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corsair23
02-19-2008, 04:45 PM
Trying to read up on the rigs available out there which is pretty overwhelming to say the least :hill:

I've read the past threads that I could fiind and it appears that 90%+ of the folks are using Yaesu rigs and the majority of those are the FT-7800. From what I have read the FT-7800 does just about everything a non-power HAM type user needs.

However, it appears that many of you would prefer to have the FT-8800 instead if it weren't for the fact that the face doesn't light up. Is that still the case with the new rigs? I looked up the specs on Hamcity for the 7800, 8800, and 8900 and it clearly states that the 7800 and 8900 feature:

"Yaesu’s renowned Omni-Glowä display illumination, with four illumination levels available for different environments. You’ll marvel at the crystal-clear frequency display and status indicators, whether you’re operating night or day."

So what is the deal with the 8800? Why did Yaesu skimp on it and not offer the "Omni-Glowä" display :confused:

Price wise the 7800 is ~$240 and then it is quite the jump up to the 8800 @ ~$350 but to move up to the 8900 it is only another $40 (~$390)? Seems to me that Yaesu is "encouraging" buyers to move up to the 8900 and to pay an additional $40 for the illumination + some additional features I don't know if I even need.

Seems to me that having the illuminated face is pretty important, especially at night. Heck, even during the day a LCD can be hard to read. Looks like they all have about the same backlit mics so no difference there....

Any other brands (Kenwood, ICOM, ??) that offer the features of the Yaesu 8800 but WITH an illuminated display?

Uncle Ben
02-19-2008, 05:07 PM
The difference is the 8800 has a dual freq display and cross band repeat but no backlit buttons and the 7800 has single freq display and buttons that can be found at night. Both are awesome radios and if you don't have a HT or don't plan on getting one the cross band repeat feature would probably be a "rarely if ever used" expense. Even if you have an HT Cross band just isn't needed hardly ever. The 8800 and 8900 are basically two radios in one. (two freqs displayed, two sets of independent controls)

I happened into a 8800 by chance as it was a use with option to buy from a friend of mine. After reading everything I decided I would go for the 7800 because backlit buttons ARE a big deal! Nakman posted up about the differences and since I only had experience with the 8800 I did not know the 7800 only could do one freq at a time.(I had assumed by dual band meant dual display) I really like my 8800 and am glad I went with it but "DAYAM" I wish I could see the freaking buttons at night! :rolleyes:

Reread your post and for clairification all radios mentioned have a great illuminated display but neither the 8800 and 8900 have backlit buttons. The 8900 is a tri band I believe and has some other fancy features the 8800 doesn't have. No idea if those features are worth it....

Also Note: The club is Yaesu heavy but from what I have read the Icon and the Kenwods are both major players in the areana and each one has it's heavy following.

corsair23
02-19-2008, 05:27 PM
Reread your post and for clairification all radios mentioned have a great illuminated display but neither the 8800 and 8900 have backlit buttons. The 8900 is a tri band I believe and has some other fancy features the 8800 doesn't have. No idea if those features are worth it....

Oh, it is the buttons? :hill: I reread the descriptions and didn't see anything mentioned on any of the rigs about the buttons being backlit...

Not sure if I feel better, or worse about that then? I couldn't believe the screen wasn't backlit on the 8800 and the pictures sure made it look like it was so I figured they had updated the rig. But the buttons? Is it just me or does that seem pretty skimpy to not backlight those on the 8800 and 8900? Surely it couldn't cost that much more to backlight those buggers :rolleyes:

I'm hoping to buy the right radio from the get go so if the 8800 had backlit buttons it would be a no brainer...Now I'm just not sure :(

Uncle Ben
02-19-2008, 05:52 PM
Oh, it is the buttons? :hill: I reread the descriptions and didn't see anything mentioned on any of the rigs about the buttons being backlit...

Not sure if I feel better, or worse about that then? I couldn't believe the screen wasn't backlit on the 8800 and the pictures sure made it look like it was so I figured they had updated the rig. But the buttons? Is it just me or does that seem pretty skimpy to not backlight those on the 8800 and 8900? Surely it couldn't cost that much more to backlight those buggers :rolleyes:

I'm hoping to buy the right radio from the get go so if the 8800 had backlit buttons it would be a no brainer...Now I'm just not sure :(

There is several 7800's and a few 8800's in the club so check out the radios. I'm guessing because of the complexity of what all the faceplate of the 88 and 8900's do there just wasn't much room left over for backlit buttons! Physically the 7800 and the 8x00's take up the same space but as mentioned the 8x00's are two, two, two radios in one..... ;)

DaveInDenver
02-19-2008, 06:02 PM
All of them have backlit displays. The FT-7800R has backlit buttons and the FT-8800R and FT-8900R do not. I had a 7800 and now a 8800. As far as a pure functional mobile radio, the 7800 is a better choice. Bigger buttons and knobs, bigger read-out on the display, all the knobs only do one thing (the 8800 has a few dual purpose controls, I often get my 8800 into Internet mode by mistake).

The 88/8900 have two tuners and so they can tune two different frequencies at the same time, scan on once side, listen on the other, scan two different range of frequencies and do some other neat features that the 7800 can't.

The 7800 can scan frequencies very quickly, you can set up some frequencies as important, so they get hit more often. You don't give up much if you know what frequencies you want to listen to, it's just that if you are trying to make contacts the dual VFO is handy for finding simplex stations, for example.

The 7800 has weather alert (this is very nice, if NOAA issues a weather alert, the 7800 goes to the WX band and tunes in a NOAA weather station).

I still say that if you are not a ham hobbyist, go with the 7800. It's got a more simple interface and does everything you'd ever want as a 4WD'er and costs significantly less than the dual VFO models. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 7800 and as far as single tuner radios, I think it's probably one of the best out there. OTOH, the 8800 and 8900 are probably only average dual band radios compared to what ICOM and Kenwood offer.

DaveInDenver
02-19-2008, 06:21 PM
I'm hoping to buy the right radio from the get go so if the 8800 had backlit buttons it would be a no brainer...Now I'm just not sure :(
I'm not sure it's a no brainer.

The 7800 has the WX stuff built-in and on the 88/8900 you have to program in the NOAA stations. Having it more integrated into the radio allows that WX Alert, which I think is pretty neat.

Even if the buttons on the 8800 were lit, they are still smaller and some share two purposes. The volume and squelch are co-axial. On the 7800 there is a separate volume and squelch knob.

The row of functional buttons under the display on the 8800 have two configurations. In the regular symmetrical config, they do 'power level' / 'VFO/mem' / 'home' / 'scan' for each side. In Key Mode #2 the buttons on the right side don't do those, but rather 'step size' / 'reverse' / 'tone' / 'sub-band choice'. I once-in-a-while try to move a repeater contact to a simplex channel and so the reverse key is one I use a lot. This allows you to monitor the input frequency to a repeater and if you can hear the transmitting station on the input, then you probably can hold a simplex contact. So I have to use Key Mode #2, which means I have to do some more button gymnastics to work the right side tuner. It's all but impossible at night to do some things without stopping and pulling over.

