Everyone says that the antenna is the most important part of a radio. That is why it is best to replace the stock antenna. I heard someone say that the rubber duck antenna that all radios come with are just dummy loads, meaning, they are there just so that when you transmit, you radio doesn’t get damaged.
So what kind of an antenna do I get?
There are plenty of antennas to choose from. You can walk into your local Ham Radio Outlet and find a whole wall dedicated to after market antennas like the Diamond and MFJ brands. The only problem I find is that they are around $20. Seeing that my current HT is only worth $26, I find it a little hard to spend that kind of money.
A Budget Friendly Solution
I know that when I introduce this antenna to you guys, some of you will highly disagree with me. But, here it is. The Nagoya NA-771. This antenna is a must have for the any of the Baofeng Radios. Really! For the $3 price tag, you can’t go wrong.
Some Technical Specs
- SMA female connector
- Made in China
- 15.5 inch length
- VHF/UHF (144/430)
- 2.5 db Gain
Testing the Nagoya NA-771
I did some basic testing with this antenna to see what kind of signal reports I could get. I am lucky enough to have a repeater about 14 miles away that gives me signal strength reports. I was testing this antenna on the second floor with a “Rat Tail” counterpoise. I first tested my radio with the rubber duck antenna and got an “S2”. I then switched over to a Nagoya NA-701 and got an “S2”. After adding the rat tail to the 701, I got an “S3”. For my final test, I used the Nagoya NA-771 with the rat tail and I got an “S5”. Now that is a big increase over the stock rubber ducky.
A few days ago, I was testing my signal on 2m Simplex and another station that was about 3 miles away gave me an “S9 with 20 over”. Now I am not too sure as to how accurate that reading is but, he did say that I over powered another station he was talking to.
So is the $3 Antenna Worth it?
The answer is yes. It will out perform your stock antenna, give you more range, and it cost about the same as a coffee. Let me know what you guys think. Maranatha.