The Antenna is really important
Without a good antenna, a great radio, can be about as valuable as a brick. The Baofeng Uv-5R, UV-5R+, UV-8R and the other models are fantastic, affordable 2-way radio’s for licensed HAM operators. The radio’s are a great resource to take on a hike, leave in the truck or pack in an emergency go-bag.
The Baofeng radio comes with a standard dual-band stubby “Rubber Ducky” antenna, which works, but there are some inexpensive upgrades that can really make the Baofeng radio shine!
The high-end player in the Baofeng radio world is definitely Nagoya. Nagoya is a great brand and builds some excellent antenna’s for handheld radios.
When backpacking, it is nice to place the radio inside the pack or in a radio pouch on the outside of the pack. This configuration lends itself to using a whip or folding antenna with an extension cable.
For mobile mounts on a car, ATV, UTV or even on a house, Comet is a great brand of antenna.
Direct Mount Antennas for the Baofeng Radio
The Nagoya handheld antenna is probably one of the best antenna’s you can get which directly mounts to the Baofeng radio.
Backpack Mount Antennas for the Baofeng Radio
When building out a backpack mount antenna setup, the radio is often mounted in a radio pouch or in a pocket of the backpack. Often this requires that the antenna be mounted in another location on the backpack. In order to do this, you need to use an SMA extension cable to connect the antenna to the radio.
|SMA Extension Cable||Nagoya Dual Band Antenna|
Authentic Genuine Nagoya NA-771 15.6-Inch Whip VHF/UHF (144/430Mhz) Antenna SMA-Female for BTECH and BaoFeng Radios
Mobile Antennas for the Baofeng Radio
If you are using the Baofeng handheld radio in a car or truck, using a mobile antenna instead of the direct mount antenna can provide a significant gain in range! This setup is similar to the backpack setup mentioned above, but uses a mobile mounted antenna instead of the standard whip. The mobile antenna uses a PL-259 connector and an adapter from the Baofeng SMA to PL-259 connector.