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Reviews Categories | Antennas: VHF/UHF+ Omnidirectional: verticals, mobile, etc | Pryme RD-98 144/440 HT SMA Antenna Help

Reviews Summary for Pryme RD-98 144/440 HT SMA Antenna
Pryme RD-98 144/440 HT SMA Antenna Reviews: 36 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $27.99
Description: A wonder to behold, the RD-98 is a 17" dualband HT antenna that is only 1/16th of an inch in diameter. The antenna is made of extremely strong and very flexible material -- you can even tie it in a knot without hurting it! This combination of strength and gain (2.15 dBi on Two Meters and 3.2 dBi on 70 Centimeters) has made the RD-98 the favorite antenna of emergency service volunteers and portable packet operators everywhere. The antenna's BNC (or SMA) connector is even fitted with a black rubber guard to keep out moisture. <br>
Product is in production.
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AB7JK Rating: 2/5 Apr 7, 2006 09:04 Send this review to a friend
Not worth $25  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bear in mind I've only had this antenna 2 days. I've worked a few 440 repeaters easily using 5 watts from inside my house. Not so with 2 meters - have to go outside for the repeaters in my area. Not a good sign. The stock antenna works better on my radio. More money wasted on junk. I a sucker for junk - somebody shoot me!
N5RO Rating: 2/5 Mar 3, 2006 13:12 Send this review to a friend
Good except mechanically  Time owned: more than 12 months
These antennas, while they perform very well (better than their competitive copies), have to be reinforced with shrink tubing or whatever at the bottom of the flexible whip. I've had two of them break off where they come out of the plastic "base" and others have had the same problem. At about $25 each, this is an expensive lesson learned. The manufacturer should take note and incorporate some kind of flexible reinforcement at that point, which is presently a sharp bending point.
NE0P Rating: 1/5 Jan 13, 2006 09:12 Send this review to a friend
Rediculous  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had one of these given to me, which is about all they are worth. Ever try carrying an HT around with a 17 inch antenna on it. It is pretty tough and you look stupid using it. It also flaps around too much from being flimsy. Stick with the stock antenna so you don't look like a total dork.
K4III Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2006 07:27 Send this review to a friend
and 3 yrs later... 1000+days of use!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Still own my Pryme 98 antenna since my first posting on Mar 15, 2003 19:20.

It still works great! Even after daily use and S&R work at 5 hurricanes in the last 2 years throughout in Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It's always nice to have a backup in case you need to transmit on commercial band in a bad emergency or to simply scan multiple bands while on an incident.

The base of the antenna bent while at Hurricane Charley so I used some heat shrink on it to make it a stiffer bottom portion and the plastic tip broke off so I got a rubber cap and superglued it to the top and it looks great and still works great! The rubber heatshrink is beginning to get kinks and rips in it due to the excessive wear and tear I put it through. Already it has lasted over 3 portable radios. I am now ready to retire and move on to my VX-7r radio that is replacing my 3 year old VX-5r.

I may even decide it is time to replace the RD-98 also since it has more than "outlived" its lifetime. (Well a new radio doesn't look right with a beat-up antenna, right?)

KB3GJP Rating: 5/5 May 15, 2005 14:59 Send this review to a friend
KB3GJP  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I am a fan of Pryme HT antennas and hand mics. I have to say the RD-98 is great. I use the antennas on a Vx-2r. I have to say with only 1 watt on the VX-2r on 2 meters I do not come full quieting to all the local repeaters. With the antenna and 5 watts I come crystal clear to all the local repeaters.
N3KFD Rating: 4/5 Dec 23, 2004 20:29 Send this review to a friend
Very Good!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This antenna is solid, made very well and performs very well overall. It's a huge improvement over the stock dummy load that came with my Kenwood TH-D7A(G)! With the stock duck, 2 meters was useless and 70 cm was poor at best.

I bought this antenna after buying (and selling) several other antennas of comparable size and cost. I decided that I was willing to deal with the inconvenience of the extra size for the convenience of the extra gain that the RD-98SMA offers.

I tried a Comet SMA-24 antenna. The performance on 2 meters was better on the Comet however; the 70 cm performance was surprisingly very poor. While using the SMA-24 I also encountered the fading in and out of the repeaters from the extreme whipping movement that others have mentioned about this and other "thin whip" type antennas.

I tried a Diamond SRH-519 antenna. This antenna was a good performer for it's size on both bands but at half the size of the RD-98SMA, it was not nearly as good overall. This antenna, due to it's wire wound construction, after a short time bent at the base and eventually broke off. Not a very rugged built antenna. It was also the smallest and most expensive HT antenna I have owned.

