Antenna #antennas


K9KWG Curtis
 

Hello,

I am new to ham radio (have been lurking on some of the weekly nets, but I can't get in, nor hear many of the participants).

I have a btech UV-5x3 handheld radio as my starting point.

I am interested in considering putting up an antenna on my roof to use with my HT until I upgrade to a base station radio.

Is it worth installing an antenna on my roof with using a cheap starter radio?

What would you estimate would be the project cost all-in (done right)?  The location I think would work best (and where I want to bring the wire into house) is on the opposite side of the house from my main electrical and ground rod.
Would I probably have to install a new ground electrode on that side of my house and tie that to my main ground electrode?

My roof is also pretty high and steep, are there people or companies that are equipped to safely install an antenna locally (northeast Smyrna), and if so, any ideas on costs?

Beyond that, any suggestion on a particular antenna (at least 70cm, 2m)?  I am currently have my technician, but eventually interested in higher license/hf.

I'm at just under 600' elevation and I'm off of Weakly Ln.

Thanks,
Curtis (K9KWG)


KO4KLC Michael
 

Curtis,

I think the UV-5x3 is very comparable to the Baefeng UV-5R, although I don’t own the btech.

Those little HTs get a nice punch in performance with maybe the ExpertPower or even the Nagoya 771 that simply replaces the stock rubber ducky.

I’ve tried a bunch of higher gain antennas like a j-pole, vertical dipole, and a few others.  No luck. They simply overload the front end of those little HTs and effectively kick off.

my $0.02, YRMV

I’d save up for an inexpensive mobile rig like a TYT 7800/9800.  Then, stick a Diamond X200 on that roof (no idea on the install costs of that).  You’ll be surprised what you can hear.

Mike
K4GSA



On Apr 2, 2021, at 3:00 PM, K9KWG Curtis <Curtisgagn@...> wrote:

Hello,

I am new to ham radio (have been lurking on some of the weekly nets, but I can't get in, nor hear many of the participants).

I have a btech UV-5x3 handheld radio as my starting point.

I am interested in considering putting up an antenna on my roof to use with my HT until I upgrade to a base station radio.

Is it worth installing an antenna on my roof with using a cheap starter radio?

What would you estimate would be the project cost all-in (done right)?  The location I think would work best (and where I want to bring the wire into house) is on the opposite side of the house from my main electrical and ground rod.
Would I probably have to install a new ground electrode on that side of my house and tie that to my main ground electrode?

My roof is also pretty high and steep, are there people or companies that are equipped to safely install an antenna locally (northeast Smyrna), and if so, any ideas on costs?

Beyond that, any suggestion on a particular antenna (at least 70cm, 2m)?  I am currently have my technician, but eventually interested in higher license/hf.

I'm at just under 600' elevation and I'm off of Weakly Ln.

Thanks,
Curtis (K9KWG)


K9KWG Curtis
 

Thanks for the feedback!  I do have a Nagoya NA-320A (the btech Is tri-band).

Interesting to hear that the better antennas don't help much with the entry level HTs.

I'll look into that mobile you suggested!

Thanks,
Curtis (K9KWG)


KO4KJX James
 

Hi Curtis,
if you have any inclination to diy, it is very inexpensive and easy to build a 1/4 wave ground plane antenna. I built one that really improved my HT output. Plus I learned radio stuff while doing it. 
Another $0.02 worth of opinion. Now you have $0.04!
Jamie
KO4KJX


N4DJT Don Thorpe
 

howdy..
First off a good starting point could be a 1/4 wave ground plane.. easy to make! Google "1/4 wave 2 meter ground plane" you'll see many plans most with step by step instructions and detailed parts list.
Secondly, lose the HT! Lot of new techs either buy or get handed a cheap Chinese HT, they a low quality and low output, I've rarely seen one that actually puts out the spec'd power of 5 w.. more like 2-3w.
There are many good used VHF/UHF radios out there, Ham-Fests are starting back up! I'd look for a older analog Japanese mobile radio (yaesu, kenwood, icom) in the 50 watt range and a GOOD power supply.
Once you have those two things sorted out, then look to upgrade the antenna further to a diamond or comet.
If you are not on a tight budget or got money to burn. then by all means go get ya an Icom IC-9700 and a Diamond X-700 on a Rohn 35ft push-up mast mounted to the side of your house. No need to climb and you'll get out great..lol

