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I have a UV5R with a huge ABBREE antenna and dig it. Are there any handhelds that transmit and receiver over a greater distance? It is my understanding that anything more than 8 watts is dangerous in a handheld. What advantages do the more expensive handheld radios have? I want to keep one in my vehicle and am not sure if the more expensive versions have greater range.
 

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Lux in Tenebris
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Increasing wattage doesn't necessarily mean better range..

if the power isn't transmitted thru a decent antenna, all is lost...

I have not seen any HT's over 10w..

that said, for a mobile rig, i'd go with a baofengtech 25w radio and decent magmount antenna..



on the HT, adding a small yagi or roll up j pole, or jungle antenna is good option..
 

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Storyteller
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ham radio ain't magic. 5 watts is 5 watts. Antennas matter, feedline loss matters and VHF does a bit better than UHF

That whole "inverse square Law" really does apply to all thing electromagnetic. Not just a good idea - it's the Law...

Short of using something like an Arrow antenna (Yagi) you just are not going to get 'more range'.
 

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It's all about antennas: You could also try a wire 'counterpoise.' For your radio dangle a 19.5 inch piece of wire from the ground (outside part of the antenna port). Just to be clear, this is in addition to your antenna: it's essentially a 'ground plane.'

You should see pretty fair improvement but don't otherwise scrimp on good antennas esp for those Bidenfengs. Had to do it!!
 

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It's all about antennas: You could also try a wire 'counterpoise.' For your radio dangle a 19.5 inch piece of wire from the ground (outside part of the antenna port).

You should see pretty fair improvement but don't otherwise scrimp on good antennas esp for those Bidenfengs. Had to do it!!
Swell, first I’d go with a 1/4 wave whip antenna- that will put the antenna about 19” long. There is no doubt you get better coverage, and these are standard issue in wildland firefighting. The counterpoise isn’t a bad area, and can make a colineatr antenna for a pack-19” of copper tubing down, 19” of whip up, run the feed line through the copper pipe and stick a few ferrite beads in the feed line as it exits the pipe.

there Isn’t another portable solution, Unless you want to move lower in freqs, and have a more substantial antenna- moar like a RTO you saw in Vietnam.

if less portable is acceptable put a relay station in a fixed location with a better, higher antenna and more power. Relay station could be a repeater, or a person with a notepad, or a vehicle mounted radio near each user in Cross band repeat. Or have each user use a fixed or portable antenna.

increasing power helps, but realistically not much.
 

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Padre in the woods
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I don't know if I would want an HT with a power greater than a few watts up near my eyes and skull.

What we used to do years ago when hunting in the U.P. when we had the radios on 464.5000, and 464.5500; we had aluminum poles on the back pack with the antenna on top. It got in the way, and ended up only getting us about a half mile more. We switched to lower frequencies for range.
 

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"TURGID FLUX"
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For the most part, portable comms are limited to 2 x the horizon distance. About 5 miles. There are calculators based on the smooth earth model which estimate this. However actual terrain and foliage will further affect coverage. High ground will get you further.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

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Roll up j-pole hung in a tree
Absolutely! I carry a rolled up Slim Jim J Pole in my emergency gear on my offroad rail buggy. I also carry two radios: A 3/5/8 watt Baofeng GT-3TP and a Kenwood mobile pumping 45 watts. (Yes, I'm licensed) My antenna is a Nagoya with a 3 prong ground plane antenna under it. (Plus, I carry a cell phone!) And I carry a rolled up J Pole in my gear! I believe in being able to call for help in the event of something really bad happening. Sometimes, I'm 30 miles out in the boonies by myself.

The idea behind it is simple: Just by pulling it up into a tree, it's already got better range because of the greater height. Second, you can leave it attached to your hand radio and just toss it up over a branch for better range if you're on foot. (Egads!)
 

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Absolutely! I carry a rolled up Slim Jim J Pole in my emergency gear on my offroad rail buggy. I also carry two radios: A 3/5/8 watt Baofeng GT-3TP and a Kenwood mobile pumping 45 watts. (Yes, I'm licensed) My antenna is a Nagoya with a 3 prong ground plane antenna under it. (Plus, I carry a cell phone!) And I carry a rolled up J Pole in my gear! I believe in being able to call for help in the event of something really bad happening. Sometimes, I'm 30 miles out in the boonies by myself.

The idea behind it is simple: Just by pulling it up into a tree, it's already got better range because of the greater height. Second, you can leave it attached to your hand radio and just toss it up over a branch for better range if you're on foot. (Egads!)
Any particular mfr. of the roll-up antenna you can recommend?

Thanks in advance
 

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Absolutely! I carry a rolled up Slim Jim J Pole in my emergency gear on my offroad rail buggy. I also carry two radios: A 3/5/8 watt Baofeng GT-3TP and a Kenwood mobile pumping 45 watts. (Yes, I'm licensed) My antenna is a Nagoya with a 3 prong ground plane antenna under it. (Plus, I carry a cell phone!) And I carry a rolled up J Pole in my gear! I believe in being able to call for help in the event of something really bad happening. Sometimes, I'm 30 miles out in the boonies by myself.

The idea behind it is simple: Just by pulling it up into a tree, it's already got better range because of the greater height. Second, you can leave it attached to your hand radio and just toss it up over a branch for better range if you're on foot. (Egads!)
I keep one in my off road Jeep for the same reason, even though I have a mounted ICOM radio. I know that I could find myself in a situation where my Kenwood HT with a j pole high in a tree has a better chance of hitting a repeater than the higher watt ICOM with vehicle mounted antenna (I'm licensed too). As people have said many times, the antenna is more important than the radio.
 

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Terrain has alot more to do with distance than want antenna you have or how many watts. Alot of people are saying you need this/that antenna...then they say throw it up in a tree. Your just taking away some of the terrain issues.
 

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I've always wondered if, for emergencies you could carry a tall light antenna in your vehicle with a balloon & a bottle of helium to run up real high so you could get a signal out even if you were in the woods a way. A drone might be a better option now days though.
Either the weight or loss of the feed line would make that impractical at a significant distance. It would work for HF, but you really don’t need the height.

A telescoping pole works To get a light antenna up 20-30’
 

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Yeah, terrain has more to do with range than the antenna, brand or power but we can't do much about terrain except get as high up as possible. I carry the Slim Jim brand ($30 Fleabay) roll up antenna. I wasn't expecting much when I got it, even though all of the reviews rave about it. It just seemed to simple!

I hooked it up to my Trail Rail buggy's 45 watt Kenwood with my SWR meter in the antenna line. SWR's were at about 1.25, just about perfect. Power output was very high. Good enough for me! Now it's in my emergency gear coiled up with a spool of 1/16 nylon cord attached so I can toss it up over a tree limb to get some height in the event of an emergency.

No, it may not work because maybe there's things around higher than my tree antenna blocking it's range or there may not be any trees close enough to me. Yeah, UHF is line of sight and I may be getting chased by a pack of monsters and not have time to try to call for help anyway! So? My set up works pretty good and I have access to a high powered repeater.

By the way, balloon antenna's are a real thing and have been used for quite a while by expeditions into some out of the way areas, mostly for Long Wire Antenna's.
 

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Any particular mfr. of the roll-up antenna you can recommend?

Thanks in advance
[/QUOTE]

Mine is an MFJ. They are easy enough to make yourself with some ladder line. Plenty of instructions on the web, here is one example.

 
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