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Author Topic: What are the top three best 2m mobile antenna's?  (Read 3600 times)
VA3RRR
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« on: March 17, 2002, 10:41:58 AM »

Hello,

I'd like to put out a survey on what the ham community thinks are the top vhf mobile antenna's on the market. Pick the top three, they don't have to be the highest gain but the best bang for the buck in all around preformance and convenience. I had to recently buy a new 2m antenna and ordered a Wilson 2m 5/8 mag mount. The reason I bought this one is because I wanted someting with good gain, easy to change from vehicle to vehicle and cheap price. This antenna claims 3.4db and uses 14 guage copper wire for the coil. My personal top three two meter antennas (just for prefromance) and I have not tried #1 and #3 just posted them for gain and power handling are:

1.Diamond NR22L - 6db, rated 100w
2.Diamond SG2000- 5.2db, rated 250w
3.Wilson 2m 5/8 - 3.4db, rated 500w

What's your best that you have used, heard or just think are the top three?

Thanks,

Randy - va3rrr
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K7IHC
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2002, 02:42:51 AM »

I like Larsen mobile antennas.  Maxrad antennas are pretty good, too.  I just installed a Larsen 1/4 wave 2m antenna on the trunk lid of my car.  Used a drilled NMO mount.  Haven't tuned it yet, but it should work well.  If I need more gain, I can go to a Larsen 5/8 wave NMO-mount whip.  We use a few Larsen antennas on our fire vehicles at my work.  They are a respected brand in the commercial land-mobile radio field.  JFYI, I've heard a few bad things about Comet antennas.
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KE4SKY
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2002, 07:52:53 AM »

Biggest bang for the buck is the 2 meter hamstick.

Inexpensive, good gain, rugged tree-bashing antenna!

Add a quick disconnect mount and a radial kit and mast clamp and you also have a portable 5 dB base antenna for your ARES / RACES "go kit".

If you run a dual-band rig, look for a dual-band whip which is a half-wave on 2 meters and collinear on UHF.
You can use the half-wave antenna in improvised set-ups without a ground plane, pull it up on a tree, etc.

For an inexpensive, rugged, broad-banded dual-band antenna for use as a spare for the go kit, as a loaner, when travelling in rental cars, which will pack easily in a suitcase or duffel bag, try the Lakeview economy dual-band mag mount.  This is the 19" cellular lookalike with the "pig-squiggle" in the middle.  It is only unity gain, but sweeps below 2:1 VSWR on my MFJ-469 over the MARS extended 2 meter band, VHF marine, amateur UHF band, as well as hi-band VHF and GMRS.  A real one-size fits all antenna.

73 de KE4SKY
Virginia RACES State Training Officer  
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KD5OWO
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2002, 11:03:55 PM »

Larson antenna are very good then comes hustler antennas.  I also like diamond antennas.  Radio shack antennas are not bad in fact that is what we have right now on the van and the truck.  

73
Steve,KD5OWO
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KC8AXJ
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2002, 03:09:03 PM »

Larson gets my vote. I wouldn't consider anything else!
73
Steve
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KD5OWO
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2002, 06:14:30 PM »

Yeah Larson is one of the best.  Diamond is good but does not get on my list.
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AB0RE
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2002, 11:16:56 PM »

The MaxRad MHB-5800 is probably the best 2M mobile antenna (5/8 wave) I have run across.  I prefer it over the Larsen as it is much more durable.  It has two set screws (vs Larsen's one), a one-piece connection piece at the base (the Larsen's typically have a nut that screws on the base that hold the whip), and a chrome housing.  The antenna tunes very flat and seem fairly broadbanded.
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KD5OWO
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2002, 11:20:27 PM »

I could not say anything positive nor negative because I have never been exposed to that brand.  

73
Steve,KD5OWO
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N1GMV
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2002, 08:51:45 AM »

I have had Larson and Diamond and can tell you that that Diamond antennas are WAY better.

