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Reviews For: Rattail antenna booster

Category: Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Omnidirectional: verticals, mobile, etc

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Review Summary For : Rattail antenna booster
Reviews: 5MSRP: 31.95 USD
A antenna booster that promisses to increase the transmit power from an ht for 400% to 800%. Rattail. It works!
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KI7MBR Rating: 2023-02-27
easy on, easy off, hauls the freight, stays out of the way Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased one after building a couple of VHF/UHF diy tails from speaker wire per W7ZAP Mindy, Pelican Bay ARC. Why the Rattail at $40 (includes shipping) vs a coupla bucks for the others? Simply put, easy on and off, fits any ht via a velcro patch, preserves the mechanical strength of the antenna/radio connection, does not compromise water resistance as with an under the antenna style and does not get in the way.

Locally, an informal test of the BC Rattail and the diy models on VHF across about a 6 mile distance and a low ridge indicated that they all approximately doubled the number of bars at the receiving radio, while voice quality stayed the same. Compared three radios with rubber duckies and also 1/4 wave whips. Radios; Baofeng UV5x3, Yaesu?, and Alinco djvx50. Yes, strength differed by radio x antenna combination. The Baofeng seemed the weakest, Yaesu and Alinco about equal to each other. Conclusion; rubber ducky with a tail works as well or better than a 1/4 wave whip, is easier to carry and greatly reduces hassle of worrying about getting poked in the eye by the end of a longer antenna.

Hoping useful. End of report. 73 KI7MBR

p.s. Ran across a study on line a year or so ago looking at effects of VHF tails on VHF reception as well as radiated power; both greatly enhanced, more especially reception, varying by radio x antenna combination. As for effects of VHF tails on UHF? Transmission slight +/- effects, about a wash. Reception, all slightly positive.

p.p.s In addition to ease of use across multiple vhf/uhf ht radios, the wire used is flexible, hanging more in a straight line, compared to the zip cord in diy tails, which tends to retain bends and curls.
KG7AV Rating: 2015-04-23
Works as Advertised Time Owned: more than 12 months.
For the price, figured I couldn't go wrong giving it a shot. Picked up the first one over a year ago, and certainly works as advertised. It became a staple among my HT accessories in my field / go kit. Ended up adding another as a spare. Especially when out hunting in the boonies of Eastern Oregon, it has made the difference between hitting and not hitting repeaters.
VE3LNU Rating: 2010-05-13
You can't go wrong Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I own a Kenwood THF-6a tri-band HT and was having serious trouble accessing my favourite 222 MHz repeater from a park near my office when using the stock antenna. The repeater is about 60 km (40 miles) away. Of course, I tried going to a more efficient antenna like the Diamond tri-band HT antenna - it worked wonderfully on transmit but also brought in all sorts of interference and intermod so that I couldn't hear the repeater anyway!

Enter the Rattail antenna booster. I figured I had nothing to lose for twenty-five bucks: nothing else was working for me. The folks at Microsec were very helpful in customizing mine for 222 MHz, and I got it in the mail within a week or so. Initial tests were inconclusive, but I didn't give up. I ran an on-the-air test today and proved that I could hit my favourite repeater on 0.5 watts instead of the usual 5 watts, and still be readable. Removing the Rattail took me totally out of the picture and I couldn't even key up the machine!

While it may not always perform as well as claimed, it is definitely an improvement over the rubber duck. For the money, if you use your HT a lot, it's well putting this little gem in your pocket for those difficult locations.


VA7DH Rating: 2007-07-19
Excellent Addition Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My wife and I were "given" Rat Tail antenna boosters by the local inventor at a HAM club meeting. He explained to the members at the meeting how the rat tail worked and used a signal strength meter with a very large meter movement to show it off. Basically what it looks like is the other half of a vertical dipole capacitively couple to the case of the hand held. The signal reaching the far device is almost a couple of S units higher. For under $30 you have boosted your 2m hand held enormously without an external antenna and the weight, bulk, and cost of more batteries. It's a simple concept elegantly carried out. I highly recommend it.
KB1ILH Rating: 2006-01-23
good for 2M w/ rubber duck Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This device, if placed in the optimal location, will stabilize a shaky signal on both transmit and receive. It will need to hang freely from your HT in order to do its job which is to provide a "better" 2M antenna ground" than you do already with your body. It is typically attached to your HT with a 1"x1" velcro pad. It seems to add the most value when used with your typically poor-performing "rubber duck" antennas. It only works across VHF 2M ham, VHF marine, and VHF Aircraft frequencies.