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Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Omnidirectional: verticals, mobile, etc | Tram 1400 VHF Base Verticle Help

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KG6AOH  Rating: 4/5 Feb 8, 2018 13:58  Send this review to a friend!
Surprise how well it is built, yet very inexpensive.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Needed a 2m base antenna real quick, and spotted this on Amazon for CHEAP! I figured, nothing to lose so snapped it up, expecting it to be junk. Antenna arrived a couple days later. First impression was that the materials and workmanship was WAY better than expected. I was very surprised how well this antenna is built, especially for the money.

Assembled the antenna and tuned it by the instructions. Tuned perfect for the middle of the 2m band (146 MHz.). Put it up on a pole next to the shop and started tuning around. Using an antenna switch between the Tram 1400 antenna and a mobile 2m antenna on the shop, the mobile antenna was consistently 2 to 3 S-units BETTER than the 10-foot tall Tram antenna. Something wasn't right... I took the Tram down and re-checked everything. All was good, so put it back up with another cable (LMR-400). Same thing. The Tram 1400 was always 2 or 3 S-units LOWER than the unity gain mobile antenna on the shop. Oh, well, I thought... It's just a fluke.

A couple days later, it was bugging me. I know how the Tram 1400 is built, and know that stacked 5/8 waves should outperform the unity gain mobile antenna by a lot. Just for grins, I took the Tram antenna down and removed the top section and phasing coil. Then, I threaded a 3/8-24 screw into the top end, retuned it, and put it back up. Now, switching back and forth between the unity gain mobile antenna and the Tram 1400 (minus the top half), the Tram was consistently 1 to 2 S-units BETTER! Yes, making it shorter made it work even better. So now, it is just a single 5/8 wave instead of stacked 5/8 waves. This is how I plan to keep it now. Just a single 5/8 wave, but it works so much better.

Even considering it is best to use as a plain old 5/8 wave, for the price, it is still a bargain.

Tips: Tape up the joints to keep water out. Paint the black plastic parts with some non-conductive paint to make it last longer. Leave the top section and phasing coil in the bag and run it like a simple 5/8 wave ground plane antenna. 
Product is in production.
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