CB / ham antenna recommendation

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Rick Iverson 13 hours, 4 minutes ago.

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  • #199767

    Ole Hellevik
    Participant
    Basic Member

    I’m looking to put two antennas on my 4runner, one for CB & one for ham.  Plan is to put them on a bracket bolted under the hood, so the antennas will be just above the right and left top fenders respectively.  Gamviti makes brackets for my 4runner, so I picked up a pair of those.

    Question is, what type of antenna is best for trail use?  I usually hit a fair number of branches as I go down trails, and I’m looking for a setup that break right away.  One option is a glass fiber type antenna with a spring mount, think Firestik.  Another option is a thin metal whip, maybe a Larsen.

    Any recommendation, good or bad experiences?

    #199768

    Aaron Kravik
    Moderator
    Moderator

    I have a Larsen NMO150 5/8 wave for 2m ham. It works incredibly well

    #199897

    T.J. Purdy
    Participant
    Basic Member

    I’ve had a 3′ Firestik with tunable tip in a spring mount for years. No problems. Flexes fine with branches, easy to unscrew by hand when we don’t want it mounted. The tunable tip is great if you ever switch radios, trucks, or mounting locations.

    I’m a new Ham so I’ll be curious to hear what others are using for mobile applications.

    #199958

    Rick Iverson
    Participant
    Basic Member

    For the CB antenna I would recommend the Procomm JCB3600.  This is a 3 foot base loaded antenna with very simple tuning rings on the base to optimize it for you rig and has a 3 foot metal whip you can beat the piss out of without causing any damage.  I use these for all the DOT tractors and dump trucks because the folks drag them through the brush all the time.  Try to get a mount that keeps the base above the hood level or at least away from it to improve tuning and pattern.

    For the ham antenna it depends on single or dual band, and if you want to use both ham and frs/gmrs bands.  There are many good antennas for your application but not all of them are broad-banded enough for both ham and higher frequencies.  Also, how much $$ do you want to spend?  The most important element for any radio combination is the antenna but it is also the place we most often have to compromise.  I use one of the Cellular look-alike (I know, old school) dual band antennas on my Jeep mounted the way you mention.  It offers 2:1 or less across the frequencies I use and will take quit a bit of abuse.

     

     

    #199976

    Ole Hellevik
    Participant
    Basic Member

    So I went ahead and ordered a Larsen for 2M/70cm (thanks Aaron!) and a Firestik (thanks T.J.!) for the CB.  I have a 1/4 wave Tram as a spare for ham and should probably get a spare for the CB as well.  The Procomm might just be the one, it doesn’t seem particularly expensive.

    Rick, would you recommend to run the Procomm with a spring, or is that not necessary?

    #199989

    Rick Iverson
    Participant
    Basic Member

    It depends on whether you tend to run through brush or not.  Since the mounts fasten to not very substantial sheet metal it’s easy to cause damage when you run a rigid antenna.  Antenna springs are sometimes a necessary evil.  While they will protect the antenna and vehicle from damage they tend to change the SWR and transmit pattern as they flex, and need to be inspected/replaced every few years, as they tend to rust or corrode.

    The Larson is a good pick BTW.  I have one on my pickup and it has continued to perform well despite the bashing it gets.

     

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