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Reviews For: Tarheel Little Tarheel II

Category: Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories

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Review Summary For : Tarheel Little Tarheel II
Reviews: 65MSRP: 379
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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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WJ0E Rating: 2011-06-21
An Amazing Antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
First I want to cover the most important part of this review. This tiny, little, attractive, well-built antenna can really pick up signals much better than seems possible!! I compare what I hear on this little antenna to other antennas I am testing, and when I can't find anything on the band on some portable, expensive antennas, I go turn on the mobile in the SUV and I hear all kinds of activity, clear as a bell! How this tiny antenna captures signals like a 32 foot back-yard vertical I cannot understand, but it does. When I join in pile-ups to DX stations, expecting to be ignored, I get called out of the pack with only 100 watts from my tiny little Icom IC-7000. For the record, I think the IC-7000 is a great HF/VHF/UHF radio package for any emergency go box, mobile or base station.

I purchased the Little Tarheel II at Tarheel booth at Dayton Hamvention in May of 2011, and I waited a few weeks to try to install it on my BMW X-5. This car has very few edge mount options, but I was able to get the Diamond Heavy-Duty Mount I purchased at the Tarheel booth, to fit on the bottom edge of the top half of the rear hatch split doors. I placed it behind the driver, but it is easy to see my tuning marks in the center rear view mirror. This type of antenna is so easy to tune with the Icom IC-7000 that I am using. This IC-7000 radio has a spread graphic SWR check feature so I simply can tune the antenna visually using some tiny colored tape arrows I added to the clear antenna section, or by just listening to the increased static at resonance. Then run the spread SWR test by clicking the mic button about 10 times, look at the SWR graph on the radio and bump the up-down button to put the SWR center where you want it. Very easy and versatile because you can get a low SWR anyplace on the band you want to operate. Much better than fixed frequency ham sticks.

The bottom line is this company makes a great product with excellent packaging, instructions and most of all performance that is hard to believe from such a small antenna. Now I can use one radio to go from 3.5 to 440 Mhz, and the Little Tarheel II covers the 80m to 6m bands, and a second antenna covers 144 Mhz and 440 Mhz. This little antenna performs 10 times better than some of the portable $400 antenna kits I am evaluating. It performs almost as well as my home Alpha-Delta Dipole and Hustler HF6 vertical. I've never owned a larger "screwdriver type" antenna to compare it to, but for my first HF mobile antenna, I could not ask for more value. While most mobile ham vehicles look ridiculous, this antenna looks good and comes in several colors. I use the quick release mounting system so I can pop it off at the car wash or airport parking.

I plan on buying another Diamond edge mount to allow me to put my Icom in service on a rental car. I have the radio in a portable package set-up that I also purchased at Dayton. I am working on a mounting bracket to use the ICOM 7000 and Little Tarheel II from inside the cabin of my Piper Malibu, so I'll see if getting the antenna to 25,000 feet will help get the signal out! I plan to mount the antenna so it extends horizontally along the inside of the row of windows, and with the removable control head I can try a few HF/VHF or UHF contacts will cruising at 230 mph! Should work even if I dial it down to QRP power levels. I'll try to post some pictures of the antenna installation and ICOM 7000 go box on soon.
KI5SO Rating: 2011-01-21
Complicated but does the job. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I wanted 75 meter capabilities in my mobile with my Yaesu FT-857D so I sold my Atlas 120A antenna and bought the Little Tarheel II. First impressions? This is an expensive route to take to get onto 75 meters in your mobile. Secondly, it's a headache to route the extra power cable and you have to purchase an expensive device to interface your radio with the antenna to use the tuner button on your radio. For 40 meters through 440, the Atlas 120A worked on every band and tuned faster than the Little Tarheel II. The Atlas only requires the coax and not an extra power lead to the antenna in order for the Yaesu to power the antenna. As I said, it's an expensive way to get on 75 meters.

