Off Road Vehicles banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I previously had a Firestik 4' antenna. I installed it on my 2000 Ram with a Firestick Dodge Fender Mount, which bolts down to the front driver's fender up near the A-pillar. Result is that you can't see the antenna from the driver's seat in the cab.

Running a ground lead from the antenna mount to the battery, and scoring the paint under the mount to get a good ground, I needed a 3" spring and the Firestik antenna's adjuster pulled all the way out to get a long enough antenna to get my SWR down <1.5.

The Firestik died on a low overhang due to it's construction a few weeks ago. Previously, I'd been very happy with it.

The antenna is a really stiff antenna, and the cover on the tuning tip pulled off-road on my first trip. Always kept coming off, so I left it off. This is fine according to Firestik.

The adjustner nut is a brass bolt and lock-nut that are knurled for a good grip. The result is that if you extend the bolt out a ways, the bolt can catch on things easily, and the cover will pull off easily due to the short bit that grips the casing of the antenna.

In driving through a parking garage, the adjuster nut got caught up on something in the ceiling, and pulled the tuning assembly out of the antenna...

So, I bought a Wilson Flex series to get a more flexible antenna, hopefully one that's better for off-roading.

The Wilson antenna, out of the box, without a 3" spring shows up with a SWR ~1.5-1.75. I haven't tuned it down at all yet, but expect to get it very close to 1.

The antenna is about half the diameter of the Firestik at the base. The fiberglass rod is also tapered, making the tip much more flexible than the base, so it's not too likely to hit the cab (as the base is stiff), but will really flex in branches.

It makes almost no wind noise at speed, unlike the Firestik. The antenna is super flexible. You can bend the tip to the base with ease (or to the half-way point on the antenna).

The tunning tip itself is a brass rod 1/8" in dia with a teardrop-shapped end that's about 1/4" in dia. The rod is held in place with a small set screw, and the antenna comes with the allen wrench for it.

The tip is all smooth surfaces, so even if you do strip off the cover, it won't easily catch on things.

My recommendation so far is to save a few $$, get the Wilson Flex unless you need the power handling capabilities of the Firestik (200W vs 400W). I haven't been off-roading yet, but JasonB and I are hitting the mud this weekend, so we'll see how it does then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Replying to my own post! <IMG SRC="/board/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif">

Actually, the update with having the antenna on the trail.

The wilson is installed opposite the stock FM antenna. I was going down trails at Hollister yesterday where the brush was about 6" narrower than the truck... I thought I was going to lose the fm antenna...

Never had any worries on the wilson. I'm putting my spring under it before the next run, to give the base more flex, but the tip just flexes all around everything. MUCH better than the firestik ever was. And the reception was good and strong, and not worries about the other guys not being able to hear me.

I strongly recommend this anntenna to anyone that wheels in brush/trees.
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top