The Baofeng UV-5X3 is a Tri-band radio offering operation on 2m,1.25m, and 70cm bands. Most popular portable radios are on 2m and 70cm because its easier to manufacture a radio that performs well on these bands. 1.25m however makes things a bit harder to do. Specifically it is difficult to make an antenna that is resonant on all three bands. The UV-5X3 gets around this by giving a dual band antenna for use on 2m and 70cm and an additional antenna for 1.25m. Right now it seems that there is a lot of hype surrounding the Nagoya brand antennas and Nagoya offers a tri-bander, the NA-320A. I decided to order a UV-5X3 and the Nagoya NA-320A to see if I could get a radio that does better on 1.25m than my old Yaesu VX-7R. This
Here (See below) is a screen shot of the Dual band (2m/70cm) antenna that comes with the UV-5X3. As you can see its not too bad. The UHF portion is tuned to a lower frequency and the VHF side is still a little high in VSWR to call great but as far as cheap rubber duckies go I think this is expected results and usable. The UHF is getting rather poor when you start operating in the repeater portion of the band but it looks like the antenna is longer than it should be. A trim might improve this.
Below you will see a screenshot of the 1.25m antenna. Marker 2 is about where you will be operating for this band. As you can see the antenna is tuned for a little bit lower than this. I was able to trim off about 1.25 inches from this antenna which put 223Mhz right in the sweet spot.
Here (See below) is a Picture of the Nagoya NA-320A. They managed to get the VSWR lowest in all the right places. At first look its a great trace for a portable antenna. Then you notice that almost the entire trace is above 3:1! what?! I spent some time looking for specs for this antenna but couldn’t find any. My guess is that its for a reason. I would not recommend this antenna based on this and the fact that its a rather large antenna. My guess is that most people will see a gain in receive signal and call it good but the TX will suffer and they have no way of knowing. Tools like this Anristu LMR master don’t come cheap so many Amateur Radio operators have little to go by other than on the air reports.