*Barjan Antennas & H.S. Coaxial Cable - Product Review*
I do not recommend buying Barjan Antenna products. Facta Non Verba indicates they are junk. The RG-58 coaxial cable used to feed the antenna is poorly shielded resulting in an extremely high SWR (standing wave ratio), which means that too much power is being reflected back to the radio. The only labeling on the cable was “H.S. RG-58 coaxial cable”.
The story goes-
My cousin just put a new CB in his truck. He bought the magnet mount antenna at Napa Auto Parts. I put my SWR/PWR meter on it to tune the antenna and was seeing an SWR of 5.0. Basically the radio was driving 5 watts and the antenna was reflecting it ALL back. That’s not good. In a nutshell it’s like the antenna isn’t even there. I attempted to tune it with no luck. Then I used an Ohm meter and checked the coax for shorts and continuity, which was fine. The center conductor wasn’t shorted to ground and the connector had continuity to the antenna like it should.
I told him the antenna was junk and to take it back, which he did. Napa gave him an identical replacement. <>I put this antenna on the SWR meter and the EXACT same thing was happening. SWR was through the roof. I went through the same process as mentioned above.
A bad antenna or feed line will cause high SWR, not the radio, but for the heck of it, I took the antenna off his truck, threw it on my roof and hooked it up to my CB. The SWR was now perfect!! WTF?
I put the antenna back on his truck with his radio and rechecked. The SWR was perfect!! OK…how do we go from 5.0 to 1.1 or less w/o doing anything?
The coax was sitting on his seat and I was sitting next to it when I transmitted and saw the perfect SWR. When I got out of the seat and keyed up the radio, the SWR was up to 5.0 again... AH HA!! Key up and hold my hand near it the SWR would drop to about 2.0 and if I touched the coax it’d bottom out and be perfect. If I backed away it would shoot through the roof again. I jiggled the coax on the seat and keyed, SWR was good. I then lightly hit it with my hand and backed away and the SWR was back through the roof. When I had it on my truck the coax was on the seat and I was sitting next to it, which is why it was showing perfect.
That is a pretty solid indication that the coax is EXTREMELY poorly shielded. I shouldn’t be able to affect the SWR just by waving my hand over or touching the coax. Heck, on my ham gear, I can drive 50 watts through coax and touch it and the SWR doesn’t even flutter.
He took that antenna back to Napa and got a refund. I told him to tell them to take the rest of them off the shelves because they are JUNK!
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