Tram 1480 junk?

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N2BRI

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I do very well with my mobile to base conversion it's a 6'9 mobile antenna wanted to replace with real base antenna(on a budget) could the tram 1480 be a down grade ? Are The diamond x200 or x300 or gp-6 alot better?

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jbantennaman

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I don't think that you gave enough info, or you don't understand what you are talking about!

Mobile to base conversion - What are you talking about?

I think what you are trying to say is that you are using a mobile UHF / VHF transceiver as a base station.
A very common occurrence - since a radio is a radio and FM is not particular.

Ok, so you plan to use a mobile radio as a base station and you want to use the cheapest antenna?
Is this what you are trying to say?

Ok, so do you understand that the height of the antenna plays a bigger role then the size of the vertical antenna? You can have all the gain you want, but if you have no horizon, it still is only going to talk Line Of Sight - no more than 65 miles in any one direction.

I wouldn't even screw around with a small antenna..
I prefer the Diamond 500 - 510.....

The Tram is a cheap copy cat antenna that will probably do the same job, so long as it doesn't fail from exposure from the elements or from a leak caused by inferior construction.

Some of those antennas are nothing more then a clone of the Diamond antenna, and I wouldn't be afraid to use one as long as I didn't expect the same performance, and was willing to work on it in inclement weather - if it failed.

It seems like any antenna will work well when the sun is shining.
My friend bought a Tram a couple of years ago, and last winter it got water in its connector and he couldn't use it for 6 months, because it showed a high SWR and he had no help to take it down and fix it. Eventually it dried out and the SWR came down, and he forgot about fixing it.
I would venture to say if we have a wet winter, he will have the same problem come spring!
 

N4KVE

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Tram, & Browning are both JUNK. Years ago, both companies made quality CB radios in the USA. The companies are long gone, but the importer purchased the rights to use the names on these CHEAP LOW QUALITY products, hoping to confuse buyers to somehow think these new products have something in common with the old products. The only people who like these new products are the stores selling them. PLENTY of better alternatives out there.
 

mmckenna

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I do very well with my mobile to base conversion it's a 6'9 mobile antenna wanted to replace with real base antenna(on a budget) could the tram 1480 be a down grade ? Are The diamond x200 or x300 or gp-6 alot better?

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I concur with the above post.
Tram/Browning often show up at radio industry trade shows, along with all the other Chinese junk radio manufacturers. I'm not sure why, no one in the public safety radio industry is going to stake their reputation on this junk.
I've looked at their antennas, and I wasn't impressed. Cheap quality. You might save a few bucks initially, but you'll end up replacing the antenna long before you would a higher quality one.
Since the labor and risk involved with installing a base antenna are pretty high, I wouldn't recommend putting one of the Tram units up unless budget is really your primary concern. I'd spend the extra money and get a better quality antenna.

For the record, no, I've never owned a Tram or Browning antenna, same goes for the Cheap Chinese radios. I've done enough work in the industry to know quality when I see it. I'm not going to waste my own money on a cheap antenna, and I'm not going to risk my reputation on installing one for a customer.

In the end, it's entirely up to you. If you need an inexpensive antenna and your expectations match the price, they it's probably a good option.
Likely, you'll find, that for a little bit more money you can get a better antenna. The install labor will be the same, except you'll very likely end up repeating that labor in the near future.
 

N2BRI

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I don't think that you gave enough info, or you don't understand what you are talking about!

Mobile to base conversion - What are you talking about?

I think what you are trying to say is that you are using a mobile UHF / VHF transceiver as a base station.
A very common occurrence - since a radio is a radio and FM is not particular.

Ok, so you plan to use a mobile radio as a base station and you want to use the cheapest antenna?
Is this what you are trying to say?

Ok, so do you understand that the height of the antenna plays a bigger role then the size of the vertical antenna? You can have all the gain you want, but if you have no horizon, it still is only going to talk Line Of Sight - no more than 65 miles in any one direction.

I wouldn't even screw around with a small antenna..
I prefer the Diamond 500 - 510.....

The Tram is a cheap copy cat antenna that will probably do the same job, so long as it doesn't fail from exposure from the elements or from a leak caused by inferior construction.

Some of those antennas are nothing more then a clone of the Diamond antenna, and I wouldn't be afraid to use one as long as I didn't expect the same performance, and was willing to work on it in inclement weather - if it failed.

It seems like any antenna will work well when the sun is shining.
My friend bought a Tram a couple of years ago, and last winter it got water in its connector and he couldn't use it for 6 months, because it showed a high SWR and he had no help to take it down and fix it. Eventually it dried out and the SWR came down, and he forgot about fixing it.
I would venture to say if we have a wet winter, he will have the same problem come spring!


It is this antenna with a mobile 2 base station conversion kit with ground plane kit

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mmckenna

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OK, that helps.

Tram 1480 shows 6dBd on VHF and 8dBd on UHF.
The Madol antenna you have shows 6dBi on VHF and 8dBi on UHF.

The difference there is the letter after the dB. That tells you what the gain is in reference to. A zero dBd antenna will have 2.15dBi.
So, just looking at the published specs, the Tram has more gain. But, it's usually a good idea to take the gain numbers with a grain of salt.

You'd probably find that the Tram will outlast a mobile antenna on a base adapter. Often these mounts and antennas are made with something other than non-ferrous metals (aluminum, stainless steel, etc), so rust/corrosion can be an issue.

