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Midland MXT90 GMRS radio

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helvis

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Im not pleased with the mag mount antenna that came with this radio. Does anyone know of a much better replacement? I plan on permanently mounting it to my truck's roof. While I'm waiting for my operating license fees to clear and the FCC sends me my call sign I've been goofing around with a Little Will mag antenna I found in a box in my garage. How long does the whip need to be? I don't know the length of the coil in the base of the Little Will antenna. Any help / advice would be appreciated.
 
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KB7MIB

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The Little Wil antenna is for CB radios at 27 MHz, not GMRS radios at 462/467 MHz. You could potentially damage your GMRS radio attempting to use that antenna with that radio.

Antennas must be matched with the frequency of the radio you plan to use it with. You cannot attach just any antenna to just any radio.

John
GMRS WPXJ598
Peoria, AZ
 

helvis

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I forgot to mention that I DID NOT TX with the antenna hooked up.
I was wondering if anyone knew the proper length of steel whip to use. The crappy antenna that came with the radio is a mag mount so I figured the Little Will might work if I knew the correct whip length but I don't know how long the coil is in the base of the Little Will. Can anyone recommend a quality antenna for permanent use? Thanks.
 

helvis

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Screw that Little Will mag mount. The coil length inside the base of that thing is probably close to a full wave at GMRS frequencies. My apologies for being a Hit Shead.
 

mmckenna

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It's not -just- the whip that you need to be concerned with. The CB antenna has a matching coil in it's base that is also frequency dependent.
Short answer is, No, the CB antenna isn't going to work for transmitting.
Might work, but poorly, for receiving.

The type of antenna you need will depend on what your expectations are. Since you are in a hilly environment close to the ocean, a simple quarter wave antenna might work best. For GMRS frequencies it will be about 6 inches tall.
Ideally you do want do a permanent mount NMO, as that will give you the best performance and durability.
Add a 1/4 wave NMO mount antenna tuned for the GMRS band for best results.
You can do an NMO mag mount, but there will be a slight decrease in performance. Long term damage to the coaxial cable by running it through window/door to access the radio, and long term damage to the paint on the roof will happen.
 

helvis

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A sincere Thank you Sir. I'm all about drilling a hole in my roof and that's not sarcasm! I'm a function over form radio geek at heart. I'm shopping for parts after I click the " Submit Reply " button.
Once again , Thank You.
 

mmckenna

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Permanent mount NMO with preinstalled UHF connector: http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/pctel-maxrad-nmo58ucpi-1868.html
UHF 1/4 wave antenna: http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/laird-technologies-qw450-797.html

Good on you for doing a proper install. Avoid mag mounts whenever possible. They are the lazy way to do an install.

Also, avoid the cheap Chinese brands, no point in doing all this work and putting a P.O.S. antenna on. Avoid Tram, Browning, or any brand name you cannot pronounce. I've been running Larsen antennas for decades without issue. Done right with good parts, it'll easily outlast your truck.
 

swen_out_west

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I replaced those cheap shorties from both of my Midlands with a 5/8 over 5/8. Yeah, I went with the lazy man's way of a nmo mag mount, but that was to avoid drilling a hole in my girlfriends truck. Grant you I went cheap for now, but I didn't have the support that this site gives. For $30 those Trams are holding up and make a huge difference.
 
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helvis

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GMRS License activated!!! WRAG998
Yes indeed I went to the HRO in San Diego and bought a Larsen open coil for the band. It's for 450-470 MHz but I still have the mag because I haven't drilled holes yet. I'm going to make sure all is dialed in before I proceed. Thanks for the advice.
 

amphibian

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GMRS License activated!!! WRAG998
Yes indeed I went to the HRO in San Diego and bought a Larsen open coil for the band. It's for 450-470 MHz but I still have the mag because I haven't drilled holes yet. I'm going to make sure all is dialed in before I proceed. Thanks for the advice.
If you are in fact going to drill a hole and install on the vechicle I wouldn't cut that antenna to the proper length for use on the mag mount. I would wait to trim it to size once you drill your hole and install then cut/trim to the proper length as the enclosed paper chart says to.... Cutting it for use with the mag mount you may end up with it cut too short for proper use on your vehicle...

Just a suggestion that's based on prior years of experience.....


William R Howell,
GMRS License Call Sign: WQYX489
CEO, USAGMRS Association
 

spongella

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helvis,

Congrats on getting the GMRS callsign. Do you have an SWR meter to check when tuning your antenna? Just wondering. Perhaps the antenna instructions include a tuning/cutting chart.
 
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