Stubby vhf antenna


Expedition Leader
I purchased mostly to use as a cap, this will be my the location of my HF antenna (working on the license and radio) when I'm done. Just wondering if anyone has used one and if its useful for more than just vehicle to vehicle. Maybe I'll plug in an HT when I'm not using the HF rig.



These low profile or phantom antennas exist for cop cars, diplomatic cars and unmarked vehicles that would like not to draw attention or might be at risk of damaging whips flopping around. So absolute performance isn't the primary goal.

They usually need a sufficient ground plane and with one will do OK, like on the roof or trunk lid, for example. On the bumper like that is not ideal and probably won't work too well.


Thats okay. I probably won't lose it as easy as I would a rubber cap :)
The little red rubber cap they include with the NMO bases I don't think would stay on very long for sure. I'm not sure what they expect it to do 'cause it sure isn't going to stay put on the highway or stop any water in the rain.

Since I use mostly Larsen antennas I keep a couple of their rain caps in the truck. They use the same gasket as the antenna base. I think they're about $5 and they're not going anywhere.


Active member
Every time I order an antenna I usually just order a $5 rain cap as well and just keep it in the glove box. I have one on an NMO on my Xterra I don’t use much anymore and it never comes off. Never. No matter how hard I try. I usually have to get a crescent wrench to break it loose.

About the phantom antennas, I really don’t understand the appeal of those or why they are getting more popular. I have a Laird phantom on my wife’s minivan for GMRS because she didn’t want a “big” antenna sticking out of her roof. Maybe it’s part of the “tacticool” thing. I see it a lot in the off-road community on GMRS. It isn’t really saving a lot of space, a phantom is 3” whereas a 1/4 wave is only 6”. I know the Laird phantom I have requires significantly for ground plane too, as in a 20” circle instead of 12-13”. I always wondered what would happen if one of those nicked a tree or sign. Would the base break away or would it become a “can opener.”

Anyway, if you were to look at the RF pattern of those you would see they optimize for repeaters, further reenforcing their intended purpose on fleet vehicles.

Here is the model I have. Note how the strongest RF is from 30-60degrees in elevation.

Sent by electrons or some crap like that.


Active member
In my own personal experience with one of those phantom antennas isn't good. Put one on my VW Bus and couldn't hit my usual repeater 15 miles away on 2m. Unscrewed it, replaced with a 1/4 wave and was back in business.

Forum statistics

Latest member