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Antenna FAQ

Some of Antennas' most commonly asked questions, and their answers, are included here for your reference. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, please feel free to contact us.

Advanced Antenna Theory

Can you explain antenna propagation and the
proper grounding planes for the different types
of antennas available?
Is the antenna length detrimental to reception?
Explain the difference between unity gain, 3 dB gain and 5 dB gain.
How much loss is induced with each connector/fitting that is installed on the cable?
If you cut a 3 dB whip to match a 1/4 wave antenna, are there any concerns?
Will dual band antennas work as well as single band or do they match the antennas in the middle of the frequency range?
Explain the theory behind portable antenna design and their length with respect to operational wavelength.
Can you explain how a coupling box works?
What's the difference between elevated feed and flat surface roof mounts?

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Application Issues

Can I paint the antenna base coils and, if so, with what type of paint?

The newer cement trucks are using all fiber glass cab construction. What is the best reinforcement procedure for the fiber glass roof and is there something that can be done to create isolation between the radio and the antenna?

Radios being equipped are the latest "state-of-the-art", digital, frequency- synthesized (non-crystal) version. The antenna output exceeds 30 watts and it is shutting down the radio due to microphone feedback. Why?

I have a '97 Honda Accord with an "In-Glass" AM/FM antenna. There is a small location near the antenna that I can mount a VHF "On-Glass" antenna. Is this OK? (Antenna model is AP-143.)

What is the proper way to mount and install both the ASP-930 and ASPB574 on a fiber glass roof of an ambulance?

Could we issue a statement regarding the intended use of the repeater?

How does the ASPM1954 (or any PCS vehicular antenna) plug into a PCS phone?

Your Mosaic product literature only lists the K-220 magnet mount for use with these antennas. I need a heavier duty magnet mount. Can I use the K-350 series magnet mount with my Mosaic conversion antenna?

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Basic Antenna Theory

What is gain?

Why is gain important?

I see many other antenna manufacturers offer antennas with higher gain than Antenna Specialists. Why is that?

I have a portable phone. However, whenever I use it in my car, people say I sound fuzzy. I also drop more calls in my car than walking down the street. Why?

What is the best mobile antenna mount to buy?

I don't want to install an antenna as I use my phone in two different cars. Can I get by with only one antenna?

I finally saved enough to buy my first new car! No way do I want to drill a hole in it. What type of antenna can I buy?

My new car has Insta-Clear windows and a fiber glass body. I still don't want to drill a hole in my car but I can't use an "On-Glass" or magnet mount antenna. What can I do?

I have a pick-up truck that I use for business. I really need to make sure I have good transmission and reception. I know you said there is no "best" antenna but I need something that will provide the "best" performance since my income depends on it!

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"On-Glass" Installation Issues

Does the black paint around the edge of the window reduce antenna performance?
Can an antenna be cut to any length or does it have to be kept at its original length?
Does slightly bending the whip reduce antenna performance? How much does the pitch of the antenna mast have on the performance?
Does the coupler box have to face in one direction or the other? Can it be mounted vertically? Does the direction mean any loss in performance?
How far out does the center pin of an antenna cable have to be from the collar to have a proper connection.
Can older A/S coupling boxes be used with newer A/S bases and whips?
Can you cut the coaxial cable? And if not, how do you store excess antenna cable?
How much cable can you cut from total length, if any?
If you use existing coax from a damaged, currently installed antenna with an new A/S coupling box and whip, are there any concerns?
What happens if a glass mount antenna is mounted on the window of a car with a fiber glass roof? Can glass mounts be used through fiber glass?
Does it make a difference if it is mounted on a corner as opposed to the center of the glass?
What difference does it make if an "On-Glass" antenna is mounted on the front or back window?
How much does window tint on a vehicle really effect a glass mount antenna?
How much effect does the inner shielding have on the cable loss, when terminating a connector?
What if any loss of performance can be expected from using a 1/4 wave antenna compared to a standard 3 dB gain antenna?
Some glass mount antennas have tuning ports on the inside coupler. Are we allowed to tune these or should we leave them alone?
Does A/S make dual band 1/4 wave antennas?
Why are there not tunable antennas to compensate for various glass types?
Are there A/S after-market 1/4 wave antennas available?
Which cars have OEM tint that affects glass mount antenna performance?

Can I mount an "On-Glass" antenna on glass treated with Rain-X?

I live in the Southwestern United States where winters are fairly mild. Do I still have to follow the cold weather "On-Glass" installation tips?

I am an installer in the Southern United States. Every July and August, I have problems with "On-Glass" antennas falling off of cars? What is wrong with the product?

Oops! I did not mount my new dual band "On-Glass" antenna in the correct location. Can I just peel it off and move it over slightly?

Help! I am a new installer and don't have much experience with installing antennas. Where can I get some help?

Will cutting the cable during installation of an "On-Glass" antenna require retuning of the coupling box?

Any quick tips for installing "On-Glass" antennas?

Will an "On-Glass" antenna work on an Insta-Clear windshield?

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