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Question regarding increasing receiving range

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by MRBAKER, Mar 18, 2018.

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  1. MRBAKER

    MRBAKER QRZ Member

    Hi,

    I'm new here and i don't know all the technical terms of radios and all that.

    Just have a problem.

    I use a UV-5R Baofeng radio
    I need to be able to clearly receive a frequency around the range 454.000
    the problem is that after about 3 miles it gets unclear then cuts.
    I need to receive it about 6-7 miles away.

    Is there any antenna that i could buy to extend the receiving range?
    I dont care about transmitting, i dont need it for that

    also would a larger antenna drain the battery more? (its only to be used for receiving)

    sorry if my question is a bit daft, but i do not know much about this topic.

    any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. AF7TS

    AF7TS Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are many ways to improve an antenna to get better reception.

    However at the frequency you are trying to receive, and the distances you are describing, the best thing you can do is increase your antenna height to get above obstructions between you and the transmitter.

    A simple (and cheap) 'ground plane' antenna ( you can build one yourself https://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/tis/info/pdf/ab18-16.pdf ) mounted on a pole with a coax down to your radio is probably all that you need. Other simple, cheap antennas are sufficient as long as you get them up in the clear.

    A better antenna won't drain more from the battery itself. Running the speaker may drain more power...or if you speaker is producing less static you might drain less power to get your desired signal.

    Also, make sure you understand the 'squelch' setting for your radio. You might be getting enough signal to be useful, but if the squelch is wrong than the radio will silence it's output. Squelch is used to prevent you from having to listen to noise, but it can also hide weak but still usable signals.

    -Jon
     
    AK5B likes this.
  3. W9XMT

    W9XMT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Other thoughts to add to the above:
    • Be sure that the polarization of the antenna on the UV-5R matches that of the transmit antenna. Try rotating the UV-5R antenna from the vertical plane to the horizontal plane, keeping the long dimension of the UV-5R antenna perpendicular to the line-of-sight path to the transmit antenna.
    • Experiment with different physical locations for the UV-5R with its supplied antenna. Sometimes that can make a significant difference in the reception of a given transmit system.
    • If this is not a mobile receive setup, installing/using the UV-5R with a directional antenna such as a Yagi* may be useful. An appropriate length of coaxial cable with an appropriate connector on each end also would be needed to connect the elevated antenna to the receiver. Again -- height above the earth, and using the correct polarization and aiming angle for it will give the best results. The elevated receive antenna might be sensitive to its height above the earth. There might be heights where it performs worse than installing it a bit lower (or higher), so experimenting with its height could be needed.
    * Google 450 MHz Yagi
     
    AK5B likes this.
  4. W5DXP

    W5DXP Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Weak Signal Reception Tips.
    MORE Height first; it is easy to put up a mast for height. For improved reception, don't rely on the attached whip antenna, Get an external antenna and coax cable with an adaptor to fit the radio's antenna connection.
    Second; a directional antenna, usually a Yagi Design, the longer the Yagi the more improvement BUT you have to aim it exactly at the transmitter's location.
    Third; better coax cable, use low loss cable ! Skinny coax nearly always has more losses at UHF frequencies.
    Don't buy much longer coax than you need to reach the antenna and roll it up. Get just enough to reach, to avoid excess signal loss.
     
  6. W5DXP

    W5DXP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't use RG-58 for the feedline.:)
     
  7. MRBAKER

    MRBAKER QRZ Member

    thanks for the suggestions everyone,
    still a abit baffled with all the terms but i get most of the answers.

    with regards to your suggestion for the yagi antennna... would this suffice?

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12-Eleme...112862&hash=item51ffb8b885:g:DBwAAOSwLJ9aG~AR

    also they dont mention the connector type that is installed.. or is it that i have to solder my own preferred connection for the uv-5r onto this antenna?
     
  8. MRBAKER

    MRBAKER QRZ Member


    thanks for your reply Jon,

    i'm not really up to making my own, but with regards to your suggestion for simple cheap antennas that work if theyre high enough, would any of these two possibly suffice?

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Female-H...379320?hash=item2842524378:g:ehIAAOSwOzxZrlyN

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NAGOYA-U...519904&hash=item339101fa7e:g:R-IAAOSw-nZTqnB6

    thanks for your help, much appreciated
     
  9. MRBAKER

    MRBAKER QRZ Member

    here is one that seems to be compatible with my frequency:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/Vision-Wid...m=270409408143&_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982

    what kind of connector type do i have to get to convert its connection to the uv-5r antenna?
    any suggestions where i can find this info.
     
  10. AF7TS

    AF7TS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Neither of those antennas are really suitable for mounting atop a pole.

    The first antenna you list is made to go on top of the hand held itself, and uses coupling to your body as a 'ground'.

    The second antenna you list is made to stick magnetically to the top of a car, and use the roof of the car as a ground plane.

    If you have a metal roof building, the second might work on it.

    You need an antenna _and cable_ designed to mount separately from the radio. Something like this https://www.gigaparts.com/mfj-1754.html if you are looking for cheap

    -Jon
     
  11. W9XMT

    W9XMT Ham Member QRZ Page

    However the antenna shown in that URL is vertically polarized, so it would not be the right choice if the transmit antenna is not also vertically polarized.
     
  12. ND5Y

    ND5Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    Be aware that using a better or external antenna on a Baofeng will probably overload the crappy receiver and make reception worse.
     
  13. KS2G

    KS2G Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  14. AF7TS

    AF7TS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just want to emphasize the above possibility for the original poster, a point that I forgot about.

    A better antenna can increase the strength of the desired signal. But it can also increase the strength of interfering signals that get received. The 'Cheap Chinese Radios' do a great job for their price, but can be overloaded by lots of incoming signal.

    So you will need to experiment, and things actually getting worse are one of the risks.

    -Jon
     
  15. KI7QVR

    KI7QVR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just raised my dual band J-pole by about 10'. That made a world of difference. I can get a repeater 70 miles away now. My total height is about 30' to the tip of my J-Pole. The actual antenna cost me $29 and is an exact replica of the Diamond dual-band J-pole. Oh, and it's a "crappy Chinese radio" and has had no ill effects.
     

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