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Old 10-28-2012, 05:13 PM   #801
williaty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoboBob View Post
I'm thinking of getting a 2' Firestik
That's a pretty bad antenna.

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I remember seeing someone on here has one attached to their OEM Crossbars. Would there be anyway I could attach it to my Yakima cross bars or would it not work because it isn't bolted to the car?
Rack-mounting an antenna is a horrible thing to do. Often produces difficult to fix problems with SWR and always produces poor performance.
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:50 PM   #802
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I don't know **** about any of this stuff, but wherever your at in this pic, I want to be there, beautiful car, beautiful scenery... Absolutely beautiful picture
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:49 PM   #803
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty
That's a pretty bad antenna.

Rack-mounting an antenna is a horrible thing to do. Often produces difficult to fix problems with SWR and always produces poor performance.
Is it really a bad antenna? I've heard nothing but praise about the Firestik antennas. Too short?

Also what about the NGP mounts? Similar to what 18-Wheelers use on their side mirrors. That wouldn't clear up some of the issues with rack mounting?
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:55 PM   #804
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Originally Posted by HoboBob View Post
Is it really a bad antenna? I've heard nothing but praise about the Firestik antennas. Too short?
Yeah, it's a crap antenna. Firestik has great marketing and they look interesting. That makes them very popular with people who aren't educated about the technical details of radio. Those are also mostly the same people who won't be able to tell if you sell them a piece of crap. So there's a large population of good-ole-boy CB users who don't know any better but think Firestiks are the second coming because, after all, Firestik says they're that good.

2' is definitely too short for effective CB use. The Firestik designs manage to go beyond that, even, and are just terribly inefficient.

Quote:
Also what about the NGP mounts? Similar to what 18-Wheelers use on their side mirrors. That wouldn't clear up some of the issues with rack mounting?
Nope. The fundamental problem is that a monopole antenna must use a large conductive disc at its base with nothing around it. Mounting on any sort of a clamp mount, mirror mount, trunk lip mount, window mount, etc, takes away that "large conductive disc" at the base of the antenna.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:09 PM   #805
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty
Nope. The fundamental problem is that a monopole antenna must use a large conductive disc at its base with nothing around it. Mounting on any sort of a clamp mount, mirror mount, trunk lip mount, window mount, etc, takes away that "large conductive disc" at the base of the antenna.
So what mount is on semis on the mirror then and how come they're able to use them effectively?
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:18 PM   #806
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoboBob View Post
Been a while since I've been in here. Got a quick antenna question:

I'm thinking of getting a 2' Firestik and was thinking about my mounting options. I remember seeing someone on here has one attached to their OEM Crossbars. Would there be anyway I could attach it to my Yakima cross bars or would it not work because it isn't bolted to the car?
Stick with the little will easy to take on/off and ive done 115 and it had no problem staying on
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:19 PM   #807
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Originally Posted by HoboBob View Post
So what mount is on semis on the mirror then and how come they're able to use them effectively?
They're not able to use them effectively, they just don't know any better. If you have a CB on much, you'll quickly find that those guys are usually only talking to another truck a mile or less away and they almost always have line-of-sight on the other guy. Under those conditions, you can use a damned lightbulb as an antenna and get results. I'm not joking about that, btw.

What separates the good from bad with antennas are things that we're more likely to do that truckers. Trying to "burn through" 2 miles of trees is more of a challenge. Trying to keep talking to the other guy in your convoy when he's already popped over the hilltop and is just on the other side of the crest is more of a challenge. Trying to reach your buddy when you and he are on opposite sides of a turn around the end of a ridge and you're actually communicating via the reflection of the other side of the valley is more of a challenge.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:22 PM   #808
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bondo007man View Post
Stick with the little will easy to take on/off and ive done 115 and it had no problem staying on
The Little Wil is one of the best of the mag mount antennas. Far better than a Firestik on a clamp mount. However, saying it's one of the best of the mag mounts isn't the same as saying it's actually good. It just sucks a whole lot less than many of the competition.

