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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Omnidirectional: verticals, mobile, etc | Firestick Model 2M-4 5/8 wave mobile Help


Reviews Summary for Firestick Model 2M-4 5/8 wave mobile
Firestick Model 2M-4 5/8 wave mobile Reviews: 6 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $20.99
Description: 5/8 wave Fiberglass wire-wound mobile antenna. Approx. 4 feet tall.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.firestick.com
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You can write your own review of the Firestick Model 2M-4 5/8 wave mobile.

N8CNJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 4, 2011 19:40 Send this review to a friend
Getting great reports  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After purchasing a used 706 for my big truck, I searched for a 2m antenna that would work for trucks that have the "West Coast" mirrors.

I found this 4' 2m antenna. I had to cut off a bit at the top to bring the match down because out of the box, it is quite high. As another reviewer said, it comes with no instructions on tuning. Luckily, I just watched a video on YouTube with someone building a very similar antenna and showed how to tune it properly.

The folks on a repeater about 20 miles from my house tell me I sound great on the repeater. They said others from my area tend to bring a bit of static with them. So, I guess I made a good choice with this antenna and have two more on the way for my personal vehicles.
 
KB1TXK Rating: 4/5 Feb 15, 2011 06:39 Send this review to a friend
Good Rx/Tx..but a bit heavy.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is an upgrade from a RS scanner/ham antenna so needless to say the Firestick was way better. Repeaters that were a bit raspy on the RS antenna come in crystal clear now. SWR doesn't seem to be a big deal (1.3:1 at 146MHz). That said, I'm adding a spring between the Firestick and the 3/8x24 trunk mount because this thing is VERY rigid (it not flexible AT ALL) and a bit heavier than I expected. I foresee me losing this thing to the frost-heaves if I don't put a spring on it. I assume I'll just have to tune it, which from what I'm reading isn't something I'm going to look forward to. Oh well.

Bought this for $20 on eBay. Must say that I'm happy with the value so far! I don't expect $100 performance from a $20 antenna..but thats just me I suppose.
 
KB9YNJ Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2009 19:53 Send this review to a friend
Rugged design works great  Time owned: months
While driving for an expediting transport company a couple of years ago, I liked to take my FT 2800 two meter rig along. The need for a reliable portable 2 meter mobile antenna began with a couple of "RS" metal mag mount antennas (which were not great but okay) and ended with the Firestick 2m4. I tried mounting it to a rear bumper hitch on the big Ford Cargo Van with little success. I had forgoten that you need to get it up in the clear or use a ball mount high up on the side of the body.(which the boss didn't think much of).Instead, I found a big magnet mount at a truck stop and used it on the roof. Even though it is a 5/8 wave antenna it is not a whole heck of a lot taller than the 1/4 wave,(at least it didn't cause major clearance problems)because Firestick uses a unique design that coils insulated copper wire around a fiberglass core which makes it shorter and thicker. It worked great! When switching to a 24 foot straight truck for larger loads, I used it with the mirror mount which was already on the passenger side mirror. Again, great performance. Went to Ontario 5 times during Winter months and never had a problem despite ice build-up. Made a lot of repeater contacts, but was really amazed at the number of simplex Qso's. I am retired now, but recently found out that Firestick has a 5/8 wave base station version based on a similar design but with ground radials.Can't wait to try one (just ordered it from eBay a few days ago) My home is on a hill at 1000 feet, and we had hurricane velocity winds last August followed by an ice storm during the Winter that did a lot of damage to power lines and trees and ruined my aluminum ground plane antenna. I am confident that if the new Firestick 2M-CKB is built the same way as my mobile antenna, it will get the job done and will hold up in any weather.I still have the 2M-4 5/8 with mag mount for occasional use on the car and it is still doing a great job!
 
K4JC Rating: 2/5 Feb 1, 2008 00:04 Send this review to a friend
Rugged construction but poor performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
When I was driving a moving truck over the road, I liked to take a 2 meter rig with me. Finding an antenna that would work on a big truck, though, proved to be a real pain! Not that I couldn't make them work electrically - that was no problem. But OTR trucks are very hard on antennas. Set screws easily work loose, whips fall out or break off, and in my case, I didn't always drive the same truck so I wanted something portable.

