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Metallic silver paint over Larsen lo-pro???

tunnelmot

Member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
260
Location
Conroe, TX
Here's the facts: Wifes' car. GMRS. Larsen blade NMO antenna. New install.

Here's the question: Can I/Should I paint the radiating blade? Has anyone tried it? Paint color is a metallic.
If I paint with the metallic paint am I just encasing the low-pro blade in a Faraday cage?

Wife is on board with her install but asked if I was able to paint match the Larsen.
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
10,846
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
I would not do it but you can run a test to see what will happen. Wrap the antenna in some clear plastic sheeting then connect to something for receiving where you can monitor signal strength very accurately and mount it to an old pie tin, etc, for a ground plane. I Would also check the match with an antenna analyzer. Then start spritzing on some paint over the plastic to see if reception is affected and if so, how much. When you get a couple of coats on it check the VSWR again. I'll bet the metallic paint will degrade performance a little and change the VSWR but you will never know until its tested.

If its a complete failure and the paint ruined the performance, at least the plastic will protect it so you can sell or use on another vehicle.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
4,473
spray a small disposable plastic microwavable food container with the paint. Just a small area 2 x2 inches. Put in the microwave oven and turn on. If it remains cold without drama, you are OK. Standby with fire extinguisher.
 

a417

!#
Joined
Mar 14, 2004
Messages
2,019
Yeah, took me a while to get a shot that showed the mesh inside.
Scored that for free at the Larsen booth at IWCE a few years ago. Used it on 800MHz for a while at work.
your street cred must have skyrocketed.:D
 

jonwienke

More Info Coming Soon!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
13,279
Location
VA
A solid color may or may not have any noticeable effect, depending on the pigment, but metallic paint is almost certainly going to cause problems on an antenna.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
15,274
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Depending on the vehicle after its on the roof she will not even notice it up there.
I've always found that a 1/4 wave antenna is about as low profile as you can get.

If it really needs to disappear, then some of the 'shark fin' type antennas can make it look like the satellite radio antennas on some newer cars.
 

tunnelmot

Member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
260
Location
Conroe, TX
I agree on all. Wifey prefers the Larsen shark fin nmo. While she realizes the advantages of my planned UHF install, low-pro and stealth is still priority. Will keep the sub updated.
 
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