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Very Low Cost GMRS Antenna...Excellent

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dksac2

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Idaho
We have a group of people who don't want to get their Ham Licenses, but have pony'd up the $75.00 for a GMRS license, got used Business radios and programmed them for the top GMRS frequency's for EMCOMM. That leaves them with the need for a decent antenna. Many have made J poles or bought GMRS verticals at over $100.00, but Home page has antennas that were made to go with some unknown radio (not included) for sale at $20.00. Part # SVU4500SP1
I'm the elected leader of our local Ares/Races group, so I bought a GMRS set up and got licensed, even though I have not a lot of interest in GMRS, it's still good to have.
I figured I try one of these antennas. They are made by Sinclabs in Canada, a producer of professional quality antennas. The antennas are 14" tall in Schedule 80 PVC and are a Collinear design with 3DB gain. It's a heavy antenna for it's size, so there is not just a coil, some caps and some other wire inside. From the looks and feel of the antenna, it will be around a lot longer than me and should hold up in any type of storm as long as what it is mounted to stays up.
They come with 30' of Belden RG/58/U coax attached and a mini UNF fitting at the end of the coax and have a pole attachment fitting a with bolt "U" clamp.

I cut the coax about a foot and a half from the antenna to get rid of the lossy coax and put an "N" fitting on the coax and feed the antenna with LMR 400.
The frequency range is listed as working at 450-470 MHz and SWR< 1.5 to 1 at 440-480 MHz.

This has been the best $20.00 I have ever spent on a store bought antenna. They of course cost far more than the $20.00 they are sold for, they must have got a whole bunch at a good price. It does look like they were made to go with some type of radio.
With just 15 watts from a old business radio, I can talk through our whole valley clear as can be and hit two repeaters with no problem at all. The antenna is at about 20'. The SWR is low as advertised.
These are the best bang for the buck if you need a GMRS (or UHF) antenna, they work great. Works great as an antenna for the UHF Amateur frequency's also.
I have no idea how many they have, they have had them in their catalog for a couple years now. Several others have bought them and are pleased as can be. I'd get one or two while they still have them. We even used one on the tower at our County EOC for the GMRS radio there, and at height, it talks for many miles and hears as well as it talks.
Home page PH: 760.744.0500

73's John KF7VXA
 

mikewazowski

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John, I deleted your duplicate thread. In the future, if you want to repost a thread, report the first one using the triangle icon located in the top right corner and a mod will delete it for you.
 

dksac2

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I didn't see the original, so I re posted, my bad, Thanks, I tried to find a way to delete it, but no delete button that I could find.
Thanks, John KF7VXA
 

dksac2

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It's mounted on my roof peak with on a 16' pole. It has a U clamp with bolts to attach the antenna to the pole.
The coax that it comes with it is lossy, so be sure to cut it off about 1.5' from the antenna, put on an "N" fitting and then run LMR 400 to your lightning protection then into your station to avoid as much loss of signal in the coax as possible. Be sure to get a lightning arrestor with "N" fittings. You will have to use a PL-259 at the radio or whatever type of fitting is at the back of the radio; some are not PL-259.
At UHF frequency's, there is substantial loss of signal so one should use the coax with the least loss. Hardline would be the best, but is far to expensive for a GMRS radio unless you need every last bit of signal you can get. Most of us with a set up as mentioned with have more than enough. The coax that comes with the antenna along with other skinny coax to reach the radio could lose up to 1/2 of your signal at GMRS frequencies.
L-Com.com has LMR-400 at $0.70 a foot. This is the lowest price I have seen and it's excellent coax. Shipping is very reasonable from them also.

73"s John
 
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ThomasMcKean

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Apr 7, 2012
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458
Location
Hilliard, OH
I purchased two of these based upon your review. One of them is hanging on the wall on my living room and the other one is still in the box in the closet. I am very happy with it. :)
 

dksac2

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Glad to hear it. I have nothing to do with the company that sells them, I just found the antenna to perform excellent and for a price that cannot be beat. The antenna will work just as good on the amateur UHF bands as well.
I'm glad to hear yours is working well also. Be sure to cut off all but about a couple of feet of the lossy cable that comes with it and replace the cable with some LMR-400. The cable that is on it, if you use it all, it will just about cut the signal in half. The LMR-400 will allow far more signal without the loss of the skinny cable it comes with.

73's John KF7VXA
 

ThomasMcKean

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Glad to hear it. I have nothing to do with the company that sells them, I just found the antenna to perform excellent and for a price that cannot be beat. The antenna will work just as good on the amateur UHF bands as well.
I'm glad to hear yours is working well also. Be sure to cut off all but about a couple of feet of the lossy cable that comes with it and replace the cable with some LMR-400. The cable that is on it, if you use it all, it will just about cut the signal in half. The LMR-400 will allow far more signal without the loss of the skinny cable it comes with.

