View Full Version : Comet SS-680SBNMO antenna...any good?

12-27-2010, 03:45 PM
I've been looking through all kinds of different dual band antennas and this one looks interesting for an off-highway application. anyone heard of this, used it, etc? I can't find any reviews on eham or elsewhere.

On that note, what gain should I be looking for...yeah, more is better, but I'm not putting a 62" antenna on top of my roof. :D is an antenna with a 2dbgain going to be fine al long as it's mounted well on a good plane?

Uncle Ben
12-27-2010, 04:58 PM
I had a Comet on my 80 when I first got into Ham. The plastic connector between the base and the mast broke. HRO was really cool about it and replaced it "1 time." After I broke it in the same place again I decided to find an all metal mobile antenna that would handle low lying branch encounters. I went with a Diamond. I have been very happy with the Diamond! Recently, I discovered the upper mast was missing (snapped off) probably from hunting adventures. I have tried countless times to contact Diamond for a replacement part with 0 call backs or return emails. HRO does not supply replacement Diamond parts and no one I've checked with has any interest is helping me fix my Diamond antenna. Obviously Diamond makes a good product but has no customer service so I'm going to find a replacement antenna that can handle non street driven abuse and has support for their products

12-27-2010, 06:42 PM
Thanks UB, quite valuable info. I'll throw that feedback into the mix for sure.

12-27-2010, 09:26 PM

With this......



12-27-2010, 10:50 PM
I think my first antenna was the same one :kevin: broke, the Comet SBB-5

Mine broke somewhere in the bottom casing, bottom of Steelbender 2 CM's ago. I realized then the casting was fairly thin. Hit one of the only trees on the whole freakin run.. :rant:

I blame that more on my mounting location though, was at the top of the rear hatch at the time, which is vulnerable particularly at the corners.

I'll toss in a few general antenna comments:

1. Get a short stubby one for trails, like the SBB-1.

Great on trails, and you'll be hitting most repeaters too. I keep a longer one slid under the back seat, just in case I need to swap to reach something, or have a longer drive than usual in store and want to mess around. The performance loss is noticeable, but way more than adequate for repeaters around town, and running trails.

2. Commit early to either NMO or PL-259 mounts. You can't mix these up, unless you have separate mounts.. so if you want to be swappin' antennae, particularly if you put a rig in a second or third vehicle, commit to just one mount type.

3. Do you really need the fold-over? Are you really going to use it? I tried to play that at first, in and out of the garage, and quickly grew tired of it... also forgot both ways multiple times. :doh:

12-27-2010, 11:33 PM
here's a good read (http://www.cvarc.org/tech/powergain.html)
i'd say most all mobile antennas work pretty much the same as far as gain is concerned. But different wave lengths give you different angles of radiation. For close range trail work this can be critical. I prefer 5/8 wave. The shorter 1/4 wave dual banders can really make your rig a short range wonder. This is great if you have lots of different trail groups close together on the same frequency but not so good in an emergency situation.

12-28-2010, 11:32 AM
Thanks for that link - makes perfect sense.

12-28-2010, 11:34 PM
I have that rubber duckie comet that Tim posted about and also a Larson 5/8 wave whip that I run on the left upper corner of the hatch on my 60. I usually replace the longer one with the rubber duckie when wheeling but regularly forget or am just too lazy to do it. I have to say that the wilson has taken a beating.... It has bent back a few times and i just bend it straight. Replacement whips are like 13 bucks. That rubber duckie still has a pretty tall stiff base on it also. Something to think about.

I really like the whip antenna... Copied the setup from our own Matt Farr.. Thanks dude!

Edit, it's a larsen not wilson.

12-29-2010, 11:32 AM
I really like the whip antenna... Copied the setup from our own Matt Farr.. Thanks dude!

You're welcome. :) :) :)

Here's what I run on the trail: 5/8 wavelength Larsen on the back top corner of my 80. It's extremely flexy -- it's just a piece of wire. A new whip costs $13 when you need to replace it (and they are readily available at HRO). This is not a dual-band antenna. It's a dedicated 2-meter antenna that is tuned to 146.460 by chopping it to the exact length. The benefit is that I can pick up really faint signals from far away that often other folks can't hear. This is helpful when you're out on the trail in Moab and want to hit folks back at the base camp.

I have a stubby version that I occasionally use, but it's so bad that I dislike it.