The Right Radio Antenna

If your new 2-way radio doesn’t have the range you need, or it’s getting old, you may need a new antenna. Poor performance can often be resolved with a stronger Motorola Radio Antenna that fits your needs.

Upgrading your standard antenna will make a dramatic improvement in the strength of your signal. But before you buy, you should make sure you pick the right Motorola Radio Antenna. That’s why we wrote this easy guide for you.

What Radio Frequency Do You Need?

If you don’t know the frequency your 2-way radio uses, you won’t buy the right Motorola Radio Antenna. That’s why it’s crucial to check your model number and identify the frequency it uses. Selecting an antenna that matches your radio's frequency is the first and most important step.

The frequency range usable by most antennas is limited. Boost your communication options with the full-bandwidth coverage of Motorola's UHF and VHF wideband antennas. As a result, your radios will always function at their highest level.

It’s also important to note that some MotoTRBO two-way radios also include GPS capabilities. Make sure you have a GPS-capable antenna for your Motorola MotoTRBO radios if you plan on using the GPS features or software!

Antenna Design Changes the Way Your Motorola Radio Works

A new Motorola radio antenna can extend the range of your walkie talkie, so you can communicate in rural places where signals are scarce or in urban settings where interference is everywhere.

But not all antennas are created equally. The distance and strength of your signal will depend on the antenna’s construction. Although antenna construction can vary from model to model, there are 3 basic types you’ll see when you shop Motorola antennas.

Whip Antenna

A whip antenna is a single long flexible wire or monopole attached to a radio's receiver or transmitter.

Whip antennas on two-way radios used to be designed as a set of metal tubes which telescope and lock into place. Old televisions, transistor radios, and boomboxes all used the classic whip antenna. These tend to pick up in one direction better than others, which is why we spent hours finding the perfect position for the greatest reception.

In more modern whip designs, a steel-constructed core is encased in a flexible fiberglass rod. Long whip-style antennas are ideal for radios operating in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, and 900 MHz frequency UHF bands. You get more range with a longer antenna like this, but many businesses want a less cumbersome, shorter antenna instead.

Stubby Antenna (the “Rubber Ducky”)

Long whip antennas can be awkward to carry around. That's why the stubby or short whip antenna was born.

But they have their shortcomings. Stubby antennas only support lower frequencies well, so if you are using a higher frequency band like VHF, this is not the right antenna for you. This is much better suited for UHF bands.

To make the antenna a more manageable length, a single loading coil (inductor) is connected to a smaller whip antenna. This shortens its overall length while still being resonant. It also offers better reception without requiring you to point it in a specific direction.

The most popular short whip antenna is the rubber ducky.

a rubber duck toy

No, not that type of rubber ducky.

rubber ducky - perhaps the right Motorola radio antenna for your needs

A rubber ducky antenna looks something like this.

The antenna that comes with most Motorola radios is the rubber ducky. It was meant to be durable and small, but it wasn't made to work as efficiently as a Motorola radio antenna upgrade.

These short whip antennas are coiled to incorporate a thin helix of flexible wire that serves as the whip. This makes it flexible and gives it a better range for its tiny size.

The entire thing is encapsulated by rubber for added durability; hence the nickname “rubber ducky”.

Whoever says size doesn’t matter hasn’t used a stubby antenna in a large area. These only work well in places like restaurants and small department stores.

If you need real range, 3 to 4 inches is not enough! You need at least 6 inches or more.

Long Helical Antenna

If you are looking for an antenna with the longest range possible, you should always check for gain figures. But if that’s not available to you, there is a general rule of thumb: The longer the antenna, the longer the range. This is especially true with helical antennas.

A helical or heliflex antenna has the greatest gain you can buy and is perfect for high frequency radios like those that use VHF bands.

When the length of a long whip mixes with the coil of a rubber ducky, and more wire is added, we get something special. Since a coiled antenna extends the range in a shorter length and offers more directional coverage, when the wire is multiplied and lengthened, it creates a flexible antenna with superior reception and range!

One last thing to check which is extremely important

Antennas either have a center pin or they do not, regardless of the antenna type. This is extremely important, just because an antenna fits the radio doesn't mean it's going to work to the radio's best advantage.

A large security firm was complaining that their radios were not providing maximum range, upon further investigation it was determined that they were using a non-center pin antenna on a radio that required a center pin antenna. When in doubt, please call us or just reference the standard antenna that comes with the radio. All our Radios list the items that come in the box with their part numbers.

Want to Buy Motorola Radio Antennas?

Keep in mind that the antenna you will be the deciding factor in whether your two-way radio can send and receive signals properly. If one of your radios is broken or under performing in any way, replacing a Motorola antenna is an easy way to get the most out of your radio’s life.

What kind of two-way radio antenna will best suit your company? If you aren’t sure, my Radio Mall can help! With over 30 years of experience, our 2-way radio staff is well-equipped to address questions you may have. Get in touch with us!

Tags: radio antennas, two-way radio accessories