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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories | TARHEEL LITTLE TARHEEL II Help

TARHEEL LITTLE TARHEEL II Reviews: 50 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $379
Description: When properly installed on your vehicle this antenna will provide continuous coverage from 3.5 to 54 MHz with the supplied whip. The Little Tarheel II antenna like all of our motorized antenna models are built to meet the highest standards but in a smaller size.

All of our antennas come with the sensors already pre-installed so if you decide to add one of the auto controllers (Tarheel Simple Controller, Tarheel Programmable Controller, Turbo Tuner, Antenna BOSS and BOSS II, SDC-100 or the SDC-102) now or later everything is ready.

We designed this antenna for the person who wants to enjoy HF mobile but is not interested in our large antennas. Don't let the small size fool you because we designed this antenna to be mounted higher on the vehicle, and when mounted higher on the vehicle you have less ground loses which equals higher performance. Also, because of the smaller size you can use a more common type of mount like the Diamond K400 Series, the Comet Series or similar 3/8" stud type mount.

And like our other antennas you get the same great look with our Dupont Imron 5000 system with standard colors of black, white, red or silver. It also comes with the LexanTM Weather Shield like its big brothers, not the flimsy stuff others use. This model also uses the commercial 12 volt gear motor.

We designed the Little Tarheel II as a package. All you need extra is a mount of some sort and a nice HF radio. Included standard with the Little Tarheel II antenna is: the whip, 20 ft. of plug & play control cable, manual control box, ferrite decoupling core and 3/8-24 stud.
Product is in production.
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AI4HO Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2010 13:47 Send this review to a friend
Great little mobile HF antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Although I no longer have my Little Tar Heel II, having up graded to the HP-40A (stubby) about 8 months ago, I did have and use the Little Tar Heel II for about 3 years. What I liked about the Tar Heel II was the facet that it was small and unobtrusive on my vehicle. It offers HF capabilities from 3.5 through 54MHz, other than 75/80 meters, I had used the Little Tar Heel II with great success. On 75/80 meters it works rather well, but the noise on the band did hamper my attempts at getting the contacts that I thought I would be able to get. Having said that, I did make quite a few local contacts, and even checked into a net that was active on 3.846 until it ceased operation due to lack of interest and band conditions.

If I were to put an HF rig in my wife's car I would seriously consider putting another Little Tar Heel II on it due to its small size. When I had my Tar Heel II I used the 54" whip, it made 6 meters tricky to tune, but it more than made up for it on the lower bands. Get one, get the 54" whip, keep the stock 32" whip for a back up, and with band conditions improving, you'll be surprised at how well this antenna works! This is just one of the great antennas that Tar Heel produces!!

