The information and data on this specific page will no longer be updated after 27 Sept 2016. I found it was getting too cumbersome with entirely too much information so I decided to slim it down some by creating a brand new antenna testing page with just the key information using the middle of each band, or close to the more commonly used frequencies (146, 224, and 444MHz). You can view this new antenna testing page at www.km4fmk.com/NewAntTesting.html or it should be linked from the main page and Reviews section. As time has gone on, I have added more and more data to this page, which means it has become quite lengthy. I will be leaving this page here for reference, but it will no longer be updated.
I've found some antennas work well for transmit but suck for receiving, as well as the reverse of that. This should help keep much of the comparative qualities for which I was hoping to keep. I have adjusted the headings and titles so it should be a little easier to find what you're looking for. I have separated the mobile antennas onto their own page which can be viewed here.
NOTE: If you prefer to just see the reviews and opinions without digging through all the numbers, have a look at the "Final Notes" sections. For the simplest table showing transmit and receive numbers among the various antennas, have a look at the 4-5W Power tests.

27 Sept 2016 - Due to the nature and potential differences in signals over time, plus the addition of new radios (NSTIG-8R and UV-5X3), I am working on a new testing procedure which I hope will provide more comparable results with less potential interference.

Table of Contents

Transmit Signal Strength results


Receive Signal strength results

Mobile Antennas

SWR Tables

A. Radio specific

B. Antenna Specific

DETAILS

Transmit test methods

- All tests done with Yaege FC-1 frequency tester, connected to Tram 1185, with 11 feet (3.35m) between radio and Tram antenna. Each test was run minimum 3 times to ensure there was no errant signal interfering, and run at the shown frequencies (144.1, 146.0, and 147.9 for 2m, and 420.1, 435.0, and 449.9 for UHF). If anything seemed off, I reset, checked my connections, checked for other signal use by hams in the area, and then restarted. Numbers given in the table are dBm (with 0.5dBm steps) as that is what my frequency counter shows. These numbers cannot be directly compared to other dBm numbers given by other people as every test, location and radio has a different set of variables. What I show as 0.5dBm, someone else may show as 3dBm with their layout. I offer these as a comparison within my own testing environment where I could control as many of the variables as possible.
Under the accuracy heading, those numbers are VHF and UHF, accurate to that MHz (as in 0.0004 would display 144.1004 on the counter). Power did not affect the accuracy of this counter much due to low power radios and distance between transmitter and receive antenna.

- I do have plans for further antenna testing, so this is not the final edit to these tables.

- I did not test the radios on frequencies they are not legal to transmit on. The only radio I tested that is legal for use on MURS and GMRS is the OBLTR-8R, so therefore I will not be testing the other radios in these frequencies. I only tested within the ham radio bands available to the US (144-148MHz, 222-225MHz, and 420-450MHz).

- The antennas tested:

  • the stock UV-5R antenna (also known as "5R"),
  • the Baofeng V85 antenna which is included with their 8W and the UV-82 models,
  • the Nagoya NA-701,
  • a genuine Nagoya NA-771,
  • a fake NA-771 from ebay,
  • a real NA-773 also from ebay
  • a real Pryme AL-800
  • and for the Anytone OBLTR-8R I tested its stock antenna versus the NA-701 and 771s, as well as the AL-800.

- 16 Oct 2015 - Since my old SWR meter died some time ago, and the existing one I had on me is only good for 25-150MHz, I had not been able to do much SWR testing of the various antennas. Sure I could have at least done the VHF but I felt that leaving out the UHF side would leave a gap in the data. Luckily I got in a new VHF/UHF SWR meter today and immediately put it to the test. IMPORTANT NOTE: I only tested the SWR with the BF-F8HP and the OBLTR-8R. After I found the numbers were close enough, I decided to not bother testing it with every single radio I have, thus the SWR measurements will not bw listed with the other models.
SWR meter frequency range: 120-500MHz. Expected impedance: 52ohm. Max Power: 150W. Also I have an older MFJ-259 that I had borrowed from a local club since I had a few antennas to check (HF and VHF). I am adding the SWR info to the existing tables so if you see anything missing, please contact me. Also a few additional tests are listed at the bottom below the rest of the testing.

- 29 Oct 2015 - Received my official Nagoya NA-771 today from BaofengTech and got to testing immediately. I also re-tested the NA-701 after seeing some anomolies with the NA-701 antenna so the tables below have been updated to reflect this. One side note is I did not test the problematic UV-5R with N5R-20 firmware since I have it programmed specifically for working SO-50 and Fox-1A satellites.

