Antenna stand and ground plane for the Baofeng UV-5RA

Browning BR-180 Amateur Dual-Band Mobile AntennaOne of the best Ham radios on the market today is a Baofeng UV-5RA. It is without a doubt one of the best little Ham radios on the market today. It is extremely compact, easy to use, a incredibly cost effective for any prepper, emergency response team, new Ham operator, etc. It just can’t be beat for its price and capability.Baofeng UV-5RA

To improve its capabilities I purchased a Browning BR-180 Amateur Dual Band Mobile Antenna . I already have a NMO (New Motorola) mount on my truck’s roof. FYI – NMO is the defacto standard for professional antenna mounting. So, I have this really great hanheld radio, a matching high quality antenna and no real way to use both in a ground-based application. Yes, I believe I am far more likely to use the radio outside of my truck during times of need. So what antenna would I use?

The question is valid since the Browning BR-180 requires a ground plane that is provided by the truck roof. A ground-based (not in my truck) use would have no such metal roof as a ground plane. So I purchased a ground plane kit.

TRAM 1465 Land Mobile Base Ground Plane Kit

I bought the TRAM 1465 Land Mobile Base Ground Plane Kit. Cost was $32 through Amazon. The kit solved that issue but I was still undecided on how to set-up the antenna itself. So I went back to basics and defined the “mission” I was trying to accomplish.

Mission –

A highly portable and versatile dual-band antenna supporting my Baofeng UV-5RA operating in almost any environment.

Then it dawned on me, I already had a support structure for dual UHF/VHF antenna – a camera tripod.

TRAM 1465 Land Mobile Base Ground Plane KitI put an additional bend in the bracket, drilled the appropriate sized hole in the “foot” of the bracket, and then went to Lowes to buy a wingnut to match the threaded post on the camera tripod. The camera tripod has a hook in between the legs in the center that I can attach a TRAM 1465 Land Mobile Base Ground Plane Kitweight to hold the tripod steady to the ground. Because the tripod is adjustable I can have significant flexibility with the height of the antenna.

 

When connecting the radio to the antenna I use the MPD cable (RF coaxial cable SMA female to UHF SO239 PL259 female RG58 20 MPD MP Digitial Baofeng UV- 5R antenna : RF coaxial cable SMA female to UHF SO239 PL259 female RG58 20 inches | Made in the U.S.A. by MPD Digitalinches). I also use the speaker/mic to reduce the stress on the cable/radio connection point.Baofeng UV-5RA speaker microphone

 

 

 

Total time to build: less than 1/2 hour
Cost to build: Less than $25 (includes tripod bought at Goodwill)

 

 

 

 

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