Newbie question re better antennas for HT

Snaxmuppet

Newbie
Joined
Apr 18, 2024
Messages
2
I am a total newbie. I am studying for my Foundation licence and have just got a Wouxun KG-UV9K HT.

I know this is only a 5W radio but I am some distance from my nearest repeater and I am not close enough to pick anything up. Eventually I will need to get some better kit with a good antenna setup if I am to use the repeater regularly but I wondered if there was anything I could do to improve the range of my HT first.

I am using the stock, dual-band antenna so I wondered if I could set up more of a base station antenna arrangement and connect my HT. Is that likely to give better results? If so then would it be significantly better to justify the effort/cost to do such a thing? If so, what would you suggest I do? The repeater is analogue voice only on 2M. But I also want to have a sensibly 70cm antenna too as there are local stations on 70cm that I would like to get. Is there a sensible dual-band antenna setup that would work or would I need a separate one for each band?

Any help appreciated.

BTW I live in Torpoint, Cornwall. Any suggestions for a club I might join where I can learn the ropes and meet up with other enthusiasts? There is one in Saltash but that is a bit of a drive.
 

N6ML

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
1,276
Dual-band VHF/UHF verticals are very common - e.g. Diamond Vertical Antennas, Buy new and used products from Ham Radio, AERIALS-Amateur-Antennas-VHF/UHF-Base-Antennas-Vertical-Antennas-Diamond-Vertical-Antennas If you could get one of those mounted on your roof, with decent coax to your operation position (and probably a pigtail adapter for the SMA connector on your handheld), it'd likely significantly improve your experience. You could still be blocked by terrain between you and the repeater, though. Ideally you want line of sight from your antenna to the repeater's.
 

enCrypt

Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
92
Basic rule of thumb with antennas is the higher the better, outside rather than indoors and the length tuned to whatever frequencies you're interested in.
I use an exterior Diamond "dual band" (white stick) type antenna with all my radios via a Cross Country Wireless antenna switch and the reception is much, much better than an on radio rubber duck
 

morfis

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2004
Messages
1,654
I'm not familiar with the repeaters around Plymouth but it's quite possible you'll struggle to open them from your location which is close to sea level without an external antenna. As mentioned above - height is what you want.
There are online tools which will show you elevation profiles between points but it is easy enough to do if you use the local OS map and look at the contour heights between your home and the repeater sites. Land mass between you and the repeater will block the signal. Trees and houses as well though they tend to be far less of a problem unless close to the antenna.

To find the position of the repeaters use: ukrepeaters AMATEUR RADIO REPEATERS IN THE UK

As part of your learning you'd do well to study some simple home-made antenna designs. For a few pounds you can make some simple and effective types (we used to get all of the traines to make simple antennas from old wire coathangars...though I don't suppose these are to be had now!).

For clubs try contacting the Radio Society of Good Buddies Ltd (the repeaters website is part of theirs and will have regional contacts as well as more general ones). Another souce of info would be the bulletin board at Transmission1 - Index page which is primarily UK based unlike this one.

Use good quality co-ax and connectors and, again as above, a pig-tail to connect that feeder coax to your transeiver. The pigtail will prevent stress on the radio connector and also allow the unit to be moved a little bit more easily.
 

Snaxmuppet

Newbie
Joined
Apr 18, 2024
Messages
2
Thank you so much for your replies and help.

I passed my foundation exam last week so now I am looking into how I might get an antenna up high (above the houses) without fixing it to the house. I have a garden with some grass but it isn't a huge area and I wouldn't want to put anything permanent up so something I can put up and take down would be good.

It is all very exciting!
 
Top