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Antenna Question

Antenna

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#1 digitaldevo

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Posted 17 December 2020 - 07:48 PM

I have a Comet Ss460sbnmo on a Nagoya RB-50 base. I was told to get this setup. But now someone mentioned it may not be suitable for GMRS and may damage my radios. I don't have an SWR meter yet.

Can anyone enlighten me if this is a safe setup? And if not what NMO antenna should I get?

Thanks in advance

#2 mbrun

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Posted 17 December 2020 - 08:24 PM

That antenna is a dual band amateur radio antenna. While it may work, it is not designed/optimized for GMRS frequencies. I would expect the SWR to be high, perhaps higher than your radio will safely tolerate. I personally would not use it without first verifying SWR is appropriate and modifying it to suite for GMRS.

Modifying a dual band antenna is not for the faint of heart.

Purchasing one designed for GMRS frequencies is what I recommend. I personally use the Midland MXTA-26A GMRS antenna and have zero complaints.

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#3 digitaldevo

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Posted 17 December 2020 - 08:33 PM

What antenna would you suggest? Because I was told by other Ham guys this would work on both. So I'm lost now. Lol

#4 mbrun

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Posted 17 December 2020 - 09:11 PM

What antenna would you suggest? Because I was told by other Ham guys this would work on both. So I'm lost now. Lol

It is possible it would work but it is not tuned for GMRS. Antennas that are not tuned for the frequencies you transmit on present a higher SWR to the radio. The higher the SWR, the stronger the signal reflected back from the antenna to the radio. Some folks have reported for example that Midland GMRS radios can only handle a max SWR of 1.5:1 and anything more than that warranty is void. If that is true and you put an antenna on that exceeds that value you are living on borrowed time.

Some radios can handle SWR upwards of 3:1. (Some high power expensive amateur rigs have built in automatic antenna tuners). High SWR support is great on one hand as it means the radio will survive and your investment is reasonably protected from a poorly tuned antenna. On the other hand, an unnecessarily high SWR number means you are wasting extra power in your cable, thus reducing your range.

If you had a quality SWR meter and you have confirmed it was within a safe range for your radio, buy all means use it. If you do so without verifying, by all means put your radio in lowest power mode to prevent letting the magic smoke out.

BTW, about a month ago I checked my personal Comet Dual Band Amateur antenna with an antenna analyzer for the exact same reason as you. While I do not recall the exact number, I concluded it was too high risk for my radio. So I carry two antenna in my car. I swap them as needed to suit the service I want to use.

Regarding antenna recommendation. I shared that I personaly use the Midland MXTA-26A. I have no complaints with it. I would buy it again.

Welcome to the world of radio.

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#5 digitaldevo

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Posted 17 December 2020 - 09:15 PM

Thank you. I just ordered a Tram nmo that is specifically for GMRS bands. I will use it for GMRS, at least until I get an SWR meter. I just worry because the antenna was like $10 lol but had great reviews.

#6 1URFE57

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Posted 17 December 2020 - 09:26 PM

Midland MTXA26 user here as well happy end user so far use it as a mobile and repeater/base antenna.


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#7 digitaldevo

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Posted 17 December 2020 - 09:35 PM

Just added the Midland to my cart. Will order it after Christmas. Thank you both.

#8 mbrun

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Posted 29 December 2020 - 12:58 PM

Its after Christmas. Have you ordered your antenna yet. :)

Just added the Midland to my cart. Will order it after Christmas. Thank you both.



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#9 digitaldevo

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Posted 29 December 2020 - 01:07 PM

Its after Christmas. Have you ordered your antenna yet. :)


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Yes. I got the Midland MTXA26 antenna and the little Tram both.

#10 mbrun

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Posted 29 December 2020 - 01:08 PM

Great. Be sure to report your success.


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#11 digitaldevo

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Posted 29 December 2020 - 01:48 PM

So far so good. Both antennas worked great. Obviously the Midland performs better than the $8 Tram. But I'm honestly impressed with the range and clarity that little $8 Tram gives!





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