- 3 Nov 2015 - Today I received a fake NA-771 antenna. Although many of them perform almost the same as the official versions, buying the fakes helps fund these companies making the fakes and takes money from the legitimate manufacturers and sellers.

- 21 March 2016 - Today I started testing on a NA-773 antenna. Originally I thought it was another fake but after some checking, both the bag and the antenna base match that of older stock antennas made a year or two ago before Nagoya changed their colors. I suspect this is simply an older 2012-2013 model that some Chinese seller has had sitting on their shelves for the past few years, so they're selling them for $3-5 each (I picked it up from ebay for under $5 and free shipping from Hong Kong, and it arrived in just 9 days). I knew it would be a crap shoot on whether I would get a newer real, fake, or older real one.

- 28 April 2016 - Today I put the Pryme AL-800 antenna to the test. I have more information available on its own Pryme AL-800 page. I simply added the results to the below tables where needed.


So lets get on with the numbers!

Transmit antenna testing

UV-5R

Firmware: BFS313

NOTE: These results also include the use of a counterpoise or "tiger tail" with my UV-5R, which is why some of these stats may appear higher than other radios. For more information on these please visit my counterpoise results page. I do plan to edit these without the counterpoise to offer a proper comparison, but until then I am keeping this note here.

To see the stock 5R antenna SWR, scroll down to the BF-F8HP results.

Ant

Pwr

144.1

146.0

147.9

AVG

420.1

435.0

449.9

AVG

Accuracy

Stock

1W

-12.0

-10.5

-10.5

-11.0

-16.0

-9.5

-11.0

-12.2

V 0.0004

Stock

4W

-7.5

-7.0

-6.5

-7.0

-13.5

-6.0

-9.0

-9.5

U 0.0008

V85

1W

-4.5

-4.5

-6.5

-5.2

-18.0

-8.5

-13.0

-13.2

V 0.0002

V85

4W

-3.5

-2.0

-1.0

-2.2

-15.5

-6.5

-9.0

-10.3

U 0.0008

NA-701

1W

-1.0

+3.0

+2.5

+1.5

-5.0

-6.5

-6.5

-6.0

V 0.0001

NA-701

4W

+3.5

+3.5

+4.0

+3.7

-5.0

-6.5

-6.5

-6.0

U 0.0008

NA-771

1W

-1.0

+2.0

+3.0

+1.3

-7.0

-8.5

-14.0

-9.8

V 0.0001

NA-771

4W

+3.5

+6.5

+8.0

+6.0

-5.0

-7.5

-12.5

-8.3

U 0.0008

Other 771

4W

+3.5

+7.0

+9.5

+6.7

-11.5

-9.5

-7.0

-9.3

AL-800

4W

+4.0

+2.0

-1.0

-6.5

+1.0

+0.5

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UV-5R

Firmware: N5R-20

One thing worth noting as you look at the 4W VHF numbers is it seems my radio is having some issues, there is no other explanation why the signal is so much lower. It seems to be happening 144.0 to 146.1 with stock 5R antenna, and 144.0 to 145.5 with the V85 and NA-701 antennas. Settings had been checked, radio had been reset and I cannot find a fix for this within my power. This goes to show that a radio that appears to be working well may not be.

NOTE: These results also include the use of a counterpoise or "tiger tail" with my UV-5R, which is why some of these stats may appear higher than other radios. For more information on these please visit my counterpoise results page. I do plan to edit these without the counterpoise to offer a proper comparison, but until then I am keeping this note here.

