I just wondered. Take a Baofeng UV-5R, try to hit distant repeaters which are known to be problematic, switch antennas and try again. This is exactly what I did yesterday. Because the S-meter of the UV-5R is totally worthless, I had to depend on my ears. I would rather present you a more scientific approach, but that’s not that easy when in the field. Sorry about that.
The third party antennas I tried:
- Nagoya NA-701. This is the antenna I ended up keeping after testing various models on the UV-3R. A good performer, sturdy, and reasonably cheap. The only other antenna which was just as good, the Nagoya NA-666, also known as “The Antenna From Hell”, could not be tested because mine has the wrong SMA connector.
- The Wouxun KG-UVD1P stock antenna. Doesn’t fit very well though. There’s a gap between the HT and the base of the antenna.
- Quansheng TG-UV2 stock antenna. This antenna is nearly identical to the Wouxun KG-UVD1P antenna, slightly longer, but fits perfectly.
Interesting or disappointing, depending on the way you look at it. The differences were marginal at best. The only antenna which did a slightly better job on VHF was the Quansheng TG-UV2 antenna. About 1-1.5 dB gain compared to the stock antenna would be an educated guess. No differences to report on UHF.
Apparently the UV-5R stock antenna isn’t that bad at all. There’s one more antenna on its way, the Nagoya NA-773. Maybe that one will impress me, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.