If you use ham radios, you definitely know the value of having the best antenna for ham radio. Without antenna, you wouldn’t be able to transmit and receive a signal.
We will pick top 10 ham antennas with the following product reviews to see which one is the best ham radio antenna for you.
Best Ham Antenna – Comparison
Tram 1185 Dual Band
Magnetic Mobile Antenna
Dualband Mobile Antenna
Best Antenna for Ham Radio – Reviews
1. Tram 1185 Amateur Dual Band Magnet Antenna for Ham Radio
The Tram 1185 is a high-grade antenna for ham radios with support for ranges in two different bands. It comes with a magnet that can be attached to metal surfaces for very easy mounting.
The magnet is very strong. Users have found that the antenna’s magnet is very sturdy and stayed in place. Therefore, it didn’t need to be readjusted.
This ham antenna supports reading radio waves with different frequency ranges. It can support the standard radio frequencies, very high-frequency (VHF) waves in the region of 144-148 MHz and even ultra-high frequencies (UHF) between 430-450 MHz. This allows it to support radio waves of some very niche frequencies and detect radio waves from great distances.
This is actually a dual-band antenna. It can provide ham radios with a much wider range of frequencies which is an advantage over single band antennas.
- Transmits radio waves in two frequency ranges for double band support.
- It supports Very High Frequencies between 144-148MHz and Ultra High Frequencies between 430-450MHz.
- Packaging contains a compatible cable with a connector and a magnet mount for metal surfaces.
- It has a power rating of 75 watts, which is a standard range for mid-range ham radio antennas.
2. Workman Magnetic Mobile Antenna for Ham Radio
The Workman magnetic antenna is another double-banded radio antenna for ham radio systems. It can transmit signals in two ranges; between 144-148 MHz and 430-470 MHz. The extra range for extra detection is very desirable.
It comes with a mount for your antenna’s magnet, so that you it can be easily placed on a flat surface.
A twelve-foot long cable is attached to the base of the antenna. It will allow the antenna to be mounted a good distance from the radio.
It has a PL-259 connector which is compatible with most radio systems. This ham antenna is only 70 cm long which is likely to meet the needs of many users.
- The Universal PL-259 connector makes allows it to be used with most ham radio systems.
- The coax cable is 12 feet long, so it has a 12-foot range with the base station as the center.
- Double band support with transmission over VHF and UHF ranges
- Magnetic base at the bottom of the stand for mounting on metal surfaces
3. VFAN Dual Brand VHF/UHF Mobile Ham Radio Antenna
The VFAN dual-band mobile ham radio antenna has a three-inch ‘Strong Rare Earth’ magnet base, which lets you easily mount it on your car for stability.
The antenna is made of stainless steel. It is both waterproof and freeze proof, so it operates well even in adverse weather conditions.
This best mobile ham radio antenna uses the common PL-259 connector, so it should be okay with your particular radio system. It is important to emphasize the connector.
The dual-band design of the VFAN antenna allows you to transmit two different ranges of frequencies. This increases the chance that the signals will be received.
- Durability and weatherproofing for extreme use cases
- Dual-Band support over two different frequency ranges
- Support in the VHF range over 137-149 MHz and in the UHF range over 437-480 MHz
- Very strong magnet base for the antenna for vehicle installation. It is also suitable for fast moving vehicles.
4. Eightwood Dual Band Mobile Ham Antenna
The Eightwood dual-band mobile ham antenna lets you access two ranges of frequencies. This includes the very-high-frequency range between 136 and174 MHz and ultra-high frequency range, which is rated to be between 400 and 470 MHz.
There is a long (16.4 feet) extension cable included with this ham antenna. This is important if you want to place the antenna a good distance from the radio.
Both the extension cable and the antenna have a PL-259 connector. The connector is universal for radio devices.
The magnetic base of the antenna sticks well to metal surfaces. With its long cable it can be mounted wherever you want around the house.
- Support for two bands over the same transmission
- Stated frequency compatibility in VHF: 136-174 MHz and in UHF: 400-470 MHz
- Use of the common PL-259 connector
- 16.4-foot-long extension cable allows great placement range for the antenna.
- Small but thick size that is suitable for taller vehicles.
5. Antenna NA-771 15.6-Inch Whip Dual Band UV VHF/UHF
The NA-771 is a slightly different antenna for ham radios, because it usually goes on top of the radios. It, therefore, has a slightly different connector type. It has a SMA male connector which requires an SMA female to be available on the radio.
To protect the antenna’s SMA connector, this particular model has an antenna cover. It protects the antenna from both from the elements of the environment and physical threats.
With double banded range coverage of two bands with maximums of 144-430 MHz, it will let you transmit over a wide range of frequencies. It has the same support for VHF and UHF frequencies, which is true for most ham antennas on this list.
The antenna comes with a one-year warranty, so if you encounter any defects you can exchange it for a new one.
This ham radio antenna is only 15 and a half inches long, which makes it an excellent choice for walkie-talkies and portable radio systems.
