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102" whip vs the rest


W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Nov 20, 2005
so. maryland
have a big question. with all the hype of the 10k's stargunns, wilson 1000,& 5000 not to take away from the peromance of these great antennas is it really all about the coils trying to duplicate the 102" whip. i guese what i want to know is do any of these really out performe the 102" whip or are they just substitues for when a 102" whip just won't fit the application due to length. :roll:


Usually if I can hear em' I can talk to em'.
Oct 23, 2005
radioreddz, some like the coil types because of looks and they don't tend to get so much out of shape when on the move. The coils can get a better match normally and this seems to be important for guys runing CB amps.


Crotchety Old Bastard
Apr 8, 2005
How well you hear depends on the radiation pattern of an antenna. A 102" whip, a 1/4 wave length antenna, has one pattern. Longer antennas (to a point) tend to have larger patterns, or patterns that cover more area. Antennas that are shorter than the 1/4 wave but use a loading coil to make it 'seem' like a 1/4 wave, have a slightly lesser area of coverage than the 'full sized' antenna. It's a function of the overal length that determines pattern shape and 'size'. The shorter antenna may load just like a 1/4 wave (or a 1/2 wave, or a 5/8 wave or whatever) but just will not have the same radiation patter as the full sized one, always less. Now, having said all that (and it's a fact), a full sized antenna has practical draw backs. Depending on just how tall/long the full sized antenna is, it'll probably be a huge P.I.T.A. on a mobile cuz it's gonna be in the way at least part of the time. Or it'll sway at speed and give different loading characteristics. So, shortened antennas are worth the trouble even if slightly less than 'perfect' (whatever the @#$$ that means anyway).
Coils do not render any miraculous properties to antennas. At most, they will make the thing load like the real-live size would. At worst, they introduce losses that counteract any so-called 'gain' claimed. (Ain't no gain to it, that's a sales hype.) It's all a matter of adding the proper reactance to a too-short antenna to make the radio think it's the real thing. Sorry if that hurts anyone's feelings, but it's true none the less. They do look impresive though, don't they? Another feature of coils is that they tend to indicate a 'broader' usable frequency range. The key words there are "tend" and "indicate". The actual usable frequency range is actually less than a 'full sized' antenna when you consider efficiency, not what the SWR meter says. So, that aspect is another 'sales hype' thingy. The thing to do is take the 'practical' aspects in to consideration. You can just see your self driving down the street with a 5/8 wave antenna (about 22 feet?) on the car, right? So shortened antennas, any antenna with a loading coil, certainly do come in handy. Don't attribute any miraculous properties to them though, just ain't gonna happen.
That help any?
- 'Doc
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***** medic
Apr 3, 2005
I ran a 102" whip for years on my pickup. mounted in the center of the front bedrail, right behind the cab. SWR was 1.2 to 1.3 and had great luck with it....I aquired a Predator 10K and replaced the 102" whip and noticed it tuned flat...1.1 and that I was hearing things the 102" did not. Why?? I have no idea but the 10K is still on my pickup. Tried the same thing on my big truck. I was using a Wilson 5000 and replaced it with a 10K. Same thing happened, I was hearing things I never did with the Wilson. This isnt meant to be a sales pitch but real world experience

LoneWolf TN

Active Member
Apr 2, 2005

I've tested the 102" whip against both MrCoily and Predator10K antennas
on my pickup truck parked in my driveway, talking 23 to 25 miles away to several base stations. The Coily and the 10K both outperformed the 102" whip. Why you ask? I haven't a clue.

LoneWolf TN


Crotchety Old Bastard
Apr 8, 2005
...Are the '10K' and 'Coily' supposed to be electrical 1/4 wave antennas? Or some other electrical length?
- 'Doc


Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2005
the full 1/4 wave whip is more sensitive to proper installation, but they have the potential to outperform all the rest.

The others are typically more forgiving...

But in reality, it's like splitting hairs.


Crotchety Old Bastard
Apr 8, 2005
What I was getting at was that different electrical length antennas have different radiation patterns. A 5/8th wave antenna tends to have a broader/longer radiation pattern than a 1/4 wave antenna. Substitute any wave length (longer than 1/4 wave) for the 5/8th wave and until you get to something approaching 7/8ths wave, the radiation pattern tends to be broader/longer than the 1/4 wave. Lots of "ifs/ands/buts" in that but typically true. The above does not take propagation into account, which is another can of worms.
- 'Doc


Dec 2, 2005
I've got them all the 10K, wilson1000, 5000, Firestik, K40 ect...
Still to this day I've allways gotten the best results over all with the 102" whip.
The problem is the height when mounted.
I had an 84 buick Park ave, I put one on and to do it I drilled out through the dome light made a reinforcement plate around the hole to keep it top centre.
It looked funny, people were pointin and lookin but man with 200w on a clear day or night it was no problem talkin to base stations clear across lake ontario into NY state.
It may have been modulation only but I never got the same results with any of the others mentioned mounted the same mag mount or direct.
I had a nice female cop pull me over once just to ask WTF is that on you're roof?
I miss that mobile setup, but it was fun while it lasted.

Wire Weasel

Senior Moment
Dec 13, 2008
I also ran the 102 for years on the pickup and lived with it hitting everything. Had to use a 7" shaft extension to get it to match. Had the opportunity to a get a used Wilson 5000 Trucker for cheap. Did a standing-still signal test with 4 local ops in different directions and anywhere from 10 to 20 miles out. All of them reported 1 S unit higher on the Wilson and my reception was likewise.

Needless to say the Wilson is still on the truck.
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Active Member
Dec 27, 2010
When one uses loading to make a stick electrically longer it still radiates according to it's physical length minus coil losses.

A 1/4 wavelength fiberglass stick with a helical coil wound to make the antenna 5/8th wavelenght long will radiate almost exactly like a 102 with a 6" spring. Almost exactly instead of exactly because of the resistance and other coil losses.

I ran a 102 for years with a tube amp. Tuned the tube amp to rated current and dipped the tune. Didn't care what the SWR was and neither did my amp.

I know people who tell locals they are changing to coil antennas and to listen up for a test. The "coil antenna" always wins even though it's still a 102 whip : )

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