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View Full Version : So I am finally ready to go for it........


RockRunner
12-22-2009, 09:04 AM
I have been reading the book and taking the online tests and am feeling pretty comfortable.

I have a few questions for all you pros out there.

I want a system that has the detachable face so I can mount it in the 4Runner and take it out when needed. What models do you suggest (med budget used is fine)

Is there a long enough cable that goes between the radio and face plate so that I can leave the system in my 4Runner on the trailer and bring the faceplate into my tow rig? Kinda like double duty.

If not what is a fair HT to buy just to communicate while driving to our wheeling spots?

Money is an object in this exercise since i will only be using them on club events.:(

Lastly if any of you are wanting to upgrade to a newer system and have what I am looking for please let me know.

Merry Christmas Tom

Red_Chili
12-22-2009, 09:15 AM
I have a Yaesu FT-7800. The faceplate is detachable, and they sell a $pecial kit designed to relieve the pressure in your butt from that wallet. No way. So the first option I used was a cable off of Fleabay. For the faceplate mount, I actually ordered a replacement part front faceplate for the radio rather than the $pecial part for remote mounting... thinking that, heck, all I need is something to hold the faceplate, and the radio front does that. It was a good idea, I just modified it and put a 1/4" screw mount on it for a RAM mount mini ball mount on my dash. I think it cost $3-4 or so, shipped. The radio is under the driver's seat. The 1/4" ball mount is pretty cool but after a while the rubber ball squishes; I may convert to a larger ball or something else.

Then I ended up damaging the Fleabay cable. I got a female to female telephone adapter and a regular 6-conductor telephone extension cable, and used the short cable the radio came with, then the adapter, then the telephone cable. Much cheaper and easier. The function of the short stock cable is to reverse a couple of the pins. Simple deal, that is the way you should go. Cheep and you can put it back pretty far if you like.

I am working at home until 3 today if you want to come by and see it. Call me if so. I may be free after 6 too.

FJBRADY
12-22-2009, 09:21 AM
I am in the same boat as Tom. I am preparing to take the test and I have two rigs.

My thought:

Can I buy one Ham unit, two mounting brackets, two power supplies, two antenna's and simply transfer the Ham unit back and forth between the two vehicles?

Please advise.

DaveInDenver
12-22-2009, 09:29 AM
FWIW, Yaesu tech support and parts can be reached at (714) 827-7600.

MDH33
12-22-2009, 09:36 AM
I am in the same boat as Tom. I am preparing to take the test and I have two rigs.

My thought:

Can I buy one Ham unit, two mounting brackets, two power supplies, two antenna's and simply transfer the Ham unit back and forth between the two vehicles?

Please advise.

Easier to just buy two cheap radios. :)

Romer
12-22-2009, 09:45 AM
It's fairly simple to move any radio as long as you have duplicate cabling and antennas in place.

Probably want to buy a second mounting bracket. Then undo the two screws that hold the radio to the Mounting bracket, disconnect and move

Hand helds work much better than CBs if you would only use it in that vehicle while wheeling with buddies. They don't have the power and range of mobil units.

So, If most of the times your in your other vehicle you will be on a club run, the handheld will work fine. You can always swap like I mentioned above when driving long distances

On the way to Moab is the Colorado Repeater System, which makes driving along I-70 pretty good with a handheld, but still not as good as with a Mobile Unit

I have both Mobile and HT units as the HT provides another option when you are hiking or walking around camp, etc.

wesintl
12-22-2009, 09:49 AM
moving a radio is a pita. Also I don't like the hand helds for trail use. It's nice to get out of the rig and take it with you. It's just an all around PITA to use a hand held for mobile use.I have an 8r I use primarly in my wife's 80 for trail runs and even she hates it. She wants a mobile installed. I'd buy one mobile radio for one rig you use the most then watch craigslist or other online forums and get a cheap 2nd mobile for the other rig. you can get 2 1900's for the cost of of 1 7900 but you won't get some of the other features like detachable faceplate or dual band.

That and you could start off with 2 single band. If you want to move up later you can probably get 100 bucks or more for 130 radio.

Mendocino
12-22-2009, 10:09 AM
I bought a THF6a (http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/0066.html) (HT) before getting an 857d (http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamhf/1857.html) (mobile). for the HT I added an external antenna (SBB-7 (http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamantm/3908.html)) and an external mic. This worked well because I had gain on the external antenna and a mic and could take the HT out and walk around with it if I attached the rubber duck antenna.

