Why Is The Height Of A VHF Radio Antenna Important

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You might have asked yourself this question one time or another: Why is the height of a VHF radio antenna important?

You know waves need to travel in the air to let two devices connect. With all the surrounding we’ve got today around us, whether it’s the buildings, trees, or whatever, these signals got too many obstacles around them. And only if you go higher, then only the waves got some space to move freely.

That’s the gist of it.

But there is more to it for sure that you want to know. And that’s what we will do here.

So, stay along.

Why Is The Height Of A VHF Radio Antenna Important

Different Height Antennas For You To Choose:

The first thing you need to know is the gain on the VHF antenna. If you don’t have a clue what gain means, it is nothing but the power that amounts from an antenna signal. That’s the easiest way to put it.

So, there are various gain antennas. Let’s take a look at them.

3dB gain:

If you’re constantly moving with your VHF radio like on a vehicle then this is the kind of gain you would want to have.

It makes a lot of sense because the shorter antenna design is more practical in day to day use. Yes, they lack a bit of gain, but that works out because of the ease of use.

6 dB gain:

When it comes to improving range, the 6dB gain antenna will have an upper hand over the earlier 3dB system.

The longer length of it is what makes transmission strength much stronger. But that is also is its biggest Kryptonite. That’s because the added length of it makes it not suitable for use in portable stations like in a vehicle.

However, for use in stationary units, it is a perfect choice. And if you have a marine vessel, then it is a great choice and it travels a long distance to allow a communication channel with the shore.

10dB gain:

By now you have guessed what the 10dB gain antenna will have to offer. More power, greater range, and improved conversation over a long distance. That’s what comes with such a powerful gain antenna.

But this one is in no way portable at all. At least, the 6dB gain antenna is perfect for a ship, this one is more like a device that the ship antenna tries to connect to the shore. It is that large.

Does The Antenna Height Make A Difference?

Looking at the type of antennas, you already got a picture of how the height makes difference.

And that is the case as the VHF radio relies on line of sight communication.

The wave sent from the transmitter needs to be seen by the receiving antenna. And with all the obstacles around today, it has become harder and harder.

Even those waves can reflect on the obstacles and then reach at different times. But those things won’t render to anything useful when they get received.

That’s why you need to go as high as you with the antenna and mount it there. If you can find a place there will be fewer obstacles, the greater your chance is to get those radio signals.

So, yes, getting a longer antenna will help out you a lot. And even putting it in a higher place will improve your chances of getting signals. But there are some other factors that you can’t forget that play in part in it. And that is the transmitting power of the radio unit itself.

How to mount the VHF antenna?

Having just a long antenna and putting it at the top of the roof won’t just makes the whole thing work.

You’ve got to know how to mount the VHF antenna the right way.

And that’s what we will look into right now.

  • Obviously, the first thing one needs to do is find a suitable height for mounting the antenna. It needs to be high off the ground, which you know by now. But you also need to make sure components that will control the direction don’t come close to any metal. That is a big no-no.
  • The next thing that often people get wrong is that they don’t leave any room around the antenna for themselves to walk around. They often forget about the fact, they might need to go up and maneuver it the right way to get the signal.
  • You also need to consider the EMF impact as well as have to think about the base unit.
  • From there, it is time for lining the cable. Be careful while routing it as if you damage it, there will be interference which will make all the work till now pointless. The word of advice is to line the wire straight without letting any coiling.
  • The coax line needs to be away from the radio. At least a meter. It shouldn’t be too much as then there will be too much signal loss.
  • Now comes the part to get the coax attached to the radio. Splice the wires and put them together, gently.
  • Once done with all this, just do a check run. See, if you’re able to send and receive signals back and forth.

If done right, you will have a great setup that will provide the best performance.


Ok, you’ve seen why the height of a VHF radio antenna is important? Not only that, even we’ve looked into the various antenna sizes and their use case. Also, we’ve gone through how to get those antennas hanging up high to get the best reception.

Just take what you’ve learned from here and try it out to see if that does any good for you not. And once you do that, don’t forget to share your findings with the readers here.

Happy transmitting.

Also read:

1. How To Ground Your CB Antenna: In 6 Simple Steps
2. Fastest Way to Build a 40 Foot Antenna Mast [DIY Project]

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