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Noob antenna question.

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#1
Iv just recently passed my technician ham licence and got a Baofeng F9 V2+ to tinker with while I feel my way into the hobby.

My question is until I pick up dedicated VHF/UHF antenna, can I use my Watson Super Gainer W-881 that I'v had on my scanner to receive and transmit? Would it be any better than the rubber duck that came with the radio and would it damage the antenna to transmit through it?

Thanks.
 

SteveSimpkin

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#2
Looking at the specs for this I would have to say no. This appears to be a wide band receive antenna that is not designed to transmit on any particular band.
 
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#3
Iv just recently passed my technician ham licence and got a Baofeng F9 V2+ to tinker with while I feel my way into the hobby.

My question is until I pick up dedicated VHF/UHF antenna, can I use my Watson Super Gainer W-881 that I'v had on my scanner to receive and transmit? Would it be any better than the rubber duck that came with the radio and would it damage the antenna to transmit through it?

Thanks.
Probably not. Why don't you just build a small ground plane? It will cost you almost nothing to put together, and it works great! :) 2 meter 1/4 wave Ground Plane
 
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#6
Hi Rich....:)
.
Welcome to a wonderful hobby.
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I think you should try your monitoring antenna. It won't hurt anything, as far as your transceiver is concerned (those radios are designed to work into antennas with who-knows-what kinds of input impedences) - You might be surprised at how well it, (or how well it doesn't,) preforms. I would also follow the other's suggestion to build your own ground plane or dipole antennas.... get yourself a good, modestly priced VHF/UHF SWR meter- you will use them thru out your ham radio career. I think you will be pleased with the knowledge and skills that come with building and experimenting on your own... and by all mean, have fun.
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..............................................CF
 
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#7
Rich-
Transmitting into an antenna that was only designed to receive, is generally a good way to burn out equipment. Instead of rolling the dice, leave the antenna that came on the radio. They are generally about as good as anything in a similar size will be.
Then go to ARRL.ORG or to Amazon. Get yourself an ARRL membership maybe, but definitely think about getting the ARRL's "Antenna book", a phone book sized volume all about antennas. How they compare, how to build them, way too much information but essential if you really want to get ham radios working well--not just working. A simple 2m/70cm antenna is cheap and easy to build, or cheap enough to buy a very high quality ready-made one. Without any risk of burning out equipment.
And if you really want to get involved in the technical side, the book will explain how to use antenna analyzers and other equipment, because you really can measure how they will perform.

Needless to say there are many online sites with similar information, but sometimes one big fat book with an index (and good editors) is quicker and simpler.(G)
 

jbantennaman

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
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#8
I think what you should do is find the person that taught you that all you needed to do to become a license amateur was to memorize the questions and the answers long enough to pass the test, to kick him in the nuts.
Nobody did you any favors by just licensing you that way.
A handheld is the worst possible radio for a beginner.
It does nothing except allow the user to hit the one or two local repeaters.
In my neighborhood you would quickly run out of people to talk to, or would get tired of talking to Tony Bologna, the local village idiot.

Instead of trying to play amateur radio on the cheap, reassess your priorities and decide if you want to become a ham or not.

The real ham radio is up on the HF, not UHF / VHF.

Invest in a 35 amp power supply, an Astron RS 35 is preferred.
Find yourself a good 100 watt wide coverage - modern - transceiver.
Not a mobile or a QRP rig.
Buy yourself a good multi band - off center fed antenna and some quality coax.

Listen, Listen, Listen and then Listen some more..
If you listen long enough, you will decide whom you want to talk to, and who is the bung holes - the ones you won't want to talk to..

Throw the walkie talkie away!

The walkie talkie was designed to be used with the rubber duck antenna it came with, or a comparable model improved model of rubber duck.
The reason is because when you connect coax you change the characteristics of the antenna by adding inductance, capacitance and loss.
A direct connection, antenna attached to the antenna connector, attached to the printed circuit board - there is no SWR - since there is no feed line.