I do have an external power supply, antenna tuner, cabling, and antenna to make the 857d a base station. By doing this I can just pull it out of the 40, and attach it to the power supply. This is the same set up Groucho has.

nakman
12-22-2009, 10:48 AM
That is awesome you guys are getting into this! you're going to wonder why you waited so long... A good antenna and good ground plane is key- really consider that, and don't be afraid to experiment with a couple. The worst place to mount a 2m antenna is probably your back bumper, second worse your front bumper. Next best would be lip mount on the hatch or hood, absolute best is smack dab in the center of a steel roof. This can all vary depending on your truck and whatever stuff you get, but I think is a pretty good general rule.

here's my HT vs. mobile rig rant: It all works (HT's & mobile rigs) good on the trail when you're within CB range. It will all hit the 145.145 repeater from your house... the real difference is can you catch the Colorado Connection on the Glenwood repeater from Parachute, or can you catch the guys on Steelbender from Metal Masher, or heck can you talk from Highlands Ranch to Broomfield, or do you want to talk to folks as they drive in to Stevenson before meetings, etc. You'll quickly learn the difference between HT's with mag mounts, compared to mobile rigs.

HT's, IMNSHO, are cute & fun for around camp, hikes, and out spotting on a trail. They are not good in the truck on the highway, and even worse on the trail- by the time you add an external antenna, hand mic, speaker.. man you've way surpassed the cost of a quality mobile rig that would still out-perform your clugy assortment of HT accessories. If I were to do it again I'd get a VX-3r handheld.. it's all the HT you really need. Just like there are the "bad" CB's on runs, there are now the "bad" Ham rigs- the ones that are quiet, scratchy, not readable. Those tend to be the HT's.. Then there are the ones that are crystal clear, CD-quality "full quieting." Those are the well set up mobile rigs. My favorite example of this is Ms. K0IGE, her rig works excellent and did not cost a lot-

FT-7800 is a great radio. FT-8800 is even better, IMHO... both detachable face plates. I think we've about beat the dual band debate to death so I will instead just invite you to search here and read through the discussions. I'll also invite either of you guys to sit in one of my trucks and play with the 8800, even compare to someone else's 7800. Tom you could conceivably do a 8800 in your 4Runner set to cross band repeat, then use an HT in the tow rig- giving you the portability of the HT and the range of the mobile? but that would get annoying as you'd have to pull over every time you wanted to change channels. Better to just put a cheap mobile rig (2800) in the tow rig.

And I will also agree it would be lame to try to swap radios between trucks. If budget is tight, get 2 $150 rigs instead of 1 $300 rig. Do a homebrew antenna if you want to save some there.


edit: wow, you can get a brand new 2800 for $120 http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/fm_txvrs/2800.html

Hulk
12-22-2009, 12:14 PM
Tom and Steve,

You're welcome to try out my 7800 radio when you're ready to compare it to Nakman's 8800. It works really well but lacks one nice feature (the ability to monitor 2 freq. at the same time). It's a nice feature, but if I had to do it again, I'd probably still go for the cheaper 7800. It's plenty of radio for everything I do. The only reason I purchased it over the 2800 was for the remote faceplate.

Moving the faceplate is easy. Depending on where you mount the radio itself, moving that could be a real PITA. Many of us have mounted it in a remote, protected location that keeps it clean and out-of-sight. I would buy another entire radio before moving the big assembly out of its secure location.

Could you get a long enough set of cables to temporarily mount the head unit in your tow rig with the cable running all the way back to the actual radio in your wheelin' rig? Probably. The only consideration would be that you might drain the battery in your wheelin' rig, since it would be powering the radio. Ham radios do draw a good bit of current, esp. when broadcasting.

60wag
12-22-2009, 12:30 PM
I've been questioning the need for dual band at all. The club never uses the 440 uhf band at all. It seems like all the traffic you want to hear is in the 2m band. I haven't shopped for a radio lately but if you can find a removeable face plate on a single band unit for a good price, that'd be my pick. BTW I run a 7800 also.

nakman
12-22-2009, 12:38 PM
I've been questioning the need for dual band at all. The club never uses the 440 uhf band at all.

Those are separate deals- in fact I have only transmitted once on 440, and that was just to say I did it. On my radios one band is on 146.460, the other monitors the repeaters, or scans 2m, or whatever. but both on 2m- separate volume controls for the conversation I'm more into at the time.

60wag
12-22-2009, 02:45 PM
I know they're different, my point is that a 2m only tends to be cheaper than a dual band. Why pay for 440 if you never use it. The dual receiver function on the 8800 is trick but all radios can scan programmend channels, they just do it in a sequence. If two people are talking at the same time on two different channels, I don't see the benefit of trying to understand two concurrent conversations.

DaveInDenver
12-22-2009, 02:57 PM
Seems the UHF issue is a chicken and the egg problem. There isn't a majority of club members with it to switch by default and so it never gets used. I think using UHF makes sense because it's a lot less crowded, but I dunno.

