Telescoping 5/8 Wave
The telescoping 5/8 wave 2M antenna covers the range of 144-175 and is an alternative to carrying 3 of the rubber duck style. It provides OMNI directional 6 to 9 db gain and is usable in tunable positions. When it has an SMA-M or SMA-F base, it is compatible with the Rat Tail, which results in the mazimum possible gain your are going to get from an antenna used on an HT when you need a ground plane (for ground plane independent antennas look at the 1/2 wave telescoping model). In marginal operating locations a telescoping is much better. A telescoping increases usable simplex range of a typical 5 watt, 2-meter portable from about a mile in average terrain with the stock flexible antenna to 3 miles or more, depending upon terrain, ground clutter, foliage, and any vehicle or building attenuation. However, you can increase this even more if you introduce a ground plane by using the Rattail with it. This antenna we stock is a 'bear'. It provides 6 to 9 db gain and is usable in 2 positions. Fully extended or fully collapsed. It is a true 1/4 wave when collapsed. Modular construction features replaceable telescopic section, tuned coil/spring. This new flex coil matching network provides at band center low SWR as well as a +or - 5 MHz band center.
The advantages to this model are:
1: Steel telescoping antennas yield the maximum amount of gain you can get from any portable antenna to give you the best possible chance to hit a distant repeater or another radio.
2: You can get by if you want to carry just one antenna to suit most of the VHF frequencies you may encounter on a trip by doing some 'gain farming': extending or collapsing sections to improve your gain via trial and error. Guidelines for tuning the collapsing sections is on the right sidebar.
The disadvantages are:
1: not convenient to use. When collapsed they are 10.5", and when expanded they are 48" long. This means you will normally travel with it detached from the radio.
2: When extended on a handheld radio, if held on an angle, it will exert stress on the radio's plastic case where the antenna mounts even though it has a flexible spring on its base. For this reason the antenna should not be carried attached to the radio, always be carried upright when it is attached (any antenna should be used in the perfectly vertical position when transmitting unless your name is Bruce Willis), and always used with the correct base mount form factor (in other words do not use your old telescoping antenna with a BNC base and an SMA adapter).