RFI UHF Broomstick Aerials?

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 20:51
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A couple of weeks ago, I went into a local GME/Icom dealer, to purchase one of the UHF broomsticks they sell that I've found, in a previous life, to perform well and survive in harsh conditions.

They no longer stock this item because they now cost $300 to manufacture, in Australia, so the choice is reduced.

Has anyone had any experience with the RFI units, CDQ5000(5dB) or CDQ8000(8dB). They appear to be a quick release type, similar to the GME 4700 series aerials.

Thanks,
Bob.

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 23:08

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 23:08
Hi Bob

They must be pulling your leg regarding the price of the aerials. The AE4705 sells for around the $199 mark and is around the 1 metre high and the AE4706 from memory and around the 2 metre height sells for around the $260 mark and made in Sydney.

I know the RFI aerials are made in Melbourne, abut have not had any experience with them, even though we used to sell them a good number of years ago.

Tell your dealer to lift his game and sharpen his pencil......lol




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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 23:15

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 23:15
That $300 was the cost to buy from the makers Stephen, not retail. So they don't bother to stock them anymore.

Think the 2M RFI unit is a similar price to the similar length GME product.

Thanks,
Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 14:05

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 14:05
Hi Bob

We sell them at work and they do not cost that, so they might be getting them from another retail seller?


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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 17:57

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 17:57
YOU work?

Sheez Stephen, when do you get time for that?
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 18:27

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 18:27
Hi Boobook

I know, that four letter word is a real pain stops those real long extended trips.....lol



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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 20:01

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 20:01
Poor wording on my part, Stephen, or at least not enough detail.

The aerial I was chasing is one that was designed by Adrian Reilly, the boss of Access Electronics of Rockhampton. These are now not available because of production costs.

Have tried the GME product but found them wanting in the Diamantina country. Had 2 different sizes go out of tune, so thinking about another brand, brought the inquiry about the RFI units.

John might have an alternative for me, so will investigate them further. Hope your country has began to dry out, and you've finally seen the sun for a while.

Bob.



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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 23:54

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 at 23:54
.
Hi Bob,

I had a broomstick mounted on the bullbar. It was destroyed by bashing on scrub.

I put a MobileOne M474 flexible monopole on the roof which elevates it and acts as a ground plane.
Works a treat. 600mm long, 4.5dBi. $35 including base and cable.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 08:56

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 08:56
Yep,

Bob, As Allan says, a $300 broomstick mounted on the bullbar probably won't work as well as a $100 one on the roof.

If it's long range for touring you are after, it is hard to beat a AE 409L dual 6/9db on the roof.

Also you can put a small 3db rubber duckie there as a backup and around town etc.

Broomstick for show, roof mounted for go.

I moved mine from the bullbar to the roof about 6 years ago. I tested both against a repeater when I moved it. Even with the little 4" 3dbi antenna on the roof I could reliably hit a repeater on Mt Dandenong from home. The 1.2m 6db on the bonnet couldn't.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 09:42

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 09:42
.
Sorry Bob, that should be $35 for the antenna and another $35 for the base and cable.
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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 10:04

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 10:04
I don't have that specific model but I do have a RFI broom stick for the UHF CB and one for the mobile phone mounted on the bull bar, both work very well.

The RFI units though expensive are very good quality and used by a lot of armature radio operators.

As mentioned they might be possible to damage them by tree hits etc though I have done a lot of kilometers on overgrown tracks and never had an issue though the antennas I have are around 800mm long.

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:13

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:13
Agree on the quality of the RFI products, Leigh.

We used their HF multi-tap aerials, back before we had the phone installed in 1992. Well finished, and robust, except when they contacted something like a tree branch, or a gate cap.

Thanks,
Bob

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Reply By: Malcom M - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 12:18

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 12:18
If you are worried about hitting things with the antenna then make up a 'knock down' bracket for it.
Dead simple, couple of stainless plates with a copper washer in between for a bit of friction...

Plenty of AE4705's on ebay so stock is still around.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:17

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:17
Thanks for the hint, Malcolm. Might have to make something up, when I finish about 138 other jobs down the shed.

Have tried the AE4700 aerials, not a fan of the higher gain units.

Bob

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Reply By: Johnhu - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 16:19

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 16:19
I've been using a Bushcomm 'Stinger' antenna on the bullbar (with their spring base) for years and it's coped heaps of abuse over corrugations, bent backwards pushing through thick scrub, etc.
Definitely not cheap (over $300 for antenna and spring), but I have found it to be well worth the cost.
http://www.bushcomm-online.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/mobile-uhf-whips.html
Hope the info is of some use.
John
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:19

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:19
Your the Man, John!

Will have a look at these, and maybe go begging to She Who Still Works, for a handout.

Many thanks,
Bob

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Reply By: Tony G15 - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 19:41

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 19:41
I have 2 of the RFI Phone Antenna's, 1 for the vehicle and a base station with 10m of coax for the back of the van when stopped at a camp. Both work well, the one on the van is over 6m high when installed.