Caribou Sandstorm
12-22-2009, 07:30 PM
Steve, I mounted mine in my FJ between the visors. There is a build with photos in the FJC forum. If your are interested.

Also, I can look and see what I have for mount and antenna, if you are curious. I used the same mount as Hulk and Corsair.. I mounted on the top of the back tail gate. Seems to be working great. I have an ICOM. the same as Marco. Marco programmed it for me. If you get a Yaseu, the other guys will be able to help program the channels, takes just few minutes.

FJBRADY
12-22-2009, 07:46 PM
I think my plan is to install in the 40 first (timing of Moab) and then the FJC sometime after that. Most likely go with two less expensive models in both rigs.

Thanks for all the good advice. :thumb:

RockRunner
12-22-2009, 08:46 PM
Thanks for the advice guys. I really like the removable face plate and that will be a must when I buy one. Not sure if I need a dual band or not, I guess it depends if I can find the right deal. I found this one on CL and seems to be a decent deal just not to sure.

Kenwood TM-G707 for sale. $180. Used but works perfect. No problems at all. You can read some reviews here: http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/1209
I also have Diamond X510MA 2m/70cm vertical antenna for $100. Still thinking if I want to sell this one since it's a very good antenna. But want to try a beam.

I send him an email to see if he still has it, if he does I may take a look at it.

If I do find a cable long enough to run from my trailered rig to my tow rig how fast will the battery run down, I know loaded question. But really on a five hour drive will it kill the battery? I guess I could run a power wire from my trailer plug that either powers the radio only or charges the battery.

MDH33
12-23-2009, 07:51 AM
If I do find a cable long enough to run from my trailered rig to my tow rig how fast will the battery run down, I know loaded question. But really on a five hour drive will it kill the battery? I guess I could run a power wire from my trailer plug that either powers the radio only or charges the battery.

With a removeable faceplate model, you'll have to run a really long cable for an aux speaker as well..

When I got my HAM for the 40, I had the intention of swapping it between rigs as well. I even bought a mag-mount antenna that would be easy to put on any of my vehicles. I picked up and extra power harness as well. I have only taken it out of the 40 once... Just too much of a pain. I wish I would have just bought 2 cheaper radios (like 2800) and antennas and been done with it.

RockRunner
12-26-2009, 12:56 PM
The cables don't bother me as long as they work. I can run two speakers pretty easy, just wanted to make sure it could work if I find a good deal.

wesintl
12-26-2009, 01:25 PM
I've been questioning the need for dual band at all. The club never uses the 440 uhf band at all. It seems like all the traffic you want to hear is in the 2m band. I haven't shopped for a radio lately but if you can find a removeable face plate on a single band unit for a good price, that'd be my pick. BTW I run a 7800 also.

I agree. I wish one of the companies built more of a wheelin radio. Something like a 1900 with removable faceplate and dual monitor.

Mendocino
12-26-2009, 02:40 PM
Why don't we just pick a 70 cm frequency like with did with 2 meter and 146.460?

jacdaw
12-26-2009, 10:03 PM
I agree. I wish one of the companies built more of a wheelin radio. Something like a 1900 with removable faceplate and dual monitor.The FTM-10R (http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=106&encProdID=AF7E08DC3F2467B1B4B2CB4DA49BCF88&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0) is designed for offroad and FTM-10SR for handlebar mounting. Waterproof and dustproof.

jacdaw
12-26-2009, 10:07 PM
I also just came across a new faceplate mount that puts the display under your rearview with a standard 1" ball mount. Very slick! Will mount just about anything from Ham to GPS to smartfone.

Mount (http://www.ram-mount.com/NewProducts/MirrorMount/tabid/2538/Default.aspx)

RockRunner
12-27-2009, 10:04 AM
The FTM-10R (http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=106&encProdID=AF7E08DC3F2467B1B4B2CB4DA49BCF88&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0) is designed for offroad and FTM-10SR for handlebar mounting. Waterproof and dustproof.

I saw those and they would be great for the 4runner since I run no top and doors most of the time. Mostly the price is holding me back, stll need to pay for Sharon's sunroof:o

RockRunner
12-27-2009, 10:08 AM
I also just came across a new faceplate mount that puts the display under your rearview with a standard 1" ball mount. Very slick! Will mount just about anything from Ham to GPS to smartfone.

Mount (http://www.ram-mount.com/NewProducts/MirrorMount/tabid/2538/Default.aspx)


That is pretty sweet, I would mount it to the side not under the mirror. No wires to run for a long distance and visibility is cut down a little less.