Ant

Pwr

144.1

146.0

147.9

AVG

420.1

435.0

449.9

AVG

Accuracy

Stock

1W

-10.5

-12.0

-10.5

-11.0

-22.5

-10.5

-15.0

-16.0

V 0.0003

Stock

4W

-33.0

-34.0

-6.5

-24.5

-17.5

-7.0

-9.0

-11.2

U 0.0008

V85

1W

-6.0

-6.5

-6.5

-6.3

-27.0

-12.0

-19.5

-19.5

V 0.0002

V85

4W

-26.0

-2.5

-2.0

-10.2

-23.0

-7.0

-13.0

-14.3

U 0.0008

NA-701

1W

-5.5

-6.0

-6.5

-6.0

-21.5

-12.0

-21.0

-18.2

V 0.0001

NA-701

4W

-24.0

-1.0

-2.5

-9.2

-19.0

-9.5

-16.0

-14.8

U 0.0008

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BF-F8HP

Firmware: N5R-319

Note: Stock antenna for F8HP is the V85

Ant

Pwr

144.1

146.0

147.9

AVG

420.1

435.0

449.9

AVG

Accuracy

5R SWR

8W

1.8:1

1.5:1

1.5:1

4.0:1

1.6:1

1.1:1

V85

1W

-4.5

-3.5

-6.5

-4.8

-25.0

-11.5

-21.0

-19.2

V 0.0002

V85

4W

-1.5

-0.5

-3.5

-1.8

-22.0

-8.0

-15.5

-15.2

U 0.0006

V85

8W

-1.5

+0.5

+0.5

-0.2

-20.5

-7.5

-14.5

-14.2

V85 SWR

8W

1.5:1

1.4:1

1.2:1

4.5:1

1.8:1

1.4:1

NA-701

1W

-4.5

-1.5

-2.0

-2.3

-3.5

-2.0

-4.0

-3.2

V 0.0002

NA-701

4W

+1.0

+3.5

+3.0

+2.5

+1.0

-0.5

-2.0

-0.5

U 0.0006

NA-701

8W

+2.5

+4.0

+3.5

+3.3

+1.5

-1.5

-1.5

-0.5

NA-701 SWR

8W

1.1:1

1.2:1

1.4:1

3.4:1

3.5:1

1.8:1

NA-771

1W

-4.5

-1.0

+2.0

-1.2

-8.0

-11.5

-11.0

-10.2

V 0.0002

NA-771

4W

+0.5

+2.0

+3.0

+1.8

-6.5

-7.0

-10.0

-7.8

U 0.0006

NA-771

8W

+1.5

+3.5

+3.5

+2.8

-6.0

-6.5

-9.5

-7.3

NA-771 SWR

8W

x:1

x:1

x:1

x:1

x:1

x:1

Other 771

8W

+2.0

+3.0

+3.5

+2.8

-6.5

-6.0

-6.5

-6.3

AL-800

8W

+6.0

+3.0

-1.0

-4.5

+2.5

+1.0

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UV-82HP

Firmware: N82-33

Note: Stock antenna for 82HP is the V85

Ant

Pwr

144.1

146.0

147.9

AVG

420.1

435.0

449.9

AVG

Accuracy

V85

1W

-10.5

-8.5

-5.0

-8.0

-29.0

-13.5

-15.5

-19.3

V 0.0002

V85

5W

-7.0

-3.0

-2.0

-4.0

-25.0

-7.5

-11.0

-14.5

U 0.0008

V85

8W

-6.0

-2.0

-1.5

-3.2

-23.5

-6.0

-10.0

-13.2

NA-701

1W

-7.0

-6.0

-3.5

-5.5

-7.0

-7.0

-5.0

-6.3

V 0.0001

NA-701

5W

-2.0

+0.5

+2.0

+0.2

-1.5

-3.0

-3.0

-2.5

U 0.0008

NA-701

8W

-1.0

+2.5

+3.0

+1.5

-0.5

-1.0

-2.5

-1.3

NA-771

1W

-6.5

-5.5

-5.0

-5.7

-13.5

-13.0

-15.0

-13.8

V 0.0001

NA-771

5W

-1.5

+1.0

+2.0

+0.5

-7.5

-9.0

-11.5

-9.3

U 0.0008

NA-771

8W

+0.5

+3.5

+3.0

+2.3

-6.5

-7.0

-11.0

-8.2

Other 771

8W

+0.5

+2.5

+3.0

+2.0

-6.5

-6.0

-7.0

-6.5

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OBLTR-8R

Note: Stock antenna for OBLTR-8R is similar in looks to the Baofeng V85, but as we see, the combination of quality radio with a better antenna makes a big difference. I tested using all 3 available power levels in VFO mode, 1, 2 and 5W.