You can use a scanner antenna to monitor, not that your transceiver has a particularly good receiver.
When the front end of the receiver is as wide as a barn door - like your Baofeng F9 V2+, it not only receives the signal you wish to listen to, but also all of the other hash and noise, pager overload, cell towers etc.
 
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#9
jbantennaman is being rather harsh on you.

It takes time to find your way around. Having many years under my belt as a ham, I found that I do probably 99 percent of my time listening. Having an interest in technical things, I tend to ignore most of the chatter I hear on both the VHF / UHF repeaters as well as most of the gossip, nets and other trash conversations on the HF band.

The real secret here it to listen and listen some more. Find someone near you that you can befriend and maybe that person can become your radio mentor.

On the HF bands, you can occasionally hear a station outside of the US. Most of the time they get covered in other US stations looking to just make a contact to collect another country contact.

Myself, I would rather find out something about the other operator and how he has constructed his station. You learn more by asking questions about equipment. That is what the ham radio learning is all about. Unfortunately today, the majority of the ham operators are what has been labeled appliance operators. They don't know much about their radio, how to fix a problem it may have or what to do if their antenna doesn't seem to work very well.

Originally the ham license was all about getting inside your radio and getting your fingers on the individual components. Today, we have surface mount components and have lost the ability to do much with them unless you have the special tools to replace those surface mount components.

The other part of being a ham radio operator was building your own antennas. Taking some wire, some insulators, a long piece of coax and put together a dipole antenna for the HF bands. Today, all you hear about is someone buying a pre made antenna and putting it up between a couple of trees.

In your case of now having the ability to get on the VHF or UHF ham bands, it might be of interest for you to make a "J Pole" antenna. There are a number of locations on the Internet that have information on these antennas and how to construct them. But it will take some effort and the use of a common hand torch to solder the copper pipe sections together. But that's what it's all about. experimenting and building.

Hope I have not been to abrasive, but have given you some ideas to move forward.

Yes you can go looking for a mobile and use it in the house. I would go looking for used equipment. There is a pile of it floating around. I like to go after the old Motorola Spectra radios. But they do take some effort and knowledge to get them on the ham frequencies. Plus you will need a slow computer with a serial port to be able to program the radios. It will also take obtaining or building a voltage level converter to match the signal levels between the radio and the computer.

You can make your own programming cables. You just need to have a source of the DB9, DB15 and DB25 connectors. Some need to be male and some need to be female.

A good source of this information is on the Batwing Laboratories web site. Repeater builders site is another good source of technical information. There is a good chat forum site that you will find a link to on the batlabs site.

Welcome to the ham community. Sorry for the long winded post here, but thought some of the other posters were just brushing the surface.
 
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#10
Hey Rich
Don't take the comments of that "JB" character to heart. I'll use a less complimentary comment than the word "harsh" to describe him... "JB" is the quintessential radio jerk - a Gollum character that lurks in the swamp of his own making; his sole purpose in this hobby, in his life- is to try and make the new comer feel as bad as he does. In ham radio, in life- he is nothing new- I have met his ilk when I first start in electronics, and I meet his types still. All "JB" wants is to draw attention to himself to what a pitiful, angry.,--ignorant-- little character he is.
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You asked a very good, valid question about your antenna- please continue to ask them. If I can answer anything for you, please pose it.... I have been in this field for a Long Time- both professionally, and as a 'ham' (take a peek at my profile.)
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Good luck to you guy, and be assured-- you will do just fine in this hobby.... :)
.
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........................................CF
 
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N4GIX

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#11
Wow CF, ad hominem much? I will agree though that this is the single silliest statement I've seen in a long time:
The real ham radio is up on the HF, not UHF / VHF.
AFAIC, "real ham radio" is anything that may be used on any frequency within the scope of our license. It truly is a case of "different strokes for different folks."
 
