Which UHF Antenna is best?
All You Need To Know.
If you're getting your car, truck or boat fitted out with a UHF CB radio system or just upgrading your old one, one of the things you'll want to know is which UHF antenna will be best. Unfortunately it's not as simple as one being better than the rest, each UHF radio antenna is designed to work in a range of driving conditions and terrain types, however there isn't really a one-size-fits-all solution, so you'll need to make your purchase depending on the type of driving you most often engage in.
It might be tempting to just go for the biggest, toughest looking aerial you can find, and while it may look great on your 4x4, chances are it's not going to offer the range you need. The number you want to look out for when picking your UHF aerial is the dBi rating. In simple terms, a higher dBi number (6-9 dBi) results in further range, however as shown in the image below, this range only occurs on a flat plane which is great for open plains or highway driving, however it won't take into account buildings, undulating terrain or other obstacles that you might find when four wheel driving in the high country. Lower dBi antennas (0-3 dBi) have less range in terms of sheer distance, however the range with these antennas is spread across a wider scale and can transmit or receive throughout a range of elevation.
High Gain UHF Antennas: 6-9 dBiThese are usually the large, broom stick looking antennas that you see on lots of four wheel drives. Don't let that fool you though, these antennas are designed to transmit and receive signal for long distance on open plains and highways where the terrain is nice and flat without obstruction or obstacles. Throw a hill in the way of the antenna and you'll be left with a radio silence (literally).
Medium Gain UHF Antennas: 3-6 dBiMedium gain antennas are the happy medium for most punters and transmit or receive the best of both worlds. These are usually about fishing rod thickness whip-style antennas and offer a great compromise between distance and terrain capabilities.
Low Gain UHF Antennas: 0-3 dBiThese are the most common antennas for use in rugged alpine or mountainous areas and built up city centres where obstacles are a plenty. These antennas are generally thin and short in length and will easily send signal over tree tops, mountains, buildings and anything else you can throw in their pathway - the only downside is range is compromised as a result. These handy tips should make it easy to get your rig set up with a great in-car UHF CB radio system, however if you're still stuck deciding between two antennas, there is the option to run dual antennas and switch the cable over from the antennas mount when you get off the black-top and onto the 4x4 trails.
To shop our full range of in-car UHF radios, hand held UHF radios, UHF antennas and UHF accessories, browse online or head into your local Repco store today.