You might have seen people with ham radios and wondered why a person might get such a radio when smartphones are readily available. People with ham radios understand that these radios can work almost anywhere, including places without network coverage. To make your ham radio work properly, you need a functional ham radio antenna.
The market is full of these antennas, and to make your work easier, we have listed the best ham radio antennas in the market. We’ve also highlighted their pros and cons, so that you can weigh your options.
Best Ham Radio Antenna Reviews 2022
1. BTECH Authentic Genuine Nagoya NA-24J 16.2 Inch Ham Radio Antenna
An antenna is almost a necessity if you have a ham radio. The reason behind this is that ham radios are not designed with very strong receptions, and as a result, after getting your ham radio, you then need to get a good antenna such as the Genuine Nagoya NA-24J from BTECH.
One of the things we like about this reliable antenna is the dual-band performance. The frequencies in VHF mode are 137-174 MHz, while in UHF, they are 400-520 MHz. These dual bands let you connect to almost every open channel within the range.
UHF reception on this modern antenna has been enhanced through the incorporation of a loading coil that is very tightly wrapped. The design of the loading coil also increases the range of the antenna.
The makers of this antenna have also considered that you might need to use it in places with harsh weather conditions. The 19 inches antenna is made with stainless steel to cater to this.
Our only problem with this antenna is that it is a little fragile. If you expose it to very harsh conditions, it might not survive, which will require you to get a replacement antenna. You can overcome this by keeping the antennae safely in case of harsh conditions.
We cannot say that the Genuine Nagoya NA-24J is a perfect product, but we have enough reasons to believe it is one of the best ham radio antennas you can get. You only need to use it in the right way to reap all the associated benefits.
- An SMA-female adapter
- Dual-band performance
- Simple installation
- A 16.2 inches length
- No adapter
- Can be damaged by extreme weather conditions
2. Bingfu Dual Band VHF UHF Ham Radio Antenna
Ham radio can help you stay connected even when in places where your smartphone does not get a signal. With a reliable ham radio antenna such as the Bingfu Dual Band VHF UHF Ham Radio Antenna, you can communicate with other tram radio users in a convenient manner.
Among the main outstanding features, we like to include a sturdy and compact design. The design is helpful because it prepares the antenna for rough usage in remote places. It also increases the durability and life of the antenna.
A frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-470 MHz further makes this antenna ideal for anyone looking for more convenient communication. The range is meant to facilitate dual-band performance, where you get to choose the option you want.
There is a 3 meter RG174 cable that provided the necessary connection. The cable has been specially designed to act as a communication facilitator. It also provides more freedom where you can mount the antenna almost anywhere you want.
Mounting the antenna is like cutting a piece of cheese since you just need to place the 3 cm magnet base on a metallic surface. This can be on top of your truck, on the roof of your house, on top of your boat, or in any other place with metallic components.
We rate all the antenna features very high, but it is wrong if we do not mention that it does not have a very long life span. The reception strength weakens as the unit grows older, consequently requiring you to get a replacement.
We sincerely think that you would be making the right decision by purchasing this ham antenna. It has all the features that would make any ham radio user enjoy using his/her radio.
- Cheap price
- Compatible with Kenwood Wouxun BaoFeng ham radios
- The antenna can be unscrewed from the base
- 50 Ohm impedance
- A 3m coaxial cable
- You will need to tighten some parts before mounting
3. Bingfu HF VHF UHF Mobile Radio Antenna
Bingfu is one of the most recognizable and appreciated brands in the antenna manufacturing world. You might have used some of the company’s products since they are readily available in the market. Among the company’s top antennas is the Bingfu HF VHF UHF Ham Radio Amateur Radio Mobile Radio Scanner Antenna.
The main attribute we notice on this ham antenna is a frequency range of 20MHz-1300MHz. The frequency allows the antenna to be compatible with ham radio, two-way radio, public radio scanner, and mobile radio.
You also get to enjoy an impedance of 50 Ohms while using this antenna. The impedance plays an integral role in ensuring you can clearly receive the bands within your frequency range irrespective of where you are.
Another exciting feature about the antenna is being very portable, where its total weight is 280 grams. You can put all the antenna components in a carrier bag and carry them with you to any place you want without struggling.
The antenna’s design is so that you can use it even on a rainy day without anything getting damaged. It has a waterproof design, which helps you use the antenna in any weather condition.
The makers of this antenna considered all the features, but they, unfortunately, forgot to consider the length of the RG58/U connecting cable. The cable’s length is just ten feet, which would have been better if it was made much longer.
After careful consideration of all the Bingfu antenna’s features, we endorse it as a reliable and helpful device. You just need to follow the user guide to get all the benefits associated with it.