One thing that actually irritates me about the 8800 is that the right side volume knob is also the power button. Every dang time I turn on the radio, the right side ends up at full volume. More than once I've just about spilled coffee in the morning when the radio jumps to life. Not to mention should one have a hang over when getting in the truck for work... Yowza!

One thing you will notice is that hams are usually never happy with their rigs and are tinkering. So getting the right radio first is almost 100% sure not to happen. I wouldn't worry about it. But like UB says, lots of people have both and so it makes sense to test drive them at a meeting or something. Also don't necessarily get locked into Yaesu, ICOM and Kenwood make nice radios, too. I like Yaesu radios but that's because I'm used to the way their menus works. I am worried about how this Motorola/Vertex Standard merger is going to affect Yaesu radios. I have this feeling that Motorola will cheapen them and move production to China (Yaesu makes radios in Japan and the mic is made in Thailand or something), two moves which will mean these are the last two Yaesu radios I ever buy.

Uncle Ben
02-19-2008, 06:21 PM
All of them have backlit displays. The FT-7800R has backlit buttons and the FT-8800R and FT-8900R do not. I had a 7800 and now a 8800. As far as a pure functional mobile radio, the 7800 is a better choice. Bigger buttons and knobs, bigger read-out on the display, all the knobs only do one thing (the 8800 has a few dual purpose controls, I often get my 8800 into Internet mode by mistake).

The 88/8900 have two tuners and so they can tune two different frequencies at the same time, scan on once side, listen on the other, scan two different range of frequencies and do some other neat features that the 7800 can't.

The 7800 can scan frequencies very quickly, you can set up some frequencies as important, so they get hit more often. You don't give up much if you know what frequencies you want to listen to, it's just that if you are trying to make contacts the dual VFO is handy for finding simplex stations, for example.

The 7800 has weather alert (this is very nice, if NOAA issues a weather alert, the 7800 goes to the WX band and tunes in a NOAA weather station).

I still say that if you are not a ham hobbyist, go with the 7800. It's got a more simple interface and does everything you'd ever want as a 4WD'er and costs significantly less than the dual VFO models. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 7800 and as far as single tuner radios, I think it's probably one of the best out there. OTOH, the 8800 and 8900 are probably only average dual band radios compared to what ICOM and Kenwood offer.


http://www.dinicartoons.com/forum/images/smilies/Signs/whathesaid.gif :thumb::thumb:

Hulk
02-19-2008, 07:55 PM
Jeff, if you buy the 7800 and later decide that you really need the 8800, you can probably sell it and get most of your money back.

The 2-radios-in-one is the only reason I'd buy the 8800.

My 7800 does everything I need.

Hants
02-19-2008, 08:10 PM
In 4WD mode, I can think of a couple of circumstances where CBR (w/ HT) would be useful:

1. Lined up at the trailhead, or stopped on the trail, when you get out to chat, you can still be in contact.

2. Sitting in a chair at Slickrock, mix'n Margaritas, and still being able to chat with others out on trail rides or coming into camp (for a short while, anyway).

I just went through the "which radio should I get to minimize upgrading" process.

I see the market as (in increasing price order):

1. Single band radios (2M would be recommended for our use, example: Yaesu FT-1802M)
2. Dual band radios, with a single tuner (example: Yaesu FT-7800)
3. Dual band radios, with dual tuners & CBR (example: FT-8800R)
4a. Dual band radios with CBR & other fancy technologies (APRS, Wireless Remote, Echolink, Packet, ARTS, D-STAR)
4b. Multi band, multi-mode radios (are you ready to be a "real" HAM?)

I made a worksheet to compare the various options side-by-side, including "price" from the same supplier. I reviewed the info on RS, Mud, and EE, and various Ham sites.

In the middle of all of this, I stopped by HRO to touch & see the rigs before I purchased. Turns out I got there at almost closing time, the manager sent the guy who was helping me home, and noone showed me anything (a fair bit of friendly chat, though).

Once I decided on what features I wanted (and what I was willing to afford), I made a separate table and started comparison shopping. Had HRO been more helpful, I would gladly have paid a little more for their (local) knowledge. As it was, I went with the supplier that had *all* of the stuff I needed (including critical accessories) and the best price. In my case, that turned out to be Hamcity.com.

I ended up purchasing a Kenwood TM-D710A mobile, and a Kenwood TH-F6A HT. Deciding factors for me were:

1. CBR that's fully legal (Remote Control via HT & auto-self identification for HT & Mobile on all frequencies)
2. APRS (safety, marital bliss, utility for when I get back into SAR, cool technology)
3. MARS mods available if I choose to in the future
4. Power & battery life (many HT's are low power, and/or use old technology batteries)
5. Highest gain on antena's at given lengths

I've attached the worksheet I used, in case anyone's interested.

A couple of caveats: I didn't get to touch/see/use *any* of the rigs before purchase. I also didn't include any of the less-spiffy rigs, as I knew I wanted CBR before I even started.

corsair23
02-19-2008, 11:44 PM
Thanks gents :D

Hants I'm with you on the CBR w/ HT thing. I chatted with UB and Romer about this at Monday's HAM class. Before I knew anything about HAM (and I don't know much now either), I remember on the BOWAGWR last year watching Nakman working his rig while we were stopped. He kept having to run back to his 40 like those of us with CBs have to and I thought "Boy it would be nice if you didn't have to do that" :) - At the time I was thinking of those little walky talking dealyos some of us have or had in the past.

How many times are we out of our rigs on a trail for one reason or the other when we find it would be nice to still be in communication with others without having to run back to our vehicles? I can think of a dozen plus cases and I've been on maybe 6 or so club runs.

But, maybe just having a HT in addition to a mobile rig would serve that purpose well enough on the trail to not warrant the CBR functionality. Cost wise getting a rig that has that seems to really escalate the cost. If you really need the extra power to DX (trying to use the terminology here :hill:) then back into the rig you go.

Judging by cost (from my quick glance at ICOM and Kenwood stuff) it appears I'll end up with something made by Yaesu. ICOM and Kenwood seem to average about double a comparable Yaesu rig :eek:

Thanks for the spreadsheet as well Hants :thumb:

Uncle Ben
02-20-2008, 01:04 AM
Thanks gents :D

Hants I'm with you on the CBR w/ HT thing. I chatted with UB and Romer about this at Monday's HAM class. Before I knew anything about HAM (and I don't know much now either), I remember on the BOWAGWR last year watching Nakman working his rig while we were stopped. He kept having to run back to his 40 like those of us with CBs have to and I thought "Boy it would be nice if you didn't have to do that" :) - At the time I was thinking of those little walky talking dealyos some of us have or had in the past.