Ant

Pwr

144.1

146.0

147.9

AVG

420.1

435.0

449.9

AVG

Accuracy

Stock

1W

-16.0

-16.5

-16.5

-16.3

-27.0

-19.5

-24.5

-23.7

V 0.0003

Stock

2W

-13.0

-14.0

-14.0

-13.7

-21.5

-15.5

-18.0

-18.3

U 0.0008

Stock

5W

-6.5

-7.0

-6.5

-6.7

-18.5

-10.0

-16.0

-14.8

V85 SWR

5W

1.3:1

1.4:1

1.6:1

4.0:1

1.7:1

1.6:1

Stock

GMRS 5W

- - - -6.0 - - - -

Stock

MURS 2W

- - - -23.5 - - - -

NA-701

1W

-3.5

-3.5

-5.5

-4.2

-9.0

-11.0

-11.0

-10.3

V 0.0002

NA-701

2W

+0.5

+0.5

-2.0

-0.3

-6.5

-7.5

-7.0

-7.0

U 0.0008

NA-701

5W

+1.0

+3.5

+3.0

+2.5

-2.0

-4.0

-3.5

-3.2

NA-701 SWR

5W

1.2:1

1.2:1

1.4:1

3.1:1

3.5:1

1.8:1

NA-771

1W

-6.0

-4.0

-4.0

-4.7

-11.0

-17.0

-21.5

-16.5

V 0.0002

NA-771

2W

-3.0

+0.5

+0.5

-0.7

-7.0

-10.0

-18.5

-11.8

U 0.0008

NA-771

5W

+3.0

+3.5

+3.5

+3.3

-4.5

-8.5

-13.0

-8.7

NA-771 SWR

5W

x:1

x:1

x:1

x:1

x:1

x:1

Other 771

5W

+0.5

+3.0

+3.0

+2.2

-7.5

-6.5

-7.0

-7.0

AL-800

5W

+3.5

+2.0

-1.0

-3.5

+0.5

-2.0

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BTECH UV-5X3

The new BTECH UV-5X3 may look like the standard UV-5R/BF-F8 series on the outside, but inside it has new electronics and IF filtering, plus the third band (1.25m/222MHz). It comes with 2 antennas, the standard V85, as well as a 220-230MHz specific antenna that (unfortunately looks just like the V85, but is a touch longer). Current test only shows it in use with the Nagoya NA-320A as I am still trying to setup a new antenna testing process that includes 220MHz.

Ant

Pwr

144.1

146.0

147.9

AVG

420.1

435.0

449.9

AVG

223.5*

Accuracy

NA-320A

5W

-14.0

-12.0

-3.5

-9.8

-13.5

-15.5

-12.5

-13.8

-20.0

V 0.0002

* NOTE: The testing of 223.500 was done into the Tram 1185, which is not resonant for 220, so the reported signal strength is likely much lower than it would be for a proper resonant antenna.

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Tx Final Notes

I decided to show the whole slew of numbers instead of a much simpler "VHF average, UHF average" type of display, although I also included the average numbers for those that want to skim over the numbers instead of looking through everything. After I started the testing, I noticed that even within the individual bands, the signal strength varied, for example the UV-82HP varied by 5.5dBm using low power from the bottom to the top of the VHF band, and UHF signals varied even more, up to 15dBm for this same radio.

UV-5R models

As we can see on the UV-5R radios (ignoring the issues with my N5R-20 unit), the additional signal strength upgrading from the stock 5R to the V85 is well worth it. Upgrading from the V85 to the NA-701 in my opinion is a lateral move, not necessarily worth the extra money, especially since you can buy a 5-pack of the V85 antennas on Amazon for the price of a single NA-701. In future tests once I get a Nagoya NA-771, we will see if that would be a more worthy upgrade (or not) for the 5R series radios.

8W HP models

Even on the 8W radios, the stock V85 and the NA-701 are on par with each other, with differences between the two very minimal. Although in both cases on UHF, the stock V85 actually outperformed the NA-701 by 0.5 to 4.5dBm.

OBLTR-8R

What I found with the OBLTR-8R is that it has a much more stable signal strength across the band. Where the Baofeng radios varied by over 5dBm VHF and 15dBm UHF, this 8R never varied by more than 1.5dBm in VHF and 7dBm in UHF. We also see that the stock 8R antenna is on par with the Baofeng V85 antenna. The shocker for me after I finished testing and compiled the numbers is how much stronger the signal is in VHF with the NA-701 antenna on this radio (UHF was a wash between the 2). I had already gone through and posted the numbers for the Baofeng radios, and found that the NA-701 is on par with the Baofeng V85, on the Baofeng radios. After I saw that, I re-ran the test with a Baofeng V85 on the OBLTR-8R to compare the numbers with the stock 8R antenna, plus re-ran the test with stock 8R antenna, and all the numbers were within 0.5dBm of the original testing. Then for good measure I re-ran the testing with the NA-701 antenna (again) and it came back with same numbers.

The antennas

What I found across the board is that the V85 antennas and the NA-701, regardless of radios, are essentially equal in UHF. The largest variation by percentage (between antennas) came in with the VHF band, especially on the OBLTR-8R. This goes to show that the radio and antenna needs to work in concert, but the antenna can only radiate the signals given to it, so the more basic nature of the Baofeng radios shows that a good antenna on a basic radio does not necessarily make for better signals. The basic 5R antennas, while good for chatting within a few miles and/or to a repeater, the V85 is the suggested upgrade. Yet as we see on the OBLTR-8R, the upgrade to a NA-701 shows a signal increase of at minimum 7dBm in VHF, which is a massive increase, over 2 S units on quality base station radios.