- A very portable design
- A wide magnetic base for simplified mounting
- BNC male connector
- An operating temperature of 20-+80 degrees
- Compatible with different kinds of radios
- The cable is relatively short
- The base is pretty brittle
4. Tram Dual Band Hi-Gain Hi-Power Ham Radio Antenna
Do you struggle to get clear bands and channels on your ham radio? If your answer is yes, you need a reliable ham antenna such as the Tram Amateur Dual Band Hi-Gain Hi-Power Magnet Antenna.
One of the primary things we have noticed is that you can never go wrong with this antenna, mainly because of the frequency range. It works with a dual-band operation where the frequency ranges are 440MHz-450MHz and 144MHz-148MHz.
You further get to enjoy stable and firm mounting, which is facilitated by the wide base. The base has been fitted with strong magnets, which hold the antenna in place even during storms and strong winds.
We appreciate this ham antenna’s power rating, which is 180W. It allows you to use it for prolonged periods before recharging your radio. With this option, you can conveniently go to remote places where there are no reliable sources and still use your ham radio.
We also note that the antenna is rated 2.4 dB, which allows you to use a repeater about 20 miles away. The rating gives you further freedom to go to places where your smartphone won’t get a signal and still communicate with other ham radio users.
Even with all the helpful attributes, we are justified to be concerned about the antenna’s durability. The materials used to make it look fragile where if you do not take care of it properly, it will not last for long.
We always look at all aspects of every product, and we can confirm that the Tram amateur antenna is a product that will give you value for your money. Almost all your needs are catered for by the first-class features of the antenna.
- Pre-tuned for more simplified use
- High transmit power
- Mobile radio use through the long coax cable
- Strong magnets on the wide base
- An elegant black finish
- Specialized care is required
- If broken, it is almost impossible to repair
5. Super Antenna HF SuperWhip Tripod All Band Ham Radio Antenna
Ham radio is useful, especially when going on vacation in remote places where there might be no signal for your regular phone. To ensure your ham phone works properly, you need to ensure you get the right antenna, such as the Super Antenna MP1DXTR80 HF SuperWhip Tripod All Band.
We have taken the time to examine this antenna, and we have realized that it is one of the most portable ham antennas you can get. It has a collapsible design and comes with a carrying bag to let you carry it easily.
You are also assured of using this antenna for years since its body is made with the indestructible titanium metal alloy. The housing further allows you to use the antenna even when it is snowing or raining because it has a waterproof design.
We also like the pre-tuned frequencies on the antenna where you can proceed to use it immediately after removing it from the box. Even if you are a first time user, you shall need to struggle with the antenna because of the pre-tuned feature.
Mounting the antennae is also straightforward. You just need to look for a flat metallic surface and then place the base on the chosen surface. The antenna will hold firmly until you are done using your ham radio.
The many modern features are helpful, but you need to be conversant with the different features of the antenna. Without proper insight, you might have a hard time assembling and mounting this ham antenna.
Our honest opinion after the analysis is that it is a product worth investing in. with this antenna, your ham radio will be able to capture signals and frequencies more effectively. You shall also be able to stay connected with the outside world even when in the remotest of places.
- Can be collapsed for easy carrying
- Dual-band operation
- Enhanced transmit power
- Can be mounted almost anywhere
- Frequencies are pre-tuned
- The many components can be confusing for a beginner
- Needs extra care
6. Workman Magnetic Mobile Ham Radio Antenna
Workman Promised to be clinical in the production of their next ham radio antenna, and they have kept this promise. The Workman Magnetic Mobile Ham Radio Antenna has been endowed with all the necessary features to make your mobile ham radio optimally useful.
We are particularly pleased by the PL-259 connector and a 12-foot coax cable. With these components, you get the freedom to decide how and where to mount your ham radio antenna effectively.
We are further captivated by the wide pre-set dual-band frequency range. The precise frequency range of the unit is 140-470MHz and 430-470MHz. With the dual-band operation, you are provided with more efficiency at all times.
The provision of different connection options also plays an integral role in making this antenna be regarded as one of the best. You can connect it with an optional adapter, mobile adapter, or choose the handheld ham radio.
It is also hard to overlook the wide magnetic base that is purposely meant to make mounting the antennae easier. The magnet is especially helpful because it holds the entire antenna in place, consequently providing good performance even on windy and rainy days.
If you are a person who is not very careful, then this antenna might be a problem for you. The reason behind this is that it is fragile. Not taking proper care of the unit might result in breakages, which are very hard to repair.
With that said, we have concluded that this is an ideal ham radio antenna, particularly when it comes to performance. You can be assured that the antenna will detect the relevant bands and frequencies irrespective of weather conditions or where you are.
