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Thread: Thoughts on licensing (by a novice)

              
   
   
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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronZR2 View Post
    That's a lot of licenses. They went from CFQ to QIX in just a couple years

    Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk
    Aaron, I meant to comment earlier, but all these guys getting their licenses, radios, etc, sort of overshadowed everything. As it should. Yes, you noticed just how many new licensees are popping up! I thought the KF7 series went fast, but KG7 is going even faster. I know there are all sorts of reasons people become licensed, but it seems like the number of guys who want to make a hobby out of it are taking a back seat to those more interested in emergency communications. Any reason is fine by me because the more ears listening means my chances of successfully reporting an emergency are that much better.

    When I got into ham radio my reasons were strictly for emergency communications. But, after setting up a simple 2m antenna on the deck and using the dining room table for testing mobile radios during and after programming I sort of drifted into a more permanent station that ended up on a shelf on the corner of my desk where it still sits today. And I still use the same mobile radios, both in the truck and in the "shack", but some of the other gear in the house has grown bit by bit. I am not a big-time ham operator by a long shot, and my roots are still in emergency communications, but I have to admit that since buying my first radio that I have become interested to the point where I can now call it a hobby. Maybe some of he new guys will do the same?

    KH7 is reserved for Hawaii and the South Sea Islands, but just wait until the KI7 series comes along. I'll bet it will grow even faster!
    Last edited by Jerry; 03-20-2015 at 10:35. Reason: Clarity
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

  2. #32
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    As time and money allow, I'd like it to be more of a hobby. Other priorities right now though. I'd really like to start playing with digital modes.

    Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by lost in the woods View Post
    Jerry
    Is there an all band radio that can also act as a repeater. I am sure there is one, I just haven't found it yet. One of the things I like about the FT-8900R is the ability to use it as a repeater, but having an all band radio would be nice.
    Eric,
    When you first asked this question I was not aware of an all-band, all-mode (HF-VHF-UHF) radio with cross-band capability. But, just an hour ago I learned that there is one. Sorry I didn't know before now.

    It is the Kenwood TS2000. The TS2000 is a base station of smaller dimentions and it's physical size allows for mobile use as well, but only if you have a full size vehicle. There is no removable face plate, so you would need to mount the entire package together. Anyway, the radio will cross band from HF to VHF and UHF, UHF to VHF, etc, backwards, forewards and sideways. The TS2000 has very good reviews at eHam.com, not as good as the expensive contest base stations, but better than many of the other low to mid level base stations and certainly above par for other all-band, all-mode radios. Together with cross-band the radio has other neat features that you might like. Google the Kenwood TS2000 and check it out.
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

  4. #34
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    Thanks for the info Jerry. It may be tempting down the road as it dose have some nice features. It's a little big for where I would like to install it. Although having every thing in one radio, would make up for the size. There is a mobile display kit for it, but it cuts things down to the bare minimum.

    I have been doing some research since the last time we discussed thing's. As you know I was originally looking at the Yaesu FT-8900. I am now thinking of the FT-8800, mainly due to the antenna's. The two antenna's for the FT-8900 get mixed reviews. I seams that allot of the reviews are complaining about the longevity of them. Due to them being top heavy, the base has a tendency to fail after a year or two. My concern is how long would the antenna last being on logging roads five to six days a week. With the FT-8800 there is a whole lot more choices for antenna's. I am still trying to decided. I do like the FT-8900, but at $100 for either of the antenna's, it could get expensive if I have to replace them once a year.
    Eric, KG7SEJ
    I have never been lost, but I was bewildered once for three days. -Daniel Boone

  5. #35
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    Personally, and this is just me, but under most circumstances I would seldom use 6m and 10m mobile, and when I did I would probably choose SSB over FM. Unfortunately the FT-8900 is not capable of SSB. And unless there was a local 6-m repeater I would probably not use that band except for when a local person wanted to meet on 6m. Every Thursday night we have a 6-Meter FM Simplex net here in the Yakima Valley that I quite enjoy, but we are using base station radios and antennas and most of us are within 30 miles of each other allowing for mostly good conditions. We do have a couple of guys who have a difficult time receiving a signal, but for the most part we make do. Otherwise I don't have the patience to wait for the 6-Meter band to open.

    As you have already recognized, "then there is the antenna"...or more than one antenna. That didn't take you long to discover! No matter how diligent I am about removing antennas before going into a bushy overhang I will sooner or later forget or just say the heck with it and drive on through. If you have a dual-band FT-8800 or equivalent and use a Larsen NMO2/70B (dual-band), the one made of wire and an open coil, you will be amazed at what twisted configurations that antenna assumes when it comes out of the brush! And like a coat hanger you can usually bend it back into shape with no or few noticeable kinks. I wish they made fiberglass, outside wound dual-band antennas similar to cb antennas, but I have never seen one. Firestik makes a fiberglass, outside wound 2m, single band model, but other than that one I have not found a decent ham antenna for the backroads. You can use springs to allow for a little extra give, and Larsen makes a really neat little dual-band spring mounted antenna, the NMO2/70SH that takes a pretty good beating. My Son-In-Law has one hard mounted on the roof of his off-road rig and he says it holds up pretty well. And of course there are other manufactures besides Larsen. The key is to keep the antenna design as simple as possible, fewer things to snag, to say nothing of the cost.
    Last edited by Jerry; 04-16-2015 at 03:17.
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

  6. #36
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    Hey, Eric, how goes the decision making process?
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Hey, Eric, how goes the decision making process?
    I think I've decided on the FT-8800 along with the Larsen NMO2/70B antenna. Now I just need the funds.
    Eric, KG7SEJ
    I have never been lost, but I was bewildered once for three days. -Daniel Boone

  8. #38
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    I wouldn't want to steer anyone into a bad deal, but I've had good luck with second hand radios, tuners, etc. If you are of the mind to take your chances with a used radio check out the following sites as well as your local classifieds:

    http://forums.qrz.com/forumdisplay.p...-Gear-For-Sale
    http://swap.qth.com/
    http://www.eham.net/classifieds/

    Beware of high prices and compare the used price with new prices at http://www.gigaparts.com/ Also, most items over $100 are usually freight free from most new suppliers so factor that into the used price as well. Don't be too critical of some of these guys. Many of them bought their radios at full list price and are now unknowingly selling them used at a price higher than GigaParts' discounted new price. I sometimes think old age and innocent, yet ignorant friends giving a helping hand figure into unrealistic prices.

    PS I believe GigaParts to be the lowest price supplier and the best company for price comparison.
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

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