I recently inherited a CelWave fiberglass antenna pictured below.

It is marked that it's for 959.9875 MHz.

The model number appears to be either 339 or 359. It is 96 1/2 inches from base to tip.

I checked it on my MFJ Antenna Analyzer and found it start to get a decent SWR over 460 MHz. I expected as much since half of 960 is 480.

Is there any way this antenna can be disassembled and retuned for use in the 70cm ham band?

I don't mind even if there is risk involved. It didn't cost me anything and I have no use for it as it is.


Catalog Number


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A model number and the dimensions of the antenna would be helpful. Since you have an antenna analyzer, reporting the measured complex impedance (with no coax in the mix) at your target frequency would also be helpful. $\endgroup$
    – Glenn W9IQ
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting that the SWR is already decent at half the frequency — usually a "1/4 wave monopole" becomes a "1/2 wave endfed" going in that direction, and that's NOT a good match situation. I wonder if that antenna was already working on a harmonic of its fundamental resonance? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 17:40
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    $\begingroup$ Without more detail on the antenna, there's not much to say here. Any antenna can be disassembled and modified. Will it be easy? Will it maintain desirable properties such as low-angle gain? No idea. To answer that would require a model number ideally, or at least a picture of the actual antenna with sufficient detail to reveal some information about its construction. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 18:38
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    $\begingroup$ There's no reason an antenna should start working at Half the design frequency... generally the impedance might look good at 3 x the design frequency. This says nothing for the patterns though. If you can take the antenna apart, you could re-use the housing and connector, and build in a new 70cm antenna. $\endgroup$
    – tomnexus
    Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 7:04
  • $\begingroup$ I've edited the OP to add additional information. $\endgroup$
    – Lance
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


The wavelength at 959.9875 MHz is approximately one foot. So this antenna is approximately eight wavelengths long. That means it is not a simple monopole or dipole. Based on the dimensions I would guess it is a co-linear array of dipoles with the objective of increasing gain towards the horizon by suppressing radiation at less useful high angles, while maintaining an omnidirectional pattern.

That the antenna has a decent SWR does not necessarily mean it's any good on 480 MHz. For a co-linear array to work as intended, each element must be in phase so they interfere constructively at the horizon. The phase of each element is controlled by transmission lines or reactive elements within the antenna, all of which have frequency-dependent behavior. It is unlikely the phasing components continue to perform their function at any frequency but the one for which it was designed.

Consequently, the antenna elements will most likely be out of phase, resulting in a radiation pattern which is worse than something much simpler.

A simple A/B test using a simple 1/4 wave monopole (or whatever else you have lying around, or can quickly improvise) as a reference should be sufficient to make a determination. If the mystery antenna isn't significantly better than the reference antenna, you can reasonably infer the phasing is all messed up and this antenna isn't going to be useful, even if it is a good match.

You certainly could disassemble it and modify it to work better, however that will be a more advanced effort. Even that may not work so well: halving the frequency requires doubling the size for an equivalent design. Generally it's easier to make things shorter, while making them longer is...harder.


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