How many times are we out of our rigs on a trail for one reason or the other when we find it would be nice to still be in communication with others without having to run back to our vehicles? I can think of a dozen plus cases and I've been on maybe 6 or so club runs.

But, maybe just having a HT in addition to a mobile rig would serve that purpose well enough on the trail to not warrant the CBR functionality. Cost wise getting a rig that has that seems to really escalate the cost. If you really need the extra power to DX (trying to use the terminology here :hill:) then back into the rig you go.

Judging by cost (from my quick glance at ICOM and Kenwood stuff) it appears I'll end up with something made by Yaesu. ICOM and Kenwood seem to average about double a comparable Yaesu rig :eek:

Thanks for the spreadsheet as well Hants :thumb:


Jeff,
In your scenario here, CBR would not be needed. An HT will reach further than most CB's! A scenario that would work would be a mobile set up on CBR at Slickrock with one side set at a powerful VHF band, running simplex and squelch coded, that would be a prearranged "home" or campground freq. The other side would be set at a very low (1 watt) unused UHF freq set with a unique squelch code. Anybody in the campground would have their HT set at that same unique uhf freq on minimum power and on the same squelch code. Anyone, anywhere. on any trail out there could tune in to that home VHF signal and the CBR will allow the HT(s) in camp to communicate easily with the caller in normal and very clear communication. The mobile unit supply's the high power for reaching out there at the same time allows a very low power link to the HT's in camp. Essentially a small scale repeater that isn't easily used by anyone but the operator of the HT's. I also just discovered that the 8800's can be set up to self identify themselves on CBR (I think....haven't done it yet). Also, If the "home" freq was duplex with a repeater the HT's don't need no stinking CBR! ;)

DaveInDenver
02-20-2008, 06:48 AM
Jeff,
In your scenario here, CBR would not be needed. An HT will reach further than most CB's!
Just to reinforce what UB said, Romer and I chatted over the weekend, both of us on our handhelds via a repeater. Both at home via the 145.145 repeater, which is on Squaw Mt, which is west in the foothills. So Romer was reaching probably 40 miles and me probably about 30 miles using handhelds at 5W. This was to a repeater, which has height, good antennas and higher power TX. But holding simplex conversations with 5W HTs is not unusual at 10 and 15 miles. From the White Crack Overlook on the White Rim, I could talk to Moab with my HT. I do have a pretty good antenna on it, so that helps. But that's probably 20 miles line of sight and a pretty ideal spot to operate to Moab.

A scenario that would work would be a mobile set up on CBR at Slickrock with one side set at a powerful VHF band, running simplex and squelch coded, that would be a prearranged "home" or campground freq. The other side would be set at a very low (1 watt) unused UHF freq set with a unique squelch code. Anybody in the campground would have their HT set at that same unique uhf freq on minimum power and on the same squelch code. Anyone, anywhere. on any trail out there could tune in to that home VHF signal and the CBR will allow the HT(s) in camp to communicate easily with the caller in normal and very clear communication. The mobile unit supply's the high power for reaching out there at the same time allows a very low power link to the HT's in camp. Essentially a small scale repeater that isn't easily used by anyone but the operator of the HT's.

This is using the x-band repeat as a range extender and is really the only legal use without self ID. Also V-V or U-U repeating really should be coordinated with the local band plan person so that it does not interfere with an existing repeater. But doing simplex to simplex or simplex to a repeater input does not need to be coordinated because you don't need the input/output offset.
I also just discovered that the 8800's can be set up to self identify themselves on CBR (I think....haven't done it yet). Also, If the "home" freq was duplex with a repeater the HT's don't need no stinking CBR! ;)
Interesting. How? The only thing remotely like it is the ARTS CW ID'er. That only sends your call sign when it's made an ARTS contact as near as I can tell.

DaveInDenver
02-20-2008, 06:54 AM
Judging by cost (from my quick glance at ICOM and Kenwood stuff) it appears I'll end up with something made by Yaesu. ICOM and Kenwood seem to average about double a comparable Yaesu rig
The ICOM 208 and Yaesu 7800 are pretty comparable price and features. The Alinco 635, Yaesu 8800 and Kenwood 708 are about in the same league. There are a lot of options and differences, so prices for things are all over. Hant's Kenwood is a very complex radio and Yaesu doesn't make a VHF/UHF rig anywhere similar to it. Also don't forget used! Hams tend to mess with their systems and are selling them all the time and they are rarely all beat up like CBs.

I would also add that Hant's Kenwood is really not that expensive because it's got the TNC and GPS interface built-in. The Kanrtronicx MT1200G (an external interface with a built-in GPS controller) is $300. So to replicate what Hants has with in Yaesu would be say a 8800 at $375+$300 = $675 and most places sell the Kenwood for around $590~$620.

Hants
02-20-2008, 09:33 AM
I'm confused, Dave. My understanding is that with CBR, the only way to be legal is to have the mobile self-identify on both frequencies (mobile-to-repeater, AND mobile-to-HT). Without that, there is no identification, in particular, when the mobile transmits to the HT.

What am I misunderstanding? :confused:

This is using the x-band repeat as a range extender and is really the only legal use without self ID. Also V-V or U-U repeating really should be coordinated with the local band plan person so that it does not interfere with an existing repeater. But doing simplex to simplex or simplex to a repeater input does not need to be coordinated because you don't need the input/output offset.

DaveInDenver
02-20-2008, 10:17 AM
What am I misunderstanding? :confused:
There's a lot of misunderstanding with this feature. When talking about cross band repeating most people think of a regular repeater like we use all the time. That NOT a cross band repeater technically since it's using an input offset on the same band. The transmitting radio must be identified, be that automatically or by the operator. The FCC requires you to identify your transmitting station every 10 minutes with your call sign.

So you set up your mobile to cross band repeat from UHF to VHF. You TX with your walkie talkie on a UHF simplex frequency, the mobile receives that and re-transmits (across bands) it on VHF. That could be a VHF simplex or VHF repeater input frequency. What the mobile is doing is allowing you to increase your TX range only. This is called half duplex cross band repeating. Your HT still receives on the VHF side of the conversation, just like you would if the mobile was not involved. This is legal as long as you say "KC0DEF on 446.225 talking through a cross band repeater to 147.525" when you transmit.

The next option would be to have the mobile retransmit your UHF TX and additionally do the flip side and retransmit the other party to your remote UHF frequency. This is called a full duplex cross band repeating. The difference is that your HT only needs to talk to your mobile. But now you have two transmitters working on two different input and output frequencies. This means you have to ID both radios and since you don't know when someone might trip the input to the mobile, it's not technically being ID'd properly. DOING THIS BLINDLY IS ILLEGAL UNLESS THE RADIO SELF IDENTIFIES! If the radio can self ID (with your call sign) when it happens to transmit, this is OK to use as an RX range extender. Also if both hams using the full duplex cross band announce what is going on, that could be fine.

