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Tarheel 75A vs Little Tarheel II

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by W4MWM, Dec 6, 2018.

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  1. W4MWM

    W4MWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looking for some feedback from those that have experience with the two. I've run a Little Tarheel II w/the longer whip for years, and for what I do mobile, it suits my purposes well. It has over the years, taken an occasional beating, cracked the lexan cover, broken molex plug, even snapped the top off once (my fault) but I've always been able to put it back together so to speak. I rarely work anything lower than 40m and I simply am not interested in a "full sized" screwdriver.

    That said, I'm considering a new antenna and am debating the real world performance difference between the 75A, which I have no experience with, and the II. Would lower band performance (40m) realize much of an improvement by going w/the 75A? My assumption is probably not, but we know what is said about assuming :)

  2. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The 75A has a slightly better Q, but I suspect you'd never notice depending on how it is mounted.
  3. KB7FSC

    KB7FSC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Marc,

    Have you tried giving Tarheel a call? I purchased a 75a this fall, and I was debating between the 75a and Tarheel II. I spoke with Tarheel, and they were very informative and great to deal with. They offered some performance comparisons between the two antennas, and advised to go with the 75a over the Tarheel II for better 40 and 80m performance. If you haven't done so already, give them a call. It doesn't look like there are many members on here that have directly compared the two antennas. So far, I've been satisfied with the 75a, and have been having fun with stateside and dx on 20m as well as better performance on 40 and 80 compared to my hamsticks I used previously.

    Another consideration on the 75a vs the II is the tuning speed is quicker and it can handle a little more power through the larger coil. It will also handle a longer whip while mobile, which also improves the performance on 40 and 80m.

    Have fun with your mobile! 73,

    Wane - KB7FSC
  4. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    But were they talking about comparing the LT2 using the stock 32" antenna to the 75a or the LT2 with the longer optional antenna? The optional longer antenna makes a quite considerable difference on the LT2, a couple of S points on 40m. I did a video on Youtube showing the difference listening to WWV on 30m using the stock short 32" whip and a 76" long one. It went from S5 to S7 on my TS480.
  5. KB7FSC

    KB7FSC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I could not find the notes I wrote down from in September when I spoke to Tarheel over the phone. I emailed them, and to paraphrase, the 75a on paper will have a slightly better efficiency due to the larger coil, but in real world, one wouldn't likely see a big difference if all other things were kept the same between the two antennas. The biggest difference pertaining to performance is that the 75a is capable of running a 72" whip while mobile (that is what I'm currently using) and also a cap hat, whereas the Tarheel II is recommended to run no larger than a 56" whip max while mobile. Of course, while operating stationary, one could go with a larger whip on either antenna to help efficiency. Tarheel did not offer me any dB differences between the two antennas in their email, but on their website, they do share some performance characteristics on the Tarheel II showing the difference between the 32" and 56" whip. The website says, "you will see about 1 dB increase on 20M, 3 db increase on 40M and 5 dB increase on 75M" with the 56" whip compared to the 32" whip. Depending on the linearity and calibration of a radio's particular S-meter, I suspect the preceding numbers could be anywhere from a 1 or 2 S unit increase. Your YouTube video seems to also confirm similar results. Also, as a quick side note to Marc, Tarheel made reference to the 75a saying it was "built like a tank", not to take away anything from the quality and construction of the Tarheel II. The Tarheel II weighs 1.9 lbs, and the 75a weighs 5.5 lbs, so that single point needs to be looked at carefully when considering the two antennas.

    Thanks for sharing your experience regarding the longer whip on your Tarheel II. I think between your observations and what is being published on Tarheel's website, Marc may be getting a clearer picture on the performance between the two antennas. I am interested to hear what any others might have observed, but there hasn't been a rush of activity on this post. Marc, let us know what direction you end up going on your new antenna purchase!

    Happy mobiling to all!

    Wane - KB7FSC
  6. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been running a 78" whip my Little Tarheel II whilst mobile for four years. It's even done this a lot and works just fine. I think though if its an option I'd go for the 75a with a cap hat which would be far better.


    In regards to the video, a S point on the TS480 S meter below S9 is 3dB.

