I am looking for a good way to mount a Diamond X30 UHF/VHF antenna for field use with my HT. I would like a portable solution such as a tripod, etc. Recommendations greatly appreciated!
what kind of environment? How high you need it up in the air? Will you have a vehicle with you when you use it?
There are a number of mast to get an antenna up higher. You can use a guyed mast or a drive on system. How compact does the mast system need to be?
I have a military mast set, duffle bag and will allow me to put up a guyed antenna 30ft into air but has a bit of weight for backpacking.
I would look at some of the fiberglass or aluminum mast section popular (and cheap) that many ham groups are using. Use 2 or 3 section on and secure it to the spare tire mount and you should be good. www.tmastco.com/ sells them, They can be found on ebay but sometimes shipping kills the deal. Something similar to this http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-Military-Fiberglass-Mast-Poles-Great-Antenna-WOW-/170714063424?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27bf59e240 or http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-ea-4-ft-Rib-Aluminum-Military-Antenna-Mast-Support-Poles-NEW-/380383629905?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5890a19251
You can usually find them and not have to pay shipping at local hamfest.
Putting an FM antenna up a few feet isn't going to gain you very much. Unless you are trying to get above some very near field obstructions like a bunch of 20' tall trucks or granite boulders and such, it's hardly worth the effort. The antenna's pattern characteristics will not change (beneficially) at all above full-wave height (about 6 ft. above conductive ground)
It's a line of sight affair, and unless that 20 or 30 feet gains you a better direct shot at a repeater or other receiving station, I wouldn't bother.
If you're down in a valley and you can see the repeater on a nearby mountaintop you're going to hit it whether your antenna is at 5 ft. or 50 ft. If you're on the mountaintop at 5000' you'll hit everything within sight whether the antenna is at 5005 ft. or 5050 ft. It's an FM antenna, and it doesn't need to be elevated like an HF antenna.
Um...no. As has already been pointed out, gain figures also need to be considered. The base station FM antenna being discussed here will see significant increases in gain due to its being a full-sized (non-trap, unloaded) design. My points were being made toward the performance gains in mounting it higher than one wavelength, which is approx. 6 feet in this case (2 metres). It's an FM antenna and it doesn't give a $#* if it's at 6 feet or 60 feet above ground. If it can see it's target, the signal will make the trip with ample power (given: 1w/mile).Good advice. So an X30 is no better than a short rubber antenna?