View Full Version : 1/2 or 5/8 wave antenna for 2m
trying to decide on a 1/2 or 5/8 wave antenna on my truck, is there that much difference? Thanks
Yes 1/8 of a wave length. Seriously there should be only 1dB of difference between the two. The major difference is that the 5/8 wave antenna requires a ground plane the 1/2 wave antenna does not.
If your in a metropolitan area there is nothing better than a 1/4 wave ground plane antenna. If your working distant repeaters over flat terain the 1/2 or the 5/8 will give your signal more range.
It seems to me that if you have a half wave that's somehow fed at the center (I think that they used to be called coaxial ground planes) you would be better off than with a five eighths that is end fed. I believe that the half wave would have a lower angle of radiation.
I experimented with a cb whip (full size) into which I bent a phasing stub which gave me a half wave in phase with a quarter wave working against a ground plane. Only problem was that if I stopped short or accelerated real hard, I'd break the mag mount loose.
You have to weigh the practical with the theory here.
The best place for an antenna is the center of the roof. It provides the closest to omnidirectional coverage you'll get on a vehicle, it's the highest point on the vehicle and when applied via a NMO mount is most permanent and trouble free.
Now that we've all agreed on that, it becomes a bit of a practical matter. How much height do you want on top of your car? I have NMO mounts in the center of the roof of our car and pickup. They both sport Larsen 1/4 wave antennas that have been around at least 25 years. The one on the pickup "pings" the garage door when going under it, but doesn't hit anything else. When we're going off on a trip, I put a 5/8 wave (physically shortened via a coil in the base) Larsen on. Again, an at least 25 year old antenna. There is a difference, but not enough to put up with the clanging around town.
I've been playing with 2m FM mobile since I was first able to get my hands on some old tube type Motorola radios with vibrators in the power supply. Basically it was order some crystals from National, add a few "gimmicks" to bring the frequency down from the commercial frequency the radio was on, and tune 'er up. The rest was antenna. I've tried a whole bunch of antennas, and this is by far my favorite setup.
5/8 wave is better. If in the future you want to get on the 432 mHz (70cm) band it will also work just fine there.
I've got a 7/8 wave, and mine works great;f
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