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Best UHF handheld antenna 470-865

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#1
Hi everyone!
I'm relatively new to the hobby. Been doing as much reading and searching as time allows. I'm looking for UHF signals in a range from 470-800mhz using my handheld icom r6. Anything special to look out for when shopping for antennas? Is this too wide a spectrum to ask for from 1 antenna? Would swapping out antennas give a real noticeable benefit for reception?
Thanks in advance. Any info/direction is greatly appreciated!
Jeff
 

JamesO

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#2
These are geared more toward 800 MHz, however, they work really well overall and this is what I run on all of my handhelds regardless of the band I am monitoring.

Remtronix REM-800B -BNC connector
Remtronix REM-800S - SMA connector
 
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#3
Is it possible that a single antenna can give good performance from 400-900 MHz (since 800 MHz content is in the 851-861 MHz range here in the US then you might as well extend the range a little on either side)? Yes, there are plenty of them like the famed Radio Shack RS800 now being cloned basically by Remtronix as noted in the post above.

Is it possible that a single tuned antenna can give great performance from the given band it's tuned to? Absolutely, and if you're very serious about getting the best performance from given frequency bands then yes using antennas tuned to them - even if that requires switching them when needed - is the better solution.

For me personally I use the RS800 and the Diamond RHC77A and have no issues monitoring most anything above 100 MHz across the board. For more precise tuning purposes and better reception I do use tuned 1/4 wave ground planes for the given bands/frequencies when needed.

If I owned a handheld scanner anymore the RS800 and RHC77A would still be my choices for duckies but I would also include having a standard telescopic whip antenna which can be adjusted as required and is probably the best solution for wideband but specific tuning purposes since it can be extended or collapsed as required to get that proper tuning. Diamond makes several models that you can see here:

RH SERIES/DIAMOND ANTENNA CORPORATION

and a cool benefit is that they have notches in the actual whip elements so you know just where to adjust the length to match a given band/frequency, comes in pretty handy.
 
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#4
...I'm looking for UHF signals in a range from 470-800mhz using my handheld icom r6...
I use a Radio Shack 800 MHz antenna with excellent results on 800 and I find it also does very well on the UHF/UHF-T bands (450-512 MHz) even though it is not officially rated/marketed for UHF. The Radio Shack antenna only comes in a BNC model (https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-800mhz-scanner-antenna?variant=20332489477) while the Remtronix antenna mentioned above (same antenna as the Radio Shack 800) comes in both SMA and BNC models: Remtronix REM-800B, Diamond REM-800S Scanner Antenna

For portable use when I need/want a shorter antenna I use a Comet MH-255 which is a dual-band short stubby antenna that is rated for VHF-High 150-160 MHz and UHF 450-470 MHz. At only 3" tall I find that for its size it performs extremely well on VHF-High and UHF and also does a decent job on 800 even though it is not rated/tuned for 800. It is only available with an SMA connector: http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/comet-mh-255-351.html
 
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