I also tried a Diamond SRH-77CA antenna. The 2M performance was not as good as the RD-98SMA, but the 70CM performance was significantly better, probably the best 70 CM HT antenna of this size I have ever tried. This antenna did not have the fading problem of the other antennas and also was a lot stiffer and much less flexible as well. This antenna had more mass and size than I felt comfortable with on an SMA mount. At times, it would shake and nearly tip the HT over if you set it down quickly. Also, you can't just curl it up into a 3" loop and throw it into a Pelican case like the RD-98SMA.

The other antennas mentioned are marginally to significantly better on one band than the RD-98SMA but at the cost of being marginally to significantly worse on the other. The performance on the RD-98SMA is equal on both bands. If you operate only on one band, you should consider one of the other antennas mentioned. If you operate equally on both bands as I do, you should consider this antenna.

Yes, the antenna is a little bigger than I would like, has the same fading problems associated with this type of antenna, but the performance is well worth it on both bands. All things considered, this antenna is the best compromise of performance/size/price of all antennas mentioned in this review. It is also a good scanner antenna as well.

I gave this antenna a 4 because although I really like this antenna, and I am very happy with it, I really haven't found an HT antenna that I felt was truly excellent and deserving of a 5 yet. This one is the closest so far.

I highly recommend this antenna, it really has extended the range of my Kenwood TH-D7A(G).

Kevin, N3KFD
SANBORN_EX_AD9DX Rating: 4/5 Nov 14, 2004 22:46 Send this review to a friend
'Almost' a Diamond  Time owned: more than 12 months

I don't agree with the preceeding review at all with regard to the performance I'm getting from this antenna on my VX-2R.

The stock VX-2R antenna was little better than a dummy load on 2 meters whereas this did quite well, and on 440 this Pryme outclasses it by far into repeaters.

I needed an antenna which would work for both UHF repeaters and 2 meter simplex around town, and this works ~88% as well as the Diamond RH-77 as I also have one of those but in the BNC design which I was able to compare utilizing a BNC to SMA adapter.

I have a feeling the last reveiwer may have had a defective item.

I prefer the Diamond for overall performance, but not by much, and when considering the wimpiness of SMA connectors, this high-compliance 2m 1/4 - 70cm 3/4 wave is just what the Doctor ordered.
KC7KEU Rating: 1/5 Jan 25, 2004 18:35 Send this review to a friend
RD-98...Not for everyone  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Used the Pryme RD-98 for a little over one week, found no difference using the RD-98 than when I used the stock antenna for my Yaesu FT-50 HT. Attempted simplex and w/ repeaters, with no difference. In one case, I was mobile using 4 to 5 watts output, and no further than 15 miles from repeater with no obstructions...fellow Hams reported poor signal, had to switch to my trusty Maxrad magmount antenna, which defeated the purpose of upgrading from the yaesu FT-50 stock antenna.
KG4YUV Rating: 4/5 Dec 24, 2003 13:58 Send this review to a friend
Good but...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I'm a 14 yr old ham operator. I got my ticket March of '03. I began using a Kenwood TH-G71A HT for general rag chewing.

I wasn't satisfied with the stock antenna, so after seeing the RD-98SMA in the AES, I went and spent my $30 on it.

I no longer use my G71A, but the Pryme duck did a good job. I could hit most repeaters 70 miles away with loud audio on about 5 watts.

But now the bad part -- Remember how I said I no longer use my HT?

That's right, the RD-98 shook the SMA connector loose. I'm not putting full blame on the duck, it's shared between the rig and the duck:

#1: Duck too wobbly
#2: SMA conn. on talkie could have been reinforced.

But overall, I thought the RD-98 did great in TX and general RX.
VE3JXF Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2003 00:44 Send this review to a friend
Great Ant - buy it!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm really new to HAM but have yrs in marine vhf & electronics & really was looking to add to my skillset to go sailing in the caribbean, so, got the licences & bought a VX2 to hear what >30Mhz was like - well multiband the radio might be, but not with the ant that is provided! Instant difference with the RD98 - WWV @ 10Mhz is here in Toronto! I can hit the Club 2M repeater at 30 km (20 miles) with 1.5w - to me - incredible! I could barely 225 the weekly Net - Now 559 So performance amazing & its very well made - checked all the 10 units for sale at my fav store and all had roughly the same pin length ( a concern in other postings) - it firmly connects with my radio's SMA conn - but pin length is shorter than the VX2 supplied! ant. - its 4x the size of the HT supplied duck - so if the fung shui isn't important - buy one - its great! Apparently length is important!!!
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