NA-701 versus NA-771

I had requests of at least a dozen people over the past month asking to compare the NA-771 against the 701. This meant re-testing the NA-701 to verify my earlier numbers. I did find the numbers were off by a little bit (at most 3dBm in UHF), so I ran each test 5 times on each radio with both antennas (I did not re-test the 5R or V85 antennas). This gave me the baseline to see if there are variations in power based on power drain of the battery (for both the meter and the radios), and allowed me to verify the numbers. Luckily the battery power made almost no difference since the meter stayed around 75% battery power, all 4 radios never dropped below 8.1V, and the signals stayed within 0.5dBm on my meter (it measures in 0.5dBm increments).

701 vs 771 results

What I found pretty much falls in line with other tests found online (such as the results found on www.miklor.com website) which show the NA-771 tends to rank slightly better on VHF, versus the NA-701 does slightly better on UHF frequencies. As you look through the tables, you will notice that for most of the radios, the numbers are almost the same between the 701 and 771 (for VHF). This shows that at very close range (10 ft between radio transmitting antenna and test equipment receiving antenna) there is little difference in signal strengths. What this does NOT show is the propagation "bonus" that the 771 would get out in the real world. Say the amateur radio person is 6 feet tall using the radio. With the 701, this means the antenna tip sticks approximately 3-4 inches above his head, so antenna tip would be 6'4" above the ground. With the 771 in the exact same situation, that antenna tip would be approximately 10 inches above his head, or 6'10" above ground. That extra 6 inches could mean reaching that distant repeater or simplex contact, which could be very important if you're lost or hurt in the hills.
Yet on the other side of the equation is the 701 "inching out" the 771 on UHF frequencies. When you're talking about -1.0 versus -7.0 dBm (the difference at 8W with the UV-82HP), that is a full 6dBm which is one full S-unit. In this case longer is not necessarily better if that longer antenna means a greater loss than any gains from additional elevation. Simply put, your signal will get better distance and signal strength in UHF with the 701 despite it being shorter.

With that said, I do have plans in the near future to actually put this to the test. There is a nice public open field about 1.6 miles (straight line) from my QTH where I should be able to test without interruption. I plan to use my webcam on the computer to watch and listen from one of my 2m radios. Unfortunately I do not have a mobile or base station unit capable of UHF (at this time) so it will have to be a VHF only test. I will reach out to local hams in the local clubs to see if I can borrow one (plus a VHF/UHF duplexer). Watch this page for future updates on this project.

Real versus fake NA-771

What I found is that of the 2 antennas I tested, both are closely matched with typically less than 0.5dBm difference in VHF frequencies when used with the tested radios. For the UHF bands, the "other" 771 performance seemed to be much more stable across the entire UHF band, versus the real 771 seemed to get worse over (approximately) 440MHz. I do not know if this means my real 771 is a dud, or just a symptom of the "other" antenna having slightly different/altered innards.

Pryme AL-800

So while this AL-800 may do decent, I see this antenna as more of a novelty or something for fun. Yes it will reach the repeaters but because of its weight and length, I can see it would be very easy to pull out a length, to bend/break it, or to have so much weight on the SMA connector that it breaks off in the radio itself.

My recommendations

These are based on the currently shown numbers. Once I get other antennas tested, these recommendations may change.

Baofengs

If you have a UV-5R, BF-F8+, or similar basic Baofeng radio that came with the 5R antenna, I would recommend the V85 antenna which can be bought through Amazon or ebay for $6 or less. The official Nagoya NA-701 price tends to start at $15 (I say official because there are fakes that tend to sell for $10 or less, but their quality has been found to be very hit and miss).

If you have a UV-82, or an 8W radio that came with the V85 antenna, upgrading to the NA-701 is more for looks, not functionality since on Baofeng radios the V85 and NA-701 are for all intents and purposes equal on both bands.

OBLTR-8R

This should go for most of the Anytone 8R series and 3318 radios since they all have very similar innards. As the numbers show, a quality radio with a quality antenna upgrade can make a massive difference, which is why I recommend the NA-701 for the 8R series radios (NSTIG-8R, OBLTR-8R, TERMN-8R). If you also have a 4-5W 5R/F8 radio with the stock "rubber ducky", donate the Anytone antenna to that radio.

701 or 771?

When it comes to the NA-771, because it does show slightly better stats for the VHF band, if you primarily use VHF and almost never use UHF, then the 771 may be a wise investment so long as you don't mind the freakishly long antenna. Otherwise if you use a combination of both VHF and UHF, or mostly use UHF, then the NA-701 is a much better option, especially for UHF.


