FIRESTIK ANTENNA MAINTENANCE
Compliments of Firestik® Antenna Company Technical Support Team
Copyright © 1996 Firestik® Antenna Company
In most cases, once the antenna is installed it receives very little attention unless something goes awry. Unlike your basic low-maintenance AM/FM radio whip antenna there are a few simple measures that you can take to insure that your equipment is protected and that your antenna will always be there when you want or need it to be.
- First and foremost, make sure that your antenna was tuned. It is a must! We manufactures can pre-tune our antennas to a specific frequency on a test bench but we cannot copy the conditions of every vehicle on the road. Transmit antennas MUST be tuned in their final mounting location to guarantee peak performance and to protect your radio from damage caused by transmitter/antenna mismatch.
- The design of Firestik Antennas creates massive amounts of activity at the very top of the antenna. In almost all instances the antenna will be tuned with the antenna tip in place. If you loose the tip the frequency can shift as much as 450 kilohertz (the entire bandwidth of the CB band). This can (will) cause the SWR to change. High SWR can cause damage to your radio. If you loose the tip, replace it. If you do not have an extra tip readily available, you should temporarily retune the antenna until you can get one.
- Make sure the antenna is always snug in the mount. If the antenna vibrates loose the stress created by wind load and vibrations will shift from the stronger surfaces of the antenna base to the weaker threaded portions. If that happens, the threads can become damaged or the antenna base could break. If you only hand tighten the antenna so that you can take it on and off without tools you are jeopardizing its life. Use a quick disconnect instead if you want the quick on and off features.
- At least once a month it is a good idea to wipe down the antenna with a rag dampened with Armor-All, WD-40, CRC-56, Silicon spray, etc. We have also found that peanut butter works really well at cleaning the antenna while adding a protective oil coating that adds sheen to the covering. There are several benefits to doing this. First of all it keeps the antenna looking new. Secondly, it keeps the covering soft and pliable. Thirdly, and this is very important in areas with snow and ice, it acts as a moisture repellant. Numerous antennas get broken due to the build up of ice. Once you allow the first layer of moisture to stick to the antenna it can build up until it becomes so heavy that the weight breaks the antenna. In winter months, it would be a good idea to wipe the antenna down weekly.
Firestik Antenna Company - 2614 E Adams St - Phoenix, AZ 85034 - (Tel) 602-273-7151 - www.firestik.com