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Comnet 14" x 14" S-Band antenna

I happened to drop by Comnet in Denver yesterday looking for
the Drake 2880, and the Conifer Preamp.  In looking at the web
page, I notice there were many different antennas.  The 14x14
'Comnet' antenna looked like it had a lot of gain and did not
have a long boom. When I got there and looked at it it looked
even better.  It is 14" x 14" x 1" deep, just what I was looking
for.  It looked like a thick floor tile. They sold me the package
(Drake 2880, Preamp and Antenna) for $75.

I got the antenna home and proceeded to take it apart to see what
style of antenna it was.  It was an array of patch antennas 4 X 4
(16 total).  The Styrofoam dielectric had me a bit worried about 
the performace, but that went away as soon as I tested it out. 
With the -70dBm source acoss the room, the Comnet antenna clearly
beat out the 17 turn helical antenna I had.  The beam width was
very narrow ~ 10 degress.  It was very impressive for gain.  The
draw back is it is linearly polarized. Turning the antenna 90
degrees to the source made the signal drop to near zero.

After playing with the antenna, I pulled out the preamp, it worked.
The signal to noise was better than just the Drake 2880.  Comparied
to the antenna, the preamp was anticlimactic.

		Catch Ya' on the Birds


				Chuck (KI0AG)