I am thinking of purchasing a Motorola Mag One BPR 40 5W radio. I was wondering if you can get a telescoping antenna to boost reception. The salesman said that the rubber antenna that comes with the radio is the best one suited for the job. He said a longer antenna would actually reduce performance. He said that with a larger metal antenna you could get an RF burn if you touched the antenna while transmitting. Any thoughts?
Telescopic antennas are usually rubbish. Tuning is always haphazard without a tape measure and off tune they’re inefficient. 5w is not going to do much burning. A medium wave broadcast antenna has a big fence around the base. Low power RF can indeed burn but it’s legal to sell those little gizmos to remove skin tags and blemishes. They produce minute sparks from the tip, but if you grip the tip you don’t even get a tingle. I’ve never got a burn from a handheld on any antenna.
All this said, the experiments I’ve done with replacement antennas tend to support the case that the supplied antenna is the best. You get a tiny bit more range at the cost of awkwardness, and convenience. Plus, they need to be used properly, and handhelds are always stuck in pockets or clipped to things and long antennas get in the way.