The other type of repeater is the VHF-VHF or UHF-UHF repeater with an offset input/output pair. These are essentially the same as the full duplex cross band above, but are a special case because you need to make sure to coordinate the frequencies so that you don't stomp on someone else's repeater. Also a same band repeater needs some special attention on equipment, depending on what you are doing. But in theory the operation is similar to the full duplex example.

Add to that the control, you have to be able to shut the radio down if it goes haywire. This is true of all repeating, so leaving a radio running in a truck while you go on a few mile hike means that it could be hours before you get back to the radio. That is illegal. Being in control of a station does not mean you have to sit in front of the rig, but does mean that you can reasonably operate the radio by means of physical or remote control. If you set up a cross band repeat and are in your house or around camp, it's not a big deal to get to the radio to shut it down and that's OK. Oh, also, the FCC only allows you to do remote control tones on the UHF side AFAIK. I've never verified that in the FCC Rules, so that may only be hear-say. But I do believe that doing remote control via an HT on the UHF side is fine, so set up cross band remote controls going UHF-to-VHF and you should never be non-compliant.

Your Kenwood can do both, self ID and remote control via a DTMF keypad. The bulk of cross band repeating mobiles CAN NOT do that. So the only legal use of a 88/8900 for example is as a local TX range extender. Setting it up as a 50W TX extender so that you can use a 100mW HT to walk around camp. Perfectly OK as long as you announce what you are doing periodically. Leaving an unattended, uncontrollable radio that does not ID is no question illegal. A 8800 can never be used as a full duplex repeater unless both parties know to ID the repeater. So for emergency use, say parking your truck at a high spot so that two HTs down in valleys can be connected would be fine. Both operators would have to call both frequencies when doing that, does that make sense?

That's a lot of words. More or less confused. Your Kenwood has all the right features to be legal.

Hants
02-20-2008, 10:31 AM
Thanks!

That confirms what I had "learned"... gotta like book lern'n. :homer:

With half-duplex CBR, you potentially have an issue that your HT doesn't have the gain/power/location to RX/TX to the distant party.

Once I figured that out, I focused on full-duplex CBR. But I wasn't very clear about that above. :(

We're ALL doing a bunch of learning! It is GREAT to be associated with a group with so many diverse talents!

Uncle Ben
02-20-2008, 11:20 AM
Dave and Hants,
When I first played with the CBR on my 8800 I assumed it was 1/2 duplex and used the second band on the HT for receiving. After reading the 8800's manual again and also Hant's article he posted I realized I might have sold my 8800 short so I played around again. It does go full duplex! The HT can RX and TX on the same UHF freq and the CBR will shuffle all communication between the two selected bands both ways! I also noted that when the 8800 is in CBR mode it is completely locked out of any other feature until CBT is shut off which means the mic is useless as is all buttons except the "set" and "power." Even though most modern radios can scan for codes I really doubt someone will find the low power simplex uhf unique coded freq your using with the HT and CBR! The 88 and 8900's will ONLY cross band repeat however so it will only work as VHF/UHF-UHF/VHF and will not do UHF/UHF or VHF/VHF.

DaveInDenver
02-20-2008, 11:35 AM
After reading the 8800's manual again and also Hant's article he posted I realized I might have sold my 8800 short so I played around again. It does go full duplex!
This is true, the 8800 and 8900 x-band repeat are full duplex. One way I've heard to stay legal (assuming my read of the Rules is right about full duplex) is to set the UHF side to TX on a non-ham frequency. This assumes you have not gone and modified your radio to free band, which I'm sure no one has, right? That way when the VHF side receives it tries to repeat to a non-legal frequency and the radio will not do it. The display will say TX ERROR and it won't be transmitting. My assumption is that these radios have the cross band repeat function for countries with different rules or maybe just as a sales feature that is "For Offroad Use Only" as they say with like 90% of the junk we bolt on our trucks...

Hants
02-20-2008, 02:32 PM
The Kenwood TM-V71A has all of the features of the TM-D710A, except for the TNC for APRS. It does support Remote Control (via DTMF) and self-identification in CBR mode. It is about the same price as the Yaesu FT-8800R.

The TM-V71A was my radio-of-choice until I asked Caroline. I showed her this link:

http://aprs.fi/

then asked her if it was worth the price difference to be able to tell where the rig is when we're in the backcountry. Her response : "<puzzled look> That's a safety feature. Of course its worth it.... as long as its not $1000 more or something."

Bingo -- budget increase! :thumb:

Uncle Ben
02-20-2008, 02:49 PM
The Kenwood TM-V71A has all of the features of the TM-D710A, except for the TNC for APRS. It does support Remote Control (via DTMF) and self-identification in CBR mode. It is about the same price as the Yaesu FT-8800R.

The TM-V71A was my radio-of-choice until I asked Caroline. I showed her this link:

http://aprs.fi/

then asked her if it was worth the price difference to be able to tell where the rig is when we're in the backcountry. Her response : "<puzzled look> That's a safety feature. Of course its worth it.... as long as its not $1000 more or something."

Bingo -- budget increase! :thumb:

Gotta love a trusting partnership! ;) :bowdown::Princess:

Hants
02-20-2008, 02:55 PM
The next option would be to have the mobile retransmit your UHF TX and additionally do the flip side and retransmit the other party to your remote UHF frequency. This is called a full duplex cross band repeating. The difference is that your HT only needs to talk to your mobile. But now you have two transmitters working on two different input and output frequencies. This means you have to ID both radios and since you don't know when someone might trip the input to the mobile, it's not technically being ID'd properly. DOING THIS BLINDLY IS ILLEGAL UNLESS THE RADIO SELF IDENTIFIES! If the radio can self ID (with your call sign) when it happens to transmit, this is OK to use as an RX range extender. Also if both hams using the full duplex cross band announce what is going on, that could be fine.

Note that this means that you cannot legally do full-duplex CBR via another (public) repeater unless your mobile self-identifies.

...the FCC only allows you to do remote control tones on the UHF side AFAIK. I've never verified that in the FCC Rules, so that may only be hear-say. But I do believe that doing remote control via an HT on the UHF side is fine, so set up cross band remote controls going UHF-to-VHF and you should never be non-compliant.

I have read from several sources that remote control can only be done via UHF frequencies, also. One of those places is Kenwood's SkyCommand documentation (remote control of their big-boy base station radios). From what I've read, the FCC only requires that the Remote Control be transmitted on UHF -- all other communications can be on other bands. My understanding is that VHFxVHF CBR would be fine with the FCC, as long as Remote Control commands were transmitted on UHF (requiring a dual-VFO HT).

DaveInDenver
02-20-2008, 03:02 PM
then asked her if it was worth the price difference to be able to tell where the rig is when we're in the backcountry. Her response : "<puzzled look> That's a safety feature. Of course its worth it.... as long as its not $1000 more or something."

