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So it's not really the antenna.
No Ii's not the brand or specific type of antenna. As for you calling me out about saying to hang a j pole in a tree - well I shouldn't have to explain to any licensed ham with even a basic Technician license how terrain plays into UHF/VHF and WHY you want to put it in a tree {or suspended from a fishing pole for that matter). It's one of the first things you're supposed to learn.

The main point to the OP is that it is NOT the radio.
 

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well I shouldn't have to explain to any licensed ham with even a basic Technician license how terrain plays into UHF/VHF and WHY you want to put it in a tree {or suspended from a fishing pole for that matter). It's one of the first things you're supposed to learn.
Nope, I don't need that explained to me! That's a pretty standard trick for any radio operator to learn. If everything else remains the same, height is the way.
 

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Nope, I don't need that explained to me! That's a pretty standard trick for any radio operator to learn. If everything else remains the same, height is the way.
Just remember for handheld To handheld communications they are deficient in both power ( primarily due to antenna) and height. Fixing either one helps, and partially reduces the impact of the other. Adding power ( via an antenna or transmitter) is a lot more useful than say it might be on a 50 watt mobile.
 

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No Ii's not the brand or specific type of antenna. As for you calling me out about saying to hang a j pole in a tree - well I shouldn't have to explain to any licensed ham with even a basic Technician license how terrain plays into UHF/VHF and WHY you want to put it in a tree {or suspended from a fishing pole for that matter). It's one of the first things you're supposed to learn.

The main point to the OP is that it is NOT the radio.
Sorry I want calling you out. I think we are saying the same thing.
 

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Sorry I want calling you out. I think we are saying the same thing.
I think we are.

My reason for suggesting the rollup j-pole is portability. It easily fits in a backpack or even a pocket. Sure you could hook an HT up to a bigger antenna but if you're on your feet who wants to lug around a bigger, heavier antenna. I consider the rollup an essential part of my emergency comms gear.
 

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I think we are.

My reason for suggesting the rollup j-pole is portability. It easily fits in a backpack or even a pocket. Sure you could hook an HT up to a bigger antenna but if you're on your feet who wants to lug around a bigger, heavier antenna. I consider the rollup an essential part of my emergency comms gear.
The light weight also makes it easy to hang ( even from a tiny branch) and add a weak link ( ie loop of thread) and you can snatch it down via the coax if the support line snags. Pretty trivial to make it waterproof.
 

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I'd appreciate it if someone can PM me an email address for N9TAX. His web site doesn't work for me and I couldn't find an email on QRZ. I have the 2m and want to get a 440 or dual band one.
 

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Yea (duh). I don't and won't use Googl Chrome so that may be why.
 

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One thing that has not been talked about in this thread, is maybe the most important of all. You can be pumping the max power allowed by law, have the best antenna fifty feet in the air on top of a hill, have the radio with the most bells and whistles and still not be transmitting much of anything. SWR's. "Standing Wave Ratio". If the SWR's are way off, you will be able to receive pretty good...not nearly as good as it should but pretty good...and be able to transmit across the street if there's no cars in the way! Don't worry though. All that power is still being pumped up. It's just not going out the antenna. It's going into the heat sink as heat.

When I got into GMRS and Ham radio, I got into it in a big way. I have a Yagi directional antenna and a separate omni directional antenna for UHF...GMRS. The mast is thirty foot above the peak of the house and has a rotator on the mast so I can aim the Yagi. Plus, I have a hundred foot Long Wire Shortwave antenna strung across the yard. I'm pretty serious about my antenna's! I also have an SWR meter and a box full of adapters.

It's just like back in the old days with the CB's. Tune the SWRs or you're not gonna transmit far. It's the same thing except with a meter made for UHF. Here's the bad news: Those so called Pre Tuned Antenna's, ain't! The good news is that most of them can be tuned to perfection or close enough anyway. That's where the SWR meter comes into play. Mine reads both SWR's and output wattage. When the SWR's go down, the output wattage goes up....by a lot! Plus, high SWRs generates a lot of heat.

There is some more bad news. Most of the assorted whip antennas for hand held radios, suck really bad. I checked the SWR's of probably fifteen different whip antennas by assorted manufacturers and they all suck. Their SWR's are running in the high two's and even a few in the three's and four's. Those antennas can't be tuned. I threw most of them away and kept the ones that were under a two. I used the same radio...a Baofeng GT3-tp for all of those tests.

