Jump to content

Another noob antenna question


STTScott
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'll be taking delivery in a few days of a handheld BF-F8HP for GMRS communication on this island and maybe goofing around when skip conditions are right. So, question: Is there a 6 or 7-foot omnidirectional antenna matched to my handheld that I can attach to the wooden railing right outside my door and then can take down at the end of the day?

 

Regards,

Scott

WRJX210

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll be taking delivery in a few days of a handheld BF-F8HP for GMRS communication on this island and maybe goofing around when skip conditions are right. So, question: Is there a 6 or 7-foot omnidirectional antenna matched to my handheld that I can attach to the wooden railing right outside my door and then can take down at the end of the day?

 

Regards,

Scott

WRJX210

You can try the antennas from Ed Fong. He sells several models from base antennas to "roll-up" types for portable use. None require a ground plane so they are ideal for temporary use.

 

For a base type antenna look at this one.

 

"DBJ-1 (commercial) dual band base antenna - (152-157 MHz and 460-470 MHz).  Maximum power input 75 watts. - $36"

 

For portable use< roll-up type, this should work.

 

DBJ-2  (commercial) dual band roll up antenna kit -  (152-157 MHz and 460-470 MHz). Includes adapters for BNC, SMA and SMA - female.  Also includes a 6 ft extension cable. Maximum power input 50 watts. - $36

 

The link to the website is below.

 

https://edsantennas.weebly.com/

 

These are "J-Pole" antennas. For some background on what they are a basic theory how they work can be found at the following link.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J-pole_antenna

 

Without seeing your situation a roll-up antenna might be a good choice if you have something nearby to throw a light string or rope over, like a tree limb. Then you just hoist the antenna up by the string, the higher the better. When you're done just drop it down and store it. Likely you can get away with leaving the string in place for next time.

 

Some years back when I lived in a ground floor apartment I used a portable light fiberglass "pushup mast" stuck in a heavy duty speaker tripod. That got a telescoping dual band antenna up about 20 feet. I ran the coax out of the window. This was done at night so as not to attract too much attention.

 

http://www.randl.com/shop/catalog/index.php?manufacturers_id=67&sort=3a&page=20&osCsid=6bcm5d1bpm8b0ar83lvi2h2a40

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have good luck with my Ed Fong antenna and he's really polite when answering questions from new folks--I know, i've asked some of the dumbest ones he's probably heard. I use his pvc encased version. Part of the money he collects goes to the graduate students tuning the antenna for you and they use the cash to help pursue their educational goals....beats the heck out of it disappearing offshore to a big corporation. And berkinet's right, the frequency GMRS is at doesn't lend itself to skipping great distances like the lower ham frequencies and CB when conditions are right. Take a look at the repeater section here, though, and the odds are good you can bounce your signal through a repeater, even through others if they are mutually connected for enviable clarity at awesome distance. I sure hope that doesn't negatively affect your decision to go and stay on the air, though, and wish you best of luck. Please let us (or at least me) know how it's working. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have good luck with my Ed Fong antenna and he's really polite when answering questions from new folks--I know, i've asked some of the dumbest ones he's probably heard. I use his pvc encased version. Part of the money he collects goes to the graduate students tuning the antenna for you and they use the cash to help pursue their educational goals....beats the heck out of it disappearing offshore to a big corporation. And berkinet's right, the frequency GMRS is at doesn't lend itself to skipping great distances like the lower ham frequencies and CB when conditions are right. Take a look at the repeater section here, though, and the odds are good you can bounce your signal through a repeater, even through others if they are mutually connected for enviable clarity at awesome distance. I sure hope that doesn't negatively affect your decision to go and stay on the air, though, and wish you best of luck. Please let us (or at least me) know how it's working. 

Heck no, it hasn't affected byndecision to go on-air. Anguy doesn't spend $70 for nuthin'. I wanted to find out what possibilities are out there for handhelds getting maximum distance theu good antenna choices related to GMRS. Back when I was doing SSB, skip was always fun;  alot if it is VHF and we're primarily (from what I gather) UHF so I get it.

 

For me, getting involved in GMRS was mainly for local communications on this island especially during Caribbean hurricane season, and even tho I'll have a handheld, I'd like my best shot to the other side of the island -- and it all starts with your antenna. Yes, there's a repeater here, so there's that, but I'd like a raw leg up if the repreater ever goes down, cuz there ain't no 'lecric (sometimes for 1-3 months) after a Category 5 hurricane.

