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Date: 03/21/19 03:19
Antenna Question
Author: algoma11

I have a Bearcat BC125AT and its been recommended I replace the antenna with something better. Try as I might I can't find on tuned to 160-164 MHZ. 
It was recommended I try a Diamond Antenna RH77 CA, anyone have an experience with that set up or have another recommendation ?
Thanks

Mike Bannon
St Catharines, ON



Date: 03/21/19 05:39
Re: Antenna Question
Author: Floridarailfan

I replaced the antenna on my old Bearcat 200XLT with a Diamond RH 77CA and have been pleased with the improvement over the original antenna’s performance.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 03/21/19 06:20
Re: Antenna Question
Author: seod

I had the Diamond SRH77A but I replaced it with the Comet SMA24. I use it on a Vertex VX-150 and the Comet recieves at least 1/2 to 1 bar better on the signal strength meter on the radio. I like that it is a bit more flexible than the stick of the Diamond.

Scott O'Dell



Date: 03/21/19 06:20
Re: Antenna Question
Author: wa4umr

The aftermarket antenna is quite an improvement over the one that comes with your radio.  I wrote an article several years ago on the subject.  See it at http://members.trainorders.com/wa4umr/handheld%20antennas.htm

John
 



Date: 03/21/19 10:11
Re: Antenna Question
Author: algoma11

Thanks for your remarks- it is a big help !

Mike Bannon
St Catharines, ON



Date: 03/21/19 16:01
Re: Antenna Question
Author: WW

Smiley makes "Slim Duck" antennas that are tuned to the 160 mHz range that work pretty well.  I personally like the Laird EXH-160 series antenna.  With both, be certain to order the model that has a BNC-type connector to fit the BC-125AT.  The Diamonds mentioned above work fairly well if one plans to use the radio for something in addition to scanning the railroad frequencies, but I still prefer a 160 mHz-tuned antenna for listening to the railroad frequencies specifically.  As a side note, the "extended range" antennas sold by Kenwood (and also Icom, I believe) for their portable radios sold to the railroads are re-branded Laird EXH-160 antennas.

I believe that Smiley antennas can be ordered directly from Smiley.  Some two-way  radio shops also carry them.  I usually order the Lairds  from http://www.theantennafarm.com . They also can be obatained from some two-way radio shops.  



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/19 16:08 by WW.



Date: 03/27/19 16:38
Re: Antenna Question
Author: JR24

WW, I took your recommendation in a prior post here and bought the Smiley 5/8 Slim Duck 160 MHZ w/BNC for my BC-125AT. Great advice! Link:
https://www.smileyantenna.com/product-p/16020.htm
 



Date: 04/04/19 12:14
Re: Antenna Question
Author: Rick2582

The Slim Duck is a good antenna for sure.  But be careful to keep the antenna and connector screwed tightly together.  Lost one antenna when wearing the radio on my belt - the movement and brushing past my shirt unscrewed the antenna and all that was left on the radio was the connector.



Date: 04/05/19 19:52
Re: Antenna Question
Author: WW

Rick2582 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Slim Duck is a good antenna for sure.  But be
> careful to keep the antenna and connector screwed
> tightly together.  Lost one antenna when wearing
> the radio on my belt - the movement and brushing
> past my shirt unscrewed the antenna and all that
> was left on the radio was the connector.

That is a potential issue with the Slim Duck.  Another issue with any "rubber duckie"  is physical damage and wear.  Where I work there a dozens of portable radios in use every day, so I have a good "test bed" for antenna wear.  For the Slim Duck, its common wear or breaking point is right above the connector.  With a lot of hard use, most of them will eventually fail there.  For the Laird EXH's, their most common failure point is about halfway up the antenna shaft, where the antenna "narrows down" (Diamond and Comet extended range antennas will also frequently physically fail at a similar spot on the antenna).   The Lairds will generally take longer to fail than the Smiley Slim Ducks, but the failure of the Slim Duck is usually pretty visually evident, while the Lairds can fail and it's not always visible by looking at the antenna.  The typical clue to a failure of a Laird is that the receive and transmit performance of the radio suddenly craters.  Most railfans may never experience these antenna failures because they don't have the radio hanging on their belt 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year like the folks who use radios vocationally may.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/05/19 19:53 by WW.



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