Antennas Direct Offers New High Performance Design

The two-bay and four-bay UHF antenna seems pretty simple, although we've seen alternatives like the Gray-Hoverman antenna I wrote about in TV Technology magazine. Antennas Direct announced this week that its new DB2e and DB4e antennas have "half the size and twice the gain" of the company's DB line of bowtie antennas. Not one to underestimate his products, Richard Schneider, president of Antennas Direct, said, "The new line of DB antennas are truly the most powerful, compact antennas on the planet. We have created an antenna the size of our traditional DB4, with the performance of the DB8. Our unique bowtie design is something no other antenna manufacturer has ever attempted, which is why the DB2e and DB4e have such vastly improved performance and range capabilities."

Antennas Direct said the new antennas have re-designed mesh reflectors that increase the front-to-back ratio to more than 18 dB and incorporate "new geometrics" instead of the traditional rods found in ordinary bow-tie antennas

The specifications on the DB4e product page on show a peak gain of 14.5 dBi. The Technical Data Sheet has more precise numbers, showing a peak gain of 11.68 dBi at 470 MHz, and up to 14.36 dBi at 698 MHz. The maximum listed front-to-back ratio is listed as 17.78 dB at 622 MHz, and the VSWR is 3.0:1 maximum.

This is impressive performance. From the images on the Website, it appears the reflector has a slightly curved shape, which may help the gain. The bow-tie driven elements don't look much different from an ordinary bowtie antenna, although perhaps there may be something more than wire in the red colored vertical lines connecting the top and bottom ends of the loop.

If any readers have purchased this antenna and want to risk dismantling it, I'd be interested in hearing what you found and will pass the information on, with credit, if desired. Even if you haven't taken it apart, I'd be interested in hearing how it performs compared to a conventional bow-tie antenna of the same size.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.