A Better Antenna for Dualband Handhelds

I’m a fan of using a half-wave antenna on a 2m handheld transceiver (HT). These come in a variety of forms but I’ve tended to use the telescoping half-waves that mount on the HT. These include the Halfwave 2 Meter Flex antenna from Smiley and the MFJ-1714 from MJF. One of the disadvantages of these two antennas is that they are designed for 2m operation only. Put it on a dualband HT and you can only use one of the bands.

Now there is a dualband alternative.

2m 70cm handheld antenna
The RH 770 dualband antenna

During a discussion of various VHF radios and antennas on the SOTA reflector, Phil/G4OBK recommended this antenna: TWAYRDIO RH 770 SMA-Male Dual Band Telescopic Handheld Antenna. I was mildly skeptical in that the antenna looks like cheap lowcost economy stuff from China. However, for $16.55 (free shipping), it seemed like something I should try out.

I’ve since used this antenna on several SOTA activations and have found it to work quite well. Not having to worry about whether I’m operating on 2m or 70 cm is a big plus. I liked the antenna so much, I now have three.

Recently, I wondered how well the antenna is really performing so I did a side-by-side comparison with the Smiley 2m halfwave. Now this kind of comparison is always a bit dicey unless you have a calibrated antenna range. I got on 2m fm with another ham running a home station some distance away such that I was not pegging his S-meter. We did several A/B comparisons between the Smiley and the RH 770. Much to my surprise, the RH 770 performed significantly better than the Smiley. The other ham saw his meter deflect higher with the RH 770. I can’t give that to you in dB but I can say its a little better. I actually thought that the single-band design might be slightly better due to less complexity in the antenna. The opposite was true. Your mileage may vary. No warranty expressed or implied.

The only thing I don’t like about the RH 770 is that the telescoping sections slide up and down really easy. Too easy for my taste. I’d rather have some stickiness to it so that I am sure it will remain fully extended. But I admit this is more of a personal impression than actual problem.

The antenna is available with a male SMA connector, a female SMA connector or a BNC. That should pretty much cover it.

So thanks Phil/G4OBK for pointing out this antenna. I also highly recommend it.

73, Bob K0NR

The post A Better Antenna for Dualband Handhelds appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “A Better Antenna for Dualband Handhelds”

  • Juan/N7RCM:

    This is what I use and love it. Very firm when extended.

    Do a search for HYS TC-669ET.

  • Bryan - WA3UFN:

    My take on the over-sized antennas on a hand-held is that the radio really is not meant to accommodate the additional stress on the antenna connector. A hand-held is is a compromise, not necessarily meant to perform as well as a mobile installation. Maybe use the right tool for the job.

  • k4wk:

    If the telescoping slides up and down too easily, maybe try slightly distorting the tubes with a pair of pliers, just enough to impede easy flow.

  • BARRY Chandler K1BDC:

    Does it work on the ICOM T70A?

  • Matt W1MST:

    I’ve always been a big fan of Smiley antennas. This one is my favorite:

    http://www.smileyantenna.com/product-p/27000.htm

    They’ll even wrap the entire lower section in black, if you ask, which looks very sharp. Almost looks like a rubber duck when it’s retracted.

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