73
Don
N4DJT


K5LWA Tyler
 

To reiterate some of the the previous points. With VHF/UHF height above average terrain (HAAT) and your antenna will make the biggest difference. I know Paul, K4PEW, recommens the Tram 1481 as a budget option. Laura, N4CLO, with WCARES is a big proponent of the Diamond X200. Installation be as easy as a push up pole or as complex as you want to make it. If you are diy'er and have some soldering skills some wire antennas can be made that will have increased gain and a better radiation pattern than typical HT antenna. The Ed Fong, WB6IQN, DBJ-1 and DBJ-2 are popular low cost diy antennas that he also sells.  A 50 watt mobile radio as a base or in your vehicle would be ideal, but don't underestimate a good antenna. 


K4IDC Robin
 

Those Ed Fong "antennas" are pure crap....don't waste time or money on them. They are little more than air cooled dummy loads.

Thanks,
Robin Midgett K4IDC


On Fri, Apr 2, 2021 at 8:29 PM K5LWA Tyler <tjohns1865@...> wrote:
To reiterate some of the the previous points. With VHF/UHF height above average terrain (HAAT) and your antenna will make the biggest difference. I know Paul, K4PEW, recommens the Tram 1481 as a budget option. Laura, N4CLO, with WCARES is a big proponent of the Diamond X200. Installation be as easy as a push up pole or as complex as you want to make it. If you are diy'er and have some soldering skills some wire antennas can be made that will have increased gain and a better radiation pattern than typical HT antenna. The Ed Fong, WB6IQN, DBJ-1 and DBJ-2 are popular low cost diy antennas that he also sells.  A 50 watt mobile radio as a base or in your vehicle would be ideal, but don't underestimate a good antenna. 


 

To be fair, the Ed Fong j-pole is low gain, nicely engineered antenna that is really good for:

1. Portability
2. Repeater use
3. Simplex QSO's within a few miles.
4. and, according to some, "pure crap"....

Problem with the TRAM antennas is they are cheaply made  and will NOT hold up over time due to degradation in the elements. I've had one and discussed their problems with many Hams; most suggest:
1. Wrapping in some kind of protective tape, or
2. Applying marine silicone to all the joints, or
3. Applying "Flex Seal" to entire antenna.

Best bet is to save up and get the best antenna you can afford. As for me, that is the Diamond X700.

Paul K4PEW

On Sunday, April 4, 2021, 07:48:51 AM CDT, K4IDC Robin <k4idc@...> wrote:


Those Ed Fong "antennas" are pure crap....don't waste time or money on them. They are little more than air cooled dummy loads.

Thanks,
Robin Midgett K4IDC


On Fri, Apr 2, 2021 at 8:29 PM K5LWA Tyler <tjohns1865@...> wrote:
To reiterate some of the the previous points. With VHF/UHF height above average terrain (HAAT) and your antenna will make the biggest difference. I know Paul, K4PEW, recommens the Tram 1481 as a budget option. Laura, N4CLO, with WCARES is a big proponent of the Diamond X200. Installation be as easy as a push up pole or as complex as you want to make it. If you are diy'er and have some soldering skills some wire antennas can be made that will have increased gain and a better radiation pattern than typical HT antenna. The Ed Fong, WB6IQN, DBJ-1 and DBJ-2 are popular low cost diy antennas that he also sells.  A 50 watt mobile radio as a base or in your vehicle would be ideal, but don't underestimate a good antenna.