Tait TP8000/9000 antenna ID and modifications

Astro Spectra

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Tait make some nice portable radios, the DMR TP9300 is a favourite of mine.

For the TP8000/9000 VHF portables there are a range of helical 'rubber ducky' antennas and one wideband type available, it's important to use the right frequency range version avoid impairing radio performance. The helical are made by Panorama Antennas in the UK while the wideband (which looks identical to the Motorola type) is made in China. The wideband type works very much better than you'd expect, as good or better than a helical on the right frequency and much better than a helical used on the wrong frequency range. I've found use of the wrong types to be quite a common issue when users either have a wide range of frequencies (common on VHF) or have migrated from their original assignments.

While working on some TP9300 DMR portables for a new ham 220 MHz DMR system I looked over the available antennas in the workshop and compared them to the Tait VHF antenna table. The return loss measurements were made using a simulated portable held in my hand and clear of obstructions. YMMV.


Tait Model
Lowest Spec'd Freq​
Highest Spec'd Freq​
Length Spec​
Measured Length​
Best RL
TPA-AN-034
136 MHz​
174 MHz​
219 mm​
> 10 dB 136-174 MHz
TPA-AN-002
136 MHz​
151 MHz​
183 mm​
TPA-AN-003
150 MHz​
162 MHz​
170 mm​
TPA_AN-032
155 MHz​
174 MHz​
163 mm​
163 mm​
> 10 dB 155-174 MHz
TPA-AN-004
162 MHz​
174 MHz​
155 mm​
158 mm​
161 MHz >18 dB
TPA-AN-040
174 MHz​
193 MHz​
140 mm​
143 mm​
169 MHz >18 dB
TPA-AN-041
213 MHz​
225 MHz​
120 mm​
118 mm​
220 MHz >18 dB

Here are the assembled guilty parties, the TPA-AN-034 was AWOL when the picture was taken. The antennas are from top to bottom the '041, '040, '004, '032:

IMG_1844.jpg

I needed two antennas for 220 MHz and I only had the one example on hand. I did have plenty of the '032 types so out with the heavy duty cutters (the helical is copper plated spring steel, so don't wreck your good wire cutters here):

IMG_1847.jpg

To pop the cap off the sacrificial helical, cut about an inch down from the end cap. Using long nose pliers pull out the helical winding then the cap will be much easier to remove from the jacket without damage. I cut mine down while measuring the RL and the finished result was a mm or so off the Tait OEM version:

IMG_1849.jpg

To refit the cap took a bit of effort, I used a rubber mallet to tap it back into place once I found the right length.

Ideally I'd like to find a flexible quarter wave whip antenna type with the male SMA type of base that would fit the Tait portables for best range at 220 MHz. Any suggestions of possible options would be appreciated.
 

Vette86

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Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
34
Any suggestions on a source for a 2 meter band helical?

Thanks

Craig