73 de Mark
AG4UW Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2010 11:48 Send this review to a friend
Best antenna you will find  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had mine for over 5 years and I have not had any problems AT ALL and it is on the cab of my truck.It is a tough little antenna. All I can say is what a great antenna. You wont beat this one. All i have done to mine is added a 56 inch whip to it. That gave me alot more gain. If something happens to mine I will be ordering a new one. Its not cheep but well worth the money. 73
KB1OSY Rating: 4/5 Jan 1, 2010 14:24 Send this review to a friend
going pretty good so far  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
this ant has been holding up great so far with no hang ups at all still making good contacts everywhere it has about 100,000 miles on it now and has been thru all weather tree hits and still going great no cracks in the paint and runs smooth still loving it see u at 200,000
KD9MF Rating: 5/5 Sep 16, 2009 13:23 Send this review to a friend
revision of my 0 rating.  Time owned: more than 12 months
tarheel took care of the trouble, no charge. also gave me a new set of wires and switch, no charge. need to retract my 1st rating , they are top notch and customer service is absolutely the best. they bent over backwards to be sure i was happy.
W1ZE Rating: 5/5 Aug 5, 2009 18:14 Send this review to a friend
Works for me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently replaced my P/U with a small SUV and my old DK3 would not fit and the XYL would have
been pleased with it on the SUV. Friends recommended the Little Tarheel II so I ordered one and was pleased with its quality. My old DK3 was a real HF mobile performer but I needed to do some feedpoint matching. Not necessary with the Tarheel. Performance on 20 through 10 I found it equal with the DK3. On 40 & 75 The DK3 was better. As recommended by the Tarheel folks I put on a 56" long whip and added a homemade capacity hat just above the coil and performance on 75 & 40 improved to close to the DK3 with a much smaller profile. I'm happy and so is the XYL. W1ZE
W7VI Rating: 5/5 Jul 27, 2009 17:01 Send this review to a friend
Greaat Little antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had my Little Tarheel antenna for about 30 days and it is everything they advertise it wil do. G3VHF, Carlo Eavis said it all read his review (report) on the Tarheel website. I am pleased with the antenna . So far the antenna has preformed well. when I have it permenantly installed I will give a more detail reprort; but for now it is great!
VE7LGF Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2009 23:42 Send this review to a friend
With Antenna Boss and FT-100d  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have installed the Little Tarheel II and Antenna Boss with Yaesu FT-100d. Sure tunes nicely 6m-40m and is easy to drive manual with rocker spring center switch. Tune to 75m and listen for noise to increase...Reduce output power and Tx AM FM, or CW with carrier to see low VSWR. One click up or down and resonant. Sure wish I could find a discontinued W4RT Y-OTT One touch tune or the LDG Y-OTT One-touch tune module for autotune 75m...
73 de Glen VE7LGF
NV7E Rating: 5/5 Jul 17, 2009 05:16 Send this review to a friend
Great for use with rental car  Time owned: more than 12 months
My job is in South Africa these days but I make an annual trip home to Elko, Nevada to operate as NV7E. There I have to operate portable or mobile from a rental car. After trying other antennas, I have found the Little Tarheel II to be the best mobile solution for that type of situation. Because it is light and has low wind resistance even at 70 mph, the Little Tarheel II can be lip mounted on the trunk of a sedan using a Diamond K-400-3/8C mount. It easily fits into your suitcase. It sets up in just a few minutes. It handles 100 watts with no problem. On-the-air performance is wonderful. I added a longer whip for improved performance on the lower bands.

Last year I used the standard control switch supplied with the Little Tarheel II but found the wires used from the switch to the antenna too thin and they kept breaking. This year I used Tarheel’s optional SDC-102 Programmable Controller. It works great. I assigned a button for each band on the SDC-102 and once programmed it returned to the desired frequency. Once on the proper band you can fine tune the antenna with the SDC-102 using your rig’s SWR meter. I used a Diamond SX-20C meter because it is easier to see. An advantage of the SDC-102 over some other controller options is that it can be used with any HF transceiver. I also recommend the antenna quick-disconnect option so you can detach the antenna and put in the trunk easily for security.

The Little Tarheel II is an excellent value. I look forward to using it again on my next trip to Nevada.

KI4RGD Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2009 19:09 Send this review to a friend
Get One!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
If you're reading these reviews you are undoubtably asking yourself whether or not its worth it. It is! Here's my story.

I drive a 2 door Jeep Wrangler, soft top. I have two after market antenna mounts side by side next to the spare tire. The antenna mounts are attached to the tailgate of the Jeep. I have a ground strap from the gate to the vehicle. I have multiple ground straps underneath as well. (Hint - ground your vehicle)

The coax runs inside the gate of the Jeep. The control box cable just slips in through the soft top/gate opening. I wanted the control box cable easily accessible in case I had to disconnect the antenna quickly. You never know in a Jeep when you'll have to remove an expensive antenna!

You don't really need an expensive "control box" to find the perfect SWR. All you have to do is listen, its that easy. Change to a band you want to operate. More than likely, the band will sound flat - no static. Raise or lower the antenna using the manual control box. In a few seconds you'll hear the static loud-and-clear! You're close! Now, give your radio a low watt carrier, using voice on 5 watts say your callsign and note the SWR. Trim the antenna up or down until the SWR is agreeable. Give it full power (or enough to make the contact) and you're good to go!

