Wideband Antennas – S11 Measurements

This is my collection of SWR measurements of various antennas I've bought, partially just to keep them somewhere I can find them.

This article will likely be updated as I acquire new antennas to test.

Table of Contents

This set of measurements was performed on a nanoVNA V2 using a minimal ground plane to simulate a hand held device. I decided to touch the ground plane to extend it for some antennas, since they performed significantly better this way.

My goal is to determine optimal antennas to use for a combination of fixed install and portable use, to cover the range of 433, 868, GPS L1, and 2.4 GHz.

Additionally, I am interested in VHF/UHF antennas to cover ideally 100-500 MHz, preferably continuously.

5G/IoT Antennas


The Taoglas Apex IV is the only choice if you need 433 MHz, and it's competent otherwise.

The Pulse W5084K is probably the best over all portable antenna in this category, with better than 2:1 SWR across the board.

The 2J "Dagger" is also a good option given the performance to size ratio.

For fixed install the Laird TRA806/17103P is a really good option when given a bit of ground plane.

Taoglas TG.46.8113 Apex IV

This antenna is specified for 410-450 MHz as well as the usual ~700-6000 MHz range.

It performs with around 2:1 SWR in the 70 cm band when provided with a little ground plane, decent 868/915 MHz, and very nice GPS and Wi-Fi performance. It's pretty big.

Pulse W5084K

This is a similar antenna to the Taoglas above, but it lacks the 70 cm band. It's shaped like a lollipop!


The antenna looks messier, but has decent 868, GPS, and excellent Wi-Fi.

2J Antennas 2JW1483 "Dagger"

The only whip antenna in its class for the initial tests, this antenna looks really nice and feels pretty solid. It offers borderline 868 performance, decent GPS, and excellent Wi-Fi.

TE/Laird DBA6171C3-BSMAM

A smaller antenna than the two above, this antenna is not very good below 1 GHz. Usable for GPS and Wi-Fi, not particularly good at 868.

TE/Laird TRA806/17103P

This is a fixed install version of the NMO antenna, it's part of the "Phantom" series of dome-antennas commonly seem on public service vehicles. It's pretty heavy for the small size, and performs really well!

The test was performed with a hand on the ground plane, this dramatically improves 868 performance. My SWR plot looks quite similar to the datasheet one.

VHF/UHF Antennas

For VHF/UHF antennas we do have to consider that the minimal ground plane will affect the performance. Further, narrow-band antennas are prone to shifting their resonant frequency by quite a lot depending on installation.


The TCA VHF/UHF goosenecks are good choices, the VHF one does seem like it could be used at low power as a dual-band antenna.

The ANT.BROADBAND marked device is also acceptable for 2 m/70 cm operation.

TCA VHF & UHF Goosenecks

These gooseneck antennas can be found on AliExpress, they have a relatively thick whip section (~20 mm). They perform relatively well given their size, the VHF one can almost be used as a dual band antenna.

Triump PRC-152 Whip

This 33 cm long whip is the standard antenna for the TRI AN/PRC-152 as supplied in 2023.

It's not amazing, but it looks like an attempt at covering the intended range (136-174, 220, 420-440) was made.

Unknown, ANT.BROADBAND 90-512 MHz

This TNC antenna is marketed as being for the PRC-148. It's better than the Triump one above, having a more wide-band but poor match across most of the specified range.

20 cm long gooseneck

This gooseneck antenna has a 20 cm long fiber-glass whip section and is marketed for 144/430 MHz operation.

It's got relatively sharp match in the 150 MHz range, and a very broad-band match from around 300-470 MHz. Not the worst thing I've seen but poor on VHF.


This is a clone of a Harris manpack antenna, the typical blade one. I used the long blade folded over two times for a length of around 40 cm.

It has good matching across a wide range, but the second plot shows what it looks like without the blade attached at all, I'd wager the matching unit gets pretty warm.

Not sure if the real deal is much better though, these antennas are heavily compromised by design to cover such a wide range.

This article was updated on 2024-03-31T15:57:46+0200