- Optimum size (under 16 inches) for use walkie-talkies
- 12-month manufacturer warranty
- Dual band support with the advantage of greater frequency support
- Comes in a convenient pack of two antennas.
6. Super Antenna MP1C – All Band HF VHF Portable Ham Radio Antenna
With a very catchy name, the Super Antenna MPIC covers all bands in the high-frequency and very-high frequency ranges, from 7-30 MHz and 30-300MHz.
Due to small size, this is one of the best portable ham radio antenna. It can easily carry it around knowing that you can broadcast and receive most frequencies in the MHz range.
It has a super slider coil that lets you tune your signal, based on your needs. It has adjustable settings, which is not available on most ham antennas.
It comes with extension rods, if you want to increase the length of the antenna mounted on your radio.
Since it is a single ham radio antenna, you may need to buy a mount for it, unless your radio can plug it indirectly. This is not possible for most ham radios.
- Its 12-inch size is very portable and excellent for use with smaller radios.
- Wide frequency coverage, starting from 7MHz in the HF range to 300MHZ in the VHF range
- A slider coil to alter detection frequency, with manual adjustment for maximum efficiency
- Two extension rods mounting at greater heights
7. Nagoya NMO-72 19.25″ Antenna NMO Mount Dual Band VHF, UHF
This ham radio antenna has dual-band support for both very high frequencies and ultra-high frequencies. The Nagoya NMO-72 supports broadcasting radio waves at 145 and 440 MHz.
No tuning is necessary with this particular ham antenna and there are no tuning mechanisms
The antenna mount uses an NMO connector, which is not common but better than many of the older mechanisms.
This is a slightly longer (19-inch) ham antenna. It is able to boost weaker frequencies and does a better job than smaller antennas.
It has a solid brass mount and a satin finish. It is built very solidly and will not break easily. It will easily with a minor bump or drop from a short distance. If you are looking for the best indoor ham radio antenna, this one is a perfect choice.
- Auto tuning functionalities to eliminate need for manual tuning
- Solid build quality and very durable for use on vehicles during rough weather
- Uses a more modern but less common connector, that has several advantages over analog connectors
- Better gain on detected radio signals than most analog antennas.
8. Solarcon I-MAX 2000 – Vertical Ham Radio Antenna
With a power capacity rating up to 5000 watts, the Solarcon I-Max 2000 can withstand large electric shocks. It is excellent for roof mounting.
This vertical ham antenna has three separate sections that are easy to reassemble properly. It can amplify signals input into it up to 5.1dBl. Since it is 24 inches long, it is an excellent amplifier.
This best vertical ham radio antenna is made of fiberglass that provides excellent insulation. This allows it to absorb considerable voltage and wattage. The antenna is reinforced by a strong mounting plate, which allows it to withstand strong winds. This ham antenna is very good for use with ham radios that has 10-meter bands.
- Able to withstand lightning strikes with power up to 5000 watts
- Easy to assemble and install for set up on your roof
- A gain of 5.1dBl on different types of transmissions.
- Attaches to a clamp. instead of a mounting base, which goes better on concrete.
9. The Survival Handheld Ham Radio Antenna
The Survival ham antenna is a small and very portable. It can be easily wrapped in a circle, so you can carry it with you. This makes it the ideal travel antenna.
The antenna is made of wire brass that is reinforced with stainless steel fittings for extra durability. Small antennas definitely need extra protection. It is also weather-sealed to protect it against the elements.
The cable has a 28-foot long cord. It allows you to mount it a considerable distance from the radio.
This ham antenna is ready to use right out of the box, so there is no need to waste time with setup. It is the best antenna for handheld ham radio systems.
- Plug and play ham antenna with no need for any elaborate set-up process
- The small antenna body is well-built with stainless steel and wire brass.
- Uses the SMA connector, a staple of walkie-talkie like devices.
- Coverage in the VHF range has the optimal range at 146MHz
10. Hustler HF MultiBand Vertical Amateur Ham Radio Base Antenna
With several attachments, the Hustler HF Multiband Ham Antenna will give you coverage for up to five different bands of frequencies to transmit and receive in.
The antenna itself is 25 foot high, which makes it the ideal size for bumping up amplification.
The band is limited to high-frequency transmission. However, that is the frequency range that most radio transmitters are going to be able to detect.
The design of the antenna allows you to mount it on the ground, without needing a separate mount. You will just need a separate cable to connect it to the radio you are using.
The connector used in the antenna is compatible with a number of different types of cables, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
The antenna candle up to 1500 watts of electricity. Overall, this is an excellent vertical ham antenna.
- Coverage of five different bands in the same channel
- The bands are mostly in the HF range, between 10-80 MHz.
- Handles electric currents with power up to 1500 watts
- Needs a separate mount, if mounting on a solid surface
- 25 foot high for increased amplification.
Overview of The Ham Radio Antenna
There are several benefits to getting a ham radio antenna.
Why Do You Need A Ham Radio Antenna?
- DIY radio antennas are hard to make: Purchasing a ham radio antenna is much easier than making your own antenna. Many enthusiasts purchase the hardware and parts and make their own antennas. However, if you are not expert it is much easier to purchase a commercial antenna.
