GMRS Home Base Station Antenna Options

Hi all,

I am new to the forum, I’m looking forward to my first radio set up. And being part of the community, but I do need some help setting up my first base station. (I just received my GMRS license and call sign this week)

I am setting up a GMRS base station at home for family communications, for an emergency and bad cell service area. My setup will include either a Midland MTX115 (15 Watt) OR MTX400 (40 Watt), my truck will have the MTX275 (15 Watt), then two or three handhelds (GTX1000) for family members. The area I live at is semi-rural just looking for comms within 3-10 miles if possible from the house. I am not sure about GMRS repeaters in our area, but I will also do some research on that. Any suggestions on what kind of antenna and power supply for my home base station?

Thank you!
Call sign: WRDW479 (ZA-GMRS)

Update on my research.

Found fIve base antenna options, will any of these work for my home base? If so which would give me the most range?

Harvest BC200 450-470Mhz 6.5dBi 200W Tunable GMRS UHF Base Antenna

(Link Removed)

GMRS Vertical Outdoor Base Antenna

(Link Removed)

Midland MicroMobile MXTA11 6dB Gain Antenna

HYS Mobile Transceiver Antenna 17 Inch UHF(400~470 MHz) Fiberglass Antenna for Baofeng, Anytone Kenwood TYT Mobile Radios

(Link Removed)

462 MHz Land Mobile (GMRS) J-Pole Antenna

(Link Removed)

Welcome to the forum and to the world of GMRS!

Most any of the external/outdoor GMRS antennas listed should work fine for the base station. However, you do want to consider the type of feed line (cable) you will be using to connect the antenna to the radio, especially if the antenna will be located outdoors at any considerable distance from the location of the radio indoors. If you are going to run or drop a cable more than 100 feet away, you may want to consider a shielded, low-loss cable such as BR-400. The RG174 that Midland usually includes with its MXT115VP3 value pack is usually sufficient for short runs of about 20 feet or less.

Just a reminder to everyone, please do not post links to products from competitors’ web sites. To prevent any issues, please read the FAQ for our forum rules before posting. Thanks!

Height is might.

450ish MHz is predominantly Line of Sight and as a result, it is the primary discerning factor in range. Gain, really helps with penetration through foliage and into far-field structures. However, antennas with higher gain can also have a negative coverage impact in the near-field. For example, a 0 dBd gain antenna (sometimes referred to as Unity gain) can often perform better in a warehouse environment if the antenna is mounted on the roof of the warehouse compared to a 6 dBd gain antenna.

Also, location again can come into play with antenna selection. If your home is in a valley or on top of hill, the radiation pattern of a 0 dBd antenna can often serve you better than that of one with gain.

I second Rick’s comment about feedline length being of concern as well. For installs between 25’ and 150’ of coax, LMR-400 (.400" diameter, solid conductor with a foil and braided shield) is really the universal go to (though it is not recommended for repeater application).

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Im newbe also. Have purchased and installed MXT400 in my mobile, and getting ready to purchase & install Base. Can the MXTA26 GMRS antenna be used as a base station antenna? I want to mount it on roof. Does it require a Ground Plane? Thanks, Bob

If you plan to use it as a base station, you could use the mobile antenna in a pinch as long as you have a ground plane. My son and I have done it with ham mobiles in the past with good performance. However, I would recommend a base antenna for the long term or if setting up the radio in a permanent installation.

Rick, thanks for the quick reply. Have not been able to locate any local expertise Seems like Im going to have to reach out to a repeater, to talk with anyone beyond my property. I have not been able to find a GMRS base antenna, and I’m intimidated by the thought of trimming a Ham antenna to match the frequency. Is that my only option? Could you recommend an Antenna? At Midland, I cant get past the sales people to obtain ANY technical advice. Thanks again, Bob (WRFP606) Bahama, NC 919-451-0304

They are out there, although not as prevalent as ham antennas. Midland does not currently offer a base antenna for GMRS, although we have discussed the options of utilizing their MXT micromobiles as base stations with them in the past.

Some GMRS users convert their MXT radios to base stations using mobile antennas, and some tune 70cm base antennas for the GMRS. Some even make their own.

I know you said you didn’t want to have to cut it, but the Tram 1486 would work, and it does have a cutting chart to make it easier, so you wouldn’t have to do it by trial and error.

I noticed that Midland has a link to the Hardened Power Systems product in which you can use a micomobile in a system built into an ammo can. Do you have an opinion on those?

Thanks again Rick. The Tram 1486 looks good. I found a Comet CA-712efc on Amazon, that apears to be made for RMDS and requires no trimming. Tell me what you think.
Also can Ham operator converse with Licensed RMDS, on RMDS frequencies? Would Ham be limited to 50 watts on these channels?

I mean GMRS Still a newbee

I’ve seen them listed but haven’t tried one, and we haven’t really discussed it much with Midland, so I have no opinion on them at this time. It looks interesting, though.

We’re looking into getting a GMRS tuned version of the Tram 1486 and hope to have it available soon.

As far as hams operating on the GMRS, it’s like using any other radio service in the US. If you are licensed for that service, you can use it according to the rules of the service. A licensed ham would also need to be licensed for the GMRS to use that service legally. If the service has technical requirements, the operator must follow them. So if a ham operator is on the GMRS, that operator should be using equipment that is type accepted for that service and is operating within the power limits of that service.

I know that some hams don’t abide by this, and I’m not here to judge them. That’s between them and the FCC. I’m just stating the rules.

Thanks again Rick. I’ll be watching for the antenna

I hope I am allowed to reply to this.
I mostly use Belden 9913 or LMR 400 coax, it is low loss.
The Diamond V2000 antenna will work on GMRS frequencies, is very efficient, I would try to get it up at least 40’ off the ground, and hopefully your home is located in a good place for radio.
A flower has to bloom where it is planted.
I bought a Diamond Discone Antenna off the local two way radio shop.
Using an electrically half wave section of coax - actually 10 wavelengths long, I was able to obtain a 1:1 match from 450 - 470 Mhz.
I know we are not allowed to post manufacturers or links, so Im going to try to not get in trouble here. I basically extended the whip portion to resonance for 144 - 148 mhz, and I pruned the radials along the bottom until I found a sweet spot where the SWR was very flat on UHF frequencies. It offers no gain, but unless the antenna is stacked all you will get from a vertical antenna is Unity Gain anyways…
Hope this helps your cause…

Any SWR less than 2:1 is totally acceptable for modern day radios.