Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Same or Different?

Old Truck, Old Antenna
I'm finally getting around to planning the antenna location / installation in our new truck. In our old truck (seen at left) I had used K400 mount with a Larsen 144 / 440 MHz dual band antenna. The antenna worked "okay", but I felt I could maybe do better. Obviously, not the best place for an antenna but it worked out pretty well. If I lived closer to the Grand Canyon, there might be a desire to put a hole in the roof and mount it there. But my plan is to put it in the same place but on the opposite side of the truck. Since I was looking at possibly replacing the antenna, I wanted to do some comparison shopping as to purchasing the same or different antenna. As with any product research, using the web to find actual user reviews was the first place I began.

Larsen gets great reviews but so does the Comet CA-2x4 SRNMO and the Diamond SG7500NMO. The advantage to the Comet or Diamond is that they do tilt allowing to lower the antenna out of harms way. Now, our new truck is a bit big for most parking garages, so antenna interference would most likely come from our garage or mother nature. 

I also have intentions of installing an HF antenna, but that will be behind the cab of the truck possibly mounted on the bed rail. My goal is to put the HF antenna on the driver side bed rail so I can visually see and adjust the screwdriver antenna while driving (if needed). 

My old Diamond K400 mount had seen better days so I'm retiring it. Figured I'd splurge on a new mount for the new truck. The old mount worked flawlessly and I love how it can be easily adjusted for nearly any angle.  

So, with three great antennas to choose from, now I just need to roll the dice and decide on one. I'm leaning toward the Diamond or the Larsen at the moment, but I've been known to change my mind a few times before I commit. In regards to my previous experience with the Larsen, the only issue I really had was the O ring in the antenna base. Since I took the antenna on and off several times, the O ring paid the price. In the end, gain and performance will be a deciding factor. 

Hopefully I'll be transmitting once again on APRS and have at the very least, VHF/UHF availability in the truck very soon. Between the mount and antenna, I'll be about $150 poorer. All the more reason to get what works best for me the first time around. 

2 comments:

  1. Awww come on. Let me drill the hole in the roof! -KL1SF

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  2. LOL, I've given it some serious thought and it would not be the first time! Still might make the trip ;)

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