There's always three things you need to keep in mind when considering a mag mount:

1) Mag mounts are less efficient than proper through-hole mounting (though better than a mirror clamp or rack clamp)

2) Mag mounts will, eventually, cause paint damage. If you haven't yet damaged your paint with one, you'll eventually find a way to do it.

3) Mag mounts are not considered an integral part of the car by insurance companies. If, during an accident, that mag mount flies off and causes property damage or injures a person, you're up **** creek. Your insurance company will pretend they never knew you.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:26 PM   #809
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Wil, you are an endless vat of knowledge You are on the wrong forum. Thanks for answering the questions!
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:47 PM   #810
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Wil, you are an endless vat of knowledge You are on the wrong forum. Thanks for answering the questions!
True, NASIOC has no use for factual information
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:53 PM   #811
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty

True, NASIOC has no use for factual information
Well played
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:07 PM   #812
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoboBob View Post
Been a while since I've been in here. Got a quick antenna question:

I'm thinking of getting a 2' Firestik and was thinking about my mounting options. I remember seeing someone on here has one attached to their OEM Crossbars. Would there be anyway I could attach it to my Yakima cross bars or would it not work because it isn't bolted to the car?
My first CB setup was with a 2' firestik on my thule crossbars. I used a mirror mount for the antenna along with a medium duty spring which held it fine. I grounded it electrically with some wire connecting the antenna mount to the chassis by use of the thule tower mounting bolt, However there was pretty much no RF ground which resulted in very poor transmission. The receive wasnt bad but my k40 on my trunk shows a night and day difference (I tested them back to back when they were both installed on my car before i removed the firestik).
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:13 PM   #813
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty

The Little Wil is one of the best of the mag mount antennas. Far better than a Firestik on a clamp mount. However, saying it's one of the best of the mag mounts isn't the same as saying it's actually good. It just sucks a whole lot less than many of the competition.

There's always three things you need to keep in mind when considering a mag mount:

1) Mag mounts are less efficient than proper through-hole mounting (though better than a mirror clamp or rack clamp)

2) Mag mounts will, eventually, cause paint damage. If you haven't yet damaged your paint with one, you'll eventually find a way to do it.

3) Mag mounts are not considered an integral part of the car by insurance companies. If, during an accident, that mag mount flies off and causes property damage or injures a person, you're up **** creek. Your insurance company will pretend they never knew you.
For what Subaru drivers need out of an antenna the little will is great my range is 2 miles ish and I have never used a meter. As long as you don't slide the magnet your paint will be fine and if your that worried put it on the roof last I have no idea about your crash scenario but that makes me extremely nervous.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:08 AM   #814
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Paint damage will inevitably result from one of several things. The easiest to cause, and to avoid, is sliding it while pulling it off. However, heat and vibration will both cause eventual damage even if you remember not to pull on it. Finally, it's not uncommon to hit something with the antenna and have the base slide across the roof rather than tip over cleanly.

Yeah, the insurance aspect of mag mounts is a nightmare. Serious downside to using them.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:19 PM   #815
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Hi everyone!

I've been lurking the thread from time to time, getting myself back into being a ham (got my license 20 years ago...)

I've been hoping to get some opinions on mobile equipment - since I've moved, I left behind all of my ham equipment and figured I'd start fresh. I currently have my trusty Yaesu FT-411 and recently got a cheap UV-3R to keep in my backpack to learn the scope of ham's here in Oahu...

What I'd like to know concisely is if there's a well recommended UHF/VHF mobile setup (HF capability would be nice for when I upgrade my license). I'm looking for something with a remote LCD from the main unit (I'd like to keep it in the trunk, I can run a rack to mount my antenna or hitch or clamp... I have a 6'ish height clearance at my garage)

Other than that, I'm open to all suggestions and will keep searching the thread / web, if someone would otherwise recommend, is there a good antenna to mount outside the car to connect to my Yaesu that would have an appropriate gain?

Thanks and 73's from Oahu

Tesh
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:42 PM   #816
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Frankly, I just don't like the performance of any of the current batch of DC to Daylight HF/VHF/UHF mobile radios. They're not that great of performers.

