Best LPFM antenna

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Best LPFM antenna

Post by sallen » Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:16 pm

Looking to get a backup antenna for an LPFM. Their current antenna throws fits when it snows or is accumulating ice/snow. Who makes a good LPFM antenna that handles ice/snow well. With or without radomes. This LPFM is on an Island so pretty much at sea level which is why they felt OK with a one bay 6812c with no radomes. Rather than hash out the current antenna, what would make a better replacement that can handle ice/snow.

Current antenna is atop a 85' water tank on a 30' mast. Backup antenna is going on a 65' tank on a 20'mast. The 65' second tank sits next to the 85' one. We always planed to purchase a backup antenna down the road based on how the first one performed in Snow. First winter we had no snow. Today we had some snow and the 6812c performed as expected, we had to reduce power to 25%. There is a chance we may swap the antennas and put the 6812 on the shorter tank. The backup antenna is also needed because the water district, some time in the future, may retrofit the base of the 85' tank and we may have to remove the cabling to to the main antenna. Having a backup antenna on the second tank will serve many needs, But I want the backup to perform under all weather conditions.

So whats the best?

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Deep Thought
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Re: Best LPFM antenna

Post by Deep Thought » Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:45 pm

ERI 100A
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL •

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Re: Best LPFM antenna

Post by TPT » Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:11 pm

SWR FM/1/1--they make a radome for it.

vacuum tube
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Re: Best LPFM antenna

Post by vacuum tube » Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:43 pm

My vote is for the Nicom BKG 77. I have a few, they work fine and are broadband to cover the entire FM band. Ice does not bother them and no wind load of radoms. The price is right as well. Depending on connector they are rated at 2 kw per bay.

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Re: Best LPFM antenna

Post by Kelly » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:57 pm

Hey Steve,

If you're okay with the performance of the existing antenna, my vote is forget the alternate antenna and get yourself a couple cans of this: ... B000IC7ZQ2

When the weather is warm, or you can bring the antenna indoors, spray about three coats of the urethane seal coat, coating the radiating element(s). It's like a spray-on raydome. In fact, I sprayed my four bay Jampro in Cle Elum up on Lookout Mountain and it had no problem when iced or wet snow. The downside is you'll have to re-coat the antenna about every two years because UV will break down the seal coat.
Skype:kellyalford Twitter: @KellyAlford

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Re: Best LPFM antenna

Post by ChuckG » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:09 pm

I've never hated an antenna more than the 6812C. Take a nice drink of icewater while working anywhere on the site and the VSWR goes to hell. Same problems every time and the radomes only slow it down.
The BKG77 works very well and for about $600 you can't beat the cost. That's what I'd look at.
No experience with the SWR or ERI's that were suggested, although there are a lot of barefoot rototillers up here in the midwest that work fine in anything less than 1/4" ice.
Chuck Gennaro
Central Wisconsin

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Re: Best LPFM antenna

Post by W2XJ » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:24 am

I'll second the ERI 100A. You get what you pay for.

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