JDubya Adams has been participating in the radio hobby since 1974 and has some useful findings to share.
For mobile antennas, Adams recommends a 102″ SS whip if there are no height limitations like parking garages, as anything shorter is a compromise. When Propagation is open, any antenna will allow you to make contacts, but during times when skips are not going on, the Quarter wave whip will provide the longest range.
For base operators, Adams suggests starting with an Omni directional 1/2 wave or 5/8 wave on at least a 30-foot telescoping mast. The least expensive option is fiberglass, such as an Antron 99 or a copy, but wind and sun can weaken these antennas over time. Adams recommends a good aluminium 5/8 wave antenna like the Maco V-5/8, which is a fairly inexpensive way to get started and can last as long as you keep using it.
Adams also suggests the Jo Gunn Hillbilly, an aluminium dual polarity, Omni directional ground plane antenna, which requires two coaxes (one for Vertical and one for Horizontal) but offers great reception capabilities. To learn more about different types of antennas and their range, Adams recommends watching a video by Mower Junkee on YouTube.
It’s essential to use the best coax you can afford, and Adams personally uses RG 213 in his mobiles and LMR 400 on HF frequencies, and LMR 600 on his 7 ele (M2 6M7JHV) 50 MHz. However, he warns against cheap ass Chinese-made Mini 8 coax and suggests buying a known brand like Belden or Times Microwave. Adams also recommends using Amphenol Connectors instead of the cheaper Chi-com stuff.
For those interested in working SSB on the inexpensive side, Adams suggests a three-element Yagi and a lightweight TV rotator on the same 30 ft mast, which can fully utilize the current solar cycle that started a few months back.
So, have fun on the radio and remember to use the call sign 73/GdDX, 2DT214, signed by John in the Lowcountry of SC.
Original requested post.
I’d be glad to share some of the findings I’ve discovered by participating in the radio hobby since 1974, I was 13. For mobiles, if you do not have a height limitation, like a parking garage, a 102″ SS whip is the best there is, anything shorter is a compromise. When Propagation is open, any antenna will allow you contacts but when skips not going on, the Quarter wave whip will get you the longest range, generally. For Base Op’s- Most operators start off with a Omni directional 1/2 wave or 5/8 wave on at least 30 foot tall telescoping mast. Fiberglass is least expensive option, like an Antron 99 or a copy, but many of us know how wind and sun weaken these antennas over time. We had a hurricane blow through a number of years ago and shredded my Antron. A Good aluminum 5/8 wave antenna is the Maco V-5/8. This is a fairly inexpensive way to get going and ought to last as long as you keep using it. My Maco is still being used by the fella I passed it on to 33 years after it was pulled out of it’s box and built. After the storm blew my Antron to hell, I replaced it with a Jo Gunn Hillbilly, aluminum, a dual polarity, Omni directional ground plane. You’ll need two coaxes, one for Vertical and one for Horizontal, but man alive, the stuff you’ll be able to hear! And everyone knows you can’t work em if ya can’t hear em. Go to YouTube and check out the video by Mower Junkee, on the difference between a quarter wave, a half wave, and the 5/8 wave antennas, all at his home QTH, at the same time, out to his mobile, at various distances to actually check out range. Very informative demonstration. Use the best coax as you can afford, I use RG 213 in my mobiles and LMR 400 on HF frequencies and LMR 600, a bit of overkill, on my 7 ele (M2 6M7JHV) 50 MHz. Seems that there is some cheap ass Chinese made Mini 8 coax being sold these days, watch out! Always buy a known brand like Belden, or Times Microwave and that ought to be good for you for a long while. I also recommend using Amphenol Connectors, once again, that Chi-com stuff isn’t worth the aggravation you could experience later on. BTW- If you really want to work SSB on the inexpensive side, in lieu of the omni go with a three element yagi and a lightweight TV rotator on the same 30 ft mast and I guarantee you you will be able to get full use of this current solar cycle over the next few years, it just got underway a few months back. Have Fun on the radio. 73/GdDX, 2DT214 John in the Lowcountry of SC!