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Antenna Upgrade for Baofeng UV-5R Radio

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What are you guys using?

I see a few versions of Nagoya antennas NA-701, NA-717, NA771.

My guess is that one of these is what I want

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I am using the NA-771 on a couple of mine. It is kinda long though. Here is a link:

http://amzn.com/B00KC4PWQQ

Careful where you order from as there are a lot of counterfits. Here is a link to help you:

http://www.nagoya.com.tw/style/frame/templates17/news_detail.asp?lang=2&customer_id=2277&content_set=color_4&name_id=98129&Directory_ID=0&id=31478

Here is a good site with more information on the antenna options:

http://www.miklor.com/COM/UV_Antennas.php

I've also heard good things about the antennas from SignalStuff - and they run the website HamStudy.org so it supports that:

https://signalstuff.com/product/super-elastic-signal-stick-sma-female-connector/

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Im using nagoya na701 only 2 rides on it so dont know performance yet, i copied CID

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The 701 has basically equal performance to the stock antenna that comes on the 'fengs now. The 771 will offer more gain than the shorter units. The old stock antennas that were kind of cone shaped with a dome shaped top are garbage for the most part. If you run the radio bike mounted it flops around a lot (the 771). But I do find myself running it most times unless I know I'm going to be in the dirt for most of the day and be relatively close range to everyone then I'll stick a 701 or the stock antenna back on. Don't want to getmy eye poked out lol.

UHF should give better performance out of the shorter antennas and the 771 is basically a half wave antenna on UHF. VHF is in the 2 meter range and no HT mounted antenna will be that great. Half have on 2 meter is basically about 3 feet long. I run one that long on my Jeep. Whereas half wave on 70cm is about 14 inches. Much more doable on a the little radios. I try to get folks to run UHF on group rides where everyone is using HTs.

When it comes to VHF/UHF antenna height is king. The higher you can get that antenna the better off you'll be since both bands are pretty much line of sight.

I have a bunch of 701s and 771s and rarely use the 701s since I started getting the newer stock antennas.

This is what the newer antennas look like.

They should be on the UV-82s and on most of the new production UV-5R pattern radios. They're also 6 dollars on amazon prime. You used to be able to find packages of 5 of them for the same price as a 701 or 771.

51ENbgldhxL._SY355_.jpg

This is what the old garbage antenna looks like. Various tests I've read show it to be practically a dummy load.

31RfSw7Vq6L._SY300_.jpg

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Thanks, I have a new uv-5r on order. I'll see what antenna I get on it. Also have a 701 on order. Maybe just keep it as a spare based on this information.

Is durability any better with the new stock antenna vs. the 701?

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My experience so far has shown the new stockers to be more durable. The 701s I have are prone to taking a permanent bend at the base if they are bent too far. I've found the new stock antennas to be much more durable and bend resistant. They will still bend if they hit something but will not take a permanent bend.

I've had no problems with the 771.

It should be noted I sometimes run a bike installed antenna. It's a 1/4 wave on 2meter and a little over half wave on 70cm. I do find that if I'm camping or something it's nice to be able to have the 771 or stock antenna on the HT and then unhook from my bike to hand carry for a hike or something. The bike mounted antenna seems to give equal or slightly better performance than the HT mounted antennas and I don't have the 771 up front whipping around waiting to poke me in the eye.

Edit-I noticed you mentioned the 717. I've only messed with one but it seems too spindly and whippy for our uses on motorcycles.

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Per this youtube, "You can boost the performance of most any hand held type VHF/UHF radio or hand held scanner radio by adding a counterpoise. This makes up the missing half of the dipole antenna for the radio, giving you a full half wave antenna system." Bags tried a ground to the bike without much success but maybe he was on to this in some fashion. Maybe this Tigertail will help. (I tried to just copy the youtube link, but the whole thing showed up and could not delete - so here it is - if its worth anything... Bp619??  Any other reports on better antennas for the UV/RH?

