Radios and Antenna info from Meeting

A place to discuss the latest in technology, from gear to mobile apps to web sites and more.
User avatar
A10FLYR
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:21 pm

Re: Radios and Antenna info from Meeting

Postby A10FLYR » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:58 am

With cheep chinese the antennas may look the same but I would try switching them and see what happens. I know the rc guys are finding out they are not all equal. :)

User avatar
jj
Posts: 1311
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:22 pm
USHPA Rating: H3, P2

Re: Radios and Antenna info from Meeting

Postby jj » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:11 pm

One of my prior posts has this url regarding antennas. http://www.miklor.com/COM/pdf/AntennaTestingW9MDB.pdf

This and other links have plenty of information about what antennas perform best. Note that this will be for 2Meters (146 mhz). A highly tuned 146mhz antenna might be great for 142-148mhz and not be as good on 158mhz. When I make antennas I cut them a little shorter and tune them to work for 151mhz as well as 146mhz. You need a SWR meter to do this without potentially ruining the antenna.

But if you get any of the decent antennas they should work well. I really like the SMA-24 for Yaesus or 24J for Baofengs. But the latest Baofengs come with a pretty good antenna.

Settings.

Get the squelch down to 1 or possibly even 0. Squelch has no impact on what you transmit but it filters out weaker signals for reception. Squelch of 0 provides full range reception but it might also have some noise. You turn squelch up until you get rid of background noise and no more than that. It is a noise filter. If squelch of 1 gets rid of most background noise keep it there. Anything more than 2 or 3 will start reducing range and general signal reception.

Set the bandwidth to narrow Not wide. Nothing in the US uses wide band any more. It is actually a waste of energy and illegal to transmit on wide band. You just receive and transmit more noise and junk with things set wide band. The only reason why wide might improve reception is if one or the other radios is mistuned (which I doubt).

You also want to set the step to 5k so you can tune any frequncies you want to. If you have it at 25 it might bump you to a frequency that is offset from what you want to tune. There is nothing that 25k would do do improve anything.

It is great to learn about settings, but the easiest thing to do is have me program the radio so it is set the same as everyone elses.

One last possibility though is based on antenna cheapness. Stock antennas are cheap and it could well be that the wire in one of them broke and isn't working well. You can try to test it as suggested (swap with the other radio and see if the "better" radio has changed). Or you can get a better antenna (or borrow one) and hear if that makes a difference.
Lastly, while I expect good quality from a Yaesu or Kenwood radio, the Baofengs are cheap and it could be one of them isn't tuned properly or has a defective part.

scotts
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:15 pm
USHPA Rating: P4
Location: Mesa, AZ

Re: Radios and Antenna info from Meeting

Postby scotts » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:59 pm

Thanks for the explanation. I'm still learning. And I'm still having issues with these cheap radios. I guess part of it is you get what you pay for. One radio won't stay in DCS on the receive setting no matter how many times I change it and it tells me "CONFIRM!" I go back to check it and R-DCS is back OFF. wtf? It seems to be working most of the time.

I ordered the speaker mic from Amazon and it was total garbage. Probably a knockoff as well. I also ordered the long whip antenna NA-771 and it appears to be a knockoff as well- the threads are too long and it doesnt seat properly on the radio which will put more stress on the threads, and expose them to moisture and grime. I'm about done with Amazon with all the fakes out there and no apparent QC to prevent it. I read thru the reviews and everyone is pointing the finger at the other guy saying they are selling fakes and they have the "real" one. After wasting an hour, I still cant tell if I'm going to get a real one or the fake. Who has time for this BS?? Maybe I'll check Ham Radio outlet local store and see if they have the parts...
Scott S.
P4; skywalk Chilli3S; Mesa, AZ of all places!
Get busy living!

Ed Williams
Posts: 524
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:11 am
USHPA Rating: P4
Location: Golden, CO

Re: Radios and Antenna info from Meeting

Postby Ed Williams » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:23 pm

Scott,

Maybe programming the radio with the computer will be more successful. I'm not sure, I don't know the Baofang radios. Denver Ham Radio Outlet does have a pretty good selection of antennas and their prices are very fair. However, don't be surprised if the guys that work there treat you like crap. They been very scowling and dismissive of any questions that I've had for them. I know it's because I'm not a licensed operator. Just sayin.

Mark Windsheimer
Posts: 1397
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:43 pm
Contact:

Re: Radios and Antenna info from Meeting

Postby Mark Windsheimer » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:20 am

Try AES (Amateur Electronic Supply) or a place called the Antenna farm on line both have good equipment and treat you well. Both only sell better radios though.

Ham Radio Outlet will treat you like crap even if you have a ham license. Once gave them a check with my company name on it and they were going to refuse to sell me a radio until I produced a license. Then I had to listen to crap about how I was abusing the radio that I was just paying for.

Also recommend that you get you tech license for the ham radio. It is not hard to do.
Have Fun And Fly Safe
Mark

User avatar
jj
Posts: 1311
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:22 pm
USHPA Rating: H3, P2

Re: Radios and Antenna info from Meeting

Postby jj » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:42 am

Bumping this thread as I've had a few inquiries about antennas again.

Sparky was having an issue with a radio. Weak signal, people not hearing him. We put a good antenna on, and he not only had great transmission and reception, but the signals were very clear and intelligible. The antenna is the most important part of your radio setup.

Cheap antennas break internally as they have just a short thin piece of wire. Please get a good antenna for your radio.

Comet SMA-24J for Baofeng or SMA-24 for Vertex radios is hard to beat but there are shorter antennas that work well too.

User avatar
jj
Posts: 1311
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:22 pm
USHPA Rating: H3, P2

Re: Radios and Antenna info from Meeting

Postby jj » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:30 pm

Bumping this thread as it has good info about Baofeng UV 5RA radios, and more importantly, good antennas for our handheld radios.


Return to “Tech Corner”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests