Saturday, April 13, 2019

Portable antennas for your VHF handheld transceiver

The antennas that come with VHF/UHF handheld transceivers are often not very efficient. That's not surprising. They have to be compact. They have to also work on 70cm. And they have to be built very cheaply (given the low prices many transceivers now go for). Their inefficiency means that you often need to run your transceiver on the high power setting. And not even that is always enough to guarantee a good signal into a repeater.

If you can tolerate some extra length, you can get better results if you build your own. The cost is low. Your handheld will hear better and transmit further. And the simple designs around make it a great evening or weekend project.

Here's a few practical ideas to get you building:

Add a counterpoise antenna wire
F3WM pocket antenna
M0PZT Slim Jim
VK1NAM 2m flexible Slim Jim and a coaxial dipole
ON6MU rubber duck portable antenna
PI4ASV 2m or 6m coax vertical
PA0FBK 2m & 70cm coax roll up antenna and a half wavelength vertical for 2m

If you try any please let others know how you go in the comments below.

PS: Want to read more about antennas and other amateur radio topics? These books could be of interest. Available in both electronic and paperback.

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