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[Towertalk] 160 mHz vertical for railroad comms.

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Subject: [Towertalk] 160 mHz vertical for railroad comms.
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 03:49:29 +0000
A friend of mine is into monitoring railroad traffic too.  He lived right 
next to a pretty busy line and could listen to them and watch them go by 
too.  Listening to airplane and airport traffic is interesting too, 
especially if you've flown (and/or are a ham), in which case you can pretty 
much understand what they're talking about.  I don't know if in the current 
environment this stuff has gotten scrambled or digitized or anything, but at 
least some years ago I used to have a good time at it.

On antenna, I agree those commercial "sticks" are pricey, over-priced to a 
ham's sensibilities.  But, hey, 80M aluminum verticals are selling for 
$1,350 from the ham antenna mfgrs so I guess that tracks!

If you don't really need omnidirectional coverage, I would think a beam 
might be a better choice -- to point toward the tracks.  If you have the 
possibility of reception in a couple directions, like if you live real near 
the track, two yagis, one pointed one way and one the other could do the 
trick.  Make a yagi from scratch or cut down a 2M one.

If you do need omnidirectional coverage -- tracks and traffic in more than 
one direction, several directions, you should be able to make your own and 
save a bundle.  Some guys make J-poles out of copper plumbing pipe and they 
work great.  Or you can make it out of wire if you have a support that's 
high enough for your purposes.

Or, drive down to Maryland and look over the several commercial ones I've 
accumulated over the years and see if one suits you and "Let's make a deal." 
  I've always wondered what I was going to do with them but thought I might 
figure that out someday.  (all from takedowns).

73 - Rich, KE3Q

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