That said, the antenna is quieter than the Atlas and does a decent job on 75 meters. Looks like it's built like a tank. I don't like the thing going into the park mode if you accidentally change frequencies to 2 meters or hit the tune button twice. Why do I not like that? Because you must wait about 2 minutes or 3 minutes for the antenna to screw down and then go back up again. You can't stop it and reverse it once it decides to Park. It's more complicated than the Atlas.

Conclusion: I wish Atlas would add 75 meters to their tuning line up as the antenna is simple to install and use. If you operate a Yaesu FT-857D and can live without 75 meters, save yourself about $400 and a big headache and get the new Atlas 120A model. Otherwise, this Tarheel II tunes and does what it says but it's not as simple as people make out to install and use. If you've never used Atlas 120A then you might just disagree, but I have bought myself an expensive lesson. Live and learn. Ask yourself, do I really need this?
NF6Q Rating: 2011-01-09
Good choice for a small HF mobile screwdriver Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've been using a Little Tarheel II now for about a month. It's mounted on the driver side rear quarter panel of my Honda Element using a Breedlove ball mount.

It's a very good antenna, for what it is. Please remember that ANY small screwdriver is a real compromise antenna, and will be extremely inefficient. There's no escaping the laws of physics. Don't expect to put a Little Tarheel II on your car and get the same kind of performance that you'd get from a full size vertical, let alone what you'd get out of a larger screwdriver like the Tarheel 300, Hi-Q, Scorpion, or similar.

But if you have the right expectations, the correct mounting, and good RF grounding and bonding practices, you should be pleased. It's especially good for 10m to 20m. I've had some 80m QSOs, but with around 1% efficiency, it's nowhere near ideal for that.

Still, for a small screwdriver, you could do a lot worse! The construction is really top notch. It feels solid, well built, a very professional product. I'm pleased with it.
VE6TEQ Rating: 2010-06-15
AWESOME Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Purchased this antenna a few months ago for my JEEP Wrangler. After I installed it, I hooked it up to my IC_7000 and WHOA!!! I was hearing thing I never heard with my fiberglass sticks, and getting out better than ever. I have since purchased the Tarheel 300A for my JEEP, The Little Tarheel has a new home, on wifeys JEEP. The small size was a necessity for my HF mobility when driving her JEEP!
K4VU Rating: 2010-06-12
A nice little antenna that's XYL approved Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After the wife gave me a IC7000 for my birthday, I picked up a Tarheel II on a whim. After going through a couple of mounts and adding the long whip, I took it out for its first test drive: the Alabama QSO Party. On my 2006 Xterra, it performed flawlessly through 14 counties. It was coupled with an Ameritron screwdriver antenna controller (which will make your operating life much easier), providing pushbutton tuning with no fuss whatsoever.

I once used a 706 and hamsticks -- which worked great. But this solution saves me a lot of time changing out antennas -- and is much more pleasing on the eye. Don't let the compact design fool you -- I had no trouble working anyone I heard on 80 through 6 meters with it (using both the short and long whip).

I highly recommend this antenna. And I also recommend the extended whip and a controller (the extra $150 ia a worthy investment).
VE7REN Rating: 2010-05-09
most excellent Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
here we go..............i installed it 2 weeks ago,and all i can say is wow. what a beautiful piece of equiptment. very nice finish quality and workmanship. tunes anywhere and everywhere i want on 75/80/40/17/10 with great results. tarheel answered all my questions i emailed them over the previos months. very good and prompt service.i have to mimic all the previous reviews. you wont be dissapointed.
M6GOM Rating: 2010-04-17
Oops, forgot.. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Forgot to mention in my review...

Changed from 10-80m whilst driving at 80MPH into a strong headwind and it had no problems.

Also, save your money and don't buy a tuner box for it. Took me very little time to learn to do it by ear - stick the radio on CW or FSK, listen until it gets to the loudest and you're only a tap away from 1:1 SWR. I don't even bother turning the power down now when I tune because I can always hit it <2:1 every time.
AI4HO Rating: 2010-02-21
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: 2010-02-21
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: 2010-01-01
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