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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Omnidirectional: verticals, mobile, etc | Tram 1481 Help

Reviews Summary for Tram 1481
Tram 1481 Reviews: 33 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $150
Description: Dual band base antenna
Product is in production.
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KG7YSE Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2017 15:51 Send this review to a friend
Impressed  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
No issues although assembling it took some head scratching. You must hook the inside wires together using the tiny little screws but once you get that done it's all good. Low SWR on all frequencies I use. I kept hearing reports about water getting in the antenna but I haven't noticed anything wrong transmitting on any frequency yet and in Washington state of course we get A LOT of rain. So far so good.
W5KVV Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2017 21:31 Send this review to a friend
So far so good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was reluctant to purchase this antenna. BUT for the price, if it fails I can buy another and still be in them for less than the Comet version.

However after deployment and ZERO fine tuning I am pleased with this antenna. SWR across the VHF band is 1.5 or less. DEAD FLAT at 146. However the UHF side seems to be a little short. I believe I can alleviate this issue with simple tuning. Like I said, I pulled it out of the box, put it together and stuck it in the air.

It gets into repeaters that were unreachable with my previous setup. It hears repeaters that I didn't know existed with my prior antenna. We had a band opening earlier this week, I made it into several repeaters across the state & made some new friends in the process.

With that being said, so far so good.
W4AIN Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2016 14:50 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using my 1481 now for over 10 years with never an issue. The SWR is less than 1.5:1 across the full 2m and 70cm bands. Love this antenna and highly recommend it.
KD8MTK Rating: 5/5 Jun 20, 2016 08:46 Send this review to a friend
Cheap but works well  Time owned: more than 12 months
I put this antenna up 4 years ago when the wind took down my Diamond it was a cheap dual band antenna I put up in place of an old tv antenna mount on the side of my house. I initially was just going to leave it up for a couple months until I got a better one but soon realized it worked very well so it ended up staying put for 4 years. Very good antenna for the price.
KW4RP Rating: 1/5 Mar 22, 2016 01:39 Send this review to a friend
The Tram 1481 dual antenna has high SWRs on the VHF side  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the Tram-1481 Dual Bander Antenna and thought it was a good purchase plus a quality item made by Tram. To my dismay, the damn thing had high SWRs on VHF ONLY, but the UHF side of it was fine!Between 144.00-147.99 MHz, the SWRs ranged from a 3.0 to a 3.2?? When I assembled it, I used a thin film of lithium grease to seal out the moisture at the joints and connections;also, I used LMR 240 coax for the low loss factor. It continues the same issues regardless what the weather throws at it! I don't believe the company is in existence and these antennas are junk surplus left over. They got a website to contact them but no replies. Buyer Beware!
KC9YZR Rating: 1/5 Aug 17, 2015 01:23 Send this review to a friend
Second Tram 1481 Gone Bad  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, I had purchased two Tram Browning 1481 antennas, about 9 months apart, from two different suppliers.

After about two years or so, the first Tram 1481 developed a high SWR, and became unusable.

I had taken it apart and found nothing wrong with it, except when I removed what looks to be PVC pipe, as apposed to what the package calls high quality Fiberglass, I found two droplets of water.

Well, now the second Tram 1481 has also developed a high SWR, again after having it about 2 years.

I did like these antennas, as they seemed to have good gain, both in receive and transmitted range, and they seemed to work well.

However, both of them have high SWR now, and seem unusable.

I am afraid that I can't recommend these antennas, as they seem very unreliable, as mine developed high SWR after about two years of use, on 20 feet of mast, mounted to the side of the trailer home that I live in.

I was getting into repeaters 90 or more miles away, using either the 55-watt Yaesu FT-1900R, or the 50-watt dual-band Wouxun KG-UV920P-A, but now I can't even get into a repeater 45 miles away, with the high SWR, as when I heard someone say that I wasn't getting into the repeater, I then decided to check the SWR of the Tram 1481.

To me the antenna needs work and just didn't last very long.

KC9YZR Rating: 2/5 Jun 1, 2015 11:23 Send this review to a friend
Mixed Results (1 Good, 1 Bad, So far)  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased one of these about two years ago, and when I put it together, I had to lightly tap, a few times, one of the PVC pipes on the carpeted floor, to get the metal rod to come out of the end of the PVC pipe, so I could then connect it to the next metal rod section, using the splice that you tighten with the Allen wrench.

The package stated that the antenna was made using high quality Fiberglass, but unless I am mistaken, or unless there are parts that you can't see, what I saw was PVC pipe, and the metal rods inside of the PVC pipe, along with foam padding around the rod, to help center the rod in the PVC pipe, and probably to prevent the rod from banging against the PVC pipe.

I do not know whether it was a good idea or not, but when I put the antenna together, I wrapped White pipe thread tape around the threads where the sections are put together, where you use wrenches to tighten the sections together, thinking that maybe it would prevent any water from getting into the PVC pipe. Of course I did think about the pipe "sweating," meaning during damp weather, and having the moisture accumulate inside of the pipe anyway, like when a glass of ice tea, or water, can "sweat" on the outside of it.

About one year later, last year, I decided to buy a second Tram Browning 1481, as I was using one with a Two Meter transceiver, and I was using a Hustler G6-440 with my 440 repeater, and the other one I started to use on a Dual-Band transceiver.

