Anttron 305 Super Base Antenna: Review
Everyone is familiar with the A-99, formerly called the Antron 99. Well, the original partners split up and the Antron name can no longer be used by Solarcon. You’ll notice that the Anttron people have added another “t” to the name.
Some of you might have been around long enough to have seen or heard about the partner split up at Browning Laboratory. It brought the birth of Tram. Instead of one ultimate radio, we were blessed with two Rolls Royce of radios. Each one would try to out do the other with their next model.
It gave us some wonderful radios back in the old days. Something good came from the Browning split, and something good has been coming from the Antron split.
Anttron has made -the highest quality low cost fiberglass whip antennas for a long time. I was never afraid to recommend them to truckers looking for something that wouldn’t break their wallet. They also manufacture the 21K high power mobile antenna.
It handles over 20,000 Watts of power.I haven’t tested the 305 yet but I’ve seen the one that will be going up at my store in Everett. The base section is heavier than the A-99. The quality seems to be much better too. The antenna comes with two U- clamps for mounting to a standard size mast. The KEMTRON™ radials are approximately 6 inches long and made of aluminum. Below see the list of data supplied by Anttron.
Omni-directional Factory Tuned 27 – 28 MHz Polarization – Vertical SO-239 Connection 0.64 Wavelength All Elements Active Power – 2500 Watts PEP Electrically Isolated V.C.T.™ – Sleeve Tuning Impedance – 50 Ohms Nominal Kemstar™ Radials To Broaden Bandwidth SWR. – 1.5:1 Or Less Across CB Band Gain – 10.35 dBi/QWM (Same Test Method For A-99)
1 1/4″ O.D. Fiberglass Heavy Duty Bottom Section 3 Kemstar™ Aluminum Radials 3/4″ O.D. Fiberglass Mid Section Overall length – 18 Ft. 5/16″ O.D. Fiberglass Top Section 1 1/2″ Mounting U-Bolts Supplied Independent testing was done by RF Testing, the same firm that tested the A-99 in 1985.
They have received testimonials from CB and Ham operators. These comparisons, although not done under strict scientific conditions, show a 3 to 4 dB increase from the Ham community when compared to an A-99 in the same location. The CB community reported a 4 to 7 dB increase over the A-99 in the same location.
Although these figures were not collected under laboratory test conditions, -the independent testing does show a 10.35 dBi gain for the 305 and a 9.9 dBi gain for the A-99. All leading to the conclusion that updating to an Anttron 305 will result in increased gain.
Other reports reveal that the antenna will tune from 40 to 6 Meters. Note the tuner must be designed to work on 6 Meters to tune that band. Also the E.R.P. (effective radiated power) was low on 40 Meters even though it tuned.
You’ll notice that the specification sheet only claims 20 – 6 Meter coverage. Gain is a very important consideration when selecting an antenna.
There are other factors that if not equally important are right up there near the top of the importance scale. Noise immunity is important. Gain is all well and good, if you can’t receive due to noise interfering with your reception you’ve gained nothing.
Noise reduction was a high priority in the design of the 305 antenna. Initial testing by Anttron indicated they did their job and are backed up by these testimonials. Another consideration in selecting an antenna is its ability to maintain a good match under adverse weather.
Snow, Ice and rain can raise havoc with an antenna’s match. Snow and ice are the worse of the three because you must wait for it to melt and then dry off before your match returns to normal.
his was a terrible problem with the Shakespeare PogoStick. It’s exposed coil would fill in with snow and ice making the match go off the scale. The A-99 has this problem to a reduced amount.
The tuning rings- affect the inductance of the antenna and are also exposed to the weather. The 305 sleeve is exposed to the weather but the folks at Anttron say the sleeve changes the capacitance of the tuning section and this isn’t effected by weather.
Everyone wants their antenna to stay up as long as possible. I don’t know too many people that enjoy heights and antenna installation work. This all leads up to the heavy duty bottom section of the 305 antenna. In high winds I’ve noticed the A-99 sway quite a bit.
I have lost a top section of an A-99 and it’s possible that this whipping action was the cause. I’ve also encountered customers that have had similar or worse problems including the bottom section snapping just above the adjusting rings.
Shakespeare regained a few Super Big Stick customers for this reason. One bad antenna experience and customers suddenly feel that gain isn’t quite that important anymore. I can’t wait to see or should I say hear how the New Anttron 305 works at the new store.
By the way, they are available from Bob’s CB. I purchased some for stock when I decided to go with this one for myself. My decision was base on a combination of specifications and knowing the owner of Anttron for a number of years. He’s never steered me wrong.
One thing that sticks out comparing the old spec. sheet with the new one is the gain of the antenna.
The old sheet claims; Gain – 10.35 dBi/QWM (Same Test Method For A-99). The new spec. sheet claims; Relative Gain – 12.3 dB. Not knowing if the antenna has been upgraded or not, I really can’t comment about the change in the specification.
But an inquiry is in process. An update will be added as soon as the information arrives.
The Anttron 305 was installed over the new shop at 10 Thorndike Street in Everett, MA. The antenna performed better than expected. It did seem very quiet with respect to atmospheric noise.
The building was full of construction equipment including gasoline powered generators and air compressors.
Also truck and equipment maintenance was all performed in the building. This included arc welding on many occasions.
The radio remained relatively quiet. At first, concern grew about the possibility of poor gain being the reason for the low noise level.
This wasn’t the case. I was able to talk over 25 miles to a base station that wasn’t running power and wasn’t at a high elevation. The station was giving me a “S” 7 on the meter. The meter on this Tram D210 is upgraded with the D201a solid state meter circuit and had just been calibrated shortly after the move to new shop.
Surprisingly, these results were achieved in spite of ignoring the manufacturer’s recommendation against using 9913 type coax. Anttron had experienced a static problem with this coax on their antenna. It didn’t happen here. In addition, the antenna couldn’t be grounded.
There wasn’t any open ground to run a ground rod other than by the electric meters. This could have caused an RF interference problem throughout the building or even the neighbourhood.
The other factory claim was the new VSWR matching scheme was unaffected by rain or snow. It is true, the match remained unchanged during heavy rain and snow storms.
I was quite impressed with the performance of this antenna. It lasted the two years at this location without any problem. I decided to move the shop a short distance away once the lease was up.
Parking became an increasing problem for customers and there was a vacancy in the Boston Market Terminal at the time.
At the new location I had a Solarcon I-Max 2000 installed. This being the new base antenna at the time, I opted see how it performed.
The gain is equal to or slightly better than the 305, but the location could be a factor. I believe them to be the same elevation above sea level. But the noise level has definitely increased.
This too is non-scientific and could be due to a higher noise level in the area.
I’ve been considering a second omni antenna at this location, and it will be a Anttron 305 when and if I decide on a second antenna.