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Product Review

AntennaWareHouse Scanner Beam

I've been looking for a new antenna for quite sometime. I've had Discones in the past (one of which was purchased from AntennaWareHouse) but wanted to give a beam antenna a try. My first priority would be that it have good coverage in the MilAir frequencies (220 MHz to 400 MHz). I was about to try one of the expensive Log Periodic's by either Create or KLM (both very fine companies making a fine product). But then I received an email from Tim at AntennaWareHouse advising me of this new antenna they just started selling via their website. For $54.00 and being a beam I just had to give it a try (Create antennas are well over $400.00 and KLM's over $300.00 for the same frequency coverage).

As per the AntennaWareHouse.com website the frequency specs are as follows: 30-50 MHz. VHF low band, 108-137 MHz. Aircraft band, 137-174 MHz. high VHF Public Service band, 225-400 MHz. Military Aircraft and Satellite band, 406-512 MHz. UHF band and the 806-1300 MHz. All this sounded good to me, and again for $54.00 its sure worth a try. I sent Tim the money via PayPal.com and two days later I received the antenna via US Priority Mail. That was great service!

My first impression was that this is the same style of antenna that is being peddled by Grove for $74.95. Except I didn't pay $74.95!!

I put mine up on a 30' mast and used a $90.00 Channel Master TV antenna rotor to aim the antenna. This antenna is light enough that you don't need an expensive "ham radio" antenna rotor. The Channel Master rotor does fine on this antenna, even with the high winds of Florida's Tropical storms. So far this antenna as survived through a Tropical Storm and a near miss from the last Hurricane of the 2001 Hurricane season. Thus far the max wind speed this antenna has seen as been gust of 60 MPH and sustained speeds of 35 MPH. It has survived with NO damage or bent elements!

The only antenna I had to compair the Scanner Beam to is a Discone which is mounted about 25' high. A good test was to tune in a few Kennedy Space Center freqs, KSC is located about 35 miles south of my location. First I would listen to a signal at KSC on the Discone, the signal was very readable but there was a little "scratchyness" in the background. I switched over to the Scanner Beam and the same signal now is perfect, no noise in the background at all!

For a good test in the VHF-LO area I scanned the cordless telephone band (46.610 - 46.970MHz) while using the Scanner Beam and taking note of how many signals I found. Then I switched from the Scanner Beam to the Discone, on average I would only hear about 1 call on the Discone to 4 on the Scanner Beam. Its not uncommon for me to hear 2-4 different calls on the Scanner Beam while only 1 on the Discone. Since cordless phones have low power and poor antennas I thought this would be a good test.

Below I have some pictures of the Scanner Beam, take minute to enjoy the pictures. The rest of this review is continued under the pictures.

Another nice feature, this antenna includes the "stand-off" which will allow you to mount this antenna vertically. For MilAir as well as Public Safety you want an antenna mounted vertically (TV antennas are mounted horizonally). The hardware for this is included FREE, all part of the $54.00 price tag (KLM Antenna charges an extra $30.00 for this hardware).

Back to the performance tests. As many people today are interested in 800-900MHz for trunked public safety frequencies, I gave them a try also. Here in Daytona we have a 800MHz trunked system and where I live the 800MHz systems is "a little fuzzy" on both rubber ducky antennes as well as the discone. However when I switched to the beam even 800 MHz signals improved.

In summery this antenna is a very good antenna for $54.00, it includes neccessory hardware for vertical mounting (if you try to use a "TV" antenna you would have to make this hardware yourself), the packaging, shipping, and speed of delievery was excellent from AntennaWarehouse.com! And as a side note, this antenna is Everybit as good as the famous "Grove Scanner Beam" and its $20.00 cheaper to boot!

MilAirComms.Com Awards the AntennaWarehouse.Com
Scanner Beam a 5-STAR Rating!