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MOBILE GMRS ANTENNA


MIKEROD67X
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A good place to start is some answers to the following questions.

 

1. Used to communicate primary with just handheld radios?

2. Used to communicate primary with just base radios?

3. Used to communicate with base and handheld radios?

4. Is repeater access required and how far away?

5. Do you need multi-band access, like for Ham and GMRS?

6. What is the terrain like where you plan to operate most of the time? Flat, low rolling hills, mountains, lots of tall building etc.

7. How tall of an antenna can you tolerate? Like getting in to a garage, parking deck, drive through window heights etc.

8. Is a magnet mount needed or are drilling mounting holes in your vehicle OK?

9. How much money do you want to spend?

 

There are a lot of antennas out there from a few inches tall to several feet costing as little as $20 and way up from there. Once you have an idea of what the requirements are people here have some good solid recommendations. Picking an antenna is like going to a buffet. There is too much to choose from.

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I normally use a Browning BR-450 which is a 5/8 over 5/8 5DB gain antenna, However I've heard that for mobile operations it may be better to use unity gain. The big thing is to stay away from "Phantom" or "Puck" antennas as they aren't too good for GMRS use.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Browning-BR-450-450MHz-470MHz-UHF-5dBd-Gain-Land-Mobile-NMO-Antenna/123809990994?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

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have been using the AS mosaic 5db antennas for the better part of35 yrs

recently been using a Laird 5db w/good results and also a Larsen "pancake" unity antenna

https://productfinder.pulseeng.com/product/LP450NMO

https://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=asp76551

How well does the Larsen pancake work?

 

I am assuming it is not tune-able. I can't find anything indicating it is.

 

I am considering it for a few mobile (car wash, parking garage, etc friendly) installs for friends and family.

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Based on what has been written here I’ve done a lot of research and understand the calculations required for dB. Thank you for all that. Here is a website that does an excellent job of describing when high gain antennas are needed and when they are not. I have seen similar information in the sailing world.

https://www.daywireless.com/blog/2019/03/30/to-gain-or-not-to-gainthat-is-the-antenna-question/

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How well does the Larsen pancake work?

 

I am assuming it is not tune-able. I can't find anything indicating it is.

 

I am considering it for a few mobile (car wash, parking garage, etc friendly) installs for friends and family.

I have no complaints. No it not tunable but typical BW is 20Mc and perform like a unity whip IMO. If you're going to put them on a roof make sure it fits between the "ribs" first. have had a few problems in the PS arena where they wanted those and they don't fit b/c of the roof design.

JE

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They do make wonderful car wash covers for those of us who have done the permanent MNO mount on their cars.

 

I have one in my car and whenever I am going through the car wash, off comes the Browning 450 and on goes the Larsen "Hockey Puck". While the performance of the puck is FAR below the Browning it GREATLY outperforms a MNO cap.....  :P

 

And no, I didn't buy it for that purpose. It came with a TK8180 radio I purchased. 

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I bought a Laird ghost-style antenna and it works great on a fender mount.

I am considering a Laird BB4503 15" 5/8 wave or a Laird TRAB4503 Phantom for my fender mount. Both are advertised as 3db and where I live and drive is a mix of suburban and some small hills so I think the 3bd would be an ok choice.

 

Not too concerned about looks or stealth as I already have a CB antenna on the other fender.

 

Either will probably work good with the TK-8180 I have coming.

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for the cost i bought both a BB4503 and a BB4505cr. i keep the 4505 on the truck. i cut the whole though on the roof.  CB is behind it. 

 

Probably will drill the NMO holes when I pay the truck off and the mount or cable or antenna start giving me issues.

 

I agree the best way to mount is the roof but dealing with parking garages in my previous occupation a roof mount was not gonna work real well especially for a 49" CB whip, so I just kept the mounts where they are since I already had them there. Besides dropping the headliner was a pain for some other things don't want to do it again unless I have to.

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I find that display of many antennas confusing as a newbie.  Can't tell which, if any are the puch and what to stay away from.  I have one the Midland 6db gain with the open coil in the middle. And personally I am not happy with it as it is burning (bubbling) the paint on my hood.  I made a side stand for it and got it off the hood.