So what's the story with this APRS? I know about it in theory and everyone talks about being able to report a location in the backcountry. But don't you need a packet-capable repeater for it to work? Are most repeaters capable of this? What about that funky Google reporting, does the digital repeater then also need to be on the Internet? Just wondering, I know pretty much nothing about how this stuff works. I don't have GPS box and I'm not about to buy and drag a laptop with me. I tolerate having a computer at home, but I'm definitely not going to have one with me in the truck.

Hants
02-20-2008, 03:38 PM
So what's the story with this APRS? I know about it in theory and everyone talks about being able to report a location in the backcountry. But don't you need a packet-capable repeater for it to work? Are most repeaters capable of this? What about that funky Google reporting, does the digital repeater then also need to be on the Internet? Just wondering, I know pretty much nothing about how this stuff works. I don't have GPS box and I'm not about to buy and drag a laptop with me. I tolerate having a computer at home, but I'm definitely not going to have one with me in the truck.

I have a bit of book knowledge, but not *any* real-world experience.

APRS is packet based, and, basically routes packets between radios (TNC's) and "digipeaters". There are a fair number of digipeaters around, but they're not nearly as prevalent as regular repeaters.

APRS rigs update each other, so you'll always see "local" information. You, or a rig within a small number of "hops", must be able to get to a internet-enabled-digipeater for your packets to reach the Google-enabled map.

New Mexico has some of the best coverage in the states (digipeaters on most key high-points). I have not checked the coverage maps of Colorado & Utah yet.

In addition to location updates, you can send "email" to local stations or even internet email addresses. The messages are limited in length (think texting on your cell phone).

In SAR & emergency operations, APRS is commonly used to keep track of tactical (local) locations of resources. A computer at HQ receives (and sends) updates, and displays a map. The internet is not necessary at all for this.

Even though many TNC's can act as digipeaters, convention is that they are NOT configured this way -- primarily because it can cause dramatic traffic increases (congestion on the airwaves). There have been recent protocol changes to help mitigate this.

One of the nice features (for me) of the TM-D710A is that that NO computer is necessary for common APRS scenarios (sending/receiving location updates, sending/receiving messages, viewing & communicating with local "objects"). I have no plans to permanently mount a laptop/carputer in my 80. I will probably carry around a laptop to reprogram as necessary, at least initially.

If you look at the link above, centered on the Denver area, you'll see a few "tracks" of mobile rigs. A lot of the "noise" on the map is static weather stations, and static digipeaters. You can turn off different types of objects so they don't clutter your screen.

Once I get it all installed, I'll take it out and see how it works in real life. I hope the coverage in the places we go (non-urban) is sufficient to be useful to those NOT on the trip. Hey -- someone has to be the vanguard! :banghead:

corsair23
02-20-2008, 04:50 PM
The Kenwood TM-V71A has all of the features of the TM-D710A, except for the TNC for APRS. It does support Remote Control (via DTMF) and self-identification in CBR mode. It is about the same price as the Yaesu FT-8800R.

The TM-V71A was my radio-of-choice until I asked Caroline. I showed her this link:

http://aprs.fi/

then asked her if it was worth the price difference to be able to tell where the rig is when we're in the backcountry. Her response : "<puzzled look> That's a safety feature. Of course its worth it.... as long as its not $1000 more or something."

Bingo -- budget increase! :thumb:


:cool: - hmm...wonder if that approach will work for me :rolleyes: - That is a slick deal that could come in handy for the folks at home. Think Rubithon (assuming it works there). Those that don't go can watch the progress of the group, down to a pretty detailed level :D :thumb:

nakman
02-20-2008, 05:10 PM
You guys saw that "radio dave" video I posted, right? He had that going in his 40.

Great discussion here btw, even if only 20% of it is really sinking in, I'll read it again in a few months and hopefully pick up another 10% or so.. believe it or not one day I didn't know what a CDL button was.. I'm sure in time we'll all get this.

Hants
02-20-2008, 05:23 PM
:cool: - hmm...wonder if that approach will work for me :rolleyes:

Dunno -- just don't blame me if you get kicked! :hill:

That is a slick deal that could come in handy for the folks at home. Think Rubithon (assuming it works there). Those that don't go can watch the progress of the group, down to a pretty detailed level :D :thumb:

There was a guy in New Mexico recently, that was going to set his radio to auto-broadcast APRS location every 10 mintes @ 50 Watts during a backcountry trip. Since APRS is on a standard frequency (same frequency everywhere in the US), it probably worked pretty well. 50W is a pretty big bullhorn! :eek:

I'll see if I can find the link again and see how it actually worked.

The link above has some pretty cool features. If you know someone's callsign (and they're using APRS), it will automatically find & zoom the map to their last location.

Just don't get caught parking in front of your girlfriend's house!!! :rant::brick: :rip:

Romer
02-20-2008, 07:39 PM
Man, I gotta play with my Radio more. And here I thought it was so I could talk with Tim and Chris on Monday nights and while offroad.

Uncle Ben
02-20-2008, 07:40 PM
Man, I gotta play with my Radio more. And here I thought it was so I could talk with Tim and Chris on Monday nights and while offroad.


Maybe your just playing with the wrong knob! :eek: :lmao::lmao::hill:

Romer
02-20-2008, 07:41 PM
Maybe your just playing with the wrong knob! :eek: :lmao::lmao::hill:

Maybe I shoudl switch to the 8800 so I can play with two knobs at the same time:eek:

Hants
02-20-2008, 07:54 PM
Here are some APRS & 1st-radio related links:

http://www.oh8gej.org/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

http://expeditionportal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8237

http://expeditionportal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7857

http://expeditionportal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4422

http://forum.ih8mud.com/electronic-toys/149379-1st-2m-radio-advice.html

http://forum.ih8mud.com/electronic-toys/158745-aprs-trail-today.html

http://aprs.fi/?call=N6KML&mt=m&z=11&timerange=3600

http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/123511-cb-antenna-through-roof-practical.html

http://forum.ih8mud.com/electronic-toys/86717-dual-band-ham-radio.html

Happy reading! :beer:

Mendocino
03-03-2008, 10:48 PM
Is anyone using D-Star in Rising Sun? Brian and I discussed this a little tonight at the Ham test. I am really torn between the TM-D710A and just getting a Yaesu 7800 or 8800. However, I also know that I am a techie by nature and will eventually want to do APRS/D-Star/Echolink etc. In the future I cold put the 7800/8800 at home (my wife will get licensed) and I can get a more sophisticated radio in my '40.