I can do this whole process while driving, shifting gears and drinking coffee - amazing! I digress. This is a great, tough (tuff) antenna. My Jeep feels every bump, hole, rut, rock, etc.. on the road. This antenna just rides along! Yep - its a hum-dinger! I recomend this one!

How does it play? For a mobile HF station, pretty good. I use the standard whip (currently) and I can make contacts across the country, into Europe and South America. I heard Japan the other morning - he couldn't hear me due to everyone and their brother trying to get through.... go figure (I'm only pushing 100w).

To sum up, the Tarheel II is a great little HF screwdriver antenna. You won't be disappointed. If it can handle the abuse of a Jeep - then it should be able to handle anything out there.
KE7FD Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2009 13:02 Send this review to a friend
Wow! What a performer!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This past trip to Dayton '09 from Pittsburgh gave us the chance to talk to other operators and to actually see what other hams use for mobile antennas. Keeping a running tally n my head of what I saw, the Tarheel made its appearance more often than any other screwdriver antenna during the road trip. Then walking through the parking lot, I again saw a greater count of Tarheels than any other make. This is not to say others are not good, but for me the criteria for selecting a screwdriver antenna was bolstered by the raw number of Tarheels encountered. I spent some time checking out everything at Dayton, getting some hands-on time with those other makes of screwdriver vendors that were there. (I wonder why not all of the brands make an effort to go to Dayton? The cost of space inside and all would be more than made up by sales. The more they sell, the more they will sell thereafter.) After talking with the helpful folks at the WB0W booth, I bought a Little Tarheel II. They had run out at the show, but no matter, I needed time to prep the vehicle for it's new antenna anyway. The unit arrived later the following week and mounting commenced. My advice to anyone mounting mobile equipment: You should want to take your time and do it right the first time. You do not want to do it over again later. Get it right the first time. I took my time and am glad I did.

The Little Tarheel II (with the standard short whip) replaced a set of Hustlers. (The Hustlers worked great too, but were not a good fit on my vehicle’s mounting situation. I would think the Hustlers would work best on a open-bed truck better than on a Grand Cherokee.) I have the unit mounted on the right-rear corner of my Grand Cherokee, about chest high on the body using a SS adjustable mount just where it clears the hatch. NOTE: everyone promotes a major brand of mount for this smaller screwdriver. However, such mounts will not work at the location on my vehicle since those mounts expect to clamp onto a flat surface like a trunk lid or hatch; mine is glass. I found that Firestick makes an adjustable stainless steel mount that worked best. It's very robust and costs much less than the others. Though I've never used RG-174 before, I decided to use a short length to route inside then using BNC's to transition to a 3 - 4 foot length of RJ-58U that terminates at the radio. I've added a ground braid at the antenna base to chassis just to make sure grounding never becomes an issue. The internal antenna tuner on the TS-480SAT is disabled and the Tarheel is controlled by an Ameritron SDC-102 located on the dash, in easy reach of the driver's left hand. This way the RF run is as short as possible, and grounding at both the antenna and the radio are a priority.

Although I've only had the setup for a short time, I found the antenna to tune 1:1 every time. The reports I've gotten from operators at the other end have been very good. The Tarheel performs every bit as good as the Hustlers and better because:
- It’s a better fit on my vehicle, and out of the way of the hatch
- The silver color matches my vehicle (other colors available)
- Can be tuned at the antenna itself w/o a tuner to 1:1
- I can clear more low-hanging trees and not have to worry about a tall antenna reaching out to slap pedestrians as I drive by
- Much less wind drag
- and it just works.

I suppose if I had one of the larger Tarheels, the need to tweak the controller would not be so necessary but my "style" of mobile operating limits me to the handful of memories in the SDC-102, which is a good fit for me. I also bought the 56inch whip at the same time but have not mounted it yet. I want to get the "feel" of the standard configuration. Once I get some airtime under my belt using that whip, I'll submit a separate review using the longer whip.
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