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VX-8r Duck

Discussion in 'Ham Equipment' started by gaucho, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. gaucho

    gaucho Member

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    It basically sucks. I guess it is good for an antenna that can get thrashed around and you don't have to worry or for short range stuff. I bought a $25 mag mount antenna for my truck and without even putting it outside the truck, just setting on the seat, repeaters that were coming in at a 5-6 with the duck were a solid 9.

    Not that it isn't a no-brainer already, but a new antenna is an upgrade that will make the radio that much more enjoyable than it already is.


     

  2. Hutch

    Hutch Active Member

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    Well a 5/8 antenna even a 1/4 wave on the outside of a vehicle is always going to perform better than a rubber duck. I can't believe people with Ham tickets have expectations other than this.

    The Yagi on my tower even does better than the 5/8 on my truck.
     
  3. Beetle

    Beetle Sr. Member

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    Remove the duck.

    Take a piece of insulated wire, like doorbell wire (#20 or even smaller). Cut it to about 19-1/2 inches long. Remove a half inch or so of insulation and wrap it around the antenna jack's grounded side. Reinstall the duck so that the wire is held in place by the duck when it's tightened. Just let the wire dangle pretty much straight down.

    You now have a 2M counterpoise for the duck, and you should find that it makes things work a bit better.

    YMMV. SS4D.
     
  4. gaucho

    gaucho Member

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    My point I guess is that it is like buying a Corvette and getting only pizza cutter tires. The vx-8r is the most feature rich HT, yet the main purpose of a radio is to transmit and receive signals and the stock duck fall very short.

    Of course having the antenna outside the truck would be better, but my comparison was with the magmount antenna still inside the cab.
     
  5. Beetle

    Beetle Sr. Member

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    A feature-filled HT with a short rubber duck is what it is, regardless of the name on the radio or how new it is. An antenna that short will NOT be as effective as just about anything else that's longer. You can't change physics.

    The stock duck is generally fine for hitting local repeaters when you're using it outdoors, outside of vehicles and generally in the clear. That's ALL it's intended for. A longer antenna would detract from the appearance of the radio in the AES/HRO store.

    So have you tried things with the magmount OUTSIDE the cab yet?
     
  6. C2

    C2 Sr. Member

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    You have it all wrong, they don't sell these radios with "antennas" they sell them with radiating dummy loads. That way you can fit an actual antenna to fill your needs.
     
  7. Hutch

    Hutch Active Member

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    It's a handheld radio, putting mobile mag mounts on them would really defeat the "handheld" part. There is no rubberduck multiband antenna that will perform anywhere near as good as a 5/8 whip or 1/4 whip or long wire, or dipole or yagi. So comparisons are meaningless, unless you want to compare it to other rubber ducks. Rubberducks are meant for basic local strong signals such as local repeaters and short LOS simplex.
     
  8. marcham

    marcham Member

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    When there's no chance of the antenna being damaged, I fit a Diamond SRH 320A (14") to my VX-6R. It has noticeable improvements on 2m and 440 but also in receiving the air band. However, it is more fragile than the stock resistor.

    As for 6m, I wouldn't expect much from any HT antenna.... the SRH999 is quad band and should yield similar performance (2m and up) as the 320A but comes it at 19.5".

    I can't imagine walking around with a 20" antenna slapping me in the face with the radio strapped to the chest pack.
     

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