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Needing more FARS from a handheld


WSBN706

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-Let me preemptively apologize for asking such a basic question. I have been scouring this site to prevent what I am certain is commonly repeated thing-

Good morning,

Pretty new at this and need some guidance. I got my GMRS license a few days ago, got permissions for my local repeaters and mapped out which ones I can use at home or at work etc....I've been so excited to get things in place that I didn't think to observe if my handheld boofwang UV-9G handheld would even reach the repeaters I intend to use. I am 4.9 miles way from the one I would need to use, and 10 miles away from that same one while at work. Lots of buildings between home and rptr, while at work (I'm at the airport) so its a straight shot for the most part to the rptr even though the distance is about double. I'm looking at the Nagoya UT-72G super loading coil 20". If I place high up at home is reaching the rptr that's 4.9 miles away be possible? I will upgrade to a mobile b-tech or midland 20w if that'll help. Trying to learn as much as I can as quick as I can...Again I'm sorry to ask such an elementary thing. For what it's worth I have been trying to find the answers on youtubes among other resources... Thank you in advance, and thanks to those who I've already learned much from on this webpage! (especially that rubicon guy)

Edited by WSBN706
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Hello and welcome!

The correct answer to the question of how far can my radio reach is always "it depends". Everyone's situation is different. The only way to know for sure is to test it for yourself.

Here is a video series that should help clarify it for you.

https://rumble.com/v28lefh-vhfuhf-ht-maximum-achievable-range-part-1-series-intro.html

https://rumble.com/v28mw9j-vhfuhf-ht-maximum-achievable-range-part-2-understanding-line-of-sight-and-h.html

https://rumble.com/v2mztaz-vhfuhf-ht-maximum-achievable-range-part-3-output-power-and-antennas.html

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1 hour ago, WSBN706 said:

-Let me preemptively apologize for asking such a basic question. I have been scouring this site to prevent what I am certain is commonly repeated thing-

Never feel like you have to apologize for asking a question, especially after trying to find prior threads.  Welcome to the site.

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1 hour ago, WSBN706 said:

especially that rubicon guy

Be careful!!1 I have read that the rubicon guy is just a shill for cheap chinese radios and will say anything the manufactures tell him to say!!!1
I know it must be true because the people that say that have been licensed ham radio operators for 20+ years, it says so right in their forum signature!!1

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A better antenna would be the logical place to start. There's quite a few Antenna Tests on the YouTubes that you can watch to see which ones are giving the best fars. Most see to say that the Nagoya 771G is a good choice, other's like the Signal Stick and rate it as the best. Your Mileage May Vary.

Randy(Notarubicon) has some good videos on his YouTubes channel that talks about getting more fars, I'd check them out.

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44 minutes ago, WSBN706 said:

Nagoya UT-&@

I'm assuming you mean the Nagoya UT-72. Share with us. Are you looking at the UT-72 amateur radio VHF/UHF (144/430Mhz) model, or the UT-72G GMRS (462-467 MHz) model? The reason I ask is because you will likely get better performance from the UT-72G GMRS version. Amateur radio antennas and GMRS antennas are generally not interchangeable because they are tuned for different frequencies.

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53 minutes ago, WRQC527 said:

I'm assuming you mean the Nagoya UT-72. Share with us. Are you looking at the UT-72 amateur radio VHF/UHF (144/430Mhz) model, or the UT-72G GMRS (462-467 MHz) model? The reason I ask is because you will likely get better performance from the UT-72G GMRS version. Amateur radio antennas and GMRS antennas are generally not interchangeable because they are tuned for different frequencies.

Yep, 72G gmrs... (fixed thx). 

Thanks for all the feedback, I'll get researching/watching asap! May order a couple trial antennas and go from there. 

