Gotta chime in with the practical answer. In practical use the lower gain
of a 3 element antenna will be far outweighed by the ease of handling it
over the bigger longer heavier 4 element.
Where the 4 element will have more db than the 3 element will be in
pattern - i.e. if you want to turn it and hear the signal go away, the
signal will go away more with the 4 element, but this still is somewhat
related to boom length - i.e. a 3-el vs. a 4-el on a boom the same length
won't show a lot of difference.
Short answer: Depends on your tower and your needs. At N5OT I go with the
smallest antennas to get the job done, but it's a big job.
Out the door for Dayton!
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