- Plug and play: You just plug the antenna into your radio system and you are ready to receive and broadcast transmissions. The most important thing to pay attention to is to ensure that the connectors are compatible with your system. This is usually not a problem.
- Limited ability of vanilla antennas: Most antennas that come with conventional radios, only have one band to receive and transmit. Most commercially available ham antennas have two bands, which provides better reach and improved signal performance.
- Availability of multiple bands: Since most people are not able to make their own, these antennas provide outstanding features at a reasonable cost.
Best Antenna for Ham Radio – Buying Guide
Check the below features before purchase the best ham antenna.
It is important to know the number of bands a ham radio antenna can provide support for. More bands are usually better. However, having more bands will increase your costs. It is recommended that most ham radio operators should stick to dual-band antennas. Dual band ham antennas cover a range of frequencies, from the very high range to the ultra-high range.
Higher frequencies in transmission usually translate into higher range coverage, due to smaller wavelength. Therefore, UHF is a feature that you will want order to give your broadcast transmissions extra reach.
You should also try to determine the degree of gain that you want from your antenna. High gain ham antennas can help you to boost the strength of transmitted signals. If it is difficult for to broadcast your signal with sufficient strength, such as a signal repeater, you should pay attention to the rating of the signal gain.
Height of Antenna
The longer an antenna is, the more power it will have to boost signal strength. If you want to use the antenna as a repeater system, then you’ll need a higher ham antenna.
Length of the Cable
The length of the cable connecting the antenna to the radio will depend on the location of the radio and where you want to mount the antenna. Your cable does not need to be particularly long, if you are using the antenna inside a vehicle or in your car. If that is the case, you should pay more attention to the magnet strength and build quality, so it stays firmly attached to your vehicle. The length of the cable is more important if the radio is in the garage and you want to put the antenna on top of the roof of a multi-story home.
The other factor you want to consider is feedline loss. This refers to how much signal is lost, as the signal is transmitted to and from the radio system to the antenna. Therefore, you need to choose a cable that has a loss level that is acceptable for your system. Waves with very high frequencies usually experience the most loss. Therefore, if you want to minimize loss at the highest frequencies, you will need a coaxial cable with as little loss as possible.
How To Set Up A Ham Radio Antenna
Look For Potential Sources of Problems
Before you decide to place your ham radio antenna on a surface, it necessary to understand things that could cause problems. In order to, transmit and receive effectively, your antenna’s transmitting device needs to be a reasonable distance from nearby objects. If your antenna is surrounded by trees or buildings, there is likely to be significant interference with your signals.
Place your ham antenna in a location that is high enough, so there is good clearance from other objects. The best way to do this is to mount it on the roof of your home or building. You are likely to get interference within a vehicle, so you will want to get a good ham radio vehicle antenna.
Identify Sources of Interference
It is recommended that you do some research on objects that can interfere with radio signals, so they do not cause problems. Wireless internet networks have the potential to create disturbances with radio signals, depending on the frequency of the network.
Other appliances, such as vacuum cleaners and drills, although they do not produce any waves, create signal noise, which can degrade the transmission from your ham antenna.
After you’ve found the best location to minimize interference in the vicinity of the antenna, it is necessary to match the radio antenna to the feeder of your radio. This is important since antennas and feeder scan have different impedance values. If the values are not matched, it can result in power inefficiencies. If the antenna and radio feeder are matched, the feed of the wave frequency will be continuous and no standing waves will be created.
Type of Mount
The proper set-up of a ham radio usually requires a vertical mount. They will align your radio straight, which is the best way to detect and transmit radio waves.
Earthing the Antenna
Antennas will conduct electricity during a storm, therefore, they need to be grounded. This will provide protection for both the antenna and the radio.
FAQs on Ham Radio Antenna
Do ham radio antennas need permits, like the ham radios themselves?
Ham radio antennas will usually not need any separate permits, as long as they are within a certain limit. However, ham antennas that are taller than 65 feet, will require a permit. The permit application must contain documentation relating to the location of the intended antenna placement.
What are the benefits of getting an antenna without manual tuning?
Auto tuned ham antennas will accommodate detection of bands that are not already pre-tuned, as long as they are within the defined limits of the antenna. Otherwise, a SWR meter is the best solution.
How much power is safe for a ham antenna?
It all depends on the specific antenna. Most ham antennas will be able to accommodate 75 watts of power. The more expensive antennas are stronger and have very high wattage ratings.
Do I have to get a separate mount for the ham antenna?
Most low to mid-range ham antennas come with their own mount. Depending on the surface to be used for the mounting, you may want to purchase a separate mount. However, some of the more expensive antennas require a separate mount.
Do I have to get a metal ham antenna?
Some ham radio antennas are made of fiberglass and other semiconductors. However, they are not as durable as metal antennas.
Whats is the best ham radio antenna?
Yes, I love Tram 1185 amateur dual band magnet antenna.
This article has provided useful information on things you take account when you are looking for the best antenna for ham radio. If you are serious about your ham radio hobby, you will enjoy your upgrade.