Thanks for the link I added it to my library of "Parts I wish to have" :D

wesintl
12-27-2009, 11:45 AM
The FTM-10R (http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=106&encProdID=AF7E08DC3F2467B1B4B2CB4DA49BCF88&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0) is designed for offroad and FTM-10SR for handlebar mounting. Waterproof and dustproof.

be nice if it was a dual monitor. I guess I should clarify 4x4... IMHO that is atv/side x side radio much less a mall cruiser radio.

FJBRADY
01-02-2010, 05:07 PM
Did it......passed the test this morning, went to HRO this afternoon and bought a 2800, ant., etc.. I will pull the CB out of the 40 tomorrow and put the Ham in it's place!

jacdaw
01-02-2010, 05:19 PM
Congrats Steve! Welcome to the Yaesu club.

jacdaw
01-02-2010, 05:29 PM
Why don't we just pick a 70 cm frequency like with did with 2 meter and 146.460?In the national band plan, there's only one simplex frequency: 446.00 (and a calling frequency of: 432.10 but QSOs should not be held there). Depending on local coordination, we could pick a simplex frequency in this range: 445.00-447.00

I'm looking at various club websites in the state to see if anyone has staked a "claim" on anything in the range. Does anyone have a current repeater directory?

jacdaw
01-02-2010, 05:48 PM
http://www.ccarc.net/images/CCARC_FUP_420MHz_revC_2%20.pdf

FM Voice Simplex Frequencies
19 Channels 25 KHz spaced channels [16K0F3E]
445.7250 445.7500 445.7750 445.8000 445.8250
445.8500 445.8750 445.9000 445.9250 445.9500
445.9750 446.0000 446.0250 446.0500 446.0750
446.1000 446.1250 446.1500 446.1750
Note: 446.000 is the National FM Voice Simplex Calling Frequency
Note: These channels are shared usage and not coordinated by CCARC.

Narrowband Digital Voice Simplex Frequencies
8 Channels 12.5 KHz spaced channels [8K0F1D]
446.2000 446.2125 446.2250 446.2375 446.2500
446.2625 446.2750 446.2875
Note: These channels are shared usage and not coordinated by CCARC.

Mixed Mode (Voice and data) Simplex Frequencies
19 Channels - 25 KHz spaced channels [16K0F3E]
440.7250 440.7500 440.7750 440.8000 440.8250
440.8500 440.8750 440.9000 440.9250 440.9500
440.9750 441.0000 441.0250 441.0500 441.0750
441.1000 441.1250 441.1500 441.1750
Note: These channels are shared usage and not coordinated by CCARC.

Mixed mode Wide Bandwidth Simplex Frequencies
10 Simplex Channels 100 KHz spaced channels [16K0F3E]
434.550 434.650 434.750 434.850 434.950
439.550 439.650 439.750 439.850 439.950
Note: These channels may be used as simplex, or paired duplex.
Note: These channels are shared usage and not coordinated by CCARC

Hulk
01-02-2010, 06:27 PM
Did it......passed the test this morning, went to HRO this afternoon and bought a 2800, ant., etc.. I will pull the CB out of the 40 tomorrow and put the Ham in it's place!

Congrats on getting your talk ticket! Now you're a member of the geek club for sure.

corsair23
01-02-2010, 09:59 PM
Did it......passed the test this morning, went to HRO this afternoon and bought a 2800, ant., etc.. I will pull the CB out of the 40 tomorrow and put the Ham in it's place!

Congrats :thumb:

Just remember though, even though you passed you can't transmit till you get assigned a call sign :)

MDH33
01-03-2010, 12:19 PM
Did it......passed the test this morning, went to HRO this afternoon and bought a 2800, ant., etc.. I will pull the CB out of the 40 tomorrow and put the Ham in it's place!

Don't forget you'll be needing that CB for Cruise Moab if you drive your 40. I have them both in mine. :thumb:

FJBRADY
01-03-2010, 02:11 PM
Now you're a member of the geek club for sure.

Thanks, kinda struggling with that one.....if I ever transmit from my basement please shoot me!

Congrats :thumb:

Just remember though, even though you passed you can't transmit till you get assigned a call sign :)

Tru that....

Don't forget you'll be needing that CB for Cruise Moab if you drive your 40. I have them both in mine. :thumb:

Hand held CB just like last year :D

jacdaw
01-03-2010, 04:15 PM
Thanks, kinda struggling with that one.....if I ever transmit from my basement please shoot me!Haven't you ever wanted to be one of "those guys" who is able to communicate post-apocalypse from their bunker? Now you can be.:thumb: Next you'll be hooking up your radio to a bicycle trainer so you can talk off the grid on cloudy days.