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Receive antenna testing

Receive test methods

All tests done with Yaege FC-1 frequency tester, connected to mentioned antenna. For the transmitter, I connect the specific radio to the resonant antenna (aka Tram 1185 for 2m and 70cm), with 11 feet (3.35m) between radio and antenna. Each test was run minimum 3 times to ensure there was no errant signal interfering, and run at the shown frequencies (144.1, 146.0, and 147.9 for 2m, and 420.1, 435.0, and 449.9 for UHF). If anything seemed off, I reset, checked my connections, checked for other signal use by hams in the area, and then restarted. Numbers given in the table are dBm (with 0.5dBm steps) as that is what my frequency counter shows. These numbers cannot be directly compared to other dBm numbers given by other people as every test, location and radio has a different set of variables. What I show as 0.5dBm, someone else may show as 3dBm with their layout. I offer these as a comparison within my own testing environment where I could control as many of the variables as possible.
Power did not affect the accuracy of this counter much due to low power radios and distance between transmitter and receive antenna.

- I do have plans for further antenna testing, so this is not the final edit to these tables.

- I did not test the radios on frequencies they are not legal to transmit on. The only radio I tested that is legal for use on MURS and GMRS is the OBLTR-8R, so therefore I will not be testing the other radios in these frequencies. I only tested within the ham radio bands available to the US (144-148MHz, 222-225MHz, and 420-450MHz).

- The antennas tested:

  • the stock UV-5R antenna (also known as "5R"),
  • the Baofeng V85 antenna which is included with their 8W and the UV-82 models,
  • the Nagoya NA-701,
  • a genuine Nagoya NA-771,
  • a fake NA-771 from ebay,
  • a real NA-773 also from ebay
  • and for the Anytone OBLTR-8R I tested its stock antenna versus the NA-701, 773, and 771's.

I decided to do this testing as I have found that some antennas work well on transmit, but seem to suck on receiving (perfect example is the stock UV-5R antenna on UHF, great for transmitting as we saw above but not that great on receiving). Another aspect I've found that is common on social media pages is people want the longer NA-771 thinking it will be better all around, without thinking of how radio waves move or resonance. Realistically you can have a 100 foot long wire and pick up (receive) everything from 1.8MHz to 1300MHz. You can have a wideband discone that is 24-36 inches tall and get the same results. So while transmitting relies heavily on resonance to have the most efficiency getting the signal out, receiving tends to work better with slightly different methods. This is why one antenna at 6" long may seem to receive better than the 16" antenna does at the same frequency. So to put these antennas to the test, I setup the same process I used above for transmitting, EXCEPT I reversed the roles. The Yaege frequency counter will hold the antenna (which works out since it already has the SMA-F threads on it so all these antennas screw right in), and then will use the radio to transmit through either the Tram 1185 or other resonant antenna (I say other resonant antenna since my options are limited for 220MHz transmit and receive at the time of writing this). For reference, some tables below have both transmit and receive results in order to have a direct comparison. This should show if an antenna is good on transmit but not receive, or vice-versa.

Stock and Nagoya antennas

Originally I was going to separate them into their own tables but since it is just some base info for comparison, I put them into a single table below. I also separated the NA-773 into a more detailed process in the next section below this since it has so many extra links and possible combinations. I did include some extra info with the 773 here as well for comparison. I also decided to show a direct receive versus transmit comparison of these same antennas.

Antenna

Rx
146.520 MHz

Rx
446.000MHz

Rx 223.500MHz
NA-773 only

Tx
146.520 MHz

Tx
446.000MHz

5R

-18.5

-17.0

-14.0

-19.5

V85

-16.5

-14.5

-8.5

-15.0

NA-701

-13.5

-15.5

-8.0

-17.0

NA-771

-9.0

-13.5

-8.5

-13.5

771 fake

-10.5

-10.0

-9.5

-10.0

NA-773

-13.0

-16.0

-6.0
3 links down

-10.5

-9.5

So you can look at the transmit versus the receive side of things and see that certain antennas work better than others for receiving.


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4-5W Power tests

The above table shows the signal strengths at 1W power, here I decided to kick up the power to 4W on the UV-5R and 5W on the OBLTR-8R to see if the increase in power makes use of the extra antenna lengths. As I do not and have not used the 5R antenna on the OBLTR-8R, I left that aspect out of this table.
NOTE: The 773 was only tested at fully extended length. For more in depth overview of the different signal strengths at different collapsed lengths, go down to the NA-773 specific testing below.
I use Tx to mean "transmitted with the mentioned antenna", and Rx to mean "received with the mentioned antenna". Under the "Tx" tests, this means the mentioned antenna was placed on the radio itself (like the above tests on this page) and the frequency counter is connected to the Tram 1185 (11 feet away). For the "Rx" tests, the roles were reversed with the antennas placed on the frequency counter, and the radio transmitting through the Tram 1185.

