M-Tech Communication Antennas

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iandvl
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M-Tech Communication Antennas

Post by iandvl »

I acquired a set of M-Tech's long antennas to evaluate last year, but had some delays in actually getting it installed and tested.

This one to be exact: https://www.mtcomm.co.za/product/m-tech ... enna-long/

In January we were camping at the bush camp at Doorndraai Lodge near Rooiberg. Being on top of the hill, I was able to receive ORRA radio comms of people in Marakele - about 40km aweay as the crow-flies. This was obviously elevated line of sight, and I did not attempt to transmit.

This weekend, I installed the second antenna on my old man's truck, and we did a radio test yesterday. An incredible improvement in terms of range from my previous Zara quarter wave antenna. Reception remained 5/5 for over 10km as the crow flies. In a built up area with hills in between the two vehicles too. I was in Garsfontein, the old-man was heading Westward on Solomon Mahlangu. We ended up losing comms way past Waterkloof airforce base.

I think the biggest drawbacks is the cost (they are super expensive compared to the Zara) and the length of the mast. In my case, the length of the mast does not bother me too much as, being mounted on the bullbar, it is actually the exact height of the RTT. Which makes it nice and easy to see where the truck will fit when there are objects overhead...

In short: I am super impressed.
Ian de Villiers

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Re: M-Tech Communication Antennas

Post by Sweetlips »

Ian I'm glad you enjoying the radio but I just want to clarify something which may be common knowledge. M-tech is advertising this antenna with their branding but there are numerous other that sell this item. I know of a local supplier also in Paarl that sells the same product for less and is also a reputable company in the industry here in the Western Cape.

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Re: M-Tech Communication Antennas

Post by iandvl »

Thanks Lawrence. I was unaware of this. Would you mind sharing details of the other companies who do these types of antennas ?
Ian de Villiers

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Re: M-Tech Communication Antennas

Post by Sweetlips »

Ian the company I use for my radio advise is J&B electronics, Mr Joe Berg. I am sure there are suppliers up north that has them as well, its just to find out what they called.

Another interesting fact is that those radios now comes in a long and shorter length options.

Evens more interesting is that in last year I came across a gentlemen with the longer unit installed and started talking to him about it, and the guy was actually working for ICASA.

He had the antenna fitted to his rig to test it and in his opinion besides the looks it offers no difference to the normal whip antennas for when driving in convey.

Its properly a case of horses for courses. Does it look cool? Yes! Would I install it? Yes! Is it better than the short whip antenna i already have? For my needs no!
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Re: M-Tech Communication Antennas

Post by Peter Connan »

Personal opinion from a dynosaur:
Radios are not really necessary for convoy use if proper convoy discipline is adhered to. Yes it's handy, but if everyone can see the vehicle behind them a message can quite quickly be passed up the convoy just using lights or the hooter in extremis.

Where a radio becomes far more important is when the convoy breaks down or in a situation where it might be a good idea to send one or two vehicles ahead to scout a route. And I think in those situations you want as much reach as possible.
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Re: M-Tech Communication Antennas

Post by Sweetlips »

Peter I beg to differ.

When playing at Atlantis Dunes you realize the importance of a radio when driving behind each other. Especially when cresting a blind dune. Then the vehicle ahead can give you an indication if it is safe to follow or not. The dunes are also very massive, you can be held up by a vehicle infront of you and the other leading vehicles can easily move out of sight and when they realize you not there they would stop and wait but there are instances when you ask yourselve did they go left or right?
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Re: M-Tech Communication Antennas

Post by iandvl »

Peter - I hear your comments about proper convoy discipline and convoy driving. It is what I was used to prior to the radio thing.

As you know, my father and I regularly tour together. The radio changes the way one tours. It makes it easier passing trucks on the road, reporting on hazards in the road and just sharing interesting bits of information and interesting things to look at along the way. We regularly chat about interesting tit-bits of history of various places as we drive through and similar. It makes a massive difference.

Lawrence - in terms of this specific antenna vs a generic whip:

I previously had a Zara 60 trimmed to ORRA frequencies. There is an incredible difference in terms of range between the new antenna and the previous one. I am unsure what previous whip antenna the ICASA gent had, but if it was a Zara on ORRA frequencies, he would not be able to compare the performance between the two. With the limited testing we've done so far, I'm estimating an improvement of at least 300% in terms of range. That is a conservative estimate. I'll do some more tests when we do a proper trip again, but for me, a standard Zara whip (trimmed to ORRA) is not even close to the ballpark compared to this antenna.

Just my thoughts.
Ian de Villiers

Patrol 4.5 GRX
Jurgens XT65 2x0 with Super Select Zero
ORRA: H80

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Re: M-Tech Communication Antennas

Post by Sweetlips »

Thats good to hear Ian. The one reason I haven't gone the route of this antenna yet is because of the feedback I received from 1 guy. Stupid I know.

Think I will do a bit more research on my own taking into consideration your comments.
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