• If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

Antenna Madness

lancecolonel

NES Member
Rating - 100%
14   0   0
Joined
Apr 20, 2011
Messages
3,001
Likes
1,316
Location
NOT in mass. finally.
still feel like a total noob dweeb when it comes to this stuff.....i picked up an ed fong j-pole for my uv-5r and was listening to a net that i think was happening on a repeater in seabrook, n.h. (146.61) i was standing in a parking lot in lynn, ma. with the j-pole in my hand
does this sound right? this antenna/radio combo has that kind of range?
again, sorry to sound like an idiot, but i'm trying to learn what i can on the fly here....
 

cockpitbob

NES Member
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
12,759
Likes
5,867
Location
North of Boston
Seabrook to Lynn is about 30 miles. I just looked on Google Earth and there's no tall hills in the way so the line of sight is there. Sure, 30 miles with a good antenna is quite possible, especially if the repeater's antenna is up high.

In my situation I have that same antenna 25' up in the attic but the Gloucester repeater, which is only 15 miles away, doesn't come in well because I'm in a hole with a 150' hill next to me.

Don't worry about beeing a noob. We all were once and Elmering is a big reason this forum is here [wink]
 
Rating - 100%
20   0   0
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Messages
2,974
Likes
464
Location
North Shore Mass
still feel like a total noob dweeb when it comes to this stuff.....i picked up an ed fong j-pole for my uv-5r and was listening to a net that i think was happening on a repeater in seabrook, n.h. (146.61) i was standing in a parking lot in lynn, ma. with the j-pole in my hand
does this sound right? this antenna/radio combo has that kind of range?
again, sorry to sound like an idiot, but i'm trying to learn what i can on the fly here....

Definitely. Radios with antennas better than stock, like the j-pole you have, have great reception range. The trick will be getting into that repeater and talking.
 
Rating - 100%
19   0   0
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
9,144
Likes
2,375
Location
Free 'murica
Any recommendations for a hiking/camping/emergency use antenna for a VHF/UHF HT? (UV5R)

I'm looking for something that I can either stuff in my pack, and set up when I want, or something that'll work strapped to the side of my pack.

Any ideas?

ETA: something that would be appropriate for a mobile/portable (~100W?) would be a nice touch, as well.

Picky, I know.
 
Last edited:

Mr. Brownstone

NES Member
Rating - 100%
50   0   0
Joined
May 2, 2012
Messages
3,153
Likes
1,365
Location
PRM Northshore
Hi, I know less than nothing about this. I recently purchased a police scanner. GRE PSR-500. I am interested in something for my vehicle. I mostly listen to police and fire while driving, but would like to be able to pick up cb as well. Is there any way to put two antenna up, and have a selector switch for different apps? Also, if I am just doing the straight antenna to scanner, does anyone have a good recommendation for a setup there?
I'm really not lazy, I have looked this up, but sometimes it's like reading greek. I have found antenna, but they don't come with a hookup for the scanner? I think that means no wire, and no way to plug it in. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
20
Likes
1
Location
Rindge NH
Been active for decades. When I got my first mobile antenna I said " I hope I don't tune into one of those nuts with 58 antennas on their cars" Guess what?

mobile antenna geek2.JPG
 

Remsport Mfg

NES Member
Rating - 100%
26   0   0
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
1,834
Likes
107
Location
Ludlow MA
I just wanted to go stealthy I didn;t want anything in my yard or on my house. this antenna is working great on all HF bands and has not had a tuning problem using the auto tune on my Yaesu FT 950.
 

Attachments

  • ant.jpg
    ant.jpg
    260.1 KB · Views: 58

dwarven1

Appleseed Instructor
Rating - 100%
33   0   0
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Messages
27,699
Likes
2,048
Location
Starksboro, VT
My house has a metal roof - common in VT so all the snow just slides off of it. If I stick a J-pole on the side of the house, near the peak of the roof, am I liable to have trouble tuning it due to the gigantic ground plane next to it? So far I only use 2m at home. Probably not going to go for my General license for a few more months, so I won't need HF for a while.
 

cockpitbob

NES Member
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
12,759
Likes
5,867
Location
North of Boston
I doubt having the roof near the j-pole will screw up its 50ohm impedance. It will change its antenna pattern from an omnidirectional circle to....something different, but I doubt it will be a dramatic effect. So, go for it.
 

Realtor MA

NES Member
Rating - 100%
32   0   0
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
4,014
Likes
1,070
I'm not a fan of jpole antennas. Why not just put up a cheap ground plane? Or better yet a ringo ranger or something like that.
 

dwarven1

Appleseed Instructor
Rating - 100%
33   0   0
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Messages
27,699
Likes
2,048
Location
Starksboro, VT

Put a rat tail on your HT!


I bought one of those super-cheap Nagoya 2M/70cm antennas ($12 on eBay). It's 15.5" long so I figured it would outperform my 7" Yaesu duck on my FT-60. It perfomed identically. Someone suggested I try a rat tail, so to tonight during a somewhat distant 2M net I compared the Yaesu duck, the Nagoya and my Ed Fong shirt-pocked J-pole, with and without the end of an 19.5" piece of insulated 22AWG wire wrapped around the base of the antenna. Wow! Rat tails really, REALLY make a difference.

ANTENNA___NO RAT__WITH RAT
Yaesu_______S5_____S8 to S9+20
Nagoya______S5_____S8 to S9+20
J-pole_______S8

With the rat there was a bit more sensitivity to where I stood (S-meter moving up and down as I walked around), but wholy-cow, what a difference. All I can say is that I'm a rat tail convert. That magic little piece of wire is now in my HT travel bag.


