Review: Diamond V2000 Tri Band Base Station Antenna
I have space for only one antenna, and several years ago, I had installed a UHF CB vertical, as I was more active on CB than tha amateur bands. As I became more active on the amateur bands, I needed an antenna which was more suited to amateur operation, and due to the one antenna limitation, it had to cover as many bands as possible. A quick search around the Internet led me to Diamond's USA site, where I found the V2000 tri band antenna, which provides omnidirectional coverage on 6m, 2m and 70cm. A few weeks later, I purchsed one of these antennas from a local supplier.
The Diamond antenna has been on air for about 10 months as of when this review was written, and has seen a lot of activity on 6m, 2m and 70cm, and has proved itself on air in ragchewing, contesting and the occasional bit of FM DX.
The Diamond V2000 comes in the standard Diamond plastic packaging. Unfortunately, the instructions for mine were in Japanese, but I had already downloaded installation instructions in English from Diamond's USA web site. The antenna itself was quite easy to assemble and install, and there were no problems. The only minor complaint was that Diamond chose to use an SO-239 connector on its base, instead of an N type, which would have been more appropriate for 70cm. 6 metres coverage is enabled by means of a counterpoise, which fits in place of one of the radials at the base of the antenna. The counterpoise is adjusted to suit your preferred part of the band. I tuned mine for a centre frequency of 53.0 MHz, which is in the middle of the repeater inputs and FM simplex band in Australia.
The V2000 has been in operation for almost a year, and overall, it has been an excellent performer on all 3 bands. Even 70cm, where my QTH and several dB of feedline loss work against the antenna, coverage is still excellent. Reports from other amateurs around Melbourne and beyond were generally very good, with surprisingly strong signals, considering that the antenna is only just level with the average terrain in the area. Working satellites off the Diamond has proved it has a very low angle of radiation, which is good for terrestrial operation. On UO-14, signal strength falls off sharply once the satellite is more than 5 degrees above the horizon. Even UHF CB works reasonably well on this antenna, which is a bonus. Hook up the CB and talk to future hams. :-)
During the 1999 Rembrance Day contest, the V2000 enabled over 100 contacts to be completed during a 6 hour stint on the Saturday night, despite severe coax losses, which were discovered a few months later.
The Diamond V2000 tri band vertical is an excellent antenna for VHF/UHF operators looking for omnidirectional coverage on the 6m, 2m and 70cm bands, but lack the space to install separate verticals. Despite the number of bands, there is no obvious compromise with this antenna, and performance is as good as monoband antennas.
5 out of 5.
Copyright and Disclaimer:
This review is copyright Tony Langdon, 2000, All rights reserved Persons or organisations wishing to distribute part, all, or a derivative of this review are welcome to email me on the link below. Unauthorised distribution is prohibited.
This review is provided for the benefit of radio amateurs, and was independently written by me without the assistance of or under the direction of any other party, continuing my tradition of reviewing most new radio equipment I purchase.