Guide to Buying Antennas for Ham Radios

Your Guide to Buying Antennas for Ham Radios

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approves the licenses that grant amatuer radio enthusiasts the legal authority to transmit radio waves for personal use. Non-commercial applications of amatuer radio wave transmission include: organization during emergencies and providing communication channels for people to interact throughout the world. The origination of the term "ham" has been lost over the years, but many amatuer radio enthusiasts believe the term refers to amatuer. While ham radios have advanced technologically, especially since the 1980s, a ham radio’s quality is largely determined by what type of antenna an operator uses to transmit and receive radio signals.

History of Ham Radios

The birth of ham radio is associated with the experimentation performed by inventors at the turn of the 20th century. After the Titanic sank in 1912, the United States Congress passed a law that restricted radio wavelengths to shorter than 200 meters, thus rendering radio transmissions ineffective. The number of amatuer radio enthusiasts in America was estimated to have declined by 88 percent. After new laws loosened the restrictions, the number of ham radio operators began to rise, only to fall again during both World Wars. Amatuer radio operators contributed to the development of automated message systems and packet radio transmissions, which allowed the hobby to become a practical way for people to communicate during and after disasters. In 2006, the FCC eliminated Morse code testing requirements for all American amatuer radio license applicants, which once again increased the number of amatuer radio enthuisasts.

Licensing

Before ham radio operators can begin to configure ham radio antennas, they must become licensed in the country where they operate. Ham radio operators are required to prove their knowledge of key concepts and they must completely understand the laws that apply to ham radio operators. The key concepts and laws vary by country. One of the most important aspects of licensing is to ensure operators understand the regulations that apply in their country of operation. Passing an examination typically qualifies someone to become a licensed ham radio operator, but some governments recognize professional or academic qualifications. For instance, in some countries, someone who has earned an electrical engineering degree may be able to bypass taking an examination. Some countries offer progressive examinations, which allow ham radio operators to attain licenses. Licensed ham radio operators have the requisite knowledge to buy the type of ham radio antenna that meets their geographic parameters and transmission objectives.

Factors for Choosing a Ham Radio Antenna

Choosing a ham radio antenna depends on five factors. The weight given to each factor ultimately determines what antenna an operator may purchase.

Cost

Diamond X30 vs X50

Having a few problems trying to decide between the Diamond X30 and the Diamond X50.

The Diamond X30 quotes a gain of 3db on 2m and 5.5db on 70cm.

The Diamond X50 quotes a gain of 4.5db on 2m and 7.2db on 70cm.

The Diamond X50 is approx £15 more expensive than the X30.

Question:
Is the Diamond X50 worth an extra £15 over the X30, with the approx 1.5db extra on 2m and 70cm?

I'm hoping to mount an antenna on the side of the house (approx 35feet up).


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Hytera X1e-U1 - 16C, 4W, UHF(400-470MHz) DMR Digital Two-Way Radio w/GPS

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Excelvan BM-800 Condenser Microphone Cardioid Pro Audio Studio Vocal Recording Mic with Shock Mount (Black)

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HYTERA MD782 UHF Digital Mobile (DMR)

HYTERA MD782 Digital Mobile (DMR) UHF 400-470 MHz