What to Look for in a 3dB Antenna
There are some purchases in life where you cannot sacrifice quality for cost. In an effort to determine which VHF antenna is best, you cannot make an assumption based on price alone. When it is just you out there on your sailboat, you need a 3dB VHF antenna that won`t let you down.
The Design of Good Antenna
For those familiar with antennas, a 3dB-gain antenna has a circular transmit and receive pattern, which influences the antenna’s decibel rating. The radiating element is typically the length of half a wavelength. Using the calculations of frequency, the should be a whip length of 6 inches for sailboats utilizing a 3dB style antenna.
Height is the primary factor impacting the operation range for antennas, and the shape of the sailboat can interrupt a flow of transmission. As such, a good 3dB VHF antenna must have a broad radiation pattern. This keeps the signal pattern moving in line with the horizon. A signal pattern follows a broad 80 degrees on a three to four-foot sailboat, rather than a sharper 35-degree pattern for an eight-foot boat.
The Quality Promise of an Antenna Manufacturer
The Metz Communication Corporation has achieved a loyal following of mariners over the last few years, with the U.S. Coast Guard being one of its most avid promoters. The design for their 3dB antenna includes a coil made of tinned copper wire twined around a Lexan dowel and integrated into the base of the antenna whip. The base is integrated with the cable attachment point as well. The unique design is the 3dB VHF antenna is the company`s response to consumer requests for an antenna that could be mounted using a number of different brackets. This gives the product more flexibility to mounted to autos, powerboats, or other portable devices.
As a whole, the reviews for this antenna, as well as the other products released by Metz, are extremely favorable. Users speak to the durability, clarity, and longevity of the antenna, as well as the superior transmission range the product delivers.