One day I happened to find a 2 meter antenna made by Firestik, a company with a good reputation among truckers for well made CB antennas. In fact, the 2M-4 looks just like a 4' fiberglass CB antenna! Since these antennas are made for heavy-duty use, I figured my problem had been solved. It was! Well, sort of...

Yes, the 2M-4 is a very rugged antenna - copper wire wound onto a fiberglass rod. So, physically it is a bit shorter than a 5/8 wave, but that's OK because this antenna will last. It will, but only if tuning it doesn't make you smash it first (a-la KD8DEY!)

Yes I said tuning it. Oh, and did I mention that this thing wants excellent grounding? It is a picky little devil! At first check the SWR was way high on 2 meters, and pretty bad for several megs around, too. That's where the good grounding came in. Many modern trucks are mostly fiberglass. Finding a decent ground for antennas can be a real nightmare! (I've made a few bucks "fixing" CB antennas for truckers.) Once I took care of that I hooked up my MFJ-259B and found the antenna resonant around 130 MHz. After several meetings with the hacksaw I finally managed to get an acceptable (1.6:1) SWR at 146 MHz. The bandwidth is sharp, though! Maybe due to its being physically shortened. The SWR was already 2:1 at 145 MHz, and close to 2:1 at 148. OK, I guess I'll have to live with that. Time to see how she performs!

Well...overall it's *maybe* better than a quarter wave, but not by much. When compared to a Hustler SF-2, the Hustler beat the Firestik by several S-units. It's too bad the Hustler whips break after a few weeks of so much flexing! Repeater coverage was mediocre; forget any kind of usable range on simplex.

I have also tried using the Firestik 2M-4 on my car using both a trunk lip mount and a mag mount. I found that once it is tuned this antenna likes to stay put. It showed completely different SWR readings from mount to mount.

The bottom line: It's cheap, rugged, and can be a real exercise in frustration. Overall I'd stay away from it.

Oh, and what did I end up using? I took two old fiberglass CB antennas, cut them down to 1/4 waves and made a vertical dipole mounted on the mirror bracket. Took a bit of pruning but once I was done it worked great!
 
KD8DEY Rating: 1/5 May 10, 2006 23:19 Send this review to a friend
4 mhz bandwith my bum  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After having good performance with a 5/8 firestick on 11m, now that I have my ticket I decided to go with their 2m antenna for my first HAM setup after falling for the advertizing glitz. 4 mhz bandwith...etc...etc.etc. hooked it up to my ball mount and spring in the center of my astrovan. swr was off the charts on both ends as was expected because of the added length of the spring. started pruning it down a little bit at a time. was able to get the match down to about 1.5:1 on the high end. BUT was never able to get the match on the low end to drop below 2.5:1.
needless to say I was very disapointed. bent it double a couple of times using my bumper and threw it in the trash out of disgust. Contacted Firestik and was emailed back more of their own hype. now I'm waiting to try out a Hustler SF-2 thats currently on order from universal radio....
 
KG6POG Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2003 02:52 Send this review to a friend
Big and Tall but works great.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was a little afraid of sawing through the PVC and fiberglass antenna, but no problem as long as you have an SWR meter, or a friend with one.

It does not come with tuning instructions, but they have detailed instructions on tuning the 2 meter antenna on the Firestick web site.

I had a Hustler MX-2 5/8ths wave that showed minimal performance over a MFJ dual band 1/4 wave, and threw so much RF around it was hard to use the
radio. Needless to say I quit using the MX-2 after a few experiments.

The Firestick shows good performance enhancements and no RF problems.

If there is a problem it is thatthe antenna is tall and thick ( about the size of my little
finger in circumference ). also the match wasn't quite as good as I had hoped to get,
but in any case it was about the claimed average of 1.5

I used a 5" mag mount and it works fine at moderate speeds 45 to a max of about
65, but would suggest a permanent mount or quad mag mount with for open
highway speeds
 


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