UV-5R 4W Tx

OBLTR-8R 5W Tx

UV-5R 4W Rx

OBLTR-8R 5W Rx

Antenna
|
\/

146.520

446.000

146.520

446.000

146.520

446.000

146.520

446.000

V85

-6.5

-13.5

-7.0

-13.5

-3.5

-7.0

-2.0

-7.0

NA-701

-2.0

-13.0

-2.0

-13.5

-2.0

-7.5

-0.5

-7.0

NA-771

-2.5

-12.5

+1.0

-11.5

-3.0

-8.0

-3.5

-7.5

771 fake

-3.5

-9.0

+0.0

-8.0

-6.0

-7.0

-5.0

-6.0

NA-773

-5.0

-8.0

-1.0

-7.5

-6.5

-7.5

-5.0

-4.0

Above you can compare transmit with transmit, and receive with receive, but not Tx versus Rx EXCEPT to show frequency stability with that specific antenna. Once again I find that the NA-701 is very well rounded, especially when used with a quality radio like the OBLTR-8R. The difference in results between the 701 and 771 on the cheaper Baofengs is negligible on both transmit AND receive, with typically 0.5-1.0dBm difference between the 701 and 771. Surprisingly, the fake 771 and the 773 actually do better in UHF than the other antennas. Something else worth mentioning is the filtering and better quality of the OBLTR-8R shows that the 5R is sporadic. Instead of the 5R consistently being 1.0 dBm lower (4W output is approx. 36dBm and 5W output is approx. 37dBm), the 5R numbers are all over the place ranging from matching the OBLTR-8R with the shorter antennas, to being 3.5 dBm or weaker with the longer antennas. This sporadic output even continues in testing with the F8HP and 82HP.
When it comes to Baofengs, based on the numbers above (at least for close range), I do not see any benefit of the 771 over the 701. Once you move up to better quality radios do the numbers start to change and show the benefits (and shortcomings) of specific antennas. Looking purely at the numbers with the Anytone and comparing the 771 vs 701, the 771 is quite a bit better in VHF at +3.0dBm, while the 701 has the upper hand in UHF with the same +3.0dBm increase in received signal, although in my case, it actually makes more sense for me to use the fake 771 as it nearly matches the official 771 in VHF and better than both the 701 and real 771 in UHF.
When it comes to these antennas receiving signals, the NA-701 still has the upper hand, with the best VHF reception (-0.5dBm), and only a 3.0dBm difference in UHF versus the better receiving 773. I was expecting the 771 and 773 to run away with the reception side of things, but this goes to show that longer antenna does not always mean better reception, at least in close range.

At some point in the future, I do plan to do tests at 100 feet (30.5m) distance between transmitter and receiver, so I can determine if at greater distances, the longer antennas actually receives more and transmits stronger signals just due to sheer length.


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NA-773

Length (extended): 15.5 inches/39cm

Due to the versatility of a collapsible antenna, I put this one through a little more extensive testing, with it fully extended, and then test collapsing one length at a time. Also as a side note that I thought of after doing the first round of testing is I believe they made this antenna specifically to cover the wide range of frequencies available for most Chinese handhelds (136-174MHz, and 400-520MHz, or some approximation to these frequencies). As such I found out that fully extended very likely works best at the lowest end (136MHz), and for the ham band (144-148MHz) it worked best with one section collapsed. Still, as I have a hamateur radio license, I am ONLY testing within the legal ham radio bands. So lets get to some numbers.

UV-5R, 1W, Tx from Tram 1185, 11 ft. separation

Links down

146.520 MHz

446.000MHz

---

Signal (dBm)

Signal (dBm)

0 (extended)

-13.0

-16.0

1

-13.5

-17.0

2

-15.0

-21.5

3

-16.5

-26.0

4

-18.0

-29.5

5

-20.5

-30.5

6

-24.0

-27.5

7 (all down)

-28.0

-24.5

While I expected these results for VHF, I was a bit surprised to see that for receiving UHF, it actually closely matched the VHF side, with a small drop again from one link to fully collapsed. In order to verify (or debunk) this, I decided to run a different test as shown below. This time I used my BF-F8HP, with a tiger tail (counterpoise), using the stock V85 antenna, at the same 1W power setting.


