Selecting the Perfect UHF Ham Amateur Base Station Radio Antennas

With the right UHF ham amateur base station radio antennas, you can boost your signal's MHz reach. This way, you will be able to reach other ham radio operators in your area for fellowship or connect with others somewhere else in the world. With the appropriate item for the bands you want to work, you'll have the ability to transmit easily and clearly.

What UHF ham radio antennas are available?

Many antennas are available, including, but not limited to, the following options and features:

  • Compatible brands: Choose from Baofeng, Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu. There are also some universal choices.
  • Directivity: Choose from bi-directional, mono-directional, and omnidirectional.
  • Brands: Choose from Comet, Cushcraft, Jetstream, MFJ, TRAM, and Workman. There are also some unbranded and generic choices available.
What's the difference between directional and omnidirectional antennas?

Directional antennas focus their power in a single direction. They are ideal for UHF signals when you want to send them in distances with little interference.

Omnidirectional antennas receive and transmit in all directions simultaneously. This makes them ideal for mobile stations. They are also used in home radio stations where the goal is to receive and transmit from all directions with little fuss or cost.

What should you consider when selecting a base station antenna?

First, you need to consider whether you're going with a single or multi-band item for your base station. With the popularity of multi-band radios, many desire a multi-band antenna used with a single feed line. Where you live and where you can install may limit you in what you select. If you live in a community protected by a covenant as opposed to living out in the country with the freedom for more options, it could determine the size and power of the unit you select. Depending on your situation, you'll also need to decide on gain and whether to use a directional or omnidirectional item.

What are other aspects of antenna setup that are helpful?

Aside from location, which is one of the most important factors in setting up base station antennas, the following should also be considered for best results:

  • Anchoring: Horizontal base station antennas require anchor points on each end. When picking a location, consider if there are anchor points already there that can be utilized like chimneys or other points around the roof and upper house.
  • Seeing all around: For best results, base station antennas should be able to "see" all around from their connector, meaning it should be adequately distanced from anything that might interfere. You want the amount of signal to exit the unit without just sinking into a nearby object.
  • Detuning objects: Also be mindful of what objects are in close proximity to the unit, even if they are far enough not to interfere with your signal. Some nearby items like metal and wiring can keep the unit from operating at its resonant point and degrade its performance.
  • Inside versus outside: In some cases, an internal unit may be required with the connector. External units work better because they are farther away from anything that might "detune" them or cause loss.