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    Default Handheld Antenna Question

    I'm looking for a replacement VHS handheld antenna. The OEM was a 6" long 1/4 wave. I've used OEM replacements in the past when I've melted off the end of the antenna. However, I've found a 3.5" long 1/4 wave that should be short enough to fit inside the radio pocket of my gear. How much difference, if any, in Tx and Rx range do you think I'd suffer going to a 3.5"? Range is a non-issue for my city issue UHF, but this is for my county VFD, and hitting the repeater is an issue in some areas.

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    A true quarter wave for VHF is actually about 18" long. Anything shorter is somehow loading the antenna.

    Longer is better.

    What I want to know is how you're melting your antennas. My bunker coat radio pocket is situated such that enough heat to melt the tip of the antenna would be within inches of my face...

    Perhaps the solution to your problem is a radio holster and strap, so the radio is inside your coat.

    For that matter, I hope you're not relying on the repeater for fireground operations. That should be on simplex.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    What I want to know is how you're melting your antennas. My bunker coat radio pocket is situated such that enough heat to melt the tip of the antenna would be within inches of my face...
    I have too, melted the tip of my antenna off in my gear a few times.
    Firefighter 1/ PA EMT-B

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    I also am curious as to how you melt the end of an antenna off. In 35 years of firefighting, including 32 years as an instructor in some pretty intense fires I have never melted an antenna.
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    The 3.5" 1/4 wave I found is coiled, so I'd imagine those 18" are wound pretty tight.

    We do use simplex on the fireground, but we are also tasked to do things outside of a traditional fire dept. The antenna sticks out of my radio pocket about 3". This morning's fire wasn't that hot to me, but it got the antenna pretty good. I've been in a few situations over the years where I've damaged a lot more than my antenna.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbzep View Post
    The 3.5" 1/4 wave I found is coiled, so I'd imagine those 18" are wound pretty tight.

    We do use simplex on the fireground, but we are also tasked to do things outside of a traditional fire dept. The antenna sticks out of my radio pocket about 3". This morning's fire wasn't that hot to me, but it got the antenna pretty good. I've been in a few situations over the years where I've damaged a lot more than my antenna.
    Exactly, my HT1250 is protected pretty well inside my pocket, but my antenna sticks out just enough to take the heat. I have also had my mic chord spirals melt together. But I have never had problem with the Mic itself, or the actual radio.
    Firefighter 1/ PA EMT-B

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