Since I noticed a difference in range, when I removed the G6-440 antenna from the repeater, and started to use the Tram 1481 with the repeater, that's how I started to use the second Tram 1481, with the 440 repeater, since it has almost double the claimed gain of the G6 on 440 MHz.

So, OK, I now have owned one Tram 1481 for about two years, and the other one I have owned for about one year or more, and they both were working just fine, until last week that is.

I was going to buy a third Tram 1481, so I could use it on my dual-band transceiver, as I was using the two meter transceiver for an Echolink node, and was using one Tram 1481 for that, and I was using the second Tram 1481 on the dual-band transceiver, so I could talk on that, without fooling with mike connections on the Two Meter rig, but I switched that Tram 1481 to the 440 repeater, for better gain on 440, so I could use a third Tram on the dual-band transceiver.

However, last Sunday, when checking into a Two Meter swap net, on a repeater that's about 45 miles away, the NCS stated that my signal was noisy, so I checked the SWR with my Two Meter antenna analyzer, and found that the SWR was high.

I thought that the PL259 connector was bad, on the transceiver end, but that wasn't it, then I thought that maybe the PL259 became loose on the antenna end, but that wasn't it, and I then connected the analyzer directly to the Tram 1481, using a double male connector, and the antenna tested high SWR.

I then took the antenna apart, and there were a few droplets of water inside of the bottom PVC section, but water didn't run out of it, and the foam wasn't wet that's around the antenna rod that's inside of the PVC pipe.

Anyway, I can't find anything wrong with the antenna, yet it has a high SWR, and I checked to see whether all of the splices were tight, and that all of the sections are together, but it still shows a high SWR, although, occasionally, it will show a good SWR down around 136 MHz, but still shows bad every where else, especially between 144 and 148 MHZ, when the other Tram 1481 shows a good SWR even around 151 or 152 MHz, and down to around 136 MHz or so.

I have now placed the two year old Tram 148 in the storage shed, and I am now using the G6-440 antenna again on the repeater, for now anyway, and am going to wait a few days, then I am going to take the Tram 1481 back out of the shed, to see whether "drying it out" has any affect on the SWR, as I can't see anything else wrong with it, unless there's some water trapped down in the base of the antenna, or something like that.

Anyway, the second Tram 1481, that I bought last year, is still working fine, but the first one, that I bought about two years ago, had a few droplets of water inside of it, plus has a high SWR right now.

So I am unsure how to rate this antenna.
AF5QR Rating: 1/5 May 18, 2015 18:36 Send this review to a friend
What a difference two months makes  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This antenna is on its way to the junk pile. You can NOT make this antenna weatherproof. I've tried it all and it STILL LEAKS. I even went to the extreme of wrapping (get this) the ENTIRE ANTENNA in coax seal from the bottom up. I figured I'd rather have an ugly antenna that works rather than a "pretty" antenna that doesn't. No dice. My working theory is the internals of this antenna are hygroscopic and are pulling moisture out of the very damp atmosphere here. If so, nothing but pumping the antenna full of sealant will help... but this IS the next thing to try.

Corrosion is also becoming a huge issue. The chrome antenna base fits into a sleeve of aluminum tubing that is designed to act as a mount. Except someone forgot to tell the guy who "engineered" this fitting that dis-similar metals generate corrosion. After just six weeks of weathering, it became utterly impossible to separate the base from the tube mount.

This antenna is coming down shortly. I'm done with Tram. I didn't expect a StationMaster, but I expected something that wasn't designed on crutches.

As always, your mileage may differ. If you're in a dry area, God bless. If not, spin again, OM.
WB7CJQ Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2013 16:42 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used this antenna for a crossband repeater as well as for my personal use. I recommend some silastic around the joints, but I have to comment that the first one of these I raised about 5 years ago is still bone dry inside and still delivering fantastic performance. Today I upgraded a Tram 1400 install to the 1481, and immediately observed a 1 "S" unit improvement as well as a significant reduction in noise.

This is NOT a StationMaster, so don't expect it to deal well with high winds. The fact that it can flex, and that the inside components can move are the reasons it can survive strong winds. Like sticking a 17 foot long dowel in the air, expect it to bend!

I've never lost a 1481 to the winds and weather. It is not all unusual for us to get 60-70 MPH gusts, and although it looks scary, the antenna deals with all of this very nicely.

If you want a rock solid signal in a hurricane, get a StationMaster at $100 per foot, lots of concrete, lots of guy wires, and lots of friends to help you raise the beast. If you want an antenna that will last for years and consistently rebound from wind and weather, get the 1481.

The one I installed today is up 30 feet, no guy wires, no problems. That puts the tip at 47 feet AGL, and now the guys in Milwaukee (200 miles by air) are driving me crazy!

N8LJJ Rating: 5/5 Sep 3, 2013 06:49 Send this review to a friend
Can't ask for any more  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had the antenna for about 6 months. I placed it into operation at about 30' a month ago. It has been the monsoon season here in TN and from all I can tell it has not sucked any water as reported in other reviews. From the day of installation the match has been way better than 1.1:1 and remains so. I am feeding it with about 50' of RG-8X and have been amazed at the coverage it provides. The antenna is in the temporary installation mode and I will probably do a little weatherproofing of the joints before final installation. I will have to say that the mount could stand a little beefing up but that is not a real problem. The antenna is a little limber and that is to be expected for it's length but I have not encountered any problems so far. I bought it at a local hamfest for way less than the retail price so I can not complain. For it's price and performance I would give it a solid 5 out of 5.
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