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It is always funny how quickly these snippets of info go beyond my knowledge - but I still want to learn.

From last Saturday's ride:

1) about half way through the ride, I took the my rugged rh5r radio off  my chest protector, on front, in a pouch ), and took the short standard ducky antenna off, and put on a ~ 14 inch rugged long ducky antenna on it, and then put the radio deep down my camelbak except for about 3-4 inches of antenna sticking out (so it wouldn't tap my helmet) (I haven't done that before because I like to be able to reach my on-off and volume). Immediately, I heard my buddies with far better clarity and they said my voice was significantly more clear (They have the Baofengs, uv5r with short standard antenna strapped on their chest protectors  - but in the box that their radios came in, there is a longer antenna to use (careful if you buy the box of stuff because the longer antenna is hidden in the box under packaging - so don't accidentally toss it!)).  We were having good conversations up to about 70 yards before the change, but that about doubled with just my antenna change.

If they did the same change, but actually using that skinny ~14 inch antenna from Baofebg box, would there still be a significant benefit for all?  

Would we all benefit even more if we all used something as noted in this antenna topic strand like a "701"?

2)  Strange, that one time when 2 of us lost the 3rd rider, I couldn't hear a reply in my helmet, but I could hear a reply coming through my friend's helmet, and we both had squelch set at 4.  Is there another setting to be adjusted?  My thoughts are that lower squelch, more static, and vice versa, right? 

3)  On occasion, I heard a loud consistent pulsating "scratch, scratch, scratch" at about 3 per second.  It's a long shot, but it seemed like when I moved my push to talk up higher on my left mirror mount so the cable was further away from the metal of handlebar, it went away... could there be any logic in that... ?  a ground-ing issue?  other thoughts to avoid that?

4) one of the riders has a funky old chest protector and was wearing his radio under his armpit, but the antenna was at about a 45 degree angle from vertical.  I told him that we need to find a place on his gear that the antenna could be vertical because it would be better. Is what I told him true, or a tale?

  Thanks, Mac

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On 12/30/2019 at 6:19 PM, Van said:

 Maybe this Tigertail will help. (I tried to just copy the youtube link, but the whole thing showed up and could not delete - so here it is - if its worth anything... Bp619??  Any other reports on better antennas for the UV/RH?

Huh. 

 

Makes electrical sense....I'll make one and report back.

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38 minutes ago, MacDuncan said:

It is always funny how quickly these snippets of info go beyond my knowledge - but I still want to learn.

From last Saturday's ride:

1) about half way through the ride, I took the my rugged rh5r radio off  my chest protector, on front, in a pouch ), and took the short standard ducky antenna off, and put on a ~ 14 inch rugged long ducky antenna on it, and then put the radio deep down my camelbak except for about 3-4 inches of antenna sticking out (so it wouldn't tap my helmet) (I haven't done that before because I like to be able to reach my on-off and volume). Immediately, I heard my buddies with far better clarity and they said my voice was significantly more clear (They have the Baofengs, uv5r with short standard antenna strapped on their chest protectors  - but in the box that their radios came in, there is a longer antenna to use (careful if you buy the box of stuff because the longer antenna is hidden in the box under packaging - so don't accidentally toss it!)).  We were having good conversations up to about 70 yards before the change, but that about doubled with just my antenna change.

If they did the same change, but actually using that skinny ~14 inch antenna from Baofebg box, would there still be a significant benefit for all?  

Would we all benefit even more if we all used something as noted in this antenna topic strand like a "701"?

2)  Strange, that one time when 2 of us lost the 3rd rider, I couldn't hear a reply in my helmet, but I could hear a reply coming through my friend's helmet, and we both had squelch set at 4.  Is there another setting to be adjusted?  My thoughts are that lower squelch, more static, and vice versa, right? 

