Antenna Cable Question

Antenna Cable Question

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  1. #1
    JK Super Freak dmwil's Avatar
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    Default Antenna Cable Question

    Is there any advantage to a shorter or longer antenna cable, or is it a wash, given a correct tune for each?

    I'm deciding which side of my Jeep to run the antenna cable to my new hood antenna mount. I'd like to go 9' and run it through the driver side firewall, but I've already got cables crammed in there from auxillary lights and I'm not sure I can squeeze even the low profile connector through it. The passenger side would require an 18' cable, but that firewall opening is wide open, so I know I could easily run it through there.

    I want to know if there is an advantage to either before I make the final decision as to which to order.
    2008 Unlimited Rubicon
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  2. #2
    JK Newbie
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    Default Cable length

    I've always found that the 18 is easier to tune.

  3. #3
    JK Super Freak dmwil's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OldHippie View Post
    I've always found that the 18 is easier to tune.
    Thanks! I ordered the 18. It will be easier to run and tune.
    2008 Unlimited Rubicon
    Steel Blue, sometimes Earth Brown

  4. #4
    JK Jedi Master Mark Doiron's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OldHippie View Post
    I've always found that the 18 is easier to tune.
    That's likely because the antenna was better placed, with some contribution from loss in the cable. The best way to tune an antenna is to completely bypass the cable, usually by using an antenna analyzer (which in its simplest interpretation is an SWR meter with a built-in RF emitter so you don't need to use the original radio and can bypass the cable completely by attaching the analyzer directly at the antenna). To consider the cable loss aspect, pretend you hooked your 5 watt transmitter up to a 10,000 foot run of cable with no antenna. That cable will swallow up the RF--you'll have amazing SWR with virtually no reflected power--and won't be putting much of a signal out at all.

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