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jassing 02-21-2012 12:16 PM

paint an antenna?
For purely vain/cosmetic reasons, I want to paint a chrome antenna flat black.

questions tho -- will painting substantially lower the performance (rx/tx)? (uhf 460mhz)

Antenna in question is either going to be a whip or center loaded...


n1ti 02-21-2012 12:32 PM

I have painted several mobile antennas in the past to reduce visibility...mostly with flat black Krylon. Just test the paint before you spray and be sure that it doesn't have conductive metal particles in it (spray onto to a non-conductive paper and then measure resistance at all scales of your VOM. If in the 100's of megohms you still be ok. If a direct short....masking will cure.. To be on the safe side, mask off your loading coils before spraying to not cause a change of impedance to the coil or a short around the coil from whip section to whip section. . A brush-on enamel should be ok too and may be a little more durable too as you hit insects and road grime.

jassing 02-21-2012 7:33 PM

Great thanks!

That's why I want to paint it to reduce the obvious "Radio inside" stickers. This will be the only antenna that doesn't have a quick release for storage in the toolbox when at mall/walmart, etc.

Good tip on the test -- I hadn't thought of rattle paint as being conductive... and definately will mask off the coil...


ramal121 02-21-2012 10:52 PM

I've painted chrome whips black also without problems. When I want to test a paint for an antenna, I spray it on an inert object like a paper plate and then pop it into the microwave oven. If the paint stays cool it is RF transparent. If it heats up, don't use it.

eagle15 02-21-2012 11:51 PM

I don't want to sound like an idiot but do you let the paint dry before microwaving?

I am here:,-97.396988

jassing 02-21-2012 11:53 PM

well.. we've got a microwave just aching to do a test like that! (it's done the "cd" thing one too many times, but still works more/less.)

K9WG 02-22-2012 10:45 AM

I did the CD thing ONCE! After the blue smoke cleared and the smoke detectors quit screaming, the wife let me know that experiment wouldn't happen again.....

jassing 02-22-2012 12:21 PM

ha! I've got a keeper -- the cd idea was hers..

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