More questions from a relative nOOb to the Ham world:
Is it possible to tune a magnetic-mount antenna? I heard from someone that you can "tune" these antennas to a better SWR by adjusting the length of the feedline - does that make sense? How does adjusting the length of the feedline affect the SWR?
My question applies equally to CB and HAM (2m/440 dual band) antennas. I have a mag mount for my CB and may get one for my HT if and when I get it. Even though I have my Ham license I like the idea of having a CB when off-road just because so many other people use it.
But I have reason to believe my signal strength is not that great and for that I blame my cheap mag-mount antenna (last run I was on I sometimes could not talk to the vehicle in front of me.)
Oh, and before someone says it, yes, I understand that a tuned, fixed mount is better than a mag mount but I may be taking a short notice trip soon and "good enough" right now is better than "perfect" at some future date. Also I park my 4runner in a garage so a fixed mount would have to go on a bumper or fender - no roof mounting as it would not clear my garage door, even with a fold-down.
Are mobile antennas typically tuned by adjusting the length of the antenna? Reason I ask is because on a lot of mobile antennas it doesn't seem like it would be that easy to do. I do remember having an old dual-band antenna that came in two pieces, and you could slip the upper piece up or down an inch or so, then tighten it with an allen wrench. But it seemed like a pretty small area of adjustment - would an inch be enough adjustment for a dual band like that?
Are there SWR meters that will work on multiple freqs? Or do I have to get separate meters for CB and 2m/440? And how difficult is it to tune a multi-band antenna like a 2m/440 dual band?
BTW, I realize I could ask these questions on a HAM forum, but I guess I feel more "comfortable" here, since I'm talking with people who understand what I will be using the radio for, i.e. inter-vehicle communications while on off-road trips.
Thanks in advance for any help!