​What Makes a High-Quality Antenna?

Posted by STI-CO® Antenna Solutions on 13th Apr 2023

If you are looking for a roof mount antenna in 2023, you probably already know multiple different factors go into creating a high-quality roof mount antenna.

At STI-CO®, we have been designing and engineering antennas for over fifty years, and we have the depth of knowledge to understand what makes a high-quality antenna.

First, let's jump into one of the most critical factors: bandwidth.


STI-CO Superband Antennas

Bandwidth is one of the most important criteria that determine the quality of an antenna. At STI-CO®, we coined the term Superband®, which equates to a broadband system.

As an example, one of our antenna systems is operating at VHF frequency or very high frequency.

VHF is the ITU designation for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves (radio waves) from 30 to 300 megahertz (MHz).

With a Superband® or broadband antenna system, multiple bands can transmit between the 150 to 174 MHz range.

This allows you to transmit and receive the entire 24 MHz of bandwidth in the VHF range and does not limit you to only transmitting on one or two MHz of bandwidth like many narrow-band antennas.

STI-CO® specializes in designing antenna systems that incorporate a broadband frequency range so that you have the highest-performing antenna transmitting capabilities.

Power Rating

Radio Power Rating

Another key factor that contributes to a high quality antenna is how well the antenna can handle the power rating of the radio.

Radios are frequently rated to 100 or even 150 Watts, which is a high-power radio.

Many antennas on the market are only rated for 50 or 100 watts...

Which has a decreased advantage when it comes to transmitting capabilities because the antenna is the limiting factor. STI-CO® antennas offer the unique capability of handling up to 150 watts.

Although it is common to only require 50 or 100 watts for your antenna if you do go with a lower power rating roof mount antenna you may find that it does not perform adequately and can pose a threat to your radio if you are frequently hitting maximum power rating.


Flexi-Whip™ Tri-Band Roof Mount Antenna

It’s ideal to use OEM or custom-manufactured parts when outfitting your vehicle with a high-quality antenna.

Depending on the application of your vehicle and the intended use (i.e covert, public safety, etc) you will want an antenna that will offer durability as well functionality.

{For more information on the right type of antenna for your needs click here to get in touch with one of our expert antenna representatives.}

STI-CO® specializes in using OEM vehicle components to build covert antennas so that you can maintain the factory look of your vehicle while meeting your critical communication needs.

We also offer our exclusive Flexi-Whip™ with nearly every high-quality antenna that we produce which offers a robust and reliable way to communicate in various types of conditions where durability is critical.

Another key factor to consider when looking at the materials of an antenna is how well the manufacturer can incorporate multi-band into their antennas.

While many roof mount antennas are offered in single and multi-band, commonly, other manufacturers require you to swap out the antenna mast to achieve the desired frequency.

STI-CO® offers a variety of high-quality antennas available in single band & multi-band so that you are not limited to a single frequency.

With advances in technology, more and more frequencies have been incorporated into radios. Radios have gone from single-band VHF to dual-band with VHF and UHF and upwards of 5-1 VHF, UHF, 7-800, WiFi & GPS.

Working with a manufacturer who has experience building custom antenna solutions as well as experience with the latest radio technology is very important when selecting a high-quality antenna for your application

High Standard For Quality Control

Quality Control Process for Antennas

Does your antenna manufacturer have a strict quality control process?

A good quality control process ensures the antennas meet recommended industry standards and will offer performance for years to come.

Important questions to ask when learning more about an antenna manufactures quality control process

A good QC process involves:

  • Inspection of raw materials to make sure that the manufacturer has the proper material, dimensions, and components before the antenna is manufactured
  • Inspection and testing of the finished product before it’s shipped to the customer.

STI-CO® is ISO-9001:2015 certified with an in-house quality control department that carefully inspects all raw materials before going into their manufacturing process.

Our high-quality antennas are designed and manufactured in the U.S.A. and backed by an industry-leading 5-year warranty

Additional Factors To Consider

Another important factor is the roof mount antenna size and shape. Antennas come in various shapes and sizes, each with different radiation patterns and gains. 

A high-quality antenna will have an optimal size and shape for its intended application to ensure the best possible performance.

Furthermore, the antenna's design is essential for its performance. A well-designed antenna will have a low VSWR (Voltage Standing Wave Ratio), which is a measure of how well the antenna matches the impedance of the transmitter or receiver. 

A low VSWR means that the antenna can efficiently transfer energy to or from the transmitter or receiver without wasting any power.

Lastly, the antenna's installation and positioning are critical for its performance. Even the best antenna can perform poorly if it is installed incorrectly or placed in a suboptimal location. 

It's essential to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for installation and placement to get the best possible performance out of the antenna.

In Summary

In summary, a high-quality antenna should have a broad bandwidth, high power rating, durable and functional materials, and a strict quality control process. 

Radiation efficiency, size and shape, design, and installation are also crucial factors to consider when looking for a high-quality antenna.

[Ready to pursue an antenna project? We’d love to work with you! Click here to request an inquiry from our sales team and someone will reach out to you as soon as possible.]