- Moderate size for portability purposes
- 12 foot coax connecting cable
- Enhanced dual-band performance
- Simplified mounting options
- A wide frequency range
- Magnets lose their power after a few months of usage
- The materials used and fragile and can break easily if not handled carefully
7. Eightwood Dual Band VHF UHF Ham Mobile Radio Antenna
Ham radios have become increasingly popular in the recent past. More people prefer to use these amateur radios while going to places with inadequate network coverage. You can also enjoy the benefits of ham radio by making sure you get a reliable antenna such as Eightwood Dual Band VHF UHF Ham Mobile Radio Antenna.
With this antenna, you shall enjoy an assortment of benefits, including high rated operating frequency. The antenna frequencies are 136-174MHz for VHF and 400-470MHz for UHF. These frequencies are pre-tuned where you do not have to struggle to tune them.
We have also noted that the RG58 connection cable that comes with this antenna is longer than the ones found on standard antennas. Its length is 16.4 feet, which gives you more freedom to mount the antenna in different places.
Once you mount the antenna, you do not have to hold it with your hand to ensure it is stable. The magnetic base holds the surface firmly to let you concentrate on your ham radio without worrying that the antenna might fall.
We also like the antenna’s compatibility, where besides working with ham radios, it can also work with CB radios. If you also own a CB radio, you will not need to spend more money to purchase a suitable antenna for the CB radio.
Our only disappointment with this ham radio antenna is that it is relatively bulkier compared to other similar models. In case you want to carry the antenna with you while going for a picnic, you will need to have a carrying bag.
We always ensure we give you unbiased opinions on different products, and we can confidently say this is an antenna you will not regret buying. Your ham radio will get enhanced reception without having to spend a lot.
- PL-259 mount connector and cable connector
- Has UHF connection
- A long 16.4 feet cable
- Can work even in wet condition
- A compact design
- You need to mount it facing a specific direction
- Carrying it can be hectic because of the bulkiness
8. VFAN Mobile VHF/UHF Antenna
Almost every ham radio available in the market today needs a robust antenna to perform efficiently. You need a strong antenna such as the VFAN Dualband Mobile Antenna, even if you are going to use the radio in a place with strong reception.
The ability to work in the roughest and turbulent weather conditions is among the features that draw our attention to this antenna. It has a durable waterproof design that is complemented by antifreeze materials.
The antenna also has a 2.95 inches Strong Rare Earth Magnet Base. You can mount the antenna in any place with a metallic surface, including on top of your vehicle or boat. You can keep moving the antenna until you are able to get the strongest signals.
Our other favorite feature is the omnidirectional dual-band performance of this antenna. The dual-band performance works together with a gain of 2dBi/3dBi to provide amazing performance no matter where you are.
The antenna’s design is another impressive attribute where it has an elegant black finish and a coiled design at the middle of the antenna. You will not feel ashamed of having the antenna on top of your vehicle since it enhances the elegance.
The only feature which we feel could have been made better is the connecting cable, which is relatively short. The length of the cable usually matters a lot since it is the one that determines whether you can mount the antenna on much higher grounds.
The few flaws on this ham radio antenna do not mask the superior features that the antenna has been endowed with. These features have been meticulously put in place to ensure you get enhanced performance on your ham radio.
- A base with strong magnets
- An elegant looking design
- Straightforward installation
- Works even in rainy conditions
- Compatible with different types of radios
- Needs to be handled in a delicate manner
- You might need to readjust the frequencies depending on your geographical location
9. HYS Ham Radio Antenna
The performance of your ham radio is primarily determined by the antenna you use. A top-shelf antenna such as the HYS TC-HC152V Amateur Antenna 2-Meter Ham Band has the ability to ensure you are getting clear communication even when in places with poor coverage.
The main reason why we have selected this HYS antenna is having a frequency range of 136MHz to 174MHz. You are able to easily get the most used bands and frequencies near where you are without much hustle.
We are also satisfied that this antenna will serve you properly because of the 2.5dBi gain and a maximum power input of 150W. With these attributes, you are guaranteed enhanced performance for longer periods.
HYS has further made it easier to get even the remotest signals that are not detected by most standard antennas. It comes with a long 17.8 inches whip that is able to detect signals from all directions provided the antenna is mounted correctly.
We have also checked the durability and resilience of the antenna, and we are satisfied that it is one of the most durable ham radio antennas you can get. It has been carefully tested in different conditions, and the tests have shown it can withstand almost any weather condition.
The only downside of this ham radio antenna is that it does not have a dual-band performance. Without this modern performance, your options are limited, and you might get clear signals when in some very remote places.
Our overall rating of the HYS TC-HC152V Amateur Antenna 2-Meter Ham Band is that it is an ideal ham radio antenna, especially for people who do like a lot of sophistication. You can use the basic features to make your ham radio more efficient.
