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Handheld HAM Radio Antenna

Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by resq1192, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. resq1192

    resq1192 Loaded Pockets

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    Hello all!

    I'm looking for a replacement antenna for my Yaesu VX-170 (current version is the FT-270R) handheld HAM radio. Need something to help boost output without killing the battery. A lot of folks "out there" have suggested replacing the rubber duck antenna. I have an SMA to BNC adaptor (I also use this as a mobile and the adapter allows me to plug into my truck's antenna). Any suggestions?
     
  2. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I like this Diamond,it is about as much portable antenna as you can put on an HT I think.
    Of course a Mobile or Base antenna will always provide more gain,there is no substitute for Antenna length really.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  3. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Here it is on a VX150 nest to the VX270.

    It is pretty long as you can see but also pretty tough for what it is,I would get the SMA version so it can sit directly on the radio as I think that makes it a little less likely to snap off if you drop it>
    Also great for sticking in friends ears when they are concentrating on something else.......or so I have heard.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Last pic shows how much more antenna it is than standard duck

    [​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. resq1192

    resq1192 Loaded Pockets

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    WOW, how long is that thing? Is it telescoping or a straight stick? How flexible is it?
     
  5. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    It is a flexible whip and pretty thick too.
    I have 2 of them and have beaten the hell out of them both and not broken one......yet!
    They also sell a really thin model and another that bends into any position and stays there and I have both of them too and they are great.
    Diamond makes my favorite HT antennas for sure.
    I don't know how long it is off hand but I will guess 19",know what I mean?

    Pretty easy to look them up for sure!
     
  6. resq1192

    resq1192 Loaded Pockets

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    Schweeet! I'll have to look them up. I had a flexible whip from MFJ that was very thin, but the safety broke popped off it after only a short period and I don't have the know-how to fix it. :-( Wanted something a bit more rugged but better-performing than the included Yaesu duck antenna. Thanks for the idea!! Good thing the holidays are coming .... now I have something to put on "the wish list" my family's bugging me for! :)
     
  7. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    The more length, generally the better. So get the longest antenna you can stand that's still resonant on the right frequency ranges. Personally, I carry my HTs in a bag, clipped to a belt, or clipped to a pocket, so I don't like having super long antennas- about 6 or 8 inches is the most I can do on a daily radio before it starts getting annoying to me. If you can swing 10, 15, 20, whatever inches of antenna on your HT without it irritating you, go for it- they WILL perform better with more antenna. Personally, I'm a cheapskate, so I'm rather fond of Nagoya rubber ducks on my Baofengs. They're pretty well made and work well. You can't beat them for the price- even if you just get one for testing whether you can stand a fifteen inch antenna poking you in the side or not. They're cheap enough that if you don't like it, you're not out much, but if you do like it, they work well enough that you don't have to replace it right away with a better one. This is, of course, assuming they make one that will fit your radio. I know they make a lot of SMA/Fs for the Chinese radios like Baofeng.

    HOWEVER, you will most likely never get performance equal to a good external mag-mount antenna, much less a halfwave dipole, out of a rubber duck. It, unless you get one that's VERY long, is meant for portability before transmitting range. At some point, you have to make that balance between performance and convenience. Some will work better than others, but none will be perfect. In addition, there's only so much you can do with a little HT pushing 5w FM out of the antenna. You can probably do 30 miles line of sight on a normal day, but you might need more power depending on what your needs are (and you'll probably be pretty darn quiet at 30mi on 5w FM). I run 25w in my mobile through a halfwave Jetstream mag-mount, and I can get into my favorite repeater from roughly 35 miles away full quieting no problem. JMHO, YMMV, &c.

    Take my opinions with a grain of salt- I may be licensed as an Extra, but I'm still an amateur, not an expert ;)
     
  8. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    All good points and ones that I would hope any Ham would be aware of.

