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RatTail HT
Antenna Booster

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Amateur HT Antenna Booster 
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RatTail RatTail2

The RatTail Antenna Booster is a patented technology. This passive device attaches to a handheld radio operating in the VHF Marine, VHF Aircraft or 2 meter ham radio bands. An increase in transmitted energy of 9 to 12dB (800% - 1600%) is seen when measured at a distance of 1.2 miles (2 km) or more. This increase results from a transformation of your radio's 1/4 wave vertical antenna to a 1/2 wave dipole antenna. Thus more energy is delivered to the horizon. This makes it very useful for emergency rescue operations where rescue workers are having difficulty getting their message through to a base station. Boaters will double their range from a small craft to land. This device only works on handheld radios. A 5 watt handheld radio becomes effectively like a 20 or 40 watt radio, thus increasing its ability to get a signal through. Received sensitivity is also increased by the same amount.

Velcro on the back of the device allows attachment to many places on the radio. There is an optimal place to mount the RatTail on each design of radio to get the maximum increase in efficiency. How it works is simple. The LED in the eye of the rat glows red when you find the right place to mount it on your radio. It then turns your 1/4 wave vertical rubber resistor into one element of an efficient 1/2 wave dipole. The RatTail has a built-in red light in the eye of the rat. Transmitting while moving the plate around to various locations near the bottom of the radio causes the eye to glow brightest when the best mounting spot is found. The device can be mounted anywhere that is convenient, provided that the light glows brightly when you transmit. The glowing eye is essential when initially mounting the device and has no usefulness beyond selecting the mounting location. Velcro can be used for mounting securely after doing careful testing, or the RatTail can temporarily be slipped under the belt clip. It can be rolled up and kept in the pocket when not needed, but some users prefer the velcro approach and always leave the tail attached to the radio.

Transmit enhancement is typically about 800% as measured at 1.2 miles (2 km) with a second radio. The radiation pattern from a handheld radio is not normally horizontal, so much energy is lost to the sky. The RatTail lowers the radiation pattern to make it almost horizontal so that much more energy is delivered to the distant radio. When measured across the room a measurement of the power increase will not be as high as that but about 400%. Reception sensitivity is increased by 400% to 800% to help pull in signals from distant radios.

In addition to boosting the antenna power output it also matches the antenna more closely to the radio. The result is lower battery consumption on some radios on high power. Also since it is possible to use lower power settings, all radios will benefit from this by extending their operating time. This feature allows emergency operations to be carried out for longer periods without the need to stop for battery maintenance.

On a Dual Band ham radio the stock antenna is a compromise antenna that has about a 12dB loss as compared to a proper 2m rubber antenna. The RatTail typically restores the dual band's 2 meter efficiency to that of a full 1/4 wave vertical. In all the dual band radios we tested there was an astonishing 18dB improvement on 2 meters. This represents a 16 times or 1600% improvement. For the first time Dual band operation on both 2M and 70cm can be equally efficient without the need to change antennas.

Because the Rattail Antenna Booster attaches to the back panel of the radio, unlike other devices that connect to the BNC/SMA connector, the RatTail cannot damage the antenna jack. If it gets pulled it simply pops off the radio without doing any harm. Made in Canada.

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