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Thread: New Member - Antenna Questions

  1. #1
    MR78 Guest

    Default New Member - Antenna Questions

    Hello folks. Just joined. Looks like a great forum. I have been fooling around with broadcast listening since I was a kid. Now 60 and still hooked. Amateur radio took up most of my attention over the years but I would like to get a decent outdoor antenna up for FM.

    I have been surfing the web and looking at:

    1. Directive Systems DS88 - 17.2' boom. Nice antenna.

    2. APS-9B

    3. Antennacraft FM6

    4. Winegard HD6055P

    I believe that is about all there is out there right now? I have also looked at the W6STI antenna comparisons/modeling which were very informative.

    However, I just wanted to get some opinions from real users. I live in the Memphis, TN area and will probably be using the receiver on my McIntosh MX-117 tuner/preamp.

    I realize this is a VERY broad question but I would like to hear your thoughts.

    Regards and Happy New Year.........

  2. #2
    MR78 Guest

    Default

    Talked to Dave at Directive Systems this morning. He is no longer making the DS88 so you can confine your answers to 2-4. Thanks much.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Pembroke Pines, FL, USA
    Posts
    4,274

    Default

    I own a Radio Shack 6 element FM antenna that I believe is equal to the Antennacraft. I think it is great as far as bang-for-the-buck. Nice directionality, and I certainly get stations I cannot get on rabbit ears.

    BTW you own an MR 78? If so, oh wow.....Keep us posted this summer if you can hear any Cuban FM, seeing u live in Memphis.....prime Es distance.

    cd

  4. #4
    MR78 Guest

    Default Cubans

    Well, I'm a big six meter (50 MHz) operator. E is common on that band in the summer and some winter months. I imagine it is much less common on FM broadcast. I know that E on two meters (144) is very rare. We see it about two or three times a year if we are VERY lucky. You have to be sitting near the radio to catch it. It doesn't last long.

    I did a search of the RS web page and it doesn't appear they sell any directional antennas for FM these days.

    It seems like the Antennacraft might be the best bang for the buck in terms of pricing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    15 mi NW Phila, PA
    Posts
    1,541

    Default

    From another comment either here or on the email list, I don't believe the APS-9B is available new either any more.
    Russ Edmunds
    15 mi NW Philadelphia, PA
    WB2BJH -- Grid FN20id
    Yamaha T-80 & Conrad RDS Manager;
    Yamaha T-85 & Conrad RDS Manager;
    Onkyo T450RDS; 4) Tecsun PL-310;
    Sony XDR-S3; Sony ICF2010; all w/ APS-9B @ 15';
    Sony ICF2010 barefoot w/ whip


  6. #6
    MR78 Guest

    Default

    Talked to them this morning. The APS-9B is available, $99.00. They did have a model with a longer boom that has apparently been discontinued.

    Thank you......

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Enfield, CT
    Posts
    1,178

    Default

    That was the APS-13. You mean to say that Ed Hanlon discontinued it ???????????? Hmmm...his website shows it (http://www.antennaperformance.com) but when you click on the image you see an APS-9B. Well, I'm in shock. But then, the demand for them was only so large anyway. Too bad.
    The APS-9B is still for sale on his website. The Winegard is still available. I've seen it on the Starke Electronics website. This one is pretty good. Not much out there anymore, is there.
    Mike B.
    Enfield, CT
    -72 30' W/41 59' N
    FN31RX

    Online since 1999 and still going at
    mikesdx.com

    Archives: The Original Mike's TV/FM Page with Tuner Mods and Lots of Old Stuff

  8. #8
    MR78 Guest

    Default

    So how do we compare the Antennacraft to the Winegard to the APS-9B???????? Especially interested in durability.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Pembroke Pines, FL, USA
    Posts
    4,274

    Default

    Well since Danny sez that the Antennacraft FM = the old R Shack model, I'll chime in and say that the plastic clips that hold the elements in place don't last very long.

    Another member gave a capital idea on how to possibly preserve the elements in place, should a plastic clip break.....get those plastic cable tie wraps you find at a Home Depot or Lowe's.

    Since I do not own the other model, I cannot compare.

    Disclaimer: One thing that is killing the FM DXing hobby is IBOC (for HD Radio). Surely, like Miami, Memphis must have its share of stations now, where you hear a hiss on the sidebands of FM stations. That's IBOC, and DXers have nothing to help them on it. Let's say, e.g., you wanna hear a first-adjacent to WMC-FM 99.7 (either on 99.5 or 99.9). If you hear strong hiss there, you are SOL hearing anything there, unless DX is hot and heavy.
    96.7 from here used to be the prime Cuba frequency (since there are no class A's and above in FL on 96.7).....Now that WPOW 96.5 has IBOC----well, you get the picture. *Sigh*

    Although the list needs severe updating, check out www.ibiquity.com to check which stations in/near Memphis have IBOC (see "Find a Station").

    cd

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    191

    Default

    I use a Winegard 6065P, which was discontinued a few years ago and replaced by the 6055. The 6065 is larger than the 6055, with ten elements as opposed to eight. Although I'm sure they are quite different, I've had pretty good luck with the 6065. It's directional enough to get a bit of a null on my locals (most are about 20 miles away), which usually allows DX of decent strength to cut through their IBOC. I don't have anything to compare it to for other types of performance, as I've never used any other outdoor yagi antenna.

    Durability wise, it has held up exceptionally well. Its been up for about 5 years now, and I recently re-installed it on a taller mast. As far as I could tell, it was in great condition, none of the elements were broken, bent, or rusted, and the connector was still in good shape. My environment here in California isn't terribly harsh, but it has stood through strong winds, persistent sunlight, and occasional rain. If the new version is similar to this one, then it is definitely a sturdy antenna.

    Edit - In regards to the post above, the Ibiquity IBOC list seems to be updated fairly regularly (at least the number of total stations keeps changing), but in my case some of the stations listed have not had IBOC for a long time (or ever) but are still on the list. I'm sure they don't want their station count to decrease, so they'll just leave stations up there. Also, with the current state of the radio industry, I'm sure some of the "coming soon" stations may take a long time to implement IBOC, if at all. Personally, I'm pretty optimistic that IBOC will not grow more than it already has, but it may take a while to die off I'm afraid...
    Last edited by K4NBF; 01-12-2009 at 02:45 AM.

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