In the field, nothing beats the simplicity of a J-Pole antenna. I’ve seen quite a few J-Poles utilized for emergency and event communications; more so than any other type of antenna. With all the antennas on the market, why do hams always fall back on this type of antenna. There are several reasons:
- Size. The 2 meter J-Pole is less than 6 feet tall. The breakaway model folds down to under 36 inches. The antenna is small enough that it can fit in the trunk of your car without taking up too much space.
- Performance. The J-Pole has about 2.5db of gain over a 1/4 wave antenna. It’s a half wave design, so it has a doughnut shaped radiation pattern; sending more RF energy to the horizon than the sky. Also, building the antenna out of 1/2 inch copper tubing both increases the bandwidth and reduces the noise floor of the antenna. You’ll get better reception capabilities and a wider range of operating frequencies.
- Cost. Probably the biggest factor; the J-Pole is inexpensive. You can dedicate this antenna to Emcomm use without breaking the bank. A similar single band commercial antenna is $80 or more; the 2 meter J-Pole is only $30.00.
As an active ARES/RACES member, the J-Pole is part of my go kit. If I didn’t recommend it, I wouldn’t sell it.