    My only regret is that the construction of my car makes fixed body mounting impossible for fitting a mount to support a HF antenna. As you may be able to see from the picture there's a quarter wave 2m antenna smack in the middle of the roof using a fixed mount so it isn't from not being willing to drill holes. In fact I bought it at 2 years old and drilled that hole the weekend I got it home. Unfortunately the roof is too thin and the underside is coated with some tar like substance to reduce noise so I can't re-enforce that and the quarter panels are double skinned with a gap over an inch between the inner and outer skin which screws things up for using a Breedlove mount.

    My plan going forward is to replace my weekend sports car with a van as my back isn't up to driving it around much and I can both use the van as a mobile shack and something to sleep in on a summer's weekend whilst roaming around the country.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  7. W4MWM

    W4MWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks all for the replies. To date, I've stuck with my old Tarheel II w/the 56" whip. Until band conditions improve, HF mobile is a little tough right now.
  8. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Keep what you have, you will never see a difference. Both are a huge compromise to a real antenna. You could really tell a difference with one of Tar heels full size offerings but you are not interested in any of that....
  9. KC8QVO

    KC8QVO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have both a Model 400 and Little Tarheel II. On my personal truck I run a 102" whip on the Model 400 and it will work 17-160. I use the Little Tarheel II for the higher bands. In fact, usually what I would do is park the 400 on 75m as that is where I was operating most. Then I would just tune the Little Tarheel II between 17 and 20. Worked well.

    I have been running a semi for a while and moved my Little Tarheel II over to it on a lip mount on one of the doors. I have 3 whips I run with it - the small 32", a 56", and a 6' from my old model 200 (still have it, just not in service - still works - pre-pittman motor version from about '02). In the past I would switch the Little Tarheel II between my CB and HF. Unless I was planning to operate HF I would leave the small whip on and keep it parked on 11m. I just put a separate CB antenna on so I can dedicate the Little Tarheel II to HF again. The 56" whip is what I run most of the time, but I think I am still over 13'6" with it. When I am running the Rockies and Plains states I will throw the 6 footer on until I have to pass a state line/port of entry/weigh station.

    The longer whips do make a difference. The less coil you can use to load a particular frequency the better the efficiency will be. I can't use my Little Tarheel II to work 75m regardless of what whip I use, though. I think some of it is grounding on my semi, but on my personal truck even with the model 400 there is a big difference. I can work 75m with the 400, but when I switch to the Little Tarheel II I go from readable to the noise floor.

    For the record, I don't run anything more than 100 watts and I only have straight whips - no cap hats.

    Someone already mentioned the Q of the coils. The 75 has a larger coil that improves the Q. Will it make that big of a difference? Probably not. The model 40 is a high power version. It has the larger diameter wire in the larger diameter coil that the full size 100 and 200 models have. The combination of the larger diameter coil with the larger diameter wire may make a bigger difference (higher Q still). Though, you loose band capacity because the larger wire means less coil turns for that length coil. That is where the 75 is nice with the smaller wire - you can resonate down to 75/80m. Its all a trade off.

    When I got my model 400 I had bought a new truck (2011 F350). I was going to put my model 200 on it but I thought I would start fresh. The 200 was mangled from snagging a tree doing some landscaping so the mount was going to need a lot of TLC. I thought I would get a new kit and start fresh. Tarheel didn't have the 400 when I got the 200 and I saw the added 160m capacity so I thought I would give it a shot. I am happy I did. I don't run power, so the 250w capacity was a moot point. Interestingly, for as inefficient as the antenna is on 160 I don't have any trouble working that band. In fact, I have thought many times it is easier to work 160 mobile than 75 is. Weird stuff.
  10. KC8QVO

    KC8QVO Ham Member QRZ Page

    A couple more notes -

    I never run a whip without a spring on any of my screwdrivers.

    Tarheel will tell you not to run a 6 foot whip on a Little Tarheel II. I've run tens of thousands of miles in the semi with one - with a spring to dumb down the loading on the unit.

    And never put a spring under the Little Tarheel II unless it is a monster of a spring. Even the "large" ham-grade 3/8x24 springs are a bit sketchy. I just put a spring on top.

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