Mobile antenna for a Yaesu VX-6r - Any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK4CCJ, Oct 20, 2011.

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  1. KK4CCJ

    KK4CCJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm looking to procure a new antenna to use with my Yaesu VX-6r (2M / 220 / 440 MHz, HT). I'm wanting to diversify its use and take it mobile, rather than using it exclusively as an HT. (Of course) I'm on a budget, but will spend on quality. I'm hoping that in a year or so I would be able to purchase a radio for exclusive use in my vehicle (haven't even started looking), so if the antenna would be functional in that arrangement too, it would be ideal.


    p.s. - If I missed a thread that this was previously discussed in, please accept my apologies. I just got so tired of trying to sift through the search results of everybody selling their equipment that decided to start a new thread.
  2. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You will encounter many different ideas here, but most will agree that an NMO-mount antenna in the center of the vehicle roof is your best option. Personally, I have nothing against mag-mounts, and even , in some cases, through the glass antennas, but others have differing opinions. A trunk-lip mount can be very effective if you get it well grounded, and it will work on the hood as well as the trunk.

    If you intend to keep the triband functionality of the radio, that limits your choices somewhat. Diamond and others make triband mobile antennas that should serve you well. Diamond's CR320BNMO ought to do fine.

    The biggest concerns I have with using an HT mobile are antenna connections, power, and audio. If you don't already have one, get a speaker mike for it. That may solve a lot of problems, as the speaker in the handmike can be clipped on closer to your ear when driving - when using an HT in the car, I clip mine on my shirt pocket, and that works fine. You will want a DC cord to run the HT while mobile, and an adapter to connect from the SMA connector on the radio to the coax from the antenna. I prefer the flexible type as they don't put as much stress on the HT connector.

    Now, if you don't already have these things, I bet you can get a new monoband mobile radio for less than the cost of these add ons and have at least 50 watts instead of 5. It's something for you to consider. You also save wear and tear on the HT antenna connector that way.
  3. K6CPO

    K6CPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's pretty much the route I went when I started out earlier this year. My first radio was an FT-270 HT. I decided I wanted to use it mobile so I bought a simple Comet M24S dual-band mag-mount antenna with an SMA connecter on the end of the coax. This worked well until I bought an FT-1900 2 meter mobile. I had to get a SMA to PL 259 adapter to connect the coax to the 1900, but the antenna is the same one. I also now have at FT-7900 dual band (2 meter and 440) and I'm able to use it in the car as well, again on the same antenna...
  4. KK4CCJ

    KK4CCJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the advice and responses -- both thoughts seem to have sound wisdom and give me a great place to start investigating. I greatly appreciate it!
  5. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not sure what type of antenna your looking for from the information in your post. Since it appears your asking about an antenna I might suggest the "antenna forum" might bring more suggestions.

  6. AD0KI

    AD0KI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try Lakeview antennas. They make a good quality mobile antenna that will have the correct connector for your VX-6.
  7. VA3CSS

    VA3CSS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Agreed, especially about the SMA adapter being one that has an inch or two of feedline on it to prevent stress on the SMA connector. This is MOST important, as the SMA connector can't handle any stress at all.

    The only alternative to that is this:


    Note that the adapter will sit flush with the top of the HT, relieving the tension on the SMA connector. You would then have to replace the stock PL-259 with a male BNC connector, or use a second adapter to go from SO-239 to BNC male. Once you get a mobile rig, simply remove that SO-239 to BNC adapter, and use the same antenna.

    If you then also add another adapter for your rubber duck antenna to BNC male, you now have a better, (and less stress) means of quickly changing from mobile to handheld use without over-stressing the SMA connector.

    The other alternative is to get a smaller, magmount antenna like the Opek VUM-201-BNC. (also comes as VUM-201-SMA which will connect the same as your rubber duck does, but I don't recommend removing an SMA connection several times a day - get the BNC version and the above adapter instead.) A shorter version of that one, with less gain, is the VU-1510. The VU-1510 is available in BNC, SMA or PL-259 versions. I recommend the BNC version, along with an adapter as pictured above. Once you get a mobile rig, put a BNC female to PL-259 adapter on to use this same antenna.

    The only limitation with the Opek antennas is that they don't do 220Mhz. They are dual-band only (2M and 70cm).

    Also a good point to consider.

    Remember, that your HT will still be a maximum of 5W. But more importantly, an HT doesn't have the cooling capacity that a mobile rig would. Although the VX-6R, (and it's cousins, the VX-7R, VX-8R and FT-60) are all built with aluminum bodies, as opposed to plastic ones, like the cheap Chinese ones, and some other name-brand HTs, it still can't dissipate heat as well as a mobile rig with actual cooling fins and in most cases a fan as well.

    What that means for you is that you can't run it at full output for very long before the radio automatically disables your output due to high heat. A mobile rig can run 5W all day long, at almost 100% duty cycle. An HT cannot.

    Lastly, check the local driving laws regarding cell phone use. Many of them happen to also include handheld radio use in the ban. That means that your plan to use an HT in a vehicle may net you a fine under the cell phone ban that may exist in your area.

    And if it's not the case in your area today, it may turn out to be that in the future. Your window of opportunity here may be shorter than you realize.

    So, while you can equip your vehicle to use your HT, your duty cycle will be lower than a mobile rig, and you may have new laws coming into effect, (or already existing) that will ban such usage.

    It's a lot to consider.

    You might just prefer to wait for Wouxun to release it's first mobile rig, (due very soon) which will be a dual-band with cross-band repeat, and the full 50W capability. It'll probably sell for around $150 to $200 new, making it the cheapest dual band mobile rig out there.
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