I have had numerous problems with Larson products including a magnet mount that will not support anything more than a quarter wave on 2, corrosion and just overall medioka performance.

Testing antennas with a fellow ham proved that my Diamond 7200NMO was far superior in both TX and RX as compared to a dual band Larson (model number unknown)as well as a 5/8 wave hustler.

I then purchased another 7500NMO from old stock and mounted it in my wife's car. The antenna performs excellent as well.

Photo of setup here: http://www.qsl.net/n1gmv/ft100/ft100.html

I think a major contributor is that fact that I was not afraid to "drill" and mount an NMO mount on the trunk. After 10 years of mobile operation, you get a bit tired of the BS that goes along with coax going over gaskets and magnet mounts scratching the paint and water leaking ito the car. I prefer to drill, when I sell the car I will put a cellphone antenna on that mount.

BTW, when you do signal comparisons you have to move things around a bit due to multi-path propogation.
73
John, N1GMV
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KD5OWO
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2002, 11:48:55 AM »

Some people don't drilling holes in there cars. I looked at your setup and the antenna setup looks good.  We have found ways to makes the mag mount setups looks good.  We also like the window mounts.

73
Steve,KD5OWO
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AG4DG
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2002, 03:51:37 PM »

How can one mobile 2m antenna be that much better than another?  I thought these antennas are all 1/2 wavelength, 5/8 wavelength, or 1/4 wavelength vertical antennas.  Since little or no inductance or capacitance loading is needed on 2m, radiation resistances will be high and coil resistances will be small to negligible.  The car body provides excellent ground conduction and effectively provides an infinite number of radials that are at least as long as the antenna is tall.  This combination of high radiation resistance, little or no coil resistance, and little ground resistance should mean near 100% efficiency.

Or am I missing something?
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KB9YEM
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2002, 12:24:25 PM »

I have tried Maxrad, Comet and Diamond. They are all quite similar in appearance, but quality of materials varies, even among the same brand. Maxrad seems to be the most consistent quality. Diamond is my personal choice because I run dual band antennas on each of my vehicles and they have the most choices and I have never been disappointed in performance or materials quality. I avoid Comet, they haven't held up well to my abuse.
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KD5OWO
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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2002, 08:58:10 PM »

KB9YEM,
    Good points there, yes the material is the difference.  We had a Radio Shack Window mount single 2m antenna on our van.  While takeing a trip to california the antenna broke while driving.  We have again bought another Radio Shack Antenna which as lasted longer but does not meet Larson or Diamond Procducts.  Then again like I said Hustler has a mag-mount that is really nice which we have used.
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AK9S
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2003, 02:29:52 PM »

I like the Diamond antennas best. Very high quality plus good power handling capacity with their HD series.

After carefully comparing the two several times, my Diamond SG-2000HD (collinear) receives the same as a 5/8th wave antenna.
 
The extra gain in the collinear is not noticeable in terms of receive, but in terms of transmitting, I did notice that the SG-2000HD had a little more range than the 5/8th wave, especially for repeaters in fringe areas.

Comparing gain numbers, Diamond claims that their SG-2000HD is roughly 5.2 dBd. If true, that would be about 1.8 dB over a 5/8th wave antenna.
The higher gain in the collinear makes for a narrower radiation pattern towards the horizon, which from experience, is not always advantageous for mobile communications. The antenna performance becomes increasingly dependent on the variation of the terrain, as well as nearby obstructions.

Instead of having a modest and continuous signal into a repeater (say with a 1/4 wave, which has a large radiation lobe over the horzion), the higher gain collinear antennas will radiate a stronger signal low to the horizon. However, that signal has a higher possibility of being interrupted by terrain variation and obstructions. In the end, you may get a broken-up signal by running the higher gain mobile antenna.

I have yet to find a balance between optimum radiation angle and gain for mobile VHF antennas used in suburban areas. My collinear is excellent for use in open, flat country terrain, or when parked at a high spot.  I would rate it as very good for suburban terrain, but not excellent.

Serge (AK9S)
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