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Radio and boosting signal

Light_Chaser

Jan 31, 2017
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Is there anything I can make that could help boost my radio signal? I came across this thing https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/31FWZjRCzqL.jpg but costs about $50. The radio cuts out a lot...I have tired other antennas, but nothing makes it better. I'm using a Baofeng UV-5R +Plus. I use the radio for the fire department, other volunteers seem to have the same problem as me. I feel like just the radios that are bad, but just wanted look in to it hoping I could make something that will fix the problem.

I don't know much about radios, but we use frequencies between 150.000 and 450.000 my antenna rated at 136-174/400-520MHz
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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So what's the problem, you can't hear them, of they can't hear you (or both)?

Are you connecting directly to other handheld units, or is there a repeater?
 

Light_Chaser

Jan 31, 2017
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So what's the problem, you can't hear them, of they can't hear you (or both)?

Are you connecting directly to other handheld units, or is there a repeater?

Can't hear them. Our dispatch is in town. I'm out in the county. When we are on the scene talking to each other on our channel we can hear fine. I think these radios work off a repeater. That's when it just goes from tower to tower bouncing around the signal?
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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The amplifier you looked to send to be for a receiver. If you transmit it will likely go up in a puff of smoke.

If you are using a repeater network, the best answer might be a directional antenna pointed at the repeater.

There are others here who may be able to give a better answer based on what you've told us.
 

73's de Edd

Aug 21, 2015
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Sir Light_Chaser. . . . . . . .

That unit is not being your magic panacea . . . .

Your shown units are using rubber duckie antennas and if using a separate antenna at the house
it actually might not be more than a slightly longer 5/8 wavelength whip, possibly with a loading coil.
It possibly being only minimally more effective that the rubber duckie . . . since its still omnidirectional.

Since you are out a distance and do not need directivity all around you . . . but a straight shot to that base unit, you would be better off with a Yagi style antenna pointed at the base.
A 3 element unit would be the first to try, with there also being 5 and even greater elements also being available.
You then trade off omnidirectionality for concentrated sensitivity in its oriented one direction.
However, if having to work another mobile unit and being vertically polarized . . .like rubber duckies are . . . it will work as well as a rubber duckie.

The three element Yagi unit . . .its-a-looka-like-a- this.

anxy4503_big.jpg


If cost is a problem / consideration . . . I have even made them with 10 gauge copper house wire or aluminun tubing salvaged from old TV antennae.

The ARRL handbook gives specs and home construction info
https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&biw=1920&bih=950&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=build+your+own++a+"+++450+mhz"+++yagi+antenna&oq=build+your+own++a+%22+++450+mhz%22+++yagi+antenna&gs_l=img.12...62858.75140.0.77607.11.11.0.0.0.0.71.716.11.11.0....0...1c.1j2.64.img..0.0.0.2_BXr_XdPig


73s de Edd
 
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davenn

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Sep 5, 2009
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Since you are out a distance and do not need directivity all around you . . . but a straight shot to that base unit, you would be better off with a Yagi style antenna pointed at the base.
A 3 element unit would be the first to try, with there also being 5 and even greater elements also being available.
You then trade off omnidirectionality for concentrated sensitivity in its oriented one direction.
However, if having to work another mobile unit and being vertically polarized . . .like rubber duckies are . . . it will work as well as a rubber duckie.

The three element Yagi unit . . .its-a-looka-like-a- this.

@73's de Edd

you didn't read the original post properly aye ?

He and the other guys are using portable radios !!!!
the people in the field cannot be carrying big yagis around with them everywhere !!!
.

