Mini-Communications Center using an FT-60R or Baofeng UV-5

Baofeng UV-5r handheld radioYaesu FT-60r handheld Ham radioWhile I was beefing up my communications capability I was trying how to maximize my Baofeng UV-5 and Yaesu FT60 handheld Ham radios. Both are great radios for different reasons. Read more about each radio rfom the articesl that posted earlier this morning…Yaesu FT-60 and Baofeng UV-5

The radios are called “handhelds” or “handi-talkies” for a reason. They are meant to be lightweight, portable, and carried on your person. However, there are times when transmitting or receiving over greater distances would be preferable, or even needed. So I was trying to figure out how to make them more useful. I had already purchased the mag-mount vehicle antennas with handheld microphones and antenna adapters. Then I decided to go back and write a mission for what I was trying to do.

Mission –

An antenna system to provide longer transmitting/receiving ranges for handheld radios and to create a mini-communications center that is highly portable.

Yup, while I was writing the “mission” for this application I realized that if I did this right I could really use the ability of the handhelds to dual scan the UHF & VHF bands. And if I had a second radio then I could talk on two primary use freqs as well. Then it hit me that I was talking a mini-communications center using two handheld radios if I had the right antenna set-up.

Here is the result:

Mini Communications center with Tram 1600 marine antennasMini Communications center with Tram 1600 marine antennas



I took a 1-1/2″ x 36″ angle aluminum.  then decided I could mount an antenna on either end. I already had a couple of new Tram 1600 1/2 wave marine antennas sitting in the shed for UHF/VFH radios that I wasn’t using.



I drilled out the center hole for mounting on a camera tripod just like had already done for the FT-8900 radio. Then I drilled the holes for the Tram marine antennas and mounted them.

I attached the bracket to the camera tripod using a wingnut purchased at Lowes.

Mini Communications center with two baofeng UV-5r handheld radios

Nest came the big test, hooking up my Baofeng UV-5R handhelds and putting the SWR meter to it.

BINGO!!  My SWR meter readings were well within acceptable limits and no tuning of the antennas were necessary. So now I have a mini-communications center with low-cost handhelds. Or I can hook up my more expensive Yaesu FT-60Rs. My mini-communications center gives me the ability to scan lots of frequencies at one time by a single person. The remote microphones is added comfort. Using headsets can add privacy and security if it is needed as well.

Mini Communications center with two baofeng UV-5r handheld radios

Be creative with what you have! There are solutions out there is you just think through what your need is and correctly defining the mission.

Have fun – create !

Note: The camera tripod has a hook located in the center of the legs that is designed for something, I am not sure what. But for my use it is a perfect place to attach a rope, bungee cord, or some 550 paracrod to hold the tripod to the ground.




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