I installed a Diamond X200N on the roof and I have to say I am rather impressed by this antenna. The installation is the typical Diamond setup, you see one you see them all. It’s very simple to install.
The reason I chose this model over the others in the Diamond range (and all their clones) is that it looked like a good compromise between size and performance. The X50, slightly smaller at circa 170cm, was another candidate however I read in the specification that in VHF it’s a single 6/8 wave element; the X300, slightly bigger at 300cm, was a 2x 5/8 wave in VHF and had a similar performance to the X200, also a 2x 5/8. There is 0.5 dB performance difference on the paper and apart from the fact that I don’t believe this difference exists, half dB can hardly make much difference. The extra 5/8 UHF element must be the selling point of the X300 but all in all I thought that 4x 5/8 wave elements in UHF would be more than enough. So I picked the X200. The “N” suffix means it comes with an N type socket, so you need to terminate your cable with an N type plug. I am not sure this makes a huge difference in the real world, however there was no SO239 option available so I went for the N option.
As I was saying, this antenna feels very impressive. I installed at about 7 metres above ground level with clear view of the countryside between N and E. I then ran a quick sweep of both the 2m and 70cm to bands to check the signal of the local repeaters. I was shocked when I managed to trigger a repeater located about 85Km N from where I live – with probably less than 5W (5% power out of my IC-7100). Well beyond my initial expectations. Other rather distant repeaters, say between 50Km and 100Km, analogue and digital, can be accessed with the same power level, both in VHF and UHF.
Under the X200 there is a horizontal Delta Loop, connected to a 450 Ohm balanced line. This will most likely be the subject of my next post. I haven’t properly tested it yet as I need to create some space for a new shack and properly fix the balanced feedline so that it doesn’t couple with other metal objects. Stay tuned.