Best 6M Mobile Antenna?

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Stephen H. Ponder:
What would be the best antenna to use for 6M mobile operations?  I've been told that a 5/8-wave 144 MHz whip would also work on 6M, but the more I read, the more negative comments I see on that setup.

I'd LOVE to be able to work DX while operating mobile, but right now I'd be happy to just work state-side!!

Which antenna setup would you recommend?

BTW, I'm using a Ranger RCI-5054 (25W out) as my 6M mobile radio.


Steve N5WBI
Houston TX

Steve Katz:
Most 5/8-wave 2m whips really do work on 6m, as a 1/4-wave whip on 6.

For FM/repeater work, this is sufficient for most.

For SSB work, a whip usually works as well as anything else mobile for "skip" propagation, but can really stink for local work -- and local work is the majority of work on six, 300+ days a year, when the band *isn't* open.

The most common mobile antenna for serious SSB work is a halo or other form of omnidirectional horizontal loop, and those who are really serious often use two of them, one stacked above another, to achieve a bit of gain.  Lots of loop antennas are sold for 6m use, and some designs are pretty easy to homebrew, if you're handy with tools.

The difference between a (vertical) whip and a (horizontal) loop, for casual SSB work on six meters, is night and day.  I can work mobiles using loops out to 250 miles (normal daily tropo) quite often, and I don't hear *anybody* using a whip that far away.


I think Steve, WB2WIK/6, pretty much covered it.  An omni loop (i.e. Par OmniAngle, M2, KU4AB, AEA Halo 6, etc...) is the way to go.  Stacking two gives more gain but looks really strange on the vehicle.  It doesn't really matter if the loop is round, square (also called a squalo), or triangular (like the Par antenna).  What matters is that it is mounted horizontally.

There are a lot of 6m vertical antennas out there, either monoband or multiband antennas that include 6m.  I like the construction of the Diamond and Maldol antennas best, but I used a Lakeview Hamstick for many years and it worked well.  The problem is that 95% of the activity on 6m is SSB/CW and, like Steve said, unless the band is wide open the polarization loss (20db at least) is going to make it impossible for you to work folks who are local out to about 200 miles.  If you have an active local FM repeater then a vertical may make sense.


Lon Kinley:
I don't really try 6m SSB mobile (I probably should), but for FM I use a Larsen NMO base loaded with a 4' whip. I don't remember the model number but it's one of the commercial antennas that you adjust the frequency by varying the length of the whip.

It is an excellent visual match for my Larsen 270NMO.


Jeff Stewart:
I've used a Larsen NMO150 for both 2m and 6m FM operation.  On 2 it's a 5/8 wave and on 6 it's a loaded 1/4 wave.  Works great for both bands!

The key to making it work is the loading coil can't be DC grounded.  Some 5/8 wave antennas use a shunt coil, tapped somewhere to provide the proper match.  For 6 it would look like a dead short and won't work.


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