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Excellent field comms link: The Powerport Store

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by G29Reload, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    Sep 28, 2009
    http://www.powerportstore.com/WorldPack II AR.htm

    I found this as part of my HAM interest and wanting to go mobile.

    Discussion here lately of field comms had me re-researching the Yaesu 857D, which is a 100w HF transmitter for those with a HAM license. General Class gets you 10-160 meters, a Technicians license gets you 220, 440, 2 meter VHF, 6 and some 10 meters.

    Yaesu's 817 is a neat little radio, but I agree with comments that the limit on wattage and only QRP (low power operations) can really restrict your ability to get out and under bad conditions, you need all the horsepower you can get.

    I had previously deferred on the Icom 7000, which is a real cadillac but has
    -reported overheating problems
    -reported problems with the stock mike, which requires a hack or replacement with an aftermarket
    -voltage sensitivity issues, if you're mobile it better be in a car with the engine running for full alternator boost.
    -about 400 bucks more.

    It does have a digital voice recorder, a flock of HF fans who have had better luck and a color scope which could be real helpful.

    Both units would require a tuner.

    Both draw about 22amps at full tilt.

    Using the formula 80-10-10, or:

    80% squelched listening for distant stations
    10% receiving audio (distant station breaking squelch and driving the speaker)
    10% transmit

    ...and matching up with the specs Yaesu posted, with a presumed transmit power at 20%, or 20 watts, (4x the limit on the 817, but not full 100w to conserve battery), using an 8ah battery as in this Worldpack II, I figured approximately 14hours usage, or 3-4 hours per night for 3-4 nights. This should at least help you get a handle on things during an initial bug out.

    This would be great for regular use in the Gulf Coast during hurricane bug outs where you might have to travel several hundred miles and could meet on pre-arranged frequencies, though that also presumes you're in a car at which point power is not an issue.

    Camped out somewhere, or on foot in more difficult circumstances this could be real helpful and reduces some SERIOUS comms capacity...to grab and go.

    For an 8ah batt at 12v, we're looking at 96 watts total power.

    The site has foldover portable solar kits that could recharge the battery in a day at 8 hours of sun at 12w of power.

    Ultimately, I'd like to get the worldpack II, 8ah battery option, the solar recharger and maybe a wire dipole. Weight is a factor here and the 857 does come in at 4.5 lbs. It does require a tuner which is another pound or two.

    For power-efficient 20M, on USB, you might take a 5m wire you can throw over a tree branch. Theres a quarter wave.

    With a noisy vertical like my MP1 SuperAntenna, I've gone 1500 miles on 20m USB using only 10 watts ERP, from N. Virginia to Boca Raton, FL. I've also hit NE and LA. That's a $100 clamp on antenna!

    It does VHF and also wideband receive, aircraft, some low VHF and AM,FM broadcast and VHF (NOAA ) weather band:

    http://universal-radio.com/catalog/hamhf/1857.html

    The reviews on eham.net are all stellar. Very popular radio and broad user base.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  2. garyo

    garyo Millennium Member

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    Dec 29, 1998
    NC USA
    Very good report. I have thought about getting an 857 for a while now. Maybe someday.
     


  3. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    Everyone should check out the site.

    More than just HAM radio /field kits.

    Multi tools
    Portable power supplies
    Solar power kits
    GPS
    Portable lighting
    First Aid Kits
    ...etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  4. Lone Kimono

    Lone Kimono

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    1
    Jul 15, 2009
    G29Reload, I read your post, but since I'm new to HAM I'm not sure which antenna you were planning on using with the 857.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  5. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    Its looking wire dipole for a field pack...weight concerns...space, etc.
     
  6. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    Question for storage battery experts:

    At what point of discharge will voltage on a 12v (full charge usually around 13.6) drop below 11.5v?

    That's the point at which the radio would cut out. Conventional math calcs are really rule of thumb, batteries tend to have a mind of their own and the discharge is never straight line - linear, but over some algorithm that usually accelerates the closer to the end you are.

    There seems to be a floor, you never get the full capacity, so at what point does it need a recharge? 20%?
     
  7. Aceman

    Aceman

    6,984
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    Nov 30, 2008
    Tampa
    Clearly focussed on Radio, but definitely other stuff. Other stuff is a bit pricey for what it is...
     
  8. I just passed my Technicians llicense yesterday, now I have to start learning about this stuff. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  9. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    Well, welcome to the fray.

    This is the ticket here...all your tech privileges and room to grow.

    I had my tech license for exactly two months before I couldnt take it anymore and upgraded to General.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  10. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    Using 100w SSB (20m USB) I was able to make contacts in

    Spokane, WA 2459mi
    Meno, OK 1300Mi
    Cuervo, TX 1525Mi
    Puerto Rico 2000?mi
    Baton Rouge, LA 1100mi

    All from N. VA about 1/2hr west of Dulles Airport.

    Handmade, wire dipole antenna, strung up from a tree in the backyard. Sitting out on the back porch, in a mobile like setting.
    Anyone really interested in solving WTF!???? when you see that proverbial mushroom cloud in the distance, and all the infrastructure comms are eating a s#$% sandwich,
    HAM is what gets it done. Get outside your immediate AO and find out from like minded people. HAMS are the most S&P bunch I know.

    My current main battlewagon: ICOM 746Pro:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  11. Kadetklapp

    Kadetklapp Methberry PD

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    Jan 2, 2007
    Very nice. I'm a tech that's stuck on 2 meters currently. No time to take a class for an upgrade in the foreseeable future.

    Love those HF rigs though.
     
  12. ryanm

    ryanm

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    Central Arkansas
    746Pro is a great radio. I'm very happy with my Yaesu FT-1000. I've got to get a wire antenna thrown up.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  13. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    I am thinking of updating the 746Pro with something newer. Its a hair puller. So hard to find the right rig.
     
  14. RED64CJ5

    RED64CJ5

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    Jul 7, 2003
    I really would have a hard time justifying that upgrade if I were in your shoes. I think the 746Pro is a great radio. Many friends of mine have them and I've often thought about buying one.

    Regarding the backpack power setup link, I really would recommend spending a lot of time investigating archives of the HF-pack group. HF-Pack is an organization with lots of people who do portable/backpack type comms on a regular basis.
     
  15. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    That's how I found the powerport store. I'm a member of hf pack but havent been on in awhile.

    Found out how cool QRP can be when I went 1500 miles on 20m using only 10w, hitting Boca Raton from N. VA.

    If SHTF I want to be able to communicate somewhere besides down the block.
     
  16. ryanm

    ryanm

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    Central Arkansas
    If I were to buy right now, I'd either want an FT-2000 or FT-950 depending on my budget at the time.
     
  17. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    Was looking at the 950 last night on Universal. eham reviews give it a 4.7 out of 5. 1300 bucks i think.
     
  18. ryanm

    ryanm

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    Central Arkansas
    Yep. The 950 seems like the 2000s little brother. No 2nd VFO display, but you can still use Yaesu's DMU unit on it (external screen!) interface to get all sorts of additional info from the radio and enhanced displays.
    I'd like to have the 950 to complement my 1000. I'm not sure I could get rid of it, though.
     
  19. RED64CJ5

    RED64CJ5

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    If you think QRP is cool, you need to try satellites. On a daily basis I can make contacts 1500+ miles away using a one watt radio and on an FM repeater in the sky. It is not very practical in SHTF but for QRP it's a lot of fun.
     
  20. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    Special equipment or just plug in a frequency and an offset?