View Full Version : Another ham antenna question...

Caribou Sandstorm
06-17-2009, 02:30 PM
Sorry to start yet another antenna thread but I am hoping you all take a look at this and chime in for me.

So I have decided on the location. On the top back middle of my back door.

The FJCruiser slopes a bit in the back and I will have my RTT on probably 50%
of the time I wheel off road.


I just came from HRO, where I exchanged the longer antenna I had (which I was considering mounting on my bumper), for a shorter one looks like 18". it does not have the angle down benefit Jeff was showing me recently, it does have the coil in the middle and is a dual band, even though i just have a 2m radio.

My question is I thought Dave was telling me that I should have a longer antenna overall?? Will the one I bought work ok? Should I have bought a 24 inch antenna?

If I stick with this antenna and I have my RTT on, will it block signals from infront, if the RTT is higher then the antenna?

I am thinking I should have bought a 24' antenna that I can turn down like Jeff's.

06-17-2009, 03:19 PM

I have 3 antennas now, all NMO mount type so I can swap between them.

My primary one for now is the dual band fold over (https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=473&idproduct=1029) one you saw at the HRO breakfast which is ~40" tall. The fold over capability is nice, but honestly I never fold it over...Everytime I go through a car wash the little clip to hold the antenna in place gets "removed" for me so I finally gave up on that.

My second antenna that I still need to tune is a 2M only whip antenna (https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=475&idproduct=1018) like Hulk has...Inexpensive, flexible, etc.

My third antenna is a 16" dual-band stubby flexible antenna (https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=473&idproduct=247) that I used for the first time on the BOWAGWR. It seemed to work fine and I was able to talk to Matt just fine despite using just my HT with the external antenna. I plan to use this one on the trail where encouters with trees is likely. I know I hit the antenna several times on the BOWAGWR and the antenna did great. The fold over one would have ended up either folded over or bent. The whip one probably would have been fine but it wasn't tuned so I didn't use it.

What type of mount are you using on the hatch? I like the NMO mount because it is very flexible and allows you to adjust the angle of the base regardless of the slope of the hatch to get the antenna pointing vertical and you shouldn't have any problems clearing the RTT. If you mount it as high as possible on the hatch then even a relatively short antenna should be ok for trail use. I don't think the RTT will block much if any of your signal but Dave or Nathaniel or Bruce can answer that question better. You might consider going with 2 antennas...One for around town and traveling like the whip antenna and one for trails with trees like a stubby flexible one.

06-17-2009, 03:24 PM
I think you need to do something like this...

Oh, wait. You are installing a VHF antenna, not a HF antenna!!:lmao:

I suggest getting the longer antenna. Nakman has the Diamond(IIRC), and it folds over and works well. (I think that the guy in the pictures has one). More metal in the air=better signal and better reception.

The shorter antenna would work really well for trail runs, just not as good for talking long distances.


06-17-2009, 03:29 PM

To be clear on those FJ pics, the one on the passenger side is what you want (or more like it). The other one is a mobile HF antenna. That's the big guns antenna, and it can talk all over the world. If you are interested in that, join us for an hour at the Rising Sun HAM radio field day. (http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=10102&page=2) HAMs all over the US and world get on that weekend to HAM it up with others all weekend on all sorts of modes (CW, Voice, RTTY, Packet, IRLP) just for the heck of it. With some many folks on, its a great opportunity to make contacts all over the globe. It will also be a good opportunity for someone who might have a little interest in operating HF, which I will be encouraging those who show up to do. Camping, club buddies, HAM radio, suds, and a lounge chair all make for a great time.

Caribou Sandstorm
06-17-2009, 06:46 PM
Thanks you guys! I am going to head back to HRO, maybe tomorrow and look around and see if I can't find something a bit longer and also ask a few more q's. I don't think the antennas on that fjc are what I am ready for. Yikes...

06-17-2009, 09:48 PM
Do what jeff said..

Take a look at the K400CNMO mount when you go to HRO. It may be just what you need. Also, as suggested above, just get two antennas if you are worried about height. I just got the longer 5/8 wave 2 Meter Whip for now but know I will be getting a shorter one in the future.

The NMO mounts make it REALLY easy to take them on and off, so if you get somewhere where the longer one is a problem, you can just take it off.

Caribou Sandstorm
06-17-2009, 10:43 PM
Well then I may keep the one I have, really short and get a longer one also.

I have the nmo mount that Jeff has, I think.

I have been reading those damb questions in Gordon's book and I know way more then I ever wanted to about jacking up my neighbors TV with my home mega ham set up...and what is with the upper side band, SWR, CW, RACES, ohm, LEO, geez....Nerd alert...

So I am at HRO and I say "dude, I need that antenna with the spring in the midddle, that is sweet, does that help when it bends....I got bounced out of that store, so fast..I heard mumblings about "that aint no spring that is a super conductor blablabla....

Do you guys ever say "what the heck have I got myself into??" It is great to actually open my eyes to how radio communications occurs. Pretty cool stuff.

06-18-2009, 12:15 AM
So I am at HRO and I say "dude, I need that antenna with the spring in the midddle, that is sweet, does that help when it bends....I got bounced out of that store, so fast..I heard mumblings about "that aint no spring that is a super conductor blablabla....


Thus the value of all the Elmers here in the club :thumb:...They can make even us look smart. I usually just go in with the "noob" look and let them impart their knowledge onto me :hill:

06-18-2009, 01:23 AM
Chris, if you like your stubby and want something tall for around town (and you only have 2M), I would suggest a Larsen NMO 5/8 wave 2M only whip (HRO p/n NMO 150 B). They are made of spring steel that's super resilient (and no matching coil in the middle). I have used the same antenna since 1992, mounted through a hole in several car roofs, mag mounts, etc., and never had the whip kink, break nor permanently bend.

Caribou Sandstorm
06-18-2009, 09:15 PM
Thanks for the advice john!

06-19-2009, 06:08 AM
Thanks for the advice john!The Larsen is not as sexy as the Diamond or Comet, but works great and saves you money. I just donated my Diamond dual band NMO to the last meeting's raffle in favor of my trusty old Larsen.