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Handheld (Wideband) Antenna for Airband / 2 Meter?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KE7RUX, Oct 30, 2017.

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  1. KE7RUX

    KE7RUX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recently acquired an Airband / 2 Meter handheld radio. The stock rubber duck runs fine, but I would like something with some decent dB gain. Suggestions?
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    There is nothing you can add to a handheld that will be supported by the handheld so you can walk around with it that will have any "decent dB gain."

    However, if you use it mostly in just one location and don't mind attaching coax to it for a larger outdoor antenna, that can have very significant gain and can be very impressive. The "gain" mostly comes from the antenna being outside, elevated, and higher above ground -- but "some" gain also comes from a larger antenna.

    My Icom 5W 2m hand held with its "rubber duck" can access well elevated repeaters over 40 miles away, from indoors sitting on my sofa. But the well elevated repeaters are doing all the work. If I connect it to my outdoor 2m gain omni vertical antenna (10' tall colinear, three elements) which is up about 30' above ground, I can "hear" repeaters >100 miles away, and access some of those. Same 5 Watts, same hand held, just a bigger and more elevated antenna.

    Many 2m gain antennas will work fine for receiving the aircraft band.
    KK5JY likes this.
  3. AG1W

    AG1W Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have very good luck with “Super Duck” and Negoya 771; seemingly enhance 5W on several of my handhelds. Just be sure you get proper Male or Female SMA. If you use it stationary a good quality mag mount seems to be helpful.
  4. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    And not only that, but for many mobile/portable applications, excessive gain can actually be a problem because it robs signal response from parts of the pattern in order to increase the response in other parts of the pattern. For a vertical antenna, it just makes the null on top of the antenna wider.

    For an HT, I usually prefer the stock antennas, and for a mobile, I like the 1/4 λ whip antennas.
  5. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Any H-T radio mounted antenna, no matter the design, will NOT have "decent dB gain." Some, however, will have slightly less LOSS than the "rubber duck" that may have come with the radio.
    AF7ZA and N2UHC like this.
  6. KQ0J

    KQ0J XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Try one of the extendable whips - I have had great success with them vs a Duck. I am
    using a Diamond SRH-779 on my Nano Node IRLP node ( 8265 ) and I have had good luck with the
    Smiley telescoping Tri Band whip. They will give you a few ' S' units more than the duck.
  7. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, I've used a BNC mounted telescopic whip with better success than a rubber duck antenna. Just pull it out to the length you need. 19" for 2m, a little more for air band. In all honesty, if you're just listening any length will do and you likely won't notice much difference.
  8. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The best antenna I've had for my Yaesu 270 was a Comet GP 9. 16' tall and performed great. Hard to walk around though so I mounted it to the eave of my home.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A few "S" units?

    I guess it depends on your definition of an "S" unit, but the old standard is 6dB/S and "a few" would be 18 dB.

  10. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the confusion is that many people think the S-meter on an FM rig is the same as an S-meter on other more substantial radios. I often wonder what some FM radios are using to drive the S-meter, because the mapping from signal strength to meter reading is entertaining.

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