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MARC Technical Center Comet 146/446 Antennas
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TECHNICAL REVIEW:  
          COMET 146/446 Medium Length Antennas
 
 

  
> Original Entry:  
   MARC Newsletter:  November 1996 [
40-10.t1996-11.r01p01 ]
   by Ray Davis, KD6FHN  
> MARC Web Update:  January 2005  
   by Ray Davis, KD6FHN  

  MODEL GAIN
146/446
HEIGHT MAXIMUM
WATTS
SUGGESTED
RETAIL PRICE
1. HP-32 3.5/5.5 34-7/8" 350/250 $89.95
2. C-767 3.5/6.0 40" 120 $59.95
3. C-757 2.1/5.5 38" 200 $54.95
4. CA-2x4SR 3.8/6.2 39-1/4" 150 $64.95
5. SBB-5 3.0/5.5 37-5/8" 120 $59.95

These antennas are listed 1 through 5, in the order in which they have proven themselves by: (1) durability on a motorcycle; and (2) performance on a motorcycle. Durability being by far the most important factor when dealing with motorcycles. The testing consisted of running them on our custom trunk rack mount on the back of the GW-1500. 

The custom antenna brackets used by many MARC members are available from the MARC Store.   

Now the reason we are testing these antennas in this article at all is because you can ride your motorcycle in and out of your garage with them mounted on your trunk rack, and yes, they will touch (click) as you go in and out. The advertised length of all four of these antennas was wrong. The length you see here is by actual measurement with a Stanley tape measure. 

The maximum watts or the cost of the antenna was not a consideration during testing because only the HP-32 completed this summer's 25,000 miles on the bike. I ran at least two of the antennas at any one time off the back of the rack all summer, with just one of them hooked up to the actual radio. 

The #5 SBB-5 antenna broke off at the black plastic material just below the fold-over mechanism at about 1,000 miles. The #4 CA-2x4SR is all black like many of the new antennas coming out now, and may be getting a bad rap from me. (Updated Jan, 2005, the CA-2x4SR was on the motorcycle all last summer for about 42,000 miles and held up all the way) 

CA-2x4SR update January 2005, Ray Davis KD6FHN  
"After testing of the #4 antenna, the Comet CA-2x4SR, all of summer of 2004 and about 42,000 miles, I would now place this antenna in at least the second spot behind the Comet HP-32. The CA-2x4SRB actually out performed the HP-32 but because of the durability/strength built into the HP-32 and the fact that about 90% of us (or about 150 Southern CA MARC Members) are having such good luck with it, I still have to support the Comet HP-32 as the winner of the testing. But the CA-2x4SR is not a loser. The HP-32 comes in stainless steel only and the CA-2x4SR comes in black only." 

The #2 antenna, the C757, is another open coil antenna like the SBB-5, and sits right between the SBB-5 and the HP-32 in nearly every aspect. It is three inches longer than the HP-32, but has no problem going in and out of the garage as far as breakage is concerned because of its flexibility. Many of the MARC members are using this antenna out here in California. To my knowledge, I have only seen one of these broken at the black plastic piece just below the fold-over mechanism. During the 10,000 or so miles it was on the trunk rack it stayed together just fine. But because it has only 2.1 Db gain on 2-meters, I placed it second. 

The #1 antenna is the HP-32, and if you ever see one, you'll know why. It is of extremely heavy construction for an antenna. KM6UK DeWitt named it the "rhino killer", for good reasons. At 35" it is the shortest and strongest of any antenna we have tested. Yet it has 3.5 Db gain on 2-meters and 5.5 on 436 MHZ. This HP-32 made the whole 25,000 miles with me one summer and still looks like new. The HP-32 earned its right to be #1, the hard way. Many of the MARC members use this antenna for local applications and only switch to the much taller 55", Comet SBB-7 when more gain is needed for our charity events. 
   
Page:  [ 40-10.t2005.r01p01 ]  08 Apr 2014 12:15

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