Antenna Question please.

Hello Everyone,

I have what may be an odd antenna question, but here goes.

Where I live I am unable to install an outside antenna. That being said…for 2 meter and 440, am I better off using a 37" Tram magnet mount mobile antenna with a mobile unit on a sheet of metal, or would I have about the same results with an MFJ SMA antenna of that length on my handheld?

It depends where you set it up indoors. We did a mobile radio connected to a Tram 1185 on a pizza pan in my son’s room and it works just fine, but we had to move it around a bit to avoid interference with a smoke detector in the hallway.

We also connected a homemade slim jim antenna made of ladder line to a UV-5R and it worked depending on where we placed the antenna. If it was hung in certain parts of the room it picked up very little, but in very specific locations it was fine.

Lights, plumbing, electrical wiring, windows, walls, computers, general layout of the interior, multiple floors, roofing and other factors combine to make it a wild card. It really depends where your house is located, what is inside and around it and where you place the antenna within a room.

I, unfortunately, had to move from a house to an apartment. To make matters worse, the apartment has aluminum siding. I live in a Faraday cage.

I use N9TAX roll up slim Jim antennas, and can make many local repeaters and I have a short simplex range. I can get on the air… but it is VERY crippled, compared to my old setup.

I would say, the aluminum siding is the number one reason I’m not as effective as I could be.

Yes, it is critical to find that “sweet spot” a couple inches can even make a big difference.

If you don’t have attic access, one Ham leans a J-Pole in the corner of his family room. If you have an HT, get a pigtail from BuyTwoWayRadios rather than a sma to SO239 straight adapter. Coax can snap the antenna connection on the HT easily. For example:

Make sure you get the correct sma gender to match your chinese vs japanese connector on the HT.

Is this just happening on 70cm or both bands?

all bands.

When you are in a compromised location, then you need to experiment to find the best personal solution. I’ve always found simple, proper designs - like the foldaway pole, or ordinary dipoles work far better than the handie so called wonder antennas, which are all dubious. In marginal situations, any antenna on a poor groundplane won’t work so well as one that doesn’t need one!

I noticed that double decker buses here are all fitted with glass mounted half wave HORIZONTAL dipoles because there’s no height for a vertical on top. So it’s the wrong polarisation, and for most time the wrong bearing too, but still better than anything else in their engineers opinion - so these could be worth trying out - made from burglar alarm stick on tape, and virtually invisible.