I have run Yaesu gear for years (FT-5200, 8500, 90, even a FT-900 for HF). Mine have all been dual banders as we have a fairly good selection of repeaters on both bands here in the SF Bay Area.
The one thing all these guys are doing is cutting off their service support earlier and earlier. Radio gets about 8 years old and the factory will no longer repair them. So you're left to your own devices.
I have gound a whole culture buying dead radios on e-bay so I've been selling off the dead ones.
I've been watching Ebay since I got my ticket and it irritates the hell outa me, why do those idiots bid used radios up to new retail prices? I can't understand what some of the junk goes for, used 2 meter radios with known problems going for $100 or better is just stupid unless I'm missing something.
Speaking of used. Out at field day I was talking to a couple older hams about wanting to get into HF and things were going great till I mentioned I wanted to find an older radio to get started with, one of the guys looked at me like I'd insulted his mother and the conversation pretty much ended there.
I take it there's a segment of hamdom that doesn't grasp budgets.
Yeah and then there's reality! I can justify dropping $400 on a used HF transciever not $10k-$14k for a cadillac rig. I am not a contester and have no interest in contesting. I think it's pretty cool to push 100w up a vertical and talk to far away places.
Much like the Jeep hobby...I am quite happy with my YJ and the things I've done to it. Just heard from a buddy who plunked down $30k on a new Sahara Limited. He wanted to go for a ride but oh by the way no scratches! Me thinks we need to play a game of follow the leader and break that new toy in!
Checked the tracking number and they arrived at the Spokane terminal this morning, since I had the day off i ran down to see if I could pick em up early but they said no.
Oh well, I still need to cut down a couple antennas.
Speaking of antennas, anybody look into rf field strength in a jeep running any kind of power?
Can't get the antennas very far away and there's no sheilding in the Jeep.
It's a Power-One 1500 watt switching power supply.
It's got 2 12 volt 65amp feeds.
I had to wire up a new cord but everything tests out good, ran a couple old CBs on it to test and they both sound clear, no noise from the power supply.
I know it's overkill but it was cheep.
Our radios came in, unfortunately one had a bad mic and we had to send it back.
While we're waiting for the new mic I needed an antenna to use for testing and programming. We have 2 business radio shops in town but no CB or ham shops, I ran by the first radio shop and asked if they had any antennas for the 2 meter ham band? the guy behind the counter said "nope, we just do vhf" Me
umm, dude, 2 meters is vhf.
Him wow really? well we don't do any of that ham stuff, we just handle stuff from 136 to 174.
Me umm, ham is 144 to 148 so umm ya, that's kind right in the middle there right
About this time I notice a couple antennas on the wall labeled marine band so walk over and grab one of the packages to check freqs, sure enough it's exactly what I'm looking for. Well, almost, it's a stainless whip with an nmo mount, didn't really want an nmo mount but ohwell, I ask him if he's got the stuff I need to fit it to my mount on the Jeep and how much would it be?
Yep, he's got it but he can't tell me how much until he rings it all up.
Good grief, I'm a high school dropout and I can do simple math like that in my head, this idiot has a degree in radio communications, I think he should be driving the truck and I'll go install radios.
Anyway, he gets it all rung up and it comes to over $70 for a simple stainless whip and some coax, he gave me a funny look when I started laughing and said no thanks.
Just for giggles I ran by the other shop, I walked in the door and asked the nice older gentleman behind the display case full of vhf radios if he had an antenna that would work in the vhf band between 144 and 148mhz? I figured I'd learned me an important lesson, don't mention "ham" it just confuses em.
Him "nope, we don't do any of that vhf stuff" ooof
I thanked him and just left, I expected the theme to the Twilight Zone would start any time.
Anyway, we whipped up a roll up J pole, I wasn't real impressed with what we got out of it or with the power limitations so I figured we needed something a little more substantial at casa Hobbs. I looked around teh interwebs and found plans for a copper tubing SlimJim. http://www.hamuniverse.com/2metercopperslimjim.html
With notes in hand I hopped in the ole Heep and boogied on down to the hardware store and picked up just under $20 worth of copper tubing and fittings. Came home and within an hour I had all the parts ready to go together and scavenged up a piece of coax from another project to hook it up.
I got it all assembled and started testing and tuning, I just could get a decent SWR reading on this thing, it was driving me nuts because no matter how i adjusted lengths SWR just kept jumping all over the place. then i remembered something. You have to keep a Slim Jim at least one wave length away from anything conductive and I had been leaning it up against the outside of the kitchen wall with the stove and fridge right on the other side
I moved it out to the middle of the porch and used my sons plastic bball hoop to prop it up and SWR dropped right where it was supposed to be.
I haven't got much to compare it too but I already found several repeaters i didn't know were there before.
FT-2800 is a good rig. I ran one mobile quite a while, them mounted in the shack for scanning local repeaters when I put the FT-897 in the truck. Just got into jeeps, so I might go IC-7000 or FT-857 now.
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