For now anyway.

 

 

They do make wonderful car wash covers for those of us who have done the permanent MNO mount on their cars.

 

I have one in my car and whenever I am going through the car wash, off comes the Browning 450 and on goes the Larsen "Hockey Puck". While the performance of the puck is FAR below the Browning it GREATLY outperforms a MNO cap.....  :P

 

And no, I didn't buy it for that purpose. It came with a TK8180 radio I purchased. 

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I got the Browning BR-176 S. It comes with cut instructions for the different frequencies. The mast is 9 3/4 inches. 465mghz cut to 9 1/16th. For my radios I bought the nanovna antenna analyzer on Amazon. I also measured the diameter of the browning antenna mast, 2.5mm. Order S/S 2.5mm rods from Amazon. That way if a cut to much, i toss it start with cheap new spare rod. That's mobile. For home, go to YouTube look up 70cm 1/4 wave ground plane verticle. Make your own. Those are for ham, so you need to tune it for gmrs. I use the nanovna for this. It sits on top of a 10 foot schedule 40pvc pipe. $5 at home depot or lowes. It works great and really extends the range of your HT. Ed fong makes a dbj1 commercial. Order on eBay @30-40 when ordering leave him a message for frequency tune. Good quality. He has both, one for fitting inside a schedule 200pvc (400 walls to thick). Rain proof and attach it to a10 foot pvc schedule 40. Get it up 15 feet. Or get the one that you can hang from a tree, or pole. Nanovna analyzer is $50-130. The small screen 2 inch is in the 50-60 range. Screen is small, but with a usb adapter it connects to your phone and has an app to use phone screen. The analyzer important, tunning is the name of the game. If tuned right, homemade verticle ground plan antenna has broad range. Usually good from 450-470mhz. Once you have analyzer, solder gun, cost to build after that is $15 or under. Including, connector, pvc. Adapter, po239 chassis mount. You may want to get a glue gun. Glue top of adaptor to make it water proof. I'm thinking of doing a YouTube video on builds.

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I just bought three Laird B4504CNS for my vehicles, I love them. Ignore the description stating they are 1/2 wave, these are 5/8 wave over 5/8 wave, no ground plane antennas. Downside is that they aren't short or compact, they're 31" tall.  For my application I didnt care about height, I wanted robust, spring base, no ground plane antennas (unique positioning on vehicles), and Laird did not disappoint!

If you want any pics, let me know, I can easily post.

https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/laird-technologies-b4505cns-3233

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I'm using a Nagoya 72 on my truck for GMRS. It's technically 2M/70cm, so I did need to trim about 5/16" off of it to center tune it for GMRS. I used a NanoVNA and it worked quite well. I went with the NMO mount so I can easily change it if I decide to, but I honestly don't think I will need to. It's on a magnet NMO mount at the moment, but I do plan to do something a bit more permanent in the future.

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I'm using a Nagoya 72 on my truck for GMRS. It's technically 2M/70cm, so I did need to trim about 5/16" off of it to center tune it for GMRS. I used a NanoVNA and it worked quite well. I went with the NMO mount so I can easily change it if I decide to, but I honestly don't think I will need to. It's on a magnet NMO mount at the moment, but I do plan to do something a bit more permanent in the future.

I would be "careful" of that NMO antenna especially the 6Db gain with the magnetic mount.  My experience;  it burned the paint on the hood of my Jeep even with the so-calleded isolator (thin rubber cup) installed. Your mileage may vary.

Edited by H8SPVMT
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I have a few Tram 1181 (starts around $18) antennas and they work quite well. You will have to tune them but mine only required about 3/4' cut off and they produced a 1.4 SWR. 

 

My preferance is Laird Technologies AB150/450CS. Right out of the packaging they produced a 1.0-1.1 which is awesome. No tuning needed and my experience has all been positive.

 

My primary band usage is GMRS on UHF and 151-158 on the VHF side primarily 154. 

 

I've never found another dual band antenna for the commercial bands that can do better and Laird Technologies AB150/450CS is around $39. A little on the high end compaired to the average economy models but not the most expensive and definitely worth the money in my books.

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