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Getting on the air at Diamond Head Gain antennas and 1296 MHz

The 1.2 GHz amateur radio band is ideal for experimenting with gain antennas. Let's take a look at some factors

Enjoy, and feel free to drop me an e-mail if you have any questions.


The 1.2 GHz amateur radio band is ideal for experimenting with gain antennas. Since the 1.2 GHz band is eight times the frequency of the 144 two meter band, the antennas are eight time smaller. You can pack quite a bit of gain in a handheld antenna that you would struggle to use for two meters or HF.

Here is an example of a portable 1296 FM station, especially valuable for emergency communications, complete with battery pack.

1296 MHz Station

The station is comprised of:

  • A three foot yardstick, for size comparison
  • Directive Systems 14 element loop yagi, 14 dB gain
  • 25 feet of 9913 coaxial cable, with N male connectors at each end
  • Kenwood TM-541 1.2 GHz 10 watt FM radio
  • External 18 amp hour battery pack
  • Bogen 3221 photo tripod, used as an antenna mount

Using this station, it is easy to use a volcano located 100 miles away as a passive reflector repeater. The high iron content of the cinder and basalt makes it an ideal reflector. The other station used an Icom IC-1201 1 watt radio, and similar antenna configuration, to get a solid 1.2 GHz QSO with a total path of over 120 miles.

My favorite alternate is the Wimo PA-23R panel antenna. It has a fiberglass radome covering the antenna and a 9 db gain. Physically, it resembles this photo from the DC9ZP web site.

My regular mobile antenna is the Diamond NR-124NMO mobile antenna.

These antennas also work well with the Icom ID-1 1.2 GHz voice/data radios.

Find out more by contacting:  rhashiro(remove this part)@hawaiiantel.net
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Updated: September 4, 2007

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