Here's my Baofeng and Yaesu HTs with the rats installed. I attach the wire to one of the belt clip screws.
DSC01367_zpsd4e7a2d9.jpg

So there does not need to be an electrical connection made to the antenna for this? I seem to see two different schools of thought on this when I do a google search on the subject.

Also, is that 19.5" AFTER the wire is wrapped around the screw, or 19.5" total?
 

cockpitbob

NES Member
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
12,759
Likes
5,867
Location
North of Boston
So there does not need to be an electrical connection made to the antenna for this? I seem to see two different schools of thought on this when I do a google search on the subject.

Also, is that 19.5" AFTER the wire is wrapped around the screw, or 19.5" total?
The whole body of the HT is ground(assuming it's metal), so the wire can be attached to any convenient metal part. Wrap it around the base of the antenna before screwing it down, or as I did, attach to a belt clip screw.

19.5" is per the magic dipole equation that says for a 1/2wave dipole the length in feet is = 468/MHz, or in this case 468/145. But that's a 1/2 wavelength, so the rat tail is 1/2 of that for a 1/4wave tail. But, would it still be 19.5" if you attach it to the bottom of the HT? The more I think about it the more I think the total length from the base of the antenna should be 19.5". That means if you attach the tail to the bottom of the HT the tail should be about 15.5" long since the HT is about 4" tall.

My FT-60 has a reasonable S-meter. I think I need experiment more. The next chance I get during a local 2M net I'm going outside with a long tail and keep cutting 1/2" pieces off until I find and go past the peak.
 
Last edited:

dwarven1

Appleseed Instructor
Rating - 100%
33   0   0
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Messages
27,699
Likes
2,048
Location
Starksboro, VT
The whole body of the HT is ground(assuming it's metal), so the wire can be attached to any convenient metal part. Wrap it around the base of the antenna before screwing it down, or as I did, attach to a belt clip screw.

Hmm. Not sure if the Baofeng clip screws go to ground or not. There IS metal in the screw holes but I cannot tell if it's grounded or just an insert into the plastic case. And I can't open the case because I don't have the right bits with me. I might be better off screwing it to the antenna.
 

cockpitbob

NES Member
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
12,759
Likes
5,867
Location
North of Boston
Hmm. Not sure if the Baofeng clip screws go to ground or not. There IS metal in the screw holes but I cannot tell if it's grounded or just an insert into the plastic case. And I can't open the case because I don't have the right bits with me. I might be better off screwing it to the antenna.
I just checked my UV-5RA with an ohm meter. The belt clip screws are connected to the antenna's ground.
 

Remsport Mfg

NES Member
Rating - 100%
26   0   0
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
1,834
Likes
107
Location
Ludlow MA
I built a 2 meter ground plane for my Yaesu VX-5R. Take a look at my QRZ page for details. This was cheap and easy to build with common parts from Home Depot.

KC1ABV
 
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Dec 21, 2013
Messages
7
Likes
1
Location
Southern Maine
Hello to all, After 50+ years playing Radio I have come to believe that the simple "Doublet" fed with ladder line and combined with a GOOD!! tuner is the best all around choice I have two here both 140' per sode and fed woth 300 ohm or more parallel line. his is fed to a 4:1 or 6:1 balun then to a Ten ec tuner. Works 160 to 10 meters with ease. Should anyone want more info use my QRZ e-mail K1BF is thew call. This antennaa can be scaled for 80 meters and up or 40 meters and up. Usualy works reasonably wellone band below design freq. Keep enjoying this great hobby I have since age 12. Bill
 

cockpitbob

NES Member
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
12,759
Likes
5,867
Location
North of Boston
RAT TAIL LENGTH: size doesn't matter (much)

I wanted to see how critical the length of an HT's rat tail is. I put an extra long rat tail on my HT during a local 2M repeater net and started cutting off 1/2" segments. Here's what the S-meter did as I shortened the rat:

LENGTH___S-METER
24.0"__________5
23.5"__________5
23.0"__________6
22.5"__________6
22.0"__________7
21.5"__________8
21"___________8
' ' ____________8
17.5"__________8
17.0"__________8
16.5"__________6
16.0"__________6
13.5"_________5 (got impatient and took a big cut)
0"____________3

Conclusions:
1) Again the rat tail makes a BIG improvement. 5 S-units = 1,000:1 strength increase.
2) Length isn't very critical. I'm cutting all mine to 19".
 

ToddDubya

NES Member
Rating - 100%
17   0   0
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Messages
15,207
Likes
14,572
Location
Berkshires
This is some good info. I made a couple for Baofeng HTs earlier today. I attached one to the belt clip screw (tied to the chassis). The antenna attachment is recessed so that wasn't a good option. I don't have any way to test, so it's nice to see real test data.


This message brought to you by the letter T and the number 9.
 

ToddDubya

NES Member
Rating - 100%
17   0   0
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Messages
15,207
Likes
14,572
Location
Berkshires
Anybody use the Arrow 2m/70cm antenna?

I've seen some reviews of it that claim it's the bee's knees. But in a comparison to the DIY copper pipe j-pole I guess it performs the same. And I figure by the time I buy all of the copper fittings and assorted mounting hardware the copper pipe version won't be all that much cheaper. HRO has it for $39.
 
Top Bottom