I prefer the price of the 7800/8800, but realize I am likely to become a HAM hobbyist. Is anyone else this conflicted?:eek:

corsair23
03-03-2008, 11:00 PM
I prefer the price of the 7800/8800, but realize I am likely to become a HAM hobbyist. Is anyone else this conflicted?:eek:

Yes :hill:

Shark Bait
03-03-2008, 11:43 PM
I have an FT-8800 in my FZJ80 and an FT-2800 for my FJ40. :D

Seldom Seen
03-03-2008, 11:53 PM
Is anyone using D-Star in Rising Sun? Brian and I discussed this a little tonight at the Ham test. I am really torn between the TM-D710A and just getting a Yaesu 7800 or 8800. However, I also know that I am a techie by nature and will eventually want to do APRS/D-Star/Echolink etc. In the future I cold put the 7800/8800 at home (my wife will get licensed) and I can get a more sophisticated radio in my '40.

I prefer the price of the 7800/8800, but realize I am likely to become a HAM hobbyist. Is anyone else this conflicted?:eek:


Forgot to mention. Icom rigs w/ D-Star will do APRS. Kenwood rigs w/ APRS won't do D-Star with out additional external add-ons

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/amateur/dstar/2820h/default.aspx

Corbet
03-04-2008, 12:58 AM
I don't think I could be more confused about what radio to purchase.

I hate buying something twice. But in reality, until I actually start using a HAM(passed the tech exam tonight) I don't think there is any way to really know what I want.

How often to those who have the ability do you use the dual tuner feature of the 8800 or 8900?

Hulk
03-04-2008, 01:08 AM
Any 2M radio will get you started. If you don't need to have a separate faceplate, the FT-2800M (http://www.hamcity.com/LongDescription.aspx?UID=321) is a great radio. $134. Get it here (http://www.hamcity.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=2528).

http://www.hamcity.com/images/ft2800mlg.jpg

If you want the removable faceplate, so that you can mount most of the unit somewhere in back, then the FT-7800R (http://www.hamcity.com/LongDescription.aspx?UID=322) is an excellent choice. $235. Get it here (http://www.hamcity.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=2528).

http://www.hamcity.com/images/ft7800rlg.jpg

Shark Bait
03-04-2008, 07:41 AM
I don't think I could be more confused about what radio to purchase.

I hate buying something twice. But in reality, until I actually start using a HAM(passed the tech exam tonight) I don't think there is any way to really know what I want.

How often to those who have the ability do you use the dual tuner feature of the 8800 or 8900?

Corbet,

I know how you feel. I found my FT-8800 on eBay, which helped on the price a little. I enjoy the dual band feature.

When we were in Ouray last year I could monitor two different frequencies at the same time, and switching between the two was a one button activity. Like Dave said previously, you could tune one receiver to your favorite channel and scan on the other one.

As Matt just pointed out, the 7800/8800/8900 have a detachable face plate which can be nice in the 80 where you have limited space. My face plate is mounted on the console behind the shifter and the radio is mounted on the side of the arm rest and the drivers seat.

If you don't care about the extra features then something like the FT-2800 is a great choice and less money. I found one on Craigslist locally for $100. It's going in my FJ40.

Hope that helps. Here are some pictures of Nakman's setup.

subzali
03-04-2008, 07:49 AM
...which can be nice in the 80 where you have limited space.

:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: Good one Chris! :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

For me the difference that made me want to go with the 7800 over the 1802 or the 2800 was that it has 2m and 70cm capability, where the other two are 2m only. If I'm wrong someone please correct me :) For me, the extra features of the 8800/8900 aren't really worth it for now. Plus I'm planning on getting an HT too so I'm spending quite a bit of $$ as it is.

Shark Bait
03-04-2008, 07:52 AM
:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: Good one Chris! :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:



Well, if you want to mount your radio where I did there are not a whole lot of great choices unless you can detach the face plate. :flipoff2:

subzali
03-04-2008, 08:35 AM
I know I'm just joshing ya! ;) 80s have more storage space than 40s but sometimes 40s seem to be easier to modify to make room to put radios and stuff like that! :thumb:

corsair23
03-04-2008, 11:22 AM
Corbet,

I know how you feel. I found my FT-8800 on eBay, which helped on the price a little. I enjoy the dual band feature.


FWIW I've been monitoring eBay for rigs (like I'm sure many others are now :D) and am finding that used rigs are going for 75%+ of what a new rig will run :(. Not really any spectacular deals and time is short.

One suggestion - If any of you folks are looking at a rig on eBay and plan to bid on it, it might not be a bad idea to throw up a quick post in the members only section (or here) with the item # so the rest of us aren't bidding against each other :thumb: - I tend to be a snipe bidder and so far all the rigs have exceeded what I'm willing to pay for a used rig way before the auction end but I'm watching. I would hate to snipe bid against another member.

Corbet
03-04-2008, 11:37 AM
I don't mind the additional cost of the 8800/8900 as much as I'd hate buying the 7800 and wishing I'd got more.

I know I want the following:

1. detachable/remote faceplate.
2. 2m/70cm

I think I want/need

1. dual tuners
2. Backlighting on controls

Beyond that its still all Greek to me.

If the 8800/8900 controls had the backlighting the decision would become easy, maybe?

Maybe I need to look at Kenwood and Icom too. Anyone have a recommendation there given my parameters above?

corsair23
03-04-2008, 11:53 AM
I don't mind the additional cost of the 8800/8900 as much as I'd hate buying the 7800 and wishing I'd got more.

I know I want the following:

1. detachable/remote faceplate.
2. 2m/70cm

I think I want/need

1. dual tuners
2. Backlighting on controls

Beyond that its still all Greek to me.

If the 8800/8900 controls had the backlighting the decision would become easy, maybe?

Maybe I need to look at Kenwood and Icom too. Anyone have a recommendation there given my parameters above?


I'm with you. The rigs aren't bank breakers per se but I don't want to buy a rig and within 6 months wish I had more. It will be at that moment, when I go to sell the old rig to buy a better one, that used rigs on eBay stop selling for nearly what a new one costs :hill:. I'm leaning toward the 8800 but the non backlit buttons bug me and that seems to be the most prominent complaint and a safety issue in a mobile rig.

Did you DL Hant's spreadsheet from this thread? Some pretty helpful information there that you could add to. He had some different requirements (like APRS) but it might give you a starting point.

Corbet
03-04-2008, 12:12 PM
Did you DL Hant's spreadsheet from this thread? Some pretty helpful information there that you could add to. He had some different requirements (like APRS) but it might give you a starting point.

I don't have excel at work, I'll have to look at that tonight at home.

With a brief look at Kenwood's website this one looks interesting:

Kenwood TM-V71A http://www.kenwoodusa.com/Communications/Amateur_Radio/Mobiles/TM-V71A

Uncle Ben
03-04-2008, 02:09 PM
I'm with you. The rigs are bank breakers per se but I don't want to buy a rig and within 6 months wish I had more. It will be at that moment, when I go to sell the old rig to buy a better one, that used rigs on eBay stop selling for nearly what a new one costs :hill:. I'm leaning toward the 8800 but the non backlit buttons bug me and that seems to be the most prominent complaint and a safety issue in a mobile rig.