@Light_Chaser The only way to solve this problem of yours is to get the radios working on a repeater system
Surely the fire department already has a trunking repeater system to be able to keep in contact with the other portable radios that are out and about ????


start asking questions

also be aware there are lots of regulations in the USA from the FCC pertaining to the operation of transmitting devices ... for commercial use, they need to be programmed to operate on ONLY the licenced frequencies that your FD is using ... If you are currently able to operate them on frequencies onther than the allocated ones ... you run the risk of huge fines and imprisonment for operating on other people's frequencies
Please ensure you do the right thing ..... consult the radio technicians that your FD already use to maintain the FD's radio system


Dave
 
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73's de Edd

Aug 21, 2015
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When we are on the scene talking to each other on our channel we can hear fine.


I use the radio for the fire department, other volunteers seem to have the same problem as me.

Light_Chaser . . . . . please confirm the above.


He and the other guys are using portable radios !!!!
the people in the field cannot be carrying big yagis around with them everywhere !!!


Right . . . . fully understood . . . . . and those units are using rubber duckies.
The Yagi is only when they go home . . . .more distant , , , , and are doing standby monitoring with a different antenna connected in. concentrating on picking up only the base unit..


I read this as the problem occurs when going home and encountering that extra distance,
Thats when the extra sensitivity would be needed while monitoring, and having switched from the units rubber duckies over to a home antenna . . . . . but currentlly . . . . apparently, its type is not the most optimal choice.

BTW . . . . . The LAST time I ran around with a hand carried Yagi was for " fox " hunting . (Hidden transmitter
hunting)
 
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davenn

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OK @Light_Chaser

there needs to be some things cleared up to get rid of any confusion

1) --- are these radios supplied by your FD ? .... if so they should have been set up accordingly

2) --- Baofeng radios are cheap and nasty Chinese radios .... they are flooding the market with this crap
ya gets whats ya pay for ! .... we lots of them here in Australia, they are truly junk ... yes they work ... sorta ... but I wouldn't want to rely
on one in a life and death situation as any emergency service needs to like where you are

3) --- this comment .... When we are on the scene talking to each other on our channel we can hear fine.
does that mean when using a simplex ( non repeater) channel between you?
but you have difficulties getting comms to and from the dispatch ? .... that was the way I took your comment
 

hevans1944

Hop - AC8NS
Jun 21, 2012
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The Baofeng UV-5R +Plus is a cheap amateur radio handy-talky (HT) that is NOT type-approved by the FCC to operate on unlicensed FRS (Family Radio Service) frequencies, nor is it type-approved by the FCC to operate on licensed GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) frequencies. Both of these services have very strict transmitter power and antenna limitations as well as requiring type-approval by the FCC, which the Baofeng import does not have. Read this Wiki for further enlightenment.

I don't know much about radios, but we use frequencies between 150.000 and 450.000 my antenna rated at 136-174/400-520MHz
Licensed radio amateurs (Hams) and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) know a LOT about radios and how the frequency spectrum from DC to light is parceled out and regulated by the FCC. The amateur radio portion of that spectrum is minute compared to all the others using the entire spectrum, but it is jealously guarded lest it be taken away from us.

Because the FCC is under-staffed and under-funded for its task of policing the radio frequency spectrum, Hams self-police their allocations of spectrum. So, your use of unlicensed and illegal transmitters will likely go unnoticed until some Ham notices your presence, or until you infringe on the spectrum someone else is entitled to use. Once a report of illegal or interfering operation has been filed with the FCC, it will eventually get investigated. This is a lottery you do not want to win.

Your FD should have licensed transceivers (for its base station) and licensed HTs for its volunteers. Stick with those, even if the Chinese import does appear capable to operate on your assigned frequencies (channels), which are not amateur radio frequencies. Licensed Hams can do whatever they want to their BaoFeng HTs, such as adding external amplifiers and multi-element directional antennas, but Hams too are restricted to operating within their assigned frequency limits and maximum power output. In general, modifying or adding an external antenna is not something that can be legally done to a type-approved FRS or GMRS radio.

You might also want to read this article on MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service) which is similar to Citizen's Band radio but operating on just five channels with 2 W maximum power output. And here is a discussion about using the BaoFeng HT on MURS.

Hop - AC8NS
 
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