- A gain of 2.5dBi
- An antenna length of 17.8 inches
- Ability to withstand even harsh weather conditions
- Compatible with most common ham radios
- Easy to carry around
- Does not have dual-band performance
- The basic features make it easy to use
10. Comet Dual Band Mobile Antenna
Anyone who has used a ham radio can tell you the importance of having a reliable antenna. The antenna you get determines how efficient your radio ham will be depending on where you are. One of the top ham radio antennas is the Original Comet Dual Band VHF/UHF Mobile Antenna.
Convenience in use is just one of the extraordinary we like about this antenna. It comes with a spring-loaded fold-over hinge that provides the unit with a collapsing design. The hinge can rotate at 360 degrees, and this allows you to easily pint the antenna in the direction with the strongest signal.
You also have the chance to enjoy enhanced GMRS dual-band frequency ranges. The range for VHF is 140-160 MHz, and for UHF, it is 435-465 MHz. With these ranges, you are assured of getting the ideal channels and bands in your area easily.
With this antenna, you have the freedom to use it anywhere you want, irrespective of weather. The weatherproof design is helpful in that it allows the unit to withstand the toughest storms or the hottest sunlight.
We also like the size of this antenna from Comet where it can be collapsed to be carried more conveniently. Its dimensions are 39 inches by 2 inches by 1 inch, and its total weight is 0.8 pounds.
Despite encountering many positive attributes on this antenna, we are disappointed that it does not have magnetic mounting. You must drill a hole to fit the antenna while doing the mounting, which requires more work.
Our honest opinion on this antenna is that it is a great device to enhance your ham radio performance. The only thing you need is to ensure you mount and position it properly.
- Made by a renowned company
- Simplified portability
- A wide frequency range
- Usable in different weather conditions
- The antenna is rotatable
- Complicated mounting
- Once mounted cannot be moved from one place to the other easily
What to look out for when hunting for the ideal ham radio antenna
Have you ever gone shopping without knowing the exact product you want to buy? Yes, this is a common scenario where people go shopping only knowing the kind of product they want to purchase but not the specific details of the product.
We have carefully prepared this buyer guide to let you know the top ham radio antenna available in the market. We have also listed the most crucial features you need to check out when choosing the most suitable option.
The gain is responsible for determining your antenna’s power and range, and it is measured in dBi. An antenna with a gain of 2.5 dBi has a range of about 300 feet, while the one with a gain of 5 dBi has a range of about 500 feet. Consequently, it is advisable to go for the ham radio antenna with a higher gain.
You are most likely looking for a ham radio antenna that you can carry with you when going to remote places. The ideal antenna to serve this purpose is a relatively small one that you can collapse and carry easily. You just need to ensure that besides being small, it has the necessary power to perform optimally.
You also do not want to spend hours trying to mount your ham radio antenna on your car’s or home’s roof. Most of the antennas have magnetic bases where you can easily mount them within seconds.
Cable type and length
It is also important to ensure the cable that comes with the antenna is designed in the right manner, and is also long enough. A longer cable gives you more freedom to determine where to mount your antenna.
Before you can purchase a ham radio antenna, you need to be sure about its band since there are different types of bands. The most common ones are HF, VHF, and UHF. An ideal antenna should have dual-band performance where it should support both UHF and VHF.
Ability to withstand different weather conditions
Most ham radio antennas are installed outside, where they are exposed to different weather conditions. You need to choose an antenna that, when mounted on top of your house or truck, will not get damaged by rain, sun, or wind.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can a ham radio antenna work without power?
Almost all electronic devices require power, but ham radio antennas are different. The only gadget that needs power is your ham radio. Therefore, if you have a battery or a generator, you just need to ensure your radio is powered.
Can I use my ham radio antenna with a TV?
Ham radio antennas mostly use UHF or VHF signals, which are the same signals used by most digital TVs. The fact that they share the same type of signals means that they can also use the same antennas. You only need to ensure the antenna is properly positioned to receive the strongest signals.
What is the standard life span of a ham radio antenna?
The top ham radio antennas are designed to last for years, where a standard antenna can remain in good condition for about five years. To improve your antenna’s life, you just need to use it as instructed and handle it with care.
Can I increase the length of the connecting cable on my ham radio antenna?
Most connecting cables on these antennas are fixed, and as a result, it is hard to remove the existing cable and replace it with a longer one. The ideal way of getting a longer cable is looking for an antenna with a longer connecting cable.
BTECH Genuine Nagoya NA-24J Ham Radio Antenna is the top choice from the ham radio antennas we have listed. The 137-174 MHz and 400-520 MHz frequency range of the antenna makes us believe it has the best performance.
We are impressed by the unique loading coil that enhances the performance of the entire unit. Therefore, you can make unclear frequencies on your ham radio a thing of the past by getting a reliable antenna such as the BTECH Genuine Nagoya NA-24J Ham Radio Antenna.