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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Finco made this 400-A model in the 1950s that was known for very high gain, and they also sold a 400-SA variant that had a full reflector screen for even higher gain.



There is a computer model of this antenna somewhere out there on the web but I seem to have misplaced the link so I'll keep searching.



A historical note about such high mileage numbers: with relatively few TV stations on the air back in the early 1950s the incidents of co-channel and adjacent channel interference were about nil.
 

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About 9 feet by 9 feet. I would imagine very good VHF gain, but probably not so hot UHF gain. Of course, back in the 50's there werent many UHF stations available, so customers couldnt complain, heh.
 

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Heh, I went into town on Friday and saw that 400-A model on the outskirts mounted on a 40 ft tower. It was slightly bent and I dont have any idea if its still being used. Ill try to take a picture next time and bring along a compass. It was pointed in what I believe was the Atlantic City direction. Weird for only a couple of channels, unless not being used.
 

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Been looking for some time for any info on this monster. Saw one when I was young and it floored me. If you can post a picture or find any info I would really appreciate it.
Also, have access to a metal shop. Would love to reproduce one. The neighbors already wonder about the CM4251 with a VIP-307 under it. Just think what they would think if one "landed" on the roof!
 

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The photo of the 400-A in town that I could get wouldnt do much good. Its bent up and twisted a bit on a 40 ft tower next to a condemed house.
The phasing lines setup do look very unusual. 3 pairs across the top two bays and 3 across the bottom, and then connected together by another pair of straight looped ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
VIP-307 that must be a very sturdy tower you've got - between the big parabolic and the giant Delhi that's a huge amount of mass up there so putting up one of these old 400's would make for quite a sight! :) How high up are they, and any chance of a photo?
 

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When I was a kid in southeastern New Mexico, we had a Finco 400-A and my grandmother next door had one, too.

Great antennas, our NBC station on channel 8 was 85 miles away and that old "bedspring" antenna brought it in as clear as a bell.

Of course occasionally high winds would bring one down, and with cable coming along, when I was in high school I erected one of them (pieced together with parts from both) on top of my dad's house about 65 ft atop the house and a 40 ft telescoping tower with a rotor.

I could regularly pull in stations from Roswell (80 miles north), Midland/Odessa (150 miles SE) and sometimes Lubbock (175 miles NE).

I recall several times I watched KAMC channel 28 out of Lubbock when conditions were right.

Man, that was 40 years ago.

I'd love to have one of them to play with.

I might even trade my Funke PSP-1922 for one.
 

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Glad I am not the only one who found these monsters intriquing! I still have to post pictures of my set up. I finally got the file size small enough to do it. As I mentioned, with the cold weather coming, I stay indoors more. I'm going to start working on a dipole for upper VHF. At my place in Mississippi I built a 12 bay UHF and it kills the wade VU-937SR on UHF. It's easier to get on the flat roof there. My house in New Orleans is pitched. Sooner or later there will be a 400-SA on one of them!
 

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Looking at the pictures of these things seems to show the outer parts of the antenna that are connected by the outer phasing lines appear not to be connected electrically to the output of the antenna. Any ideas as I still can't find anything on this critter?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Unfortunately almost no technical documentation exists from the old Finco days. I searched like crazy back when I first posted those images but only found a few bits about the company folding and nothing of substance being left afterwards. I doubt that there are many former employees around these days.
 

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A bit of good news (finally!)
Patent # 2566287
Patent # 2630531
Patent # 2655599
The first one shows what I was wondering most about. It appears the outer element is not connected. I have to open the other two but my "dude, you got a dell" is unwilling to print the first one.
Finally a hint! YAY
 

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Downloaded and printed them. On a later one it looks like the outer element crosses. Going to have to do some reading this weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great to see that the "Bedspring" still lives!

VIP-307 found this photo and PMed it to me:
VIP-307 said:
here's a good link for a picture of a live Finco 400-A! I've been working to get a "clone" up since I found this picture and the patents.
I guess the neighbors are in for a "surprise" soon!

As found here.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Large, Detailed Photo of Finco 400-A

I received the following photo from VIP-307 and opted to post it to my own site so that I would not have to resize it to post it on here. Check out his great work!
VIP-307 said:
Got the monster finished and up at my camp in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi. It's huge! It equals the CM4251 and kills the Wade VU937SR/P8Z plug in.
100 miles is easy pickings for it, UHF or VHF. Next week brings on testing FM!
http://www.user.dccnet.com/jonleblanc/images/Finco_400-a_010.jpg

With accurate measurements (if possible) it would be great to see it modeled in 4nec2! :)
 

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I'll post the measurements early next week. I have my notes in Mississippi.
Adding the rear reflector is an idea but getting this thing down from the roof takes a lot of coordination and balance. It's not real heavy but awkward as can be!
I'd love to see the modeling results!
 

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Well, 80 square feet (400-AS specs) of common 2" X 4" vinyl coated 14 gauge mesh will add 13.6 lbs to the antenna. Non vinyl coated will weigh a little bit less. And thinner, lighter, cheaper 16 gauge stuff may be acceptable since he already has the 4 reflector rod pairs to tie the mesh to.
Im not sure if 2" X 4" 14 gauge mesh compared to all the additional 3/8" reflector rods of the 400-AS, which one will have more wind impact. Probably pretty equal IMO. But maybe the mesh will weigh more than the 3/8" aluminum tubing ? Ice and snow load do depend on the type ice/snow. I generally get the stupid sticky heavy stuff, as seen by my antenna pictures, heh.

So in summary, this is what I would do. Buy the cheapest 2" x 4" x 48" x 25' galvanized mesh I could find, should set you back maybe $35. Stamp on it, on a flat concrete floor until it was completely flat, and attach it to the existing reflectors with UV resistant black electrical wire tires, available at Wal-mart for less than $3 /100.
 
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