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KD0AEI
06-23-2009, 08:46 PM
I have been hearing abought making a tiger tail or a rat tail for a ht antenna. to make it from a 1/4 wave to a 1/2 wave. can any one tell me how to make this or get me going in right area. thanks

KB4QAA
06-23-2009, 09:11 PM
cut a piece of insulated wire about 19" long, with a little extra. Strip the extra portion and wrap it around the antenna connector base. Done.

I took a pocket clip from a pencil which was the same size as my antenna base and soldered the wire to it. Stays on better, rolls up and fits in my pocket.

You will notice a BIG difference in signal strength.

Bill

K7MH
06-24-2009, 01:39 AM
I have seen some with the length of wire soldered to one of those larger 3/8" (I think) automotive solder lugs so it fits nicely over the BNC connector on the radio and the antenna sort of clamps it in place. An SMA connector would use a smaller solder lug.

N9JTW
06-24-2009, 02:13 AM
check out these youtube videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULynXY1Gq5g
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C_ByxxY8gg&feature=related

I pretty much followed these instructions for mine. I also made a couple more with a single strand of smaller gauge insulated wire for better flexibility for when I have my HT sitting on my desk at work.

AE5RC
06-24-2009, 02:38 AM
Not only does it help signal strength, it provides the missing part of the HT's antenna. Helps save battery life, just an all around good idea on a HT. Have one on my Radio Shack HTX 202. Helps performance of the radio a great deal. Go for it.

73

AB7KT
06-24-2009, 05:50 AM
I have one that I bought commercially.

I can tell you without question that it makes a difference on transmit. I had a ham friend visiting my home. I went out in the car and drove around to do a comparison with and without the tigertail. He went from totally unreadable to solid with the addition of the tigertail.
I use mine all the time.

KD0AEI
06-24-2009, 06:52 PM
THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP 73" KD0AEI

KE5OFO
06-25-2009, 03:08 PM
Depending on the type of antenna mount on your HT there are a few diffrent ways to mount it. I have an FT-470 that happens to have a bnc mount. First way I tried was to solder a lug mount on a piece of 18ga wire 19" long and just slip that over the bnc before putting the antenna on. That worked but not well. The best method I found is to tin the end of the 19" wire and use a small hose clamp to clamp it to the bnc on the antenna. I did this on both the small Yaesu rubber duck and the Diamond long one that I picked up. Works great and the screw on the hose clamp helps to be able to remove the antenna if you're wearing gloves. I have seen guys on the web who have soldered the wire to the hose clamp but I have found that it works just as well if not solderd. I only tinned the end to give it a little more mechanical strenght as the wire has to make a sharp bend to go over the case of the radio.

AG3Y
06-25-2009, 03:09 PM
Why not call it by its proper name. It is a "counterpoise" !

ZL2MGS
06-25-2009, 10:39 PM
Why not call it by its proper name. It is a "counterpoise" !

Well, if nothing else the "Tigertail" reference got my attention and I've learned something useful, whereas I probably wouldn't have bothered if the thread title just said "counterpoise" as, rightly or wrongly, I tend to associate counterpoise with HF, even though I know that there is usually some form of counterpoise with any antenna.

K9FV
06-25-2009, 10:49 PM
Why not call it by its proper name. It is a "counterpoise" !

Thank you - I was having a hard time with "Tiger tail" or Rat Tail" - I had to read 2 or 3 responses before I figured what they were talking about. I kept thinking - connect to connector "base"??? Then it finally clicked as counterpoise.

73 de Ken H>

AG3Y
06-25-2009, 10:58 PM
Normally, in an HT, your body is supposed to act like the other half of the antenna, or "counterpoise", and obviously, it does not do as good a job as a piece of wire ( 19 inches for 2 meters ) clipped to the ground side of the antenna connector !

I don't know where the terms "tiger tail" or "rat tail" came from, but they sound like some ad agency's bright idea. I just hoped to set the record straight.

