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Amateur Radio Antennas For discussion of all amateur band designed antennas and related accoutrements. This includes base, handheld, mobile and repeater usage. For commercial antennas on the amateur bands please use Commercial Radio Antennas below.

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Old 06-19-2014, 4:05 AM
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Default Comet B-10 NMO Antenna

Anyone currently have one of these? The last one I had was from the mid-90's and it SUCKED. But here it is 20 years later and I need a short antenna on top of a SUV to fit in the garage and the parking garage at work. I currently have a Comet SBB-5 - my second one - and it has started to rust! I can't find anything on the internet about Comet antennas and rust protection, but I know my last SBB-5 didn't rust and I ran that antenna for 5+ years in Northern New York.

I want to switch from the SBB-5's because for some reason Comet makes them so they don't screw down flush to the roof on the NMO mount - I'm sure they know by now that they don't got all of the way down the NMO mount. So if anyone has one I would like a report on how well they really work when you're a distance away from the repeaters and if they screw all of the way down the NMO mounts.

Thanks in advance.

Mike
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Old 06-19-2014, 9:10 AM
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Yes, I have one due to the height of my vehicle and how low my garage entrance is. I find it works very well on UHF, and only very slightly worse than a full quater wave on VHF. Mine seats completely onto an NMO mount, but I have seen NMOs with varying numbers of threads and therefore thicknesses.
I don't hesitate to reccommend this antenna for those that are height challenged, and wouldn't hesitate to buy another.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:02 AM
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My dad is running one of those on the trunk of his 2014 Malibu. It works, but its not an impressive performer on VHF. As was stated above, his doesn't seat down on the NMO connector all the way. I put one of the flat rubber NMO washers underneath it to keep some of the crud out.

Personally, I'd use a standard 1/4 wave VHF for this sort of application. It's going to be 19" tall, but it's going to be flexible enough to take any abuse. A 1/4 wave VHF will also work as a 3/4 wave on 70cm. They tune up just fine on both 2 and 70cm. I've never been a fan of the "ham" grade antennas. Too many issues with rust and failure. I've never had a 1/4 wave VHF fail me.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WatnNY View Post
Anyone currently have one of these? The last one I had was from the mid-90's and it SUCKED. But here it is 20 years later and I need a short antenna on top of a SUV to fit in the garage and the parking garage at work. I currently have a Comet SBB-5 - my second one - and it has started to rust! I can't find anything on the internet about Comet antennas and rust protection, but I know my last SBB-5 didn't rust and I ran that antenna for 5+ years in Northern New York.

I want to switch from the SBB-5's because for some reason Comet makes them so they don't screw down flush to the roof on the NMO mount - I'm sure they know by now that they don't got all of the way down the NMO mount. So if anyone has one I would like a report on how well they really work when you're a distance away from the repeaters and if they screw all of the way down the NMO mounts.

Thanks in advance.

Mike
Mike, they still suck. As mentioned, get a Larsen 1/4 wave and cut it to 18.75". It will work great on VHF and UHF.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa2chj View Post
Yes, I have one due to the height of my vehicle and how low my garage entrance is. I find it works very well on UHF, and only very slightly worse than a full quater wave on VHF. Mine seats completely onto an NMO mount, but I have seen NMOs with varying numbers of threads and therefore thicknesses.
I don't hesitate to reccommend this antenna for those that are height challenged, and wouldn't hesitate to buy another.
I agree with you chj on all points.

My B-10 lasted quite a while here in the very rainy NW.
A branch finally took it out up in the woods.
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Old 06-19-2014, 2:31 PM
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Get one of these: LARSEN NMO-2/70SH | SHORT 2M/440 MOBILE ANT

It's 18 inches base to tip and is spring loaded to boot.
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Old 06-19-2014, 6:19 PM
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According to the original post.
If that particular antenna tends to work well for you, then who cares if it 'rusts'? If it still performs adquately then that 'rust' just doesn't make any difference.
I'm not familiar with that particular antenna, so, if it did 'good' when new, and the only objection you have to it is in 'looks', it's YOUR problem, not the antenna's.
- 'Doc
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Old 06-19-2014, 7:32 PM
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I've had one on my trunk for 5 years. Never had a problem.
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Old 06-19-2014, 9:52 PM
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So far its 3 for the antenna and only 1 dead set against it. I appreciate all the comments guys.
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Old 06-20-2014, 3:32 AM
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You know, if that particular antenna is doing what you want it to be able to do, then there's nothing wrong with it, right? You have to be reasonable in your expectations though. It's a 1/4 wave on 2 meters and a 1/2 wave on 70 cm. It'll never perform like an antenna of a different 'size' such as a 5/8 wave on either band. It's impossible.
'Looks' has nothing to do with performance. If it's rusty then hide the rust. Make sense? Paint it, whatever.
Some people have a 'problem' with the 'Comet' brand of antennas for some reason. I happen to not be one of those people. I've used one for a number of years with no problem (different model tha that one) on several vehicles. Until I find something better I'll keep using it. I also have a couple of antennas of a different brand that do just exactly what I want them to do. How do you get any more 'normal' than that?
There is no -best- antenna for all purposes! There's only the 'best' antenna for your particular circumstances and needs...
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(Those last two sentences are the 'gist' of this post.)
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Old 06-20-2014, 5:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtDoc View Post
Some people have a 'problem' with the 'Comet' brand of antennas for some reason.
It's possible that "those people" have had negative experiences with Comet antennas and base their opinions on those experiences. Same as with any other product that doesn't perform to the user's expectations.

From my point of view, I've had more Comet antennas fail in-use than other brands. Therefore, I tend to avoid Comet antennas. YMMV
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k6cpo View Post
Get one of these: LARSEN NMO-2/70SH | SHORT 2M/440 MOBILE ANT

It's 18 inches base to tip and is spring loaded to boot.
Have used both, and they perform, in my humble opinion, identically. I prefer the Laresen in the above link, as the spring protects the antenna AND mounting point on the vehicle. I've seen two NMO mounts pulled from the sheet metal. Both times it was a Comet antenna. The Comet Stands well in the wind. On the flip side, in a contact event (personal experience and stories from other hams) it is unyielding and the mounting point is usually the point of failure or damage.

I've gone to the Comtelco A1511B. Built like the proverbial Brick $&ithouse, and very wide banded. For the one dual band rig I run, I still use the Larsen.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:07 AM
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Default Good antenna

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Originally Posted by WatnNY View Post
Anyone currently have one of these? The last one I had was from the mid-90's and it SUCKED. But here it is 20 years later and I need a short antenna on top of a SUV to fit in the garage and the parking garage at work. I currently have a Comet SBB-5 - my second one - and it has started to rust! I can't find anything on the internet about Comet antennas and rust protection, but I know my last SBB-5 didn't rust and I ran that antenna for 5+ years in Northern New York.

I want to switch from the SBB-5's because for some reason Comet makes them so they don't screw down flush to the roof on the NMO mount - I'm sure they know by now that they don't got all of the way down the NMO mount. So if anyone has one I would like a report on how well they really work when you're a distance away from the repeaters and if they screw all of the way down the NMO mounts.

Thanks in advance.

Mike
I have used one of these on my Subaru Forester for 10 years and it works fine on UHF and VHF.

K4PBN in Alabama
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