3)  On occasion, I heard a loud consistent pulsating "scratch, scratch, scratch" at about 3 per second.  It's a long shot, but it seemed like when I moved my push to talk up higher on my left mirror mount so the cable was further away from the metal of handlebar, it went away... could there be any logic in that... ?  a ground-ing issue?  other thoughts to avoid that?

4) one of the riders has a funky old chest protector and was wearing his radio under his armpit, but the antenna was at about a 45 degree angle from vertical.  I told him that we need to find a place on his gear that the antenna could be vertical because it would be better. Is what I told him true, or a tale?

  Thanks, Mac

1. I've always run an aftermarket antenna on both my Yaesus and Baos. I do believe they make a difference, but I have no real data to support that.

2. There are any number of reasons one rider in the same location might hear a transmission and the adjacent rider can't. I've had it happen many times- could be antenna, proximity of the radio to the user's body, etc. Could also be magic, but it's bad luck to be superstitious. But you brought up squelch, and that's a PhDBlue subject. See below.

3. I recently returned a Baofeng BF-F8HP because of that awful sound- super annoying. It MIGHT be interference- power lines, a nearby repeater etc. But last ride I was using a new BF-F8HP, the 8-watt bigger brother to the UV5r (and blue Rugged equivalent) and it was making a helluva racket and appears to be getting worse. I stopped and swapped the radio out with a UV5r (yes, I carry a spare) and the noise stopped for the rest of the ride. I sent the F8HP radio back for exchange.

PhDBlue is of the belief that squelch is the answer to all these issues. When he rides with his HomeCrew, he has set up their radios with an extra squelch tone. This means the radios are not just listening to any other radios transmitting on the frequency, they are listening for transmissions accompanied by a specific code sent by the transmitting radio. It's silent to the users. The presence of that tone/code will allow listeners correctly set up to hear that transmission. Anything else- other radio users, static interference etc will NOT be heard. I've used this setup and it works a treat- we should ALL adopt that protocol along with the 146.505 frequency, but it requires some programming either via CHIRP or in some tiresome sequence of keypresses directly on the radio's keypad. And Mac, I apologize- I'd forgotten about this when we programmed your radios- I should have remembered to add this to your list, but you might check to see if it's on yours anyway. Called SDART (SDAR + ToneSquelch).

AND!
PhdBlue also pointed me to an article about squelch settings on the Baofengs: http://www.miklor.com/COM/UV_Squelch.php . There's some belief the squelch can be programmed to improve rejection of spurious transmissions (like that annoying K-K-K-K-K-KK- for which I returned the F8HP. I programmed the replacement radio with the suggestions on the Miklor site and will look forward to the results in upcoming rides. You need to use CHIRP or the silly keypresses- I'm happy to help anyone with their setup.

And- while chasing another rider through Baja a few years ago, I was having trouble hearing him. While he was a much faster rider (as most are), he'd placed his radio in the same pocket as his water bladder that was built into his jacket. I had him tie the radio up higher with the antenna sticking up out of the jacket, and his transmissions significantly improved. I use backpacks that have a pocket intended for iPods- the radio just fits and a little work with a soldering iron makes the perfect holes for the antenna and the cables, while keeping the antenna an um erm, erect posture. And yes, horizontal/vertical antenna polarization is a "thing", and can vary by frequency. For the 2meter band, vertical polarization is preferred and correct. The old Ham guys would often use a "long wire" antenna for reception- a very specific length strung between uprights. That's for different frequencies.

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 1.34.35 PM 2.png

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Well Done Mr. PB, your articulate reply, stated at a level of understanding for this newbie, is quite appreciated.  Thank you.  Mac

 

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28 minutes ago, MacDuncan said:

Well Done Mr. PB, your articulate reply, stated at a level of understanding for this newbie, is quite appreciated.  Thank you.  Mac

 

It’s my privilege to help- I’m overdrawn at the karma bank. 
 

I’m articulate, but I remain traumatized by basic math and horrified by algebra. I passed Quantitative Analysis in college by presenting a lecture on Bayes Theorem. 

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