Recommend radio & antenna

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by KK6IOR, Nov 25, 2018.

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  1. KK6IOR

    KK6IOR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm rigging my Tacoma pick up as a chase vehicle for the Mexican 1000 race. I need a dual band radio that can be modded for extended frequency Tx. 150-158 Mhz is used during the race. This is legal and widely used in Mexico for this race. A small form factor and the ability to monitor 2 freqs is also desirable. APRS is not used but I suppose l might as well have it.

    The antenna will be mounted on a bracket bolted to the hood hinge in front of the drivers A pillar.
    I want 2 antennas. One for everyday use and a long one for use during the race. I have access to an antenna analyzer so tuning the antenna is not an problem as the antenna will only be changed out a couple of times a year.
    Thanx for any insight.
  2. AI7PM

    AI7PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    No need to "Mod" anything. See the Powerwex DB-750X. Dual band, dual watch, and covers everything you need without screwing around.

    As to the antenna, in that monting location get something that is 1/2 wave on VHF and it will give you a good match. Dual band? Larsen 2/70.

  3. KD4UPL

    KD4UPL Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Alinco Dr-638 is a part 90 radio. This likely means it is designed to perform well in the frequencies outside the ham band that you are interested in.
    AI7PM likes this.
  4. AI7PM

    AI7PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    And the Alico is made by the same company as the Powerwerx now, (Anytone) so pick you preferred looks. Personally, I'd go with the Alinco now for a friendlier user interface and beter mic connector.
  5. KV4JW

    KV4JW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd think more about the area you're going to be in, to dictate what type of antenna you'll use. If it's a mostly flat / desert area like I'm envisioning, it'd be hard to beat a 5/8 wave antenna as it's going to have lower radiation-lobes and will send more of your radiated power lower to the horizon.

    If you'll be in a hilly/mountainous/urban area, I'd recommend a simple 1/4 wave that has more of a "bubble" radiation pattern so you're able to radiate out of valleys, etc. easier.

    If you'll primarilly be communicating with other trucks and HT's that are close to the surface of the Earth, a 5/8 will also be better for the same reason I mentioned. Repeaters are normally higher in elevation, so a 1/4 wave with a steeper main lobe would send more ERP towards them.

    You get the idea.

    It appears as a 1/4 wave is shorter that it'd be less efficient than a 5/8, and on paper it technically is, but only because of the differences in radiation characteristics. Match your antenna to the area you'll be operating in for a performance edge.
  6. AI7PM

    AI7PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    If he's mounting the antenna as he said, a 5/8 will not perform well as it needs a large ground plane. Pretty much the same with a 1/4 wave.
    KV4JW likes this.
  7. KK6IOR

    KK6IOR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok, so I think I've overcome my trepidation with drilling into the roof of the cab. How about a recommendation for the an NMO antenna. Probably a 1/4 wave antenna will match the environment where I will be using the rig the most. I'm going to order the Alinco. Thanx for all your help.
  8. KV4JW

    KV4JW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good choice of choosing to drill into the roof. It only hurts for a minute, and then you'll be thinking about how you made the right choice and about how much better your signal will radiate.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  9. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Forget the half waves and 5/8 waves. Get a simple 1/4 wave vertical antenna. It is shorter so less likely to hit anything overhead and if it does it has no coils to get broken or take a beating so is a whole lot more sturdy and you'll not notice any difference in range.
  10. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good advice. What most folks seem to miss, is the fact that most dual band antennas are actually unity gain on two meters. And, the pattern of a quarter wave doesn't have nulls like most dual banders. I call it.... Playing the gain game, where everyone loses.
    AI7PM likes this.

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