    I really don't understand the idea of the Chinese radios and the reverse antenna connector they have?
    I am never going to buy a dedicated antenna for one in the odd connector and the adapters are just an accident trying to happen too.
    Add to that the antenna they ship with are near useless and it just adds up to one more reason they are not what they seem to me.

    Can't attach antennas I already have,can't use battery eliminators or charge batteries unless in the radio,off frequency in my examples and just crap wrapped in nice plastic overall to me but they seem to appeal to people on for the price despite the shortcomings.
     
  9. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    I bought some small PVC pipe, caps and threaded plug fittings to keep longer HT antennas safe in my car-based kits. It was cheap and super-easy to do.
     
  10. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    EZDog
    I can't honestly say that the Baofengs are the finest radios money can buy- they aren't by any stretch of the imagination- but they really aren't bad radios, especially if you're a new ham that wants a decent radio to use on 2m/70cm without spending too much money on a new unproven hobby, or a ham on a budget, or perhaps a ham looking for a beater radio to throw in a kit or use where you don't want to risk your Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood, or whatever your brand of choice is. I got my first Baofeng- a uv-5r with a fancy metal faceplate- when I first got my tech ticket. It was a gift from my elmer. He's a retired 2-way tech, worked for years as the head engineer at the local news broadcast station, been living and breathing RF since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. I don't say all this to brag, but to give a smidge of validity to what I say. He likes the Baofengs... for what they are. He's an Icom man, but he doesn't complain about the UV-82 he bought. In fact, he and I have a theory (and a relatively safe assumption, given the exact lookalikes with some of the radios in the 2 lines) that Baofeng makes Motorola's current Chinese-produced HTs. TYT used to make Kenwood- the boards had TYT printed right on them- and given the similarity between the 9800 and the Yaesu FT8900, I wouldn't be surprised at all if they made Yaesu as well.

    What I'm trying to say is that the Chinese radios may not always be what you would expect from a "name brand" radio, but for $30, a Baofeng is a respectable HT (for example). The Yaesus and Icoms will be better, but they're also five to ten times the price. And sometimes, as in the case of Kenwood and TYT, they're the exact same manufacturer with a different name on the faceplate.

    ETA: Sorry for the long derailment, everyone- I suppose I'm long winded this evening...
     
  11. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I understand all of this I just don't appreciate the comparison from personal experience alone.
    I am not trying to pick on the Baofeng either but these radios in general as that has been my experince.

    While working disaster relief on 2 different deployments we had to go into the field and seize cheap Chinese clone radios from new operators and give them the Yaesu VX5s that I carry just in case an operator needs a capable and adequate performing radio.
    We could actually tell that they were using them from the way they sounded alone. Granted this was early on in the appearance of these in the U.S. and I too own a few Feng of my own now but I just can not stand them and I realize that I am now in a minority too.

    Many Hams that I know are some of the cheapest ******* that I know and I think this is what drives most of the sales.

    Your Mileage has clearly Varied.
     
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  12. resq1192

    resq1192 Loaded Pockets

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    Hmmm ... some good tech info and some interesting perspectives on makes and models. Gotta love the diversity I'm reading so far ... thanks to all! Any other antenna suggestions out there??
     
  13. marc_NS

    marc_NS Empty Pockets

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    Do yourself a favour...borrow or buy the ARRL Handbook for HAM, additionally you can get the ARRL Antenna book. Your local library, Ham Club may have. They are written for everyone to grasp. Awesome reference to own right alongside your rig.
     
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  14. resq1192

    resq1192 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks so much! One more thing for "Santa!"
     
  15. Foulwind

    Foulwind Loaded Pockets

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    Nagoya (? spelling may be off a wee bit) antennas are a good choice to replace rubber ducky antenna's also a hack you can add to any antenna is a length of small gauge wire (Say 22ga) to the antenna. let it hang. Simply add an eyelet to one end that will fit the antenna screw post, the length of the wire I think is around 22 inches to 26 inches? the length can be found in the interwebs. I forget now, had one on my FT530 mid 90's (Before it was stolen)
     
  16. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Antenna Screw Post?