Did you DL Hant's spreadsheet from this thread? Some pretty helpful information there that you could add to. He had some different requirements (like APRS) but it might give you a starting point.


You quickly get used to no backlit buttons but I agree totally, I really wish I didn't have to have the dual LED map light lighting up the cockpit like the surface of the sun just to make some programming changes in the dark! Another issue with the dual bander is if you are on two active freqs even with the auto mute on it is annoying to listen to the freq your not listening too! It is as easy as a quick twist or couple button pushes to get the unwanted freq off station to quiet it down but there is sometimes that........ :rolleyes:

Corbet
03-07-2008, 05:24 PM
I'm getting real close to pulling the trigger on a Kenwood TM-V71A.

Just wish I could get a hold of someone who has one. I only found one MUD member with one. He sounded like he was pretty new to HAM too, and had not really played with it much yet. His only complaint was it didn't have the double controls like the Yaesu. That sounds like a very small price to pay in order to see in the dark.

Uncle Ben
03-07-2008, 05:32 PM
I'm getting real close to pulling the trigger on a Kenwood TM-V71A.

Just wish I could get a hold of someone who has one. I only found one MUD member with one. He sounded like he was pretty new to HAM too, and had not really played with it much yet. His only complaint was it didn't have the double controls like the Yaesu. That sounds like a very small price to pay in order to see in the dark.

There are ham on-line forums that might shed some light!

Corbet
03-07-2008, 05:36 PM
There are ham on-line forums that might shed some light!

I know, I just have not got to that level yet. Still trying to limit feedback to the 4 wheelers point of view?

Edit, searched eHAM forum. Didn't find much of any use.

corsair23
03-07-2008, 05:50 PM
I know, I just have not got to that level yet. Still trying to limit feedback to the 4 wheelers point of view?

How similar is it to the rig that Hants has? Same rig, just with less features? Hants is the only member I know of that has a Kenwood. I've been bashing this around as well and having a radio that many others have is a big plus when it comes to questions. That is impacting my decision.

I'm seriously considering just getting a HT now for CM08 and waiting on my true mobile rig until I know more. I'm thinking a HT with a good external antenna will work just fine for the time being. Based on what we've seen so far with the demostrations at the HAM classes and knowing how far Chris H. can reach with his HT, it seems a good HT will do all I need it to do for now (communications along I70 to/from CM08 and on the trail at CM08).

I'm leaning toward the VX-7R in silver (Chris H. stated the person he talked to say for some reason the lettering stays on better than on the black :confused:) from Ham City. Used ones, whether mobile rigs or HTs seem to be going for within $50 of new so I prefer new with warranty (unless you're lucky like UB and Romer :)).

GL and post up what you end up going with :thumb:

Corbet
03-07-2008, 06:54 PM
I PM'ed Hants, waiting for reply.

Another thing to consider before getting an HT for the time being. If you get the same brand HT/Mobile there are a few unique features from brand to brand. Kenwood had something I ran across while reading the owners manual but sorry I forgot what is was. But it will probably influence a Kenwood HT purchase if I end up with the Kenwood mobile.

Hulk
03-07-2008, 07:07 PM
Hants is the only member I know of that has a Kenwood.

I think SeldomSeen has a Kenwood.

Hulk
03-07-2008, 07:08 PM
I'm leaning toward the VX-7R in silver (Chris H. stated the person he talked to say for some reason the lettering stays on better than on the black) from Ham City. Used ones, whether mobile rigs or HTs seem to be going for within $50 of new so I prefer new with warranty (unless you're lucky like UB and Romer :)).


Jeff, I want to buy one of these as well. Want to see if they'll give us a discount if we buy two?

Matt

Mendocino
03-07-2008, 09:57 PM
I too have been seriously considering the Kenwood TM-71A and the TH-F6A combination. I think that this solution is compelling and the APRS and CBR would give me lots of options. The Sky Command is also über cool for HF control. I was put off by the cost (another expensive hobby), but this seemed like a good solution. I really wanted the HT first so that I could have the freedom to use it in more contexts than the mobile rig. With a good external antenna, the CLA power adapter and an external mike this would be great for CM.

Then I started digging into future protocols and the technology of the hobby (Seldm Seen gave me a nudge). D-Star is very likely to be the "future" protocol of choice and there are very few radios that suport it (iCom). So, I remain conflicted.

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/amateur/dstar/id1/default.aspx

corsair23
03-08-2008, 02:28 AM
Jeff, I want to buy one of these as well. Want to see if they'll give us a discount if we buy two?

Matt

Sure :D - although I'm still conflicted on what to buy...

I used Hants' spreadsheet as a template and checked a bunch of places for the best price. Right now the best price for a VX-7R is at Ham City for $276 IIRC. Not sure what shipping would run and if they charge tax though. I've given up on eBay pretty much. Used HTs and rigs going for darn near new price. Case in point was a used FT-8800R I was spying that sold for $295 today which is only ~$50 less than new :confused:

DaveInDenver
03-08-2008, 07:57 AM
If you guys are thinking about the VX-7R and are thinking about buying a new one, I would seriously consider the VX-6 or VX-3 instead.

The main difference between the -7 and -6 is that the VX-7 can do 6m, which in a HT is not a major thing (I've used 6m on my HT maybe 2 times and that was just to see if it worked). The problem with 6m on an HT is the antenna length, it's either REALLY long or REALLY inefficient. The stock antenna is mostly loading coil on 6m and works OK in town, but it's not gonna win any DX awards. As it is the 'good' antenna I use is designed for 2m/440MHz (it works OK on 220MHz, but it's no good on 6m) and is about 15" long. It's a Diamond SRH77CA, not a super heavy duty whip and it flops over with the radio at an angle, not to mention it looks pretty out of place on the small radio. An OK 6m HT antenna like the MH-510 is about two feet long and has a coil at the top, it is really unbalanced to the point that the radio won't stand up with the antenna on. If you have the radio on your belt, the MH-510 will smack you in the back of the neck, it's really awkward.

The VX-6 does 1.5W on 220MHz, while the VX-7R does 300mW (1/5th the power). When I bought my VX-7R Yaesu wasn't even calling it a quad band, but a tri-band 6m/2m/70cm, didn't even advertise it being able to do 220MHz.

The VX-3 is 2m and 70cm only, but has a better broadcast AM and FM receiver. That might be nice for hiking. It's supposed to have the best receiver of the Yaesu HTs. The only downside to the VX-3 is that it does not have a DTMF keypad (you could do DTMF with an external mic). But for me the reason I have a HT is for taking in the backpack and it's nice knowing the radio has the ability to do LiTZ without carrying the extra stuff.

Seriously, I would look around and see how much cheaper the VX-3 and VX-6 are before committing to the VX-7. IMO the VX-6 is the way to go. Just my $0.02.

