Passed my tech exam tonight. Now, suggestions on first rig?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Petra, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Petra

    Petra

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    I took the tech exam tonight along with about 20 other people. Passed without a problem. Now I just have to wait a week or 2 for my call sign, and a month or 2 to save up for my first rig.

    I'm looking for a 2m/70cm mobile radio. So far I believe it will be either the Yaesu 7800R or 8800R. As far as I can tell, the main difference between the 2 is the 8800 has cross band repeat ability and costs more. I think I would like that capability for future use with an HT. Suggestions are appreciated.

    Also, any idea on how to mount one in a 2000 model Ford F150? I can't seem to find a space where one will fit. Also considering putting in a CB radio. My wife has stated she has no interest in getting a ham license. I plan on putting a CB into her Jeep so we can keep in touch if we ever end up taking both vehicles on a trip. Some of the places we go do not have cell phone service.

    Mark
     
  2. G23Adam

    G23Adam .- -.. .- --

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    before you set yourself on the 8800, look at the Kenwood D700A, has a built in TNC and APRS software, also does full digipeter and crossband repeat.

    My first radio was a Yaesu 1500M, and It's now my backup 2 meter/APRS rig. You can find these on Ebay for $50 or so, and it puts out 50 watts, so it makes a great little radio for repeater operation.

    As far as an HT, don't buy one as your first radio unless you spend some dough and get a 5 watt and get yourself some sort of external antenna for it.

    I'd suggest building yourself a 1/4 wave ground plane ($5, for the SO239 header) or a Jpole. Get with a local club so they can help you with an antenna analyzer so you can get it tuned and stuff.


    Ok, the problem with Yaesu. It costs a LOT of money to computer program your radio. I have close to $150 in cables and software to program their stuff.

    That said, They do make good radios, and it's worth it.
    I do have a Kenwood in the truck though, it's a much more better radio for the money.
     

  3. FN64

    FN64

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    Well done Petra!! and welcome the the hobby!!

    Both rigs you mention are great radios so it's a matter of your own preference. The cross band feature is nice if you're in an area where you can hear a repeater on your HT but can't reach it.
    Heres a few links for ya to check out..

    Watch for your callsign to show up here:
    http://www.qrz.com/new_hams.html

    Locate repeaters in your area:
    http://www.artscipub.com/repeaters/
    http://www.usrepeaters.com/

    Finding a good mounting location is always tough.. especially since you're adding a CB to the mix. Some folks put them under the console & others put them on top. I'd be cautious of an "on top of the dash" mount since it will be in direct sunlight. I've done this before & even here in Maine the rig gets real hot just from the sun!!
    Also consider an "easy to remove" setup. You might want to hook the rig up in the house with a power supply & battery.
    You'll need to consider power.. Run the leads directly to the battery by the shortest route & stay away from ignition & alternator wiring.
    Look into the consoles that mount over the center "hump". Even with a stick shift there are models that fit to the front & under the dash.
    So there's a few things to consider.. set there & look around I'm sure you'll find a place.
    Again, Big congrats & enjoy the hobby.

    FN
     
  4. G23Adam

    G23Adam .- -.. .- --

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    After using amateur radio, CB is a joke. I had a Cobra 18 mounted in my dash at one time, it's now wired up with a mag antenna and cigar plug to throw in the truck when offroading.
     
  5. FN64

    FN64

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    I've been into ham for ~~ 15 yrs but still keep the CB in the shack. It's amazing what you can learn about what's going on in the area by just listening to the kids that's "cruising".

    Same holds true for FRS as well... People tend to think they have a "secret channel" or something.. I'm willing to let em keep on thinking that way.

    Listen, learn & plan accordingly.

    FN
     
  6. ryanm

    ryanm

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    I've been happy with my yaesu ft8900 for several years now. I don't need the extra 220 and 50Mhz bands... so an 8800 would work out fine for me. Good audio quality. The menus leave something to be desired, though.

    Congrats.
    N5QZ