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October 14, 2019, 10:15:33 AM
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: DF antenna for the MK 4 Sniffer?
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Author Topic: DF antenna for the MK 4 Sniffer?  (Read 1053 times)
BoxGranch
Recruit

Posts: 37
Unit: SER-FL-466

« on: November 21, 2018, 03:45:53 PM »

Any thoughts on choosing between the Arrow and RDFAntennas for the MK 4? I did do some searching, but didn't find a direct comparison.

The Arrow is enough cheaper to help my budget and if you get the split boom version, it should be smaller for storage, though Arrow does not give dimensions for it split. Storage space is a concern.

The RDF one appears faster to deploy since it unfolds. I have not found dimensions for it in storage condition.

Is there a performance difference? I have not yet found a front to back rating for the Arrow. The RDF claims 10 dB.

One other thought was the loop Arrow produces.

http://www.arrowantennas.com/main/fhl.html

https://www.rdfantennas.com/products/bc-121-5-df-antenna/

http://www.arrowantennas.com/arrowii/121.5-3ii.html

Thanks in advance.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time With Silver Clasp
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Posts: 30,261

« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2018, 03:52:52 PM »

Go with the RDF - it's well made and works great, including as a handle.
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BoxGranch
Recruit

Posts: 37
Unit: SER-FL-466

« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2018, 04:33:11 PM »

Thanks! Any comparison on performance? Is it worth more that double the cost of the Arrow?
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jeders
Global Moderator

Posts: 2,217

« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2018, 04:33:23 PM »

I've not used a loop antenna before, so I can't really say anything about that.

However, I would say go with the RDF boom as opposed to the Arrow boom. The Arrow antenna has to be broken down by unscrewing each element, which takes a lot of time. This means that most of the time in the field, it's going to be fully assembled and difficult to get in and out of vehicles and other tight spaces. The RDF antenna, on the other hand, folds up similar to the old Little L-Pers, though the main boom doesn't fold.

The Arrow and RDF are both comparable on accuracy, precision, and range. For me, being able to fold up and store the antenna was worth the extra money at the time; but if it's not worth it to you, then the Arrow is a great option.
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If you are confident in you abilities and experience, whether someone else is impressed is irrelevant. - Eclipse
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time With Silver Clasp
*
Posts: 30,261

« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2018, 06:03:12 PM »

^ What he said...
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BoxGranch
Recruit

Posts: 37
Unit: SER-FL-466

« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2018, 09:57:47 PM »

Thanks all!
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CAPTShaw
Member

Posts: 54
Unit: NER-PA-606

Squadron 606
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2019, 07:56:54 PM »

NER-PA-606 here, we just ordered a DF and Antenna from https://www.rdfantennas.com

We where lucky a local Police Department is going to purchase it for us.
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Capt David Shaw, CAP SQ 606
Founder
Greene County Composite Squadron 606 (12JAN17)

CAPTShaw
Member

Posts: 54
Unit: NER-PA-606

Squadron 606
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2019, 10:15:21 AM »

DF and MK 4 have arrived, now some reading and playing to begin!
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Capt David Shaw, CAP SQ 606
Founder
Greene County Composite Squadron 606 (12JAN17)

sardak
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,244

« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2019, 02:57:04 PM »

One other thought was the loop Arrow produces.
You want one of the beams, not the loop. As it says on the web page for the loop, "If the signal is weak, a Yagi is recommended for its directional gain." While the majority of the DFing will probably be on or near an airport, you need to be trained and prepared for DFing on signals that are weak due to distance.  There are other options for in-close antennas, like rubber duckies, keys, pens, paperclips, none, etc.

Mike
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