintaining background music via FM broadcast (using a 67 KHz subcarrier). One day, I was to install a receiver inside and antenna atop a new Safeway store. It was situated about 20 miles line-of-sight from our transmitter. Across the street behind the site was Beacon Hill in Seattle... a VERY steep hill. As I was scoping out the propagation using a battery-operated relative field strength receiver + 3-el yagi, I noticed the direct path showed reasonable (but not high) signal strength, and the recovered audio was horribly distorted. The best signal strength and cleanest recovered audio was with the yagi pointing 180° away, directly at the hill. :eek:

    A vertical would not have worked worth beans.
  6. W9CLL

    W9CLL Ham Member QRZ Page

    It all depends on where you want to work, a vertical up high might prove a better option. A beam is a good option if you want to work distance station or ssb. Years ago I had a pair of stacked 17b2's at 80 feet, they were mounted horizontal and I only worked 2 meter ssb with them. My vertical was above them and at that height allowed a wide area coverage. Would I do a 2 meter beam now? No there is not enough activity to warrant the cost.
  7. KC3AZG

    KC3AZG Ham Member QRZ Page

    My location will be rather nice as me and the future mrs. kc3azg just bought a new used home high on top of a plaque with a great line of sight of 10+ miles 360 degrees.
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