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So far the best luck I have had using the UV-9G has been the Nagoya 771G. I think I ended up using a bit of emery cloth to shave it down a bit as it was a snug fit on that radio. The Signal Stick is a great antenna but I don’t believe they make one tuned for GMRS specifically so like the UT-72 that’s probably not your best choice. I have no experience with the UT-72G. I agree with @WRQC527 ,being that it’s tuned for GMRS it’s going to do better than the UT-72 . Real world testing will beat speculation on how many fars you will get.
If you can get up on your roof or a ladder safely you may get some idea of the improvement height makes and think of a base station with an antenna mounted higher. If you know where the repeaters are this line of sight tool may help in seeing your path to them. 
Oh and shout out to @WRQC527 nice deduction on the key strokes 😀

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15 minutes ago, WRUU653 said:

So far the best luck I have had using the UV-9G has been the Nagoya 771G. I think I ended up using a bit of emery cloth to shave it down a bit as it was a snug fit on that radio. The Signal Stick is a great antenna but I don’t believe they make one tuned for GMRS specifically so like the UT-72 that’s probably not your best choice. I have no experience with the UT-72G. I agree with @WRQC527 ,being that it’s tuned for GMRS it’s going to do better than the UT-72 . Real world testing will beat speculation on how many fars you will get.
If you can get up on your roof or a ladder safely you may get some idea of the improvement height makes and think of a base station with an antenna mounted higher. If you know where the repeaters are this line of sight tool may help in seeing your path to them. 
Oh and shout out to @WRQC527 nice deduction on the key strokes 😀

This line of sight tool is awesome, thanks! I'll probably start with the nagoya 771G...make sure my life insurance policy is up to date and climb up on that roof...

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17 minutes ago, OffRoaderX said:

Be careful!!1 I have read that the rubicon guy is just a shill for cheap chinese radios and will say anything the manufactures tell him to say!!!1
I know it must be true because the people that say that have been licensed ham radio operators for 20+ years, it says so right in their forum signature!!1

I am truly honored and humbled at your presence.....🤯 ....and thanks for the warning hahaha 

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22 hours ago, WRQC527 said:

I'm assuming you mean the Nagoya UT-72. Share with us. Are you looking at the UT-72 amateur radio VHF/UHF (144/430Mhz) model, or the UT-72G GMRS (462-467 MHz) model? The reason I ask is because you will likely get better performance from the UT-72G GMRS version. Amateur radio antennas and GMRS antennas are generally not interchangeable because they are tuned for different frequencies.

Multi-band antennae are compromises and not ideal when it comes to great distances. It's best to use antennae specific to your operating band for optimum performance and for the farz you're trying to achieve.

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It’s possible, if you’re willing to operate your HT as not an HT. Get an N9TAX slimjim antenna (GMRS version). Screw it on and sling it up someplace. It’ll hit your repeaters as long a those repeaters are worth a damn..

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Month-old thread but I have this antenna so I'll throw in some comments...

The answer depends A LOT on how high the GMRS repeater's antenna is. If it's 150 ft or higher you're probably fine.

I have that same UT72G antenna on a file cabinet in a second floor corner home office. Works great. (Around 1.3 SWR on ham bands too.) I used it with a Radioddity DB20G (Anytone 779UV) and power supply on my desk for a while. BTW, decent and TINY moble for $110 (tiny=good for fitting in a nook in the car. Bad for viewing the tiny display).

Pretty flat terrain around here. Here's some results with my UT72G:

15 miles, GMRS repeater @ 60 ft: Can hear traffic but it's really hard to decipher, and I can't hit the repeater even with 20 watts. 

18 miles @ 300 ft: Loud and clear with 5 watts, suburbs all the way.

20 miles @ 200 ft: Can hear with substantial noise, but they don't always hear me with 20 watts. The entire metro area (aka lots of RF interference and random FRS/GMRS users) are between me and repeater.

30-35 miles @ 250-450 ft: Can hit these VHF ham repeaters okay with some static, but not any UHF ones. (The GMRS repeater in town at 750 ft might have legs that long though!)

Note that if your antenna has to transmit through your entire house and not just one wall in the direction of the repeater, range will be reduced. 

