Okay, here's the latest update.
I was originally considering getting the Tram Model #1480-B from Lowe's as I can get the 10% off discount as a veteran.
Tram 6 dBd Gain VHF/8 dBd Gain UHF Black Amateur Dual Band Base Antenna
After considering some of the comments on the forum about Tram antennas (some good but some that make you a little leery) and then checking the DX Engineering web site and seeing a quality antenna for roughly the same price and realizing I could get free shipping with the total order I went ahead and ordered the following:
Comet GP-1 Dual-Band VHF/UHF Base Vertical Antennas GP-1
DX Engineering 400MAX PL-259 Low-Loss 50-ohm Coax Assemblies DXE-400MAXDX025
Permatex Dielectric Grease 22058
and I had already gotten this from Amazon:
3M Scotch Vinyl Electrical Tape Super 88, Premium Grade All-Weather, 3/4 in x 44 ft, 8.5-mil thick
As far as the DX Engineering coax cable I got, being on a tighter than usual hobby budget (after all the Ham stuff I already bought in recent weeks) I had to decide between getting 50 feet of cheaper cable or 25 feet of the recommended high quality cable, so after having read how important good coax is to overall radio performance I opted for the higher quality 25 feet.
(also I wanted the coax to be shorter rather than longer from being in a semi-rural area far from repeaters with a 25watt radio)
.......now as much as I'd like to have the outdoor antenna up sooner than later I do not want to rush but want to be sure exactly how I want to proceed (can't rush anyhow as we have many rain days coming up over the next 10 days).
One thing I have to decide is where to mount the antenna, originally I was thinking of attaching it to a vent pipe near the edge of the roof which is close to where the radio would be indoors but I might need to rethink that for a few different reasons.
After searching online to read other's experiences with mounting antennas I read that some do not recommend attaching an antenna to a PVC vent pipe.
We live in a doublewide manufactured home and the vent pipes do seem to be PVC (I'll have to double check to be sure).
Also the vent pipe is not very tall, here is a photo:
View attachment 136112
The other issue is being very leery about drilling a hole in the wall for the coax. (my wife never asked about how I would run the cable but I kinda think she might prefer I used some solution other than drilling a hole in the wall
) (not saying it is completely out of the question, could also consider drilling a hole near the corner of the floor, but was hoping I could avoid either)
I read about the idea of using a 2x4 in a window, but the only window is far enough away that if I used that idea it might mean the base of the antenna will be below the edge of the roof line.
There is a sliding glass door about 3 to 4 feet from where the radio is at but can't use the 2x4 idea in a sliding glass door.
I have really really stretched my hobby budget in recent weeks so I need to try to use what I already have, or if something under $20 is still needed for now that might be okay. (hey, I really
stretched my hobby budget recently
I still need to use Chirp to program the radio, but should I program it now using the indoor magnetic mount antenna or wait till later whenever I get the outdoor Comet antenna hooked up or does it matter ?
(Note: don't take any of my comments as complaining, I do enjoy and have fun with what I can afford, even if it is a challenge at times to make do with what I can get