73's John KF7VXA
So far I have cut off all about 6 feet and I put a BNC on that. I might add the LMR-400 later. But for now it is doing what I want it to do, which is pick up one frequency in particular. :)
 

RadioGuy7268

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Mar 11, 2006
Messages
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PA
Any pictures of this?

I notice the website has no images.

Can anyone who bought one post up a picture ?
 

CaptDan

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Messages
203
Location
Ocala, Florida
I just went to the site and there is a picture there.

Just so I understand correctly - you are saying that this would be a good tx/rx antenna for UHF frequencies ?

How about for VHF - will it at least work somewhat?

I am looking for an antenna to use with a wouxun dual band mobile unit that is being installed in an on site trailer at a large parcel of land - most communications will be on UHF - however some contractors and responders use VHF frequencies. Just wondering if this antenna will work on both bands

Thanks for any feedback.

Dan
 

dksac2

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Apr 18, 2012
Messages
327
Location
Idaho
No, it's a UHF only antenna.
If you have not seen one, it is Sched 80 gray plastic pipe, 14" long with a cap on the top, coax out the bottom. It looks just like the professional UHF antennas you see on Government buildings. Most antennas are only Sched 40 at best.
It also has a metal clamp on the bottom for mounting on a pole with a clamp included.
Very High Quality and a deal and a half.

John
 

sloop

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Jul 19, 2008
Messages
257
Location
Millers Creek, NC
You need to check out Arrow antennas web site. They make quality antennas at low prices. A vhf/uhf j-pole is $40. Very durable and a great antenna. Iuse it for ham radio but it can be tuned for GMRS.
 

CaptDan

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Ok - I guess my question about this antenna was/is while I understand it is a UHF designed antenna - if I use it on a temp construction trailer site - connected to a dual band mobile radio being used as a base station in the trailer - will it harm the radio if some goof ball accidentally has it transmit on the VHF side by accident ? It looks like a very inexpensive - effective antenna for use at the construction trailer. We need to communicate with some low power walkie talkies on site and some mobile units off site.

All that having been said - what dual band antenna would you all recommend for use on a more permanent site ? Price is always a consideration - but not the sole deciding factor in this instance

Thank you for your intelligent replies.

Dan - NJ
 
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I built a copper j-pole using 1/2" line on gmrs for $7 worth of materials (of course I used an antenna analyzer to tune and match it). Been contemplating a slim jim for a portable repeater setup instead of dragging around a DB406.

Sent from my ME173X using Tapatalk
 
Joined
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Ok - I guess my question about this antenna was/is while I understand it is a UHF designed antenna - if I use it on a temp construction trailer site - connected to a dual band mobile radio being used as a base station in the trailer - will it harm the radio if some goof ball accidentally has it transmit on the VHF side by accident ? It looks like a very inexpensive - effective antenna for use at the construction trailer. We need to communicate with some low power walkie talkies on site and some mobile units off site.

All that having been said - what dual band antenna would you all recommend for use on a more permanent site ? Price is always a consideration - but not the sole deciding factor in this instance

Thank you for your intelligent replies.

Dan - NJ
Define more permanent...I live somewhere where dual band base antennas won't survive in the wind when mounted more than 40 feet up.

Sent from my ME173X using Tapatalk
 

w7mag

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Apr 10, 2007
Messages
30
Location
Pahrump, NV
Ok - I guess my question about this antenna was/is while I understand it is a UHF designed antenna - if I use it on a temp construction trailer site - connected to a dual band mobile radio being used as a base station in the trailer - will it harm the radio if some goof ball accidentally has it transmit on the VHF side by accident ? It looks like a very inexpensive - effective antenna for use at the construction trailer. We need to communicate with some low power walkie talkies on site and some mobile units off site.

All that having been said - what dual band antenna would you all recommend for use on a more permanent site ? Price is always a consideration - but not the sole deciding factor in this instance
Thank you for your intelligent replies.

Dan - NJ
Hi Dan,
I'm using a basic Diamond X50C2 for GMRS and it's working well.
However,... it's not a $20 antenna...
 
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I'm wary about the $70 tram dual band antennas. They don't hold up to the wind where I live. Just about the only antennas that do are stationmasters, Decibel products and copper j-poles.

One could build a dual band copper j-pole (it's really two j-poles that share some parts) that would be more than anything needed for any kind of low power work.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

w7mag

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Apr 10, 2007
Messages
30
Location
Pahrump, NV
So far, the wind hasn't managed to kill the Tram 1486 (UHF Only)
we have at one of our remote sites.
Then again it's only been up for about 4 years.
Been a good performer and being a fiberglass covered antenna,
we don't get much if any electrostatic noise in the high dusty
winds we get that we used to get on the exposed metal antennas.
 
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