If you were forcing me to choose between those two antennas for a base install, I'd probably lean to the Tram. If it was -really- me, I spend the few extra bucks and get a name brand antenna. Just my opinion, though.
 

TheSpaceMann

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Tram, & Browning are both JUNK. Years ago, both companies made quality CB radios in the USA. The companies are long gone, but the importer purchased the rights to use the names on these CHEAP LOW QUALITY products, hoping to confuse buyers to somehow think these new products have something in common with the old products. The only people who like these new products are the stores selling them. PLENTY of better alternatives out there.
If I remember right, the "Tram Titan" and the "Browning Eagle" were once considered to be top of the line CB radios!
 

N2BRI

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OK, that helps.

Tram 1480 shows 6dBd on VHF and 8dBd on UHF.
The Madol antenna you have shows 6dBi on VHF and 8dBi on UHF.

The difference there is the letter after the dB. That tells you what the gain is in reference to. A zero dBd antenna will have 2.15dBi.
So, just looking at the published specs, the Tram has more gain. But, it's usually a good idea to take the gain numbers with a grain of salt.

You'd probably find that the Tram will outlast a mobile antenna on a base adapter. Often these mounts and antennas are made with something other than non-ferrous metals (aluminum, stainless steel, etc), so rust/corrosion can be an issue.

If you were forcing me to choose between those two antennas for a base install, I'd probably lean to the Tram. If it was -really- me, I spend the few extra bucks and get a name brand antenna. Just my opinion, though.
Thank you for your input its a gift from someone so I didn't want to make them spend too much

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mmckenna

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Thank you for your input its a gift from someone so I didn't want to make them spend too much

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OK, got it. Yeah, the Tram is probably going to be your better choice here.

Sorry for the noise above. I work in the communications field and have to look at things a little bit different from the hobby side. Given the situation, you are on the right track. If the dB numbers from both antennas are correct, you should see a sight improvement in performance with the Tram antenna.

When you install it, make sure you seal the coaxial cable connection at the base of the antenna very well. That's were failures usually happen.
Keep an eye on the antenna, check SWR occasionally, as this is your best/easiest indication something is wrong. Looking at reviews for the antenna, it looks like some have had trouble getting them tuned properly. Take the time to adjust it before installation. It'll pay off in the long run.
 

Delta33

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Just my opinion here, but Trams are TRASH! You'd be much better off with a Maldol product before blowing money on chinese Crap.
 

N2BRI

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OK, got it. Yeah, the Tram is probably going to be your better choice here.

Sorry for the noise above. I work in the communications field and have to look at things a little bit different from the hobby side. Given the situation, you are on the right track. If the dB numbers from both antennas are correct, you should see a sight improvement in performance with the Tram antenna.

When you install it, make sure you seal the coaxial cable connection at the base of the antenna very well. That's were failures usually happen.
Keep an eye on the antenna, check SWR occasionally, as this is your best/easiest indication something is wrong. Looking at reviews for the antenna, it looks like some have had trouble getting them tuned properly. Take the time to adjust it before installation. It'll pay off in the long run.
Thank you what do you suggest I seal the connector with?

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mmckenna

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Standard industry practice is to:
-Start with everything clean and dry.
-put the antenna connector on and tighten it down a reasonable amount. Snug, but don't crank on it too hard.
-Run a layer of electrical tape over the connection so it's covered from the base of the antenna to past the end of the connector on the coax side. Some choose to put the tape "sticky side out" to make for a cleaner removal. Your choice.
-Make 100% sure to not block any weep holes on the bottom of the antenna. These are necessary for allowing condensation to drip out.
-Follow up with a coax sealing tape. This is a soft rubbery tape that you layer over the connection and mold around it. Extend from the antenna down past where the first layer of tape stops. Work it well to seal the seams, around the base of the antenna (don't block the weep holes) and around the coax cable.
-Follow up with another layer of electrical tape. Apply "half lapped and back", in other words, each pass of tape should overlap half the previous pass. When you get to the end, turn around and apply another layer the same way. Do not stretch the tape, just make sure it's tight. Also, cut it with scissors or a razor blade, do not pull the tape to break it. That will stretch the plastic but not the adhesive. If you do that the tape will unravel on it's own.

That's what you'll see done on a commercial site. You can purchase "waterproofing" kits that include what you need, but they can be a bit pricy. Nice thing about them is they come with a really wide roll of tape that makes for a nicer finished product that using the 3/4" wide tape.

I've seen installers use a product called "Skotch-Coat" over the top of everything. It's a 3M product that comes in a can with a brush. It'll put a final seal over everything. Unfortunately it's been outlawed here in California due to high V.O.C.'s. It's pretty strong stuff, so if you do use it, make sure you don't breath it in.

The drawback of the UHF connectors is that they are not waterproof and tend to have some pretty big voids in them when assembled. This gives a place for condensation to gather. Some use a foam injected material, but that stuff can make a real mess. Proper waterproofing should prevent issues.
Ideally, get the antenna with Type N connectors, if you can. They are designed to be waterproof and are a much better connector. Even though the have the waterproof design, you'd still need the steps above to seal it.
 

N2BRI

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Thank you for all your information I decided to go with the electrical tape in coaxial sealing tape from initial test antenna is actually good my friend in the Bronx was getting 40 on his TS 2000 with old antenna now I am pinning him at 60

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WX9RLT

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I been running the tram 1480 for a few years now. Never had any issues. Pretty good on VHF. Not the best on UHF, but I rarely use UHF. I think you will be happy with it. Just make sure you put it up high.
 
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