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#14
As ND5Y (Tom) posted about jb's statement:
"A direct connection, antenna attached to the antenna connector, attached to the printed circuit board - there is no SWR - since there is no feed line."
Wow, just think, ALL antennas and/or wires are perfect match to any/all transmitters. That's a new one for me to remember.
No SWR to worry about ever again when attaching my HF antenna to a VHF handheld. Golly Gee, the things we learn every day...lol
 
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#15
Rich83, your scanner antenna, the Watson Super Gainer W-881 would probably cause you problems. You can check out sleasbay, I mean ebay and find some antennas that may work for your radio. Then there's Amazon and other sites to look also.
What ever comes along and you have a question, post it. The major population of RR will be happy to help/answer your posts.
Also congrats for getting your Tech license. As times goes along, you'll find that the ham radio society is fun and full of knowledge.

Thing to remember also Rich, is that the amateur society has it's fair share of sexual intellectual operators. You will someday learn who they are and how to spot them. Do not allow them to cause you distress.
Good luck in your hobby sir,
73
 
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#16
Wile JB might have some points, I find his post on the whole rather astounding. Great way to discourage new hams. Probably 1/3 of the country lives in HOA or deed restricted situations, where a "simple" outdoor antenna or dipole or longwire is often not allowed. And some 50% of the country may be living in apartment units in the great concrete pueblos like New York, where *no* external antenna is allowed by the building owners, and heavy steel and masonry construction makes indoor antennas problematic, even ignoring the problems caused by living side by side with your own 100W antenna for any HF radio.
NYC ARES and the many VHF/UHF ham volunteers who provided communications after 9/11, when the citywide EMS radio system went down with the towers, were formally commended by the state legislature. HF played no significant role in the operations. Any urban area often has an active VHF/UHF program for their shelters and event operations, and while HF may be "true to the spirit" and a great area of interest...it is simply not technically or economically feasible for many legitimate and experienced ham radio operators.
Of course the hams who routinely work microwave and set new distance records are simply too polite to mention that HF is, well, just so last-century, so appliance-operator, isn't it? You see the point?

A BoaFeng *is* a cheap radio. Yes, that's the whole idea. It gives someone a cheap point of entry. Doesn't perform very well, and like your first used car, you may really want something better. But it DOES provide an affordable entry point, and every time a BF owner sees one of those shortcomings, that's going to be a way that they LEARN first hand what the theory and the possibilities are.

Rich, you may often find hams are referred to, even 50 years ago in old Twilight Zone episodes, as wierdos lacking in social skills. Which may explain why they often are operating "machines" alone, instead of engaging in social clubs. Yeah, lacking in social skills is still a very good description, but sometimes there's nothing wrong with that. When you find the abrasive ones, you can just change the channel. Or, use the "edit ignore user list" option in the web site's setup menus.(G)
 
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#17
I'd like to thank everybody for their kind words and input. Lots of useful information has been given and absorbed and has more than answered my original question.

I'll be keeping my cheap "Chinese Walkie Talkie" for now because it's fits it's intended purpose which is something simple cheap that gets me into the hobby and as I learn and grow I'll no doubt move into better equipment.

There's always going to be trolls and snobs around we have to tolerate, it's not going to put me off.

Thanks again guy's.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 

Ed_Seedhouse

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#18
Surely the point of amateur radio is to have fun. If you are having fun while operating legally on a legal frequency you are a "real" ham. Don't let anybody tell you different.

I had fun on VHF/UHF and repeaters for a couple of years before I got on HF. I still have fun on the repeaters. I am grateful for the great hams and clubs that put up the repeaters.

There are jerks in every hobby. Some repeaters are cesspools - you can delete those frequencies from your radio when you find them. Some HF frequencies are occupied by idiots doing idiotic stuff. 3840 and 14323 ring any bells? You can tune on by them.

To repeat, if you are having fun and operating legally you are a "real" ham. Period.
 

W9BU

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#19
Folks, please try to answer the OP's questions in a helpful manner. We were all new at this at one time and leaned on more knowledgeable people to help us learn the ropes.
 
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