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Reviews For: Browning BR-180 2m/70cm mobile antenna

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

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Review Summary For : Browning BR-180 2m/70cm mobile antenna
Reviews: 5MSRP: $30
A dual-band mobile antenna for 2m and 70cm, NMO style.
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N7WR Rating: 2020-11-30
Excellent Antenna @ Excellent Price Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This will be a fairly long review. My go to 2/440 mobile antenna since the 1990's has been the Larson NMO 2/70. It is still in use on one of our vehicles in spite of decades of use and abuse. Mine is one of the older ones with the enclosed coil. When going on SAR missions in the back country it has been banged around a lot but still keeps on working just fine. I have seen the newer version with the open coil get caught up in tree branches which stick inside the open coil causing damage to the antenna. Not mine, they slide right off.

With my wife and daughter both being hams and with now living in a rural location where cell coverage is at times very flaky they decided they wanted radios in their vehicles. I had two spare 2/440 mobiles and antenna mounts but needed antennas. After looking at the reviews for the Browning I decided what the heck--for less than 1/2 the price of the Larson I'd give Browning a try. Looks very similar to the Larson and also has the enclosed coil.

I decided to try it on my 4WD truck and before doing so took SWR measurements of my Larson just so I could compare the two. My antenna on my pickup uses a hood gap mount which is not ideal but it works fine. Then switched to the Browning and here is what I found.

The SWR on 440 is slightly better on the Larson but both are less than 2.2:1 across the band. On 2 meters the Browning is considerably better. While the Larson stays below 2.0:1 across the band the Browning never rose above 1.2:1 and over most of the band is flat. Does it make a difference? Yes. A repeater 60 miles away over a mountain pass could not be accessed using the Larson. Parked in exactly the same spot with the same vehicle and radio the Browning gave me access to that repeater.

I am extremely impressed thus far. Like others I did tighten ALL of the allen screws on the antenna and even coated the threads with blue Loctite. The antenna seems like it will be of good service for a long time to come.
WO7T Rating: 2015-08-15
Solid Perfomer Out of the Box Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This was my first Browning product largely driven by Amazon reviews and price rollback to $19.88 -

Mounted to Chevy SUV front hood hinge bolt mount. As it came out of the package SWR was highest at 1.3:1 on both 2M and 70cm on opposite ends of the frequency range for each. There was no need to fine tune beyond that.

It is working excellent. Only thing I cannot attest to is longevity. I don't think I could buy the stainless steal rods or the NMO base for less than this. So I have the makings of a 1/4 mobile vertical if the coil doesn't last. It is rated for 100W.
WK2X Rating: 2014-08-07
Can't beat it for the price Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought one of these from that online shop named after the big river in PY-land, along with the NMO hole mount also from Browning. I've got it installed at the center of the trunk lid on my 2009 Ford Focus - I couldn't put it on the roof because of the power-moon-roof.

Out of the box, I needed to tighten down all of the set screws. I just made sure each component was set in as far as it would go, then cranked the screws down. Note that there are 2 perpendicular set screws to hold the whip in place - tighten them both. There are also set screws on each side of the center loading coil assembly, and you'll want to crank them down, too.

No big deal there, but I took off one point for complete lack of any instructions with the product. Otherwise, construction is very sturdy, and the whip is just flexible enough to allow me to still open my trunk without worrying about it, but it's not bouncing all over the place at highway speeds.

The NMO mount needs to be installed right, with a good electrical connection from the shield/ground part to the metal mounting surface. To accomplish that, I used a dremmel tool to sand a bit of the paint off on either side of the inside of the hole. This allows the little tooth-gripper-things to contact bare metal once the mount is installed and tightened.

SWR is under 1.5 across the entire 2m band, and under 2 across the entire 430-450 MHz band. It's actually lower towards the top, which is nice because that's where the FM stuff goes on here in the States.

Performance-wise, it beats the heck out of my similarly priced MFJ magnet mount that was on the roof of the car. On UHF, signals are at least 2 or 3 S-units stronger! The antenna does't advertise enough gain to account for that, so I'm led to believe the mag-mount had something going terribly wrong, or that it's just better to have a properly installed permanent mount.

For the ham that at least kind of knows what they're doing, this is a great, cheap alternative to the more pricey options out there. I've included a lot of details about my install in this review in the hope that it will help someone out who's thinking about trying this antenna but would find themselves wondering what to do about the lack of instructions.
KF7UVP Rating: 2012-04-11
OK antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Ordered one of these antennas for my jeep. The SWR is between 1.6 and 2.0. It took a few hours and several cuts to get it to that point. Could not get lower. UHF is lower than VHF. On the plus side, it works! What can you expect for 30 bucks? I will likely upgrade and keep it as a spare. Powered by stock Yaesu FT 7900R.
WA5DA Rating: 2011-07-20
Works good Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Bought this at a local ham radio store on a whim. I needed something to replace the mag-mount I was using that irritated me, and decided to drill a hole for an NMO mount and use a real antenna. Picked this one up not expecting much. But it's worked pretty good with my 2m rig, able to hit repeaters 30+ miles away while on the road, so I'm keeping it on the truck.