I want a new HT antenna- I think

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KG4OCV, Sep 8, 2017.

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  1. KG4OCV

    KG4OCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got the Yaesu FT-1xdr. I'm not sure I love the antenna though. What sort of antennas are you guys using?
     
  2. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    It depends , on what you want to do with , or what your willing to accept .
    The rubber ducks that come with HT's is generally - almost useless .
    Attached-screw on , to radio limits you , but there are better antennas to screw on .
    Attach can be a hole other issue , use a pig-tale - smaller cable & adapter , and you could use base & mobile antennas .
     
  3. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't use HT's but when it comes to antennas, bigger is better. Really comes down to what you need. Wide band receive, super good performance, really flexible.
     
  4. K4YWZ

    K4YWZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The rubber ducky that comes stock on HT's - amongst your HF pals you'd be referring to it as a dummy load - is a testament to marketing. A whole lot of 'handy.' Not so much 'talkie.'

    So for walking around, casual stuff, replace it with a slightly longer, slightly thinner, slightly higher-gain aftermarket item. Screw off the old one. Screw on the new one. You've still got a pretty sucky antenna. But it beats the sorry excuse your radio came with.

    For non-casual, portable use treat yourself to a fold-up, full size J-pole. Cheap, easy to build, easy to buy, easy to move around. And good enough that those tropospheric ducting reports begin to mean something.

    For use in your shack, hook it up to a proper, fixed, copper-pipe J-pole or Slim Jim. Be mindful that feedline losses are very high at those frequencies. But no one will ever guess you're on an HT.
     
  5. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My antennas for walking around:

    -Stubby for convenience and for putting radio in pocket
    -Telescoping whip for longer range. Can be adjusted for best match/reception.
    -Quarter wave counterpoise/radial made from soft flexible wire for easy roll up. Use with either antenna.
     
  6. KG4OCV

    KG4OCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, great. I do have a j-pole I made, but that's not practical for walking around. What brands do you guys think are the best?
     
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Theories are great, but in reality the difference between the world's greatest whip for a handheld vs. the "factory stock" whip is not more than about 3 dB.

    I spent way too many hours measuring this in an anechoic chamber with calibrated equipment.

    On FM, 3 dB isn't much. It won't take you from "in the noise" to "solid copy," it really won't. That takes at least 6 dB, and I've never been able to measure 6 dB difference between VHF whip antennas. I thought there would be, but there isn't.

    A lot of this is folklore.
     
    KU4X and NL7W like this.
  8. NL7W

    NL7W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Correct, Steven.
    For years as a younger man, I made an effort to increase the efficiency of handheld mounted antennas through adapters and multiple different (1/4-wave and shorter) whips. In practice, the increase was negligible to very slight. I stopped beating my head against the wall -- it wasn't worth the time, effort or monies expended.

    If others trudge down the same pathways these two Stevens have taken, feel free.
     
    K5BBC and KU4X like this.
  9. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I dunno--I thought one of those halfwave antennas was pretty good at radiating? I forgot who made it, but I recall having great range with on, on my HTX-202.

    I just couldn't walk around with it. It did have a minor drawback...
     
  10. W4IOA

    W4IOA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I use the stock rubber ducky, they work fine.
     

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