37 x 3.5 x 1.4 inches ; 9.6 ounces
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- ASIN: B013PY035O
California residents: Click here for Proposition 65 warning.
- Item model number: BR-180-B
The antenna arrived perfectly turned for the 2m and 70cm ham bands. I did tighten the set screws to ensure it stays tuned, and I suggest doing the same. If tuning is ever necessary, loosen the set screw just enough that the bottom element slides with some friction. Tune 2m first. Next, tune the top element for 70cm. Tighten the screws. Easy.
My initial tests involved bringing the antenna inside and using my window A/C as a ground plane. I proceeded to have a long simplex QSO with a friend of mine who lives 30+ miles away. Mind you, this was with the antenna inside. The circuit was noisy, but we copied each other without issue. Of course the fact that I'm 11 stories up had a lot to do with my ability to reach my friend's station, but I was left with a great first impression of the antenna nonetheless. I checked SWR across the 2m and 70cm ham bands, was happy with the results, and connected the unit to the cheap Chinese dual-bander in my car. My mobile rig puts out 20/25W UHF/VHF, and performance with this antenna is excellent. I haven't tested broadband (i.e., non-resonant) receive performance with my scanner, and I probably never will—I use another antenna for that.
FYI, this is the same antenna as the Browning BR-180, but with a matte black finish. I'm not big on chrome, and I think this model looks superior on my vehicle. It's a tall antenna. I use a Nagoya RB-50 as a base, and the massive magnet holds it steady at highway speeds. I recommend a 5" base if you intend to stick this on a mag mount. This thing will positively decrease your car's clearance. If you drive a truck or SUV, you'll need to take care not to top it out going under things. I drive a Subaru Crosstrek and simply turn the entire antenna/base on its side before parking in my garage. I've smacked a number of public parking structures when I've been in too much of a hurry to take down the antenna, and it's bounced right back every time—literally. There's no indication of damage. I expect this antenna to take a beating, and to hold up and last.
This antenna tuned easily on both bands for my (mobile) application, and I'm generally impressed with the distances over which I can pull in signals and hit repeaters. My only complaint: Poor durability, and lack of replacement parts!
In mobile applications, the whip rod WILL eventually snap off near the antenna base. Especially if you like to drive fast or on bumpy roads. I'm on my third antenna in three years. Both times, after it snapped off, I called Browning/Tram to try to buy a replacement whip, but they simply don't sell them. You have to buy a whole new antenna assembly. This kind of short-sighted and wasteful retail mentality just boils my blood.
*Important tip: Upon receipt, make sure to tighten all the set screws! Don't throw this antenna on your car "just for now," even if you're planning to tune it "tomorrow or Thursday," because when you eventually forget to follow through, you will lose the whole whip assembly from your brand new antenna base on the way to your first adventure! Congratulations, now you have another useless Browning antenna base for your collection of useless Browning antenna bases. That’s why I'm actually on my fourth antenna, although I alone am to blame for that last one.
Replacement parts or not, it’s irresponsible to litter the earth with skewers of broken-off whip antennas, so in addition to tightening the setscrews (loktite recommended), I also recommend tying an outdoor-rated (UV stabilized) string from the antenna base to the center element, to retain the whip when it snaps off. My first attempt used fishing line, but apparently sitting in sunlight for a year made it brittle and useless. Here’s hoping the latest antenna whip is actually retained when it breaks. With the upper half intact, you can probably find a replacement length of antenna rod to repair the assembly. If not, I'll need to get a bigger display case for my collection of useless antenna bases, or maybe learn to buy higher quality stuff for my hobbies.
My BR-180-B just arrived, I screwed it down to the NMO mount on my car and took the Allen wrench that comes with the antenna and tightened all the set screws snugly on the antenna. I tried it out on my mobile TM-D710GA and it seems to work well. I had good reports from others hams that my transmissions sounded good. Repeaters that are 25-30 miles away come in with strong signals, not full scale but almost full scale. I have it mounted on the metal at the back hatch of my 2013 Prius with a TRAM trunk lip mount NMO mount. One repeater that is approximately 45-50 miles away I was able to bring it up when previously I was not able to bring it up with my other whip antenna. I am thouroughly satisfied with this Browning antenna. It is a very good value and seems durable since the box it came in was split on two sides and the antenna was not damaged.
Hard to measure performance. Can't get SWR under 2.5:1 on the back of a jeep. Spare tire appears to be the culprit. Would recommend hood lip mount on a jeep.
Edit: Finally moved it up front on the Jeep, mounted to the lip of the hood near the driver. This antenna works as well as I could hope. 5-stars
This antenna came highly recommended from a very knowledgeable Ham. I had excellent performance until it fell apart backing out of a driveway. It came unscrewed at the coil and the top fell off. I'm glad it didn't happen on the road somewhere. I recovered the top piece no problem but cold not find the spring for the life of me. It may have ended up the grass or rolled down the hill but an hour of fruitless searching had me frustrated. The base coil is substantial and robust and I prefer the vertical, spring loaded stud connection used by Browning to the cheaper tab type connection found on Larsen antennas. I'm going to try to acquire a replacement spring and put the antenna back into service, and I'll be sure to tighten the center coil securely.
This is an excellent antenna. It was tuned well for a wide-band that covered 144 to 148 440 to 450 very well. Checked with an anritsu sitemaster and it was 1.1-1.2 swr both bands.
For my purpose I had to cut it and move the tune to commercial bands however. I shifted it 10mhz and it still performed very well, even still in the amateur band.
I have seen complaints about the durability of it, but so far no problems. For the money its an excellent antenna.
Great antenna came tuned right out of the bag (I checked it with an swr meter). Good range looks sleek.