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Buying Used Antennas ?

When considering buying a used antenna you should consider how much of an expert (or beginner) you are.  This is especially true when you are a newer radio operator or looking at a rarer item. 

Manuals for many antennas are available on the internet.  Even more common are sites where you can look the specifications.

Concerning 'beam' antennas, 'quads', and multi-band vertical antennas, you should think carefully about how much of a mechanic, machinist, and problem-solver you are.  If the antenna was hastily removed from a tower and hastily disassembled, you may find that many bolts, nuts, washers, and adapters are missing.  Even if they are present, they many not be clearly marked.   A used 'rubber duck' antenna will rarely be missing any parts, but you need to be sure that it is designed for the frequency range you will be using.  Also, double check whether the rubber antenna uses BNC, SMA, or some other connector and that it will match your handheld radio.

Do not become too overconcerned about buying used antennas.  You will often be able to find fantastic deals on great antennas.  Commercially made VHF and UHF antennas often do not need to be disassembled to be shipped, so the antenna might be ready to go right out of the box. 

If the antenna is 'still on the tower' then you may wish to travel to the site and test it out yourself before it is removed.

Of course, many hams enjoy the technical aspects of antennas.  You might find it rewarding to reassemble an antenna; think of it as a jigsaw puzzle.  Even if a few bolts and nuts are missing, you can order the exact replacements and save a great deal of money on that antenna.

Get advice from local hams if you can. 

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