.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:24

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:24
What have you used for that mast on the 'van, Tony?

One of the local earthmoving contractors used to have a telescoping mast on his Cat 988 loader, to communicate with his family back in town on UHF. With the height of the loader, over 3M, he could get the top of the aerial up over 9M.

Bob

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Reply By: The Bantam - Thursday, Oct 13, 2016 at 11:27

Thursday, Oct 13, 2016 at 11:27
I know you are probably not looking for a lecture on the pitfalls of bullbar mounting ........ but it IS your problem.

The bullbar is possibly the worst place to mount an aerial for a number of reasons.

1/As others have mentioned, mounting on the bullbar is a big performance disadvantage compared to mounting high on the vehicle.
People spend a lot of money to get a big white stick mounted on their bullbar, fact is, a smaller, far cheaper aerial mounted high on the vehicle will outperform pretty much any bullbar mount ....... remember line of sight is the predominating limitation on UHF and that extra meter of height putting the aerial high and clear makes a very big difference.

2/ The bull bar is at the furthest extremity of the vehicle and rigidly attached to the chassis ....... there is simply no other possible place that could be worse for vibration and shock.
There are some manufacturers that simply will not warranty some of their aerial models mounted on the bullbar.
Yeh you can put a spring on the aerial ...... but that will do nothing for vibration, possibly make it worse

3/ yes of course there are the impact and frontal damage issues of mounting on the bullbar ...... in fact if the letter of the law and the ADRs where inforced, bullbar mounts would be illegal.

I can tell you from personal experience that moving my aerial from the bullbar to the roof rack produced a significant improvement in range and performance.
There are many including posters above that will testify likewise.

By far the best bang for buck aerial on the market is the 6 db elevated feed aerial like the GME AE4017K2. ..... GME make this aerial in a number of forms (wire or fiberglass whips, colours different springs and mounts), pretty much every aerial manufacturer has one or more versions of this same aerial.
You can get into one of these for $100 retail all day.

If you are concerned about it being knocked or damaged ...... as mentioned a very effective knockdown mount can be made out of two angle brackets, a bolt and and some sort of friction pad ..... copper washer was mentioned, I prefer fibre washers.

Another option is one of the 4db gain rubber duckies ...... these are very common in earth moving, they are short near impossible to kill Jaycar will sell you one for $70 retail, Axis and several others also make them.

Mounted high and clear they will give many bullbar mounted big white sticks a run for their money.

Serioulsy save yourself some money, and get some better performance, get your aerial off your bullbar.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Oct 13, 2016 at 14:52

Thursday, Oct 13, 2016 at 14:52
wot he said ^^^^^^^^
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:40

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:40
Thanks for the lengthy post, Bantam.

At the moment, I have a GME extended gain on the roof of my ute, photo attached, but a drama with coax needing to be resoldered at Mt Dare(thanks to my travelling mates, Steve & David, for solder & a 12v iron) I've decided to run a second aerial.

Have used just about every mobile aerial available over the past 35 years, and the stand-outs have been Polar 6dB extended gain, and the 6dB broomstick that I mentioned above, that are no longer available, because of production costs.

Am not worried about breaking bullbar mounted aerials, 'cause I've slowed down a lot these days, or will fit something like Malcolm suggested.



Thanks Bantam,
Bob

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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Thursday, Oct 13, 2016 at 16:51

Thursday, Oct 13, 2016 at 16:51
.
No doubt about it Bob........ you ask for experience of a particular product and everybody, including me, advises you to use a different product. But I guess that is the charm of forums. LOL
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:44

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:44
Ha ha, no worries, Allan.

It's all good, and some extra choices now too. But still sorry they stopped making that other broomy. :-((

Bob

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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 01:45

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 01:45
OK .... I'll go the other side of the argument. I bought this Aerial off ebay from a bloke who made them in West-Wallsend (outside Newcastle) about 4-5 years ago. It has been whacked / bent / thrashed from here to the christ-almighty over the last few years (AB twice / CSR / Madigan / etc etc.) and hasn't shown any signs of degredation or wear and tear. Just bounces right back up and keeps on working. BTW, the reception is great !

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Reply By: Member - JOHNVK2JF - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:01

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 21:01
If you want to spend some extra money on a roof mount try the below.
I have been using them for many years with no problems.
One has a multi band antenna 2m /70cm.
The other has a RFI ground independent Air Band antenna.
I lower and raise the antennas at least 6 times a day at various work sites due to the height of my work van.
I rate the RFI antenna very highly for construction and receive performance.

K9000 motorised antenna mount and fittings $119
Mounting brackets are extra $39
0° to 90° angular movement takes about 4 secs.
Have a look at Andrews Communications under antennas / Diamond or Google
Diamond Antennas. Strictly Ham also sell them for the same price.

John
AnswerID: 605114

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 22:10

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 22:10
Hello Bob, can't help with the witches stick, it is a pity Access can't compete as they are a good mob to deal with. Have used them a few times for truck and 4wd related radio problems,

Have used the 8 db RFI units and found them ok.
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