The $3.79 antenna review

It’s almost silly to review a $3.79 dual band antenna, but I’m slightly bored. A while ago I noticed a dual band antenna on eBay for a price that didn’t make much sense. It was one of those events where you start to smell the faint scent of a scam – “This can’t be true, I’m buying a total piece of crap for sure”. Fortunately this is not the case.

On the picture, from left to right: the $3.79 antenna, Wouxun stock antenna, Quansheng stock antenna. The $3.79 antenna is significantly longer than the Wouxun, and almost identical in length  when compared to the Quansheng.

When I first spotted the antenna, I figured that it was the same antenna you would get when ordering a Wouxun or Quansheng. Well, it’s close, very close, but it isn’t. This antenna is built a little different. Contrary to the Wouxun antenna, this one doesn’t leave a gap between the UV-5R and the base of the antenna. No rubber washer needed. Mechanically this antenna proves to be a much better fit for the UV-5R than I hoped for.

Performance wise you won’t be able to distinguish this one from a Wouxun or Quansheng antenna, which is a good thing. SWR is fine on both bands. Gain is, as usual, virtually non existent. No single helical antenna I ever tried delivered any gain, in spite of manufacturer claims. I think it all depends on what you’re using to compare it with. Electrically these helical antennas are often a 1/4λ on 2 meters and about 1/2λ on 70cm, but that’s where the story ends. Stick a full size 1/4λ or 1/2λ antenna on your HT and you’ll know the difference.

This cheap find does a better job than the UV-5R stock antenna, and that is all that counts. Especially on VHF the difference is noticeable without even touching any fancy test equipment. The seller restocked them, so they’re still available.

The thread of the $3.79 antenna (L) is perfect for a UV-5R, the Quansheng (R) is near perfect, the Wouxun (M) is way too long.

From this angle it’s hard to tell them apart.


One comment on “The $3.79 antenna review

  1. Sometimes you may confuse about antenna to see its outer figure. Its further information can be seen after recognize its configuration. Different types of antennas have different model number and configuration.

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