You're welcome ! 73, Jim

K6ABZ
06-25-2009, 11:02 PM
It Sounded to me like another colloquialism from the good folks down on 27 Mhz, but you never can tell... some of the most colorful terms come from our very own community. :)

AB7KT
06-25-2009, 11:21 PM
Not a personal attack, but I think some people get far too wrapped around the axle trying to sound sophisticated. I call it a tigertail because I bought one commerically and the name of the product was a tigertail. Ironically I call the HT I put it on a Kenwood TH-F6 rather than a VHF/UHF transceiver.
Not trying to be hostile but come on. :rolleyes:
I highly doubt that any CB operator ever used an antenna counterpoise on an HT.

The one I bought was intended for use on a BNC connector. It has a lug on the end with slots cut in it so it slips over the lugs on the BNC connector. After the slots on the tigertail get past the lugs on the connector, you turn the tigertail and it can no longer come off the connector (if my description makes any sense at all). In other words the tigertail has a ring on the end that is similar in diameter to the BNC connector. The BNC connector has two small "tits" on the sides of it that your antenna locks into. The tigertail ring has slots cut in it so these tits can pass through them. You then turn the tigertail around so it hangs off the back of the radio.

K9FV
06-26-2009, 02:13 AM
Please understand, I was NOT trying to flame anyone, just voiceing my own lack of knowledge about some new "ad agency" terms. You knew the answer because you'd purchased a "tiger tail".... Maybe it was an Auburn fan who was the marketing guy for the product?

Hey, it's all in good fun - I ride with Harley folks and they pick at my "Jap bike" and I pick back that Harley doesn't make a bike that can even come close the my Goldwing on a drag.... well, Harley did get the German company to build a fast bike for them... as I said, all in good fun.

73 de Ken H>

AG3Y
06-26-2009, 02:28 AM
KT, when there is a correct term for such a thing as a "counterpoise", shouldn't we use it ? Then we will all be on the same page. I had no idea what a "rat tail" or "tiger tail" was, until I read the discription.

Why don't we just start calling antennas "RF catchers" ? Not snappy enough for you? Maybe you can come up with another phrase that will sparkle more. That counterpoise wire has been in existance in the HF world for many more years than the class D citizen's radio service has even been around. "Why???" you ask. Because it WORKS !

73, Jim

K9FV
06-26-2009, 02:41 AM
Jim, I think the OP said he didn't come up with the term, just used the term used by the company marketing the product.... Seems a shame to buy a 19" peice of wire - I'll bet it cost more than it should have..... why can't "I" come up with some of those money making schemes????? Not enought imagination - guess I'll just stay poor:(

73 de Ken H>

AB7KT
06-26-2009, 02:41 AM
Well, Cushcraft has "Boomers", and "Ringos"
HyGain has "Long Johns", and "Super Thunderbirds".
MFJ even makes and antenna they call the "Pocket Linear".
We have the G5RV.............................................. ....
TenTec has had Omnis, Scouts, Century 21s...............

I guess you can choose to call ham gear anything you want. Far be it from me to be critical of you for it. But having names for ham equipment of all kinds is common practice and has been for MANY years. Long before CB was ever popular.


FWIW: I think the Tigertail I bought was from Radio West which I think is now out of business. It is one of those little gimmick devices that I find myself buying when I go to a hamfest and I don't want to go home empty handed. I forget what the thing actually cost to buy but it was a few dollars.

Call it whatever floats your boat, but it is a worthwhile homebrew project that really makes a difference on your HT. That video posted earlier was very good. I am going to make a duel band version now that I saw that.

AG3Y
06-26-2009, 02:50 AM
Jim, I think the OP said he didn't come up with the term, just used the term used by the company marketing the product.... Seems a shame to buy a 19" peice of wire - I'll bet it cost more than it should have..... why can't "I" come up with some of those money making schemes????? Not enought imagination - guess I'll just stay poor:(

73 de Ken H>

Ken, I believe that is what I said in my first post on this subject. There is no sense making a "mountain out of a molehill!" Some Madison Avenue type said, "Lets call it a 'TigerTail', and we can make a lot of money selling the things!" And that, apparently, is what happened!

I've often wondered the same thing, Ken. As they say in the Mensa groups, " If you are so smart, why ain't 'cha RICH ! "

WE6C
06-26-2009, 05:52 PM
You guys that have tried this "whatchamacallit", how much did it help the recieve? Bob

N9JTW
06-26-2009, 08:10 PM
For me it did help a little on receive, but really helped on transmit.


You guys that have tried this "whatchamacallit", how much did it help the recieve? Bob