 

Thanks for the discussion, everyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My BTech BF-F8HP handheld arriived this evening. I odered a Nagoya 72 antenna with an NMO mount for the car. BUT -- I found that the Nagoya coax was long enough to let me string a connection our the door to the patio.  It's no beacon in the night, but I'm up in the mountains and 19" will get me somewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can try the antennas from Ed Fong. He sells several models from base antennas to "roll-up" types for portable use. None require a ground plane so they are ideal for temporary use.

 

For a base type antenna look at this one.

 

"DBJ-1 (commercial) dual band base antenna - (152-157 MHz and 460-470 MHz).  Maximum power input 75 watts. - $36"

 

For portable use< roll-up type, this should work.

 

DBJ-2  (commercial) dual band roll up antenna kit -  (152-157 MHz and 460-470 MHz). Includes adapters for BNC, SMA and SMA - female.  Also includes a 6 ft extension cable. Maximum power input 50 watts. - $36

 

The link to the website is below.

 

https://edsantennas.weebly.com/

 

These are "J-Pole" antennas. For some background on what they are a basic theory how they work can be found at the following link.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J-pole_antenna

 

Without seeing your situation a roll-up antenna might be a good choice if you have something nearby to throw a light string or rope over, like a tree limb. Then you just hoist the antenna up by the string, the higher the better. When you're done just drop it down and store it. Likely you can get away with leaving the string in place for next time.

 

Some years back when I lived in a ground floor apartment I used a portable light fiberglass "pushup mast" stuck in a heavy duty speaker tripod. That got a telescoping dual band antenna up about 20 feet. I ran the coax out of the window. This was done at night so as not to attract too much attention.

 

http://www.randl.com/shop/catalog/index.php?manufacturers_id=67&sort=3a&page=20&osCsid=6bcm5d1bpm8b0ar83lvi2h2a40

this would be my thought as well...paracord, a tree, and something for weights (nut&bolt?)...if there's an available ground/balcony, tripod and a push up.  failing that, (if railing is it) i'm thinking if there isn't enough to anchor a push-up, maybe a cheap pool cleaning pole to clamp to to get an antenna up.  antenna wise, ed fong is a good thought.  been meaning to try the pool pole quickie with a 5/8 over 5/8 browning i've had sitting on the shelf, as an alternate to the 'antenna in the attic' i have going now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My BTech BF-F8HP handheld arriived this evening. I odered a Nagoya 72 antenna with an NMO mount for the car. BUT -- I found that the Nagoya coax was long enough to let me string a connection our the door to the patio.  It's no beacon in the night, but I'm up in the mountains and 19" will get me somewhere.

That's awesome as heck on the antenna reaching outside and I'll bet that setup will get you a lot further than you think—even without a repeater's help. As a plus, when the winds start to get bad as a tropical storm blows in the antenna is safe inside, then when the worst subsides, deploy it outside and you're on the air.  If you're high in the mountains it's even better (radio wise, not necessarily wind wise when a cat 4 or 5 hits). Bear in mind, though, if higher peaks block your line of sight to the other side of the island odds are good you can't punch a signal through to those "blocked" spots behind. Of course if you're on the highest peak or one that competes for the elevation crown....you're golden. The fact you won't give up on GMRS gave me a smile youngster. Thank you for that gift. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

this would be my thought as well...paracord, a tree, and something for weights (nut&bolt?)...if there's an available ground/balcony, tripod and a push up.  failing that, (if railing is it) i'm thinking if there isn't enough to anchor a push-up, maybe a cheap pool cleaning pole to clamp to to get an antenna up.  antenna wise, ed fong is a good thought.  been meaning to try the pool pole quickie with a 5/8 over 5/8 browning i've had sitting on the shelf, as an alternate to the 'antenna in the attic' i have going now.

If you're worried about having communications after a major storm you should also think about a source of emergency power. Last storm through Puerto Rico for example the power was out for a really long time from the reports on the news. After a few days you likely won't find any gas for a generator so a long term solution is needed. You will likely want something like a small solar panel, charge controller and battery. Then look for a 12VDC battery pack eliminator for the radio. I have a few charging cradles for the commercial Kenwood radios, with one modified to use 12 to 14 VDC input, instead of wall outlet power, to recharge the battery pack. If you can't find a 12VDC battery pack eliminator then a few spare battery packs you can cycle through the charger works too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Guidelines.