Someone mentioned the N9TAX slim jim antennas. They are well made. I have the ham one for portable use. Hung it in my office to test it, did improve signals a bit over this whip. The MURS/GMRS version of that slim jim would probably work nicely as an attic antenna. Be sure it's hanging straight vertical and not curling up.

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On 3/7/2024 at 7:52 AM, WRWE456 said:

Hello and welcome!

The correct answer to the question of how far can my radio reach is always "it depends". Everyone's situation is different. The only way to know for sure is to test it for yourself.

Here is a video series that should help clarify it for you.

https://rumble.com/v28lefh-vhfuhf-ht-maximum-achievable-range-part-1-series-intro.html

https://rumble.com/v28mw9j-vhfuhf-ht-maximum-achievable-range-part-2-understanding-line-of-sight-and-h.html

https://rumble.com/v2mztaz-vhfuhf-ht-maximum-achievable-range-part-3-output-power-and-antennas.html

Those are quite good videos and explain UHF propagation well. Nice job KS6DAY. 

But...there is one flaw in the discussion of the long antennas with "gain". Longer antennas, say 5/8 wavelength etc, ONLY have gain towards the horizon when there is a large ground plane below them. Something along the lines of 1-2 wavelengths radius is required. This is much much larger than the talkie of course. Thus those long antennas will have butterfly shaped radiation patterns and radiate at higher angles more than a simple 1/4 wave whip. Stay with a good efficiency 1/4 wave whip and that's your best choice on average. My apologies to the longer whip fans, it's just not going to help with such a small ground plane. It's in the EM math, really. 

Hope this helps. 

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I've thought of a way where a longer antenna on the talkie can be an improvement over both the OEM antenna and a 1/4 wave whip proposal. 

Let's think about this: Many OEM antennas are dual band, for GMRS and also VHF for RX and/or TX. This means that the OEM has to compromise somehow to get it to work on VHF in such a short physical length which inevitably introduces loss at GMRS. Further, as we know, many talkies are not long enough to come close to 1/4 wavelength at GMRS. Thus even with a 1/4 wave whip the efficiency and radiation patterns will be impaired. So how to improve on these situations??

It is true that a good conductor 1/2 wavelength whip will be efficient and have a good donut radiation pattern. That would be about  12.1 inches for GMRS (less than simple 1/2 wave due to end capacitance). But how to feed it? Since the ends of the 1/2 wave are high impedance, the bottom end needs to be fed with a high impedance source. A common and effective way to do this from a 50 ohm feed source is to use a 1/4 wave helical coil where the physical location of the end of said coil and the bottom end of the longer whip are physically located to give the proper capacitance between them so as to couple the two high impedance ends together efficiently. This is the classic pull up antenna on circa 1990 vintage cell phones. At GMRS FREQS, that coil would be maybe 1 inch long (it was 1/2 inch on the referenced 800MHz cell phones), and with nearly zero extra length for the coupling between the two sections. This would feed the 1/2 wave whip nicely. The result would be a whip about 13 inches, let's say maybe 14 inches with the SMA connector on the bottom. 

But to be clear: This will get you a 1/2 wave dipole radiation pattern and efficiency, nothing more, certainly not the 3dB gain advertised by some after market vendors. It's a method to recover from the lousy OEM dual band and/or short talkie body situation. But it does sacrifice VHF performance pretty severely. There is a subtle advanage where in this situation the ground currents on the body of the talkie are not as high (as the OEM case) and thus there is less loss from the hand absorption when holding the talkie. 

Hope this helps again :)

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20 hours ago, OffRoaderX said:

Be careful!!1 I have read that the rubicon guy is just a shill for cheap chinese radios and will say anything the manufactures tell him to say!!!1
I know it must be true because the people that say that have been licensed ham radio operators for 20+ years, it says so right in their forum signature!!1

It is my understanding that that Rubicon guy is really not a Rubicon guy and he is really a Nissan guy with a Chinese made Jeep Key Fob.

Real Izarubicon people drive Rubicons with real American Jeep Keep Fobs.

 

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