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Thread: 2M Antenna Recommendations?

  1. #1
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    Question 2M Antenna Recommendations?

    I have learned with CB that the antenna is an often overlooked part of the setup, and that the best radio will be worth nada without a good antenna.

    So, as I venture into 2M land... what type of antenna can I get that will mount to the tabs on my rack... and do the job well without breaking the bank, while also being durable enough to handle "hits" from trees, urban obstacles etc.?

    BTW, I'm looking to replace my Firestik II CB antenna too so maybe I can get two that are of similar construction/length etc. for mounting up front on my rack?

    Suggestions?
    Member #203

    Adventures in and out of your vehicle: AMERICAN ADVENTURIST

  2. #2
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    I went with Larsen antennas for both 2m/440 and CB.

    Although I drilled through the top of my 4runner (3/8 hole) and used Diamond NMO antenna mounts because it's necessary for me to remove my antennas to get into my carport.

    Ground plane is also essential. Tabs on a rack will limit you as to what antennas you can use, you'll need something that doesn't need much of a ground plane. In this scenario, seek no further than Comet antennas and mounts.

    But if you're willing to bite the bullet, and drill the hole, you can't go wrong with the ground plane you'll end up with.

    I went with these parts:


    Diamond c213nmo Drill-Through NMO Mount (I have two, one for Ham, one for CB)

    Buy here http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-009384, or locally.



    Larsen NMO 2/70B - A 2M/70CM Dual band antenna needed for the 8800.

    http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-000565

    Plenty of online places have them, I bought mine at HRO, but Fry's has them too.

    Entire Larsen Catalog: http://www.universal-radio.com/catal...m/larsenm.html
    The CB Antenna I use can be found here too, the Larsen NMO 27B
    Last edited by 4RunAmok; 04-03-2011 at 08:19 PM. Reason: Updated broken links
    Mitch
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  3. #3
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    I have two tabs on my rack dedicated to radio antenna mounting.

    One is for my CB Firestik II antenna (which will really be obsolete soon I hope...)

    The other is waiting for a 2M antenna. Here is what I have to work with:


    I need a specific antenna and mount/coax for this tab/location but with the Death Valley trip coming up fast I dont have time for experimentation or ordering errors. I need to get this right the first time for once!

    Suggestions?
    Member #203

    Adventures in and out of your vehicle: AMERICAN ADVENTURIST

  4. #4
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    Maybe this list could help you some. And you could even contact the company.

    http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamantm.html


    I have this list saved.....just in case I ever think I might need a 2 Meter. But I have not run across the need yet.

  5. #5
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    ARB and GME/Electrophone (sold as TJM antenna mounts by 4X4 Connection) might fit the bill. I have used the ARB ones and they work OK, although being powdercoated you have to be creative with getting a ground to them. The GME ones come in various diameters, although I'm not sure that all are available here in the USA.

    Attachment 13553
    Attachment 13555

    The GME/Electrophone product page (with dimensions):
    http://www.gme.net.au/land/antennas/...g_brackets.php

    Personally I think the ARB brackets are better used as additional light tabs. However, if you are astute, you'll notice that a piece of aluminum plate and a couple of exhaust clamps can achieve something very similar with more flexible mounting options and get you exactly what you need. This is what I'm using for my CB antenna on the bull bar. In my configuration the ARB brackets were too long and hit the hood when mounted with the tab towards the back, so they had to be pointed forward. This subjected the cable to road debris and hooked stuff all the time. So I made a little bracket that uses an NMO mounted, goobered it with silicone on the bottom to seal it, mounted so that the base is behind the bar. Here's the only picture I have of it, maybe it makes sense. I think it was 2" exhaust clamps that ended up working for an ARB, but I think you can easily get as small as 1" clamps and up to 4" at most any parts store.

    Attachment 13556
    '91 Hilux - white, dented and worn out

  6. #6
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    I ditched the heavy firestik for The Venice I have it hood mounted. (Now with most trips exclusively 2M I'm not sure how much longer I will keep the CB)

    For the 2m I use a couple of different antennas depending on terrain and overhead trees.

    Larsen NMO 2/70B - and a NMO 150B antenna when I can have something taller on. I have seen AndrewP sometimes uses a rubber duck on really tight overhead trails and close formation trips.
    Pasquale - KE7GVY

    DesertDude Films, LLC <> DesertDude Music.com <> 110 Project Group, Inc

    "Taking the path less credentialed"

  7. #7
    Since you will be mounting on your rack, I would mount a Larsen 1/2 wave whip. The 1/2 wave antenna will give better performance since there won't be much ground plane for a 5/8 wave antenna (which would otherwise be my recommendation). Half wave antennas can still give decent performance in terms of SWR even without a ground plane (the coax acts as the counterpoise). In your set up, a 1/4 wave antenna will give poor performance.

    I would also mount the whip of your antenna on a spring. Up high like that is great for radio performance, but it will bang into lots of branches and overheads.

    If you do want to drill a 3/4 inch hole (not 3/8 as stated), an NMO mount centered in the roof will give optimum electrical performance and allow you to run a true 5/8 wave antenna.

    Lots of other options-you could do a lip mount on the edge of the hood. That's not a bad compromise.

    I've changed antenna systems on 2 trucks 3 times since becoming a Ham 2 years ago. In general, I have come to appreciate the simple, cheap, robust, and otherwise excellent antennas from Larsen. Plain steel whips seem to hold up better than other antenns in the offroad environment. If you want pics, I can supply a few later today.

    Have fun.

    edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Desertdude
    Larsen NMO 2/70B - and a NMO 150B antenna when I can have something taller on. I have seen AndrewP sometimes uses a rubber duck on really tight overhead trails and close formation trips.

    I like the antennas that DD mentions as well, and have a couple of the Larsen 150 series which are cheap and work great. They are cheap enough to carry a spare. I have run a shorty 1/4 wave Comet(SBB1)--Very poor performance, but good enough at short range, just not so good for working repeaters at a distance. It does work fine for trail use, and still blows CB out of the water. It's very flexible and does not hang up on trees.
    Last edited by AndrewP; 12-30-2007 at 02:10 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desertdude
    I ditched the heavy firestik for The Venice I have it hood mounted. (Now with most trips exclusively 2M I'm not sure how much longer I will keep the CB)

    For the 2m I use a couple of different antennas depending on terrain and overhead trees.

    Larsen NMO 2/70B - and a NMO 150B antenna when I can have something taller on. I have seen AndrewP sometimes uses a rubber duck on really tight overhead trails and close formation trips.
    Thanks Pasquale!

    ... A rubber duck? Ques que ce que ca?
    Member #203

    Adventures in and out of your vehicle: AMERICAN ADVENTURIST

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TACODOC
    Thanks Pasquale!

    ... A rubber duck? Ques que ce que ca?
    heres one - no photo

    http://www.hamradio.com/cgi-bin/uncg...ck&Descr=Descr

    Alvaro will be chiming in here in a second with more info
    Pasquale - KE7GVY

    DesertDude Films, LLC <> DesertDude Music.com <> 110 Project Group, Inc

    "Taking the path less credentialed"

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Posts
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    Pasquale - KE7GVY

    DesertDude Films, LLC <> DesertDude Music.com <> 110 Project Group, Inc

    "Taking the path less credentialed"

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