in a hole antenna range

kc1umh

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Apr 6, 2024
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I am new to this HAM radio experience. I have just received my license a few months ago and have 3 handheld transceivers Icom id-51, Baofeng uv-51 and a Qrp-1. All 3 seem to have a very short range of reception. I've purchased a mag mount antenna, and 2 different size Abbrree antennas. None of these seem to give me any ability to receive a strong signal. I have taken said handheld radios in a car as a passenger and tried to acquire a strong signal with their respective antennas and with Abbrree antenna. Very limited reception. Any idea of what I can try next other than putting up a tall antenna. Any and all comments accepted.

Thanks...... KC1UMH.....
 

alcahuete

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Antelope Acres, California
Unless you're going through a repeater, your range on handhelds is going to be very limited. You're also using the absolute cheapest radios (aside from the Icom) and antennas money can buy. That isn't necessarily going to help the cause either.

What "strong signal" are you trying to pick up exactly? One handheld to another?
 

hazrat8990

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Several things are working against you. First of all, the cheap radios have a wide open receiver with no filtering, the Abbree antennas are mostly hype and cheaply made, and using a handheld radio in a car is equivalent to being in a Faraday cage.

The Icom is the best one of the group by a large margin, but will still suffer inside of a vehicle. The mag mount antenna, and Icom radio will be the best setup, as long as the antenna is properly tuned for the band you're operating in.
 

kc1umh

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Apr 6, 2024
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Out of the three handheld radios that I used, the icon id-5 video with the car antenna still didn't receive any single. the testing was done outside on the porch. So I think the area that I'm in is in a depression where the radio signals don't reach out.
And that the hand helds watage is too low to reach out to a reciver or other hand helds radios in my area. I'm looking for a solution other than putting up a tall antenna and was wondering if using a mobile transceiver that had higher wattage would be a better option with the car antenna. Any thoughts on this. Thank you.
 

John_S

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Saratoga Springs, NY
The best advice here is to invest in an antenna. For 2m and 440 you don't need a huge vertical...even just a basic 4' tall vertical hooked to your handheld radio will make a major difference. Antennas on a handheld don't radiate all that well. Trying to work handheld to handheld makes it even more difficult. You should try working some repeaters. There should be a bunch of those around your area.
 

kc1umh

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Apr 6, 2024
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The best advice here is to invest in an antenna. For 2m and 440 you don't need a huge vertical...even just a basic 4' tall vertical hooked to your handheld radio will make a major difference. Antennas on a handheld don't radiate all that well. Trying to work handheld to handheld makes it even more difficult. You should try working some repeaters. There should be a bunch of those around your area.
Any specific type of antenna as a vertical should I try ? Thank you.
 

John_S

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Some of that answer depends on your budget, what you have available as a viable mounting situation, and your expectations as far as range. The shorter verticals have a shorter range, but are easier to mount. You should probably take a run over HRO in Salem and take a look and maybe talk to someone over there at the store. I use a Comet GP-6 here myself, which is mid sized and works very well. When you look at mounting situations, try to figure placing the antenna as close to your operating position as you can. Less loss from coax and less cost of coax. You might also check around and see if there any radio clubs near where you can meet other hams that can be helpful and give advice.
 

kc1umh

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Apr 6, 2024
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Some of that answer depends on your budget, what you have available as a viable mounting situation, and your expectations as far as range. The shorter verticals have a shorter range, but are easier to mount. You should probably take a run over HRO in Salem and take a look and maybe talk to someone over there at the store. I use a Comet GP-6 here myself, which is mid sized and works very well. When you look at mounting situations, try to figure placing the antenna as close to your operating position as you can. Less loss from coax and less cost of coax. You might also check around and see if there any radio clubs near where you can meet other hams that can be helpful and give advice.
Thank you for your assistance. Will look into purchasing a 2M atenna.
 
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