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

Reviews Summary for Tram 1481
Tram 1481 Reviews: 35 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $150
Description: Dual band base antenna
Product is in production.
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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.
KF7VXA Rating: 2/5 Dec 8, 2012 18:18 Send this review to a friend
Buy Something Else  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I pulled it out of the box, made sure all of the pieces were tight, almost lost one of the little hex plugs.

At first, it seemed to work good, got good transmitting distance and the SWR was decent on both bands at 1.5 to 1 at it's worst. Bent like crazy at 20 MPH plus winds, at 60 MPH, no way your signal is steady, the antenna was bent over to almost 90 degrees at times

After 2 months, the SWR went up. I took the antenna down, it had a bunch of water in it.
I dried it out (the spacers are great spounges).

I put it back up, the SWR was a little higher from then on. I sealed every possible place that water could get into which must be done on every one bought.

About a week later got a Yaesu 75 watt transceiver (It was on a Yaesu FT 7900 R, 52 watts max.). The antenna is supposed to take 200 watts, but the 75 watts fried the capactor in the top end,
It's now in the junk pile, I bought another brand that is 10 ft tall, 6.5 db on VHF, 9.0 on UHF, I think it transmits further, being 7 foot shorter, the bending problem in 50 MPH winds is gone and the quality is far better. Save your money and get another brand.
Even with 1.5 less gain, I think quality and with a possible improved transmission pattern, the slightly less gain is working as good or slightly better in my opinion, slightly more gain is not always for the best.

My antenna is at 34 feet at the base on a tower, in the open away from all objects, has slightly under 60 feet of LMR 400 coax (has #43 mixture torads on the coax right below the antenna) and all "N" connectors except the rear of the radio. While I would like more height, quality coax such as the LMR 400 or 600, as much height as is reasonable, seal the antenna and every coax connection as best as possible and your antenna will perform to the best of it's ability. I hit a repeater at 85 miles as the crow flies, and that is bouncing off of some mountains and most days have a pretty decent signal, a little better than the new one. local repeaters and other contacts in the area are no problem at all, totally quiet noise floor. Pass up on this one, it works good for a while, then it's time for a new one.
As far as this being a good repeater antenna, that is one of the better jokes I've run into this year, you need a solid antenna on top of a mountain, the Tran does not even come close on it's best day. I've put up more than a few repeater antennas and have seen what is left of them in just a short time. Get a Diamond X-300N, the Diamond 500 model is a better antenna than the Tram, but still suffers from some of the problems, 16 feet is just too much for thin fiberglass.
W6IZK Rating: 1/5 Feb 8, 2012 17:26 Send this review to a friend
Ok on 2m lousy on 440  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased local and looked like a good buy but once I got it up in the air and checking the VSWR with a Vectronics 50-500 MHz directional wattmeter was dismayed at the VSWR curve on the 440 band. Antenna was flat across 2 meters, 1.5 or less but on 440 antenna had 1.5 at 430 MHZ then went up like crazy at any frequency above that. At 444 it was well over 3:1 and at 448 over 5:1. Took it back for a refund and ordered a Diamond X200A, you get what you pay for.
KD5PNT Rating: 4/5 Dec 3, 2011 06:26 Send this review to a friend
tran 1481  Time owned: more than 12 months
had it for 3 years now and has always worked well . never had any water in it . the factory supplied mounting brackets are worthless . the V bolts that came with mine were not threaded far enough back and would not tighten on a standard mast . were not a standard size so could not get replacements at the local hardware store . the mounts went into the scrap metal pile and I replaced them with 3 ubolts that fit tight around the tube at the bottom of the antenna

the antenna gets a 4 and the mounts get a 0 rating .
KJ4YFP Rating: 2/5 May 2, 2011 14:26 Send this review to a friend
owners manual  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Anyone have the owner manual they can send Me
KR6G Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2010 07:47 Send this review to a friend
Common sense use  Time owned: more than 12 months
Like any antenna out side, you need to get it ready for weather.I live in the sierra mountains with rain snow wind

I have 7 in use at various sites, a couple up 120 to 150 ft in trees and have been for years.

I have used both vaseline, and rtv to keep the water out, inside I put the vaseline, then seal the joins with clear RTV.