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BF-F8HP, 1W, Tx from stock V85 antenna, 11 ft. separation

Links down

146.520 MHz

446.000MHz

---

Signal (dBm)

Signal (dBm)

0 (extended)

-23.5

-11.5

1

-24.5

-3.5

2

-24.0

-7.0

3

-28.5

-9.5

4

-32.5

-13.0

5

-34.0

-14.0

6

-35.5

-14.5

7 (all down)

DNR

-14.0

Now this one did surprise me, it goes to show that the Tram 1185 is definitely better at transmitting 2m VHF, while not as good at transmitting 70cm UHF, versus the V85 is mediocre at VHF, it is great on UHF. Again we see 2m VHF working best close to or at fully extended length, versus 70cm UHF working best with at least one section collapsed.
Next I decided to mix in some 220 MHz action, since a collapsible antenna should be resonant at a certain length, I tested it with my UV-82X. As I know the stock 82X antenna is not that great on 2m, I decided to just stick with 1.25m 220MHz testing. The Baofeng supplied antenna shows "136-174/240-250MHz". So I go into this knowing that this antenna is made for commercial or IARU region 3 (western Pacific) 250-260MHz, and is not as great as a proper 219-225MHz antenna would be.


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UV-82X, 1W, Tx from stock (220) antenna, 11 ft. separation

Links down

223.500 MHz

---

Signal (dBm)

0 (extended)

-10.5

1

-9.0

2

-6.5

3

-6.0

4

-10.5

5

-15.5

6

-23.0

7 (all down)

-26.0

What I found here, at least for receiving, it works best with 3 links collapsed, and still more than acceptable with only 2 collapsed since only 0.5dBm separate the 2. This goes to show that this antenna can easily be adjusted to also be used for the 1.25m 220MHz band available within IARU region 2 (North and South America).


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Rx Final Notes

While single band antennas are fine for their intended frequencies, they can absolutely be horrible outside of those bands, less so for 2m resonant, but much more so when it involves the 220 band (since it doesn't have any lower or higher "3rd level" harmonics in the ham bands, at least not until the 23cm band). Many dual band solutions end up sacrificing some signal strength in order to work well (or at least decently) on both. Then there are a few tri-band antennas for a HT, but they can be expensive, bulky, fragile, or just not work well on one or two (or none) of their expected bands. Tri band mobile antennas tend to be less prone to these issues.
Then we have the collapsible antennas which can be adjusted on the fly to accommodate whichever band you're working with. Of course then the down side rears its ugly head, while they are able to be adjusted, they are still metal, and one wrong drop, bend, or twist and that bend or break can make that antenna useless. This is the two sides of the coin, while the dual band options like NA-701 and 771 are flexible and can resist breaking, they're limited to good performance on one band and mediocre to bad on the other. The collapsible antenna can easily be adjusted for a specific band on the fly, but at the expense of fragility.
Still, for the $5 I spent on this NA-773, you may as well buy 4 and still only spent as much as an official Nagoya NA-701 or 771 antenna. Of course you may not get an official NA-773 like I did but use of the fakes should be pretty close to the real one.

Mobile Antennas

I have separated the Mobile (and "other") antennas into their own section now, information about them can be viewed here.

SWR Tables

Testing dates: 16 Oct. 2015, 29 Oct 2015, 4 Nov 2015, 21 Mar 2016

Here I will be posting some SWR testing that I have done, including the Baofeng antennas listed above but also listing some others, primarily for the purpose of my own personal reference, but I hope someone else may be able to use this info as a "see how well it works" type of moment.


BF-F8HP

Ant

Pwr

144.1

146.0

147.9

420.1

435.0

449.9

5R SWR

8W

1.8:1

1.5:1

1.5:1

4.0:1

1.6:1

1.1:1

V85 SWR

8W

1.5:1

1.4:1

1.2:1

4.5:1

1.8:1

1.4:1

NA-701 SWR

8W

1.1:1

1.2:1

1.4:1

3.4:1

3.5:1

1.8:1


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OBLTR-8R

Ant

Pwr

144.1

146.0

147.9

420.1

435.0

449.9

V85 SWR

5W

1.3:1

1.4:1

1.6:1

4.0:1

1.7:1

1.6:1

NA-701 SWR

5W

1.2:1

1.2:1

1.4:1

3.1:1

3.5:1

1.8:1


NA-773 specific tests

I did this since the collapsible NA-773 should show different SWR readings at different lengths for specific frequencies.

I appreciate you looking over this information, and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to join me in the Facebook Baofeng "BARN" group and let me know, or send me an email at km4fmk -at- afo -dot- net.
Thank you and 73!
Mike
K4ISR


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