Hants
03-08-2008, 02:27 PM
I PM'ed Hants, waiting for reply.

Another thing to consider before getting an HT for the time being. If you get the same brand HT/Mobile there are a few unique features from brand to brand. Kenwood had something I ran across while reading the owners manual but sorry I forgot what is was. But it will probably influence a Kenwood HT purchase if I end up with the Kenwood mobile.

Replied.

I was going to get the Kenwood V71A until I showed Caroline the ONE feature of APRS that she would care about -- internet tracking of me & the LC while we're in the backcountry. Ended up getting the D710A (built-in APRS). The d710a is basically the same RADIO as the v71a, with the addition of TNC & APRS functionality (and, yes, you can buy the TNC/face and turn your V71a into a D710a later).

The reason I went with the Kenwoods over the Yaesu or Icom's was primarily: Fully legal cross-band repeat. They can be configured to self-identify on both bands, and they support Remote Control (enabling/disabling CBR and other functionality via HT). I suspect, but have not confirmed, that they will actually do same-band repeat.

Unfortunately, I've been out of town since just after I receive my radios, and I head out again on Friday for two weeks. Doesn't look like I'll get any installing done until April.

Corbet
03-08-2008, 02:27 PM
Then I started digging into future protocols and the technology of the hobby (Seldm Seen gave me a nudge). D-Star is very likely to be the "future" protocol of choice and there are very few radios that suport it (iCom). So, I remain conflicted.

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/amateur/dstar/id1/default.aspx

So how well supported is this D-Star system? The more I read about it, the more interested I become. Safe to assume you need to be connected to a repeater that supports it? Or is it as simple as just purchasing a rig with D-Star?

Internet connection sounds pretty cool. Price of hardware doesn't :rolleyes:

Hants
03-08-2008, 02:34 PM
...it will probably influence a Kenwood HT purchase if I end up with the Kenwood mobile.

From reading the manual with my F6a, it appears that the Remote Control functionality is probably a function that only works between specific Kenwood HT's and other specific Kenwood radios.

In my case, it looks like I have to pre-program a "key" into both units and do some other configuration to have them talk to each other remotely (for Remote Control). It is not simply DTMF codes at control time.

I've been pouring over band-plans & FCC regulations trying to figure out what frequencies I can use in key areas & what potential coordination I need to do to keep everyone happy. Nothing like diving into the deep end just as you're learning to doggy-paddle!

corsair23
03-08-2008, 10:34 PM
Seriously, I would look around and see how much cheaper the VX-3 and VX-6 are before committing to the VX-7. IMO the VX-6 is the way to go. Just my $0.02.

Thanks Dave :thumb: - Being so new to this sometimes we just tend to follow the herd :hill:. Sounds like I need to look more into the VX-6R etc. to see what the price difference is. If it isn't much I'll probably still with the VX-7R just for the commonality with the group aspect which can only help when I start asking questions. :D

Romer
03-08-2008, 10:57 PM
I only bought the VX-7r because I got one in mint condition for $180. I wouldn't have poped the coin for a new one.

You got some time, look out there and don't limit you view to Colorado. After all my new RTT came from Salt Lake City craiglist.

Mendocino
03-09-2008, 10:26 AM
So how well supported is this D-Star system? The more I read about it, the more interested I become. Safe to assume you need to be connected to a repeater that supports it? Or is it as simple as just purchasing a rig with D-Star?

Internet connection sounds pretty cool. Price of hardware doesn't :rolleyes:

I had a look into the repeater infrastructure of D-Star in Colorado. There is a Full System in Brighton (2M, 70CM, 23CM DV, 23 CM DD). Also HRO has a proposal out to ham radio clubs to provide a full D-Star rack on a grant (see the CCARC link). I think the biggest issue is that iCom is the only manufacturer that is really embracing D-star. I think I'll cross D-star off the priority list for now.

http://www.arrl-al.org/D-STAR%20map_5_07.jpg

http://www.ccarc.net/

Mendocino
03-09-2008, 10:59 AM
I finally made a decision and just bought the TH-F6A from HC. $417 delivered with accessories.

corsair23
03-10-2008, 01:25 AM
Seriously, I would look around and see how much cheaper the VX-3 and VX-6 are before committing to the VX-7. IMO the VX-6 is the way to go. Just my $0.02.

Follow up:

Ham City pricing (they seem to have the best prices right now)

VX-3R - $167 (reg price $180)
VX-6R - $235 (reg price $255)
VX-7R - $276 (reg price $330)

So, for $40 you can get the VX-7R - worth it?? Dave, I tried to determine if software wise it is the same between the VX-6R and VX-7R. Hard to tell but the VX-7R software was cheaper :confused: - Is the $40 worth it for commonality with the group?


I only bought the VX-7r because I got one in mint condition for $180. I wouldn't have poped the coin for a new one.

You got some time, look out there and don't limit you view to Colorado. After all my new RTT came from Salt Lake City craiglist.


Just got done checking the entire US + Puerto Rico :eek:. I used Craigshelper.com to do this and searched on Yaesu.

I didn't find a single mobile rig (FT-7800 or FT-8800 anyway) listed for sale.

I found 3 HTs for sale (of the VX-3, VX-6, or VX-7 variety).

One in Maryland (http://baltimore.craigslist.org/ele/593936711.html) for $400 - USED :rolleyes:
One in Texas (http://dallas.craigslist.org/ele/600856122.html) for $250 - NEW
One in Wisconsin (http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/ele/556697923.html) for $200 - USED, damaged, and taken apart :eek:

eBay hasn't been any better. Seriously, used stuff is going for near new pricing (used FT-8800 just sold tonight for $301). I'm glad stuff is holding its value but seriously, I'd rather buy new with warranty from Ham City pricing than used for $50 less. Maybe shipping and taxes are a real killer???

I don't doubt that there will be bargains out there sooner or later but Romer and UB should be buying lottery tickets based on the super bargains they found recently :D

For the rest of us, the above may help knowing what is, and isn't, available out there right now.

On a side note...there is a 48 ft crank-up tower (http://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/ele/597851774.html) for sale for $100 in San Diego :D

DaveInDenver
03-10-2008, 07:06 AM
For that price, I would also get the VX-7 over the VX-6. But $40 is still $40. Don't forget the VX-170, like Hulk mentioned in another thread. They are usually about $120 and have a lot of the same functionality on 2m that you'd need.

BTW, don't buy the Yaesu software for their HTs. There is freeware programming software out there. You need a cable (which I have, also Romer and I think UB, too). The cable is universal amongst all the Yaesu HT radios you are looking at. I have the RT Systems cable and a USB/serial port adapter. This adapter also works on the 8800 cable I got. At this point some one in the club has cables and SW for the 7800, 8800, VX-7 for sure. I'll look into the VX-3 and VX-6 software today, but the existing cables will work for those. There are also some Kenwood programming setups (at least one, Hants).