They are not for use on High mountains with wind and snow, with the ice loads.

K7SFN pulled one a part and compared to his diamond and the Tram had one size heaver wire
than the diamond. AT more than half the price.

I have used commerical watt meters with hardline and found the swr from band edge to edge to be 2.1 or less at middle of band, both uhf and vhf, my radios have not cut back on power due to swr and any time, both commerical and ham.

Once again do your homework and help them get ready for the weather, before you put it up.
SCUBA Rating: 1/5 Jan 2, 2010 09:16 Send this review to a friend
Whacko SWR  Time owned: more than 12 months
Yeah, I've used it for over a year, and switched back and forth to an Arrow J-Pole. Coax is LMR400, properly tested and sealed.

Tram 1481
Pros: Good db gain.

Cons: 2Meters, best SWR 2:1, worst SWR about 5:1 at both band edges.
440 meters, best SWR 1.5:1, worst SWR, about 10:1 at both edges
Exception, there is one frequency on 440 that it achieves 1.1 to 1

Water: Oh yes. Even with the fibreglass joints properly tightened, when it rains, the 2 Meter band is lost; the SWR goes to about 25:1, probably a dead short, while 440 continues to perform. This means the coax and connectors are not the problem!

Design Defect: The interior rod is held away from the edges by sponges. Sponges get wet and screw up the SWR.

Size: The Tram is BIG! And the neighbors know its there, homeowners association or not. It looks like a big CB antenna.

In Contrast, the Arrow J-Pole has significant advantages over the Tram:
__ Cheaper, lighter, easily made portable.
__ 1.1 to 1 SWR all the way across both bands, all the time.
__ Sturdy, impervious to rain
__ Smaller, less obvious, doesn't look like a CB antenna.

The Tram probably has a db gain advantage over the J-Pole with a 2 to 1 SWR price.

Recommendation: If you love pouring water out of tubes, drying out sponges, mounting, dismounting, and repairing antennas, then the Tram1481 is exactly what you need.

Reason for not giving this a zero star rating - it works all the time on 440, and it works on 2 meters when it's not raining.
N5XO Rating: 3/5 Jan 1, 2010 14:24 Send this review to a friend
Tram Issues  Time owned: more than 12 months
Until recently I would have given the Tram 1481 the highest level review. Our local group numbers 45 members of the Unclub, and we operate 98% simplex, the 1481 was a solid performer and most of our group purchased the 1481 and used them. The performance is outstanding. My only complaint for the past 2 years on this antenna was the 200 watt power limit.

We all purchased the antennas 18 months to 36 months ago, after a 2 year draught we started getting heavy rains again, and then the problems cropped up. SWR's started climbing from 1.2 average among the group, to 3.5, 5.1, and higher. In most of them we found water and a great deal of water at that. Drained them and some began to work properly again, however others have remained at high SWR's.

Calls and e-mails to the manufacture have been 100% ignored which is greatly upsetting.

We have 7 members with high SWR's, as a step we have started drilling weep holes at the botton of the tube, which helps keep water buildup down, but it's not helping the SWRs.

Anyone have suggestions to why the 2 meter SWR's will not recover and why these things fill with water so badly. I have pulled my tram 1481 down here at my main home and replaced it with a G7-144, and may do so with my other one at our ranch and many of our members are pulling the trams down and selling them off, junking them, etc.

This is a GREAT performing antenna other than the SWR and water issues....and lack of response fro the manufacture tells me they know about the problem and choose to ignore it.
N7ERT Rating: 4/5 Dec 25, 2009 16:41 Send this review to a friend
TRAM 1481 is an OK antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
The secret to this antenna is the install, assembly instructions are a little short, but nothing one can figure out in a few minutes.. Nothing in the instruction is the need to seal the antenna joints so they don't take on rain water. My first one had a 1/2 cup of water, drained, cleaned, and sealed good as new...
It is not a Celewave/RFS Superstation Master or a Phelps Dodge top of the line antenna, but it is dual band. It is not a high mountain top antenna, however side mounting can improve your odds.. For a cost less than $100 plus shipping it is a good bang for the buck. Five step install:

1. Assembly
2. Seal
3. Good feedline (low loss)
4. Antenna height
5. Enjoy
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