Best Antenna for Yaesu FT-8900

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by POHONASIN, Jul 24, 2008.

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    I have just purchased an FT-8900 Quad Band Radio. I am planning on using the radio in the 6M and 2M band widths, and would like to know what is the best antenna for this radio. The Antenna will be mounted on my Subaru. I have seen the Comet and Diamond Quad Band 54" Antennas and I think that they will be far too big for my vehicle. Are there any other alternatives or options? Thanks
  2. KR2D

    KR2D Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi, pohonasin! Your profile lists you in Stanhope, I'm in Byram.

    54 inches is about the best length for an antenna that works on 6m and 2m. A 5/8 wave whip for 2m is about 53 inches, add a bit for a mount. The interesting thing is that 5/8 wave on 2m is also 1/4 wave on 6m, so you get a good match on both bands.

    I have a MFJ 5/8 wave 2m mag mount that I occasionally use on my Subaru (I rarely operate mobile). It's not "too big", at least not in my opionion. Just a thin stainless steel whip stuck to the roof, no bigger than a typical CB mag mount. I've never actually used it on 6m, but my antenna analyzer (MFJ-269) proves that it has good SWR on 6m.

    Mag mount is the quick and easy way to mount an antenna like this. The best way is to drill a hole and use a NMO mount. A luggage rack and trunk lip mounts are other options.


    Thanks for the info

    Hi Ron, I have been using Ham radios and modifying them for use on the municiple bands for years. I am a fire fighter in Stanhope, and a 22 year EMT. I find that the Ham radios can do so much more and are much more versitile than the traditional radios used in the emergency services. I have done the Mars modification on my new radio which opened the 2m range up a bit, but most of Sussex County Fire is transmitted on Low band or 6M. I am looking to see if there are any modifications that will allow me to open the 8900 to Tx and Rx on 46.10. I also have a Yaesu VX-7R which works well in 6M VHF and UHF, so I dont see why the 8900, whci is a newer radio would not be the same way. Do you know any secrets that I don't?
    I am looking to eventually get my Ham liscence, but don't know where to start. Any suggestions?
  4. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    OH OH! (putting on my Asbestos suit and popping some Popcorn!)
  5. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If I was only very Wealthy, I would have a Yaesu FT-8900R too! And the best antenna for it is one were you get 10,6, 2 and 450 all in one. That antenna is the Diamond CR8900A, designed JUST for this radio! But it ain't cheap! Diamond antennas are always great quality, and if I could just come up with an extra $600, I would have the FT and the Diamond in my Car.
  6. KB0TT

    KB0TT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ditto the " Oh, oh "

    Time for Glen to pop in on this thread...

    I too have inserted a " blast wall " , put on my flame suit etc....

    We will see how this thread goes .. I've heard it at LEAST 20 times !!!

    READY three, two , one .......

  7. KI6NNO

    KI6NNO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Uncertified gear on municipal frequencies.

    I think you should send a letter to the FCC, telling them how you've been "helping" your fire department in Stanhope violate federal law. THEN see if they'll issue you an amateur radio license after you've thus proven your moral standing to them. Moral standing IS a consideration in receiving and maintaining an amateur license. But seriously, it is illegal. Please use certified equipment for that purpose.

    To answer your questions:
    1) A good place to start learning about ham radio licensing is here:

    2) I'd go with the Diamond CR-8900A, even though you said that 54" is too tall. It's simply a good length for the frequencies in question and works very well with the radio.

    Fwiw, I do hope that your municipality stops using uncertified radios for licensed frequencies. Not only is it illegal, someone's life may depend on it.

    Please get an amateur radio license before using your new FT-8900R.

    Best regards, KI6NNO
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  8. KR2D

    KR2D Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry, I don't know anything about mods for FT-8900. I haven't used one, but many folks like them. It would probably be my top choice for a moble VHF/UHF FM rig.

    But I do want to make sure that you are aware that using modified ham rigs on public service frequencies is not legal. I didn't write the rules, so don't shoot the messenger. Others here will tell you the same thing and some of them will not be polite about it.

    Enough of that....

    The starting place for info about ham radio in the USA is the ARRL's web site. Lots of good info and resources there. Peruse that web site and come back here with any questions. (Probably best to start a new thread and don't mention modding your radio. :D )

    In our area there are two active clubs: Sussex County Amateur Radio Club and Splitrock Amateur Radio Association. Splitrock seems to be more geared toward newcomers. They offer monthly license exam sessions (a.k.a. Volunteer Exam (VE) sessions) at Hopatcong High School, but I think they stop over the summer.

    I am not a member of either club, but both seem to be made up of nice people. Listen in on their repeaters at 147.300 (SCARC) and 146.985 (Splitrock) to get an idea what the folks are like.

    If you want more info, feel free to PM me.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  9. W0LPQ

    W0LPQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    One of Glen's responses to an old thread ...

    Quote from K9STH...

    This question comes up almost weekly here on

    It is ILLEGAL to modify a radio made for the amateur radio bands to use on any other service except for a very few models that can be used for MARS and CAP. Radios used on the commercial two-way services, on GMRS, MURS, FMRS, etc., all have to be FCC certified (new "buzz word" for "type accepted"). Amateur radio equipment cannot meet this certification if for no other reason than you can "dial up" the frequency from the "front panel". Also, virtually all amateur radio equipment does not meet the frequency tolerance standards nor the modulation characteristics required for commercial use.

    It is legal to put amateur radio frequencies in a radio that does meet the certification standards for commercial use and use the radio for both commercial and amateur purposes.

    You need to be familar with 47 CFR Part 90 which contains the regulations concerning most of the land-mobile services of which the Fire Service is a part. You can download this from the FCC website for free.

    If you choose to modify and use an amateur radio unit for the commercial bands on which to transmit (it is legal to use such a radio for receiving ONLY) be aware that there are severe penalties that can be "awarded" by the FCC. These include

    Penalties of up to $11,000 per day per radio that is used.

    Confiscation of the equipment.

    Loss of your amateur radio operator's license and being barred from ever getting another license so long as you live.

    Being imprisoned (means "go to jail").

    In addition, the licensee of the radio system in which you use the equipment can be fined and lose their license as well (this means your fire department, county, city, or whatever agency has the license).

    A while back the Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Fire Department thought that they would save a "few dollars" by purchasing amateur radio equipment and having it modified. Since they were a "big city" department they thought that the FCC would do nothing. Wrong! they ended up with a huge fine from the FCC, had to give up the amateur radio equipment, and then had to replace the units with certified equipment. This little escapade ending up costing the department several times what purchasing the correct equipment would have cost in the first place.

    Now as I pointed out before, you can purchase certified (type accepted) equipment (used or new) and have your fire department frequencies and your most used amateur radio frequecies installed. This is perfectly legal so long as you do not allow an unlicensed person to use the radio when one of the amateur radio frequencies is selected. They can use the radio when one of the fire department frequencies is selected.

    Glen, K9STH

    Unquote ...
  10. W6GQ

    W6GQ Swap Meet Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page


    everyone climb on, this is going to be a fun ride
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
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