There are going to be a large amount of variables for any location/site. I’m (planning on) doing my tests outdoors with a couple masts reaching above a chimney to get as much free space as possible in efforts to eliminate as many variables as I am able.
Eliminate is a terrible choice of word for this, but comparatively speaking, performing the same batch of tests indoors would be futile since nobody would be able to replicate my space, whereas it would be easier to replicate an antenna installed on a mast above a roofline.
My thoughts so far: RTL-SDR Triple-Filtered LNA hung on the bottom of each antenna, through my existing 25’ runs of high quality copper RG-6, into Airspy-R2’s plugged into identical Pi4’s.
This would be a simple setup for most to replicate, but I’m choosing to go with AirSpy’s because of their sensitivity and that they are much less finicky when it comes to gain and I don’t want the radios to be a choke-point for results.
I will be using a static gain for each antenna swap - which I already know up front could be somewhat detrimental to some antenna, but not as much on the AirSpy as it would be with the RTL-SDR radios. Again, trying to suppress as many variables as possible while performing uniform tests throughout.
One would think that testing a few antenna would be really straight-forward, but not so much when compromises need to be made. Open for other ideas to get this setup as scientifically, repeatable and fair as possible for all ranges of antenna. (Home-made’s will not be included, too many variables)
Back to free-space and indoor/outdoor. One could only logically conclude that the better performing antenna in the above scenario would have a higher probability to also perform better under worse installation circumstances. There are always scenarios where that wont be true obviously.