For just a VHF/UHF radio, I've been extremely surprised at how much I like the new Kenwood TM-V71A we just put in my wife's car. Good performance, good sound, and very, very easy to use.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:51 PM   #817
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty
Frankly, I just don't like the performance of any of the current batch of DC to Daylight HF/VHF/UHF mobile radios. They're not that great of performers.

For just a VHF/UHF radio, I've been extremely surprised at how much I like the new Kenwood TM-V71A we just put in my wife's car. Good performance, good sound, and very, very easy to use.
Thanks for the tip! I suppose I should expand a bit more too on my needs - since it's just for fun and to get back in the hobby, HF capability is certainly not part of the main criteria.. I can't say I have any real brand loyalty since its been so long for me as well.

I looked up that kenwood and it fits the bill so far; guess price wise I was thinking more along the 200-300 range max, but of course you get what you pay for. The used market here is nonexistent, so if I want to buy used I'll be looking online (shopping from a distance means I better do my research) also, my daily commute is around an hour (8miles each way) so its not like I get tons of time + there's nothing here to call a road trip, so no need for high end equipment...
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:56 PM   #818
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The V71A isn't high end, by any means. It's very middle of the road. The thing I like most about it is that it's the only radio I've ever seen that you'd stand a fighting chance of figuring out how to use it without having to resort to the manual. Couple that with good performance, and you've got a clear winner for me when compared to the cheaper Yaesu and Alinco radios.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:29 PM   #819
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty
The V71A(....).
It sounds good to me based on the reviews I've been reading, for mobile antennas, I'd there a mag mount you'd recommend? (I know nit usually preferred,I have clear bra material I use under the base)
I imagine I can turn it into a clamped mount later down the line as well
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:40 PM   #820
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Clamped mounts are almost always crap performers. Mag mounts are only a little better. Larsen makes a mag mount with a NMO fitting on the top side. Get that, it's the only one I'd be willing to use. On top of it, screw on a Larsen NMO2/70 antenna. Frankly, you really should just drill a hole in the roof an install a proper Larsen NMO mount, but the two-piece setup I described gives you the least sucky mag mount you can get coupled with an easy upgrade to a proper mount in the future.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:43 PM   #821
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Thanks for the info Will, I'll certainly look that up - I know I'll go the proper drill in route when I'm setup with the equipment, also it'll be a day when I'm not working out of a parking garage haha
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:22 AM   #822
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wtfmaynelol View Post
I don't know **** about any of this stuff, but wherever your at in this pic, I want to be there, beautiful car, beautiful scenery... Absolutely beautiful picture
I'll take that!

Hopefully more to come soon, we will see how much my antenna mounting will continue to bother Williaty. Just messing with you man.

And remember Willy, I HAVE had a properly mounted whip before, and although it was WAY better, the Firestick definitely does the job for me.


Last edited by bedheadben; 10-30-2012 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:38 AM   #823
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Hey guys, been stalking this thread for a while, full of great information. I got one small question though. If I were to mount an antenna on the trunk and say, tie it forward like this



(I know it's a Mustang, forgive me )you guys think that would hurt performance? I mean, it's not crucial or anything, just think it would look kinda good.
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:01 AM   #824
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Yes, that's actually a horrible thing to do. There's capacitive interaction between the antenna and the car that alters the resonance and the complex impedance of the antenna, which destroys the SWR. Additionally, it alters the polarization of the radio waves. Both ends of a transmission should have the same polarization for highest effectiveness. In theory, cross polarization (vertical antenna to horizontal antenna) should result in neither side being able to talk to the other. In reality, the attenuation is around 45dB to 30dB depending on the quality of the antenna systems. Better antennas actually suffer more in this case. To give you an example, that's the difference between talking across a 1 mile gap vs talking across a 20,000 mile gap.
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:06 AM   #825
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Ah, good to know. I'll be scratching that off the list then
This thread is great though, I've learned a lot. Thanks for all the info
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