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Paint my antenna?



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I have painted all my base antennas with Plasti-Dip spray paint, since it is rubber-based. I have painted them with the camo collection to blend into the trees. No negative affects at all on my GMRS repeater antenna, my DMR ham repeater antenna, my ham dual band antenna, or my scanner discone antenna. 


The SWRs remain low on these antennas, and there is no degradation in performance, so I would imagine the same results would be achieved on a mobile antenna. Just don’t use a metallic-based paint like some of the Krylon/Rustoleum products.

I always buy black antennas for my mobiles, because I have no chrome on my lifted Xterra. In fact, I have parts of my Xterra painted with Plasti-Dip spray paint, and it shows no signs of wear after 2 years.

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I recently upgraded the antenna on my Jeep to a Larsen NMO450CHW. It's shiny silver looking and I don't like the look. Would painting it black hurt anything?

I suspect not, as long a suitable paint is used. But, in full disclosure, I have not done it. But if I were considering it, this is what I would do:


Step 1: Measure and record the SWR of the antenna on your primary channel.


Step 2: Using small diameter piece thin-wall plastic pipe or tubing, place it over your antenna (as small diameter as you can). Measure and record the SWR now. If SWR changes dramatically from step 1, that material is not ideal for this test. Try a different material or move on to a different option.


Step 3: Paint that same piece of pipe/tubing, let it dry, then place it over the antenna as in step two and measure then check the SWR again. Assuming little or no difference in SWR between step 1 to 3 I expect I would be just fine.


An alternative is to not paint it at all but instead use a length of thin heat-shrink tubing. With this method it can be removed it if negatively affects performance.


The benefit of the heat-shrink tubing over the paint is that it eliminates risk of paint adhesion problems as the antenna whips around. (The ideal paint would not have an issue with this). The downside is slight increase in wind loading.


Third suggestion, buy a black antenna , which I did.


Food for thought.








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