Wilson 1000 and 5000 magnet mount antennas for CB Radio
There has always been an ongoing debate as to which antennas work the best for a mobile installation.
I’ve been in many an argument myself with buddies who love to try to convince me why their 8 foot fiberglass whip is better than my 8 foot stainless steel whip. Or why their coil antenna has better receive than my whip antenna.
There are definitely three antennas that often get mentioned as the best in the business. Those three are the predator 10K, the 102” stainless steel whip, and the Wilson 1000 (or Wilson 5000).
There is a general consensus that all three of these antennas are very solid performers and I’m sure there are a number of discussions continuing as to which one is the best, but to me one of these definitely has an advantage, even if it not necessarily in performance.
Both the Predator 10K and 102” SS whip are excellent performing antennas but both require a solid mount (meaning that you need to have a metal mount connected directly to the vehicle that is unmoving and fastened securely). For many people that have trucks or older cars this isn’t a problem as there are many places to attach a large metal mount along with the antenna. But on many newer cars it’s harder to find a good place to mount either of these antennas unless you are ready to drill some holes.
The Wilson 1000 and 5000 both come in hard mount versions, but my favorites in their product line are their magnet mount models. They really are the perfect antenna for people who don’t want a permanent mount or don’t want to do any drilling in their vehicle.
The antenna itself consists of a medium sized base which has a large magnet built into it, a 62” stainless steel whip, and roughly 18’ of prewired coax. The base section is made of high impact Mobay Thermoplastic which I have found to be very durable over the years. The base color has been known to fade after a number of years of exposure, and I have seen ones that have been cracked but usually that was due to the operator dropping the antenna or something similar.
The antenna uses a coil of 10 gauge silver plated wire which is wound around the base and suspended in 4 places so that the majority of the coil is not touching anything but air. The radiating portion of the antenna is the included 62” whip. Between the whip and the coil the antenna is supposed to have an electrical length of one quarter wavelength. The Wilson 1000 is rated by the factory to handle up to 3000 watts.
The antenna is put together very well and the magnetic base is easily strong enough to hold the antenna to any vehicle with a metal body. The thing I love about these antennas is that they are so easy to set up. All you need to do is slap the antenna on the roof of your car, route the coax to the radio and plug it in, and then do some minor tuning to achieve a good SWR. In most cases you can be up and running with a SWR of 1.2 or so within about 10 minutes.
As far as performance, these antennas aren’t your average magnet mount. They really have excellent gain and great transmit properties. Other stations often will tell me that my Wilson 1000 paired with a President HR2510 radio makes me sound like I’m talking on a strong base station. The antenna has allowed me to make many DX contacts and talking local is never a problem. I’ve also noticed that the static level on my Wilson 1000 is considerably less than my 102” SS whip.
If you are someone who runs power then the Wilson 5000 magnet mount is the choice for you. It’s the same basic design as the Wilson 1000 but it incorporates a 6 gauge coil instead of the 10 gauge on the 1000. Its power handling is rated at 5,000 watts AM.
The only thing to remember with these magnet mounts is that the magnets are quite strong and if your vehicle has a pretty clear coat take some extra care when removing the antenna so you don’t scratch your paint. In addition if you leave a round magnet mount antenna in the same location on your car for 10 years you are going to end up with a very strange round circle after you remove it because the paint on the car will fade except for the spot where you had the antenna. Anytime you are using a magnet mount antenna I recommend moving it 1-2” inches every month so that it doesn’t cause undue wear on any one spot on the vehicle.
Either of these antennas are a solid choice if a solid mount antenna is not going to work for you. Heck, maybe you’re just lazy and don’t want to bother with a lot of the mounting headaches. In any case the Wilson 1000 and Wilson 5000 antennas offer excellent performance in a small and easy to mount package. I’ve always been able to get a SWR under 1.5 with either antenna and never had any problems with failure or defects.