What Antenna?

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 22:34
ThreadID: 56220 Views:4019 Replies:10 FollowUps:8
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Gday,

I've decided on buying a GME TX 3220 UHF but now have a dilemma in choosing an antenna.

I was recommended a 6db (2.1 metre) antenna by the shop assistant today and also looked at a 4.5db (1.2 metre) antenna - both GME's.

I will be operating mainly in flat areas around SA so understand that the 6db will give me best range - only problem being is that the thing is massive - 2.1 metres! I'm basically after something that will be good for convoy work and possibly get me heard when camping in the more remote areas of SA.

The 4.5 db is a much more workable size at 1.2m so i'm curious as to how much reception i could expect to lose if i went with the 4.5db?...

If it were you buying it would you go the 6db or the 4.5db? It's going on an 03 Hilux.

Cheers guys, any opinions would be a massive help as i'm certainly no expert in this field.
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Reply By: John R (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 22:52

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 22:52
I'm a fan of the GME AE409 antenna kit - it has a 6dB & 9dB antenna (you construct the antenna to suit . . it's a simple arrangement comprising mainly stainless steel rod. It'll make sense when you see one).

Although I find the 9dB version occasionally breaks the bottom length of stainless steel rod just above the base when used persistently in rough environments (it takes about a minute to fix), this is the antenna I find best.

I also like the fact that the antenna screws off the cable mount, so can easily be replaced with a rubber ducky, or 4.5dB elevated feed.

We presently have about a dozen various machines with mostly 6 or 9 dB antennas on the 4wd's.
AnswerID: 296268

Follow Up By: DIO - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 09:58

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 09:58
Agree with John, AE409L is a good combination. Once fitted it can also be laid down flat (to roof) to enable access to low-roofed buildings. Added benefit allows removal and replacement with rubber duckie for around town. Cost about $100 Check the GME site Link for additional info including tips on choosing the correct antenna. Think you'll find that BIG isn't necessarily better. It's all about performance.
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Reply By: howie - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 23:22

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 23:22
also consider the placement of the antenna.
a well placed small one will outshine many bigger antenna's for your kind of work.
AnswerID: 296274

Reply By: chris_s - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 23:40

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 23:40
Also have alook at the GME AE4006 1.2 metre Fibreglass (6 dB Gain) and the AE4011 1.8 metre Spring Based (6 dB Gain) Colinear Mobile Antenna. Smaller than the 2.1metres but still give good range.
AnswerID: 296276

Reply By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 02:08

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 02:08
Check this antenna website
Mobile One

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AnswerID: 296289

Follow Up By: psproule - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 06:19

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 06:19
Most of the statements on that site have no grounding in basic RF theory or practice whatsoever.
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Follow Up By: psproule - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 06:22

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 06:22
....well, not whatsoever, but some of the claims are a bit much.
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 07:26

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 07:26
psproule, I agree, they should be writing advertising copy for used car sales or real estate.
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 08:38

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 08:38
psproule / Kiwi Kia
Hmmmm antenna experts I take it, you manufacture antenna's and sell them .


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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 09:14

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 09:14
Hi Doug, Nope, but I rub shoulders with some real experts. One of them designs satellite communication equipment - no not the tv ground receivers, the transmitters that are actually on the satellites. Also I have many years experience with convoy communications where I often see the biggest and most expensive equipment in reality may not be the best. I have seen many spring mount uhf aerials break off but the rubber duck type still working well after many years of service over rough roads. I also have a background in electrical/electronic equipment and know enough transmission theory to know an advertising snow job when I see it. You don't believe all the hype you read in the glossy adds do you ? I would love to know what tests that guy has done to show that a vibrating uhf aerial manages to get the transmission waves out of phase !
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Follow Up By: Member -Signman - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 11:52

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 11:52
Know what ya mean Kiwi Kia...

I 'rub shoulders' with a brain surgeon and a gynocologist...so what does that indicate????

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Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 07:21

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 07:21
Hi Hilux03, In my experience different types of UHF aerials don't really make much difference to the performance of a UHF radio ! UHF has a short range and the little stubby aerials are ok for convoy use or from the top of a sand dune. I doubt you will really get much extra range for all the extra dollars that the fancy aerials cost.

AnswerID: 296294

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Kath - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 07:58

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 07:58
You have said in your first sentence that you have decided on buying a GME TX3220. Have you looked at the Value Packs that are available? Great way to buy them with a combination antenna as part of the pack at Prestige Communications for $309 delivered to your door
Cheers,
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AnswerID: 296297

Reply By: Peter H - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 09:42

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 09:42
And from prestige communications there is this one
http://www.prestigecom.net.au/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=36&products_id=97
AnswerID: 296311

Reply By: takenbyaliens - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 10:06

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 10:06
I have just bought a GME TX 3440 ( head unit under dash..all you see is the mic ) with the antenna that Peter H indicated - AE4018K1. Nice and happy with it thank you.
According to modern astronomers, space is finite..a very comforting thought particularly for people who can never remember where they left things

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AnswerID: 296319

Reply By: Member - Jeff H (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 11:12

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 11:12
H03,
As John R suggests, consider Prestige Comms.
Our TX 3220 + RFI CD900 unit arrived hassle-free. The first antenna self-destructed within 5,000. (I suspect the whip was over-hardened). RFI replaced it, and 100000km later, it's fine, although I did strengthen the 'waist'.
Non-removable, but slim and relatively unobtrusive @ 910 inc. spring.
Just my 2bob's worth. Good luck eh.
Jeff H.
AnswerID: 296337

Follow Up By: John R (SA) - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 13:31

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 13:31
I was going to wish you more luck with your RFI than I had Jeff, but too late!!

I was never terribly excited by the performance of mine, and broke it after about 12 months. The bit that really annoyed me was the couple of hours spent replacing all the cabling!

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FollowupID: 562417

Reply By: Member -Signman - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 11:49

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 11:49
Keep it simple- probably the most used & usable is 6.5db Raised Ground Independent. Overall height about 900mm. And when your in town, take off the 600mm whip and put a 150mm rubber-ducky on.

AnswerID: 296349

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