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DTR650 External Antenna

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Premium Subscriber
Jul 24, 2015
Antelope Acres, California
So...these little 650s are nothing short of amazing, as far as I'm concerned. I've put them through their paces and the dog gone things just won't fail. They have better coverage than most anything else I've tried in a handheld unit and are just incredible.

I live in the desert with dense urban city being several miles away. With one radio on my balcony (would put the radio roughly 15' high), and driving around, I have reached 13.8 miles coverage with the 1/2 wave rubber duck. I ran out of road, or I could have gone farther. The problem, if you want to call it that, is that on occassion, I would need to stick the radio out of my sunroof to establish a connection.

I thought I would remedy that, and perhaps extend the range even further, by purchasing an external antenna. I bought a Larsen 5db antenna, and a PCTel 5db antenna, with a magnet mount (rated to 3000 MHz), with 12' LMR200 coax. It's the same mount I have used for my dual band VHF/UHF antenna without any problem.

Using either antenna, the maximum range I can get is roughly 3 miles. I switch back to the 1/2 wave rubber duck and keep right on going. Short of pulling out an antenna analyzer, which I don't have access to at the moment, I can't for the life of me figure out what the issue is.

Is the magnet mount that bad on 900 MHz, or perhaps that length of coax run the issue? As I said, I know the mount and coax are not bad, because I use it on other bands (primarily UHF) regularly.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
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