On a plus side: I also tested my roll up-able Slim Jim J-Pole antenna. I was holding my breath on that one because I had just gotten it. It cost me thirty bucks! Plus, they're not easy to adjust. It showed a 1.37 with an output of 7.9 watts on an eight watt hand held radio. It now lives in my emergency gear onboard my Trail Rail!
 

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There is some more bad news. Most of the assorted whip antennas for hand held radios, suck really bad. I checked the SWR's of probably fifteen different whip antennas by assorted manufacturers and they all suck. Their SWR's are running in the high two's and even a few in the three's and four's. Those antennas can't be tuned.
I did the same thing with my NanoVNA. I use it as an antenna analyzer. It injects a very low power signal and draws a nice curve of the Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) over a specified frequency range. The lower the number the better. You want your antenna tuned to the frequency range that you want to transmit on.

Simple chart and the link. With a VSWR of 2:1 you will have an 11% power loss to the antenna.



 

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You want your antenna tuned to the frequency range that you want to transmit on.
Yup, you're right. When I set mine up, I picked a specific frequency to tune the antenna's at. It might only mean a hundred yards but that might make an important difference.
 

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my experience chicoms whether the radio does 0.05, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7-8 watts.

most cases 1/4-1/2 mile with no repeater in functional use.

within 3km or repeater you can have a trunking link of 500km UHF

can't comment on vhf distance, my opinion is based on functional use at point to point use..

whilst 5km is claimed on most radios realistically 2.5 km is the function overlap between 2 mobile radios, you likely half that with a hand held
 

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I have a pair of Baofeng GT-3TP hand held radios that are programmable for 3, 5 or 8 watts. I got them for when one of us wants to "walk up to the top of that hill". Yeah ok kid. Here's a radio to call me on if there's anything interesting or for in case my rail buggy broke down and I have to hike out, etc. (I have a 45 watt Kenwood in the rail buggy and another one at home)

I tested the included mini whip antennas on the Baofengs with my SWR/Wattage meter and found that the SWR's were pretty nice for this kind of antenna and the output wattage was about a 1/4 watt shy of an 8 full watts. At least in my case, the advertised output was pretty close.

I did a real world test of the range by leaving one at home with my wife and I took the other one and drove away. The one I was using in my rail buggy was connected to the roof top antenna and set for high power. Hers was set to high power with the standard mini whip. I drove 20 + miles to get any range from the house because of the way the roads out here and eventually, turned around and came home. Using the satellite view map, it measured out to almost 10 miles between radios and we didn't loose contact. My house is on top of a small land swell and there's no real obstructions but still: Ten miles is pretty good for two handhelds to be talking.
 

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I got several of the Nagoya (spelling?) folding antennas for my UV5Rs. They are the classic military looking ones (no idea what model as I'm at work right now). They made a huge difference over the stock and even over the larger straight antennas.

I have also found performance of the UV5R is more than up to the task.
 

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MOST ANTS WE WOULD USE typically function better on a mobile ant rather than the stock ant.

5-8 watts typically kills the supplied battery within 20 min


at ten mile you are bouncing a signal from from a repeater station

line of sight can't beat physics 16km is stretching the limit without using a repeater

5watts in a mobile gets you a limit of overlap is 2.5km
 

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MOST ANTS WE WOULD USE typically function better on a mobile ant rather than the stock ant.
I checked about six of the aftermarket antennas for SWR's and found that none of them were as good as the stock OEM mini whip antenna on the GT-3TP. There were a couple of different Nagoya's in there too. I put the original one back on.

5-8 watts typically kills the supplied battery within 20 min
Yup! I got the extended battery packs for mine because of that, plus the car chargers.

at ten mile you are bouncing a signal from from a repeater station
Although I am licensed to use GMRS, I'm not a Ham operator and don't know very much about radio communications. However, when I linked my system to the local repeaters, there were assorted settings that had to be set for that. If I remember right, I had to set the proper Tones, Codes, choose Simplex versus Duplex and then set the "In/out" frequencies. Even if by chance I was able to bounce a signal from the repeater, there could be no response because of the difference in frequencies. Repeaters use different "in and out" frequencies or they can't repeat, right? At least around here they do!

line of sight can't beat physics 16km is stretching the limit without using a repeater
5watts in a mobile gets you a limit of overlap is 2.5km
2.5 KM overlap? You mean like if my radio is good for 2.5 KM and yours is good for 2.5 KM, then we should be able to communicate for 5 KM's because of the overlap? Sorry, but t doesn't work that way! Terrain, atmosphere, antenna type and height, radio quality and output power all have a large effect of transmission quality and range but I've never heard of radio overlap except when plotting radar coverage or something like that.
 
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