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GMRS Yagi 7 element beam

Guest By WRYF379

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Guest By WRYF379

By no means am I an expert but I have had some years of amature like radio and antenna experience.  Most of it 11 meter and antennas including a 6 element Quad beam.  The rest on State Government radio use mostly in the deep canyons of Central Idaho on the Little Salmon, main Salmon, South Fork of the Clearwater , Clearwater and Locksaw Rivers.  After the FCC required the State to tighten up it's Band Width, it made it much more difficult for us to hit our repeaters on HT's (hand held) and the more powerful mobiles also had more difficulty.  Having delt with this change, it became an educational experience and was frustrating when dealing with emergency and normal Comm's where you used to get out but no longer could.  State Comm as very supportive of us as you could ever wish for also faced the same frustrations trying so hard to pull us out.  The HT's and Mobiles and I forgot our Base units as you would expect were all  omni directional antennas.  I did get to visit one of our repeater towers on a mountain top and they were all omni directional as well. 

Where I'm going with this though is folks out there doing strictly GMRS may want to consider the advantages of Yagi or AKA, Beam antenna.  As best as I can determine in the Rules, GMRS radios are allowed to detach and use another type of antenna. The more elements in a Beam the more directional they become and the more elements they sort of speak in theory, naturally amplify transmit and recieve more than a omni dirrectional.  My GMRS Beam is a 7 element and has a perfect SWR match, 1.01:1, did not even have to adjust it, and I mounted it to a camera tri-pod for stability, don't have to hold it.  I was on a hill along the Highway near Butte City Idaho.  Knowing the dirrection of the Taylor repeater over near Blackfoot Idaho, I pointed it that way with the elements in the vertical position.  Now you read and hear all this stuff about how the GMRS frequincies are only line of sight but I had no line of sight due to earth horizon line of sight, some sources indicate it at just a little past 3 miles standing I think it was 5 foot 7 inches above ground combined with the terrain of the Snake River Plains between the two points though my elevation was 5439 feet and Taylor 545 feet higher at I believe was 68.8 miles away as the crow flies.  Higher terrain in between than what I had I'm sure would have had a much lesser outcome, is the nature of the beast but not so completely.  I listend to the use of this repeater that far away and heard both sides of the conversation two people were having.  I did not try using this repeater because I have not asked permision to use it but I was certainly impressed with my tiny Boefeng UV-5R GMRS only, is not HAM, and the GMRS 7 element beam.  Getting it pointed to the best signal, I saw out of 4 bars,  2-4 bars but mostly 2-3 and the two repeater users were mostly clear though I think were possibly mobile. 

My interest mainly is Simplex contact in irregular terrain like here in Idaho because it challenges the operator and antenna, is not as easy as hitting Duplex repeaters and I can not afford a repeater. Like it is said, antennas are 90% of the radio.  One other consideration is the side and rear of the beam antenna are less responsiive but also depending on how close to you other Comm traffic is.  I live remote so I have no experience to share if this 7 element beam was in a FRS/GMRS radio traffic congested area.  It could however be of benefit to add to your GMRS gear for the outdoors explorer and may possibly help to some degree pin point someone in distress as it is more directional than your omni dirrectional.  It's also not so big it is a pain to deal with.  Is amazingly small throw it in the front or back seat with a camera tri-pod.  The only problem I had was radial #6 could not pass through the hole during assymbly due to a rivet end slightly blocking passage.  I simply took a small file to it with a few passes and in it went. 

Dont be afraid to learn about your antenna options out there for GMRS and have a blast doing the FRS/GMRS thing out there.  WRYF379 out of service.   

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Yup, I use one as my main base antenna. Also have a copper tube j-pole on top of the same mast. I have not noticed much reduction in reception in the null directions and to the rear as compared to the omni j-pole. Mine is the Arrow Antenna 7 element. Very nicely built. I'm on top of a 500 foot hill and most of the traffic I want to hear is within about a 30 degree arc so the Yagi is well suited for my application. I have tried rotating it but seems to make little difference. I pick stuff from all over the Puget Sound. I live in the San Juan Islands WA. I was listening to some mountain climbers this morning up on Mt Baker. They were on channel 7 simplex. That is about 60 miles from me and the Yagi is not even pointed in that direction. Seattle area repeaters come in loud and clear.

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