12 July 2018

My Nagoya UT-106 review

I needed a small VHF-UHF antenna for mobile operation. I use mostly UHF, so I picked one of the cheapest antennas on the Bay with the idea of using the connector, coax, magmount while cutting the antenna to a simple 430 MHz 1/4 wave vertical.

I ordered a Nagoya UT-106.

In the past I owned a similar dualband antenna, but with just one coil, so I can do comparisons. The very first impression is that the base is too small. The  UT-106 base is as large as 2€ coin and purely circular, while the older was slightly larger and had three small protruding feet that helped stability.

A smaller base means a smaller metallic area that couples with the car body (reflector or ground plane). Also the antenna oscillation is more likely to snap everything off the car in a bump or just at highway speed.

So I tried the magnet on pure iron. Weak. Too weak. Wobbling the antenna radiator caused the whole base to jump back and forth. I will not mount this antenna on my new-ish car and drive around!

As last check I tried to lift the bottom cover that is not made of rubber. It was not hard at all as it pulled off with my thumb and no force whatsoever. The result is visible in the picture below. Horror! The magnet is sticked to the paper base and not to the conic shape! So the antenna could fly away and leave you with a black sticky paper magnetically attached to your car! Actually there are sign of glue on the base side, but the adhesive paper won!

With all these "bugs" I will not even try it on-the-air.

I know the old say "you get what you pay for". I was prepared to do some improvements, but this is probably too much to fix.

My review: don't buy it.