View Full Version : Question re. ham radio antennae

06-08-2011, 3:16 PM
I bought a Yasue HT and immediately upgraded the rubber duck with a Diamond antenna. I'll be up in the woods this weekend for an event in which I will be relying on my radio for critical communications. I will also be driving around a lot during this event and will likely be using the HT in the car.

Is there an advantage to having a magnet-mounted antenna when I'm in the car over the Diamond antenna already attached to the radio? Better reception, range, etc...


06-08-2011, 3:37 PM
Generally speaking the 'worst' mag-mount antenna will be better then the 'best' handheld antenna.

But ultimately there are far more factors that come into play then simply antenna. Terrain, frequency, to where are you communicating and what equipment is at the other end, using a repeater ... all of these are factors in making an estimate about what will work and what won't.

For many years I was the director of communications for a major outdoor event in the that used upwards of 100+ HAMs all over the Los Padres and Angeles National Forests. For these types of events volunteers which where only HT capable tended to be of extremely limited use.

Since you're working an event - there is likely at least some form of coordinator that you can contact for direct advice.

06-08-2011, 8:44 PM
A high gain antenna on a magnet mount on the roof will do wonders for range and reception.

06-08-2011, 8:57 PM
You want an external antenna if possible for a few reasons.
1. Higher gain, more ERP for the power put in.
2. Its a little higher off of the ground than the HT in your hand.
3. Its clear of the metal of the car frame, so you'll get a better field created. Also, if you use it on the roof, the roof itself makes a decent ground plane which will act like an even better antenna.

Also if you have a car charger for your HT you should probably use it. That will help keep your battery from getting low and dropping your TX output power. Hopefully your charger isolates the car noise so you don't hear motor noise when the charge is plugged in.