I used to do a lot of mobile radio stuff. Mostly on HF
, and through several different vehicles. I found that the best antenna I could use was a so called 'Texas BugCatcher' made by Henry Allen. It is/was big, ugly, cumbersome, and not the easiest thing in the world to mount on a vehicle. It also takes time and effort to tune correctly. But, once you did, it worked very, very nicely. For HF
mobile operations, I don't know of anything better
When the 'screwdriver' antennas came out, I thought that was just the neatest thing to ever come along! So, had to try one. This was when there were no commercial versions, all of them were 'home-made'. Used a real-live cordless screw driver's motor, PVC pipe for a coil form, some kind of metal tube large enough to hold everything, and some weird stuff called 'finger-stock' to make contact with the coil. Not exactly 'state of the art' unless you were into finger painting, sort of. It worked. Not exactly 'well', but it worked and you didn't have to stop and change coil taps to change bands/frequencies.
This was also about the time I got into mobile amplifiers. To say that I abused that screwdriver antenna is very much an under statement. Found that the torroidal impedance matching coil would 'saturate', and just exactly what 'saturation' means in terms of heat. Also what 'too much power' would do to a PVC coil form with too small wire making up the coil. Add all of that stuff to a 102" whip and you wind up with a mobile "inverted 'L' antenna". Not good. You might say I was sort of disappointed with the whole mess and went back to that 'BugCatcher'. 'Swore' I'd never do that again!
Haven't done any HF
mobile in a while, and dreaded the thought of trying to mount the 'BugCatcher' on my truck. Looked around and found that there are several commercially made screwdriver antennas now. "They want WHAT for one'a them @#$ things?", holy _ _ _ _! Ain't no way! I'll stick to 2 meters.
Well, I lied, sort of. Got me a screwdriver antenna. It got here yesterday. It's something like 27 degrees. It's gonna stay in that shipping tube for a while. Talk about a shipping tube! This thing's about 8 inches in diameter and something close to seven feet long. Half inch cardboard, the solid stuff, not corrugated. End caps put on with philip's screws, wooden end caps by the way. I think there's as much work put into that tube as there is in the antenna. Dang!
There's also a set procedure for removing things from that tube. Don't even think about doing it some other way, it voids the warranty. I've no idea how others do their shipping so this may be standard, 'normal'. I can say that I've gotten glass thingys shipped in lesser containers, I'm impressd.
More to follow. Gotta go do some of that four letter word thingy...
If/when I find the camera I'll take pictures.