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Author Topic: Screwdriver Antennas Advice on Choosing One  (Read 427 times)
KB3ITG
Member

Posts: 2




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« on: March 06, 2007, 07:12:16 PM »

Hi Everyone and Good Evening,

     I recently upgraded to General and want to save up my pennies "HI HI" to purchase a screwdriver antenna for my 18 wheeler.
     I have looked at countless web sites and almost all of them say their antenna is the best.  I look
at the reviews on here and no one really gives a bad review of either the High Sierra or HI-Q antennas.
     These antennas are expensive so I want to buy wisely.  I know I am going to get a couple or a lot of different answers to this question but here it goes.  Which really is the best one to buy?
     On the other end of the spectrum which ones should          
I avoid like the plague?  I will take a tally of the posts on this subject and make that my choice to go with.
Don't forget this is going to be an 18 wheeler install so the antenna is really going to take a beating.  

Thanx in advance and 73's

Mark KB3ITG
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K6HWH
Member

Posts: 18




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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2007, 01:24:03 AM »

You can get a pretty good idea of the quality of the various brands by reading the reviews on eham.net, and don't really need to look further.  It's hard to go wrong with any of the big three--Hi-Q, High Sierra, and Tarheel.  These will all work with popular screwdriver tuners such as the Turbo Tuner, which is also something to consider.  

Your real question should be, what are you willing to pay for performance?  Mobile antennas are all about compromise.  Bigger is better.  Many of us with sedans chose a smaller screwdriver better to match the size of the vehicle.  Fortunately for you, you have a large rig.  If I were you, I'd choose a full size screwdriver, something like a High Sierra 1800 or a Hi-Q 4/80.
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KO1D
Member

Posts: 386




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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2007, 05:12:35 AM »

First read K0BG's web page (http://www.k0bg.com) and get some ideas there. He has a link on the left called OTR Trucks for antennas and such in tractor trailers. Also the big three (so to speak) are all good antennas but they are not everything. Also consider bug catchers and other antennas depending on what you want to do.

The big difference between the Tarheel/Hi Sierra type and the HI Q is that they former change length and the latter stays fixed and only changes the tap on the coil. A lot of this is explained on Alan's web page.

Dan S
KO1D
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N5EAT
Member

Posts: 177




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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2007, 02:11:42 PM »

If you don't mind manually changing bands, you can get a Hi-Q manual screwdriver antenna for a very reasonable price.  These antennas are probably the best performing multi-band product on the market.  

Personally I can vouch for the workmanship and performance of Tarheel antennas.  I've had one several years now and it has worked flawlessly and has withstood multiple 3000 mile trips through all kinds of weather - even a drive through hurricane Katrina.

All of the brands you mention are very good products.  Make sure you know whether your purchase includes the up/down switch, "stinger", mount, and any other cabling you may need to get on the air.  Some manufacturers make you buy the whip and switch which
is extra work and expense.  
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KI6LO
Member

Posts: 90


WWW

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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 09:42:32 AM »

Suffice to say, get as big an antenna you can possibly mount and operate safely for mobile operations. Mobile antennas are a compromise at best and limiting to a shortie antenna for ease of placement, etc. will only disappoint your operations. I have used alot of different antennas mobile from single band Hustlers with loading coils to my current antenna, a W6AAQ Don Johnson 'Original DK3' 10 foot plus tall screwdriver antenna (the design which most commercial screwdriver antennas are based on). If you want to see how I have a 10 foot plus tall screwdriver mounted on a Mitsubishi Galant, look at my profile to get my website. I was using a ATAS-100 with my FT-100D and it performed ok but just didn't have the results I though it should have. I replaced it with the DK3 and WOW! I am working alot more stations and much higher sig rpts than before.

As one poster mentioned, check out Alan K0BG's mobileering website. Lots of good ideas and advice. Also check out the World Radio website (Google World Radio to find it) and get the CD that has 2 volumes of Don Johnson's HF Mobileering Compendiums. Think it's around $24 but if your truly interestd in HF mobiling, this will be the best $24 you ever spent. I have all three volumes and have read them each many times. In fact, the first volume I have is signed by the master himself, Don Johnson W6AAQ.

Good Luck and keep the greasy side down,

Gene KI6LO
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KB3MMX
Member

Posts: 132




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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2007, 02:46:24 PM »

I use the Tarheel model 75 and can vouch for Tarheel's reputation in all their reviews.....a very excellent product and support!

 I would also think in the automated antenna department, the High Sierra would be a good choice as well....according to their great reviews.


***If you do go with a screwdriver, I would highly recomment the extra $200 on a automatic tuner for safety and convienience!!
   I use the www.n2VZ.com "Turbotuner" product that is sold at www.wb0w.com and it works excellent!


 Happy mobiling,

                KB3MMX--Chuck
 
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W2DIP
Member

Posts: 17




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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2007, 09:31:39 AM »

Bigger may be better but I have fantastic success with the 14" HS SideKick and 3 foot whip with spurs. I am constantly amazed that I can talk from NJ to the West Coast as well as foreign stations on a daily basis during my work commute with great signal reports.

I also have the Turbo Tuner because it is very dangerous to drive and try to tune a screwdriver type antenna with anythng else.

I was surprised to find it was no more difficult to go mobile HF as it was VHF/UHF. I visited several web sites that said what I planned to do or not do would result in noise, RF problems, my antenna falling off, poor performance, etc.. I guess my rig and antenna do not know that they are not supposed to be doing as well as they are. Smiley
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