Harris Race Radios

NZ and AU leading supplier of Motorsports Communications

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Harris Motorsport Aerial & Antenna

Mad Mike drift car with antenna

Long Range, High Performance Antennas for Handheld and Mobile Radios

Motorsport aerials are one thing that can make or break a Motorsport Communication system. The correct motorsport aerial is the most important factor. Harris Race Radios have the tools an knowledge to make sure you get the correct antenna. Not all antenna’s are created equal, a Motorsport Arial is not the same as used on a long-haul truck. Do you need a ground plane or ground plane independent?

Length and type of Motorsport Arial can make a huge difference to your radio systems performance. 

It is important when purchasing a Antenna that the frequency being used by the radios matches the design frequency of the antenna. This can require the assistance of a Radio Engineer, Harris Race Radios are your professional Radio Engineers. We are RSM Approved Radio Engineers. Contact us with any queries you may have on the antenna you require.

Harris Antenna on a supercar

FAQS:

Question: What is the difference between UHF & VHF.

Antennas are used to send and receive frequency signals. Very high frequency (VHF) and ultrahigh frequency (UHF) antennas are designed to transmit and pick up different ranges of frequencies in the broadcast spectrum. … VHF antennas do not transmit and receive the same channels as UHF antennas. They can not be mixed.

A VHF antenna will not work on a UHF radio and summarily a UHF arial will not work on a VHF radio.

The VHF wave length is longer and works in and around objects such as trees, hills, etc. UHF has a shorter wave length and works best in line of sight but passes better through buildings etc. VHF is usually used in aviation, marine, Rallying and off road environments. For road racing, UHF has a better ability to travel through things, i.e. metal, concrete, etc., it is also less susceptible to interference. VHF and UHF antennas are different, if you use the incorrect arial the system won’t work very well. 

Question: For Motorsport Racing, Do I Need An External Roof Mount Antenna?

Answer : Yes an External aerial will work best. There are (2) different types of systems.

1. If you have a tin top car, you need the standard coax Antenna which uses the roof as the ground plane.

2. If you have a fiberglass or carbon fiber car you will need to use a ground plate under the antenna or a good Ground plane independent aerial system, so make sure to order the correct Antenna system. If you have any problems call Harris Race Radios. General rule of thumb for any radio is, the higher the antenna position, the longer the distance that can be covered. That being said, unless done properly an external antenna may not be better than the existing Antenna on the Radio. For tin top cars, the top of roof is a great location. Some cars can sometimes get away with the antenna on the radio as long as the Radio is positioned high enough with the Antenna pointing up.

As a general rule of thumb use a Harris Race Radios professional ground plane independent external aerial they are specially designed as a Motorsport aerial.  This is our best selling aerial that has top performance.

Question : What should I do if I have Extra Coax cable?

Get a radio engineer at Harris Race Radios to make the cable the correct length.

NEVER NEVER NEVER take the extra coax and wrap it up with a zip-tie (Antenna Loop)! Run it around in the car and away from power sources. Keep cable ties loose, a tight cable tie will damage the arial cable.

Question : “Our team radios work perfect in the pits but not when the car is on the track” why?” 

There are 2 usual causes of poor performance on the track 1. there is a faulty or incorrect antenna fitted.  2. the in car noise is not being canceled when the car is on the track, so you just cant understand what is being said.

See above (coax loop is the #1 issue we see). Next, make sure the antenna ground is good and you are running the correct antenna setup (tin top vs. fiberglass and UHF vs. VHF).

Check the mic location in helmet kit and crew headset (see Helmet Install). Again, we see this over and over… The mic must be touching your lips!

See if your Coax cord is broken.

Question : How close can we mount two antennas?

With most questions of this nature, there is an easy answer and a not so easy answer. The easy answer is that you mount them as far apart as possible, you should maintain a minimum mounting distance of at least 1/4 wavelength ( about 1 x aerial length ) apart for the lowest frequency antenna within the same horizontal plane. For VHF antennas, that translates to roughly 19 inches. In Motorsport on racing cars there is often pressure to mount close as possible, as a rule resist this pressure and consult one of our radio engineers.

At Harris Race Radios we have developed a special ground plane independent (no need for copper plate), Motorsport aerial especially suited for use with Digital Motorsport radios. 

Question: What is an antenna ground plane?

As the name indicates the antenna ground plane acts as a simulated ground. It is found that for a monopole antenna like a quarter wavelength vertical, the ground acts as a plane to reflect the radio waves so that an image of the top half of the antenna is seen in the Earth. It is possible to simulate this function by replacing the real earth with a conducting plate. To function as an antenna ground plane, the conducting (copper plate )surface must extend for least a quarter wavelength from the base of the antenna.

Vertical antenna (monopole) with solid ground plane
Please contact our team for any more questions or queries. We understand that this is a complex matter to understand!

Sales Support

Call Aaron on +64 27 449 9654 or Rex +64 21 682 912 or get in touch via Facebook.

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