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Home antenna needed for an HT



Greetings folks.


I'm new here and to GMRS in general, but I'm glad I found out about GMRS.


I'm trying to set up emergency back-up communications between myself and my wife, for those times when power, internet, and cellular are out especially. Yes, not often, but it has happened. (We're in Virginia and have lived through 36+ hour power outages due to hurricanes, etc.)


My goal is to work towards simplex communications with my wife, but for now, I'll settle for a local GMRS repeater. Her office is about 3 miles away, and the terrain is fairly flat suburban area.


I'm working (for now) primarily with handheld radios. BaoFeng UV-5Rs. I plan to upgrade to at least having a base transceiver at home. (One that does 2M and 0.7M HAM as well.) But, for now, handhelds.


I have a GMRS license (WRFC813) and am sitting for my technician class ham license in a couple weeks. (I will NEVER get my wife to go ham, so don't go there. Hence, GMRS for the two of us, but ham for my own hobbyist fun.)


So, that in mind, here's my issue...


I can communicate with a nearby repeater just fine. That is, just fine from one of the handhelds when I'm outside my house. I also have a mag mount antenna on my car roof and can hit the repeater pretty much anywhere in my area.


But, when I step inside the house, I often can't quite get there.


I tried the car antenna (Nagoya UT-72) inside the house, and it doesn't seem better than the whips (NA-771). Then again, inside the house, I do not have a good ground plane steel plate on which to mount the UT-72...


I literally step out the front door or back door onto my deck and I can talk with the repeater. Inside, not so much.


Suggestions for a home antenna rig that will improve this? I'm in a HOA, so I really don't want to bother with trying to get permission from the crown to install an outdoor antenna. I have an attic crawl space, but if I'm going to go that route, I want to be pretty certain it'll work.


My preference is something that can sit here in my living room and still be enough improvement of the NA-771 that I'll be happy. Perhaps better mounting for a UT-72? Suggestions?






Ken (WRFC813)


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Well, part of the issue is you are trying to push through ll the wood, walls, exc. to get out of the house, so the fewer walls, beams, plywood sheets, and definitely drywall to get through the better. The easiest way to test is to place your antenna in the attic and let the wire dangle down from the ceiling and test it before figuring out a final install plan. Chances are if one antenna cannot get out under low power, most wont get out and you might need more power just to overcome the construction. I found an area in my fathers attic (Hes in an HOA as well) where a plastic vestibule was placed and stuck an antenna in there which increased his range dramatically, so also study what your install options are. Another thing to look at is the height of your attic, if your attic peek is only 10 feet up, your range wont be that good. You should be able to hit the repeater fine, but simplex operations will likely require you to build a "hidden" antenna you can place outside. if your building is 2 or 3 stories up you should find your simplex range adequate and not need an external antenna.

One last note for when you are ready to purchase your antenna, look for one that requires little to no ground plane to work as this makes things a little bit simpler when you do the final install. I think I used this one at my fathers place;
We did not use a ground plane and at 20W output the swr is 1.3 which is acceptable.

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You can build one: "https://m0ukd.com/calculators/quarter-wave-ground-plane-antenna-calculator" or you can buy one, aforementioned BR-6140, that I use above my roof. It is on newegg for $35, which is a steal. Cable, like LMR-240 or RG-8X will probably be as or more expensive, depending on the length you need to run to your attic. And it's all futile if you have this new OSB with aluminum foil anywhere on your roof. Or concrete tile. In that case you'd need to put antenna outside, but thanks for the short wavelength of GMRS, it will be trivial to hide or disguise.


And with regard to the cable, LMR-400 or RG-213 would be better, of course, but not really handy when connected to HT, because they are 1/2" thick (give or take). You'd need short patch cables with connectors that will drive up the cost. Of course, cost may be, or may not be a factor for your situation. Anyway, consult these tables for the loss: "https://w4rp.com/ref/coax.html"

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The points that make this Laird Antenna atractive are:

▪ Long tuning ferrule allows for greater freedom in frequency  adjustment without trimming

▪ High performance mobile antenna operates on a  no ground plane (NGP) requirement

▪ Straight stainless-steel corona ball stays on the rod  – no dissimilar metal interaction associated with competitor designs

▪ Easy installation with NMO mountable ▪ 100% tested on a network analyzer

. 5 year warrantee 

Laird Antenna's are commercial Quality


You can order the mag mount and Antenna for $60 free shipping from Arcadian inc

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FYI, the Nagoya 771 will actually reduce your transmit abilities on GMRS frequencies. It’s meant for 2m/70cm and the antenna itself is tuned to operate up to I believe 440 MHz. GMRS is 460 MHz, and outside the optimal frequencies for the 771 antenna. You’re better off with the stock antenna or a 701.

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